|Pictured (from left): Dr. Robert Nelson and Dr. Al Wentzy, who each received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award at the SECU Annual Meeting in October.
Two State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) volunteers, Dr. Robert A. Nelson of Hoke County and Dr. Al Wentzy of Northampton County, were recently awarded the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine --- the highest civilian honor that can be granted in the State of North Carolina. The presentations were made by SECU Board Chair McKinley Wooten during the Credit Union’s Annual Membership Meeting in October. Awarded by the Governor of North Carolina, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine is presented to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the State. Contributions to their communities, extra efforts in their careers, and many years of service to their organizations are some of the guidelines by which recipients are selected for this award.
Dr. Robert Nelson, a Raeford Advisory Board member, served North Carolina’s Public Education System for 36 years. He was influential in securing an SECU branch for his Raeford community and worked to bring a teacher housing initiative to Hoke County.
Dr. Al Wentzy, a Jackson Advisory Board member, served for more than forty years in Federal, State and Local Government positions. A retired Joint Services’ Commander for the US Air Force and US Army, Dr. Wentzy most recently retired from his second calling as Department of Social Services Director for Northampton County. At SECU, he was instrumental in making sure that the Credit Union supported its military members to the fullest and helped to organize the SECU Supports the Troops campaign. Dr. Wentzy was also a key factor in State Employees’ Credit Union receiving the Department of Defense’s highest Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) honor --- The Freedom Award --- in 2011.
Dr. Wentzy comments, “It’s been a pleasure and an honor to serve our Country and our State for the past 42 years. I am grateful for the recognition given by the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award and equally thankful for the opportunity to join the dedicated professionals of SECU with the ‘Supports the Troops’ outreach efforts and SECU’s leadership in seeking to support all our military members. By supporting SECU, we are supporting each other and making life better for our loved ones, our State and our nation!”