Do’s and Don’t’s: Participation Loans

Friday | 10:45am – 12pm
David Visinsky, SVP, Vining Sparks – Facilitator
Athan “Buster” Castigia, President & CEO, Miami Federal Credit Union – Panel
Bruce J. Fafard, President & CEO, 121 Financial Credit Union
Carla Harper, CPA, CFO, Listerhill CU – Panel
Cordova 5-6, Lower Level

Dos and Don’ts of Loan Participations will provide an overview of the activity that is happening in the loan participation market and how you can position your institution to be an active buyer or seller of participations.  The panel will consist of credit union representatives that will provide specifics on their rationale for buying/selling participations and some things they have learned through the process.  After some background and commentary, we will open the session up for a question and answer session for you to learn from your peers on how they have had success in this growing market.

About the facilitator:
David Visinsky is a SVP in the Loan Trading Group at Vining Sparks.  David helps credit unions from across the country buy and sell loan participations across various asset types – Autos, RVs, MBLs or Residential.  David has traded over $2B of loan participations over the last 4 years.   Previously, Mr. Visinsky spent 5 years in investment banking for financial institutions where he advised on over $200 million in M&A transactions and raised over $1 billion in capital. Prior to that, he was in the Treasury Department for a $35 billion regional bank doing treasury and asset/liability management. David received his MBA with concentration in Finance and Operations from Vanderbilt University and a BBA in Finance from Southern Methodist University.

About the panel:
Athan “Buster” Castigia has served as the President and CEO of Miami Federal Credit Union since 2012.  Miami Federal Credit Union is a 60 year old 4 branch Federal Credit Union with $32 million in assets, serving Federal employees and their families in the South Florida Area (Miami Dade & Broward Counties). Buster has proven success in leading business development, sales, and service to drive revenue growth. Previous to serving as the CEO of Miami Federal Credit Union, Buster was the president and founder of Castiglia Financial Solutions which offered project management services to commercial attorneys and banks that are under (or going to be under) a regulatory enforcement action.


Bruce J. Fafard is the President & CEO of 121 Financial Credit Union based in Jacksonville Florida. 121 Financial Credit Union has assets of over $500 million and as a community institution is chartered to serve the financial needs of 11 counties in northeast Florida. Prior to joining 121 Financial in the Spring of 2015, Bruce was the CEO of Scient Federal Credit Union and had positioned the credit union to serve the life science industry on a national scale with offices in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. He also was a member of the senior leadership team at Connex Credit Union before joining Scient. While at Connex he held various positions including Vice President of Sales & Service and Vice President of Information Technology.

Bruce obtained a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Southern Connecticut State University a Masters of Business Administration from the University of New Haven and earned the Certified Innovation Executive designation from the Credit Union Executive Society. He has worked in a variety of industries including aerospace, insurance, manufacturing, and retail prior to joining the credit union industry. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife Gina and has three grown daughters.


Carla Harper has been with Listerhill Credit Union in Muscle Shoals, Alabama for 14 years.  She is currently the Chief Financial Officer.  Prior to that position, she served as Controller and Senior VP of Finance.  Additionally, she has experience in public accounting and as a Director of Finance and Business Manager in the medical profession.