Credit Union Conversations

Welcome to Credit Union Conversations podcast with your host, Mark Ritter, a forward-thinking CEO, who excels in helping credit unions, small businesses, and real estate investors succeed.

Join Mark as he explores current trends, interview industry experts, and get fresh insights on optimizing your lending operations and delivering the best possible services to credit union members. 

More About Your Host

Mark Ritter is the CEO of MBFS & Nu Direction Lending and an expert in credit unions and business lending. His primary role at MBFS is overseeing the strategy of helping credit unions assist members with business needs and consulting with credit unions on planning the delivery of services to their membership.

In 2002, Mark started a large central Pennsylvania credit union’s business lending program as “one person and a desk” with no policies, products, staff, systems, or business members. That program grew to be one of the top ten in the nation.

In 2012, he took on the challenge of being the CEO of a business lending CUSO. Mark was the fifth CEO in five years for the organization, which lost money every month of its existence. Since joining MBFS, Mark increased the number of credit unions the CUSO and revenue by over 10x and ensured positive cash flow every full year he’s been at the CUSO. More importantly, MBFS has helped countless credit union members gain the financing they need for business and investment needs.

Mark is a native of Berwick, PA in northeast Pennsylvania, where he was a member of his high school’s nationally ranked and state championship football team. After high school, Mark hung up his cleats to work for the Penn State Nittany Lions full-time as a student assistant while attending Penn State as an undergrad. During this time Penn State transitioned to the Big Ten and culminated in Penn State’s first Big Ten Championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl. Mark remains an avid Penn State supporter. Today Mark lives in Bucks County, PA outside of Doylestown with his wife and two teenagers.

Credit Union Conversations Episodes

  • Succeeding With Faith-Based Lending

    Succeeding With Faith-Based Lending

    GUEST Darren Thompson Darren Thompson of Ministry Partners and Mark Ritter meet up to talk about why faith-based lending and member relationships are a nice complement to any credit union. Faith-based lending has some nuances compared to traditional lending but Darren leads us through the best practices and how to access these community organizations. Many […]

  • Learning About Puerto Rico’s Cooperativas

    Learning About Puerto Rico’s Cooperativas

    GUEST Rene Vargas Martinez Hurricane Maria and other storms in Puerto Rico have destroyed their power grid system but also their economy. Cooperativas (Puerto Rican credit unions) have had an incredible impact on the stability and recovery of communities in the aftermath. On today’s episode, Rene Vargas Martinez and Mark Ritter discuss how Puerto Rico’s […]

  • Credit Union Marketing’s Best Kept Secret

    Credit Union Marketing’s Best Kept Secret

    GUEST Matt deLisle Matt deLisle joins Mark Ritter to talk about their journeys in the podcast industry and the impact it has made at MBFS. Matt’s career path has led him to an industry that didn’t exist when he graduated college. Now, he is a leader in the podcast guesting industry.  Why does podcasting work […]

  • CUSOs: Past, Present, & Future

    CUSOs: Past, Present, & Future

    GUEST Larry Middleman The “OG” of business lending CEOs, Larry Middleman, joins Mark in this episode to talk about credit union collaboration and CUSOs. Larry and Mark talk about the old days when business services were a new concept, how they have evolved, and where the credit union industry is headed in the upcoming years. […]

  • Payments In 2022 and Beyond

    Payments In 2022 and Beyond

    GUEST Stephanie Hainje On this episode of Credit Union Conversation, Mark & Stephanie Hainje of My Leverage talk about what’s new in payments and how credit unions can use today’s technology to build low-cost deposits. Connecting with digital payment platforms is key to convenience for customers so tune in to learn more on how to […]

  • Mid-Year Report on State of the Industry

    Mid-Year Report on State of the Industry

    2022 has seen some wild swings in the financial services industry. As the world returns to in-person communication, the credit union industry is open and booming.  In this episode, host Mark Ritter reviews the flourishing first half of 2022 and looks at what is to come the rest of the year.  Will the second half […]

