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Talk of the bay

Bay area to learn of credit union's new name in October

By JEFF HARRINGTON
Published August 16, 2004

Pinellas Teachers Credit Union long ago outgrew its name; now it's time to make it official.

The credit union is sending newsletters to members indicating that, after 67 years in business, it will change its name in October.

But the new moniker is under wraps, with even vendors sworn to secrecy. "I can't on pain of death reveal it until Oct. 4," say Sally Rodgers, vice president of marketing for the $462-million asset institution.

Her sole hint is that the new name still will resonate with a special meaning to people in education without being exclusive to nonteacher types.

Eight years ago, the credit union expanded its charter to allow membership to anyone in the county and then beyond the county.

"Most people don't know they can join our credit union because of our name," Rodgers said. "If you live or work in Pinellas County - also Pasco and Hernando counties - you can join. We spend a lot of time letting people know they are eligible."

Today, "teachers" account for only about a fourth of the credit union's 50,000 members.

Pinellas Teachers is the largest credit union with headquarters in Pinellas County but it's dwarfed by some institutions on the other side of the bay that rank among the largest in the country, including Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union.

But Rodgers doesn't predict Suncoast will follow suit to expand its moniker beyond schools. "They do just fine," she said.

[Last modified August 14, 2004, 00:23:14]

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