The CUaware Blog
Blog Home All Blogs
The goal of the CUaware Council is to informally introduce all levels of credit union employees (and industry folks) to the CU Movement so we can all learn, share and grow. Here is where we will share personal insights on subjects related to the credit union movement, career development, industry expertise, CUaware events, and more. Subscribe today to be notified each time we post. Happy Reading!


Search all posts for:   


Top tags: CUaware  Protégé  career development  Mentorship  Podcast  Coastal Credit Union  learn  networking  Protégé and Beyond  volunteerism  Carolinas Credit Union Foundation  CUaware Protégé Mentor program  SC Federal CU  advocacy  Credit Union Development Educators  CUDE  Greenville FCU  Heritage Trust FCU  Local Government FCU  Piedmont Chapter  SC State Credit Union  SC Telco FCUCoastal Credit Union  SECU  Upstate Chapter  young professionals 

Latest CUaware Podcast episode interviews CUNA’s Kristin Ryan on career development

Posted By CUaware, Thursday, April 18, 2019

In the latest episode of the CUaware Podcast, Coastal CU’s Phil Kadzielawski sits down virtually with CUNA’s Kristin Ryan to talk about professional development (especially for young professionals), and how the training and conferences CUNA organizes can facilitate growth.

CUNA's Kristin Ryan
Kristin Ryan
Director of Learning Events, CUNA

Kristin is the director of learning events for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Her responsibilities include designing and developing educational leadership programs for CUNA as well as the strategic operation of the Creating Member Loyalty™ sales culture development system. She also leads the CUNA Young Professionals Committee who has developed offerings for young professionals in the credit union industry. Specifically, Kristin and the team created the National Young Professionals Conference as well as the Emerging Leader Award.

In the interview, Kristin shares tips on how young professionals in the credit union movement can advocate for their personal and career development, especially when budgeting for education is limited.

“You must always stay hungry for education and it is out there,” Kristin exclaims. “Some suggestions I would say are online sessions like [CUNA’s] Emerging Leaders Youth School. Another opportunity is to look in your area—check local. Does your league offer training? Leagues usually have very affordable options. Also check for scholarships.”

Listen to the episode today to hear more of Kristin’s insight on how to grow in the credit union movement, set goals for yourself, and be a greater impact at your own credit union and community.

The CUaware Podcast is available on or on iTunes. Lastly, if you have a podcast topic or suggestion, please contact Phil or Jeff Hardin using the email links on the podcast page.

Tags:  career development  Coastal Credit Union  CUaware  Podcast  young professionals 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Jordan Webb named Piedmont Chapter’s CUaware Protégé

Posted By CUaware, Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Jordan Webb, Piedmont Protege

Jordan Webb, a senior financial services officer with State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU), was named the Piedmont Chapter’s CUaware Protégé on Thursday, December 6, 2018. Webb will go on to the CUaware Protégé Competition finals at the LAUNCH Conference Jan. 31 – Feb. 1, 2019 in Charlotte, NC.

Webb and fellow candidates Darien Bolden (Charlotte Metro FCU), Jasmine Davis (Carolinas Telco FCU), and Ruth Fujino (Family Trust FCU) represented their respective credit unions at the Piedmont Chapter event at Truliant Federal Credit Union in Charlotte, NC. Each contestant made a five-minute presentation in front of a judging panel and credit union professionals in attendance. The contestants were also scored on a one-page essay that they submitted as part of the application process.

Webb joined SECU in 2013 and aspires to “become the best SECU employee possible.” One of his goals is to complete his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation and continue to grow at the credit union. He is a graduate of East Carolina University with a Master of Science in Applied Resource Economics. Some of his other achievements include being an accredited financial counselor and volunteering in the United States Peace Corps.

In his spare time, he enjoys reading, writing, math and participating in competitive running.

He joins Columbia Chapter Protégé Amy Coggins, Lowcountry Chapter Protégé Cierra Faubert, Upstate Chapter Protégé Meaghan King,  and Tarheel Chapter Protégé Barbara Mojica Arzate in the completed lineup of finalists moving forward in the competition.

a collage of the piedmont event on 120618

Tags:  career development  CUaware  Piedmont Chapter  Protégé  SECU 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Protégé & Beyond: Will Crosswell finds his CU road map through Protégé Competition

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Thursday, November 29, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, November 28, 2018

In 2012, Will Crosswell heard about a newly-announced competition taking place on the state level through CEO Starla Shelton, who encouraged Crosswell to get involved and enter. New to Palmetto First FCU, the credit union movement and to business development, Crosswell declined--or rather deferred--the opportunity until 2013 so he could focus on his new job.

In the following year, Crosswell thought the timing right to enter the Palmetto Protégé and he would go on to win both the Pee Dee Chapter and the Finals Competition in 2013. Crosswell reflected on his journey in the latest installment of the Protégé & Beyond blog series with Phil Kadzielawski and Sara Portis.

