To: SECU Board Members Mr. Bob Brinson and Mr. Thomas Parrish
Mr. Brinson Mr. Parrish
You - Mr. Brinson and Mr. Parrish - have received the email below from the retired Chief Information Officer (CIO) of SECU. His comments are the result of a recently published article in the Triangle Business Journal (3/6/2023), in which your current CEO claimed that SECU hadn't updated its technology systems since 1983. Even a casual, "technologically-challenged" observer knows that statement is a lie for the many, obvious, non-debatable reasons listed below.
Mr Brinson and Mr. Parrish you both have distinguished careers as former CIO's in state government. From your decades of experience in tech leadership roles, you know full-well that the truth is not being told by the leadership of SECU. Yet, you have remained silent as the article has been forwarded as the truth to SECU member advisory boards, staff, and to the membership.
Mr. Brinson and Mr. Parrish, how much longer will you remain silent? Your continued silence seems to reflect and support the "new culture" at SECU; and, if continued, will eventually speak volumes as to your credibility as a leader. Not a particularly high note on which to end a distinguished career in technology, is it? Speaking up for the staff and the Credit Union only requires courage and character. But, that's your call, your choice, your integrity.
Hope you don't take this too personally...well actually, I do hope you take it extremely personally!
Recent letter to SECU:
Mr. Hayes / Board of Directors - State Employees’ Credit Union
I am compelled to add some context around the comment by Mr. Hayes found in the Triangle Business Journal (March 6, 2023 - 7:00 am) …
SECU hasn’t updated its systems since 1983, and change won’t happen “overnight.”
First, I must recognize that the SECU Board has always had my respect, but I am deeply concerned about the information on the street regarding SECU, the Board, and, yes, technology.
I left the Credit Union in September of 2021, where we had assets of $50B. I started as a programmer in 1985 when the Credit Union had less than one billion in assets. Continued growth each year was always achieved.
My last position was CIO. The reason I left had nothing to do with the new CEO. I thought the prep, story, and background he received about SECU & IT were incorrect and against my core beliefs.
I worked at a few large financial institutions. SECU's Technical staff is the best I have ever been part of. The dedicated IT managers were always in step with the business & members who worked well beyond the traditional 8x5 job. My God, the entire organization has the most committed folks … no question,
Please review the following brief history of some of the technological updates/changes throughout the years:
-Chose the best software from multiple vendors, control costs and quality, modify to meet the needs of members, and ability to develop new products internally.
-Upgraded highly complex operations including hardware, software telecom interfaces, and connectivity to related providers worldwide -Visa – PSCU – Fed – State and 100+ school systems, credit bureau, IRS, etc.....…
-Supported 7x24x365 operations and multiple sites for redundancy.
-Grew to 500+ employees. Excellent uptime record. SECU operated like a FinTech as a conscious business decision that has allowed the Credit Union to prosper, innovate, and control our Technology decisions.
-Provided TECH services to 5 different Credit Unions, an investment company, an insurance company, a property management company, tax prep, 275 branches, and over 1100 internally managed owned Cashpoints ATMs.
-Operated major Call Centers, internet, and mobile services for over million+ accounts.
-Millions of mobile/online transactions are processed efficiently with increasing monthly volumes.
-Yes, most financial institutions still have some legacy software that needs to be replaced, but that has not kept SECU from adding and upgrading hundreds of other pieces of software and numerous upgrades in hardware, terminals, ATMs, PCs, and Processors.
-TECH was always at the table as an important internal business at SECU. SYS.OPS (meeting with CEO at least monthly), including developing a new PMO (project management office).
-As a vital part of the most senior levels when changes, innovation, new products, and services were discussed. IT was always there at the beginning of recent efforts and included in the design and structure of the future of the Credit Union. IT was never an “afterthought” at SECU.
-TECH is a crucial strength of SECU and always has been, with great people, great systems, and exceptional results.
-Folks saying differently is pure BS!
TECH growth/transition has always been part of our direction. While I worked for SECU, we upgraded or replaced almost every central system. By the way, in 2021, SECU completed the migration of two new Data Centers. These are 3.5+ tiered facilities where 4 is the highest grade achievable. SECU technical and business staff were strategically involved in every step. The main reason for the new Data Centers was to position for the future. This was driven by approval from the Board to help jump into the next generation of technology.
SECU hasn’t updated its systems since 1983…
. This statement is not fair!
.. This statement is not correct!
... I am glad we continue to look at new technology, but why would you make this statement?
Respectful – Concerned - Confused,
Chris Ayer [Retired Chief Information Officer at SEC]