MCUL podcast makes room for communication and networking during a quarantine

MCUL CEO talks leadership, management during COVID-19 and more with colleagues on new podcast series.

LANSING, MI (November 20, 2020) — This August, Michigan Credit Union League President/CEO Dave Adams started a weekly podcast and web series, Friday Five with Dave Adams. Each episode, Adams invites a colleague from the Michigan credit union movement to discuss their personal journey in the industry, thoughts on leadership and current management topics.

“In a year when in-person communication and networking has been limited, if not entirely canceled, these virtual, one-on-one conversations have created a space for focused, interpersonal discussions to still happen,” said Adams. “Further, by sharing these conversations, fellow credit union executives can better learn about their peers during a year that has otherwise been isolating for many.”

Through 15 episodes, Adams and guests have tackled the importance of mentorship, how to build a successful culture, managing a credit union during the COVID-19 pandemic and much more.

The following is a preview of each episode:

Episode 1: Cheryl DeBoer, CEO, Advia Credit Union
DeBoer covered the meaning of the not-for-profit credit union difference, taking care of your members during a pandemic and transitioning a large workforce to remote work.

Episode 2: April Clobes, CEO, Michigan State University Federal Credit Union
Clobes talked about her personal commitment to a credit union through 25 years, mentoring tomorrow’s leaders, achieving transparency with boards and members and the distinct social mission of a university-based credit union.

Episode 3: Dan Baines, CEO, Bloom Credit Union
This week, I had a chance to virtually sit down with Dan Baines, CEO of Bloom Credit Union in Grand Rapids. We talked about growing empathy as a young CEO, leading from every level of the credit union and the importance of giving individual attention to your members.

Episode 4: John Buckley, CEO, Gerber Federal Credit Union
Buckley shared insights about coming from the community banking side and how quickly he saw the credit union difference in our movement, how to meet your members where they are even when they live across the country and listening to the people who are on the frontlines — the ones who see more members everyday than anyone else in the credit union.

Episode 5: Heather Luciani, CEO, Marshall Community Credit Union
Luciani talked about how her variety of experience has shown her the value of getting involved with industry organizations outside of your own credit union and the impact it allows you to make. She also mentioned the importance, as a leader, of acknowledging who the experts are within your credit union and encouraging them to take initiative regardless of title or level.

Episode 6: Hank Hubbard, CEO, One Detroit Credit Union
Hubbard stressed the importance of clear communication with team members — being aware of what you say and how you’re perceived — and making a concerted effort to convey your support to frontline workers. He also discussed how to make sure each product and service is driven by core, community-based principles, even if it means struggling to maintain targeted performance metrics.

Episode 7: Heidi Kassab, CEO, Cornerstone Community Financial Credit Union
Kassab described how her credit union is expanding its community footprint and implementing inclusion to allow various personality traits to show the membership how much they mean to the organization, as well as what mobile banking means for members during a pandemic.

Episode 8: Karen Church, CEO, ELGA Credit Union
Church talked about growing a credit union through culture — promoting within, valuable coaching and encouraging new thoughts from young and potential leaders. Also discussed was how to make sure each member knows that the credit union understands their situation and is willing to find what works for them, financially, but also has an interest in their broader goals for the community.

Episode 9: Dean Trudeau, CEO, Public Service Credit Union
Trudeau shared his leadership insights on the value of being challenged as a young professional and the success he’s had as an empathetic leader. He also explained how his credit union is able to stretch to serve members with products and services they can’t expect from larger institutions — how the organization realizes the credit union difference.

Episode 10: Andy Kempf, CEO, 4Front Credit Union
Kempf talked about his mentor work with the FUEL MI group and Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, giving employees a level of autonomy where they can thrive and prove themselves ready to grow into larger roles and how he’s worked hard to maintain transparency with staff during the pandemic.

Episode 11: Scott McFarland, CEO, Honor Credit Union
McFarland shared how important passion is in an industry that centers around bringing value to people’s lives, as well as how important it is to instill that passion in others as a mentor. He also described his mentality to lead with “with me,” not “for me” approach.

Episode 12: Michael Goad, CEO, Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union
Goad talked about affirming and recognizing success, the power of conveying your trust as a leader and the ability to admit when you’re wrong. He also discussed the Midland dam breakages that happened this May and how the community came together.

Episode 13: Anita Fox, Director, Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services
Fox discussed her background as a distinguished lawyer, what it’s been like, from the DIFS perspective, to respond to and monitor the COVID-19 crisis and diversity as a business model for credit unions — the importance of being inclusive and how it has shown to lead to better performance — and leading with interest.

Episode 14: Connie Toensing, CEO, Chippewa County Credit Union
Toensing brought the perspective of a life-long Yooper to the series — the geographic challenges of the U.P. and how credit unions overcome those challenges through purposeful collaboration. She also talked about how the pandemic has forced innovation specific to the region and more rural membership.

Episode 15: Brad Bergmooser, CEO, Financial Plus Credit Union
Bergmooser brought his history with key government affairs and compliance roles for the Illinois Credit Union League and time as an attorney to discuss the various types of mentors he’s had and how necessary it is, as a younger executive, to listen first, rather than being quick to speak up.

Be sure to stay tuned for new episodes every Friday, including upcoming ones where Adams sits down with Rodney Hood (NCUA Chairman), Vickie Schmitzer (Frankenmuth Credit Union CEO), Jon Looman (Community West Credit Union CEO), Bill Lawton (Community Financial Credit Union CEO) and more!

Find all episodes here.

About Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates

Organized in 1934, the Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates [] (MCUL) is a trade association representing Michigan’s credit unions. Based in Lansing, Michigan, MCUL works to strengthen the credit union community and its image by providing advocacy on important issues, coordinating cooperative initiatives and by providing high-quality solutions that help credit unions succeed and enrich the lives of their members.


Shawn Glinis
734.793.3449 |

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