Meet the Team

At eLeadership Academy, we support courageous, human-centric credit union leaders who go on to make a positive impact in their organizations and our world. Meet the core team who is working to make this happen:


Sandra McDowell

Founder, CEO & Lead Faculty

With nearly two decades of credit union executive experience, Sandra is a Certified Executive Coach with a Master's degree in Leadership, and she holds an ICF PCC designation along with a Certificate in Neuroleadership. In 2012, she began teaching what she had learned through her education and experience—that program would later evolve into the internationally recognized eLeadership Academy. Today, her mission is to help the worldwide credit union system build a leadership force for good.


Drew Murray

Program Manager

At eLeadership Academy, Drew oversees all programs, including key client and participant support. With a BA in English and Indigenous Studies, she's passionate about her lifelong commitment to learning/unlearning, challenging the master narrative, and decolonizing her thoughts and actions. Drew brings an exceptional level of compassion and dedication to her work and continues to support the organization to evolve and achieve the mission of building credit union leaders worldwide. 


Matt McDowell

Client Solutions Manager

Matt is an accomplished project manager known for his exceptional service and strong work ethic. He's been part of building the organization since it began in 2012, and is a lifelong credit union member and advocate. As head of Client Solutions and Technology, Matt oversees customer service and business development; and he ensures that online platforms are fine-tuned and continually evolving to meet the needs of clients and participants. Matt is an outdoor enthusiast with a passion for achieving goals in the backcountry and within his work.


Fintan Ryan, MBA CEC ACC

Affiliate Coach & Associate Faculty

Fintan serves as an affiliate coach and associate faculty for eLeadership Academy. He holds a Master's of Business Administration degree from Munster University in Ireland, completed a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching through Royal Roads University, and holds an ACC designation from the International Coaching Federation. Fintan has over 30 years of credit union experience, including as an accomplished CEO in both Ireland and Canada.


Maria Umbsaar

Content & Marketing Advisor

As a creative writer and integrated marketing expert, Maria works on crafting eLeadership Academy's content so that it is engaging and memorable, ensuring that the learning sticks. Maria has written for some of the world's most successful companies writing compelling ads, educational content, and videos that transform complex ideas into stories that inspire. Maria has been an integral part of the team since 2019.


Christie Mitchell


Passionate about business, leadership, and all things outdoors, Christie keeps the organization's finances on track and ensures that everything adds up. She is an accomplished entrepreneur and has an exceptional eye for detail. Christie has been a valued part of the eLeadership Academy team since 2021. She is a lifelong learner, and when she's not making sure the finances are in order, you can find her outside or with her family.

Team +++

There are many other accomplished professionals who make eLeadership Academy what it is today, including our faculty, teaching assistants, contractors and credit union partners. We love our team and partners and are grateful for their passion to help develop credit union leaders for good!


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