LONGVIEW, Wash. – After 70 years, Weyerhaeuser Employees' Credit Union will no longer have a familiar tie to its original sponsor. Weyerhaeuser Co., an international forest products company, has asked the $481 million CU to remove "Weyerhaeuser" from its name. According to WECU spokeswoman Amy Davis, both entities have always operated independently of each other and the decision to remove the name was mutual. The $22.6 billion Weyerhaeuser Co. was founded in 1900 and has 54,000 employees in 19 countries. According to the CU, a new name is expected to be unveiled by the first quarter of 2007. Chartered in 1937 by a group of Weyerhaeuser employees, the CU serves nearly 49,000 members and has since expanded its field of membership to any Washington state resident among other eligible groups. Weyerhauser said it asked for the name change to make it clear that there is no business relationship between the two and because it had expanded its membership beyond Weyerhauser employees, said Jackie Lang, a company spokeswoman. "The request is not uncommon in today's business world. Credit unions across the country have been going through this same transition," Lang said, adding, "Many credit unions began serving a specific group – employees at Boeing, Seattle Telco, and United Airlines for example – but they have since opened their doors to the public. All operate under new names." At one time, there were as many as 14 credit unions around the country with "Weyerhaeuser" in their names, Lang said. Growth strategies and mergers have caused all of them to drop "Weyerhaeuser" from their name except WECU, she pointed out. "Selecting a new name gives the credit union the chance to clarify its new expanded membership status and seek new marketing opportunities," Lang said. -

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