Welcome New Teachers!

August 6, 2008

School is just about ready to start!  There are hundreds of new teachers and educators about to start new careers in Southside VA classrooms.  Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting the Henry County New Teacher Orientation held at Magna Vista High School.  They appear to be a very good group of people.

One person I met is Miguel, a Spanish teacher.  In speaking with him I found that he has traveled the world and was once a lawyer in his home country of Spain before teaching in the U.S.  I don’t doubt that his overall life experiences will make him a wonderful teacher and a favorite among students.  Then there was Mrs. Layne, a returning Henry County teacher, who I found looking up at the list of students who have received academic honors over the years.  I asked if any of her kids were up there.  She proudly said “Yes, quite a few”.  Upon finding out that she taught English I told her my story about how I did very poorly in high school English.  However, I learned much more about English (and about life in general) from those classes in which my teachers challenged me and made me suffer the consequences of half-hearted work.  (Thanks Mr. Raferty!)

There were other teachers I met both new and returning.  Magna Vista High School is nestled in a beautiful part of Virginia.  They even have a really nice greenhouse where they grow plants and flowers for sale.  I bought a lovely Caladium for $2!!!

Here are a few flickr photos from the New Teacher Orientation.


Great Companies to Work For

June 23, 2008

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting our members and potential members at Columbia Forest Products in Chatham, VA. It was perfect timing! On the second day of my visit the management team cooked and prepared a fantastic lunch for the entire plant. It wasn’t cheap burgers and hot dogs either. Mike Lee, the plant manager should open a restaurant when he retires. His barbecued chicken was incredible! It’s great that a big company like this has the desire to do more for it’s employees than just provide a pay check.

Events like this really go a long way towards building a strong and loyal team. But I got the impression during my visit that CFP treats it’s people very well every day. Possibly one reason for this is that Columbia Forest Products is an employee owned company. (Sort of like our credit union is owned by it’s members. When you’re an owner of something you tend to get treated better.) Today they are one of the largest employee owned company in the U.S. Read more about the CFP story here. It’s good. Since 1957 they’ve become the largest producer of plywood and hardwood veneer in the nation. Keep it going Columbia Forest Products! Your credit union looks forward to helping you save money for many years to come!

Another Piedmont Credit Union member company which does this sort of thing (picnics not employee ownership) is Techma-USA. Every Spring they host a great picnic for their entire plant with lots of fun and prizes. They’re located in Gretna and produce parts for many domestic cars. They’ve been recognized time and time again as a very positive influence in the small town of Gretna, VA.

I don’t know if anyone has a “Best Places to Work in Southside Virginia” list, but I would not be surprised to see the likes of Columbia Forest Products and Techma-USA on that list along with many more of our other member group companies. Hmm…I wonder if the benefit of having a good credit union would have anything to do with that?

A Special Day at the Cordan Branch

December 13, 2007

Today was “Credit Union Member Appreciation Day” at our Piedmont CU Cordan Branch! It was great to visit with all the employees at the Corning plant in Danville. Thanks to all of you for hanging out at the credit union today! Congrats to Wiladene K, Robert A, Winston B, and Charles D who were winners in the prize drawing. For those in the cafeteria who were wondering if your chances increased by folding your entry, you were right! All four winners had folded entry forms. One was folded diagonally.

Our Cordan branch has such a long history. The Cordan Federal Credit Union was one of the first credit unions established in Danville. For decades it served Corning employees as well as any credit union could. A few years ago it joined up with Piedmont Credit Union. Perhaps a future blog post will be an interview with some of the directors and staff of the original Cordan FCU. We’re so glad to be welcomed at Corning and hope that Corning has a long and successful future in Danville.

A Visit to Woodrow Wilson Elementary

October 8, 2007

Once again I’m amazed at how happy and joyful teachers are on a Monday afternoon. Of course Ms. Graham was thrilled that her dance students were featured this weekend in the newspaper! They recently performed a dance in celebration of Constitution Day. While they didn’t have much time to prepare for it the performance was very good, the kids had fun, and they learned something while doing it.

It was also very nice speaking with Mrs. Thomas at the end of my time in the teacher’s lounge. She has been an educator for 47 years working in both private and public education! There’s something to be said for experience. I’ve been working in credit unions for only about 9 years now, and I have such a greater understanding of how it all works now as opposed to when I started. It was great to hear from a teacher with so much experience that this local school is doing a good job of teaching our children. Keep up the good work Woodrow Wilson Elementary School!

Thank you to all the other teachers and staff who stopped by to say “hello” and thank you for your kind words about our your credit union.

Note for people who didn’t go to elementary school in Virginia: Woodrow Wilson was born in Staunton, VA and was the 28th President of the United States during World War I.

To the faculty of G.L.H. Johnson Elementary…

October 1, 2007

Thank you for making my Monday! Mr. Macklin, your principal, obviously doesn’t like to waste time. This morning when I called about planning a visit sometime in the next two months he promptly said “How about today?” I’m sure glad I took up his suggestion because the teachers who I spoke with there were so full of fun and life that it simply made my Monday. It must be a great place to learn.