Singular blue palm tree

Employees Conference

Kingston Plantation,
Myrtle Beach, SC

white plaque

May 2 - 4, 2024

Double blue palm tree

Singular blue palm treeWho ShouldAttend?

The CUsTogether Employees Conference is designed for credit unions employees in North and South Carolina – from front-line and department staff to supervisors and managers.

Singular blue palm treeWhyAttend?

This program is participant friendly and is intended to reward our hard-working credit union staff members, which we all know are the people with a passion for the credit union movement and who want to elevate their performance to better assist their organizations.

With the sole intent to create an opportunity to benefit staff members of credit unions, any registration fees exceeding costs will be donated to the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation in the name of participating credit unions, speakers and supporters.

The Program Leader for CUsTogether, Nick Wodogaza, has volunteered his time to plan and execute the conference since it began in 2019. Since that time, over $90,000 has been donated to the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation to fund its program offerings and to further its mission.

Group of men and women standing with Credit Unions Together banner

Singular blue palm treeConference Agenda 

Singular blue palm tree

Singular blue palm treeConference Hotel 

Kingston Plantation, Myrtle Beach, SC

Kingston Plantation,
Myrtle Beach, SC

Embassy Suites by Hilton Myrtle Beach‐Oceanfront Resort is located on the peaceful North End of Myrtle Beach.  This gated all‐suite waterfront area welcomes you with panoramic Atlantic Ocean views and personalized service.  From the 255 two‐room suites, to a complimentary* breakfast each morning, you can expect more at the Embassy Suites.

2024 Employees Conference Hotel Reservation

Complimentary Services for Embassy Suites guests* - Full Breakfast Buffet and Manager’s Reception held in the Embassy Suites.  

Embassy Suites by Hilton Rates

Beginning at $201 per night, Standard Suite plus taxes and a $25 daily resort fee and a $6 daily self-parking fee.

  • Basic wireless guestroom internet
  • Unlimited 800 and local telephone calls
  • Door to door transportation throughout Kingston Plantation and within a 2-mile radius of the resort
  • 24 hour Business Center access including internet and printing
  • Access to Spa33 and 78Fitness
  • Access to Splash! Waterpark
  • 1 hour of free pickle ball or tennis court rental per day, reservations required
  • Pool towels
  • Access to Mile-Long Stretch of Beach
  • Indoor Pool & Whirlpool
  • Racquetball
  • Bicycle Rental
  • Jogging Track

Reservations must be made by
April 3, 2024

Embassy Suites by Hilton Myrtle Beach‐Oceanfront Resort
Double blue palm tree
Embassy Suites by Hilton Myrtle Beach‐Oceanfront Resort

Reservations must be made by
April 3, 2024

White palm treeCUsTogether Employees Conference Bios 

Nick Wodogaza, CUDE

Nick Wodogaza, CUDE

View Bio
David W. Brehmer, CUDE

David W. Brehmer, CUDE

View Bio
Lauren Whaley, CUDE

Lauren Whaley, CUDE

View Bio
Tim Gardner

Tim Gardner

View Bio
Betty M. Parker, CPTD

Betty M. Parker, CPTD

View Bio
Dr. Troy Hall, I-CUDE

Dr. Troy Hall, I-CUDE

View Bio
Ben-Jamin Toy

Ben-Jamin Toy

View Bio

Singular blue palm treeScholarships 

Scholarship Deadline is April 5, 2024.

The Carolinas Credit Union Foundation is honored to be the recipient of the CUsTogether Conference proceeds. Since the conferences started in 2019, more than $90,000 has been donated to support the Foundation’s impact. The Foundation is offering a scholarship with a goal to support an emerging leader. Stronger consideration will be given to those unable to attend because of budgetary concerns. For any questions on the scholarship, please reach out to Lauren Whaley at lwhaley@carolinasfoundation.org.

Registration -$495

Accommodations & Travel -$755

$1250

Scholarships will be provided to the credit union following the completion of the conference and documentation of travel expenses.

White palm treeConference Registration 

Singular blue palm treeAboutNick Wodogaza, CUDE

As a part of the Carolinas credit union movement for over 42 years, Nick believes in the great power of credit unions working cooperatively.  In 2023 he became a credit union advisor offering education, strategic planning, management consulting and executive coaching to credit unions. His assistance specifically focuses on small credit unions and their unique challenges, and he offers his time and talents at no cost.

Nick previously served as the President & CEO of the Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union of Columbia, South Carolina, a role he held for over 28 years. During that time, Palmetto Citizens grew to a $1.35 billion credit union serving over 100,000 consumers. Prior to joining the credit union, Nick served as Vice President of League Operations for the South Carolina Credit Union League.

With the CUsTogether Conference, his goal is to promote education, leadership development and networking within credit unions.  He hopes to provide a venue to encourage professional growth and cooperation for credit unions across the Carolinas.  Nick is proud to recognize registration fees exceeding direct costs are donated to the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation, with participating credit unions and program leaders recognized as the contributors.  Since 2019, over $90,000 has been donated to the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation to fund its program offerings and to further its mission.

In 2020 Nick became a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE). The National Credit Union Foundation’s signature CUDE program helps established and emerging leaders in the credit union movement understand and leverage our unique business model to serve members and our communities in new and better ways.  Development Education is a process dedicated to understanding fundamental barriers that prevent the prosperity of people and communities across the globe.

