By Claire Stenger, Client Relationship Manager


The credit union mission has always been about people helping people within the communities they serve. Providing great service starts with employees who are committed to credit union principles and growth. This is what inspired the Carolinas Credit Union League, as well as other leagues around the country, to start an annual Protégé competition. The competition provides credit unions and their chapters the opportunity to recognize rising professionals who will carry the credit union philosophy forward with enthusiasm and leadership.


The Protégé competition originated with the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association’s Youth Ambassador Program, and then the SC Credit Union League launched the Palmetto Protégé Competition in 2010.  Following the consolidation of the NC Credit Union League and SC Credit Union League, the Protégé program was rebranded and placed under the direction of the CUaware Leadership Council in 2014. It has since been renamed CUxEL (See You Excel). The goal of CUxEL is to recognize young professionals, increase credit union knowledge and interest, as well as promote growth through creativity and networking.


To prepare for the state competition, MDT client Greenville FCU holds its internal competition in October. The winner has six weeks to prepare for the chapter competition in early December. Each level of competition requires a five-minute presentation in which the candidate is judged on knowledge, ability to communicate, personality, and professional appearance.

The winner of the chapter-level competition has another six weeks to prepare for the final state competition. Participants are judged on the same categories for their presentations and must take a written exam.


(Left to Right) Dana Morris, Anna Page, Paul Hughes, Monica Barnett, Brian Sponaugle, Christopher Huff (2023 Winner), Phil Barnhill, Kaitlin Grooms, Teresa Jones, Catherine James

Greenville FCU has enjoyed a successful track record in the Protégé competition, placing every year for the past five years with three Protégé winners as well as second and third-place finishers, and this year was no exception. MDT attended the Carolinas Credit Union League show, LAUNCH, in February and had the opportunity to celebrate with the statewide Protégé competition winner, Chris Huff, Branch Manager at Greenville FCU.

The Greenville staff attributes their success to preparation, repetition, and a few secrets they will keep up their sleeve to preserve their winning edge.  Best of luck to Greenville in this year’s competition!