StrategyCorps Leadership



Dave Crook, Managing Partner

Dave is responsible for companywide business development. He spearheads the corporate partnership initiative known as CorpsPartners and manages our local merchant discount acquisition group called BaZing Local.

Dave has insightful experience from his direct work with hundreds of financial institutions of all sizes nationwide, including his previous executive responsibilities at FISI-Madison Financial. His applied experience and overall industry knowledge makes him uniquely qualified to help clients with all facets of retail checking strategy. Dave graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing.


Christie Skelley, Chief Operations Officer

As Chief Operations Officer, Christie manages a variety of StrategyCorps teams, including project management, information technology, production fulfillment and customer service. She also provides oversight of vendor management and other third party relationships and is involved in the implementation of new strategies and the overall operational functions that impact clients and customers. 

Prior to StrategyCorps, Christie was Senior Vice President of Client Services at FISI-Madison Financial where she oversaw product delivery to over 4,000 clients. Her background also expands to the healthcare industry, where she worked in training and continuing education and was responsible for relationships with all clients and healthcare partners.

Christie is a graduate of Lipscomb University, double majoring in management and marketing. 

Dave DeFazio, Partner

Dave leads and manages the community financial institution sales team. He also is actively involved in building our top performing checking, marketing and training solutions. Using his previous hands-on and executive retail banking experience at a billion dollar asset bank, he is instrumental in the user experience of the websites and mobile apps that deliver our consumer checking solutions and the analytics tools that provide empirical clarity to checking financial performance upon which to customize our checking solutions to clients.

He is an active and sought out presenter at banking and retail-related conferences regarding innovations in financial technology, retail banking and other strategies employed by today’s best retailer marketers. Dave received his B.A. in economics and mathematics from Ohio Wesleyan University.



Mike Branton, Partner

Mike directs overall corporate strategy, operational and financial performance and solution development. Under his and his colleagues' leadership, StrategyCorps has worked with nearly three hundred bank and credit union clients nationwide with over ten million checking account customers/members.

Prior to StrategyCorps, he advised financial institutions and other professional services companies in the areas of strategic planning, mergers/acquisitions and solutions development as the CEO and owner of a specialized management consulting firm. He has also been an investor and executive in technology, real estate development, engineering and specialty insurance companies. Mike graduated from Wake Forest University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Masters of Business Administration degree.




Bill King, Partner

Bill is a founding partner. He also founded DirectorCorps in 2014, the publisher of BankDirector magazine, heads its executive committee and serves as chairman. He was also founder and chairman of Madison Financial Corporation, served as Chairman of Private Business, Inc. and served on the boards of New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq companies. Outside of banking, Bill was also chairman of until its acquisition by Yahoo in 2007. 

He is an active investor and serves on a variety of private company boards, including BankDirector, 247 Sports, Magellan Press, and Journal Communications. Bill is a graduate of Princeton University and has a J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law.


Greg Thurman, Partner

Greg Thurman is a founding partner. He is also the Chairman of Journal Communications, the leading publisher of Chamber of Commerce publications across the country. He was also President and CEO of FISI-Madison Financial, Chairman of InfoAdvantage, Inc., and a primary owner and board member of Private Business, Inc.

He is a board member of Brentwood Academy and has served on the board with the United Way of Williamson County. Greg is a graduate of Central Missouri State University.