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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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Upstate Chapter panel shares impact of CUaware Protégé Competition

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 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.

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.

Hoyt Bray (Upstate FCU, at left), Jeff Hardin (Carolinas CU League), Koy Stone & Micah Smith (SC Telco FCU) and Dizzy Felkel (Family Trust FCU) field questions from the audience about the Protégé Competition and the Mentor program at the Upstate Chapter May 23. 

On May 23, the Upstate Chapter learned more about two young professional development opportunities from a trio of past participants in the CUaware Protégé  Competition and the CUaware Mentor program. Micah Smith and Koy Stone (SC Telco FCU) and Dizzy Felkel (Family Trust FCU), shared their perspectives and learning points on the program with chapter attendees Tuesday evening, May 23 in Greenville. 

Felkel, Stone and Smith were joined by Jeff Hardin of the Carolinas Credit Union League, who was on hand to answer general questions about both programs. Hoyt Bray (Upstate FCU) moderated the panel discussion. 

The CUaware Protégé Competition officially kicks off July 5, and chapters are in the process of opting in to the program for 2018. Credit unions and chapters will host competitions in the later summer and fall, with the CUaware Protégé  Finals Competition taking place Feburuary 1-2, 2018 in Charlotte during the Connect Conference

The Mentor program is open to young professionals age 35 and under in the credit union movement in the Carolinas. Young professionals are paired with a mentor from another credit union for a period of one year. Applications for the 2018 program will be accepted beginning in October. 

Both the Protégé  and Mentor programs provide young professionals in the Carolinas with an invaluable opportunity to showcase their talents and abilities, and to encourage their growth as credit union professionals. "These types of opportunities don't come along very often," shared Felkel, who was the first winner of the Protégé Competition. Felkel's remark drew wide agreement from Stone and Smith.

All three former participants shared how the programs had gotten them out of their comfort zones, built their personal networks to include a wide range of connections within the credit union movement, and helped to advance their careers. Hardin challenged the credit unions present to hold internal competitions at their credit unions to demonstrate their commitment and support of the career development of their young professionals.  

The Upstate Chapter is a regular participant in the program and has already opted in to the 2018 competition. The CUaware Protégé Finals Competition takes place February 1-2 in Charlotte during the Connect Conference. 

The competition manual for the 2018 program has been published and provided to chapter presidents in the Carolinas for their review and consideration. To learn more about the CUaware Protégé Competition, please click here to access the competition page. More information on the CUaware Protégé Mentor program is available here

Tags:  CUaware Protégé 

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Scholarships available for the 2017 Principles and Philosophy Conference

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The 2017 Principles and Philosophy Conference is a few months away, and scholarship applications are now being accepted! The eighth annual event takes place October 24-26 at the White Oak Conference Center near Winnsboro, SC. 

Scholarships include meals, two nights of lodging and all conference materials -- a $650 value! The scholarships are available to staff and volunteers at credit unions of $125 million in assets and below. 

"Scholarships serve a twofold purpose for the event," shared Jeff Hardin, the League's director of cooperative initiatives. "They provide an opportunity for credit unions to attend that otherwise would not be able to, of course. The biggest benefit, however, is that having the perspectives of a diverse group of credit unions at the table enriches the overall conference experience for everyone." 

The Principles and Philosophy Conference is a deep dive into the cooperative business model and the key principles that underpin it. First developed in Rochdale, England in 1844 by 28 people who started a food store, the Seven Cooperative Principles provided a spark for the development and spread of the cooperative business model worldwide. 

To download the scholarship application form, please click here. The form uses "auto fill" fields in order for applicants to type in their information. Scholarship applications will be received through September 1, 2017. Please contact Jeff Hardin (919-457-9063) if you have any questions. 

 

Tags:  Principles and Philosophy Conference 

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Triangle CUaware volunteers on Habitat for Humanity build

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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.

Triangle CUaware volunteers Sara Portis (left), Angela Harrington and Renee Bradley work together to saw particle board for the roof of a Habitat for Humanity home Saturday, May 20. 

The Triangle CUaware Council donned hard hats and gloves, and picked up hammers and saws in order to support Habitat for Humanity. The volunteer event took place Saturday, May 20 in Southeast Raleigh. 

Despite high humidity and temperatures near 90 by afternoon, nearly 15 volunteers participated, mixing cooperation among cooperatives with sweat equity in order to support a good cause.

“If you haven’t had a chance to volunteer for Habitat, you should really consider it," shared Phil Kadzielawski (Coastal FCU), who worked on one of the saw crews. "There are so many great things about volunteering with them. They are proud to serve the community and have so many wonderful stories to tell."

This is the second Habitat for Humanity volunteer project for the Triangle group. The Triangle CUaware group also worked on a Habitat Home that was in the final stages of construction during the 2015 Holiday Season.

The primary focus of the day's work was sawing and installing particle board for the roof of the home. By the end of the day, the roof was completely covered, and the group headed home. "Volunteering is a great opportunity to build your network and connect with others outside of work," said Kadzielawski. "Plus, you get to learn new skills!”

Tags:  CUaware  Principle Seven 

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Wilmington area credit unions organize Cape Fear Chapter

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Credit unions in the Wilmington area met Tuesday, May 16 to elect a board, update bylaws and organize into the Cape Fear Chapter. The chapter, which will meet four times each year, will focus its meetings in and around the Wilmington area. 

The bylaws were modified from the Southeast Chapter, which has been inactive for two years. The Cape Fear Chapter will continue to invite credit union staff from all areas of the old chapter, which includes Fayetteville and Goldsboro, to participate in meetings and events.

The board plans a fun kick-off event for the Cape Fear Chapter in the late summer. Details on this event will be coming in the weeks ahead. 

The following credit union staff will serve as officers of the new chapter: 

  • David Williams, Marine FCU (President)
  • Ken Garris, State Employees' CU (Vice President)
  • Teresa Dew, Riegelwood FCU (Secretary)
  • Andrea Troccia, Corning CU (Treasurer) 
  • Lindsay Aponte, Sharonview FCU 
  • Melissa Kerley, Local Government FCU
  • Melody McBroom, Self-Help CU 
  • Lin Spears, Piedmont Advantage CU 

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Three credit union staff earn CUDE designation

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Monday, May 15, 2017

Forty-five credit union professionals, including three from North Carolina, successfully earned the Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) designation earlier this month. CUDE is a program of the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation). The DE training was held April 26 – May 3, 2017 at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis.

Jodi Loe (Local Government FCU), Willard Ross (Coastal CU) and Renee Shipko (Truliant FCU) were among the professionals who successfully earned the designation. Nearly 90 credit union staff (active and retired) are CUDEs in North Carolina and South Carolina, and work cooperatively on events and projects such as the Principles and Philosophy Conference

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 were required to complete team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations in any given area.

For this training’s final case studies, participants worked through and presented solutions to critical issues that included financial stability among young adults and families, credit union board development, 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. In this way. participants are challenged to consider the cooperative nature and structure of credit unions when considering solutions to these issues. 

For more information on the CUDE program, please go to the National CU Foundation web site. The Carolinas Credit Union League offers up to two scholarships to CUDE each year for staff at credit unions in North Carolina and South Carolina. For more information on these opportunities, please contact Jeff Hardin (919-457-9063). 

Tags:  Credit Union Development Education 

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