Consumer Education Services Inc. (CESI) has named financial services executive Mike Croxson CEO as the company prepares to roll out enhanced services to support consumers struggling to manage their financial well-being. Diane Chen, CESI’s founder and CEO for the past 18 years, will become executive director of the Institute of Consumer Money Management (ICMM), an independent, research-driven nonprofit funded through an endowment by CESI.
“Although the recession officially ended several years ago, more Americans than ever are struggling to make ends meet,” said Chen. “CESI’s mission is to help people get ahead, not just get by. To meet this goal, we are committed to pioneering and deploying technology in innovative ways, as well as developing new products and services. Mike has the experience and dedication needed to help us bring our vision to reality.”
Croxson has more than 30 years of experience working with a wide range of financial services organizations, with a particular emphasis on adapting new technology to meet the needs of consumers struggling with debt. For more than a decade, Croxson served as president and chief operating officer for CareOne Debt Relief Services, one of the nation’s largest debt management companies. He also served in leadership positions with Bay Bank, Seneca One Finance, Synovus Financial Corporation and First Union Corporation.
Since 1998, CESI has been a trusted resource for hundreds of thousands of individuals struggling with consumer debt, even as the credit counseling industry has undergone tremendous change. Large, for-profit companies have entered the marketplace and more than 750 not-for-profit credit counseling agencies have merged or gone out of business since CESI was founded, leaving consumers with fewer options for financial help.
“I am honored to join CESI and look forward to advancing our mission to provide comprehensive financial education and solutions, as well as enhance economic security, for everyone we serve,” said Croxson. “Unfortunately, the need for our services is increasing, not decreasing. Consumer spending and borrowing have returned to pre-recession levels. Consumers need partners they can trust to help them navigate stressful financial issues. Diane has done an amazing job leading CESI, and I look forward to working with her in her new role at the Institute.”