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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 podcast: CCNC's Emily Nail and the blockchain bit

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, July 11, 2018

So, what did you do on your summer vacation? “CUaware Podcast” co-hosts Paul Narcisse and Phil Kadzielawski have returned with episode nine, which was recorded after both spent time away from the office. Narcisse enjoyed a two-week vacation, while Kadzielawski went to summer camp!

Kadzielawski's journey to the shores of White Lake, NC served as the launching point into episode nine, which featured an interview with Emily Nail of the NC Cooperative Council. Emily shared the history of the Council as well as its programs, which include Cooperative Leadership Camp.

Held at the FFA Camp at White Lake, CLC is an annual event for high school teens, which combines learning about cooperatives in a fun, engaging atmosphere. CLC is one of several programs of the Council, which traces its roots to farm co-ops in the 1930s. Nail's interview about CLC and the Council begins at the four minute mark.  

The podcast pivots at the 32-minute mark to the blockchain bit. Phil and Paul discuss the three types of blockchains: public, private and permissioned. You can check it all out by hitting play above or by going to the episode page on Soundcloud at

You can learn more about camp by clicking here and the Cooperative Council by heading to its website.

Got a topic or suggestion for a future podcast episode? Please contact Paul, Phil or Jeff Hardin using the email links on the podcast page.

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Six Carolinas staff earn CUDE designation

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Monday, June 25, 2018
Updated: Monday, June 25, 2018

Forty-seven credit union professionals, including six from the Carolinas, 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 DE training was held May 30 - June 5, 2018 at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis.

Megan Bell (Duke FCU), David Brehmer (Vizo Financial Corporate CU), Barbara Demarest (Truliant FCU), Joy Manley (CULIANCE), Anthony Norman Jr (Local Government FCU), and Wil Spears (Coastal CU) were among the people who successfully earned the CUDE designation. "DE was one of the most impactful and eye-opening training experiences I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of," Norman shared. "I left DE with a renewed sense of purpose, drive and commitment to my Credit Union and the CU movement. I now understand that the work I do supports the ability of the CU to be a sustainable resource for our membership throughout their lives.”

DE Training provides critical lessons in cooperative principles, credit union philosophy and international development issues while incorporating challenges credit unions face today. During the week-long program, participants were involved in group exercises, field trips, discussions with speakers from around the credit union system, and were required to complete team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations in any given area.

More than 100 people from South Carolina and North Carolina hold the DE designation from the National Credit Union Foundation. Their passion for cooperation and dedication to service has led to the creation of the Reality of Money simulation for high school students, as well as the annual Principles and Philosophy Conference

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2018 Principles & Philosophy Conference registration open, scholarships available

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 2018

"I have been in the financial industry for over 25 years, in commercial banking regulation, consulting commercial banks and credit unions all over the country and now back to the regulatory side for credit unions. I have over 1,400 hours of training in the industry and have never attended a class that focused on the true nature and purpose, and history of the industry as this one." -- 2017 conference attendee

Registration for the 2018 Principles & Philosophy Conference is now open! The event, which educates credit union professionals about the cooperative business model, as well as the principles of and key historical figures in credit unions, takes place October 23-25 at the Caraway Conference Center (Sophia, NC). 

 The conference, now in its ninth year, is a volunteer-driven initiative of the Carolinas Credit Union League and Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) in North Carolina and South Carolina. Seating for the event is limited and prompt registration is encouraged.

"Credit unions are unique in the American financial system in that we balance the bottom line with social responsibility," noted Jeff Hardin, who coordinates the conference planning each year with the CUDE volunteers. "This conference hones in on what social purpose means for credit unions and why it's an important part of our future growth and sustainability." 

Tuition for this event is $650 and is all-inclusive (two nights' lodging, all meals and conference materials). A limited number of scholarships are also available for staff at credit unions of $125-million in assets and under. Click here to download the application form.

To register for this event, please click here. If you have questions about the conference or scholarship opportunities, please contact Jeff Hardin (919-457-9063).

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CUaware Protégé Mentor program kicks off educational series

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The CUaware Protégé Mentor program kicked off its online educational series of events this week with an informative session on planning a successful "shadow day" between Mentors and Protégés. Past and current participants in the program shared their tips and insights on how to successfully plan an in-person visit for the benefit of the Protégé.

The CUaware Protégé Mentor program connects professionals with a mentor at another credit union for a period of one year. Through a process that is collaboratively designed by the mentor and protégé, a plan and goals are developed, and a strategy for maintaining regular contact is created.

The shadow day is an optional part of the program, but has been shown to amplify the learning outcomes for both the Protégé and Mentor. The panelists on the call included Andrew Hall (Heritage Trust FCU), Sandon Nachmann (Coastal CU), Genice DeCorte (HealthShare CU) and Koy Stone (SC Telco FCU).  All four relayed their experiences in planning shadow days and offered tips on how to make them a success.

This is the first of four such educational sessions in the program year. Their purpose is to enhance outcomes in the program and to offer skills training to especially young professionals in the credit union movement. An audio file of this week's session is available by clicking here.

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CUaware Podcast: New episode focuses on blockchain, Real Talk with Dr. Troy

Posted By Courtney Jackson, Thursday, May 31, 2018

“CUaware Podcast” co-hosts Paul Narcisse and Phil Kadzielawski have returned with a new episode for May that takes listeners on a deeper dive into blockchain technology and how it may be used in the U.S. election process.

Referencing an article from NPR, Phil notes how the U.S. election system is still vulnerable to cyber-attacks and how blockchain technology has the potential to deter these kinds of attacks in the future while restoring voter confidence.

An illustration of the differences between a traditional database and blockchain. Source: Faizod 

“A proper blockchain solution for voting, would be a trustless immutable ledger that would lead to increased confidence,” shares Kadzielawski. “By moving voting to blockchain solutions, there would be no single third-party…that holds the one copy of our records. Blockchain is itself, a transparent ledger of information.”

What is a “trustless” immutable ledger, you may ask? Find out more by listening to the "Blockchain Bit" at the 7:05 mark.

Later in the episode, South Carolina Federal Credit Union’s Troy Hall returns to get into the “meat and potatoes” of mentoring through the prism of his success model in the “Real Talk with Dr. Troy” segment.

In part one of five in this segment, Troy focuses on the first ground rule in the mentoring success model: Declaring the mentee/mentor relationship as a collaboration between two people. An agreement where both parties acknowledge they need each other. Often times, it can be perceived that the mentor doesn’t get much out of the experience but Dr. Troy cautions against that kind of thinking.

“As a leader, one of the important characteristics of leadership is to be teachable,” shares Hall. “I have to enter the space saying ‘I have more to learn than just my 10,000 hours of practice.’ Think about it, how awkward would it be going into a relationship where the other person doesn’t need you? That doesn’t even make sense.”

Hear more from “Real Talk with Dr. Troy” at the 22:28 mark.

The full podcast episode is available on CUaware’s podcast page or on iTunes here. Lastly, if you have a podcast topic or suggestion, please contact Paul, Phil or Jeff Hardin using the email links on the podcast page.

Tags:  Coastal Credit Union  Coastal FCU  CUaware  CUaware Protégé  CUaware Protégé Mentor program  Podcast 

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