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News Releases | December 12, 2019

2020 Annual Meeting and Election of Directors

An election for four places on the Board of Directors is scheduled on April 6, 2020, in conjunction with the UFCU Annual Meeting.

Chairman of the Board D Michael Harris appointed a Governance/Nominating Committee chaired by Molly Beth Malcolm, EdD, LPC. The Committee nominated the following Members to serve as UFCU Directors for three-year terms, respectively: Thomas J Ardis, MBA, Leslie L Blanke, PhD, D Michael Harris, PhD, CPA.CITP, and David W Niesel, PhD. UFCU bylaws permit other nominations by petition if signed by 500 qualified Members and, together with a statement of qualifications and signed certificate stating the nominee is agreeable to such nomination and will serve if elected, is submitted to the office of the Director, Assurance Services by 5 PM Central Standard Time on February 6, 2020. The election will be conducted by mail ballot only if there exists one or more petition candidates. Bylaws do not allow nominations from the floor at the annual meeting when one or more candidates exist for each open position.

For more information about the election process, including how to obtain related documents, please contact the office of the Director, Assurance Services at (800) 252-8311 or (512) 467-8080 x 22312.


Annual Membership Meeting

Monday, April 6, 2020 | 5:30 PM
UFCU Plaza Event Center | 8303 N MoPac Expy, Austin, TX


The following candidates are nominated to fill three-year terms, set to expire in 2023:

Thomas J Ardis

Thomas J Ardis, MBA , is President of SUMMAWeb, an internet domain name registrar. Formerly a Registered Investment Advisor, Ardis was also business manager for The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. A UFCU Member since 1979, Mr Ardis has served nine years on the Supervisory Committee, eight as Chairman. He has been a Member of the Board of Directors since 1996, serving as Chairman and on the Executive, ALCO/ Budget, Technology, Governance/Nominating, Futurist and Banking for Good committees. Mr Ardis favors a strategic balance between dividend and loan rates and expanded investment in both physical locations and electronic services to maintain the highest quality Member experience. He encourages continued, controlled growth to expand membership. He actively supports initiatives by the national credit union community to thwart efforts by commercial bankers to restrict credit union membership.


Leslie L Blanke

Leslie L Blanke, PhD, is an Adjunct Professor of Economics at St Edward’s University and the Concordia University MBA program. Dr Blanke received a BA in Economics from Tufts University and began her career in product-level financial analysis for Hallmark Cards. She completed her PhD in Economics from Southern Methodist University and, after graduation, began a litigation consulting practice through the Forensic and Litigation Services Practice of KPMG. Dr Blanke is the current UFCU Board treasurer and chair of the Asset and Liability Management Committee, and she has served on the UFCU Supervisory Committee. She is the former chair and former treasurer of the St Michael’s Catholic Academy Board of Trustees, and the former chair and a current Member of the Assets Committee at St Michael’s. She is the former chair of the St Austin Catholic Parish Investment Committee and former co-chair of the local Tufts University Alumni Admissions Network chapter. Dr Blanke believes in listening to the voice of the Member. She encourages progress through innovation and has a passion for providing service to our Members and our community outside of traditional norms.


D Michael Harris

D Michael Harris, PhD, CPA.CITP, is Managing Member of Harris Queza & Company, PLLC, a public accounting firm with clients across the country and abroad. Formerly a tenured Professor of Accounting at St Edward’s University, Dr Harris joined St Edward’s after a business career of almost 30 years, serving primarily as senior financial executive in a variety of companies across several industries. Dr Harris has served on UFCU’s Board of Directors since 2007. He is a Director of several privately held companies and donates his expertise freely with pro bono tax consulting as well as serving as President and Director for Stanley Hills Homeowner Association in Estes Park, Colorado. He also serves as Director and Treasurer of the nonprofit Susan Poorman Blackie Ovarian Cancer Foundation, and Director and Treasurer of the nonprofit Texas Beta Students Aid Fund. He served on the UFCU Supervisory Committee before his election to the Board of Directors.


David W Niesel

David W Niesel, PhD, is the Senior Vice President and Dean and Associate Chief Research Officer of The University of Texas Medical Branch Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. He was chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology for 14 years, during which time he led his department to a top 10 ranking among Microbiology and Immunology departments, nationally. Dr Niesel is cocreator of Medical Discovery News, a national and international radio show that is broadcast weekly on more than 100 radio stations. A weekly column is also published in four Texas newspapers (Galveston, Corpus Christi, Abilene, and Del Rio). He is an author of more than 65 publications and holds four patents. As Associate Chief Research Officer for the university, he helps manage all aspects of the $140 million biomedical research enterprise at UTMB. Dr Niesel has been a UFCU Member since 1980, and has served on the Board of Directors of UFCU since 2014. Board committee service includes the UFCU ALCO/Budget Committee, Futurist Committee, Governance and Nominating Committee, and Ad Hoc Social Purpose Committee. He believes in the philosophy and outlook of the credit union movement and its Members-first focus. Dr Niesel is dedicated to helping UFCU advance as a leader in Texas and the country.