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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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Ashlee McClure selected Lowcountry CUaware Protégé

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Updated: Monday, July 25, 2016

Ashlee McClure, who works as a relationship specialist sales at South Carolina Federal Credit Union, has been named the CUaware Protégé for the Lowcountry Chapter. McClure will compete in the CUaware Protégé Finals Competition in October.

The chapter held its competition the evening of July 14. McClure and fellow candidates Nancy Jones (Santee Cooper CU) and Rebecca Brooks (Heritage Trust FCU) made five minute presentations in front of tmore than 60 people who attended. The trio also took a written test as part of the competition. A panel of judges scored the tests and the presentations and declared McClure its CUaware Protégé finalist.  

McClure joined the South Carolina Federal team in 2012. She is a graduate of Trident Tech in North Charleston. She hopes to one day rise to the executive ranks at the credit union. 

She credits her involvement with South Carolina Federal's foundation in shaping her desire to make credit union work her life's calling. "It has opened my eyes to what credit unions really are. I am so proud to be part of this movement," McClure says.

She adds that while financial services remains a competitive and evolving industry, it is important for credit unions to hold on to their cooperative roots. "We have to change and grow with the times but I believe we can also maintain all that we were created to do," McClure says. 

More CUaware Protégé Competitions are scheduled in the weeks ahead. Click here to see the complete list. The CUaware Protégé Finals Competition will be held during the MACCU 2016 Fall Conference in Asheville in October.   

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Paul Narcisse selected Tarheel CUaware Protégé

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Monday, July 25, 2016
Updated: Monday, July 25, 2016

Paul Narcisse, a Coastal FCU account manager, has been named the CUaware Protégé for the Tarheel Chapter. Narcisse will compete in the CUaware Protégé Finals Competition in October.

The Beaumont, Texas native relocated to North Carolina to join the Coastal team in 2015. The 32-year-old Narcisse earned a psychology degree from Lambuth Universtity, as well as an MBA from the University of Texas at Tyler.    

His career goal is to be a credit union CEO, and he would also like to be part of a foundation that empowers inner city and rural youth for academic achievement.

Narcisse notes that with the income inequality gap widening and the national debt climbing, people are looking for alternatives - for new solutions. "I believe cooperatives are the future. I feel the credit union industry is uniquely positioned to address these issues head on." 

Specifically, he would like to see credit unions leverage technology to increase member participation in their cooperative. "I believe when more members participate in the voting process within institutions like ours, it will increase the feelings of ownership for their credit union, while having wider implications in our country's political process as well through increased voter turn out."   

Narcisse would also like to see credit unions leverage technology to better serve members. "I would love to see how our technology can increase member economic participation by providing unique ways of evaluating a member's credit worthiness outside of their credit score."  

More CUaware Protégé Competitions are scheduled in the weeks ahead. Click here to see the complete list. The CUaware Protégé Finals Competition will be held during the MACCU 2016 Fall Conference in Asheville in October.   

Tags:  CUaware Protégé 

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CUaware Triad volunteers support Habitat for Humanity

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, July 19, 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.

CUaware Triad volunteers came together Saturday, July 16 to support Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County. The group worked through most of the day on a house build, and provided nearly $1,100 in funding to the agency.

"We had a great time together in support of a wonderful organization," shared Jon Hamby (Members CU), who helped to organize the day's event. "This event serves as our community service project for 2016 to it was inspiring to see 19 people give freely of their time for such a good cause."

Hamby noted that the home build was for a family with  physical challenges, meaning that the framing for the home had to be done on site. "In a typical build the walls would have been assembled in a Habitat warehouse and delivered to the site," said Hamby. "So it was a little bit of a different volunteer Habitat build." 

In addition to the sweat equity given by volunteers, the CUaware group donated nearly $1,100 to Habitat. The group raised the funds through various small fundraisers such as bake sales.     

Tags:  CUaware  Principle Seven 

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Carolina Collegiate's Catherine Berube vying for CUES NTCUE

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, July 06, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Metaphor: a word or phrase for one thing that is used to refer to another thing in order to show or suggest that they are similar. Merriam-Webster

Carolina Collegiate FCU Marketing Coordinator Catherine Berube says that when she was growing up, she always loved metaphors. That love, combined with creativity and a focus on people, is helping Carolina Collegiate FCU navigate its journey through a rapidly changing workplace. Berube's program has also charted a course that could result in a personal - and quite literal - journey this fall to compete in the CUES Next Top Credit Union Executive (NTCUE) competition.

Berube calls her program "Culture Lost & Found" and she features it prominently in her NTCUE application video. The program is helping staff and members at the $90 million asset Carolina Collegiate stay grounded in the core values and culture of the credit union even as technology has dramatically shifted the way service is delivered.

"Change is very hard for people, especially when it comes to technology," Berube says. "What I'm realizing is how you deliver that to people can make a difference." Culture Lost & Found is a mechanism for Berube to listen and learn from fellow staff members and to make sure that service standards are valued, understood and followed. 

CUES NTCUE spotlights emerging talent in the credit union movement. The competition is open to professionals age 35 and under who have yet to reach the CEO level. The competition is a multi-step process involving blogging, videos, and voting by the general public. The competition concludes in October as five finalists gather in Savannah to make their final presentations.

Berube was encouraged to apply by her senior management team as well as Bo McDonald of Your Marketing Company. While initial applicants typically spotlight their career accomplishments and goals, Berube focused her efforts on the credit union. "It's been a good experience for me," she says of NTCUE "and it's been great sharing with people what we do."

Voting is underway for the top 10 NTCUE finalists, and concludes July 13. To view Berube's application and cast a vote for her, please click here

Catherine is the Marketing Coordinator at Carolina Collegiate. After graduating from Saint Anselm College in 2015, she set out to start her career in South Carolina. During her short time at Carolina Collegiate she has become very passionate about the work that credit unions do for the community and their members. She is responsible for coordinating and attending events, PR, social media, staff training, and content creation. Her recent focus has been on culture development and staff communication. When she is not at the office, she enjoys spending time at the beach or on a walk with her dog. She is a lover of otters, golden retrievers, and buffalo chicken.

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CUaware Protégé Mentor program applications are being accepted

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Tuesday, June 28, 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 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.

For two years, the CUaware Protégé Mentor program has successfully connected young professionals with mentors at credit unions in North Carolina & South Carolina. These connections have provided young professionals with valuable career insights, while offering established professionals a meaningful opportunity to give back to the movement. 

Applications are now being accepted for participants in the 2016-2017 CUaware Protégé Mentor program. Approved applicants age 35 and under will be paired with a mentor 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.

Eligibility was originally limited to CUaware Protégé Competition Finals participants, and then expanded in its second year to include all chapter level participants in the Protégé Competition. In the upcoming year, eligibility is open to all young professionals in North Carolina and South Carolina credit unions. 

The expansion of the program will naturally create a higher demand for mentors representing credit unions and credit union organizations in the Carolinas. Applications for both Protégés and Mentors may be submitted online on the Carolinas Credit Union League web site between now and September 1.

Applications submitted will be reviewed in September, with Mentor-Protégé pairings announced in the fall. For more information or to apply, please click here to go to the CUaware Protégé Mentor program page. If you have any questions, please contact Jeff Hardin (919-457-9063). 

Tags:  CUaware Protégé Mentor program  Principle Five  Principle Six 

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