It’s Women’s History Month: Meet Fran, MSUFCU’s Virtual Assistant

March 16, 2023

At MSUFCU, we embrace the power of women leaders. Our first manager, Frances (Fran) Lesnieski, was a distinguished leader both at MSUFCU, and nationally, in the credit union movement of “people helping people.” Learn how MSUFCU’s first virtual assistant, named in honor of Fran, is continuing to help the Credit Union assist members with achieving their dreams.  

Paving the Way for Women
From our early years when we operated out of a desk drawer on MSU’s campus to now serving more than 330,000 members worldwide, MSUFCU has a long standing history of being on the leading edge of social change. Our first manager, Frances (Fran) Lesnieski, helped lead this charge both for our institution and the credit union industry. 

Fran was an early pioneer of helping women achieve financial security. Under her leadership, the Credit Union offered loans to women during a time when many financial institutions required a woman to have a male co-signer on any loans. This financial barrier for women wasn’t eliminated until 1974, after the Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed. 

When asked about this time in the Credit Union’s history, Fran had shared, “Realizing that women are capable of handling money, we made loans to them indiscriminately: personal loans, car loans, real estate loans – all of them. We were fulfilling our mission.” 

You’ve Got a Friend in Fran
To provide superior service to members online, MSUFCU launched its first virtual assistant, powered by artificial intelligence software, in October 2019. And, to commemorate Fran’s impactful legacy of “people helping people,” the Credit Union named the virtual assistant in her honor. You can find Fran in the bottom right-hand corner of every Credit Union webpage and chat with her in the mobile app.

Fran can help you 24/7. She answers questions about accounts, provides links to forms, helps set up appointments, and more. As Fran helps more members, she continues to learn. Last year, she had more than 100,000 chat conversations with members! 

The Future of Fran
Soon, in addition to helping members on the website and in the mobile app, Fran will be able to help when you call the Credit Union. You’ll just tell Fran what you need, and she’ll transfer you to the person who can help you best – immediately. Another benefit will be Fran’s “Courtesy Call Back” option. If you’re short on time, Fran will either hold your place in line, and when there is a representative available, they’ll call you back.

Fran is adding more skills every day to better serve our members. She continues to learn, thanks to our members who provide feedback online or over the phone, and the help of MSUFCU’s knowledgeable team. Fran will continue to grow, helping us meet our members’ needs and provide superior service.

To learn more about how Fran can help you, visit

Tags: CU News, Community, Member Stories