Board of Directors
SECU Foundation’s Board of Directors are inspired by the Credit Union philosophy of “People Helping People”. Board members serve on a volunteer basis and are not paid for their commitment.
Jo Anne Sanford
Jo Anne Sanford was elected to the State Employees’ Credit Union Board of Directors in 2005, is a past Chair of the Board, and currently chairs the organization’s Foundation Board. She was Chair of the North Carolina Utilities Commission for ten of her twelve years in service, and prior to that served for 20 years with the Attorney General’s Office. A graduate of NC State University and the School of Law at UNC-CH, she has extensive experience in regulated utility industries. She practices law in Sanford Law Office, PLLC in Raleigh and is a board-certified specialist in Utilities law, as well as a member of the State Bar’s Utilities Specialty Committee. Formerly a Director of Piedmont Natural Gas and Chair of the Duke Energy Community Advisory Board, she currently is the Chair of the Advanced Energy Corporation Board. A longtime resident of Raleigh’s oldest historic district, Ms. Sanford is married to Billy Brewer, Jr. and they have one daughter.
About Board membership, Ms. Sanford says, “I believe strongly in the merits of state government service and am eager to support organizations that positively impact the lives of all people in the State of North Carolina. SECU is a principled and dynamic organization that ‘serves those who serve’ — it is a powerful force for good in this state and I am excited to be part of the mission.”
An SECU member since 1980 and a member of the Board of Directors of SECU since 2007, Bob Brinson is also a former SECU Board Chair. He is currently the Vice Chair of the SECU Foundation Board and previously served on the Audit Committee of SECU. Mr. Brinson recently retired as Chief Information Officer of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
Mr. Brinson has a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from NC State University, an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.
Secretary / Treasurer
Chris Ayers has served on the State Employees’ Credit Union’s Board of Directors since 2016 and currently holds the position of Chair. He is a native of Rutherfordton, North Carolina and currently resides in Apex, NC with his wife Rebecca. Mr. Ayers graduated from Duke University (B.A.) in 1999 and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law (J.D.) in 2002. From August 2003 to June 2009, he practiced law in Raleigh, NC with the law firm of Hunton & Williams LLP and with Poyner Spruill LLP from June 2009 to June 2013 with a focus on regulatory and utilities law. Since 2013, Mr. Ayers has served as Executive Director of the North Carolina Utilities Commission Public Staff, which represents utility customer interests in cases before the Utilities Commission. Mr. Ayers currently serves as President of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates and volunteers on various national committees and advisory boards representing utility consumer interests. He previously served on the Board of Directors of Global Hope India and the North Carolina 4-H Development Fund. He is an active member of his church and enjoys golf, kayaking, board games and traveling with his wife.
When asked why he serves the SECU membership, Mr. Ayers states, “I strongly believe in SECU’s philosophy of ‘People Helping People’ - SECU has an incredible history of making that happen in communities and households across the great State of North Carolina. It is an honor and privilege to serve an organization that makes such a tremendous economic impact and advances the well-being of over two million.”
Ms. Bell, a graduate of NC A&T State University, retired from the Department of Health and Human Services with more than 40 years of service to the State. She became a Board Member of State Employees’ Credit Union in 1999 and is a former Chair of both the SECU Board of Directors and SECU Foundation Board of Directors. She also served two terms on the Advisory Board of SECU’s Salisbury Street branch. In addition to her membership on SECU's Boards, Ms. Bell boasts a lengthy volunteering resume spanning 36 years. She is a past president of the State Employees Association of North Carolina where she remains very involved, and formerly served on the Teachers and State Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees. (Because she was representing active employees, she had to step down upon retirement.) She also served many years on the Committee of Excellence for State Employees and is extremely involved in her church. She served four years as President of the Johnston County Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a service sorority. She also served on the Board of Directors for Harbor, Inc. - a Johnston County shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. She was recently reappointed to another term to the Johnston County Board of Elections, where she serves as secretary. In her spare time, her hobbies include reading, needlecrafts, and baking.
When asked, “What does the Credit Union mean to you?” Ms. Bell had this to say, “I feel that I am providing a valuable service to my fellow State employees. My family has always been very involved with volunteering - and the tradition continues.”
Lee Brown III
Dr. Brown was appointed to the SECU Foundation Board in 2019. He is the Dean of the College of Graduate & Continuing Studies and Professor of Management at Coastal Carolina University. Prior to his appointment at Coastal Carolina University, he served as the interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dean of the Broadwell College of Business & Economics, and Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Business Innovation at Fayetteville State University.
Dr. Brown’s previous work experience includes 14 years at multiple levels of management for Fortune 500 companies. In these roles, he led a diverse staff of engineers, customer service teams and service technicians, while developing marketing strategies, growing revenue and establishing strategic alliances with complementary firms and customers. His proven record of leadership is further exemplified in his community service, as he has held positions on executive boards of several organizations including the Greater Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, the Career and Technical Education Advisory Board for Cumberland County Schools, and Greater Fayetteville United.
Dr. Brown earned his Ph.D. in Strategic Management and International Business at the Strome College of Business at Old Dominion University. Additionally, he received his BS in Electrical Engineering from NC State University and his MBA from Strayer University.
