Learn more about our initiative.

Our mission here at the GWUCUI is to strengthen the GW community by helping students bank affordably, build credit, better manage their finances and develop valuable skill sets that they can bring to their careers. We seek to accomplish this goal by chartering a student-run Credit Union. A Credit Union is essentially a not-for-profit bank. This will allow us to not only offer small loans with low rates, but also pay higher interest on member deposits! In addition to banking services, we will offer a unique credit building program that builds credit score and knowledge of finances. All these services aim to empower the GW community while also providing job experience for GW students interested in any field.

  Meet Our Team



Once we are granted a charter from the NCUA, we will offer:

Share Accounts

Our share accounts will be savings accounts that offer higher interest than any of our competitors, partial ownership of the Credit Union, and voting rights on Credit Union policies.

Share Draft Accounts

Our share draft accounts will be standard checking accounts, and will give the student access to on-campus ATMs and personalized debit cards.

Credit Builder

Our credit building program will be an effective, cheap, and risk-free way of building credit through the use of a small secured loan.

Textbook Loans

Similar to internship loans, these loans will help students cover the cost of expensive textbooks. Students with on-campus jobs who know that they will be able to cover the payment but don’t currently have the means will benefit from this.

Student Org Micro-loans

Student orgs will be able to get short-term loans to cover the cost of their operations while they are waiting for funding from the school.

Internship Loans

After 3 rounds of surveying and over 1,000 conversations with students, we have identified the areas where students are willing to take out small loans. Internship-related expenses that happen before a student’s first pay day will be met with an internship loan.


We're developing a free curriculum for students.

We aim to solve a critical problem that our peers face: a lack of financial literacy education and training to manage their personal finances. Fellow GW undergraduate and graduate students have told us they feel underprepared for the transition to financial independence after graduation. A lack of financial literacy follows into adulthood, affecting the ability to plan and sustainably spend. We have already hosted events and are now working with partners on campus to develop a curriculum around financial literacy. These resources will help students understand their personal finances and utilize our products.

  Get Involved

In the News


Get Involved

Discover the many ways to support our initiative's goals.

  • Newsletter
  • Stay up to date with the George Washington University Credit Union Initiative. Sign up to recieve our newsletter below.
  • Sign Up

  • Students
  • Join our initiative to be one of the Credit Union's founding members. Being totally student-run is a core feature of our initiative and soon-to-be Credit Union. We have open positions across our organization and currently seek diverse talent. You will gain hands-on experience working in a grassroots, entrepreneurial organization. We take pride in our initiative and would love to have you on the team.
  • Apply on Handshake

  • Professionals
  • Your assistance will help us get this Credit Union operational. A strong Advisory Committee is critical to achieving our goals. To join the Advisory Committee, send an email to, and a core team member will be assigned to personally work out details with you.
  • Email Us

The Team

Get to know us.

Sahil Pankhaniya is a junior from Florida majoring in finance and statistics who founded the initiative in 2017. He sets strategy, coordinates fundraising, and publicly represents the initiative. He also manages the development team which oversees the NCUA charter and financial planning process for the proposed federal Credit Union.

Sahil Pankhaniya

Chief Executive Officer

Christian Trummer is a founding member from Pennsylvania studying Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering. Christian works with software vendors and oversees website development and IT operations.

Christian Trummer

Chief Technology Officer

Ander Tebbutt is a sophomore from Iowa studying accounting.

Ander Tebbutt

Chief Operating Officer

Vincent Premysler is a sophomore from Washington, DC. A finance and information systems major, he is developing detailed financial projections and an investment portfolio, while leading a team creating the financial underpinnings of the CU.

Vincent Premysler

Chief Financial Officer

Jacob Honig is a freshman from Florida majoring in Finance and Economics. He joined GWUCUI in 2020 as a Analyst. He assists the development team with preparing models and official documents.

Jacob Honig

Chief Lending Officer

Michael Nair is a Freshman from Massachusetts majoring in Economics and Statistics, and minoring in Computer Science. He assists the CTO with vendor management, team systems training, and other duties.

Michael Nair

Chief Information Officer

Augie Burkhardt is a Sophomore from New Jersey majoring in Finance and Economics. Augie joined GWUCUI in 2020 as a Analyst.

Augie Burkhardt

Chief Marketing Officer

Akshara Desai is from Mumbai, India. She is a sophomore studying Finance and Economics. She joined the initiative in the Fall of 2020 and currently serves as the Chief Financial Literacy Officer.

Akshara Desai

Chief Financial Literacy Officer

Jack Conway is from Springfield, New Jersey. He is a sophomore studying Political Science and Finance. He joined the initiative in Summer 2020 and currently serves as the Chief Compliance Officer.

