Lauren Whaley, CUDE
Since the Foundation’s founding in in 1993, only a handful of individuals have served at the helm of leading this philanthropic organization. In late 2015, Lauren Whaley was hired to serve as the President of the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation having most recently served as Vice President of Governmental Affairs in Raleigh, NC at the Carolinas Credit Union League. In her nearly eight years at the League, Lauren developed influential relationships with lawmakers and credit union officials while advocating for credit union business concerns as well as their unique focus on people and communities. Lauren was also instrumental in the growth of CUaware having served as a founding Board member while at the League. Lauren’s passion for the credit union industry started shortly after graduation from NC State University when she served as public relations and marketing coordinator for Truliant Federal Credit Union of Winston-Salem.
In her role at the Foundation, she has expanded its focus in serving as a philanthropic partner to credit unions in the Carolinas. Through the management of scholarship programs, employee hardship programs and donor advised funds, credit unions are able to streamline their give-back initiatives. Further, under Lauren’s leadership, credit unions and our hero professionals are recognized for their dedication to the credit union industry and its ideals at the Foundation’s Annual Awards Gala. Lauren earned her Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) certification in 2019.
Jeff Hardin, CUDE
In April 2021, Jeff Hardin joined the Foundation’s team in the newly-created role of director of collaborative programs. In his role, Hardin assists Foundation President/CEO Lauren Whaley on key programs, including the organization’s robust scholarship and fund management programs, as well as grants offerings for Chapters, non-profits, small credit unions and credit union employees for disaster relief.
Jeff joined the Foundation after more than 17 years on the Carolinas Credit Union League’s team. First hired by the NC Credit Union League in 2004 as its communications specialist, Jeff was later promoted to director of communications. He served in this role until the consolidation of the North and South Carolina Credit Union Leagues, when he assumed his most recent role as the Director of Cooperative Initiatives. A Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) for 12 years, Hardin worked with a group of fellow CUDEs in the Carolinas to create the Principles & Philosophy Conference, a two day event focused on the history and cooperative philosophy of credit unions.
Starting in 2021, the Carolinas Credit Union League and Foundation will work collaboratively with DEs in North Carolina and South Carolina to produce the Principles & Philosophy Conference, slated for the fall of each year. In his role at the Foundation, Hardin will spearhead this key partnership between these stakeholders and continue to lead the conference.
The Foundation’s successes are attributed to the guidance and wisdom of an elected Board of Directors. The Foundation’s 15-member Board is comprised of credit union leaders and business partner professionals representing communities from across the Carolinas. Those interested in serving on the Foundation’s Board of Directors may submit a Declaration of Candidacy form to Lauren Whaley for consideration by the Nominating Committee. Board candidates are approved by the committee and voted on by the members of the Foundation at its Annual Meeting in February to serve three-year terms.