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Summit's Sis Hamilton's legacy lives on with small CU grants from the Carolinas Foundation

Wednesday, October 24, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Summit Credit Union is proud to announce its partnership with the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation to underwrite its Professional Development Grant Program for small credit unions that are $50 million or less in assets. One-hundred thousand dollars has been reserved for this program with $20,000 to be disbursed annually for the next five years. Support for this grant comes from the James V. and Elizabeth N. Hamilton Foundation, a legacy of Sis and Jim Hamilton.

“Sis Hamilton was an innovator in supporting the unique legacy found in small credit unions,” said Sam Whitehurst, president/CEO of Summit CU. “Sis and Jim wanted to help meet the educational and training needs of the staff and volunteers of small credit unions as part of their unique legacy. Summit Credit Union is proud to support this effort in their memory.”

Made possible by the generous support of Summit CU and the James V. and Elizabeth N. Hamilton Foundation, Carolinas Foundation President Lauren Whaley is honored to expand its current small credit union grant program to include more offerings for professional development. “I challenge all small credit unions to consider opportunities that will enhance operations, allow growth as an organization, and better serve their members.”

Small credit unions interested in attending professional development opportunities in 2019 should download and email the completed application to Lauren Whaley by December 14, 2018. New to the grant program is reimbursement for travel and accommodation expenses, up to a total allocated amount for each conference. The Foundation’s Professional Development Grant Committee will determine credit union winners by early 2019. Committee members include Whaley, Whitehurst, and Latasha Cooper, SVP of Credit Union Resources for the Carolinas Credit Union League.


About Sis and Jim Hamilton

Elizabeth "Sis" Hamilton
Elizabeth "Sis" N. Hamilton was just a teenager in 1943 when she became the Secretary of the Board of Directors for Tri-City Telco Credit Union, now Summit Credit Union. After 70 years of service, she retired from Summit Credit Union’s Board, thus making her the longest serving credit union volunteer in U.S. history.

Sis worked at Summit CU for 55 years as a manager and CEO before retiring from the position in 2003. She managed as many as five other credit unions while also managing Summit CU.

Sis has always been a trailblazer, holding volunteer leadership roles locally and nationally. Sis spent 12 years on the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) Council Board, 21 years on the CUNA Board, and 25 years on the North Carolina Credit Union League Board as the first female member.

Her career has earned her numerous accolades in the industry, including the 2003 prestigious Order of Longleaf Pine and the 2007 Larry Johnson Order of Merit Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest award presented to NC credit union leaders. In 2012 she was named North Carolina Credit Union Volunteer of the Year.

James "Jim" Hamilton

Her loving husband of 70 years, James V. Hamilton, was a WWII veteran who served in the Pacific. Jim, as most know him by, served as a financial advisor with Payne-Weber. So, like Sis, Jim made a career of helping people achieve personal financial success.

Both enjoyed traveling and working in the yard. Jim and Sis were lifelong learners and loved the credit union movement. Jim even wrote an essay on the credit union movement while attending Guilford College in 1953—maybe with a little help from Sis on the subject.

Sis Hamilton passed away on May 30, 2017 at the age of 92.


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