Jack Conway

Chief Compliance Officer

Paul Cornelius is a sophomore from New York. A German native, he is majoring in International Business and minoring in International Affairs. Paul joined GWUCUI in 2020 as an Analyst.

Paul Cornelius

Operations Manager

Rehan Hak is a sophomore from Long Island, NY. He is pursuing a B.S in Finance and International Affairs, and joined GWUCI in 2020 as a Analyst.

Rehan Hak

Lending Manager

Julian Daszkal is a sophomore from South Florida majoring in International Affairs and Finance. He joined the Development Team as an analyst in June 2020.

Julian Daszkal

Finance Manager

David Varela is a sophomore from Bogota, Colombia. Pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with a dual concentration in International Business and in Entrepreneurship and Innovation with a Minor in Sustainability.

David Varela

Core Team Member

Alvin Zhang is a freshman from Colorado pursuing a major in Finance and a minor in Computer Science. He joined the GWUCUI in February 2021 as a Core Team Member in Lending and believes in promoting financial services and financial literacy.

Alvin Zhang

Core Team Member

Patrick Morrison is a sophomore from New Jersey majoring in Finance and Economics. He joined the Development Team as an Analyst in June 2020.

Patrick Morrison

Core Team Member

Umar Mahdi is a Sophomore from Northern Virginia. He is concentrating in Finance and Business Analytics. Umar joined GWUCUI in October 2020 as a core team member.

Umar Mahdi

Core Team Member

Riya Parikh is a freshman in the GWSB majoring in Finance. She joined the GWUCUI team as an analyst in 2020.

Riya Parikh

Core Team Member

Suneri Gandhi is a sophomore from Long Island, NY. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance with a concentration in Accounting, as well as a minor in Economics. She works on the marketing team as a core team member.

Suneri Gandhi

Core Team Member

John Herin is a Sophomore from South Florida studying Finance and Political Science. He works on the Operations team as a core team member.

John Herin

Core Team Member

Griffith Evans is a freshman from Long Island, NY. He is majoring in International Affairs with a concentration in international economics. He works on the operations team as a core team member.

Griffith Evans

Core Team Member

Mitchell Clokey is a junior from Annapolis, MD. He is majoring in Political Science with a focus in Public Policy. He works on the operations team as a core team member.

Mitchell Clokey

Core Team Member

Matthew Lobel is a sophomore from Newport Beach, California. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Business with a concentration in Information Systems, as well as a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics. He works on the Finance team as a core team member.

Matthew Lobel

Core Team Member

Ken Stibler from Dallas, Texas. He is a senior studying Political Science and Organizational Sciences. He works on the marketing team as a core team member.

Ken Stibler

Core Team Member

Nolan Madden is a Junior from New Jersey majoring in Finance and Real Estate. He joined the Development Team as an analyst in June 2020.

Nolan Madden

Core Team Member

Giana Fiore is a junior from Virginia studying Computer Science and Business Administration. Giana works on web development.

Giana Fiore

Technology Consultant

Advisory Committee

Meet our advisors

Mr. Lake is a 
      Teaching Instructor of Finance, the Deputy Chair of the Department of Finance, the Director of the GW Investment 
      Institute, and a GW Faculty Member in Residence at the George Washington University School of Business. Mr. Lake teaches 
      graduate and undergraduate investment courses, where students manage real capital. To date, the Assets Under Management 
      (AUM) across the GW Investment Institute’s student funds are approximately $5.2 million.
      As the deputy chair of the Department of Finance, Mr. Lake assist the chair of the Department of Finance with administrative 
      tasks on classes and ways to enhance the student experience. Additionally, Mr. Lake is the director of the GW Investment 
      Institute, where he raises capital for the GW student investment funds portfolio and manages employees of the institute 
      on a daily basis. Mr. Lake has also served as a mentor-in-residence supported by the GW Office of Innovation and 
      Entrepreneurship. Instructor Lake provides guidance, coaching, support and connections to students with a goal to enhance 
      entrepreneurship at GW. Prior to Mr. Lake’s current appointment in the GWSB Department of Finance and the GW Investment 
      Institute, Mr. Lake worked as a senior investment officer in the George Washington University Investment Office. The GW 
      Investment Office was responsible for managing the university’s then $1.5 billion endowment fund. Prior to that, Mr. Lake 
      was a senior financial analyst in the Executive Vice President and Treasurer’s Office at GW, where he served as an internal 
      consultant for projects ranging from financial and optimization modeling to developing spin-out strategies and valuations 
      for internal businesses. Prior to joining GW, he was a financial analyst in portfolio management at a mortgage banking 
      subsidiary of California Federal Bank (now part of Citi). Mr. Lake graduated cum laude from West Virginia Wesleyan College 
      with a Bachelor of Science degree in business. He received his MBA from the George Washington University.

