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Industry recognizes April Clobes’ leadership in innovation

In case you missed it, April Clobes is on a roll lately.

As president and CEO of MSU Federal Credit Union and president of its wholly owned CUSO, Reseda Group, she has established the 85-year-old credit union as a force for innovation and herself as a transformational leader in the CU space – and the industry is taking notice.

Here are some of the most recent recognitions and awards April has received in just the past few months:

American Banker

In its inaugural Most Powerful Women in Credit Unions listing, American Banker named April as one of the top 25 women leading the credit union industry through times of rapid and unprecedented change:

“April Clobes (She/Her), President and CEO of Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSU Federal Credit Union) has been leading the credit union since March 2015. In the past year, she has led the institution through its creation of two digital brands designed to grow the credit union through unique niche markets that are within its field of membership. Through AlumniFi and Collegiate, MSUFCU will be able to provide products designed specifically to meet these members' financial needs. Clobes is #11 on our list of Most Powerful Women in Credit Unions.”

Luminaries Award

In November, April was named winner of the Credit Union Times Luminaries Award in the Innovation in Technology category for her leadership and bold steps to leverage technology to transform and create an unmatched member experience and new revenue streams.

Nominated by John Janclaes and Amber Gest of Nymbus, April was selected due to her vision and leadership to leverage technology by creating an ecosystem between MSUFCU, its innovation center “the Lab” and its CUSO Reseda Group that embraces and pushes innovation to exceed members' expectations and deliver a fresh perspective on financial services.

In addition to the awards, April also joined a special panel discussion at the Financial Brand Forum 2022, the premiere global conference on marketing, CX and digital transformation in the banking industry.

The session, “Strategies to Accelerate Innovation in Banking,” featured April along with banking executives from Ally Bank, U.S. Bank and Synovus who shared best practices for creating a culture of innovation and collaboration at financial institutions.

As the only credit union leader on the panel, April had the unique opportunity to elevate CUs as innovation leaders and promote the benefits of the CUSO model for creating new revenue opportunities, products and services at a time when evolution is critical to survival.

She emphasized the importance of collaborating with fintechs and encouraged other bankers to change their fintech mindset.

“If every fintech takes 100 members from each of us, they will be successful, and we will continue to erode,” April said, adding that instead, traditional financial institutions should explore how to partner with fintechs and use the best technology to serve members. “We provide a distribution channel for fintechs while they provide technology that allows credit unions to grow revenue and retain membership.”

“It’s not a competition, but an enhancement,” April said.

Reseda Group continues to grow under April’s leadership and we are thankful to have such a strong visionary at the helm as we push for innovation that will positively impact how credit unions engage with their members, and how members engage with their money.



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