Though he remembers the finals competition being somewhat of a blur at the time, he distinctly remembers "calling an audible" as he approached the podium to make his presentation. "I said, yeah, I'm not going to read this," Crosswell recalled. "I'm just going to go by memory because I had done it so often at that point I think even my wife could recite it back to me."

Having secured the Protégé title, Crosswell shared that for him, the journey was just beginning. He and Dr. Troy Hall (SC Federal) entered into a mentoring relationship in the year that followed. This mentoring relationship was the genesis of the CUaware Protégé Mentor program, which has gone on to become a key professional development opportunity for credit union young professionals and managers across the Carolinas. 

Looking back on that experience, Crosswell notes that the impulse to create the mentor program came from a recognition that there was a wider credit union community that young professionals could benefit from networking into, whether or not they won the competition. "There's some great leaders that were part of the competition that didn't win," he shared. "So it's to still try to find some ways to keep these leaders ... connected to C-level type mentors."

Crosswell said that being mentored by Hall opened some doors and his eyes to what credit unions could offer. "I didn't have that road map before. That's that sweet spot for each of us where our jobs transform into careers." Having recently joined the credit union movement from the political world, discovering this road map was foundational to his future success.  

That road map led Crosswell from Florence up Interstate 95 to Philadelphia, PA where he serves as VP of sales and service for the $650-million Ardent CU. Although time and his credit union journey have transported him away from the Carolinas, he says he still keeps his Palmetto Protégé trophy in his office and it is a proud part of his career story.

Crosswell's advice to current CUaware Protégé Finals Competition participants is to "have a blast" and be yourself. He also points out that by competing, you're no longer a 'future leader'. "If you're stepping forward now, you're a leader," he concludes.


Special Thanks to our Featured Protégé!

Will Crosswell is the vice president of service and sales for Ardent Credit Union in Philadelphia, PA. A graduate of Clemson University, he got his start in the credit union industry working in business development at Palmetto First FCU in 2011.

In 2013, Will earned the CUaware Protégé title and later went on to pilot the CUaware Mentor Program.

Tags:  career development  CUaware  CUaware Protégé Mentor program  Mentorship  Podcast  Protégé  Protégé and Beyond 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Cierra Faubert named Lowcountry Chapter CUaware Protégé

Posted By CUaware, Thursday, November 1, 2018
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2018

Cierra Faubert, Lowcountry Protege

Cierra Faubert, a member service representative with Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union (HTFCU), was named the Lowcountry Chapter’s CUaware Protégé on Tuesday, October 30, 2018. Faubert will go on to the CUaware Protégé Competition finals at the LAUNCH Conference Jan. 31 – Feb. 1, 2019 in Charlotte, NC.

Faubert and fellow candidate Chelsea King (SC Federal CU) represented their respective credit unions at the Lowcountry Chapter event at the North Charleston Marriott in N. Charleston, SC. Each contestant made a five-minute presentation in front of a judging panel and credit union professionals in attendance. The contestants were also scored on a one-page essay that they submitted as part of the application process.

Faubert joined HTFCU in 2016 and aspires to become a branch manager so she can continue membership growth and employee talent development at the credit union. She is a graduate of Plattsburgh State University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary/Special Ed K-6 and minor in Mathematics. Faubert is a recipient of the credit union’s All-Star Award and is currently enrolled in HTFCU’s Lighthouse University, which provides continuous learning opportunities for all credit union employees.

In her spare time, she enjoys working on community outreach projects for the credit union that make a difference for others and spending quality time with her family.

She joins Columbia Chapter Protégé Amy Coggins, Upstate Chapter Protégé Meaghan King, and Tarheel Chapter Protégé Barbara Mojica Arzate in the lineup of finalists moving forward in the competition, with others to be determined in the weeks ahead. Click here to see the upcoming events.

a collage of the lowcountry event on 103018

Tags:  career development  CUaware  Heritage Trust FCU  learn  networking  Protégé  SC Federal CU 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Apply today for the 2019 CUaware Protégé Mentor program!

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Applications for the 2019 CUaware Protégé Mentor program are being accepted through November 30! Credit union staff and volunteers in North Carolina and South Carolina are encouraged to apply.

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 program is helpful for young professionals who are charting their credit union careers, as well as established professionals looking to take stock of their career with the assistance of an outside voice. As such, there are no age requirements for mentees.

In 2018, more than 30 professionals of all ages have been paired with a credit union mentor! The 2019 program will get started with a workshop event on January 31 in Charlotte, one day prior to the LAUNCH Conference

You may learn more about the program by going to the CUaware Protégé Mentor program. Specific guidelines, application forms and key program dates are available here for mentors and here for mentees. Please contact Jeff Hardin (919-457-9063) if you have any questions.

Tags:  career development  CUaware  CUaware Protégé Mentor program  Mentorship  Protégé 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
Page 1 of 4
1  |  2  |  3  |  4
Contact Us


323 West Jones Street
Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27603

800-822-8859 Phone
919-573-0474 Fax


508 Hampton Street
Suite 300
Columbia, SC 29201

800-822-8859 Phone
803-732-4268 Fax

More about our locations