Rodney Lake

Advisory Committee Chairman

Chip Filson is a 
      co-founder of Callahan & Associates and currently serves as the company’s Chairman of the Board. A nationally recognized 
      leader in the Credit Union industry, Chip is an astute author, frequent speaker, and consultant for the Credit Union 
      movement. He has more than 40 years of experience in government, financial institutions, and business. Chip’s breadth of 
      experience makes him an authority on a wide range of topics, including analysis of Credit Union trends, Credit Union 
      public and market-facing opportunities, and strategies for enhancing member value. Chip’s contributions to the 
      cooperative movement have been demonstrated with his analysis and advocacy for the corporate Credit Union system, NCUA’s 
      Corporate Stabilization role, and the need for regulatory reform.
      He is an avid believer that cooperative principles are a key to Credit Union success and founded Coops4Change 
      ( to reestablish cooperative principles as the foundation for the Credit Union regulatory system. 
      Chip has held concurrent positions at the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) as president of the Central Liquidity 
      Facility (CLF) and Director of the Office of Programs, which includes the NCUSIF and the examination process.
      Chip holds a magna cum laude undergraduate degree in government from Harvard University. After being awarded a Rhodes 
      Scholarship, he earned a master’s degree in politics, philosophy, and economics from Oxford University in England. He also 
      holds an MBA in management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School in Chicago.

Chip Filson

Advisory Committee

William (Bill) 
      Kennedy is the new CFO of SecurityPlus.   He started his Credit Union career as CFO at Department of Justice FCU, after 
      working as Senior Accountant at the FSLIC Receivership Division under Mr. William Linane Sr. who encouraged him to bring 
      his talents to Credit Unions when the FSLIC Division was moving to Atlanta. At the time Mr. Linane was also HUDFCU 
      Chairman and a Board member at Cap Corp.  
      Bill’s Credit Union career since then has mainly been in Credit Union turnaround situations. Because of his strong 
      leadership, turnaround skills and his overall extensive involvement in the community he was honored and recognized with 
      the NAFCU Professional CEO of the Year and the Judith A. Burgin Memorial Professional of the Year Award’s and the 2019 
      Credit Union Rock Star Award.  
      Nationally and locally, he is heavily involved in giving back to the Credit Union movement and community at large.  He is 
      the founder and for six years, until 2019, directed the quarterly Mid Atlantic Finance and Accounting events held at the 
      Association.  Other past experience includes being elected by CFO peers to two separate terms on the CUNA CFO Executive 
      Board; ten years of full and part time College Business Faculty, NJ CU Foundation Board, Police Athletic League Board 
      member/Treasurer, Argyle Country Club Board member/Treasurer, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Camp and Huddle 
      leader, Board member of Maryland Credit Union League, and Board member/ Treasurer of National Capital Central FCU, CUNA 
      Mutual CEO Select Group, a MACUMA Board member and an advisor to the George Washington Credit Union startup initiative.   
      Bill is passionate about bringing recent college graduates and current college students into the movement. As business 
      faculty it disappointed him that students did not have a Credit Union career on their radar. He set about to change that 
      by offering internships whenever possible , and to date he has mentored over 80 college interns, many who entered and 
      remain involved in the movement.  
      Bill a CCUE and NCCO, holds an MBA through the Executive Program at Loyola College, additional Masters Level Accounting 
      courses from Liberty University, and a Bachelor of Science in Business and Accounting from the University of Maryland, 
      College Park.
      Bill and his wife Ann live in Frederick, Maryland. During his free time Bill enjoys golf with his adult children, serving 
      the FCA, and is itching to get golf clubs in the hands of his five grandchildren.

William Kennedy

Advisory Committee

Andres Saenz is an associate in the Morgan Stanley Institutional Securities Group (ISG) Rotational Program since August 2019, currently sitting in Morgan Stanley’s Investor Relations team.
	Prior to becoming an associate in the ISG Rotational Program, Saenz spent three years in Investment Banking focused on Financial Institutions, advising clients and governments globally on a broad range of issues including mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and capital raising.
	After graduating from The George Washington University in 2016, Saenz joined Morgan Stanley and served as an Analyst and an associate in the Financial Institutions Group in both New York City and London.
	Saenz holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and International Business from The George Washington University.

Andres Saenz

Advisory Committee

Cisco has lead significant initiatives and strategies throughout his career, in particular the CU “College Strategy,” which he authored and successfully implemented at both BECU and GTE, engaging the largest Universities and Colleges in Western WA and Tampa Bay, respectively.

