Desert Schools is Changing Their Name, But Will Still Offer Same Great Financial Services

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Rooted in Education

Desert Schools Federal Credit Union was founded in 1939 as a financial institution for educators. In 2004, we expanded our charter to serve everyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Maricopa, Pinal and Gila Counties. Although we’ve happily welcomed new members since then, having the word “schools” in our name has continued to be misleading for the majority of Valley residents.  

Facing an Identity Crisis

We decided to do some research and see what the community thinks of us and our name. We conducted market research and focus groups, and the results spoke for themselves. “We are having a bit of an identity crisis,” said Jeff Meshey, CEO of Desert Schools. “Our market research has shown that in order to grow our business, we need to make clear who we serve. People really get hung up on the word schools, but also show an affinity for our brand,” he continued. Sixty percent of participants in this research believed that Desert Schools only served educators and students. The research supported and solidified the decision to choose a new name. 

Turning the Page to a New Chapter

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On January 1, 2018, we will officially be named Desert Financial Credit Union. We are excited about this change because we believe this name represents exactly who we are and what we do. In focus groups made up of members and potential members, participants unanimously chose the name Desert Financial. Participants said that the word “financial” represents a range of financial services and encompasses everything we offer as a credit union. This opportunity for growth will bring opportunities to invest in technology, our community, and our team members. 

Desert Financial’s Year of Giving

Not only are we launching a new name, but we are also introducing the Desert Financial Foundation and Desert Financial’s Year of Giving. The Desert Financial Foundation, a 501-c3 nonprofit, will provide a platform for our community giving in the years to come. Community giving has always been a priority for us, but the Desert Financial Foundation will take it to the next level. 

At a press conference held on December 13, 2017, we kicked off Desert Financial’s Year of Giving, presenting 10 Valley nonprofits with grants ranging from $5,000–$12,500. Shortly after awarding the grants, each person in attendance was given $1,000 to donate to the charity of their choice. There are many more exciting initiatives coming in 2018, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for us as Desert Financial!


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This post was written by Amy Steele. Amy Steele is the Digital Marketing Program Manager at Desert Financial Credit Union. She is a native Arizonan with a steadfast love for her community. She has several passions but her four dogs and Thai food top the list.