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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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CUaware Protégé Mentor Program applications welcomed

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Credit union professionals in North Carolina and South Carolina are invited to apply for the 2018 CUaware Protégé Mentor Program. The program connects professionals with a mentor at 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.

An important change to the program in the upcoming year includes dropping an age requirement to participate as a protégé. "In previous years, the program mirrored the age requirements of the CUaware Protégé Competition," shared Jeff Hardin, the coordinator of the program. "Going forward, we think the program can continue to grow in its scale and impact by recognizing that all professionals who want to expand their horizons can benefit from mentoring." 

Applications will be accepted through the end of the year. The 2018 program year kicks off in Charlotte on February 1 with the CUaware Protégé Mentor Program Workshop. The Workshop takes place prior to the start of the Carolinas CU Connect event. Lee Fogle, an executive coach, will facilitate this interactive session. 

If you are interested in mentoring or being mentored, you will find complete details and application forms on the CUaware Protégé Mentor Program page. Please contact Jeff Hardin (919-457-9063) with any questions. 

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Project Management Blog: Effective meetings. What gives?

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Sandon Nachmann (Coastal CU) recently posted ten rules he lives by to conduct effective meetings. Nachmann's post appears in the CU Project Management Blog, which is part of a newly-formed networking group on the Carolinas Credit Union League web site. 

Nachmann's ten rules include: 

  1. Pre-publish an agenda
  2. Stick to the agenda
  3. Start on time
  4. End on time
  5. Set ground rules
  6. Use a parking lot
  7. Fix responsibilities
  8. Publish minutes
  9. Use a facilitator
  10. Continuously improve

Nachmann learned these rules in the wake of tackling his first major project more than 15 years ago: deploying a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system at a credit union he worked for at the time. 

"We had our first meeting to get things kicked off and it was a mess because I didn’t know about any of the effective meeting rules mentioned above," Nachmann wrote.  "There was no agenda, we didn’t start on time, I didn’t fix responsibilities, and believe it or not I didn’t even have an ending time for the meeting.  I’m pretty sure we just talked until we all got bored."

Nachmann's post expounds upon each of the ten rules, and he says they are a key driver in successful project management efforts. "Having worked with both poor and great PM’s over the years I can tell you there’s nothing better than working with a PM who knows how to hold an effective meeting," he shares. 

To read the full post, please join the CU Project Management expertise group (note: you must be a registered web site user and logged in to join CCUL networking groups). Nachmann's post in the blog may be found here


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CUaware Podcast spotlights mentoring

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Friday, September 29, 2017

For their third episode of the CUaware Podcast, hosts Paul Narcisse and Phil Kadzielawski spoke with a guest who has profoundly impacted both their lives and careers: Dr. Troy Hall (SC Federal CU). "Dr. Troy", who co-created what is today the CUaware Protégé Mentor Program with Will Crosswell, shared his perspectives on mentorship and leadership.  

Hall recounted the steps that led to the development of the program as well as its growth and evolution through the years. The trio also discussed specific learning points and discoveries they made about themselves and about leadership by participating in the CUaware Protégé  Mentor Program. Both Kadzielawski (2016) and Narcisse (2017) were mentored by Hall. 

"Speak I am, not some day I will be," Hall shared as one key attribute of personal growth and development. "When a person speaks and says I am ... I am this. Wow,  there is power in that," Hall concluded.  

Hall also talked about his philosophy of career development and the intention one should bring to their future growth. Hall, Narcisse and Kadzielawski also shared the steps for how the mentor-protégé relationship develops and the overall commitments involved. 

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 CUaware Protégé Mentor Program. Learn more about this exciting professional development opportunity, which is provided free-of-charge by the League to young professionals in the Carolinas, by clicking here


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Four Carolina credit union staff earn CUDE designation

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Friday, September 29, 2017

Forty-six credit union professionals, including four from North Carolina and South 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 September 13 - 20, 2017 at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis.

Melissa Cozart (Duke FCU), Wendy Dawson (Coastal FCU), Kathleen Sullivan (Local Government FCU) and Scott Weaver (Carolina Foothills FCU) were among the class members who successfully completed and earned the CUDE designation. More than 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, please go to the CUDE Scholarship page or contact Jeff Hardin (919-457-9063). 

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Shop and make miracles on October 19!

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Shop for Miracles is a national one-day Credit Unions for Kids fundraiser to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Held annually on International Credit Union Day, credit unions are asked to donate $0.25 (or other designated amount) per cardholder to their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Shop for Miracles is a great way to raise funds for your local CMN Hospital while celebrating International Credit Union Day and demonstrating the credit union principle of “people helping people.”

To increase the giving impact, credit unions can easily double their donations by applying for a guaranteed match through the CO-OP Miracle Match™ Program. CO-OP® Financial Services is guaranteeing match approval for all credit unions participating in Shop for Miracles this year, even if you’re not a CO-OP member! CO-OP member credit unions are guaranteed funds matching up to $10,000, and non-CO-OP member credit unions are guaranteed a match up to $1,000.

Register to participate in Shop for Miracles this year at, then sign up for a guaranteed Miracle Match at

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