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.  ๐Ÿ”บSeptember, 2021 - "New/New" arrives at SECU. ๐Ÿ”บ2022 - Chaos Ensues. ๐Ÿ”บOctober, 2022 - Annual meeting resolution

๐Ÿ”บNovember/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.

๐Ÿ‘ŽThe 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! 





SECU New Culture/New Direction - A Growing Question Of Trust, Part 2 Here is a series on the severe erosion of trust by both members and staff in SECU. [...going to move fast again.] Not much denying that a wide chasm of concern has developed over the last 2 year. Why is this happening? 

The "problem lies" with the SECU Board of Directors - not with the "current/former" CEO, nor with the "current/future" CEO. Both of those folks are complicit, but more willing puppets than independent actors.  The "problem lies" with the SECU Board of Directors - let's look at some examples and "name names".

First, let's establish a baseline. Prior to September, 2021, SECU had an uninterrupted 85-year record of growth in assets and membership, un-besmirched by sanction or scandal. Regardless of your opinion of the "current/current" SECU, I have heard no one question that statement - which is substantiated by cold hard, provable facts and data. Prior to September, 2021, SECU was prospering. Whatever the "SECU Strategic Plan" was then - worked. Those quaint ideas of "Do the Right Thing" and "Send Us Your Mama" were understood by - and practiced - by the staff and believed by the membership. Fairness was the hallmark of SECU.

But the indiscriminate selection of an implausible new leader in 2021 by the SECU Board of Directors set off a firestorm of controversy, dissension, and distrust among the SECU staff, which was not long in cesspooling out to the membership. How did that happen and then fester?

Although far removed from SECU by retirement and focused on other matters (chickens, daffodils, and sauvignon blanc), the "calls" started coming early in 2022. Ignored those concerns initially, as nothing more than the normal "whining reaction" to change. Change always creates "winners and losers" as new leadership moves into place. Get over it, right? But the calls continued and became more specific, more issue oriented, and more concerning.

Those calls led to the resolution [link to resolution] at the Annual Membership meeting in October, 2022. The resolution asked the SECU Board for an explanation of 6 issues: LGFCU merger, open membership,  risk-based lending, commercial/business lending, end of N.C. focus, and tax prep services. The key seventh question was: "How do these changes benefit the current SECU membership?" 

The response by the SECU Board seemed promising as "Fireside Chats" were scheduled for late November, 2022. 

Let's take a look - in my opinion - at how Chairman Chris Ayers triggered the cascading decline in trust and respect for the Board of SECU - and for the entire credit union. Stay tuned!

SECU Board Member Makes Sure His Friends Get Some "Exceptional" Investment Advice From The "Current/Former"...

๐Ÿ˜Ž The oldest investment club in Raleigh gets guidance from Mark Fleming, member SECU Board of Directors, and from the "current/former" CEO of SECU....