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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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43 attend Principles & Philosophy Conference

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Thursday, October 20, 2016
Updated: Monday, October 17, 2016

Forty-three credit union staff from both Carolinas examined the cooperative business model this week during the Principles & Philosophy Conference. The event took place October 18-20, 2016 at the Caraway Conference Center in Sophia, NC.

Top: Credit union leaders participate in team building exercises on Tuesday, October 18 conducted by Caraway staff.

Bottom: Participants listen as CCUL's Latasha Cooper leads Wednesday's session on the cooperative learning map.

Presented each year through a partnership between the League and the Credit Union Development Educators (DEs) of North Carolina and South Carolina, the Principles & Philosophy Conference offers credit union staff a deep dive into the credit union business model. Attendees learn the key differences between banks and credit unions, share how their credit union lives out each of the Seven Cooperative Principles, and discover how credit unions are part of a worldwide cooperative movement. 

Attendees kicked off the event with a team building exercise conducted by the Caraway staff, then explored the fundamentals of the cooperative business model. Later, the class explored the history of the Rochdale Pioneers, who originated the Seven Cooperative Principles in 1844. Attendees also shared how and why their credit union originally formed, and drew connecting points between their credit union's origins and those of the Rochdale Pioneers.

The class also heard about the community impact of other cooperatives in the Carolinas during a panel discussion headed by Emily Nail of the NC Cooperative Council. Nail was joined by an employee of an electrical cooperative, a food coop as well as BioRegen Innovations, a North Carolina seed cooperative.  

In addition to the DEs of the Carolinas, Lois Kitsch of the National Credit Union Foundation and Larry Blanchard of CUNA Mutual Group were on hand to provide insights. Blanchard examined the evolution of the credit union membership model over the last century, and showed the role advocacy has played through the years in this evolution. Kitsch, who has traveled the world in order to start or assist credit unions and credit union systems, shared the impact credit unions are having in war-torn places such as Afghanistan.  

The conference is participatory in nature, offering attendees a means to learn by hearing a variety of perspectives while sharing their own. A clear example was the small group presentation of skits relating the lives of credit union pioneers. Each participant researched a credit union pioneer prior to the conference, and then combined what they learned individually with their fellow small table group members in order to tell the story of the pioneer in a unique and creative way.

The conference concluded on International Credit Union Day with a keynote address from Troy Hall, a DE from South Carolina Federal Credit Union. Hall's Power of One message inspired the class to take the message home with them and to incorporate their learning into their daily work. 

Tags:  Principles and Philosophy Conference 

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Coastal FCU's Maria Moore earns CUDE designation

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Forty-five credit union professionals became Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) after being guided by dedicated program facilitators and mentors through the intensive Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training from the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation). Maria Moore of Coastal FCU was among the attendees successfully earning the designation. The DE training was held September 14-21, 2016 at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis.

After attending the September DE Training, Julia Sohn, Vice President of Human Resources at SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union in Santa Ana, Calif., said, “The DE Program wasn’t a training - it was a life experience. I walked away with a heartfelt understanding of who we are as a movement, and profound respect for what it took to get us where we are today. I’m energized and ready to do all I can to help better the lives of others.” 

Team Projects

DE Training provides critical lessons in cooperative principles, credit union philosophy and international development issues while incorporating challenges credit unions face today. During the recent week-long program, participants were involved in group exercises, field trips, discussions with speakers from around the credit union system, and are required to complete team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations in any given area. For this class’ final case studies, participants worked through and presented solutions to critical issues that included student loan debt, board development and recruiting including the debate over compensation, building microfinance programs in developing countries, credit union solutions to predatory lending, the increasing issue of homelessness in America, and rejuvenating a stagnant credit union.

November DE Session Sold Out

Due to increased demand, the Foundation added a fourth DE Training session this year to take place in November. This session is occurring November 1-8 in Madison, Wis. and is already sold out. If you are interested in 2017 DE Trainings, visit to learn more or you can email to be put on a notification list for when registration opens up.  

Tags:  Credit Union Development Education 

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Decked in denim: credit unions mark Miracle Jeans Day

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Staff at Local Government FCU in Raleigh decked in
denim for Miracle Jeans Day outside their Raleigh

Principle Seven: Concern for community. Credit unions work for the sustainable development of communities through policies developed and accepted by the members. Credit unions seek to achieve a greater good through responsible corporate citizenship. 

