NextGen Leaders: Karen Myers

Karen Myers
Member Experience Manager | $667 million Community Choice Credit Union 
Farmington Hills, Mich.
Follow Karen on Twitter 
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Watch Karen’s CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec video

Give us the elevator speech about your project (as in how would you describe your project to someone you meet in an elevator?):
I am the official “chief champion of the member” (that’s even in my job description – how cool!), and my challenge is to create simple and delightful experiences through every touch point. My first project is to establish how the organization will do this—from the collection of opportunities to the redesign of idealized experiences.

What is your long-term career goal?
When asked this question, most of us probably think of a job title first. For me, this may be chief experience officer, chief marketing officer or even chief culture officer. Ultimately, I’d like to be in a position to maximize stakeholder happiness and create an environment where people so love to work and do business that they sell that for the organization. 

Fill in the dots: The future of credit unions will be bright if ...
… we remember the reason our movement exists: our members. Progress is an amazing thing and there are so many new products and tools in the industry that we all want to have. But if we concentrate on keeping up with the Joneses, credit unions will continue to lose market share and consolidate. Instead, we need to focus on the membership in such a way that we create loyalty and growth by doing what we do best – helping people.

Online voters and a panel of past finalists narrowed the CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec field from 20 to the Top 15 applicants. The challenge, held in conjunction with DDJ Myers and administered by Currency, searches for emerging leaders age 35 and under from within the credit union industry.

The Top 15 will blog about their project.  And to provide additional value to the competition experience, they’ll each receive an executive coaching session from DDJ Myers, a CUES Supplier member and strategic provider. A judging panel of two CUES members and Deedee Myers of DDJ Myers will then score the Top 15’s applications and blog posts, narrowing the competition to five finalists.

The five finalists will receive additional coaching, airfare, accommodation and registration to CUES’ CEO/Executive Team Network™, Nov. 8-11 in Scottsdale, Ariz., where they will give their final presentations. The 2015 CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec will receive further coaching, airfare, accommodation and registration for two CUES’ CEO Institutes, a total prize package valued at $20,000

What my generation brings to the credit union movement is …
... We ask why and expect a personalized response--and if you can give us a compelling answer, we will work tirelessly to help you achieve that end result.

People consider me a leader because …
… I speak up, not just to be heard, but to make sure the voice of the stakeholder(s) is heard. I take the opportunity to speak up for our team members and members because their buy-in is critical to implementing successful change. I also like to nurture talent and make sure great people feel appreciated. One of the best compliments I’ve ever received is being described as a mentor by two talented young professionals I work with, and I enjoy every opportunity I get to provide peer coaching and team leadership.

Who is your hero and why?
This is a tough question – in part because there isn’t one person I strive to emulate, and also because I follow so many great leaders in business and life. Right now I am dialed into member experience and reading about Apple’s commitment to simplicity. I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to be Steve Jobs, but his brilliance and leadership in creating the best brand in the world cannot be denied.

Who is a must-follow on Twitter?
I try to keep my Twitter feed a little bit serious and a little bit silly. Right now, Growth Hackers gets the most click-throughs from me. They are a marketing resource group for small businesses and start-ups and they focus a great deal on social media and loyalty programs. The Onion is a close second favorite because we all need to laugh. Satire is to news as sugar is to medicine.

Does your credit union have Twitter/Facebook/YouTube/Pinterest/LinkedIn/Instagram other social media accounts? Please provide links:

What is your favorite CUES member benefit? Or, if you are a new CUES NextGen member, what benefit are you most looking forward to using?
I am addicted to learning and creating new relationships, so I am very excited to have access to the CUES webinars and CUES Councils.

CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec team