It was no accident an historic North Carolina landmark, the mansion home of R.J. Reynolds cigarette heirs, was used this month for a special--and now first of its kind--credit union conference.
The event in Winston-Salem's Graylyn Center was put on by the Credit Union Development Educators unit of the National Credit Union Foundation with help from the North Carolina Credit Union League--all to dramatically support the CU cause.
"We feel it is so important those new to the credit union movement or who are unfamiliar with our history understand where we've come from and so we decided this was an ideal kind of setting to hold our conference," explained Amy Gravitte, vice president of training and leadership development at the $2 billion Coastal FCU and event organizer.
A spokesman for the North Carolina league said the intense three-day conference included sessions on techniques that volunteers and others can use to spread CU messaging. One session included delivery of "educator speeches" in which participants learned how to quickly and thoroughly discuss CU purposes as though giving it to someone during an elevator ride.
"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a group of CUDEs in a state has formally organized to present educational events for credit union staff and volunteers," the league said. "We think this program, which is based on volunteer efforts of people from a variety of credit unions and backgrounds, can be a model for educating folks about credit union history and philosophy."
Among attendees were top staffers, Lois Kitsch of NCUF and Larry Blanchard of CUNA Mutual Group.