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Seven Principles Blog
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In 1844, a small group of weavers from Rochdale, England created the blueprint for how their newly-formed cooperative would operate and serve the local community. These values, known as the Seven Cooperative Principles, serve as the operating guidebook for credit unions and cooperatives throughout the world. This blog was created to honor that legacy and to showcase the everyday efforts of credit unions in the Carolinas that embody the cooperative mission and purpose.


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2014 CUaware Protégés benefiting from mentor program

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Monday, March 30, 2015
Updated: Monday, March 23, 2015

Principle Five: Education, training, and information. Credit unions provide education to their employees, members and the communities they serve.

Principle Six: Cooperation among cooperatives. Credit unions work together to improve services to members and build sustainable communities.

In 2014, six chapter level winners participated in the CUaware Protégé Competition. From the written tests and public speaking engagements at the chapter level, to the finals at the Leadership Conference, each contestant described the CUaware Protégé Competition as quite a learning experience. That learning experience has continued into 2015, as five of the six chapter winners have been paired with a credit union mentor.  

The CUaware Protégé Mentor program strives to provide young leaders exchange of knowledge and passion for the culture of credit unions. The program allows for a cross-cultural impact, encouraging the acceptance of new ideas, personal growth, and development opportunities. 

Current leaders who serve as mentors also benefit by actively working to extend the credit union movement
into the future.Now in its first year, the CUaware Protégé Mentor program was developed by Troy Hall (SC FCU) and Will Crosswell (Palmetto First FCU). Crosswell won the Palmetto Protégé Competition in 2013, while Hall is passionate about professional development opportunities for the emerging crop of credit union leaders. 

SC Federal COO Troy Hall
developed the CUaware Mentor
program in partnership with Will
Crosswell of Palmetto First FCU.

“Emergent leaders need one-on-one opportunities to identify, challenge and adopt the beliefs and values of strong leadership models to prepare for their future endeavors," shared Hall, SC Federal's COO. "The CUaware Mentor program offers that type of connection and ensures there exists a succession of leaders within the credit union movement ready to step in at any time.”

The program itself is designed to be flexible in order to allow the Protégés an opportunity to concentrate on their individual goals and career focus areas. For Tarheel Chapter Protégé Jennifer Moore, whose career goal is to be a chief operations officer, that flexibility has allowed for organic growth in her relationship with mentor Arlene Babwah (Coastal FCU).

"She is focused on providing me with the information, tools and opportunities I need to be successful in furthering my career in the industry," said Moore of Babwah. "Arlene is a leader; she is very open-minded, inspiring and encouraging. She defines what a true mentor is and I am looking forward to developing our relationship for years to come." 

For Northwest Chapter Protégé Jon Hamby, the focus has been on reaching shorter term goals. Mark Curran (Lion's Share FCU CEO), who serves as Hamby's mentor, encouraged him to enroll in CUNA's Financial Counselor Certification program. Hamby is well on his way to earning the designation. Along the way, he has become a strong advocate for the Protégé program at Members Credit Union, and is working with the senior management team to design an internal Protégé competition at the credit union. 

Lion's Share FCU President/CEO
Mark Curran is one of the five
CU veterans serving as

"I see so much of myself in him," Curran says of Hamby. "I am continually reminded of when I was new to credit unions. I wanted to learn as much as I could and I needed encouragement all along the way. I have encouraged Jon to take advantage of every networking event he can and to read multiple industry publications and news feeds. We get together for lunch about once a month. In addition, we exchange e-mails and phone calls periodically as specific issues and questions arise."

As the 2015 CUaware Protégé Competition gets underway next month, the mentor program will be continued as a benefit for all the chapter level winners. "We will be looking for ways to expand the mentor program beyond CUaware later this year," shared Jeff Hardin, CCUL's director of cooperative initiatives. "Its powerful when experienced leaders at credit unions can give of their time and talents to inspire the next generation of credit union leadership, and leave an imprint on our movement."

Tags:  Principle Five  Principle Six 

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National CU Foundation video flips the script on a "lost cause"

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Monday, March 23, 2015


Principle Five: Education, training, and information. Credit unions provide financial education to their members as well as the communities they serve.

Check out this creative and inspirational video produced by the National Credit Union Foundation. When it comes to financial freedom, I'm a lost cause was shown at the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards during the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference.

Tags:  National CU Foundation  Principle Five 

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Waylett, Hendrix participate in GAC opening ceremonies

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Monday, March 09, 2015

 Terri Hendrix, Carolina Foothills FCU  Michael Waylett, Vision Financial FCU

Two of North Carolina and South Carolina's finest participated in the opening of the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference. Terri Hendrix of Carolina Foothills FCU (Spartanurg) and Michael Waylett of Vision Financial FCU (Durham) carried their respective state's flags on Monday morning, March 9.

The flag ceremony marks the official opening of CUNA's flagship political event of the year. Representatives from all 50 states march in a procession to demonstrate the power and connectivity of the cooperative movement.

Both Waylett and Hendrix are Credit Union Development Educators. CUDEs typically represent their state in the flag-bearing ceremony. In addition to the state flag, Hendrix wore a scarf adorned with the Palmetto tree and crescent moon, the symbols most commonly associated with the state.

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Principle Seven: new video showcases impact of NCUF

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Monday, March 09, 2015

Principle Six: Cooperation among cooperatives. Credit unions work together to improve services to members and build sustainable communities.

Principle Seven: Concern for community. Since cooperatives are locally owned, they are committed to investing in the community.

The National Credit Union Foundation recently released a video highlighting the programs and impact of the agency. The video tells the story though the experiences of Foundation staff as well as credit union employees who have utilized NCUF's programs.

The mission of the National Credit Union Foundation is to be a catalyst to improve people’s financial lives through credit unions. The video describes NCUF's core programs, including financial reality fairs, poverty simulations, and the Development Education program among others.

To learn more about the Foundation and how your credit union & community can benefit, please access the How We Help page on the Foundation's web site.

Tags:  Principle Seven  Principle Six 

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Principle Seven: Freedom FCU begins Salute A Cop! program to express gratitude

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Monday, March 09, 2015
Updated: Monday, March 09, 2015

Principle Seven: Concern for community. Since cooperatives are locally owned, they are committed to investing in the community.

Freedom FCU President/CEO Jeff Jones (right) is pictured with representatives
from the Rocky Mount Police Department. The credit union presented officers
with gift baskets as part of its first-ever Salute A Cop!

In an effort to be a supportive voice for law enforcement in Rocky Mount and encourage others to do the same, Freedom FCU recently honored the men and women in blue through the credit union's Salute A Cop! program. Credit union staff delivered a snack bag and other goodies to each member of the police department.

“We were just trying to do something that hopefully others will pick up on and build on,” credit union CEO Jeff Jones said in an article published in the Rocky Mount Telegram. “The individual goodie bags were very simple and consisted of snack items as well as a couple of Freedom trinkets. The value of the items given was really pretty low, but the appreciation they conveyed was great."

Jones also encouraged others to join the concept. "We’d like to see churches, civic organizations, others businesses and individual citizens make efforts to show their appreciation for law enforcement.”

“It’s a pick-me-up,” Rocky Mount police Capt. Laura Fahnestock said in the newspaper article. “While we’re serving and protecting our community, just someone showing that they appreciate what we do helps to make our day even better.”

Jones says that the credit union plans to Salute A Cop! at least annually, and is hopeful that credit unions in North Carolina and South Carolina will make the effort to thank police and other first responders for the service they provide to the community. If you would like more information about Salute A Cop! please contact Jeff Hardin

Tags:  Principle Seven 

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