Meet our Senior Leadership Team
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Mike Valentine, President/CEO
With more than 38 years of sales and service experience, Mike brings unique insight and magnetic energy to his position. His credit union career began in 1984, when he joined BCU as manager of lending & collections. After a decade of cultivating strong sales and service culture, Mike was appointed President/CEO in 1994. With a humble and approachable style, Mike sees himself as a coach. He believes in the development of employees and encourages his leadership team to treat BCU as a learning organization. This collaborative, team-based management style has led BCU to unparalleled success. Mike received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.
Lisa Baron, Executive Vice-President/Chief Human Resources Officer
Lisa began her career with BCU in 1994. A leader in organizational development, Lisa is responsible for the strategic direction of the human resource and talent management functions as well as enterprise leadership for the member experience team. She is also tasked with driving high employee engagement, cultivating BCU’s unique culture and employee brand, developing staff and increasing employee retention. Lisa serves as a senior leader mentor for Baxter’s Women Leaders resource group and is a member of BCU’s Charitable Giving Committee. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.
James Block, Executive Vice-President, Chief Operating Officer
Jim is responsible for BCU’s loan and deposit product lines, technology team and call centers. Having joined BCU in 1995, he has helped champion BCU's member service levels and product superiority that have led to the Credit Union's growth over the last two decades. In addition to his senior management role at BCU, Jim is also active on industry advisory boards, is past chairman of the Credit Union National Association's Lending Council and serves on the boards of directors for Bonifii and CU Servnet. Jim holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and a master’s from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Dave Blum, Executive Vice-President, Corporate Relationships, Branches & Digital Channels
As a leader in relationship management, Dave is responsible for all domestic branches and leverages company partner relationships to maximize member and eligible non-member value. His experience in fostering partnerships makes him a key influence in corporate relationship management, business development, and member development. Dave holds a bachelor’s degree from North Park University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Carl “CJ” Presto, Executive Vice-President/Chief Financial Officer
CJ leads the finance, accounting, treasury, and risk management functions at BCU. Since joining BCU in 2001, CJ has held leadership roles in the accounting and finance areas and has led multiple merger and acquisition efforts, with previous leadership of strategic planning and deposit operations. CJ’s teams have been instrumental in introducing sophisticated liquidity risk, interest rate risk, profitability, budgeting, auditing, and enterprise risk management solutions. CJ received his bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from DePaul University.
David Brydun, Senior Vice-President/Chief Lending Officer
David began his career with BCU in 2007. Appointed in 2021 to the role of Chief Lending Officer, he is responsible for BCU’s lending and business services functions. His areas of responsibility include Product Management, Real Estate Lending, Consumer Loan Sales, Underwriting, Processing, Collections, and Servicing. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University.
Jill Sammons, Senior Vice-President, Marketing & Strategic Communications
Jill has more than 30 years of credit union marketing and business development experience, beginning in 1991 when she joined BCU. Her work currently includes putting Purpose Into Practice to drive brand value, member acquisition & engagement activity, and financial well-being. Recognized for her ability to manage strong cross-functional teams, communicate effectively, and positively influence others, her commitment to empowering people to discover financial freedom is reflected in everything she does. Jill received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.