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Summit CU, Carolinas Foundation award education grants to 21 small credit unions

Wednesday, January 9, 2019   (3 Comments)
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Summit Credit Union in partnership with the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation recently awarded $20,000 in grants to 21 small credit unions in the Carolinas. Courtesy of the James V. and Elizabeth N. Hamilton Foundation, a legacy of Sis and Jim Hamilton, the grants fund professional development opportunities for employees from small credit unions with $50 million or less in assets. In total, the James V. and Elizabeth N. Hamilton Foundation contributed $100,000 to be reserved for this Professional Development Grant Program with $20,000 to be disbursed annually over the next five years.

Elizabeth "Sis" Hamilton
James "Jim" Hamilton 

The Carolinas Foundation opened the application process in October 2018 and received 21 grant applicants, all of whom were awarded funding of varying amounts using a formula based on assets and net worth.

After learning his credit union was selected to receive a grant, Pickens FCU President/CEO Clayton Kerr expressed how invaluable this grant will be for his employees. “Sometimes it is difficult to explain how smaller credit unions have to watch every dime we handle. In some cases, a decision has to be made whether to pay for training or pay for a piece of failing equipment, or simple branch needs, or a vendor’s price increase. This grant will help us tremendously and allow us to provide needed training for our employees. I will make sure that we use this to the fullest so that all of our employees will benefit from this generous gift.”

“This is very exciting news,” exclaimed HealthShare CU CEO Genice DeCorte after finding out her credit union also received a grant. “A special thank you to Sis Hamilton!”

This year’s grant recipients include:

  • 1st Cooperative FCU
  • Abbeville Community FCU
  • Acclaim FCU
  • Brookland FCU
  • C.O. FCU
  • Charleston County Teachers FCU
  • Emerald CA FCU
  • First Legacy Community CU
  • G.H.S. FCU
  • Greenwood Municipal FCU
  • Health Facilities FCU
  • HealthShare CU
  • Lincoln National FCU
  • Pickens FCU
  • SC Methodist Conference CU
  • Self Memorial Hospital FCU
  • Shaw University FCU
  • TCP CU
  • TRMC Employees' CU
  • Vision Financial FCU

“Sis Hamilton was an innovator in supporting the unique legacy found in small credit unions,” said Summit CU President/CEO Sam Whitehurst. “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 legacy. Summit Credit Union is proud to support this effort in their memory.”

Carolinas Credit Union League SVP, Credit Union Resources LaTasha Cooper echoed Whitehurst’s remarks. “Cost-effective training and networking are essential to help credit union staff and volunteers develop the skills and relationships they need to succeed. Thanks to the financial support of Summit Credit Union and the Elizabeth N. and James V. Hamilton Foundation, the award recipients will be able to honor Sis and Jim’s legacy as they enhance operations, grow their knowledge and better serve their members.”

To learn more about this grant program, contact Carolinas Credit Union Foundation President Lauren Whaley at or 919-600-8219.


LaKeisha Moore says...
Posted Thursday, January 10, 2019
That is absolutely wonderful!
Glenn Kirk says...
Posted Thursday, January 10, 2019
When was the last time a bank set up an educational scholarship program for employees at other banks? It's nice to be a part of the credit union community.
Keisha Watson says...
Posted Thursday, January 10, 2019
On behalf of TRMC Employees' CU, we are very grateful to be a recipient of this grant, along with being apart of this prestigious legacy of the Hamiltons. Thank you so much for the afforded opportunity to help all of us be more of a help to our members by always providing top-notch training! Keisha Watson

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