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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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CU Lunch Local is next week!

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Thursday, October 08, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Credit unions are gearing up for CU Lunch Local, which takes place this coming Tuesday, October 13! Now in its second year in the Carolinas, CU Lunch Local rallies support of locally-owned small businesses, while demonstrating the credit union commitment to community. The event is held nationwide during International Credit Union Week.

Champion Credit Union is bringing local flavor to its Canton headquarters on Tuesday. The credit union plans to host six restaurants and three local food vendors as part of its first a little Taste of Local Sample Market. Since some people may not know much about local restaurants and what they serve, the credit union came up with the idea as a way to connect the community with locally-owned restaurants.  

“Champion Credit Union believes wholeheartedly in supporting the communities that support us,” says Champion President Jake Robinson. “This market is a great way for us to show that support.” Champion Credit Union is also partnering with the Sports and Entertainment Marketing II class of Pisgah High School, working with them on the event and giving the students an opportunity to participate as a community project.  

Members Credit Union and Summit Credit Union worked together to engage local restaurants and build momentum for CU Lunch Local. A total of six Winston-Salem restaurants will provide discounts to people who bring a flier provided by the credit unions on Tuesday.   

The Carolinas Credit Union League is also participating this year. Staff in Columbia and Raleigh are suggesting favorite local eating spots and will select one for a fun group outing in both offices. 

If your credit union is interested in participating in CU Lunch Local, please contact Jeff Hardin at 919-457-9063. You can also learn more information on the CU Lunch Local Facebook page. The campaign will have a vibrant social media component through the hashtag #CULunchLocal on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.   

Tags:  CU Lunch Local 

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Coastal FCU's Deborah Avery earns CUDE designation from NCUF

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Tuesday, September 29, 2015

(Editor's note: the following information is provided courtesy of the National Credit Union Foundation.) 

Forty-six 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). The Fall DE training was held September 9-16, 2015 at the Lowell Center on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis.

Deborah Avery of Coastal Federal Credit Union was among the 46 participants earning their CUDE designation. Jeff Hardin of the Carolinas Credit Union League also attended in order to assist  Foundation staff and volunteers through the week. 

"DE was a life transforming experience that gave me the opportunity to collaborate with amazing people, the insight to view situations from another perspective, and provided me encouragement to find a way to make a difference in my community," shared Avery. "I am honored to be a member of the CUDE family and look forward to the opportunity to work with my fellow DE colleagues."  

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 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, a small credit union merger dilemma, board development and recruiting including the debate over compensation, microfinance to women in Africa, credit union solutions to predatory lending, and engaging millennials for growth.

Registration opened less than a month ago for the 2016 Winter and Spring DE Training sessions, but due to popular demand, both are already both sold out. For professionals interested in attending the 2016 Fall DE Training (or 2017 DE Trainings), visit to learn more or you can email to be put on a notification list for when registration opens up.

Tags:  Coastal FCU  CUDE 

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The Principles & Philosophy Conference is almost full ... register today!

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The 2015 Principles & Philosophy Conference, coming November 1-3 to downtown Greenville, SC, offers staff a deep dive into the values that make credit unions special. Just a few spaces remain for the conference, and prompt registration is encouraged if you would like to attend.

"In order to provide a terrific learning environment and to enhance networking opportunities, we like to keep the class size fairly small each year," shared Jeff Hardin, the director of cooperative initiatives for the league. "We've got a great mix of professionals registered from credit unions of all sizes in the Carolinas, and a truly special setting for the conference in downtown Greenville." 

Now in its sixth year, the Principles & Philosophy Conference is a deep dive into the history of the cooperative and credit union movements. Attendees learn, understand and come to appreciate the Seven Cooperative Principles. As a result, staff members emerge with a deep knowledge of the cooperative business model and what makes credit unions unique. 

The conference is a great fit for anyone who is curious to learn about the cooperative business model, but may be especially beneficial for:

  • People new to the credit union movement;
  • More seasoned staff who have joined the movement from the banking industry; and
  • Emerging talent at your credit union.

To register, please go to the conference page. If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Jeff Hardin at (919) 457-9063.

Tags:  Principles and Philosophy Conference 

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CU Lunch Local is three weeks away!

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Tuesday, September 22, 2015

CU Lunch Local is just three weeks away! The initiative, which is aimed at supporting locally-owned small businesses, is held each year during International Credit Union Week. This year, CU Lunch Local takes place on Tuesday, October 13.

"The program is completely flexible, so folks can have fun with it and show their local eating establishments that credit unions care," said Jeff Hardin, the director of cooperative initiatives for the Carolinas Credit Union League. "Last year, some credit unions picked local eating establishments to visit and support in a variety of creative ways, while others hosted in-branch events and brought food to the membership." 

If your credit union is interested in participating in CU Lunch Local, please contact Jeff Hardin at 919-457-9063. You can also learn more information on the CU Lunch Local Facebook page. The campaign will have a vibrant social media component through the hashtag #CULunchLocal on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.   

Tags:  CU Lunch Local 

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Ryan White of Premier FCU named North Piedmont Chapter Protégé

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Friday, September 18, 2015

"My goal isn't to make a lot of
money, it's to make a difference
and to put a smile on a face," said
North Piedmont Chapter Protégé
Ryan White. He adds that his
willingness to help others and a
determination to get the job done
are two assets his generation

Ryan White, an IT specialist with Premier Federal Credit Union, was named the CUaware Protégé representing the North Piedmont Chapter. White will go on to the CUaware Protégé Competition Finals at the Leadership Conference in Myrtle Beach October 23.

White completed a written exam covering credit union history and philosophy, and delivered up to a five minute presentation on a credit union topic of his choosing as part of the North Piedmont event.

White joined Premier in 2014. The 25-year-old graduate of NC A&T State University and Strayer University says that he loves helping people, so credit unions are naturally a good fit. "For me personally my goal isn't to make a lot of money, it's to make a difference and to put a smile on a face."

Ryan adds that his generation, "brings the willingness to help and determination to the table. Although everyone doesn't know everything, having that will and being determined to find the answer and help others is what I see in myself and my generation." 

White joins six other finalists in the CUaware Protégé Competition Finals next month: Zach DeMoya (Columbia Chapter), Akira Jacobs (Lowcountry Chapter), Tanya Council (Northwest Chapter), Britnie McCallum (Piedmont Chapter), Koy Stone (Upstate Chapter) and Phil Kadzielawski (Tarheel Chapter).

Tags:  CUaware Protégé 

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