Thursday, March 9, 2023

Ties Back


 To: The SECU Board of Directors

Dear Mr. Ayers,

Thought you'd like to see a real life letter from one of your employees. Mr. Ayers, you and the SECU Board are losing the respect of  the membership, the North Carolina community at large, and your staff. 

You are damaging the reputation of the organization - and your own! - and you are destroying the dignity of the staff...

 Chris Ayers ImageAlice GarlandMona MoonJennifer Haygood Image

McKinley Wooten, Jr. ImageStelfanie WilliamsJo Anne SanfordMark Fleming Image

Bob BrinsonBen McLawhorn Image Image of Thomas Parrish the 4th

 Ayers, Garland, Moon, Haygood, Wooten,Williams, Sanford, Fleming, Brinson, McLawhorn, Parrish.



  1. Chris Ayers, Chair
  2. Alice Garland, VC
  3. Bob Brinson         
  4. Jo Ann Sanford    
  5. Jennifer Haygood 
  6. Mark Fleming       
  7. McKinley Wooten 
  8. Mona Moon          
  9. Stefanie Williams  
  10. Thomas Parrish     
  11. Ben McLawhorn@
Give Us Our Ties Back

from: SECU Employee

Good morning, I’m a veteran SECU employee, a manager with a moderate level of years worked (keeping myself vague intentionally). The name provided  above is something of a “call to arms” statement. Jim Hayes came in, and his first act was change the dress code. I’d argue many employees are fine with the new dress code. However, this new dress code symbolizes what I consider a larger problem. It’s a lot of smoke and mirrors. Superficial items like dress code changes, Flex Time off for branch employees, a benefits “update"…these items are meant to draw attention away from real changes occurring to our organization. Changes that are to the detriment of our members.

Many employees are already dealing with “employee exhaustion” burnout from not allowing branches to determine the appropriate staffing needs-while losing staff to internal and work from home opportunities.  We’ve been told we aren’t in a hiring freeze, but rather we’re hiring based on need. The branches are in need, but it seems someone’s “equation” to determine a branch efficiency number is more important that the actual opinion of those entrusted to run the branches. Folks aren’t comfortable to speak up regarding the real changes occurring but I can tell you that risk based lending is already taking its toll on branch staff. Many experienced staff feel “like a bad person” for having to charge these rates to good members who always pay us. We leave each day with a feeling of not making a difference, but that of what are we doing and this doesn’t feel right. This is not the credit union I know.

 My father was a state employee, they got their mortgage with SECU when we moved to my childhood home. They were charged a fair rate and this is what made them able to buy a home which they still own today. I’m a lifetime member, had my accounts well before working here. When I tell you the concern is real, I mean it. Employees have a real worry about where we’re headed. I want to thank you for fighting the good fight for those who feel they can’t speak up for fear of their jobs.

As for the call to arms mentioned earlier, it’s not about the dress code at all. It’s about getting back to what the credit union is all about, serving EVERY member with dignity and sincerity, helping those that need our help. People Helping People. Give Us Our Ties Back is about doing the right thing, for everyone, not just affluent, A-paper members.

SECU New Direction/New Culture - An Accident No Longer Waiting To Happen!


  1. Well Said!


  2. This is very true. Morale is low with internal and branch staff. Rumors are that Jim wants to outsource different departments and the trim down branch staff to lower cost. Apparently he believes that SECU has too many employees. I've noticed most rumors that have filtered throughout the organization end up being true. Of course Jim puts a spin on it.

    1. When promoted to manager I was told by others with more experience to always do the right thing for the member and document your decision why! I never thought my employment would be in jeopardy because of decisions made by Executive Management. This seems like a real possibility now and this fear is shared among many long term employees.

    2. It’s not a rumor that Jim Hayes wants to outsource certain departments. It’s the truth.

  3. #GiveUsOurTies will soon become #WeWillTakeOurTiesBack

  4. Don’t understand the need for so many Chiefs, EVPs, SVPs and most from the outside? And is it true they are hired at a higher pay and different benefits than they’re counterparts who have worked for SECU for many years. And if that is true it’s no wonder morale is low. How can that be legal?

    1. SECU now has recruiters.

    2. It is absolutely true that all the new hires VP and above get the same PTO as the longest term employees and more than anyone with less than 20 years service! So unfair!!

  5. Look for Jim to leverage HR to start finding employees to shoo out the door in the next year. This is what he did at Andrew’s federal.

  6. This manager most have missed the memo. The CU doesn’t want to associate with the poors any more. You need to finance your loan for 72 months because you can’t afford a 36 month payment you’ll have to pay more for not being able to afford the higher payment.

    Your spouse die or your child get cancer that wasn’t punishment enough so we’re going to add a couple percentage point on to just be sure to really rub it in.

  7. I don't know if anyone else has noticed this yet, but every year the credit union posts on the website a section about the Annual Report: There is usually the past two previous years reports available to read. Every year the compensation for the president/chief executive officer is published in this document. You can see this on page 43, third paragraph down, of the 2021 Audited Financial Statement. However, on page 43, third paragraph down, of the 2022 Audited Financial Statement you will find that the compensation is NOT listed. The 2022 document simply states "The compensation of the President is set by the Board of Directors and is also determined annually." So why was it not published this year as it has been in previous years?

    1. One of my many questions I’ve been asking, why did Jim hire Carl SeaBrook, his buddy from Andrew Federal, to be the EVP of Internal Audit. Fishy. We already know Jim was sued as CFO under WesCorp. I don’t really trust him controlling who is the head of Internal Audit honestly…

    2. A lot of people at NCSECU thinks this is fishy, odd and downright nepotism. I could have sworn that NCSECU doesn't allow nepotism. Not only did he put give his pal a job he gave him a job on the executive board.

  8. Someone with a Reddit account needs to post to a link to this blog along with a description there. Specifically on /northcarolina, /Charlotte, /bullcity, /Raleigh, etc. Members should know about this and it's mostly employees reacting here. Would get more exposure on that platform.

    1. That is a good idea.

    2. Time for someone to do it. SECU just blocked out this blog at work. Give us some new place to rally.