Wednesday, July 5, 2023

SECU Board Of Directors - Individual Acountability - McKinley Wooten, Jr.

McKinley Wooten, Jr. Image McKinley Wooten, Jr.

A native of Kinston, Mr. Wooten holds degrees from Morehouse College and Vanderbilt University School of Law. He has served in several senior level positions in state government. Currently, Mr. Wooten serves as Assistant Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Revenue. Mr. Wooten joined SECU in 1994 and became a member of the Board of Directors in 2000. Other volunteer service includes serving on many community and professional advisory boards and he is an active member of his church 
✅ As mentioned in yesterday's post, I personally worked with only three of the current SECU Board members. McKinley Wooten, Jr. was one of the three. Mr. Wooten has vast experience in North Carolina state government and almost a quarter of a century of service on the SECU Board. A well-trained lawyer, highly astute politically, with a vibrant personality; Mr. Wooten was a valuable asset in the boardroom. Hard to fault such an active community volunteer - even the music director in his church!

In my experience. Mr. Wooten was best known as an early advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), long before that phrase became fashionable. He advocated within SECU for fair dealing and social justice not only for African-Americans, but for all state employees. Mr. Wooten was particularly well-known for personal calls to staff requesting additional review of loan requests from members in his home area of Lenoir (Kinston) and Greene counties or in his congregation or his community. You might think that would cause special pressure on the staff; it never did. Going the extra mile to assure fairness in lending was a core value at SECU... in the past.

But with the introduction of risk-based lending (RBL) at SECU in March, 2023, Mr. Wooten has voted to throw many of his friends, co-workers, and lots of folks in Lenoir and Greene counties under the financial bus. Based on SECU's own data well over 50% of SECU members are now being charged higher loan rates - unjustly - because they do not have A-paper credit scores.  In fact Mr. Wooten has voted to throw almost all of Eastern North Carolina under the bus - unjustly. Take a look at where most of N.C.'s low wealth, financially struggling (Tier 1) counties are located: