CCUL Headlines: Professional Development

Six NC/SC professionals named in 2018 CUaware Protégé Competition

Thursday, January 11, 2018   (0 Comments)
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COLUMBIA, S.C. and RALEIGH, N.C. — Six regional chapters of credit unions across the Carolinas have selected their respective candidates for the 2018 CUaware Protégé Competition, recognizing emerging professionals and supporting the employment and membership opportunities credit unions provide. The six finalists will vie for selection as the dual-state Protégé finalist February 1-2 at Carolinas Credit Union Connect in Charlotte, NC.

Chapter winners in the 2017-18 cycle are:

Columbia Chapter
Mike Ramos
Lowcountry Chapter
Katie Warren

Northwest Chapter
Kiah Tyndall

Piedmont Chapter
Sara Foster

Upstate Chapter
Thomas Lentz
Tarheel Chapter
Sara Portis

Mike Ramos (Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union), representing the Columbia Chapter; Katie Warren (Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union), representing the Lowcountry Chapter; Kiah Tyndall (Winston-Salem Federal Credit Union), representing the Northwest Chapter; Sara Foster (Charlotte Metro Credit Union), representing the Piedmont Chapter; Thomas Lentz (Greenville Federal Credit Union), representing the Upstate Chapter; and Sara Portis (Coastal Credit Union) representing the Tarheel Chapter.

Chapter candidates were judged on credit union knowledge, communication skills, personality, and professional appearance through an essay and oral presentation format. All candidates that participated at the chapter-level were also invited to enroll in CUaware’s Protégé Mentor program, which pairs them with experienced credit union executives for a mutually beneficial year-long exchange of ideas and perspectives.

At the finals, candidates will present their oral presentations in front of the Connect audience and a judging panel, in addition to testing their credit union knowledge through a brief onsite exam.

The 2018 CUaware Protégé winner will have a position on the CUaware Council. His or her responsibilities, coordinated by CUaware, may include:

  • Presentations at various League chapter meetings on his or her background, experience, CUaware, and the CUaware Protégé programs;
  • Participation in the CCUL Annual Meeting or Connect Conference as a secondary presenter and CUaware advocate; and/or
  • Assist in facilitating CUaware events.

The winner and two runners-up will have their choice of these developmental scholarships.

  • Southeast CUNA Management School – One – year registration, valued at more than $1,600 (requires commitment to three-year program)
  • CCUL Hike the Hill (Washington, DC) – Full participation including airfare and lodging, valued at $1,100
  • Financial Counseling Certification + Webinar Voucher – Includes program tuition and a $600 webinar voucher (total value around $1,500).
  • Principles & Philosophy Conference + Webinar Voucher – Includes conference tuition, two nights lodging, meals, and a $600 webinar voucher (total value around $1,300).
Full biographies on each candidate can be found on the CUaware Protégé Competition webpage under “Meet the Finalists.” For questions, please contact CCUL’s Courtney Jackson ( or Jeff Hardin (

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