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Ideal Credit Union

Whether its a new checking account, mortgage refinance, or just life in general, Ideal Credit Union's blog offers personal finance and money management information that's enlightening.

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Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler

Contact Center/Electronic Banking Manager
Shannon has worked as a teller and member service rep before landing in Marketing where her passion for credit union industry was born. Currently, Shannon manages the Contact Center and electronic banking efforts and support. Afterhours, you can find Shannon at home with her husband and two kids spending time on Pinterest looking for new recipes and DIY home improvement ideas – neither of which come to fruition.

Cindy Kurtz

Cindy Kurtz

Marketing Communications Manager
Cindy has worked in the Marketing department at Ideal CU since 1995. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications, and worked as a broadcast and print journalist prior to pursuing a career in public relations and marketing. Cindy has a passion for wine, painting, politics and Peyton Manning, and is active in her community. She enjoys blogging about wine and visiting local wineries, power walking and watching Counting Cars.

Jason Fihn

Jason Fihn

eMarketing / Marketing Specialist


Jason worked for two years as a teller at Ideal Credit Union’s West St. Paul office before making his way to Marketing. As the eMarketing / Marketing Specialist, he works with the marketing team to make sure every member knows what's in it for them when they choose Ideal CU. Outside of work, Jason enjoys spending time with family and friends, keeping busy, and "planning" to go to the gym.

Alisha J.R. Johnson

Alisha J.R. Johnson

Senior Vice President – Marketing, Sales and Service
Alisha has been with Ideal CU since 2010 and has worked in marketing in the financial services industry (for both banks and credit unions) for over 25 years.  She holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of St. Thomas and she also earned a an undergraduate degree in Business Administration with emphasis on Marketing Management and a minor in Psychology from St. Thomas.  A self-professed Marketing Geek (loves, loves, loves marketing), she spends her spare time watching her daughter’s volleyball team or playing volleyball herself. 

Sandra Araujo

Sandra Araujo

Branch Manager
Sandra worked in marketing and collections before being promoted to Branch Manager at Ideal CU. She holds a B.S. degree in Workforce Education, Training and Development as well as an MBA. Sandra is fluent in Spanish, a Gulf War Veteran, and is active in her community. When not facilitating online finance classes to undergraduate students, she loves taking her children and dogs to a family farm in Central Illinois.

Faith Tholkes

Faith Tholkes

Director of Mortgage Sales
Faith has been a part of the Ideal CU Team since 1996 and joined the mortgage team in 1998, where Faith soon learned the real estate market was in for a roller coaster ride of a lifetime and became committed to ensuring the credit union philosophy was upheld and sound mortgages were provided. While outside of the credit union you will find Faith enjoying time with her husband, son, and dogs enjoying the outdoors (weather permitting) or catching a new flick in the cinema.  

Kelsie Ferstl

Kelsie Ferstl

Kelsie Ferstl works at the Ideal CU Student Branch at Tartan High School, is an active member of DECA and an avid soccer player.

NerdWallet

NerdWallet

NerdWallet is the source for transparent personal financial advice. We do the research to help you make smart financial decisions.

Austin Raebel

Austin Raebel

Student Representative | Floater


Austin is a new college student, financial educator and employee at Ideal CU. Austin has been working at Ideal CU for over 2 years as a Student Representative at Ideal CU’s Tartan branch, Teller at all 5 of the different office locations and helps other departments such as Accounting and Marketing. He has a passion for business, and he aspires to become an entrepreneur. During his free time, Austin loves to travel and spend time in the great outdoors camping or on the lake with family whenever possible!