Meet Our New CEO, Dean Michaels

October 2, 2023
Dean Michaels

Co-op Solutions’ more than 1,800 employees – dedicated to the success of credit unions – are led by Dean Michaels, who was promoted to President/CEO on September 18. Previously serving as Chief Strategy Officer, Dean’s promotion follows nearly six years as a key architect of the company’s transformation into a provider of digital payments technology to credit unions. That experience has led to a deep understanding of Co-op’s core values and goals.

Although literally thousands of our clients, partners and employees have interacted with Dean, we wanted to briefly introduce you further. We pitched him a few questions to learn more about his background, approach to business and his ideas about what’s ahead for Co-op and the credit unions we serve.

Dean, you are no stranger to the financial services marketplace. Tell us what first drew you to the industry.

Even as a finance major in college, I saw the significance of how money moves through the global economy. Today, I continue to be fascinated by the transactions that keep complex markets thriving and everyday lives prospering – in particular, the more than eight billion transactions Co-op processes every year.

The eagerness to shape strategy and lead teams steeped in transactions ultimately led me through several great opportunities, from First Data Corp. (now Fiserv) to JP Morgan Chase, the STAR Network, to Co-op.

I landed here at Co-op in the fall of 2017, excited about the possibilities of developing a greater set of partnerships for the company. Co-op was right on the heels of having brought payments processor TMG into the fold, in keeping with its mission as a comprehensive payments and fintech provider to credit unions. I am of the conviction that if you are not partnering, you are not in business. It is a strategic focus of Co-op’s in order to help credit unions to better compete and win.

What are you most excited about right now?

With so many irons in the fire, it’s difficult to choose just one. It’s been incredible to watch Co-op’s product teams innovate so richly and so quickly without sacrificing the technology integration capabilities we know credit unions need.

In addition to the newly launched Co-op Pay Network, there are quite a few fintech and payments products on the roadmap I’m excited to see reach the marketplace. Just two of these are a BNPL-style product we’re calling Co-op Pay-Over-Time Transactions, and Co-op Digital Card Issuance, enhanced with API push-to-wallet and push-to-merchant technology

Can you tell us something of your strategic vision for Co-op’s future?

I was fortunate enough to play a significant role in the development of Co-op’s current strategic plan, which we continue to believe is right for credit unions – and right for Co-op. In fact, we are in the midst of our best year ever, on course to finish 2023 ahead of our goals.

It’s my commitment to carry our current mission forward while staying open and agile to necessary change. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that success comes quickest to those able to pivot to the needs of the marketplace while maintaining allegiance to the “North Star” of their missions. 

For more information on Co-op’s innovative digital payment solutions, contact your Co-op Business Executive, call 800.782.9042, or email

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