Recently, the CUaware Council debuted its new blog series called "Protégé & Beyond." The series features interviews with former CUaware Protégé Competition
finalists, giving them a platform to share what they learned during and after the program.
In the latest podcast installment, hosts Sara Portis and Phil Kadzielawski of Coastal CU spent some time speaking with Koy Stone (SC Telco FCU).
Stone, who today serves as the risk and facilities manager at SC Telco, participated in the program in 2015.
Having previously worked for a bank, Stone says he viewed the Protégé Competition as a learning experience. "I wanted to become more aware of our history and philosophy. I knew there was a difference there, but I wanted to learn more," Stone said.
In the years since the competition, Stone notes that the networking and professional development opportunities he's participated in have been most valuable. These include chapter events and League programs such as the CUaware Protégé Mentor program.
At the time Stone applied for the Mentor program, he was a branch manager at SC Telco. In his application, he expressed interest in learning about project management and was paired with a project manager at Coastal CU. "I was able to take a lot away from that," he said of the experience. He added that participating in the Mentor program lead to his current role at the SC Telco, where he uses project management principles regularly. "Not only did it show my senior management that I had the capability of doing it, but it also showed that I had an interest," he said.
In reflecting on the lessons he learned, Stone offered several pieces of advice for contestants in this year's competition. "Everybody wins," he shared, even if you do not win or even make it to the finals. "You've had the experience where you could put together thoughts and a well-prepared paper and present them in front of your peers. No one can take that away from you."
Stone concluded with the idea that the competition is a safe space to challenge yourself and grow. "It's an amazing opportunity. If I could do it again, I would."
Special Thanks to our Featured Protégé!
Koy Stone is the Risk and Facilities Manager for SC Telco FCU in Greenville, SC. He has worked in the financial services industry for over 12 years, and he finished as the first runner-up in the 2015 CUaware Protégé competition. After the contest, Koy chose to attend the Southeastern CUNA Management School where he graduated in June of 2018. While attending this school, Koy competed on the debate team and he won awards for the ‘Best 2nd Year Project’ and the ‘Best 3rd Year White Paper’. Koy has been married to his wife, Amy, for 10 years and they have two children, Julianne and Nolan.