New: CEO April Clobes on launching a CUSO, import of board support, and generative AI

Posted: Nov 15, 2023 | Author: Cornerstone League
April Clobes 

Reading time: 1.51 minutes

Tanya Dittberner, host of The Cornerstone League Podcast, recently interviewed April Clobes, president/CEO of Michigan State University Federal Credit Union and Reseda Group. This interesting conversation dives into a topic Clobes first shared with a group of Cornerstone CEOs at a fly-in meeting last spring.

Michigan State University FCU President/CEO April Clobes

As credit unions seek alternative revenue streams, Clobes’s story lays the groundwork for best practices when launching a new endeavor. Beyond sharing the business plan with the board, Clobes said her first steps in socializing the idea for the Reseda Group included presenting a governance structure and showing them loss risk and opportunity costs.  

“It’s very important for me to show the board what could happen if this doesn’t go well,” she said. “And it’s also helpful for the board to fully understand what they are approving.” 

Clobes encouraged her board to attend fintech conferences so they could see first-hand what the technology can do for the organization and members. While the board had a solid foundational understanding of technology, thanks to technology that MSUFCU has developed, Clobes said the ongoing education has sparked a more active interest in emerging technologies.

The key is ongoing education: “I wouldn’t say it’s a matter of ‘one conference does it all.’ It’s an ongoing process, like all things.”  

Clobes attributes Reseda Group’s success to several factors, starting with intentionality. “We don’t just invest in fintech for the sake of investing,” she said. “Our goal is to really evaluate our partners to ensure that they are providing software on technology solutions that we believe our members are interested in using and will adopt.”  

Reseda Group also runs pilots with its investment partners, which yield results to help create proven use cases for a product. The data helps the Reseda Group and its partnership and helps them offer relevant products and services to the membership.

“Our goal is to remain relevant with our membership, not just invest in something that’s going to give a great return,” Clobes said.  

Download The Cornerstone League Podcast episode to hear more about how MSUFCU and Reseda Group leverage data to gauge members’ interest in emerging technologies and hear Clobes’s advice to credit union leaders interested in launching a CUSO. 



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