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Community Advocacy Organization

LAFCU’s chief marketing officer named top marketing leader in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — LAFCU’s chief marketing officer and chief diversity officer has been recognized as a notable leader in marketing by Crain’s Detroit Business, a leading business publication in Michigan. Kelli Ellsworth Etchison was selected as one of the 2023 honorees based on her accomplishments over the past 18 months.

“Kelli’s marketing acumen has been proven with the many marketing initiatives she and her internationally award-winning team have implemented for LAFCU, from growing our member base to building goodwill within the communities we serve,” said LAFCU CEO Patrick Spyke. “She also embodies all the characteristics of an extraordinary leader – she is dedicated, innovative and constantly creating opportunities to help others thrive. We are extremely fortunate to have her on the LAFCU team.”

The Crain’s Detroit Business Notable Leaders in Marketing distinction recognizes outstanding individuals in Michigan who serve in a senior-level role, make an impact through their role and continue to have the power to effect change, are role models or mentors to colleagues, demonstrate a practice of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, and are active members and/or leaders in professional or civic community organizations.

Ellsworth Etchison leads the credit union’s strategic marketing, community and public relations efforts and manages a marketing team of five professionals, as well as counsels the CEO and board of directors on key marketing strategies and initiatives.

She also serves as LAFCU's first chief diversity officer, a position she proposed several years ago. Her work has helped broaden perspectives on the importance of providing equitable access to LAFCU’s products and services, with the goal of making everyone–members and employees alike–feel welcome, seen and heard.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized by Crain’s Detroit as a leader in my chosen field,” said Ellsworth Etchison. “The work I do daily is intended to serve our members and those in the community, and I always aim to create lasting change and a better future that will extend far beyond my own career. I’m thankful to my team and LAFCU for reaffirming that same passion for helping our members and the communities we serve to create a better, brighter future.”

Over the last 18 months, Ellsworth Etchison has expanded and communicated the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion to the LAFCU team. Under her leadership, the DEI committee developed, implemented, and communicated a two-time, nationally award-winning program that was a comprehensive, engaging educational effort that raised awareness of LAFCU’s DEI mission, tagline and core principles. Ellsworth Etchison was also instrumental in LAFCU surpassing its total annual deposit growth goal in just six weeks through an aggressive certificate of deposit marketing campaign.

Additionally, she was a pivotal part of the newly developed partnership between LAFCU and Quality Dairy, a retail/convenience store chain, which nearly tripled LAFCU’s ATM footprint and made it easier and more convenient for members to access their money when and where they needed it.

Ellsworth Etchison has been recognized for volunteerism and leadership by nearly as many organizations in which she’s been involved, including the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (Community Service Award), YMCA of Metropolitan Lansing (C. Colton Carr Exemplary Volunteer of the Year Service Award), Rotary Club of Lansing (Paul Harris Fellow Award), NAACP (Community Service Award), Grand Ledge Area Chamber of Commerce (ATHENA International Award) and Greater Lansing Area Club, an affiliate of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Inc. (National Sojourner Truth Meritorious Service Award).

Crain's Detroit Business will publish this year's special section in the April 27 print issue and online at


Chartered in 1936, LAFCU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative open for membership to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Michigan and to businesses and other entities located in Michigan. The credit union serves more than 74,000 members and holds over $986 million in assets. It was named a Best Credit Union to Work For in 2020. LAFCU offers a comprehensive range of financial products and services as well as an expanding complement of financial technology solutions. Members enjoy benefits such as low fees, low-interest rates on loans, high yields on savings, discounts, knowledgeable employees and nationwide access to fee-free ATMs. A recipient of the national Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award for credit unions, LAFCU enriches the communities it serves by supporting many organizations and causes. To learn more about LAFCU, call 800.748.0228 or visit

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