Fred Keller

President and CEO of DFCU Financial in Dearborn, which he joined in July 2000. Under his leadership, the $2.4 billion credit union has grown more than 109 percent in assets and 159 percent in net income. DFCU Financial is one of the nation’s most efficiently operated credit unions, despite being in one of the most economically distressed markets. Its financial performance for 2008 places it first in the nation for return on assets and second for return on equity among peer credit unions. This performance has allowed the distribution of a special patronage dividend to members each year in excess of $17 million – the largest special dividend in the history of the credit union industry. More than $50 million in such dividends have been distributed since 2006. In addition, a recent merger with CapCom credit union provides DFCU Financial with geographic diversification into the Lansing and Grand Rapids areas. Shobe developed DFCU Financial’s landmark Career Transition Program, which provides $10 million in educational assistance to DFCU Financial members. DFCU Financial has been named by the Michigan Business and Professional Association as one of Metropolitan Detroit’s 101 Best & Brightest Companies to work for for five years running, and an Economic Bright Spot and Best of Michigan Business by Corp! magazine. It was also named to the Detroit Free Press’ list of Top Workplaces for 2008. Previously, Shobe spent 14 years with Comerica Inc. in a variety of senior management positions. He then was appointed president of First of Michigan, the state’s largest independent brokerage firm. Prior to joining DFCU Financial, he was president and COO of Sterling Bank and Trust, a $1 billion asset bank in Southfield. Shobe’s leadership also includes serving as vice chairman of the board of Greenpath, Inc.; managing partner in Members Gateway; and member of the American and Michigan Institutes of Certified Public Accountants. A graduate of Central Michigan University and the University of Michigan Executive School of Banking, Shobe is a CPA and a NASD-registered representative, Series 7, 63, and 24.

WHERE BORN: “Detroit.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “Two people – former Comerica CFO Paul Martzowka, and current Comerica Southern California President David White. Both are dynamic leaders and influential motivators who brought out the best in people.”

LAST BOOK READ: "Good to Great by Jim Collins.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Collaborative, driven, and tough-minded.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “In the financial services industry, there is rapid consolidation and extensive regulatory restructuring. The reality of financial services is that there is more supply than demand and that is accelerated by dire economic times.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “My car. They’re increasingly electronic and I like the GPS plus the direct connection with a live person at the push of a button to assist in an accident or schedule maintenance.”


FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Golf and sailing.”


MY HIDDEN TALENT: "Motivating others to be the best that they can be. It goes back to the people who influenced me early in my professional career.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "Having a positive impact on the lives of my employees and their families and the individuals in my personal life. When you run a business well, you have a positive impact on people’s lives, so I feel compelled to make the right decisions so people have a safe, prosperous livelihood for them and their families.”