(Editor's note: Zach deMoya, a 2015 CUaware Protégé Competition Finalist, is organizing a CUaware Council in Columbia. Zach serves as a lending assistant for Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union.)
|"As credit union professionals we all may represent
different organizations, but should share the same
passion and zeal to strengthen the financial wellness
of all those we serve and work together to spread the
good message of the credit union difference."
Credit union professionals from a variety of Columbia-area credit unions gathered together for the first time for the launch event for CUaware Columbia on August 24th at Liberty Tap Room in downtown Columbia. The goal of this event was to promote unity and collaboration among our local credit unions to better serve our members and advocate the credit union difference more prominently in the Columbia-area.
This event served as an informal way for those interested in being a part of the movement to connect with one another and start forming relationships that will hopefully be the building blocks to a much larger, unified effort at truly cooperating with one another to be people helping people.
Roughly thirty-five to forty individuals representing five credit unions and the Carolinas Credit Union League, in addition to representation from our local partner Enterprise, came together for a night of fun, fellowship, and networking. I had the privilege of getting to spearhead the organization of the night, and heard nothing but positive feedback from attendees and a shared desire to continue to gather together and take our group out into the community to make a more concerted effort at bettering our city.
I got to witness both friendships being built and ideas and feedback being shared amongst individuals coming from various credit unions. This was extremely cool to watch considering one of the ultimate goals of CUaware is to learn, share, and grow together, and work to cooperate rather than be in competition with one another for the same members.
As credit union professionals we all may represent different organizations, but should share the same passion and zeal to strengthen the financial wellness of all those we serve and work together to spread the good message of the credit union difference.
The overwhelming takeaway from the night was a spirit of wanting to work together as a team to grow the CUaware movement and continue to build long-lasting collaboration among our local credit unions. Our next event will be at a to-be-determined location in early April, with more of a focus on being present out in the community through service and advocacy. Especially if you are a part of a Columbia-area credit union team, but even if outside the area, I would strongly encourage you to be a part of your local CUAware chapter and work to make our credit unions stronger and carry a more powerful message, both internally and externally in your local communities.
For more information on CUaware Columbia, feel free to contact me and I would love for you to be a part of our growing movement!
Born and raised in Lexington, S.C., Zach deMoya graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s in education. He has a passion for financial planning and aspires to provide financial counseling to high-risk areas. He also encourages the movement as whole to take a deeper look at this often underserved demographic.