Saturday, June 24, 2023

SECU New Culture/New Direction - A Question Of Trust, Part 3 - Fireside Chats

  Baseline. Prior to September, 2021, SECU had an uninterrupted 85-year record of growth in assets and membership, un-besmirched by sanction or scandal.

Timeline.  🔺September, 2021 - "New/New" arrives at SECU. 🔺2022 - Chaos Ensues. 🔺October, 2022 - Annual meeting resolution

🔺November/December, 2022, - Fireside Chats [video link] - The SECU Board conducts a series of meetings with Member Advisory Board chairs to respond to the annual meeting resolution questions. Highly edited summary videos were published.

👎The Fireside Chats were the first indication that the SECU Board did not intend to respond to the membership in good faith - with facts and open dialogue:

  1. Member attendance at the meetings was tightly limited. 
  2. Remote/Zoom participation was not permitted.
  3. Questions concerning the issues from participants were required to be submitted in advance.
  4. The questions submitted by participants were not published (prior, nor after).
  5. Directly challenging questions from participants submitted in advance were not addressed.
  6. Open dialogue and discussion during the meetings was not permitted.
  7. Scripted vignettes by Board members were strong on "me" and weak on "members".
  8. An attitude of "if we say so" that should be a sufficient explanation prevailed. 

The Fireside Chats were a staged hoax - faux transparency - designed to hoodwink the membership with "non-answer answers". An insincere and insulting caricature of the truth... 

Board of Directors Group Image

... "this Board" knew what was best for 2.7 million members and had openly declared it was answerable to no one!


... but let's proceed with how Chris Ayers won the Oscar in the "Non-answer answers" category. Up next! 






  1. Highly edited is right. Wonder how much that cost our members? You can polish up BS but that doesn’t change what it is.

  2. If an organization puts more time and energy into controlling the message than communicating directly with its employees, red flag number one.

    If an organization spends more time on luncheons with vendors than planning projects, red flag number two.

    If an organization's mission/purpose statement changes from the concrete:
    As a not-for-profit cooperative association, the purpose of State Employees' Credit Union is to:
    1) Promote thrift among its members by affording them an opportunity to accumulate their savings
    2) Create for them a source of credit at a fair and reasonable rate of interest
    3) Provide for its members an opportunity to use and control their money to improve their economic and social condition

    To this vague list of jello, straight out of the marketing cliff notes:
    1) Exceed Expectations: We own our members’ experience. We focus, engage, and listen to our members and each other, striving to go beyond the basics.
    2) Embrace Curiosity: We seek and share knowledge and we are lifelong learners. We embrace change and are innovative.
    3) Invest in the Success of #TeamSECU: We respect our teammates and celebrate each other’s successes. We openly communicate and are transparent. We champion diversity, equity, and inclusion.
    4) Contribute to the Solution: We are accountable for our actions and results. We identify inefficiencies and bring solution

    Red flag number three.

    Three strikes and you're out!

    P.S. Did anyone miss the conspicuous absence of thrift? SECU doesn't do thrift anymore.

    1. This marketing strategy is as phony as all the new/new are, stop insulting your employees and member's intelligence.

    2. This marketing strategy is as phony as all the new/new are, stop insulting your employees and member's intelligence.

    3. Board of Directors of SECU - read @ 5:31 and just let it sink in the direction WE were going in 2021and where you have brought US to in 2023. And try to tell Us and Our Members we and our credit union are better off today?

      Prior to Mr Lord's retirement in 2021,
      the entire organization, some 6000 employees had just sailed through almost two years of unprecedented struggles with the Covid Pandemic. These employees were united with a mission to continue providing the best service possible to the members of State Employees' Credit Union and to take care of one another in the process. As far as I know we were the only financial institution in the state who never stopped in person service for even one day - we were all in the drive-thru at the branches, on our phones and if needed met Members in the parking lot. Our fellow coworkers in Call Centers, All Operations departments and Administration throughout the state seamlessly working together providing service and support for our Members. Our inside service opened up weeks and months before most other financial institutions in the state. In these months, we were all regardless of positions, united working together to help our Members and One Another through the hard times and SECU was successful.

