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Be inspired: Carolinas Foundation announces Awards Gala honorees, ticketing details

Thursday, November 21, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Carolinas credit union system professionals are invited to be inspired at the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation Awards Gala on January 30, 2020 in Charlotte, NC. Held in conjunction with the Carolinas Credit Union League’s LAUNCH Conference, the Gala and new Afterparty is an affair you don’t want to miss!

The Foundation is honored to welcome back Creighton Blackwell as the emcee to lead the evening’s recognition of four individuals for their achievements, one credit union for its commitment to philanthropy, and six additional credit unions for their recognition in CUNA’s state-level awards competition.

The 2019 Awards Gala honorees include the following:

Hero Honorees

Lifetime Achievement Award

Steve HarkinsSteve Harkins, CEO, SC Telco FCU

Recognized for his commitment to his credit union’s growth and success, to the communities of the SC Upstate and for his impact on our industry. Having served as the CEO of SC Telco for nearly 30 years, Steve is set to retire in April 2020.

Bill SmithBill Smith, Volunteer, Coastal CU

Recognized for his service to Coastal and to its membership. Bill is Coastal’s longest-serving board member, and has been a volunteer with the credit union for 48 of its 52 years.

Steve SmithSteve Smith, CFO, Sharonview FCU

Recognized for his outstanding efforts in establishing key drivers for the managed growth of Sharonview over the last 21 years. When Steve joined the credit union in 1998, Sharonview’s assets totaled $275 M; today its assets are over $1.6 B. Steve is set to retire at the end of the year.

Individual Achievement Award

Deb McLeanDeb McLean, VP Marketing & Business Development, Nova CU

Recognized for her recent successes with Nova’s rebrand and the creation of the innovative, growth-generating Priority Payday Program. Deb has been a trailblazer and passionate marketing professional in the credit union movement for over 34 years.

Partner in Philanthropy

Coastal CU Foundation logoCoastal Credit Union Foundation

Recognized for its dedication to community non-profits that support financial education, increase affordable housing and promote financial well-being. Coastal’s charitable contributions are primarily made through the Coastal Credit Union Foundation, which is funded by member debit card activity (equating to a penny per swipe directed to the Foundation). Over the last eight years since forming the Foundation, Coastal has contributed $1.6M to local non-profits.


Also, to be honored at this year’s Gala are the CUNA state-level awards winners. These awards are designed to encourage and recognize distinguished credit unions which demonstrate social responsibility (the Dora Maxwell Award), the credit union philosophy (the Louise Herring Award), and financial education (the Desjardins Awards).

CUNA State-Level Award Recipients

Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award

Desjardins award logo 1st – Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union

Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award

Desjardins award logo 1st – Carolina Foothills Federal Credit Union

1st – SRP Federal Credit Union

2nd – Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union

1st – Truliant Federal Credit Union

Dora Maxwell Award

Dora Maxwell Award logo 1st – Family Trust Federal Credit Union

2nd – Carolina Trust Federal Credit Union

3rd – SRP Federal Credit Union

Participant – Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union

Louise Herring Award

Louise Herring Award logo 1st – Carolina Foothills Federal Credit Union (1st nationally)

1st – Carolina Trust Federal Credit Union (2nd nationally)

2nd – Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union


Details on sponsorships and tickets are now available for the Awards Gala and LAUNCH Conference. Bundled ticket options can gain you entry to the Gala and LAUNCH the following day. Other outstanding professional development opportunities are also available during the League’s two-day premier event.

New for 2020 is an Afterparty hosted by the Young Professionals of the Carolinas which will begin immediately following the Gala. The Gatsby-themed casino Afterparty will feature live-dealer casino games, cash bar and photo booth. Everyone is invited! Admission is FREE, and its $20 to play the casino games of Blackjack, Poker, Rolette, and Craps. Proceeds benefit the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation.

Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate with your peers and recognize those that make the credit union industry so remarkable!

2019 Awards Gala banner

Register for the Awards Gala at

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803-732-4268 Fax

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