Tuesday, July 4, 2023

SECU Board Of Directors - Individual Accountability - Bob Brinson


✅ I retired from working at SECU in 2016, quite a few years ago!  Of the 11 current SECU Board members, I worked for - and know well - only three of them. One was Mr. Bob Brinson who, as you will note above, has served on the SECU Board for over 15 years  Mr. Brinson is a wonderful person and is highly qualified as you can see - particularly in the area of information technology (IT).

One of the most outrageous statements peddled about by the "current/former" CEO of SECU - almost from day one of his disasterous tenure - was that SECU had not updated its technology since 1983. The "current/former" peddled this trash at the Fireside Chats, to the media, and even to the Raleigh Kiwanis Club, as late as last week. Still working hard at poisoning the well, even while fleeing the scene of the crime.

The most egregious example of this low-rent, no fact, hatchet job was the "current/former's" interview with the Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) on March 6, 2023 [see 3/10/2023 post].  As a result of that interview, two 30+ year, dedicated leaders of SECU - Mike Lord, retired CEO, and Chris Ayer, retired Chief Information Officer (CIO) - protested directly to the SECU Board. They also met with the TBJ editor to provide accurate data on the SECU technology environment and to request a retraction. The TBJ confirmed the quote from the "current/former" and therefore the story stood.

✅ If you will scan down the "Significant Dates in SECU History" page [here's the link] on the SECU website you will note numerous SECU tech changes during Mr. Brinson's service on the SECU Board - teller/branch platform, mobile access, text messaging/alerts, mobile payments, speech recognition, mobile app, mobile check deposit to highlight only a few.

Further, if you'd like to confirm for yourself that Mr. Brinson is well aware that the "no tech change since 1983" slander is false, here's what he mentioned as an SECU highlight in his "Chairman's Report" in the 2021 Annual Meeting minutes [just prior to introducing the biggest Board mistake in history, the new "current/former"] [link]:

"Chairman Brinson noted that in our current environment use of SECU’s contactless services saw dramatic increases, including the SECU Mobile App with the very popular Mobile Check Deposit feature, which was added this past year." 

❓ Mr. Brinson, how can a fine person of high integrity - skilled in IT - remain silent while  Mike Lord is disparaged, Chris Ayer is smeared, and the hundreds of loyal, effective SECU IT employees are unjustly belittled? This doesn't reflect the person I knew, nor the organization for which I worked. Why is this happening at SECU? https://secuvote.ey.com/

... "Your silence gives consent" - Plato https://secuvote.ey.com/


  1. I think the June 30th financials will again reflect a no confidence vote in the current board and leadership!

  2. Hmm...it's July 1st, yet Jim Hayes still shows as CEO in Workday. What's up? Has he gone or not?

    1. guess they can't pay him enough to leave

    2. His official last day is July 21.

    3. well that tells me one thing, the board didn't get rid of him....

    4. maybe he's going on one last selfie tour ...

    5. How can you question that they maybe got rid of him when they sent out a pledge of support for him a week before he quit lol he def didn’t get fired

  3. Mr. Brinson is highly respected and does seem like a good person. However, to keep quiet during these turbulent times when so much is at stake makes you either doubt his commitment to being a BOD member or he really is supportive of these disastrous changes.

    In either event his inaction or support for the Board actions is hurting the members who can least afford it and also many long term employees.

    How in the world can he (and they) continue in silence? It's time for a change.

  4. Should SECU ever move past the craziness of the current Board, Hayes, etc., one of the changes that might be considered is to eliminate any Board members from serving on the Nominating Committee for new BOD members. And to possibly have an employee representative elected by the employees. What SECU does not need is a social club or a good ole boys (or girls) network where friends and coworkers are continually brought in. SECU needs regional representation as well. Raleigh is not representative of the diversity of the state.

    Need folks willing to stand up and disagree when they see something wrong without fear of alienating a friend. The BOD should fight for members to the exclusion of other convenient friendships. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that the disaster of the past 22 months has continued unabated.

  5. Every member who uses any of SECU's digital channels knows that the 1983 comment is a lie. It's a soundbite used to push an agenda.

    Nothing can besmirch the records of Lord and Ayers. The 1983 slogan says much more about those who coined and repeated it than anyone else. If, in order to lead, you must cast aspersions on your predecessors, you are, by definition, unfit to lead.

