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Innovating and exploring the member experience are better together.
That’s the perspective of Ami Iceman-Haueter, chief research and digital experience officer at $6.8 billion asset Michigan State University Federal Credit Union in East Lansing, Mich.
“To have a great member experience, you have to always be innovating,” she says. “To create solid innovations, you have to know what the member experience is.”
Iceman-Haueter joined the credit union’s research team in 2019 and was promoted to her current position in August 2022. She thrives on using research, data, and member input to drive change and create the lasting experiences members want.
“I subscribe to creating the next best right thing to do,” Iceman-Haueter says. “That’s how we created our research area.”
Collaboration brings out the best in everyone, she says. Iceman-Haueter listens to fellow employees to learn about their areas of expertise, giving them the conversational space needed to speak from experience.
She aims to create an “open room” for meetings, asking everyone to put all their cards on the table and encouraging participants to share both personal and professional insights. Doodling and other forms of play are always welcome.
“That leads to colorful conversations,” Iceman-Haueter says. “When everyone feels they belong and have a say, that creates a massive impact.”
Iceman-Haueter has centralized the collection of member feedback while seeking out new sources of input to hear more voices and “lean into people.” She engages members and employees in developing tools for the future.
She also hones her leadership and collaboration skills, participating in Members Development Company’s NextUp innovation program as a participant and group leader. She’s also taken part in Leadership Lansing and the Filene Research Institute’s i3 Group.
Iceman-Haueter, secretary of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, fuels her creativity through drawing, painting, and crafts, and cross-stitched her way through pandemic stay-at-home days. She stopped trying to quit doodling during meetings, listing this habit as a specialty on her LinkedIn profile.
Her creative goal is to “center” herself so her brain is open to possibilities as she works to solve the “giant, fun puzzle” of preparing the credit union for the future. She’s thankful for the opportunities Michigan State University Federal Credit Union provides, and she reciprocates by supporting employees and members.
The goal: “Create something better than it was yesterday for tomorrow.”