Executive Advisors

John R. Beran, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Comerica (Retired)

John Beran is the retired Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Comerica Incorporated, where he was also a member of Comerica’s Management Policy Committee as well as the Comerica Bank Board of Directors. (Retired February, 2011)

Mary Ellen Carney, Senior Vice President, Branch Engagement Community & Business Banking, US Bank

Mary Ellen Carney is a Senior Vice President within Consumer and Business Banking Division at U.S. Bank. Her role is to identify, address and correct the systemic issues impacting our business in order mitigate negative effects on customer relationships. She is leads major projects for the bank, which focus on improving the customer and employee experience. Mary Ellen has over 30 years of experience in banking. Prior to her current role, she was a regional executive for U.S. Bank managing assets over $2 billion. She has held leadership positions on the front line, in strategic planning and in sales development. She is active in her community and currently serves on nonprofit boards. Mary Ellen started her career in banking with degrees in Business (MBA) from Cleveland State University and B.S. Communication, Summa Cum Laude, from Ohio University. She is a graduate of CBA Banking School. Mary Ellen lives with her husband, Wayne, in Bratenahl, Ohio. They have four children and 10 grandchildren.

Melissa Erhardt, Managing Director, Human Resources, Citi

Melissa M. Erhardt is Managing Director, Human Resources for Citi Retail Services, a leading provider of private label and co-branded consumer and commercial credit card products across the U.S. The business services millions of accounts for many iconic brands, including Best Buy, ExxonMobil, Macy’s, Sears, Shell, L.L.Bean, and The Home Depot, among others.

Jamie Frogale, Director, Learning & Development, Arlington Community Federal Credit Union

Jamie is the Director of Learning and Development at Arlington Community Federal Credit Union, where she manages and leads talent development, training, and internal communication. Prior to joining Arlington Community FCU, Jamie held titles such as Learning & Development Manager, Training & Quality Manager, Educational Program Manager, and Area Operations Manager at companies ranging in size from 50 employees to fortune 500 companies. She has worked in the credit union, banking, member association, and retail industries during her 25 year career. Jamie’s expertise is in staff development, organizational culture, instructional design, and learning facilitation, which she loves paring with her passion for the banking industry. Jamie Frogale Director, Learning & Development Arlington Community Federal Credit Union

Mary Kay Merkt, Senior Vice President, Vendor Management & Procurement, Johnson Financial

Mary Kay Merkt is the Director of Vendor Management & Procurement at Johnson Financial Group in Racine, WI. She has been active in the area of Vendor Management and Procurement for over 35 years. In recent years Mary Kay’s responsibilities included Business Continuity Management, Incident Response, and Records Management broadening her role within the Risk Management Area. In her current role, Mary Kay spearheads continuous process improvements across all business lines, develops risk assessment models, and negotiates enterprise contracts seeking cost savings and innovative ideas from vendors.

Jennifer Scott, Senior Vice President, Consumer Solutions Support & Delivery, Regions Bank

Jennifer began her career in banking over two decades ago in Operations and Technology which provided a foundational understanding unique in the Retail banking space. In 2002, she moved to the Retail Banking Group at Regions Bank and was instrumental in several transformational projects such as front counter payment processing, video banking and cash recycling. Jennifer is currently the Effective and Efficient Transaction and Servicing Manager at Regions Bank and leads the Regions Bank strategy for transaction migration to digital channels while also ensuring digital devices align with customer expectations. This is primarily related to the ATM network but also extends to Mobile and Online Banking.

Ben Schack, Head, US Digital Partnerships, BMO

In Ben’s role leading US digital partnerships, he focuses on identifying and executing on partnership opportunities with fintechs, big techs, incubators, accelerators, industry consortia, and venture capital firms. Ben works with line of business leaders to determine when partnership strategies can best deliver upon business goals, helps identify areas of imminent disruption, and assesses fintech acquisition opportunities.

Chris Thurmond, Consumer Governance & Controls, First Horizon Bank

Chris Thurmond serves as the first line of defense lead for First Tennessee Bank and Capital Bank’s consumer line of business in his role as Head of Consumer Governance and Controls. In addition to his time in consumer banking Chris’ twenty-plus year career includes extensive experience as Head of Retail Incentive Compensation and Performance Management as well as roles in the mortgage and small business segments. Chris has an undergraduate degree in Finance from Middle Tennessee State University and a MBA from Auburn University. He currently resides with his family in the Nashville, TN area.