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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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CUaware groups host successful educational events

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Monday, April 13, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, April 14, 2015

With a spotlight on education in the first quarter, the CUaware Councils in North Carolina and South Carolina engaged hundreds of credit union professionals. The following are recaps of the events provided by the councils to the League.

CUaware Low Country


Troy Hall (South Carolina FCU) and Jeff Hardin (CCUL) at the
CUaware Low Country event March 10.

More than 45 credit union staff from credit unions in the Low Country gathered March 10 for a session focused on credit union principles & philosophy. Jeff Hardin, the director of cooperative initiatives for the Carolinas Credit Union League, facilitated the session. Troy Hall (South Carolina FCU) who serves as the chapter president, opened with inspirational remarks focused on embracing a vision that is larger than yourself.

Each person at the meeting was encouraged to research their credit union's origin story ahead of time,and these histories were shared with the larger group. Many of the credit unions represented began with fewer than 10 members, and have gone on to serve much larger member bases than at the beginning.

Hardin gave a brief history and Seven Cooperative Principles lesson to the audience, which then discussed one principle at their table and shared their key discussion points with the audience. Table groups were assigned in order to get people from different credit unions together to mix and mingle.

The group also shared how their credit unions continue to honor these founding principles. In a follow-up survey, one attendee remarked that it was great that “early credit union movement history was shared. So often younger staff do not hear why the movement started.” Overall it was a fun, engaging hour of self-discovery about the principles that make credit unions special!

CUaware Triad


Sue Douglas (State Employees' CU) facilitated a
presentation on the Seven Cooperative Principles at the
CUaware Triad meeting.

The Triad Council also focused on Credit Union Principles & Philosophy. Sue Douglas of State Employees' Credit Union facilitated the educational event at the lunch meeting, which was held March 19. A record 50 credit union professionals attended this inspiring lunch and learn session.

The Triad attendees began by breaking into small groups and discussing how credit unions differ from banks. These key differences and discussion points  were then shared with the larger group.  

Douglas then defined what a cooperative is, gave examples of well-known cooperatives, and discussed credit unions as financial cooperatives.

The session also included a guided tour through the Seven Cooperative Principles, and a closing discussion around some key questions for the audience to consider. Central to this discussion was what credit unions are doing to honor the principles - and what they might need to change.

CUaware Triangle

The Triangle Council joined forces with the Tarheel Chapter to host an educational event focused on credit union philosophy in action. Mark Curran, President/CEO of Lion's Share FCU, shared the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation's new partnership with Victory Junction. Called REACH, the project connects credit union staff with children at local hospitals in both Carolinas. Curran, who has volunteered at Victory Junction for many years, shared the impact the camp as on kids and their families, while encouraging credit unions to get involved with REACH. It's a unique partnership that will provide a fun and uplifting volunteer event for credit unions, while brightening the day of kids and families going through tough times. You can see more about REACH in the video at left.

The group also heard from 2014 CUaware Tarheel Chapter Protégé Jennifer Moore (Local Government FCU) about the impact the Protégé program has made on her life and career. Moore's account was timely since the chapter announced it is once again participating in the CUaware Protégé Competition this year!

Jeff Hardin and Ashley Ruffin (Local Government FCU) also shared opportunities for volunteering abroad with credit unions through the programs of the World Council. Ruffin & Hardin recapped their experiences from a trip they made to Mexico nearly three years ago.

About 40 people from the Triangle region attended the informative presentations.

CUaware PeeDee

The PeeDee Council hosted a panel discussion sharing a variety of credit union perspectives and opportunities. Robert Harris, President/CEO of Health Faclities FCU, shared his personal history of working in the financial services sector. Harris inspired the group by sharing why credit unions were the best fit for him after working in banks and other service providers. 

Brandon Pugh, the CCUL VP of PR/communications, shared the programs of the Carolinas Credit Union League. Pugh was joined by Jeff Hardin on the panel, who focused on opportunities for credit union staff to learn about Credit Union Principles & Philosophy. Hardin also shared updates about how new co-ops are forming to address the issue of access to healthy sources of food for low-wealth communities.

Upcoming Events

CUaware will turn the spotlight to volunteerism in the months ahead. Plans are being made by councils to organize volunteer initiatives. If you would like to get involved or find out more information, please contact Jeff Hardin or Brandon McAdams. Please click here to see the 2015 CUaware calendar. 

 

     

 

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CUaware Charleston group names regional council representatives

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, January 07, 2015

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

The Charleston CUaware group named four credit union professionals to serve as regional council members this week. Corey Pace and Stephanie Ownby of South Carolina Federal Credit Union, as well as Amanda Brown & Steven Lattuca, both of Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union, will serve on the council. 

