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1/1/2015 » 12/31/2015
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Seven Principles Blog
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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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Guest post: with local focus, Durham Co-op Market to open soon

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, February 11, 2015

(Editor's note: this guest post was written and submitted by Laura Pyatt of the Durham Co-op Market.)

The Durham Co-op Market is slated to open in late February on the corner of West Chapel Hill and Kent St., in Southwest Central Durham. We are excited to bring fresh, local, healthy and accessible food to the surrounding neighborhoods of Lyon Park, West End, and Burch Ave., as well as the greater Durham community. The co-op is built on the Seven Cooperative Principles, and we especially are focusing on strengthening the cooperative movement by supporting local businesses, as outlined in the sixth principle:

DCM's jobs wall highlights local businesses the
co-op does business with.

6th Principle: Co-operation among Co-operatives. Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

As the co-op is being built and we are not only forming relationships with local produce vendors, we are also making sure local products are featured in all parts of the store. For example, our shopping carts were manufactured by Technibilt Carts, located in Newton, NC. Our Point-of-Sale system is from ECRS, based in Boone, NC, and our primary meat vendor is First Hand Foods, located just down the road from us in East Durham. We pride ourselves in supporting other local businesses and strengthening the economy of Durham and North Carolina, one product at a time.

You can see some of our other local vendors on our “Supporting Jobs Across NC” wall, which is almost complete. Come check out the final product when we open!

Laura Pyatt joins DCM as the marketing manager after two years as events manager at Fullsteam Brewery. She loves beer, and she also loves cheese. She particularly enjoys them together. Laura is a Durham native and previously was an art teacher and managed a cupcake bakery, making brief appearances on the bakery's very bad reality TV show.

She is very excited to help create a great community environment at the Durham Co-op Market. She loves food, people, and cheese. Feel free to make cheese suggestions, and recommendations for great beer/cheese pairings!

If you have any questions about the Durham Co-op Market, feel free to contact Laura at

Tags:  Durham Co-op Market  Principle Six 

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Guest Post: Greenville Children's Hospital shares impact of Upstate Chapter

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Monday, February 09, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Principle Six: Cooperation among cooperatives. Credit unions work together to improve services to members and build sustainable communities.

Principle Seven: Concern for community. Since cooperatives are locally owned, they are committed to investing in the community.

(Editor's note: the following post was written and submitted by Dianne Dillon, the Children's Miracle Network Coordinator for the Greenville Health System.)

At Greenville Health System (GHS) we are guided by our vision, mission and our values. Our vision—Transform health care for the benefit of the people and communities we serve—helps us to focus on the highest level of what we strive to accomplish. Our mission—Heal compassionately, teach innovatively, improve constantly—is what we focus on accomplishing each day and we live this through our values—Together we served with integrity, respect, trust and openness.

Does this sound familiar to your credit unions? It may. It is in line with the Seven Principles from the Carolinas Credit Union League. I have the privilege and honor to partner with such a great group of local Upstate, western North Carolina and eastern Georgia credit unions through their efforts to “build sustainable communities – Principle Six” and “concern for community – Principle Seven”.

In addition to raising funds for the GHS Children's Hospital, the Upstate Chapter is providing encouragement to the Wilson family. Madison Wilson (right) is a patient at the hospital.

Recently GHS Children’s Hospital hosted a chapter meeting for the Upstate Chapter of Credit Unions. Dr. Ohning, medical director of Children’s Hospital of Greenville Health System Bryan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), shared information about the great things happening at GHS Children’s Hospital through our partnership with the local credit unions. Dr. Ohning and I had the pleasure of accepting a check on behalf of Children’s Hospital from the Upstate Chapter of Credit Unions from an auction held at their October chapter meeting. In addition, the Upstate Chapter of Credit Unions adopted a Miracle Family and presented Maddie a large basket of craft items for her to use during future hospital stays. Maddie’s mom, Sonya, brought the chapter up to date on Maddie and the family’s journey since the last time she spoke to them.

To end the evening, we toured Children’s Hospital and witnessed firsthand what Dr. Ohning described during his talk. As our fortune would have it, he had an emergency delivery (…did I mention he was on-call this night?). As we stood in front of the doorway to the NICU, a baby was rushed past us to receive the highest level of care possible and three minutes later, Dr. Ohning walked by us, stopped and said a few more things and continued to do what he does best—serve the littlest of the community with his expertise. Words can’t describe the impact on the group.

