May 2014
eVolume 1, Issue 2

After nearly 33 years of service to Ulster County and the greater Hudson Valley region, Rural Ulster Preservation Corporation ceased to exist this year when the agency officially changed its name to RUPCO, Inc. The region’s leading provider and advocate of quality, affordable housing and community development programs aimed at providing opportunities and revitalizing communities announced the name change earlier this year. But with a new website due to roll out next month, the process of changing over to the name most people actually use is nearly complete.

“The breadth and depth of this agency’s work has expanded dramatically during the last five years and strategically the board has decided to go beyond the borders of Ulster County and work in the Hudson River Valley region” said RUPCO CEO Kevin O’Connor. Noting that the agency now administers one program in 10 different counties including Westchester, O’Connor added “this change in our name represents new work, new thinking and supports our ability to work in a larger geographic region. We are looking forward and are excited about the future,” he added, “and changing our name reflects that mindset.”

Board Chairperson James Childs agreed on the long and detailed process the organization used to decide on a name change, lauding Cathy Maloney, RUPCO’s Vice Chairperson and his co-chairperson on the name change committee. “The best time to develop the perfect name for any organization is at the beginning of its life, before others start defining you.” He went on to say that “when you’re expanding significantly after a run of more than 30 great years, it is much harder, and perhaps more important, to land on the name that is right. Cathy was a great collaborator to have on this process.”

O’Connor noted that deciding to change the name involved a significant body of research with all stakeholder groups. “When you have spent more than three decades establishing a name for yourself, and building a great reputation under that banner,” said O’Connor, “changing it is not an easy decision.” He said that board, staff, clients, funders, and community leaders were surveyed, and many participated in focus groups to determine if the name should be changed – and if so, what it should become.

“Our reality is that nearly everyone we heard from already thinks of us as RUPCO,” said O’Connor. “Further,” he added, “people associate the name ‘RUPCO’ with an affordable housing mission and with doing good work in communities.” When RUPCO opened its office in Greene County in 2012, it was readily apparent that having Ulster in the name would be confusing to Greene County clients. So a new logo was developed and deployed. “From day one in Greene County, we were RUPCO,” said O’Connor. No one ever asked what the letters ‘stood for’ all they asked was if we could help them.

For more than 30 years, RUPCO has led the region in creating and maintaining quality, sustainable housing and rental opportunities, inspiring understanding and acceptance of affordable housing initiatives, fostering community development and revitalization, and providing opportunity to people to improve their living standards. “We will continue to strengthen homes, communities and lives under our new and simplified name,” said O’Connor, and look forward to rolling out our new website and expanding our other communication activities under the new name.”

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