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Cornerstone Advisors has helped hundreds of banks & credit unions over the years.

Here are a few of the things our happy clients have said:

Contract Negotiations

Marine Bank
"I'm generally skeptical of hiring consultants, but decided to give Cornerstone a try to help negotiate a renewal to our core processing contract. Their familiarity with competitive industry pricing and contract language brought sunlight and leverage into what would have been a weak negotiating position. And it paid wonderful dividends!"
Chris Zettek
CEO / Marine Bank
$15B Regional Institution
"I cannot believe the results we achieved in such a short time-frame, and we didn’t need to use a scorched-earth approach to negotiate."
$15B Regional Institution (western U.S.)
$35B Regional Institution
"Over the last several years we have achieved material short and long-term savings partnering with Cornerstone Advisors. They take on the heavy lifting and boil decision-making down to a simple choice."
$35B Regional Institution
$700M Credit Union
"We've had great experiences with Cornerstone Advisors. Their professional, knowledgeable, and responsive team has given us the tools to enhance vendor and expense management and to execute strategic initiatives more smoothly. We've learned from each engagement and appreciate the unbiased expertise and industry knowledge that Cornerstone brings to the table!"
$700M Credit Union (southwestern U.S.)
Citizens Bank
"Community banks negotiate and renew our critical vendor contracts with multi-year commitments. Limited information on industry trends and conditions often leave us negotiating against ourselves. Cornerstone provides both industry knowledge and current market conditions which result in significant immediate and direct benefits to our institutions. Their ethical approach with full transparency results in the ultimate win/win for our institutions."
Gordon Zimmerman
President & CEO / Citizens Bank
Peoples Bank of Washington
"We recently tasked Cornerstone Advisors with a very tight turn on a contract negotiation. They were all hands on deck and were extremely timely in their research, presentation preparation and delivery request to our vendor. They did the heavy lifting for us and we came along for support. We are so pleased with the outcome of this negotiation. I would highly recommend Cornerstone Advisors."
Jennifer Evans Thompson
SVP/Director of Mortgage Lending / Peoples Bank of Washington
South State Bank
"We contacted Cornerstone Advisors following a merger of equals (MoE) announcement. It was critical to go through an expedited core selection and find synergies that aligned with the MoE related to our top vendors. Cornerstone was immediately available and delivered the results we were looking to achieve."
Renee Brooks
COO / South State Bank
First Merchants Corporation
"The Cornerstone Advisors team is both knowledgeable and professional. They helped us save several million dollars on a key long term vendor contract and provided sound advice through our benchmarking initiative."
Mark Hardwick
Executive Vice President, COO & CFO / First Merchants Corporation
Genesee Regional Bank
"Cornerstone guided us through negotiation of our core contract renewal as well as selection of a new digital banking platform. We realized a significant cost savings over the next several years for our core contract and were able to secure more favorable terms and conditions that aligned with our strategic goals and objectives. Cornerstone's facilitation of our digital selection ensured that we were considering the most relevant and appropriate vendors for our bank and our planned future growth. They assisted us with weighing the options effectively and we are confident in our choice due to their assistance. The experience was fantastic and we would absolutely do it again."
Heather Porter
Director of Project Management / Genesee Regional Bank
Pioneer Bank
"Cornerstone provided support in selecting a Digital Banking Vendor. They also negotiated several contract renewals including our core. The outcome was better than our expectation, in both price and business terms. The team at Cornerstone is professional, helpful and work endless hours to accomplish deadlines and goals. They made what would normally be a very stressful situation, fun. Highly recommend them."
Cathy Williams
COO / Pioneer Bank
Liberty Savings Bank
"Cornerstone Advisors assisted us in the past with our core contract negotiations, and I have always been pleased with the results. In 2020 we used Cornerstone to help find and negotiate for our Digital Banking systems. Cornerstone was great in helping identify our overall needs, the best vendors to request a proposal from, and negotiate the best contract terms with our vendor of choice. If you're looking to add any services to your financial institution, I strongly urge you to consider Cornerstone. They will help you achieve your goals and become a trusted partner for the future!"
R. Patrick Brice
SVP / Liberty Savings Bank
Farmers State Bank
"As the bank’s core contract renewal approached, our management team knew that we wanted a trusted advisor to help in the arduous and time-consuming process. We reached out to the Michigan Bankers Association and Jill told us about Cornerstone. We had not used a third party before in these contract negotiations and were unsure as to how the process would evolve. With Cornerstone our expectations were exceeded, and we could not be happier with the results. Our management team worked exclusively with Cornerstone’s experts, who did all the negotiating for us. With their expertise we were able to achieve a significant cost savings from our prior contract. Having worked with Cornerstone, we know we will not go into future contract negotiations without them by our side. "
Jeanne E. Richter
President and CFO / Farmers State Bank
FedChoice FCU
“We engaged Cornerstone Advisors to help us optimize performance in our contact center and they exceeded our expectations! Ryan Brogan took the time to fully understand our methods of operation and organization, and by doing so, he became a true partner to our initially skeptical team with just the right combination of expertise and empathy. The fact that Ryan incorporated elements of our Strategic Plan developed with another Cornerstone consultant illustrates the value of our enterprise-wide, outcome-driven partnership. With a concrete plan to improve service quality and agent effectiveness, our contact center is now positioned for future scale and success.”
Karen Sandor
EVP / FedChoice FCU
United Bank of Philadelphia
"The responsibilities of the Chief Financial Officer at a small community bank with oversight of finance and operations requires a significant level of multi-tasking that often includes contract negotiations and review. Fortunately, in 2021, our bank engaged Cornerstone Advisors and its consultant, Geoffrey Gray, to assist with the process of a major contract renewal with our core service provider. From the beginning of the process to the execution of the contract, Geoffrey gained an understanding of the Bank’s relationship with the provider and the goals of executive management for the contract renewal. He worked tirelessly on our behalf to identify and summarize areas of cost savings and service-level improvements. There was a tremendous benefit to engaging a firm like Cornerstone that has years of experience with vendors and can use its database of contracts to compare and contrast pricing and service. Geoffrey kept the entire contract renewal process on track and helped the Bank realize significant expense reductions that more than met our goals. Cornerstone Advisors and Geoffrey are highly recommended to assist with contract negotiations and vendor management."
Brenda Hudson-Nelson
EVP/CFO / United Bank of Philadelphia

