UI Community Credit Union works to change name after state, regent policy changes

Iowa’s largest credit union moves to change its name to GreenState Credit Union.



Brooklyn Draisey, News Editor

The University of Iowa Community Credit Union plans to change its name to GreenState Credit Union following a state law that would have required the name be switched in around a month.

The proposed name change to the 80-year-old credit union, the largest in the state, was announced in an email to members from the credit union’s president and CEO Jeff Disterhoft.

A committee comprising staff, members, and a volunteer board narrowed the name choices from a pool of thousands before unanimously selecting GreenState Credit Union. The volunteer board has submitted an application to trademark the name.

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law in May 2018 that bars credit unions from using public university names in their titles, giving them until April 30 to be in compliance.

“Change is never easy, and we will always remember and respect our University of Iowa roots,” Disterhoft said in the email. “A new name will not change our mission to be the best that we can be for our members, our staff, and our communities.”

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The name was inspired by a credit-union member who flew back to Iowa after being away for a long time, Disterhoft said in the email.

“From the rolling valleys of farm ground to the trees that speckle our landscape, Iowa appeared to them as a warm welcoming ‘quilt,’ ” he said. “So in order to pay tribute to our birthplace, we chose GreenState, and we have since developed a logo representing the diverse and vibrant colors of Iowa.”

Disterhoft noted in the email the change will not alter account numbers, and materials with the UI Community Credit Union logo will continue to work. Staff, branches, routing number, and contact numbers will also remain the same.

In June 2018, the state Board of Regents also weighed in on a potential name change after the state law passed, approving changes to its policy on trademark use at its June 2018 meeting. The policy prohibits entities unaffiliated with the regent institutions from using the institutions’ names, also affecting the credit union that uses the UNI name.

The credit union expects to hear back from the U.S. Patent and Trademark offices by the end of March, and it will begin the transition to the new name after receiving final confirmation.