To: Mr. Chris Ayers, Chairman,
SECU Board of Directors, October 21, 2023
I am writing this email to request your thoughts on Mrs. Brady’s quote in CUToday about my attending and expressing my concerns as a member/owner.
It is a complete misrepresentation of what transpired. I do admit that I am a 20 year retiree of the credit union and I worked with SECU in Goldsboro for 30 years. I came to the annual meeting to do two things: (1) to support a member/candidate that I have known for 45 years. Mr. Stone has served as an advisory board member and a loan review committee member. I felt that he would provide much needed grass roots perspectives. I do not think that is a crime to support a candidate that would reflect member values.
(2) The second and most important issue was expressing my opposition to
risk based lending. Mr. Blaine nor any one else provided me with talking
points or agenda sheets. I was talking from 30 years of grass roots experience in the trenches
serving members who were economically challenged and primarily low
income. Regardless of circumstances, we treated all our members with the same level and quality of service.
As a result of our policies, the credit union developed generational loyalty and trust from our field of membership. Growth occurred as a natural consequence beyond our wildest dreams. We did not need hoards of marketing gurus to spark growth. Our members did it for us. We are now turning on our most vulnerable members with excessive interest rates they can ill afford. Weren’t these the type of members our original board in 1937 was trying to help avoid loan sharks? We are now the sharks.
One more question. Are we handcuffed from offering our members higher rates because the prior administration violated a cardinal rule of not investing in long term instruments with short term deposits? How much money do we have invested at 2% or less? What would our capital be if we marked to market values these assets? BTW I can get 5% on a daily money market fund backed by treasuries at my broker. If you want A paper, compare our 1.1% to their 5%
I will close by saying all that glitters is not gold. We need to take care of our members already in the tent before we pitch new ones.
In 1968, SECU opened its first branch offices in Chapel Hill, Morganton, and Goldsboro, N.C. - communities with heavy concentrations of state employees and educators. Goldsboro is in eastern North Carolina and the area has several state-sponsored mental health facilities - difficult, demanding work, not highly paid. The Goldsboro office was managed by two legendary leaders, Mr. Julian Hawes and his predecessor, Mr. Woody Lamm. Their fair, compassionate leadership set "the non-industry standard" that made SECU what it is (was} today. Julian Hawes is a voice to which one should pay attention.