Colleagues, members and friends celebrate Piedmont Advantage’s Judy Tharp
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Credit union colleagues, members, family, and friends came together during Piedmont Advantage Credit Union’s Annual Meeting to celebrate the distinguished career of the credit union’s outgoing President/CEO Judy Tharp on Tuesday, April 16 in Winston-Salem, NC.
Tharp, who has a credit union career spanning 40 years, is set to retire on April 30, 2019.
Her credit union industry career began at age 22, serving as the first president/CEO of Cape Fear Employee Credit Union in 1979. She credits the work in her family business and earned degree from UNC-Wilmington Cameron School of Business for instilling the knowledge and experience needed to achieve her professional goals. Since then, she has served in executive positions for two billion-dollar credit unions in South Carolina and as an officer of CUNA Mutual Group.
By 2006, her leadership, innovative vision and results-driven business acumen brought her to Piedmont Advantage Credit Union, where she led the strategic growth and development of the $350 million credit union for the last thirteen years.
“Under Judy’s leadership our credit union was brought into the 21st century through modernization of systems, the availability of 24/7 online and mobile services and other convenience delivery channels,” said Piedmont Advantage Board Member Tom Mekis. “Judy led the organization through two mergers that provided economies of scale to increase efficiency, growing assets more than 100 million dollars – strengthening the commitment to our member-owners.”
Having a strong grasp of the industry’s cooperative principles, Tharp’s advocacy for the credit union movement led her to serve in various capacities for a wide variety of organizations including the Credit Union National Association, Credit Union Executive Society, the NCCUL (now Carolinas Credit Union League), VIZO Financial Corporate Credit Union, Carolinas Credit Union Service Corporation, and the UNCW Cameron School of Business Advisory Board.
“Judy’s reach and impact on the credit union system over her 40-year career is remarkable,” said Carolinas Credit Union League President/CEO Dan Schline. “There are many in the credit union movement who are going to miss her, including those at the League. Judy has been a tireless advocate for credit unions and a great partner with the League in advocating for credit unions in Raleigh and Washington, DC. We wish her the best in retirement!”
|Carolinas Credit Union Foundation President Lauren Whaley (left) with Judy Tharp at Piedmont Advantage Credit Union's Annual Meeting on April 16, 2019.
In addition to her years of leadership at Piedmont Advantage, Judy has served on the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation Board of Directors for nearly ten years. Subsequently, making Piedmont Advantage one of the most faithful and dedicated supporters of the Carolinas Foundations key initiatives.
“Since I took the helm at the Foundation more than three years ago, Judy has offered tremendous guidance as a mentor, friend and dedicated board member,” shares Carolinas Credit Union Foundation President Lauren Whaley. “I am going to miss her relentless passion, her determination for success, and her leadership as a resilient, female credit union CEO. On behalf of the entire Foundation Board, we congratulate Judy on her retirement and wish her and Wayne all the best in their next chapter.”
|Tharp giving the keynote commencement speech at UNCW Cameron School of Business in 2018.
Tharp is the recipient of numerous distinctions over the course of her career, including the 2016 Outstanding Women Leaders of Winston-Salem, the NC Credit Union Person of the Year, Credit Union Executive Society Management Achievement Award, UNCW’s Outstanding Alumni of the Year-Cameron School of Business, and one of the Triad Business Journal’s Top Women in Business. In 2018, Judy was chosen to deliver the keynote commencement speech for the UNCW Cameron School of Business Graduation.
She looks forward to spending more time with special family members and pursuing her varied interests. Judy and her husband, Wayne Tharp, will relocate to Southport, NC, close to family, friends and the coast.