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TULSA, Okla. – Surviving “horrendous challenges” of its sponsor over the last year and a half, the $70 million Williams Employees Credit Union said it is embarking on a new chapter of growth by winning state approval for a community charter covering five Oklahoma counties comprising metropolitan Tulsa. “Though we asked for the five counties, our prime goal is to serve those new employees and families that will make up a business core occupying space in the Williams Center,” said Gary Jones, president and CEO, noting the CU has at last emerged from a period of severe financial strain with at one point the provision for loan losses peaking at $200,000 a month. The Williams Center, in a 50-story tower housing hotels and businesses dominating the Tulsa skyline, once housed an array of Williams subsidiaries, several of which teetered.on bankruptcy. The CU, which at one time included a large group of MCI/WorldCom employees, is considering a possible name change in 2004 and will be launching a “rebranding” campaign, said Jones. The community charter, in the planning stages since last summer, was granted by the state banking board Nov. 18 with the application filed Nov. 6.

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