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Karen Sanborn, Chair of People Driven Credit Union

In the dynamic world of finance, the role of credit unions in fostering community growth and offering personalized services cannot be overstated. At People Driven Credit Union, this commitment is exemplified in the leadership and vision of our Board Chair, Karen Sanborn. Our marketing team’s Dave Sullivan recently sat down with Karen to discuss her journey, experiences, and the unique aspects of serving on the credit union’s board.

Key Takeaways from Karen Sanborn’s Interview:

  1. Dedication and Service:
    Karen Sanborn has been a vital part of the People Driven Credit Union board for approximately five years, an experience enriched by the recent merger. Her role involves diligently reviewing the credit union’s performance, ensuring the members’ best interests are always at the forefront. This includes regular board meetings and thorough analysis of various aspects such as IT projects, security measures, and marketing strategies.
  2. Learning and Growth:
    Serving on the board is a continual learning experience. According to Karen, the diversity of the board members, with their varied skill sets, creates a rich learning environment. From financial expertise to marketing acumen and community service experience, every member brings something valuable to the table. Karen’s recent Master’s degree in Business Leadership, including a course in Accounting for Leaders, has further enhanced her contributions to the board.
  3. The Value of Diversity:
    Karen emphasizes the importance of having diverse perspectives on the board. This diversity encompasses not only professional backgrounds but also different stages of life. She believes that having board members from various age groups, from those starting families to those approaching or in retirement, strengthens the board’s ability to effectively understand and meet member needs.
  4. Encouraging Young Participation:
    One poignant piece of advice Karen offers is for younger individuals to consider joining a credit union board. She sees it as an invaluable opportunity to gain insights into organizational procedures and decision-making processes. These experiences are beneficial early in one’s career.

Karen Sanborn’s passion and dedication to People Driven Credit Union and its members shine through in her leadership. Her insights remind us of the importance of diverse perspectives, continuous learning, and active community involvement in the financial sector. As we continue to navigate the evolving landscape of credit unions, voices like Karen’s play a pivotal role in shaping a future where financial institutions truly serve and reflect the communities they belong to.

Guiding Communications & Community Engagement

At the helm of Madonna University’s communications and special events, Karen Sanborn brings a wealth of expertise in managing public relations and orchestrating major university events. Her journey in marketing and communication spans notable institutions like Lawrence Technological University and Eastern Michigan University. This extensive experience is further enriched by her 18-year tenure in sales, communications, and public relations at Ameritech.

Karen’s academic background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications from Michigan State University and a Master’s in Business Leadership from Madonna University. Her commitment to community involvement shines through her active participation in several organizations, including the Livonia Awesome Book Club and the Livonia Westland Chamber of Commerce. In the latter, she plays a crucial role as a board representative for the University.

As the Chair of the People Driven Credit Union (PDCU) Board of Directors, Karen demonstrates a steadfast dedication to working alongside a team of skilled and passionate individuals. Her leadership in the credit union sector is not newfound; for over three decades, Karen has been a staunch advocate and member of credit unions. Her credit union journey began with Community Alliance Credit Union in 2018, where she served as the board chair, skillfully guiding the entity through a merger and ultimately being appointed as the Chair of the PDCU Board in 2023.

Beyond her professional and community engagements, Karen’s personal life is filled with joy and activity. She is a mother to five adult children and a grandmother to six, embracing every moment of family life. Her hobbies, which include golfing, fishing, sewing, playing trivia, and creating lasting memories with her grandchildren, reflect her diverse interests and zest for life.