LAUNCH 2019, Foundation Awards Gala inspire, re-energize
Thursday, February 7, 2019
The Carolinas Credit Union League hosted its third annual LAUNCH conference January 31 - February 1, 2019, in Charlotte, NC. Over 290 attendees and 100 vendors attended the two-day event. Thursday’s activities included Small and Mid-Size Credit Union Roundtables and the CUaware Protégé Mentor Workshop.
Friday morning kicked off with the CUaware Protégé Competition Finals, where five young professionals from the Carolinas vied for the title of “2019 Protégé.” Visits to the vendor hall, educational sessions, and networking filled the rest of the day. Pictures from the events can be found in CCUL’s photo gallery.
Held in conjunction with LAUNCH, the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation’s annual Awards Gala was a night filled with inspirational stories of social responsibility, collaborative community impact, and individual dedication to this remarkable industry.
The night began with a reception sponsored by Truliant Federal Credit Union where credit union friends mixed and mingled. Dinner was sponsored by Local Government Federal Credit Union and served after an invocation from Maurice Smith. Carolinas Foundation President Lauren Whaley followed with remarks touting the Foundation's accomplishments in 2018 made possible by the generosity of time, energy, and financial support from the Carolinas credit union system. When sharing successes of the Foundation’s fund management services, Whaley noted “we are your partner in philanthropy and are committed to helping your credit union make a greater impact in your communities.”
Before welcoming the emcee, Whaley closed with the hopeful sentiment that the attendees could walk away feeling inspired and lucky to work in such a locally-focused, thoughtful, and dedicated industry.
Creighton Blackwell, CUDE and vice president of corporate affairs and community engagement at Coastal Credit Union, served as the night’s emcee. Blackwell recognized each recipient in the Desjardins, Dora Maxwell, and Louise Herring categories, and introduced the 2018 Hero Honorees. Award videos are linked below.
North Carolina singer and songwriter Jonathan Byrd provided entertainment and details on his own philanthropic ambitions. In addition to his path to help build an arts program at the North Carolina School for the Deaf, Byrd helps promote a non-profit called Guitarists for Good, started by LGFCU Event Manager Sandy Green. This organization brings the love of music into homeless shelters by gifting guitars. Byrd sold merchandise at the gala and donated 100% of the proceeds to Guitarists for Good. A total of $650 was raised thanks to the thoughtfulness of attendees.
The Hero Honorees portion of the awards was broadcasted live on the CCUL Facebook page. More photos from the Foundation’s Awards Gala and LAUNCH 2019 can be found in the community photo gallery.