(Editor's note: Amanda Crawford, the marketing manager at Carolina Foothills FCU, attended the Winter DE program in Chapel Hill, NC in January. Amanda shares her thoughts about CUDE and the role of credit unions in the financial system.)
|Amanda Crawford (second from right) is pictured at her CUDE graduation with Lois Kitsch (National CU Foundation), Sue Douglas (State Employees' CU) and Gerry Singleton (CUNA Mutual Group). |
"Amanda, do you want to go to CUDE
?” "Sure” I said with hesitation in my voice because I didn’t really
know what DE was. But that would change
my whole outlook on how I do my job and how I look at the credit union industry
as a whole.
My DE experience was amazing, fun
filled, enlightening and something I will never forget. I went in not
knowing what I had gotten myself into but came out with a brand new outlook on
what we are here for as credit union professionals! Learning the core operating principles of why credit unions were created changed the way I look
at day-to-day practices. I was fortunate enough to have Sue Douglas from
State Employees' CU as my mentor. She
was a great mentor and a wealth of knowledge.
She drove our group to really think outside the box and to look at the credit union movement with different eyes.
Credit unions were created with a social purpose and if we lose that, we
lose our identity as credit unions. I believe that everyone from the
tellers to CEOs should experience DE so that they can witness the real
differences of a credit union and bank. Unfortunately, I think we as CU
professionals rest on the statement of "we have lower loan rates, high dividend
rates and great service” when people ask what is the difference in credit
unions and banks; an as credit unions we are so much more than that!
Another highlight was learning the "secret DE handshake” (my other DE
counterparts will get that)!
Amanda Crawford was born in Greenville, SC on July 31, 1982. Raised in Taylors, SC, Amanda graduated
from Greenville Technical College in 2006 with a AA in Graphic Design. She began
working for Liberty Federal Credit Union right out of high school in 2000,
found her way to Carolina Foothills FCU in March of 2001, and while finishing her
degree worked as a teller. After finishing her degree, Amanda was
hired in the marketing department as the marketing assistant and in 2008 was
given the opportunity to become the marketing manager.
Amanda says she loves being involved in the community and providing financial
education. She is currently involved with Junior Achievement in the
Upstate and American Cancer Society. Amanda participated in the 2013
SCCUL (now CUaware) Protégé competition as the Upstate Representative. Amanda currently serves as CUaware’s Communications Director. She received her CUDE designation in January 2014! Amanda says she loves her credit union, the
movement it represents ... as well as the Clemson Tigers!