Expert Speaking

"On February 25, 2020, Sam Kilmer delivered a "Guide to the Market" presentation to our national sales team during our annual kickoff. DefenseStorm is solely focused on serving the banking vertical and so we contracted with Sam to provide banking industry insights to our sellers. Sam did a fantastic job explaining industry dynamics and Cornerstone's perspective on trends and strategies while also very effectively tying them to the work we do at DefenseStorm. In terms of both style and substance, Sam received rave reviews from our team."
Steve Soukup
CEO / DefenseStorm
"We always love partnering with the Cornerstone Team. Steve and Sam represent true industry thought leaders whose nSight 2020 presentation delivered a meaningful best practice point of view on commercial loan origination."
Jonathan Rowe
"We recently contracted with Cornerstone and Ron Shevlin to host a series of video interviews/podcasts titled "Smart Banks Can Win in Small Business". Ron not-only led the 20 min interviews/discussions, he was integral in working on the topics and helping solicit guest speakers. With the launch of the videos as an anchor resource on a new microsite, Ron supported the promotion of the site and video series on social media. We also leveraged Ron as a panelist for a webinar with The Financial Brand on the same topic. Ron was an excellent partner on this project. We will definitely look to do more with Ron and Cornerstone in the future."
Frank Moreno
VP Banking Solutions Marketing / Bottomline
"Cornerstone Advisors' Sam Kilmer and Joel Pruis delivered an excellent presentation on The New Banking Nerve Center to over 450 bankers at Abrigo's ThinkBIG virtual conference in September 2020. The session was one of our top-rated general sessions by attendees. Several wrote in the comments that the session was their favorite for the day with good insights into using data to drive the financial institution. Sam and Joel were easy to work with and open to ideas and feedback."
Brandy Aycock
Director, Event Marketing / Abrigo