      ***This Board's new Direction has taken us in 2023 to a place many of us are ashamed to be today.
      Your choice of *Leadership* for our organization has caused division and eroded the trust and respect that kept the credit union bonded together.
      Your choice of *Direction* is taking us away from meeting the needs of All our members. While we have many affluent members within our credit union membership, our purpose is not to solely serve them and honestly most of them do not expect that in a cooperative setting. If they do, there are plenty of banks willing to make up that difference, that's not what we do at SECU.
      Your attempt to change the Real Deal SECU *Culture* which has been in place for 86 years will never be accomplished by your newly created Culture Department. Some 6000 or more employees will never buy in or sell out to this propaganda they are pushing in the prior posts 1-4 cliff notes @ 5:31 for it is lacking in substance and we question the origin and authenticity. SECU employees foster a culture where you will find: a Genuine Desire to serve, a Willingness to learn, a Compassion for others, Honesty and Integrity above all else and a Passion for our Members and this Organization. SECU Employees cannot and should not be expected to get on board with less of a credit union than what we had in 2021.

  3. the new/new mission statement is also full of lies---transparent? Accountable for actions and results? We will see if they hold themselves accountable for failing to meet the goals set in THEIR strategic plan? Let's hope so. There will be a slew of resignations next week at this board's meeting!

  4. The "fireside chats" were tightly controlled. The election process is tightly controlled so that the three incumbents will win. What is this board so afraid of? Why is this board scared of the membership? Where is the information/ hard facts that this board has used to make their decisions? Maybe it doesn't exist...

  5. Does anyone have any information on why this board chose the NYC recruitment firm? Who on this board pushed that firm with no credit union expertise? This question has been asked several times. Does no one know?

    1. Not yet. But a comment Chris Ayer (no s - the good one) made in a previous post about feeling a shift in the way This Board interacted with former Executives in early 2021 is a very important observation. We need some facts about what was taking place behind the scenes with This Board and with Whom to begin to understand the decision why a volunteer board would choose to go rogue against the members and employees at SECU? Someone has these answers.

    2. It has the appearance when you connect the dots, that this board was most interested in allowing NCSECU to be purchased by a bank, which would create a cash windfall not for the members but for this board. The original legislation pushed by the credit union league and this board, allowed state chartered credit unions to be purchased by a bank. That was not in H410 which was proposed this year. H410 had been whittled down from an 80 page bill proposed last year.(Click on H410 above for information about H410.) Perhaps because this board and the credit union league decided to try a more incremental approach? The deceit by this board and it's handpicked leaders about what they are doing, and where this board intends to take the credit union border on fraud. All the voices that have objected have also been pushed to the side. This board is listening to itself over and over in an endless loop.

    3. SECU has a bad case of group think across the leadership, board and c-suite included. You can't blame them, because all of their destinies are intertwined. That's the exact danger of hiring your friends and yes men.

    4. Life would be so much easier if we could connect the dots before we suffer the consequences. Some members of ths board may be in bigger trouble than even they realize. And selling us off makes sense to me, banks do it all the time. Stands to reason a 6.5 million dollar investment in someone from outside SECU would be more likely to go where you wanted them to go. My member vote favors finding out if all 11 were in on the plan or if there are any holdout votes still left with some integrity for cleaning this branch of our credit union up. I've been a member of SECU for over 40 years and I have lost sleep over what has been taking place down there in Raleigh. I really don't want to move to a local bank but can't have my life's savings in the hands of crooks. That is why I have stayed at SECU, I trusted the credit union employees.

  6. Mr Ayers unwillingness to answer the many questions and calls to action by SECU members and employees concerned about protecting their credit union for many months now cannot be logically explained.
    It does appear he believes Silence is golden- a phrase used by some to say it is often better to remain silent than to speak. Might work for him if it weren't for the fact these questions are from the owners of a credit union who want answers about their money and the state of their credit union. What happened to all that talk about transparency coming from Hayes, Brady and Ayers a few months back?

    1. Ayers and a couple others on that board with their background in law should be familiar with another aspect of silence- what's the need for silence if you don't have something to hide? Which brings me to some talk on the street a few weeks ago about this board lawyering up, can Ayers explain why?