On Wednesday, September 14 more than fifty thousand credit union employees in hundreds of credit unions nationwide dressed with purpose and showed their support for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. The Carolinas Credit Union League staff proudly joined with North Carolina and South Carolina credit unions in order to help the patients in our local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals by wearing jeans in celebration of Miracle Jeans Day!


In addition to the League, participating credit unions in the Carolinas included:

  • Bragg Mutual FCU
  • Carolina Collegiate FCU
  • Corning FCU
  • Lakelands FCU
  • Local Government FCU
  • Shuford FCU
  • Welcome FCU

In addition to decking out in denim,  staff nationwide posted photos on their credit union’s social media accounts, and tagged CU4Kids on Facebook and Twitter as well as their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.


These efforts helped to make miracles for kids in the Carolinas! The League thanks you for your participation and support of Miracle Jeans Day! Please send your event photos from Miracle Jeans Day to Jeff Hardin.

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Last call to register for Miracle Jeans Day!

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Principle Seven: Concern for community. Credit unions work for the sustainable development of communities through policies developed and accepted by the members. Credit unions seek to achieve a greater good through responsible corporate citizenship. 

Miracle Jeans Day is Wednesday, September 14! 

Credit unions are happy to be the largest supporters of Miracle Jeans Day. The Carolinas Credit Union League wants all its participating CUs to be recognized for their generous support of our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through CU4Kids! If you have not done so yet, please register today. We want to thank your credit union properly for participating in Miracle Jeans Day!

Every credit union can help since each dollar counts

Medical treatments and equipment can get expensive quickly. At every Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, every cent makes a difference.  

Did you know?

  • Your support helps to serve 10 million kids as they make 32 million patient visits every year.
  • Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals treat one in ten children in North America annually.
  • Children’s Miracle Network hospital emergency rooms treat 16,000 children every day.
  • Your entire donation will go directly to your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

Tags:  Children's Miracle Network  Miracle Jeans Day  Principle Seven 

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Heritage Trust opens third in-school credit union branch

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Tuesday, September 06, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Principle Five: Education, training, and information. Credit unions educate and train members, employees and volunteers so they can contribute effectively to the development of the credit union. In addition, credit unions provide financial education for their members and the public.

Principle Seven: Concern for community. Credit unions work for the sustainable development of communities through policies developed and accepted by the members. Credit unions seek to achieve a greater good through responsible corporate citizenship.

Heritage Trust CBHS Student Interns and faculty joined President/CEO
Jim McDaniel, Heritage Trust employees & volunteers, and Berkeley County
School District officials to dedicate the in-school branch.

On August 31, students, faculty and dignitaries from Berkeley County joined Heritage Trust FCU employees and volunteers in dedicating a student-run branch at Cane Bay High School. The branch, which is located in the library of the Summerville-area school, offers limited services to include new account opening, monetary deposits and withdrawals as well as member services. The facility is open to students, faculty and staff.  

“Heritage Trust is dedicated to financial education and advocacy," shared Heritage Trust President/CEO Jim McDaniel. "What better way to prepare students for their future than by providing the tools and resources needed to learn the correct way to manage finances while still in high school."

The Cane Bay High School branch is Heritage Trust's third opening of an in-school branch. “We worked on this initiative for several years, looking for the right place to start. Berkeley County School District and Dorchester District II were open to this project and with their participation we were able to open two student-run branch locations in the 2015/2016 school year,” McDaniel said. The credit union dedicated the Goose Creek High School and Summerville High School branches in August 2015. 

As with the earlier ventures, the Cane Bay High School branch provides a valuable educational opportunity to the faculty and student body, as well as the young people who run it. In early 2016, Heritage Trust began the selection process for student-interns who would participate in the program and manage the branch. Students were chosen based on multiple factors including professionalism in business and a willingness to learn.  

Over the summer, Heritage Trust staff trained the student-interns to manage the day-to-day aspects of branch operations, including processing member transactions and marketing the branch to the student body. Taken together, this initiative combines financial education for the student body, and provides the student-interns with course credit and career training. “We continue to dedicate time to being an advocate for financial literacy and help prepare students for their future by learning the correct way to manage their finances,” Heritage Trust Chief Development Officer Emily Reynolds said.

Tags:  Heritage Trust FCU  Principle Five  Principle Six 

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