  • Talking Environmental Risk–Please Listen Anyway

    Talking Environmental Risk–Please Listen Anyway

    GUEST Derek Ezovski On today’s episode of Credit Union Conversations, Mark is joined by Derek Ezovski. Derek has considerable experience in environmental and property risk management. Spending his entire career helping companies create best practices, Derek shares with us about his business, ORMS, hot-button topics and information on lending and environmental risks to consider. Tune […]

  • Solving All the World’s Problems

    Solving All the World’s Problems

    GUEST Joe Hyatt Joe Hyatt, President of DFTC, Inc., has been involved in credit unions for over 15 years assisting with many aspects of risk management in commercial lending. In this episode, Joe speaks with Mark about the good and bad of today’s lending marketplace as well as challenges faced as a small business owner […]

  • Talking Participation Loans & Small Business Lending 

    Talking Participation Loans & Small Business Lending 

    GUEST Tammy Baker In today’s episode of Credit Union Conversation, host Mark Ritter talks with Small Business Lender, Tammy Baker, of Nu Direction Lending. Tammy and Mark start the show by reviewing the new cap rules for credit union business lending. They also talk about best practices in participation lending, small business loans, and Tammy […]

  • PPP is Over—Let’s Make SBA Loans!

    PPP is Over—Let’s Make SBA Loans!

    GUESTS Will McClain & Chuck Evans On this episode of Credit Union Conversations your host, Mark Ritter, dives into the topic of Small Business Loans. Join him as he breaks this topic down with Will McClain and Chuck Evans, two veterans of Small Business lending. Tune in as they discuss topics such as different methods […]

  • Relationships: Your Most Valuable Asset 

    Relationships: Your Most Valuable Asset 

    GUESTS NATHAN CROUCH AND KATRINA DRAKE The most successful credit unions make long term commitments to be part of their community in helping small businesses succeed. Erie Federal Credit Union exemplifies this effort. In this episode, Mark talks with Nathan Crouch and Katrina Drake to pick their brain on how they manage close community relationships, […]

  • I Get It. It’s A Really Good Loan.

    I Get It. It’s A Really Good Loan.

    GUEST KRISTINA PAULSON I have a great business idea….This is a no brainer….Kristina Paulson has heard and seen it all when it comes to loan requests. In today’s episode, Mark Ritter and Kristina will uncover the secret sauce on what actually goes on behind the scenes before a final decision is made on financing requests. […]

  • Yes. Rates Are Going Up. What Next?

    Yes. Rates Are Going Up. What Next?

    GUEST FRED RYERSE On today’s episode, Mark is joined by longtime friend and colleague, Fred Ryerse of Patriot FCU. Fred has been in the financial services world for 42 years now and offers insight on current trends by looking back at interest rates during the 1980s. Fred and Mark catch up on the old days […]

  • How To Have A Successful First Date

    How To Have A Successful First Date

    GUEST TOM HALLIDAY Everyone searches for the unicorn to walk through your door. It is the perfect prospect with great credit and collateral who is just begging for someone new. Does it happen? Not really. On today’s episode of Credit Union Conversations, Mark is joined by Tom Halliday to talk through meeting a new member […]

  • 2021 Year In Review

    2021 Year In Review

    GUEST JEFF LYONS You can’t move forward without first looking back! In today’s Credit Union Conversations, Mark speaks with Jeff Lyons, COO of MBFS, about what happened in the credit union industry in 2021. Mark and Jeff discuss the most surprising statistics and major changes to the business lending portfolio. It’s no surprise that COVID […]

  • Credit Union Conversations!

    Credit Union Conversations!

    Welcome to the kickoff for Credit Union Conversations. Mark Ritter, MBFS & Nu Direction Lending CEO, has been a regular speaker on the credit union circuit for the past decade. Mark now brings his insights to the public so you can listen on your terms. Learn more about Credit Union Conversations and our plan to […]