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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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Greensboro Municipal CU highlighted for partnership with local food co-op

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Principle Six: Cooperation among cooperatives. Credit unions serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative principles by working with other cooperatives through local, state, regional, national, and international structures.

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.

Reporter Robert McGarvey spotlighted an emerging partnership between Greensboro Municipal Credit Union and the Renaissance Community Co-op as an example of Winning by cooperating. The story appeared in CUInsight February 17, with GMCU's partnership with RCC offered as an example of how local cooperatives can work together for mutual benefit. 

The RCC is a community-owned retail grocery cooperative that opened in Greensboro last fall. The food cooperative ended a 19-year food desert problem in Northeast Greensboro. The credit union plans to locate a branch in the same shopping area as the RCC in a few months. The retail branch will be the first step for the credit union in an effort to provide ethical, affordable financial services to the area, as well as financial education programs that will benefit the neighborhood.

"After personally seeing the overall lack of access to financial services in the community, coupled with hearing about day-to-day issues faced by residents, like the lack of transportation, it made sense to site a branch in the community,” GMCU CEO Jerry Wise said in the story. Wise sees an opportunity for their partnership to benefit the community, the RCC as well as the credit union.

To read the story, which spotlights other initiatives and perspectives across the country, please click here


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Volunteers needed for Financial Literacy Day April 25

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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.

Volunteers are needed for the Financial Literacy Day event scheduled for Tuesday, April 25 in Columbia. On that day, volunteers from South Carolina credit unions will conduct a Reality of Money session with Columbia-area high school students. Later, a press conference will be held with lawmakers. 

The event takes place at the State House. Volunteers would be need to report at 8:30 am, with the event beginning at 10:00 am and ending at Noon. The press conference immediately follows at the State House. Duties include set-up of the event, staffing booths for the Reality of Money session, and assisting with the break-down of the room. Volunteers are also welcome and encouraged to attend the press conference. 

If you have questions, please contact Jeff Hardin (919-457-9063). You may RSVP your intention to volunteer by accessing the event page in the professional development calendar. 

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Financial Literacy Day returns to Columbia April 25

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Mark your calendars for April 25, as Financial Literacy Day returns to Columbia! The annual event brings volunteers from South Carolina credit unions together for a Reality of Money event with area high school students, followed by a news conference traditionally attended by South Carolina lawmakers.

This year the event takes place from 10:00 am until Noon inside the South Carolina State House, which will give lawmakers easier access to the event from start to finish. If you are interested in learning more about this year's event or signing up to volunteer, please contact Jeff Hardin (919-457-9063). You can also read a recap of last year's event on The Bridge blog.

Tags:  Financial Education  Financial Literacy Day 

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30 attend CUaware Protégé Mentor Workshop

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A group of 30 young professionals and seasoned credit union staff got together for a time of networking and conversation during the CUaware Protégé Mentor Workshop February 2. The event took place just prior to the first-ever Connect Conference in Charlotte.

Now entering its fourth year, the CUaware Protégé Mentor program connects credit union professionals age 35 and under with a mentor from another credit union for a period of one year. Through a process that is collaboratively designed by the mentor and protégé, a plan and goals are developed, and a strategy for maintaining regular contact is created.

The inspiration for the workshop came from the 2016 participants, who suggested that in-person group meetings would enhance the value of the overall program. The workshop is one of several additions being made to the program in 2017. 

The speakers for the event were current or past participants in the Mentor program. Genice DeCorte (HealthShare CU) began the event by sharing her personal history, including the time when she was a young professional. DeCorte noted that hard work, networking connections, goal setting and a bit of luck along the way helped her become a credit union CEO at the age of 31.

Sandon Nachmann (Coastal FCU) and Koy Stone (SC Telco FCU) shared tips on how to achieve good results in the program. Nachmann mentored Stone, who is a branch manager, in the area of project management in 2016. 

Akira Jacobs (SC Federal) ended the event with an open dialogue session, as the group discussed their goals, hopes and fears as the year of mentoring is getting underway. The group also shared their vision for how the program can and should grow in the future.  

"This group has great energy and momentum, and a desire to work cooperatively to build the credit union movement of the future," shared Jeff Hardin, CCUL director of cooperative initiatives. "It is a privilege to watch people grow in their awareness of their own potential and fit within the movement, and gratifying to see experienced professionals contributing to the development of others."

Tags:  CUaware Protégé Mentor program 

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Save the date: Principles and Philosophy Conference

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, February 7, 2017
The 2016 graduating class represented more than a dozen credit unions in the Carolinas.

The 2017 Principles and Philosophy Conference will be held October 24-26 at the White Oak Conference Center, which is located near Winnsboro, SC. Now in its eighth year, the conference is a deep dive into the cooperative business model and the Seven Cooperative Principles that differentiate them in the marketplace.

In addition to the operating principles, attendees learn the social purpose of co-ops and credit unions. Participants leave with a greater understanding of just how special credit unions are, and how the Seven Cooperative Principles are at heart good business practices.

The Principles & Philosophy Conference appeals to a wide range of professionals, including:

  • Young professionals who wish to learn more about credit unions.
  • More seasoned professionals who have come to credit unions from banks and other industries.
  • Longtime credit union employees who wish to deepen their appreciation for the uniqueness of credit unions & co-ops.

Registration will open in the coming weeks, and scholarships will once again be available for staff at credit unions of $125 million assets and below. For more information on the conference, please contact Jeff Hardin (919-457-9063).

Tags:  Principles and Philosophy 

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