Service and empathy: Natalie Sigmon wins Tom McWilliams Award at SRCUS

Natalie Sigmon, 2024 Tom McWilliams Service to SRCUS Award recipient

Southeastern Regional Credit Union School (SRCUS) announces Natalie Sigmon as the recipient of the 2024 Tom McWilliams Service to SRCUS Award. The award, named in honor of the late Tom McWilliams, recognizes a student that exemplifies empathetic leadership, inclusiveness of others and appreciation for their perspectives, excellent communication and listening skills, and a commitment to service and willingness to participate. A recipient is determined following recommendations submitted by current SRCUS students and staff.

Sigmon, director of talent recruitment and retention for Blue Eagle Credit Union in Roanoke, VA, accepted the award on June 21 during this year’s session of the Southeast Management School in Athens, GA.

“I have a personal statement of ‘It’s my life goal to make an impact’ and I enjoy finding ways to get myself and others involved in areas with a need,” said Sigmon. “I did not have the privilege of meeting Mr. McWilliams, but it is certainly easy to see why he was so passionate about this program because every aspect of SRCUS is top notch, from the program directors to the course topics. My cohorts and I are sure many parts of the success of SRCUS are due to the steps Mr. McWilliams took along the way, including the third-year service project.”

Tom McWilliams was an advocate for the credit union industry for over 30 years with a great passion for career development, serving as senior vice president for the Mississippi Credit Union Association (MCUA) and as vice chair for SRCUS until his passing on March 11, 2022. The award was established and first presented in his honor later that year.

“Natalie is empathetic, motivates her classmates, and has devoted her time to organizing fun activities for all SRCUS students,” said Lauren DeAngelis, chief learning officer for the Carolinas Credit Union League and longtime friend of the late Tom McWilliams. “From the moment she stepped on campus, Natalie involved the student body in her personal effort to support the Ronald McDonald House. Her servant’s heart then led her class to revive the third-year service project. I was pleased to announce her as this year’s recipient.”

The third-year service project for this year involved building kits for The Athens Area Homeless Shelter (bags included note cards with envelopes, children’s crafts supplies and activities, non-toxic playdough, and blessing bags) and Athens Area Humane Society (bags included made or donated dog toys and bandanas). See photo highlights on SRCUS’ Facebook page.

SRCUS issues this award annually as part of the Southeast Management School program. In addition to the award, the school is making a donation to McWilliams’ favorite charity, the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN). Funds will be dispersed to the CMN Chapter in or close to the city where the year’s award recipient resides.

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