Singular blue palm treeAboutDavid W. Brehmer, CUDE

Mr. Brehmer’s credit union career spans 45+ years with experience at both the retail and corporate side of the industry. Mr. Brehmer recently retired from his 30-year tenure as President/CEO of First Carolina and Vizo Financial Corporate CU. He currently serves as board chair for Latino Community CU in Durham, NC where he has served as a volunteer for 22 years. He also currently serves as vice-chair of the Carolinas CU Foundation. He has always immersed himself in the credit union movement having taken leadership positions on the board of US Central FCU, CU Business Group, and the Corporate CU Alliance. Prior to his transition to the corporate credit union system, he served as President/CEO of San Diego Postal CU and senior management positions at San Diego County CU and Torrey Pines FCU, as well as serving as President of the San Diego Chapter of the California CU League. He also served as President of Torrey Pines Federal, Inc., a CUSO that provided insurance and auto brokerage services. He has been a frequent speaker at credit union events and has facilitated numerous credit union planning sessions. Mr. Brehmer earned his Credit Union Development Educator certification in 2018 and was the recipient of the Charlie Clark Leadership Award from Western CUNA Management School in 1992. In 2014, he received an Individual Professional Achievement award from the Carolinas CU Foundation.

Singular blue palm treeAboutLauren Whaley, CUDE

Since the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation’s founding 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 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 current role at the Carolinas Foundation, Lauren has expanded its focus in serving as a philanthropic partner to credit unions, business partners and Chapters in the Carolinas. Lauren currently serves as the Chair of the State Credit Union Foundation Network, comprised of her counterparts around the country at other state foundations as well as those at the National Credit Union Foundation and the Worldwide Credit Union Foundation. Lauren earned her Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) designation in 2019 and was recognized in 2023 with the Eugene H. Farley League Leadership Award by the American Association of Credit Union Leagues.

Singular blue palm treeAboutTim Gardner

Currently – Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, CDC Federal Credit Union in Atlanta, Georgia with over $450M in assets and approximately 20,500 members. He oversees the investment portfolio, accounting, operations, lending, branches, marketing, and the member contact center.

Previously — Tim was a Sales Executive at CUNA Mutual Group that covered Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, serving 40 credit unions.

During his time at CUNA Mutual Group, he was also the General Manager for Sales and Distribution in the European Segment of CUNA Mutual’s International Division.  Tim lead the sales account teams in Europe, managed the Financial Services Programs, as well as third party relationships while based in Dublin, Ireland.

Prior to joining CUNA Mutual, Tim was the Financial Analyst for Wright Patman Congressional Federal Credit Union in Washington, D.C.  He was responsible for the investment portfolio and preparation of the monthly financial statements.  Earlier, Tim was an investment analyst at Merrill Lynch while attending college.

Tim attended the University of Michigan for his undergraduate degree in Finance, Upper Iowa University for a bachelor’s in accounting, has received an MBA with an emphasis in Finance from DePaul University in Chicago, and his Masters of Accountancy from the University of Michigan.

CDC Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Atlanta, GA and provides financial services to its members.

CUNA Mutual Group is headquartered at the Credit Union Center in Madison, Wisconsin, and provides insurance and financial services to credit unions and their members.

Singular blue palm treeAboutBetty M. Parker, CPTD

Betty Parker is a business owner, professional speaker, author, and trainer. She is a communications expert with more than 30 years’ experience presenting to audiences including work in radio after earning a degree in broadcast journalism from Louisiana State University (LSU), and in 2021, a masters in organizational development from Columbia College. Betty began her career as a sales professional and trainer in 1998 in the biotech industry. She started Sharper Development Solutions, Inc., a training and development company, in 2006.

Betty has educated thousands of leaders and staff across the country in a variety of performance areas like leadership, self-awareness, conflict management, teamwork, strategic planning, employee engagement, customer service, communications, diversity, equity, and inclusion and others. She is a highly sought out speaker for conferences. Betty is the author of Crushing Goliath: Winning Practices in Slaying GIANT People Problems (2021). She is a Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) and a Certified Professional Coach. She is also an Authorized Partner with Wiley Publishing, the makers of Everything DiSC products.

Singular blue palm treeAboutDr. Troy Hall, I-CUDE

Recognized as a Top Business Leader by Valiant CEO Magazine, named a Brainz Global 500 Award recipient, featured on The Today Show, ABC, the Global BV-TV Network, Beyond the Business Radio Show, and CEO World, Dr. Troy Hall is an award-winning talent retention consultant, international speaker, and multiple bestselling author.

As the founder of Cohesion Culture™, Dr. Troy has dedicated his career to establishing a cycle of culture wellness in the corporate and professional sphere. His consulting and executive coaching engagements are built on the strategic framework of Cohesion Culture™, making the concepts of belonging, value, and shared commitment easy for organizations to adopt and implement.

Singular blue palm treeAboutBen-Jamin Toy

Ben-Jamin Toy works with elite clients spanning the globe, from well-known Fortune 500 companies to special ops forces representing five countries. He is the founder of On Purpose Adventures, a driving force in purposeful, unconventional, and effective team building for over a decade, and co-founder of Cohesion Culture™. A sought-after facilitator, consultant, and speaker, Toy continues to focus his heart, soul and substantial knowledge of culture wellness into each learning experience, promising a fun and engaging encounter with tangible results.