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|Washington Mutual and Johnson Development Corporation Bring the 'Magic' of Home Ownership to Harlem, Urban Centers Nationwide|
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 1, 2003-- Earvin "Magic" Johnson in Harlem Today for Home Loan Center Grand Opening
Earvin "Magic" Johnson, chairman and CEO of Johnson Development Corporation (JDC), is teaming up with Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) to open home loan centers throughout the nation's underserved communities to help people in these neighborhoods build wealth, achieve their financial goals and realize the dream of home ownership.
As part of a special grand opening announcement today, Johnson and Washington Mutual Chairman Kerry Killinger appeared at the Harlem Home Loan Center at 8 W. 125th St. to discuss the unique new commitment and the company's involvement. The day-long event included the grand opening announcement, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and a community open house.
The grand opening event marks the national kick-off of the five-year partnership, and similar openings will follow in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. in the coming months. A total of 15 home loan centers are planned for the first year of the partnership.
"Our mutual passion for educating people about how they can get a mortgage for a new home will make this partnership successful, but it couldn't be done without Washington Mutual's commitment to put Home Loan Centers in the communities that need them most," Johnson said. "They understand that the way to make the dream come true is to be right next door, in underserved neighborhoods, to give people access and guide them through the process of buying a home."
Ken Lombard, president of JDC, said the joint effort is also about building communities. "Economic growth is the key to solving many problems faced by minority community residents, and by joining forces with Washington Mutual, we hope to help rebuild urban communities, stimulate local economies, and bring much needed services to residents," Lombard said.
"Washington Mutual and JDC share a commitment to address the financial needs of consumers and small-business owners of diverse ethnic backgrounds, as well as those in the low- to moderate-income population," said Kerry Killinger, Washington Mutual's chairman, president and CEO. "Together, I know that we will bring new opportunity and positive change to our communities."
For more than 100 years, Washington Mutual has helped stabilize neighborhoods to make them better places to live, work and raise families. This groundbreaking commitment to urban America includes affordable lending programs and products that increase accessibility, while furthering the companies' expansion into urban areas with new home loan centers. The home loans center staff will:
-- Be hired from the local community -- Work with non-profits and government agencies to develop programs to benefit local residents -- Develop curricula and teach homebuyer and financial literacy in the community -- Offer a tailored set of products to local residents to increase home ownership opportunities -- Be supported by co-branded marketing materials and joint advertising campaigns developed to increase awareness of home ownership opportunities and foster trust and understanding in local communities.
Located in the neighborhoods that Washington Mutual retail banking already serves, these new venues aim to put potential homeowners at ease with a diverse and friendly staff. Loan consultants will offer highly personalized service by explaining the flexible and affordable options available to clients while guiding them through the process of buying a home.
About Johnson Development Corp.
JDC, a company formed in 1994 by Johnson, is comprised of five separate companies, each functioning independently to serve as a business stimulus, foster local economic growth and create financial empowerment in long neglected minority urban and suburban neighborhoods. JDC develops entertainment complexes, restaurants and retail centers. The development projects provide jobs and employ local minority contractors in the communities in which they operate.
About Washington Mutual
With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a retailer of financial services that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and small businesses. At June 30, 2003, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $283.20 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,650 consumer banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking, consumer finance and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at www.wamunewsroom.com.
CONTACT: Washington Mutual Derek Aney, 646-521-3327 firstname.lastname@example.org or Flowers Communications Group Ronald Childs or Audarshia Townsend 312-986-1260 or 312-986-1268 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org SOURCE: Washington Mutual