Ms. Bunn has served on the State Employees’ Credit Union Board of Directors since 1994 and is a former Chair of the Board. She spent the bulk of her government career with the North Carolina State Budget Office in planning, research, and public policy positions. Ms. Bunn has also directed long range planning efforts for Wake County Public Schools. Over the past 15 years she owned and directed a market research company, First In Focus Research (recently sold), which specialized in qualitative and quantitative research studies. Ms. Bunn holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from North Carolina State University in math, statistics, and business management. She has two children and two grandchildren.
When talking about her service to SECU, Ms. Bunn states, “Serving on the Board provides an opportunity to participate in the planning for and the delivery of financial services to over 2.5 million people. These services have a direct effect on the economic and social well-being of almost a quarter of our State's residents. Few volunteer positions provide such an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of so many individuals.”
Mark Fleming joined the SECU Foundation Board of Directors in 2018 and the SECU Board of Directors in 2019. He is a retired state employee with the State of North Carolina. His career included the positions of Vice President of Government Affairs for Blue Cross NC, Vice President of Government Relations for the UNC System, and Assistant to the Chancellor for NC State University.
Mr. Fleming worked six years in the US Senate in Washington, DC and he is a US Army veteran. He graduated from NC State University and received his MBA from Bellarmine University. He and his wife Julie live in Raleigh, and love taking care of their two granddaughters.
Alice Garland helped start the N.C. Education Lottery and served as its top executive from August 2010 – March 2018. She held many positions with the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, the professional association representing the lottery industry in the United States and Canada and chaired the association’s Responsible Gaming Committee. Garland also served as Vice President of the Multi-State Lottery Association, a nonprofit organization which operates the Powerball game, on behalf of its member lotteries, and served on its Development Committee.
Garland is a member of the Lottery Hall of Fame and received the Lottery Statesperson award. She also received the inaugural Arch Gleason Industry Award for Responsible Gambling Leadership and the National Council on Responsible Gaming Annual Advocacy Award, the only lottery employee to receive this award. For more than 34 years, Garland served in state and local government executive posts handling governmental affairs and communications. She received a bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary with a major in urban studies and a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Garland has been a member of the Raleigh Kiwanis Club for 31 years, was the first female president and is a past president. She serves on the Wake County SPCA Board and the Hospice and Home Care Foundation Board. She has also served on the board of directors of the Public School Forum, the N.C. Environmental Management Commission, the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research, and the N.C. Professional Lobbyists Association.
As a former member of the State Employees’ Credit Union Audit Committee and branch Advisory Board, Jennifer Haygood joined the SECU Foundation Board of Directors in 2018 and was appointed to the SECU Board of Directors in 2019. She is the Chief Financial Officer at the University of North Carolina System. She previously held positions with the North Carolina Community College System, including Chief of Staff, Acting President, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Business and Finance.
With an early focus on education, she began her career as an elementary classroom teacher in Louisiana before transitioning to the N.C Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as a Governor’s Public Management Fellow in the Education Section. Ms. Haygood subsequently worked in the Fiscal Research Division of the North Carolina General Assembly, serving as an Education Team Leader and Senior Fiscal Analyst prior to her service with the Community College System and the University of North Carolina System.
Ms. Haygood received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice University where she was a Hanszen Fellow and James Baker Distinguished Scholar. She completed her Master of Public Policy from Duke University as a Sanford Scholar.
Ms. Moon joined the State Employees’ Credit Union Board of Directors in 2016. She is the Chief Operating Officer of North Carolina’s Medicaid program in the NC Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to her current position, Ms. Moon was the Executive Administrator of the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees, a division of the NC Department of State Treasurer, and served as the State Health Plan’s Chief Financial Officer. Before joining the State Health Plan, Ms. Moon served as Chief Business Operations Officer for the Division of Medical Assistance, NC Department of Health and Human Services. She also was a Principal Fiscal Analyst with the Fiscal Research Division of the NC General Assembly.
Ms. Moon received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Master of Science degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Williams joined the SECU Foundation Board of Directors in 2016 and the SECU Board of Directors in 2017. She currently serves as Vice President for Durham Affairs at Duke University. Dr. Williams previously served as President of Vance-Granville Community College, a four-campus institution in Northeastern North Carolina, and has served in various faculty and administrative roles within the North Carolina Community College System.
Dr. Williams is a graduate of Duke University and completed her doctoral studies at NC State University, where she also serves as adjunct faculty in the College of Education. Williams presents nationally, consults on leadership and workforce development, and actively participates on numerous public and private boards.
Service on the SECU and SECU Foundation Boards is important to Williams because she values the “public and community service provided by the state employees of North Carolina” and the “collective, positive impact on community and economic development that is supported by the SECU members through the activities of the Foundation.”
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, including Inspector General, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Administration as well as Deputy Director and Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. Currently, Mr. Wooten serves as Assistant Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Revenue. Wooten joined SECU in 1994 and became a member of the Board of Directors in 2000, serving as Chair from 2011-2013. He also served as Chair of the SECU Foundation Board during 2014-2015.
Mr. Wooten states that he volunteers his time to serve the membership because, “I believe strongly in the cooperative philosophy of credit unions in general and that of State Employees’ Credit Union in particular. I believe in the membership, a league of hard-working, dedicated State employees and their families who rightfully expect and deserve sound leadership at the Board level.”
Mr. Wooten's other volunteer service includes serving on the Wake County Human Services Board of Directors, the NC Museum of History Foundation Board, the UNC School of Government Foundation Board and the Campbell Law School Board of Visitors. He is an active member of his church and enjoys playing the piano, traveling and spending time with his family. He is married to Laura H. Wooten, and they are the proud parents of a young adult son and daughter.