Ashley Kohlrus, chief experience officer (CXO) at Allegacy Federal Credit Union, has been named the Credit Union Executives Society’s (CUES) 2012 Next Top Credit Union Exec. CUES highlights and honors emerging leaders age 35 and under from within the credit union community and recognizes the work they are doing to advance their credit union and the movement.
Kohlrus’ credit union project about “Mapping the Member Experience” was chosen from a group of five international applicants that were selected as finalists by a team of judges in September. As one of five finalists, Kohlrus’ blog and video updates over the past few months provided the industry with an insight into the project’s progress, and culminated with a final presentation Monday, November 5, at CUES’ CEO/Executive Team Network. Kohlrus was announced the winner on Wednesday, November 7, after a four-part scoring process that included a panel of judges, a measurement of their social media engagement, plus audience and online voting.
In her role as CXO, Kohlrus works to ensure that the credit union experience for employees and members remains a top priority. Her current project, ‘Mapping the Member Experience’, reviews all of the organization’s delivery channels to identify what impressions the credit union creates along the way and where those impressions can be enhanced. In her presentation, Kohlrus provided suggestions for how credit unions of any size could implement similar programs of their own.
“I am thrilled to be selected as the CUES Next Top Credit Union Executive,” said Kohlrus. “This is a project that I truly believe in and we have already implemented many things based on the findings of one-on-one discussions and feedback with employees and members. We are taking a hard look at our services, talking with our members, empowering our employees and really listening to determine where we can continue to improve. Because in the end, Allegacy offers products and services similar to most financial institutions but what will set us apart is how we make our members feel.”
With the award, Kohlrus also won a $20,000 educational package, including registration, accommodation and airfare to any two CUES CEO Institutes, one in 2013 and one in 2014. She also receives two additional remote coaching sessions from DDJ Myers and the opportunity to publish the progress of “Mapping the Member Experience” via monthly updates on the Cues Next Top Credit Union Exec blog for the next five months.
Kohlrus received her undergraduate degree in Speech Communications from East Tennessee State University and her master’s degree in Leadership and Organizational Change from Pfeiffer University. She also earned a senior professional human resources certification.
Kohlrus is active in the Winston-Salem community where she volunteers with the Wake Forest University MA Mentor Program, serves on the Women's Council for Forsyth Medical Center Foundation, the NC Triad Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure board of directors and the Maya Angelou Center for Women's Health Advisory board. She is also a 2010 recipient of the YWCA "Women of Vision" award.