When I received the assignment to produce the DuPont Employees Credit Union legacy documentary, I was excited but somewhat overwhelmed with the challenge to fit their story in a seven-minute video. How could I tell the history of the credit union without first telling the story of the unique employee group who started it?
The DuPont plant brought a diverse group of individuals together who made the best of a work-life balance. Forming a credit union was just one of the ways they helped each other. They also formed other associations that intertwined their lives. These relationships continue today as a reflection on this unique employee group. This short documentary is but a glimpse into their story.
Connie Corn at Dupont CU offices later to become Carolina Mountains.
I began working part-time at the credit union in May of 1991. At the time, we had a small office at the plant where employees could come while working and family members could drive up outside. In the beginning, I only worked on Wednesdays. This was a payday, and it was always busy.
It didn’t take long for me to realize how much I enjoyed my job and the people I served. The family-type atmosphere Keith Norman mentions in the video truly existed then as it does now.
Connie Corn and Don Surrette at Dupont employees event.
My mother once said to me “If you live long enough, things will change.”
Ten years after I began working at the credit union, DuPont was sold. This was the beginning of many changes to come.
We changed our name to Carolina Mountain, and by 2002 the plant had closed.
Through it all, we carefully considered how best to serve our members and be good stewards of their funds while continuing to grow. Fortunately, we had board members and staff who were willing to do whatever it took. We went from a small branch in Brevard to a new office in Penrose. By 2002, we served 5,000 members.
Next we opened an office in Hendersonville and merged with a small credit union in Arden. In 2009 we had just signed a lease to open a small branch in Rosman when Self-Help offered a partnership. The merger would allow us to offer small business loans and better home loans and give us the support we needed in the challenging economy.
Connie Corn, Diane Rogers at professional event.
The legacy of DuPont Employees Credit Union is not a person, a member, a building or a name. It’s the spirit of caring about each other and the community we live in. I hope this video serves as our appreciation to those who started the credit union and became lifelong members and friends.
Special thanks to the people who took time to share their memories in the video: Channing Hubbard, Don Surrette, Keith Norman and Diane Rogers.
See the video and photo gallery at Self-Help's Vault page.