It was such a humbling experience for me to share why I do what I do and what a way to end the chapter meeting by seeing firsthand the great healthcare delivery we say we do—we walk the talk. This is why we are so grateful to our partners—your help provides not only the highest quality of care for patients, but you also help us surround the entire family. From the newborns to Maddie and beyond. You help us heal entire families. I look forward to our continued partnership in 2015 and sharing how you continue to impact families.

Dianne Dillon coordinates Children Miracle Network activities with corporate CMNH partners. She fosters community awareness and builds relationship to cultivate donors for Children’s Hospital. When she is not working, Dianne enjoys a very full life of juggling outdoor activities, gardening, church volunteerism, and family time - a husband and two very entertaining dogs.

If you need additional information about Children’s Hospital, a proud partner of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, feel free to contact Dianne at 864-797-7736 or

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Winter CUDE graduates include three from Carolinas

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Monday, February 02, 2015
Updated: Friday, January 30, 2015

Forty-three credit union professionals became certified Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) this month after being guided by eight dedicated program facilitators and mentors through the intensive Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training from the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation). Included in the class were three staff from the Carolinas who successfully earned the CUDE designation from the Foundation. The Winter DE training was held January 14-21, 2015 at the American Airlines Training & Conference Center in Dallas, Texas.

Graduates from the Carolinas include: T.J. Wyman & Al Jones, both with Coastal FCU in Raleigh, NC,  and Randall Smith of CUInsight in Greenville, SC.

"As credit union pioneer Edward Filene put it many years ago, the credit union movement 'is a great movement, worthy of great deeds, deserving of great loyalty,'” said Carolinas Credit Union League President/CEO John Radebaugh. "The League congratulates T.J., Al and Randy on their achievement, and we know they'll use the lessons they learned to impact the credit union movement."   

Team Projects
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 are 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 opening an Islamic banking center, board development and recruiting including the debate over compensation, credit union solutions to predatory lending, microfinance to women in Africa, the college conundrum of helping students understand and manage student loan debt, and a small credit union merger dilemma.

2015 Spring DE Training Registration Still Open
Registration is still open with few spots left for the next 2015 DE training program, which will take place April 29-May 6, 2015 in Madison, Wis. Registration for the training can be found on the Foundation website.

The remaining DE Training of 2015 is set for September 9-16 at the Lowell Center in Madison, with registration opening soon.

Tags:  CUDE  National CU Foundation 

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Chapter golf tournaments support local charities

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Monday, February 02, 2015
Updated: Monday, February 02, 2015

Principle Six: Cooperation among cooperatives. Credit unions work together to improve services to members and build sustainable communities.

Held in October 2014, the Foothills Chapter Golf Tournament raised $8,500 for
the Safe Harbor Rescue Mission. Vicki Murray (center) of Safe Harbor is
pictured with Foothills Chapter board members
Abby Mauney (left), Jennifer
Gant, Debbie Whittington and Pam Cansler.

Two credit union chapters are supporting charities in their local communities, while having a day of fun in the process. The Foothills Chapter of Credit Unions held its annual Jerry Burnette Golf Tournament in October 2014, raising $8,500 for the Safe Harbor Rescue Mission in Hickory.

The 17th annual tournament, which was held at the Rock Barn Golf & Spa in Conover, serves as the chapter's primary means of raising funds for local charitable groups. 

Safe Harbor is a Christian-based, one-year recovery/rehab program for women. The chapter has been supportive of the mission's programs through the years.

Meanwhile, the Western Chapter of Credit Unions is getting into the swing of things as well, as it plans to host its first-ever charity golf tournament in May. The chapter hopes to raise $10,000 in support of Eblen Charities at its tournament, which is scheduled for May 12 at the Etowah Golf Course. 

The chapter has long been the primary financial supporter of Eblen's Food for Thought program, which supplies snacks to school kids in western North Carolina. Operating under the premise that students cannot learn if they are hungry, Food for Thought supplies snacks to tens of thousands of kids in several western NC counties each year.

For more information on the Western Chapter event, please click here. Also, the Foothills Chapter plans to hold its 18th Annual Jerry Burnette Golf Tournament in October. For more information, please contact Jerry Gaillard at Shuford Credit Union.       

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Guest post: the Center for Smart Financial Choices recaps eventful 2014

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Principle Five: Education, training, and information. Credit unions provide financial education to their members as well as the communities they serve. 

