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Paynesville Press - Aug.1, 2001

Credit union changes name

By Linda Stelling

Starting today, the Melrose Credit Union has a new name - the Central Minnesota Federal Credit Union.

The name change marks a switch to a federal charter for the credit union and reflects its growth outside of Melrose.

Under the old charter, the credit union was under state and federal regulations. Under the new charter, it will operate under federal guidelines designed for credit unions, said Rick Odenthal, president of the Central Minnesota Federal Credit Union.

With less paper work, the move will provide a significant cost savings to the membership, Odenthal added.

The new name better represents the credit union's interaction with agriculture, schools, cooperatives, and the communities it serves, said Jenny Mayers, marketing specialist manager.

"We felt a name with central in it better defines our market," said Odenthal. Forty-eight percent of its members are from the Melrose area and 52 percent are from other communities.

This will be the fourth name change for the business since its organization in 1939 as the Melrose Catholic Parish Credit Union.

With over 23,000 members, the credit union has offices in Albany, Freeport, Grey Eagle, Melrose, and Paynesville. The Paynesville branch opened in 1993.

The Central Minnesota Federal Credit Union is the second largest agriculture lender and the 12th largest commercial lender among credit unions in the United States, according to Odenthal.

A special membership meeting was held in May and an unanimous vote of the members approved this change.

Credit union members can continue to use their existing checks, debit cards, and credit cards. As members renew these items, they will be updated with the new name. The credit union will honor the old checks, regardless of name, said Odenthal.

People with questions about the changes should feel free to call or stop by their nearest branch office, Odenthal added.

New signs should be erected on the branch offices by the end of the year.

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