With $87 million in assets and 13,000 members, Pittsburgh Teachers Credit Union will officially become ‘Riverset,’ effective January 2, 2008.
President and CEO Christine Chojnicki said the credit union’s name was being amended to Riverset in an effort to broaden the organization’s appeal to groups other than teachers. Chojnicki said the name change will make the credit union “more inclusive” of all its members, as well as members or employees of some 60 companies and organizations representing health care, retail, hotel and public sector employees.
She said the credit union isn’t moving toward a community charter or away from its core members, even thought it will be open to anyone who lives on Pittsburgh’s South Side, where the credit union is based.
Chojnicki is quoted as saying, “Our members have been very receptive to the change.”
Michael Wishnow, senior vice president of communications for the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, said there’s a trend among credit unions to move toward community charters and away from select employee groups, or SEGs.
“When you look at how credit unions grew up, it was usually around a single, large employer,” Wishnow said. “But there are fewer and fewer large employers.”
A preliminary site is up at riverset.com, including this link to a PDF brochure from the credit union about the name change. In the brochure, the credit union says its management and directors selected the name.
- The word ‘river’ was chosen to mirror Pittsburgh – a city known for its three rivers, forward progression, and stability. The word ‘river’ is also a reflection of the dynamic nature that the credit union wishes to demonstrate in the future.
- The word ‘set’ was selected as a contrast to the word river. It exemplifies the fact that this credit union is a firm, well-established financial institution with deep ties to the community.
The brochure says the name and logo aren’t all that’s changing: “Along with the name change to riverset credit union, the look of our brand will change. The new branding employs a natural color scheme coupled with informal font styles representative of our more environmentally friendly brand.”
The accompanying logo was “carefully designed for its close alignment to our region,” Riverset says. “It has an open, modern and organic feel and is a visual representation of the many qualities encompassed by our new name.”
The credit union likely had to buy riverset.com from someone who had been using the domain for a photography site featuring Wisconsin rivers and sunsets (source: archive.org) since 2001. The riverset.com domain name was originally created in 1999, more than eight years before the credit union purchased riverset.org and riverset.net (both created June 12, 2007). Neither rivernet.org nor riverset.net were forwarding to the riverset.com website.
The credit union filed for a fairly broad level of USPTO trademark protection on September 25, 2007, under the following classifications:
- IC 035. US 100 101 102. G & S: tax preparation, marketing services, resale of marketing services produced in concert with another company, E-commerce, food services, food sales, retail clothing, real estate advertising services
- IC 036. US 100 101 102. G & S: banking service, credit union, financial planning, check cashing, mortgage processing, EDP processing, shared branching, insurance services, investment services, auto buying, auto leasing, indirect auto lending, automotive services, indirect general lending, credit cards, trust services, item processing, business lending, title insurance, peer to peer lending, real estate acquisition services, real estate agencies, real estate brokerage, real estate consultation, real estate escrow services, real estate investment, real estate management, real estate management consultation, real estate procurement for others
- IC 039. US 100 105. G & S: travel
- IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: technology services, information security services, real estate closing services
IC Class 36 is the traditional USPTO classification for banking services. It is unclear whether using this many terms provides a greater level of trademark protection, or if it exposes the trademark to more challenges from “Riversomethings” in other classifications.
The good news is, there are very few Google results for “Riverset,” with Google returning only 3,000 results for the word, mostly for apartments. Compare that to almost 700,000 results for “riverview.”
There are only two other results in the entire USPTO database, both of which are “dead.”