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ECU expanding on Wilcox Drive

Hank Hayes • Updated May 17, 2017 at 7:37 AM

KINGSPORT — Eastman Credit Union announced on Tuesday that it recently purchased a 10-acre tract on Wilcox Drive to build a support staff facility expected to house up to 200 employees.

“With our corporate offices in Kingsport, this purchase will allow us to house our growing support staff by creating a campus in close proximity to the current headquarters on MeadowView Parkway,” Olan Jones, ECU’s president and CEO, explained in a news release. “The most important aspect of this new facility is it will strengthen our ability to serve and support members in all locations, well into the future. At ECU, it is all about the member.”

After reaching $1 billion in assets in 2001, ECU has grown to be a $3.8 billion financial institution. Originally formed to offer financial services to Eastman employees, in 2005 ECU expanded its reach to include everyone in several counties in East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Texas.

ECU said it now serves almost 190,000 members, a number that has more than quadrupled since 2000. During that same time, membership growth, branch expansion, new services, a surge in technology offerings, and a constant barrage of regulatory changes have resulted in the addition of more than 500 employees required to keep service levels high. ECU currently employs more than 700 people, with many serving in administrative or support positions necessary to offer high-quality financial services.

“This project is a significant investment in Kingsport that will add jobs to the area as well as create an interest in the Wilcox Drive corridor expansion,” Jones noted.

The new facility’s design is still in the planning stages but will remain consistent with ECU’s brand, which reflects our culture and our roots, added Debra Bridwell, senior vice president of marketing and facilities.

ECU said it tentatively plans to begin occupying the new facility by the end of 2018.

ECU announced a record-breaking $12 million extraordinary dividend for the year 2016.

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