    The Triangle Business Journal should have published a fact check section. They might have suggested that readers go to SECU's website or download the app or do any number of other things to easily disprove the statement. They could still print the quote from Hayes since it is something he said. Journalists are meant to hold themselves to a higher standard. Never does a journalist's job stop at merely taking the politician's word and printing it.

  6. For the record … Let me start by saying that I am not related or associated to Chris Ayer(s), Board chair.

    Let me also say that I will try to stay respectful while talking about SECU’s Board and current/previous CEO issues.

    I left the Credit Union as CIO in September of 2021. Three reasons … 1- Mr. Brinson 2- the Board made me feel I brought no value to the table 3- deep feeling of being disrespected.

    This was validated in the second meeting I had with Mr. Hayes. I was not ready to leave, and in retrospect, I am deeply concerned that I left my folks in such a toxic environment. I apologize.

    …short story… During the first year Mr. Lord was CEO, Mr. Johnson (previously distinguished Board member) and Mr. Brinson came to talk to me about why we were not going to follow through on Mr. Blaine’s recommendation to build a new Data Center in the old Blue Cross Blue Shield building located in Chapel Hill . I was crushed. Much preparation was already done. But here is my point. Even though it took me months to get over the project being canceled, I appreciated – respected them taking the time to tell me why they decided to go another way. … IMPORTANT POINT TO ME … I didn’t see this type of communication - interaction – working together during the rest of Mr. Lord’s term.

    Let me talk about the legacy groups for a little bit.
    First … the best group of folks I have ever worked with. During 2021 we completed two top-tiered Data Center migrations. That means we managed four Data Centers for 3+ years. Our folks did an outstanding job. Why did we do this…. position for the future! It can’t be left out that this was done during the height of the pandemic and other significant projects.

    While Mr. Lord was CEO, we hired a Digital Manager to join a business team to help scope our digital future. Listening to the Board and current/previous CEO, technology was not a major focus until Mr. Hayes was hired. Why did they discredit all this work?

    I ensured (did my best) that we grew technology and kept member service our primary focus. Just as important, my job was to make sure I positioned quality staff to take us into the future. I did that. I am afraid to list names, but these folks were great. They were not afraid of change. They understood the purpose of the Credit Union. They were qualified – dedicated, and more intelligent than me. They were ready to take the reins. My problem was that I did not plan for a corporate takeover. I apologize again.

    I am sure we are all amazed and tired of hearing ongoing misinformation about SECU’s technology. Folks, we will always want to advance our technology for our members and organization. One thing is for sure … All this talk about technology is taking focus away from all those bad decisions made during the last 20 months.

    I saw for myself that Mr. Lord repeatedly tried to tell the Credit Union story. I used to blame the pandemic since they did not meet face-to-face all the time during this trying time. But SECU Board members are responsible for overlooking a few influencers (bad actors) that continue to take our Credit Union down the wrong path. I am amazed that they do not stand up and say enough is enough!

    I still think Mr. Brinson is a good guy. I give him much credit for our new Data Centers. Please help get us back on track.

    Why the hatchet job . . . lack of Accountability!

    1. Great comments Chris. Thank you.

    2. Chris, You do not owe anyone apologies. Many of us have left since you did because of the poison that infiltrated the credit union. This reeked of an acquisition, there have been very few winners from the legacy groups. You drove us through growth and prosperity, they drove us in to the ground.

      Thank you for your leadership, in spite of the fact there was an overthrow brewing under the covers.

    3. Your gut was right, Chris. You are admired for sticking to your core values. Now, if only the board members could find their core values.

  7. "The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office."

    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    you either have it or you don't ..... can't play the fence on this one.... that's not saying we don't make mistakes but to keep silent while some newbie rolls in and starts slinging arrows, says you really don't have our back. Wouldn't want to be on the battle field with you.

  8. "To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society."

    Theodore Roosevelt

  9. "Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions."

    Thomas Paine

  10. Bottom Line. Mr Brinson and all the other Directors failed SECU, the Membership, the SECU Staff and North Carolina. Every single one should resign in shame.

  11. Mr. Brinson say something dammit! How can you justify staying silent.

  12. It's your legacy as a state employee one way or another. Time to decide who you are. We need to know. Alot riding on whether you will just be honest.