Thursday, March 9, 2023

SECU Board Members Bob Brinson And Thomas Parrish - To Tell The Truth?

 To: SECU Board Members Mr. Bob Brinson and Mr. Thomas Parrish

Bob BrinsonImage of Thomas Parrish the 4th

         Mr. Brinson                       Mr. Parrish

 Dear Sirs,

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]







  1. Amen!!! Well said

  2. I absolutely support Chris Ayer in his statements! IT has grown by leaps and bounds over the years while keeping morale and a love for the organization high! At this point IT morale is questionable at best! False Statements about the hard work everyone put in over the years certainly doesn’t help! Just SAD!

  3. The Board's continued silence on all these issues, technology, RBL, LGCU, tax service, treatment of legacy employees, etc. speaks volumes - hard to defend the indefensible huh?

    1. the Board is not silent! Jim Hayes doesn't matter. It could be Pinocchio as CEO. BOARD SETS POLICY. BOARD IS ALL THAT MATTERS.

    2. 2nd largest Credit Union in the United States and we never updated our systems. Malarkey! Andrews Federal isn't even in the top 30 for Cedit Unions. Nothing like spitting on the CEOs who came before and built up NCSECU to what it is today all because some person's (CEO/BOD) got called out at the annual meeting last year.

  4. The Board and their selected manager do not understand the (previously well run) complex, sophisticated business that they have been entrusted to Manage for the membership. Membership has no confidence in this board--(SEANC letter plus other letters from individuals) certainly not in the selected management. Why should these 12 be allowed to destroy a business that has helped so many people in North Carolina? and why are they hiding from all of us members and our questions. Do they really think the gobbledygook spouted as "fireside chat" is a satisfactory response? No question the sophisticated IT department built gradually to accommodate new needs and businesses is being destroyed by ineptness and incompetence. How on earth did this group of elites get the Triangle Business Journal to publish such a slanderous article filled with lies? Surely the journalist had to know a complex financial business won't grow in membership and asset size without competence and innovation in technology? since 1983 ??????? Sounds like the PR folks working for Hayes wrote this story.

  5. It for sure wasn’t Jim Hayes who wrote it! His grammar and sentence structure is not nearly this proficient if his emails to employees are any indication!

  6. This blog is now officially blocked at SECU.

  7. Uh like do they not realize people have cell phones and computers at home to read this? Won't stop anyone from reading the truth.

  8. I wouldn’t dare read this at work on an SECU server but it is for sure the first thing I read each morning and periodically check throughout he day. An embarrassing train wreck that I can’t close my eyes to. What happened to my respectful credit union? My workplace that I took pride in helping people. The silence is such a shame. Thank you for giving us employees and members a sounding board to try to fix what isn’t right. To do the right thing. Where is the baseball bat behind the door when I need one?