Redwood Credit Union
"Cornerstone Advisors and their exceptional project management staff were critical to helping us complete a large assessment and roadmap for the future of our credit union. It is always a pleasure to work with knowledgable, friendly and efficient staff."
Project Manager
Redwood Credit Union
SESLOC Federal Credit Union
"We couldn't have arrived here without Cornerstone Advisors. We're very happy with the work and we definitely got a much better result than we could have on our own. The knowledge and experience in the payments area was very valuable and made this project very smooth."
Ken Long
SVP, CIO / SESLOC Federal Credit Union

Strategy & Execution

Frontwave Credit Union
"Frontwave Credit Union has engaged Cornerstone Advisors for advice and guidance on a number of highly impactful matters. From the selection of a new card processing vendor and facilitation of three strategic planning sessions to assisting us with the due diligence and construction of a plan to launch business services and lending platform; every engagement was professionally executed. Cornerstone Advisors amply leveraged their expertise, depth of experience and extensive knowledge of the marketplace to help us make innovative and enlightened decisions when crafting a transformative strategic direction and making the shifts necessary to support strategic initiatives. Without a doubt, our engagements with Cornerstone Advisors has helped us select strong business partners, save money and boldly pursue new and exciting strategic objectives."
Bill Birnie
President and CEO / Frontwave Credit Union
Citizens Business Bank
"We engaged Cornerstone to assist us with our Strategic Planning process. The process directed by Cornerstone allowed us to create a Strategic Plan and Strategic Planning process that will ensure our top decile performance for many years to come."
Dave A. Brager
CEO / Citizens Business Bank
Solarity Credit Union
"Cornerstone was contacted early during the on-set of the COVID-19 pandemic to help us sort out and reset our strategy for the next few years. Steve Williams helped us to engage our Senior Management Team and Board of Directors in strategically considering the opportunities for change that disruption presents. Steve listened well and gave thoughtful feedback. I would recommend Steve Williams to facilitate your financial institutions next strategic planning session."
Mina Worthington
President & CEO / Solarity Credit Union
Tinker Federal Credit Union
"Once we reached $1 Billion in assets in 2001, we decided it was time for a more sophisticated strategic planning process. After careful review, we chose to go with Cornerstone Advisors. Since then, we have reached $5 Billion in assets, and our membership has grown from 162,000 to 414,000 members. The strategic plan we have created is a continuous, living and breathing document. It is definitely our road map to our future, and we appreciate the guidance we get from Cornerstone Advisors and our facilitator, Sam Kilmer."
Michael D. Kloiber
President & CEO / Tinker Federal Credit Union
Commonwealth Central Credit Union
"Over the last several years we worked on many projects with Cornerstone Advisors’ team. They helped us to find and implement new Online / Mobile banking system, negotiate several contract renewals and review and develop Cloud Preferred strategy. This time we've asked them to help review Digital Growth Strategy for the Credit Union. The Cornerstone team helped us to collect relevant data, analyze it, identify gaps and develop short and long term goals. Together, we've created realistic roadmap to move our Digital Transformation strategy forward. The entire team was extremely helpful and knowledgeable throughout the entire engagement. I would definitely recommend Cornerstone Advisors to my credit union peers for similar projects and look forward to more projects together."
Val Ovrootsky
Vice President, Information Technology / Commonwealth Central Credit Union
First Merchants Corporation
"Cornerstone facilitated our strategic planning process involving the Board and Senior management team. Through the process, we were able to build enthusiasm and momentum around our revised Mission Statement and operating model. Working with Cornerstone Advisors has been a home run."
Mark Hardwick
Executive Vice President, COO & CFO / First Merchants Corporation
Kirtland Federal Credit Union
"We have been utilizing Cornerstone Advisors for several years in the area of strategic solutions, contract solutions and performance solutions. Ryan has been facilitating the strategic planning sessions for KFCU. His skill set helped us achieve consensus on our overall arching strategy to evolve the credit union into the future. Ryan is a strategic partner and continuous to follow up with us on our progress toward our initiatives."
Sharlene East
EVP / Kirtland Federal Credit Union
SESLOC Federal Credit Union
