Julie Esser, Chief Executive Officer and Founder

Julie Esser, an experienced marketing and business development executive who has worked with credit unions and Fintech organizations for nearly 40 years, founded IgniteFI.

It makes sense! She has successfully built, operationalized, and led marketing, communications and product marketing programs for several world-class companies. And over the course of many years, she’s built a network of trusted connections within the credit union industry. She’s also well-connected among the fintech community, thanks to her involvement with the Association for Financial Technology.

Marnie Keller, Chief Development Officer

Marnie Keller has a versatile background spanning two decades in marketing strategies, channel sales, relationship management, and business development in the financial services sector. She has served in a number of leadership roles for fintech startup companies, translating her skillset and industry expertise into bottom line revenue. Marnie got her start in banking while serving as both Director of Marketing & Brand Strategy as well as Director of State Relations at the Independent Community Bankers of America. She is a graduate of the College of New Rochelle.

Brian Warfel, Chief Strategy Officer

Brian Warfel has worked in credit unions for over twenty-five years including executive roles in retail, marketing, and digital. He has also worked with Fintechs for 10 years in roles including product, marketing, digital strategy, and strategic partnerships. Brian is a former Chair of the CUNA Technology Council, former member of the Digital Insight Advisory Board, and has earned the designation of Certified Credit Union Executive.

“IgniteFI has been a key business contact for me. The team always represented the organizations they work for with professionalism, dedication and hard work. They know how to navigate and complete difficult projects that require lots of coordination across 3rd parties. The team is great to work with and highly respected in the industry.”

“I highly recommend IgniteFI after having the opportunity to work with the team in a number of instances. They bring a unique blend of marketing and branding prowess with a level of thoroughness and attention to detail that is always needed, regardless of the size of an organization. The team has a strong work ethic and engaging personalities that brings a team up and keeps them motivated.”

“I was first introduced to IgniteFI when Bonifii (orginally CULedger) was just getting started. The team singlehandedly tackled the job of educating the CU industry about SSI and verifiable credentials. I watched IgniteFI pull off multiple marketing campaigns introducing a new technology to a skeptical industry. This team knows their audience and knows how to message them—a real marketing communications pro.”

“The team at IgniteFI has a wealth of knowledge in fintech and financial services. They have been working with credit union leaders for many years. They have a unique ability to explain technology and show executives how they can leverage it.

They have the experience, wisdom, and communication skills to assist any organization grow their business and adapt to the constantly changing business landscape.”

“We’ve had the opportunity to partner with Julie for about a year now. We brought her in to fill a gap we had in our marketing and partnership area. She has been a joy to work with, and she’s earned my highest praise and recognition.

“We’ve specifically leveraged Julie’s marketing expertise and knowledge of the credit union industry. She’ll continue to be a strong resource for us as we continue to expand into the credit union space.

“Plus, in addition to the marketing support she provides, Julie’s extensive connections across the credit union market have generated productive partnership development results for us.

“The RiskScout marketing and partnership function is in a much better spot compared to when Julie arrived. I hope we continue to work together for a long time.”

Justin Fischer, CEO & Co-Founder, RiskScout

“I began collaborating with Julie during our early days as CULedger. She was instrumental in getting CULedger off the ground. Julie took charge of our CUSO structure development, go-to-market strategy, masterminded our corporate and product branding, and was pivotal in the successful launch and widespread adoption of MemberPass. Now, as we operate as Bonifii, Julie continues to be an invaluable asset in her fractional CMO role. With her and her team’s expertise, they’ve significantly shaped who we are today!”

John Ainsworth, President & CEO, Bonifii

Stay in the loop with the hottest Fintech updates by joining our IgniteFi newsletter. Get exclusive insights, expert analysis, and in-depth interviews delivered straight to your inbox.
Don’t miss out – fuel your Fintech journey and sign up today!