A Learning Period
On January 1st, 1950, the Phillips Oil Company District FCU amended their charter to exclude employees of the gasoline company, which led to a large membership increase in the Odessa 66Federal Credit Union. An arrangement was reached with Phillips FCU to allow any Odessa 66 FCU member that had a loan with them to continue with payroll deduction, but any new needs had to be served by Odessa 66 FCU.
Prior to 1950, all credit union business was handled by Mr. Brumbelow immediately following weekly Phillips safety meetings, typically for an hour or more, off the clock. Mr. Brumbelow carried a large triple compartment briefcase and completely ran the credit union from this briefcase. He then received company permission to move a desk from his office to his home at 2519 N. Adams Ave and this became the company’s first official “branch.” Mr. Brumbelow even built an extension on his home to serve as a drive thoughh.
In 1952, Mr. Brumbelow was promoted and given company housing. As there was no room to conduct credit union business, a decision was made to build a true office into a stall of multiple garages attached to the company housing. It was during this transition that Ed Rowland took over as Treasurer and began to lead the credit union. After a couple of years working out of the garage stall, Phillips allowed the credit union to relocate the office to the fifth floor of the newly completed Phillips Building, in order to be more convenient to their employees.
A few of the highlights from the 1950’s include loan limits being raised to $400, and the first need to acquire liquidity from another financial institution. Due to the charter change from Phillips FCU and the membership influx that came from it, Odessa 66 CU reached out to Shell Employee’s CU and received a $10,000 loan to fund this growth.
The last five years have brought about tremendous change in Southwest 66 Credit Union, and has placed the credit union in a better position than ever before. 2012 was a record year for the credit union financially, hitting the highest net income mark in it’s history. This was surpassed again in 2013 and 2014, with $85 million in assets today. Southwest 66 Credit Union was recognized by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) as the 2014 Community Credit Union of the Year for its exemplary principles and service. All of this is happening as the credit union looks forward to celebrating it’s 66th anniversary in 2015.
Through the hard work of the Board of Directors, and the staff’s incredible level of dedication, the future of the credit union is brighter than ever. With a recent awarding of the prestigious Juntos Avanzamos (“Together We Advance”, certifying a credit union’s commitment to the Hispanic Community) designation, a whole new market will be served by the credit union. Our message remains, “How can we change your life today? In 2015, we will offer you “66 Reasons” as we celebrate 66 years of serving the Permian Basin.