"Ryan did an outstanding job with the preparation and facilitation of our Board Planning retreat. His personal industry knowledge is deep and added so much to the perspective in our discussions. His pace moved quickly and we covered a lot, but no one felt rushed. Both board and senior management agreed that we had never had such good group engagement and discussion in prior retreats; several board members who work in other industries said this was the best professional session they had ever attended. Ryan and the Cornerstone team provided the final 5-year Plan output in a professional format that offers a great framework for sharing our strategy clearly with the rest of team."
Geri LaChance
President & CEO / SESLOC Federal Credit Union
"Selecting a new Mortgage Loan Operating System for a Credit Union our size was a daunting task and we couldn’t afford to ‘miss’ on this selection. Cornerstone Advisors provided the landscape of offerings and relevant metrics to help lead our decision making process. Cornerstone was abundantly proficient in helping define the overall scope of the project and aligning the affiliated vendors to our newly selected LOS as well. Finally, their assistance in the negotiations of our new system was paramount in the comprehensive fit for our organization"
Fidelity Bank
"Fidelity Bank views Cornerstone’s collaborative approach as a differentiator. In all of our engagements, it feels like we’re getting an extension of our team rather than working with third-party consultants. We recently partnered with Cornerstone to develop a Digital Strategic Marketing and Sales Roadmap, and we came away confident that Cornerstone’s recommendations will help us execute on our goals more effectively and boost our digital UX performance to the next level."
Joann Marsili
SVP, Marketing and Digital Sales / Fidelity Bank
Elevations Credit Union
"Every year we budget for third party advisor services and Cornerstone Advisors has been our 'go to' for years. We don't always know when we will need their expertise, but inevitably we call on them multiple times throughout the year. We appreciate that they are very responsive and always come through for us."
Pete DuPré
Chief Information Officer / Elevations Credit Union
TwinStar Credit Union
"Working with Vincent on our strategic planning was invaluable for our team. He brought a strong knowledge of the considerations that our credit union must face, and was able to help us distill something complex into a clear, meaningful set of strategic intentions. Having Vincent facilitate this discussion brought validity and expertise that is hard to gain with all insiders, and for that we were extremely appreciative."
Scott Daukas
Chief Strategy Officer / TwinStar Credit Union
First Bank
"Cornerstone Advisors has been a valued advisor for First Bank through numerous strategic initiatives. Most recently Cornerstone partnered with us to help the bank streamline our commercial underwriting processes. With a carefully planned agenda, Cornerstone’s expert facilitator kept the two-day meeting on track and ultimately delivered an impactful meeting for bank stakeholders."
John Montgomery
Chief Credit Officer / First Bank
Patelco Credit Union
"Steve Williams of Cornerstone has facilitated Patelco's Strategic Planning Session for the last 5 years; He is always very well prepared, knows our Board, credit union history and focused on what we are trying to accomplish for the future. Steve is smart, articulate, extremely knowledgeable on the financial services industry, funny and can rap with the best of them."
Anita Macias
Special Assistant to President/CEO / Patelco Credit Union
TruWest Credit Union
"TruWest Credit Union was looking for an accelerated, High-Performance Roadmap to benchmark our entire credit union, and Cornerstone Advisors delivered! Cornerstone’s energetic team worked tirelessly with us to identify more than $4 million in combined expense reduction and revenue opportunities. Cornerstone worked with both credit union management and staff to understand our processes and systems before applying their expertise and industry best practices. Their recommendations not only made sense, they showed us how to look at our credit union with eyes wide open for future opportunities."
Chris Kearney
SVO & CIO / TruWest Credit Union
Citizens Community Credit Union
"Citizens Community Credit Union engaged Cornerstone Advisors to assist us in developing a meaningful strategic plan that would firmly position us to offer the best possible service to our members. The Cornerstone facilitator was knowledgeable about the CU’s strengths and challenges, and he spoke our language as he worked patiently with the team to set concrete, realistic and measurable goals for a competitive future. We could not be happier."
Dan Scott
Vice President of Operations / Citizens Community Credit Union

Its your last chance!

Nah... Not really. But you knew that. I will just leave this button here for you when you need it.


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