Cisco Smith

Advisory Committee

PJ Tabit is a senior supervisory policy analyst at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors
	conducting financial and policy analysis of the student loan, auto loan, and credit scoring
	He has previously held positions at the Congressional Research Reserve and the U.S.
	House of Representatives. He is also a co-founder and current chair of the board of directors of
	the Wiki Education Foundation, a San Francisco-based non-profit, and co-organizer of
	SoundScene, one of the country’s largest audio art festivals. 
	He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton and master’s degrees from the George Washington University and Northwestern University.

PJ Tabit

Advisory Committee

Ms. Lyon directs Ncontracts’ compliance program, which includes product development and content. Prior to joining Ncontracts, she was a senior compliance counsel at NAFCU Ms. Lyon received her J.D. at the George Washington University.

Stephanie Lyon

Advisory Committee

Christopher Myers is a Mortgage Strategist at Navy Federal Credit Union headquartered in Northern Virginia. He graduated with his BA from the University of Virginia and his MBA from George Washington University.

Christopher Myers

Advisory Committee

Bonnie Ortiz formed O2 Consulting Group, a premier professional services firm, in January of 2018 after spending almost a decade as the Chief Operating Officer for The Partnership Federal Credit Union.  A recognized expert in strategy formation, process improvement and project management, Bonnie now provides her clients with a comprehensive operational toolkit, aligning people, process and systems to corporate goals. 
      In 2009, Bonnie joined The Partnership Federal Credit Union to help the CEO bring value to their community by focusing on the advancement of people, processes and projects with the goal of creating a high performing team. During her tenure at the Credit Union, she provided value through partnership for members by developing products and services such as the Value in Partnership (VIP) member engagement program, and eValuator, a member-facing cost-comparison tool to help members save on their loans. Bonnie instilled a culture of operational excellence and quality/compliance control using a proven product and project management methodology to complete dozens of successful programs.
      Bonnie was honored with the 2015 Credit Union Times IT Executive of the Year Trailblazer Award and the 2014 Credit Union Magazine Rock Star Award for her innovative approach to business technology. In 2015, The Partnership FCU received the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Lending Council Excellence in Lending Award for the lending evolution project and the CUNA Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award for the VIP Program.
      Bonnie is a University of Pittsburgh graduate and completed both the Federal and Commercial Project Management programs at George Washington University. In her spare time, you can find Bonnie applying her passions for people, processes and projects in ways that make a difference. Bonnie currently serves as the Commodore of the Herring Bay Yacht Club and on the board of the Dream Queen Association, giving her time and expertise to cultivating the next generation of leaders.

Bonnie Ortiz

Advisory Committee

Brian joined Ohio University CU as CFO in 2019 after almost two decades of serving Credit Unions from coast to coast. He has extensive experience in advising client institutions on balance sheet management strategies, interest rate risk, investments, liquidity management, and other strategic efforts. He has been a frequent speaker at industry events and recently completed his service as the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Catholic Family CU. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst University. He also holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from the Grenoble Ecole de Management (Grenoble, France) with a research focus on the role of investments on the performance of financial institutions.

Brian Smith-Vandergriff

Advisory Committee

Barton H. (Bart) Kogan (Mr. Kogan) is an alumnus of the George Washington University with BBA and MEd degrees, and resides in Los Angeles, CA.

After a successful professional career in operating affordable multifamily apartment communities in CA, NV, AR and TX, Mr. Kogan remains a recognized expert in HUD sponsored subsidized housing programs, being called upon to give expert testimony when legal issues between  property owners and HUD are in dispute. He is currently an owner of single user industrial Concrete “Tilt-Up” properties in TN, MO and TX. 

In the greater community Mr. Kogan has been a member of the International Executive Committee of the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs, NYC; 
Pacific Southwest Region President, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, NYC; Treasurer of the Community Counseling Service of Los Angeles; and a longstanding Dean’s  Advisory Board member of the George Washington University School of Business, (1999-2014)

Currently, Mr. Kogan serves on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Hebrew High School; the Board of Advisors of the Zeigler School of Rabbinic Studies at  American Jewish University, Los Angeles and Co-Chair of the Sinai Temple Board of Governors, Los Angeles; and an engaged alumnus of the Kappa Sigma and Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternities.

Bart Kogan

Advisory Committee

Matt lives in Baltimore, MD with his wife Marion and chocolate lab Elsie.  Matt graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and enjoyed a few years playing baseball with the Tigers. When he is not meeting with a Credit Union you can probably find him on the golf course or firing up the grill for Ravens football games. Matt is an avid boater enjoying time on Chesapeake with friends and family as well as fishing some of the local streams and reservoirs.

Matthew Fulford

Advisory Committee


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