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Bartmann Wants to Start New Business with Former Employees

The founder and former president of Commercial Financial Services says he's ready to start a new business. Bill Bartmann says he hopes to use former C-F-S employees in his new venture, but he isn't ready to say much more just yet. Bartmann spoke before the downtown Kiwanis Club in his first public speech since C-F-S folded. He says he is ready to start over. "I have plans for the future and it involves former employees of C-F-S,” he said. “It's a bit hard to describe. It's a bit premature to talk the specifics of the new business, but there is about to be a new business in Tulsa,” Bartmann announced. “I need to do something of economic substance, and I need something that generates some social good."

But Bartmann will have to do it without the help of former C-F-S employee Michele Simmons. She worked for him once, but wouldn't do it again. "He's probably going to have a hard time getting those employees,” said Simmons. “I've got a lot of friends that I worked with that said they would never go back." Simmons says she's much happier now working at Home Depot. “There's no way I'd go back."

The former C-F-S leader says the credit of C-F-S was its employees. “I know who they are and what they can do. I have more than 2,000 of their names and addresses on my e-mail list at home,” he said. “They're anxiously awaiting it."

Bartmann blames the problems at C-F-S on investor panic. He says he's ready to revolutionize another business in Tulsa, using employees from his old company. C-F-S closed its doors this summer after once employing 3,900 people in Tulsa. The bankruptcy case of C-F-S is still in court, and Bartmann predicts it will take years to resolve.

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