(Editor's note: Betty Ann Falkner, the director of the Center for Smart Financial Choices, recapped the Center's eventful 2014 in an email to members and supporters this week. The following highlights from Falkner's email are provided below.)

The goal of the Center for Smart Financial Choices for 2014 was to raise awareness of their programs and services to Forsyth County residents. We would like to share the progress that was made this year and the impact it had on participants.

Youth programs

The Center delivered thirty-four presentations to over 1,121 youth in local elementary, high school and summer programs in 2014. The most popular program, Adult for A Day (AFAD), helps high school students explore the importance of making smart financial choices in managing a budget while learning how credit scores affect their expenses.

Over one hundred Vienna Dozier Elementary fifth grade students participated in the elementary version of AFAD to learn how a budget works. “The Center for Smart Financial Choices program taught me a lot about the money saving decisions that our parents and other adults have to make every day," said Cameron, an AFAD student who is a fifth-grader at Vienna Dozier.

"It also showed me that a lot of the decisions that have to be made are not easy. I learned that what type of insurance, the cost of utilities, clothes, and your home is very important. I also learned about all the responsibilities that adults have to have to be successful. This program will help me become a better adult and be more aware of my responsibilities," Cameron concluded.

The Center also educated young people through several field trips, which gave students a closer look at the banking system and how it works. “The time that I spent at the CFSFC field trip was very informative and fun," said Omiah. "I learned things that I didn't know before like how much technology has involved and helped the banking system, how many people it takes to run one bank, how much security cautions a bank has to take, and also how easy it is to set up an account. After the trip I talked to my mother about what I had learned and we had planned out my banking options for me in the future. Overall I think the trip and opportunity was both extremely fun and educational.” 

Financial education scholarships

The Center received a donation for a unique scholarship program that incorporates financial education as part of the criteria for the award. A total of $5,500 was awarded to the following recipients:

  • Bibiana Arroyo, student at Early College of Davie County, received the $2,500 scholarship for  Hispanic/Latino youth.
  • Sarah Williams, a Forsyth County resident, was awarded the $1,500 scholarship for any adult looking to further their education.
  • Josephine Hill, a Reynolds High School senior, won a $1,500 youth scholarship.

Adult programs and presentations

The Center worked with many non-profits groups this year, including Goodwill, Circles of Winston Salem, Relatives as Professional Parents (RAPP), Sunnyside Ministries and the Enterprise Center. Forty-four workshops were held with over 520 individuals reached.

Included in this is the Journey Program through the Center's partnership with Goodwill. In 2014, twelve Goodwill employees graduated from a 15 week program that includes financial education and individual financial consulting.

The Center also completed a series of workshops titled Only Way to Go at the Prosperity Center North, which served over eighty individuals. The program successfully combined work readiness, financial education, empowerment and motivation skills for the participants.

“This course showed me there were lots of places I needed to improve," shared Nancy, who completed the program. "I thought I had it together until I found out how many spending leaks I had. I found I was wasting money eating out even though I love to cook. At the time I took the Only Way to Go program, I was homeless, a situation I had never been in before. I found a job during the time I was taking the course, as a Certified Nursing Assistant and I am still employed seven months later. I also recently moved into my own new apartment."


The Center depends on its volunteers to assist in delivering its programs. Volunteers logged over 1,500 hours supporting the Center in 2014. Currently, the Center has over forty volunteers and more are needed to work with school children and teens during the day.

Betty Ann was involved in the creation of the Center for Smart Financial Choices in 2011. Betty Ann volunteered to serve as Interim Director while working full-time as an Executive Assistant to the CEO of a Winston Salem, NC credit union. Betty Ann is passionate about helping people by providing financial education, giving them choices and assisting them to change their behaviors.

Betty Ann’s previous business experience includes working as a consultant to a variety of non-profit boards and running her own small business. This non-profit background enabled her to qualify to manage the Center and help accomplish its mission ‘to empower all individuals to achieve financial wellness through all stages of life’.

As a teenager, she volunteered to help students learn to read, helped raise her five brothers and sisters and eventually became the mother of five children. Teaching her siblings and children reinforced her desire to educate young people. Prior to moving to North Carolina in 2006, Falkner served as the Columbia-Greene Workforce Investment Board Director for six years and was very active with their Youth Council. Betty Ann believes that learning should be fun, a part of everyday life and continue for a lifetime.

Tags:  Principle Five  The Center for Smart Financial Choices 

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