A credit union founded about 80 years ago is considering changing its name for the first time, in part to make area residents aware of the services it provides.
The International Harvester Employee Credit Union was founded in 1934 to serve employees of that company, said Tiffany Looney, the firm’s marketing director. However, the company’s mission has expanded and the credit union now serves seven counties and hundreds of companies. The company has about 16,000 members and about 50 employees at four locations.
The name implies to some residents they must be employees to join, Looney said, although that is not the case.
“It’s been a difficult thing for us,” Looney said. “We’ve talked about it for many years. Obviously we love the history of International Harvester and we definitely want to continue to honor that. We just want to make sure we have a name that can carry us into the next 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 years.”
The company is seeking input from its members to decide whether the credit union should make slight changes to its name, remain unchanged or develop a new name entirely. The contest will continue for a couple weeks and so far the response has been good, she said.
Customers can make suggestions at any of the local branches or visit the company’s web site at www.ihecu.com. One participant will be picked from a random drawing and could win a $300 gift card.
“We’re thinking we should probably have a decision by the end of the year,” Looney said.
It would be the first time the company has ever changed its name. Doing so would mean a rebranding campaign with a new logo, colors and marketing materials. She stressed the company itself is not being sold, and only the name could change.
“We want people to know we’re not changing, we’re not selling, we’re not merging,” Looney said. “”We’re going to be the exact same credit union we’ve always been. We’re just thinking of a new name.”
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