DALLAS – Dallas Postal Credit Union has been a fixture in this city’s neighborhoods for 71 years. Effective July 1, the oldest credit union in Dallas changed its name – to Neighborhood Credit Union – to reflect the importance it places on serving entire communities surrounding its branches. “Because we now serve a larger geographic area, a name change is required to more accurately reflect the membership that has developed over the last few years,” said Chet Kimmell, Neighborhood Credit Union CEO. “Our goal is to be a part of our members’ communities; to be where they are, to meet their needs whenever and wherever they occur. We want to be a good neighbor.” Implementing a name change away from a credit union’s original sponsor company is sometimes met with resistance, particularly when the credit union’s board of directors is heavily comprised of long-term employees or retirees of the sponsor company. Not a problem for DPCU (Dallas Postal Credit Union), which changed its name under the direction of a board comprised of “100%” postal-affiliated members. While Neighborhood Credit Union, with $167 million in assets and six locations, now serves many “non-postal” members, United States Postal Service employees remain the “bread and butter” of the credit union’s 30,000-strong membership, according to Mark Arnold, the credit union’s senior vice president of marketing. The new name is “a proactive step towards becoming a better partner with the USPS and the broadened field of membership,” he said. Arnold said the name change has followed a natural progression. Several years ago, the credit union dropped the words “Dallas Postal” from the name and began using just the letters “DPCU”. The name, Neighborhood Credit Union, actually evolved from a marketing tagline used by the credit union for the past two years. “Two years ago when we changed our charter to include anyone who lives or works within eight miles of the credit union, we changed our tagline from `A Member-Owned Financial Cooperative’ to `Your Neighborhood Credit Union.’ It was more or less a trial balloon to see how receptive our members would be to a name change,” Arnold said. “And just by putting up new signs with the tagline on it, we saw a sizeable increase in business – people felt more comfortable stopping in.” Crucial to garnering acceptance from the postal community was meeting with key postal officials in advance to make them aware of the name change, Arnold said. Mike Walder, Dallas Manager of Post Office Operations, said, “The USPS has enjoyed its 71-year relationship with Dallas Postal Credit Union. As we have grown by leaps and bounds, so has the credit union. We are excited to share in the success of DPCU and wholeheartedly endorse their name change to Neighborhood Credit Union. We are confident that current and future members will continue to enjoy the same high levels of service they have come to expect.” The membership at large appears to like the new name, according to Arnold. “We have had a very favorable response, only one or two members expressed concern and they understood the rationale when we explained the reason for the change,” Arnold said. “Just like there’s a post office in every neighborhood, we want to have a credit union in every neighborhood.” -

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