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Callahan Media Unit

Meet the Authors

Callahan Authors

Stephanie Clark

Stephanie Clark is an industry analyst for Callahan & Associates. She assesses industry performance data to identify trends and opportunities within the market. Stephanie contributes to the Graphic Of The Week blog as well as works with writers on data analysis within feature articles. She also completes state-level analysis for Callahan’s state performance reports. Stephanie earned a Bachelor of Science degree from York College of Pennsylvania in York, PA, where she majored in economics and finance.

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Liz Furman

Liz_FurmanLiz Furman is an industry analyst with Callahan & Associates. She creates insights from industry performance data, and contributes to articles, blogs, and graphics. Prior to joining Callahan, Liz worked in analysis and project management in the legal and federal affairs industry in Washington, DC. Liz earned her bachelor’s degree cum laude in mathematics and the history of art from Vanderbilt University.

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Chris Howard

Howard_Chris-115x115Chris Howard is the senior vice president of research at Callahan & Associates. He directs an array of collaborative innovation initiatives for CUFSLP, Callahan’s partnership with 36 of the nation’s leading credit unions. Chris combines more than a decade of financial services experience with more than 20 years as a strategist, executive coach, and management consultant. His professional background is in marketing and communications and includes stints as a U.S. Senate staffer and a television producer.

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Michelle Parker

MichelleParker_BWMichelle Parker is a senior analyst with Callahan & Associates. Before joining Callahan, Michelle worked as an associate for CoStar Realty, where she researched real estate transactions and commercial property developments. Prior to CoStar Realty, Michelle was an associate at Credit Builders Alliance. At Credit Builders Alliance, she provided technical assistance and customized trainings to community-based financial institutions that issue consumer and commercial financial products. 

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Erik Payne

Erik Payne is an associate editor for Callahan & Associates. He writes featured articles and blogs for, curates the Callahan Collections, and helps to maintain the operation of Raised in McLean, VA, he graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in English. He follows Detroit and Washington sports teams and still needs to see the original Rocky movie. Contact him at or on Twitter @ErikPayneCU.

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Aaron Pugh

Aaron Pugh is the managing editor of Credit Union Strategy & Performance and a writer and researcher for the Callahan media team. Born in Northern California, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Arizona. A travel enthusiast, his wanderings have given him a healthy respect for people, ideas, and foods of all kinds. Aaron is proud to work alongside the industry experts at Callahan & Associates, and his previous experience includes copy writing for multiple websites and reporting for a regional online publication in the Southwest.

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Marc Rapport


Marc Rapport is a senior writer and researcher for the Callahan media team. A native Ohioan, he has journalism degrees from Kent State University and Ohio State University, the latter as a Kiplinger Fellow in Reporting Public Affairs. Marc has been writing about credit unions, primarily technology, for the past 17 years and has extensive newspaper, wire service, and print and online magazine experience as a writer and editor. He now lives in Columbia, SC, and teaches media writing at the University of South Carolina. Contact him at or on Twitter @RapportCallahan.

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Sam Taft

Sam Taft is the director of industry analysis at Callahan. He leads the company's team of analysts and contributes to the market share guides, white papers, state performance reports, the Graphic of the Week, and more. Sam’s keen focus on mortgage data and markets makes him a go-to resource for real estate lending trends and forecasts. Before joining Callahan, Sam worked as an investment banking analyst for Quarton Partners, where he worked across a variety of industries including automotive, consumer, distribution, and packaging. Sam graduated with a bachelor’s degree in financial economics from Emory University.

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Rebecca Wessler

Rebecca Wessler is the editor-in-chief and an associate vice president for Callahan & Associates. Rebecca leads Callahan's team of writers and freelancers in their goal of creating actionable content for web, print, and research reports and is responsible for the company's editorial voice. As an associate vice president, she joins other senior managers in helping to set Callahan's strategic course. A Midwest native, Rebecca earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and sociology and a Master of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Contact her at or on Twitter @creditunionsRW.

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Regular Contributors

Dahna Chandler

Dahna Chandler is an award-winning Washington, DC,-area journalist and freelance writer for Callahan & Associates. She has been a reporter for more than 20 years and has spent nearly 15 years writing about consumer and commercial finance and business. She also writes with ease about technology, leadership, public policy and travel for a variety of local, regional, and national media outlets.

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Ted Goldwyn

Ted Goldwyn is a freelance writer for Callahan & Associates. He specializes in marketing, communications, and thought leadership for the credit union and financial services industry. Prior to starting his freelance writing career, Ted has more than 18 years of experience in financial services management. He served for more than eight years as director of business services at Corning Credit Union in Corning, NY, and for nearly 10 years as vice president and product manager for small business services at The Bank of New York in New York City.

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E.C. Harrison

E.C. Harrison is a freelance writer for Callahan & Associates. With more than 25 years of experience in writing and editing, he has spent most of his career helping readers understand the latest developments in technology, financial services, and government affairs. He has previously served as a newspaper writer and editor, magazine editor, book editor, speechwriter and digital marketing manager and has received numerous awards for public service, news writing, technology research papers and marketing/advertising material. A native of South Carolina, he holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of South Carolina, where he specialized in creative writing and minored in news-editorial journalism. 

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Sharon Simpson

Sharon G. Simpson is a contract writer/researcher for and webinar producer for Callahan & Associates. She is also a national consultant who specializes in developing and implementing strategic marketing plans for CUSOs and credit unions. Sharon has more than 15 years of marketing experience in the financial services industry. She has previously served as vice president of marketing for Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union and as vice president of marketing and administration for Callahan Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Callahan & Associates, Inc., a leading credit union consulting firm based in Washington, DC.

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