|Jeff Hardin (left) of the NC Credit Union League accepted the award on behalf of the nearly 50 CUDEs in North Carolina whose cooperative efforts created the Principles & Philosophy Conference.
(Editor's note: this story produced with the assistance of the National Credit Union Foundation.)
Three Credit Union Development Education (DE) Program Awards were presented last week at a special reception during the annual DE Workshop. Included was the Cooperative Spirit Award, which the NC Credit Union DEs won for creating the Principles & Philosophy Conference.
The NC Credit Union Development Educators began working cooperatively in January 2010 with a mission of educating NC CU staff about the history and purpose of credit unions & cooperatives, as well as providing opportunities for credit unions in NC to work together. The Principles & Philosophy Conference was created by the group and serves to educate staff about the history and unique qualities of cooperatives & credit unions.
North Carolina's DEs have also developed an experiential financial education program for young people called the Reality of Money. The Reality of Money will be available for credit unions to use later this year.
The DE Awards were given at the conclusion of the workshop held August 13-15, 2013 in Raleigh. The DE Program Awards go to those certified Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) who exemplify what DE stands for through their individual or cooperative efforts to make a difference in their credit union, community or on a national/international basis.
In addition to the Cooperative Spirit Award, DEs also conveyed an Individual Achievement Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award. Over 75 CUDEs gathered at the workshop to help the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) present the awards.
- Cooperative Spirit Award - North Carolina CUDEs. Collectively, the North Carolina CUDEs have created and offered a History and Philosophy Conference for North Carolina credit union professionals to enrich their understanding of the credit union values and principles. Over 150 people have attended the conferences and many have gone on to become CUDEs. The North Carolina History and Philosophy Conference is also becoming a template for other credit union groups to follow.
- Individual Achievement Award - Paul Thompson. Thompson is honored for his book entitled “Development of the Modern U.S. Credit Union 1970-2010”. Thompson, a former speechwriter for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), authored the book to examine the technology, legal and regulatory changes, competitive pressures and other factors that have seen the industry grow from small, limited-service institutions run by volunteers to full-service, professionally staffed operations that now serve more than 90 million members.
- Lifetime Achievement – Bob Schumacher. Schumacher, a long-time CUDE, is perhaps best known in credit union circles as the master of ceremonies for the annual NCUF Dinner presenting the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards. Schumacher is an advocate for the DE program and has demonstrated this through his commitment and dedication in various ways. At CUNA GAC, World Council meetings, State credit union league events and other credit union venues, Schumacher constantly promotes the DE program. He has also influenced many people to become CUDEs. As a mentor for the program, Schumacher has been an inspiration to students and has helped to facilitate the program many times. In 2010, under the guidance of NCUF, Schumacher along with eight other DEs gathered to guide the formation of a new body to revitalize the DE program. This group, known as CUDE AC (Credit Union Development Education Advisory Council) elected Schumacher as its first Chairman and over the next two years the DE program has flourished.
"We are proud of the hard work that CUDEs in NC have put in over the last three years," remarked NCCUL President/CEO John Radebaugh. "Their combined efforts have inspired credit union staff across the State, and their willingness to share their time and resources so generously is truly remarkable. We congratulate our CUDEs on this well-deserved award."
“The DE program encourages action around the credit union philosophy and this year’s winners exemplify what being a CUDE is all about,” said Lois Kitsch, NCUF National Program Director. “A special thank you also goes to the DE Awards Committee who helped pick this year’s winners.”