Regional council members provide local leadership and oversight, including planning events and coordination of all activities of the Charleston group. The CUaware groups throughout the Carolinas will follow a quarterly meeting schedule in 2015 as follows: 

March - education
May - volunteerism
July - networking
October - advocacy  

Elsewhere, CUaware regional councils are in the process of forming. If you are interested in participating in a regional council or need more information, please contact Brandon McAdams.

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Triad CUaware group puts on the tacky in Christmas gathering

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Triad Chapter of CUaware rang in the holidays with a Tacky Christmas gathering December 16. A total of 17 staff from Winston-Salem area credit unions attended the event, which was held at The Quiet Pint.

Using a bright red costume that included an elf hat and battery-powered sweater, Jarrod Hayworth of Piedmont Advantage CU took first prize for tackiest holiday costume. Hayworth's prize? Bragging rights in the upcoming year.

"We had a fun time and saw a lot of new faces," noted Jessica Morphies (Piedmont Advantage CU). "It was also a great opportunity to let folks know about what CUaware is planning in the upcoming year, and how they can get involved." 

Earlier this fall, the CUaware executive council approved its 2015 strategic plan and quarterly meeting schedule. The meetings will focus on the core areas of education, volunteerism, networking and advocacy. 

Active CUaware councils in both Carolinas will be planning these quarterly events. Additionally, local chapters may elect to have additional meetings through the year. "We're planning a January 15 kickoff event for the year in the Triad," shared Morphies. 

For more information about CUaware or to inquire about volunteer opportunities in your area, please contact Brandon McAdams.      

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CUaware announces 2015 meeting calendar, regional councils begin organizing

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Friday, November 21, 2014
Updated: Friday, November 21, 2014

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

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

CUaware representatives from North Carolina and South Carolina are proud to announce their meeting calendar for 2015 CUaware is a council of the Carolinas Credit Union League, and exists to fill a gap within the credit union industry: the very people that work in credit unions don’t know they work for the best kept secret! CUaware aims to informally introduce all levels of credit union employees to the CU Movement. 

In October, CUaware regional and executive council members selected four key focus areas for CUaware: education, advocacy, networking and volunteerism. Quarterly meetings will be held as follows:

March - education
May - volunteerism
July - networking
October - advocacy

All active councils of CUaware in the Carolinas will follow this meeting schedule in order to coordinate efforts and raise the overall visibility of CUaware. 

In addition to setting the meeting calendar up for the year, the regional councils are in the process of being organized for the upcoming year. Council members work together to plan local meetings and events through the year using the guidelines of the master calendar.

"This is a great time to get on board with CUaware by applying to join a regional council, or getting your credit union connected on the local level," said Brandon McAdams (Coastal FCU) the co-founder of CUaware. "The upcoming year will be a tremendous growth opportunity for us and we invite anyone who is interested to in CUaware's mission of learn. share. grow to join forces with us."  

If you are interested in regional council opportunities or need more information, please contact Brandon McAdams.

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Charleston-area CUaware group holds organizing meeting

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Thursday, November 20, 2014
Updated: Thursday, November 20, 2014

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


Representatives from SC Federal Credit Union and Latitude 32 Federal
Credit Union joined forces for the strategic planning and event
brainstorming session. For more event photos, please click here

Credit union representatives in the Charleston area held a strategic planning session, taking the first steps toward fleshing out a meeting calendar in 2015. The group, composed of representatives from SC Federal Credit Union and Latitude 32 Federal Credit Union, held the meeting Tuesday evening, November 18 in North Charleston.

CUaware, which is a council of the Carolinas Credit Union League, exists to fill a gap within the credit union industry: the very people that work in credit unions don’t know they work for the best kept secret! CUaware aims to informally introduce all levels of credit union employees to the CU Movement.

SC FCU COO Troy Hall facilitated the session, and provided the group with the overall CUaware plan for meetings in the upcoming year. CUaware chapters in the two Carolinas will hold a minimum of four meetings in 2015 and will focus their efforts in four key areas: education, advocacy, volunteerism and networking. These four focus areas were selected by CUaware representatives in a regional planning session at the end of October. 

Attendees of the Charleston event divided into four groups and brainstormed meeting ideas in each strategic focus area. Meetings and events will be selected from the brainstormed list and scheduled throughout the upcoming year.

"It was a huge first step in organizing the Charleston folks and everyone brought a lot of positive energy and great ideas to the table," shared Hall. "We look forward to sharing these first steps with credit unions in the Low Country and working in partnership to bring the CUaware chapter to life here in the months ahead."  

In addition to the Lowcountry event, CUaware representatives from North Carolina and South Carolina announced the meeting calendar for 2015 and assigned focus areas for each meeting. CUaware regional events will be focused on education in March, volunteerism in May, networking in July and advocacy in October. Read more about this development by clicking here.   

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