Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recently signed the state’s budget bill into law. This bill carries an amendment stating that credit unions "shall not include the name of any public university located in the state in its name.” This requires University of Iowa Community Credit Union (UICCU) to change its name by April 30, 2019.
UICCU will keep members notified each step of the way during the process, starting with answers to some of the anticipated questions.
- Why is the UICCU changing its name? Governor Kim Reynolds signed the state budget bill into law in June of 2018. The bill included an amendment that requires UICCU to change its name.
- When will the name change occur? We have met the April 30 legal deadline to change our name on our articles of incorporation. The actual change to signage, documents, etc will occur on Monday July 22nd.
- What is the history of our name? Our cooperative was established in 1938 as the State University of Iowa Hospital Employees Credit Union. It was created to serve the staff of the University hospital. In 1966 it expanded to serve all staff, students, and alumni when it became the University of Iowa Credit Union. In 1988, the word “community” was added to the name when UICCU expanded its charter to serve residents that were not necessarily tied to the University of Iowa.
- What process have followed since the law was passed? We first reached out to our members and received thousands of name ideas to consider. A committee comprised of staff, volunteer Board, and members narrowed the ideas down to a few that were reviewed by trademark attorneys. These selections were then tested in interviews with random Iowans. Ultimately the UICCU Board of Directors unanimously selected one name and we submitted our application for trademark. On April 2nd, the name was cleared by the United States Patent and Trademark Office
- What is the new name and logo?
- How did we arrive at that name idea? GreenState was inspired by a member who flew back to the state of Iowa after a long time away. From the rolling valleys of farm ground to the trees that speckle our landscape, Iowa appeared to them as a warm welcoming “quilt” of green. So in order to pay tribute to our birthplace, we chose GreenState, and have since developed a logo representing the diverse and vibrant colors of Iowa.
- What guidelines did you follow in creating the name? We wanted a name that is simple and not geographically constraining. We worked to create a name that is welcoming and reflective of the cooperative’s Midwestern heritage.
- Do the members need to vote to approve the new name? Current Credit Union law does not require a membership vote for a name change.
- Will a name change inhibit our success? UICCU measures “success” by
- how much we give back to our members,
- how well we support our communities,
- and how well we provide for our staff.
- What will the name change cost the cooperative? We are early into this process, but we estimate the cost of a name change (signage, documents, collateral material, card plastics, trademarks, communications, etc.) to be roughly $2.5 million. For perspective, this estimate is 0.9% of our projected annual revenue.
- Will the change impact the products, services, staffing, pricing or locations of the UICCU? No. This will be a change in name only. There will not be a change to staff, branches, products, or member account numbers. There will be no need to order new debit cards, credit cards, or checks. Our routing number will not change.
- What will the new web address be? It will be www.greenstatecu.org
- Is the credit union making a political statement with the new name? No. Green for us is life, health and new growth. It’s also a reflection of the agricultural state in which we were born.