Dan Bewley, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tuesday was the first day back in an old home for a new Tulsa business. Employees for CFS II moved into their new office Tuesday, in the same building where the original company closed its doors in the late 1990's.
Commercial Financial Services, or CFS, is a debt collection company that filed for bankruptcy in 1998. Owner Bill Bartmann and its employees say this time they're here to stay.
"This is a good day for all of us and this is a good day for Tulsa so I am just thrilled to death to be able to be here today," Bartmann said. CFS II has been up and running since July, but Tuesday it moved into its new home in CityPlex Towers.
"It's wonderful, it's long overdue," said Tonya Jones, an employee.
Nearly 4,000 people lost their jobs when the original CFS filed bankruptcy and shut down more than ten years ago.
Bill Bartmann, along with co-founder Jay Jones, was charged with funneling millions of dollars to hide the company's failing performance. Bartmann was acquitted but Jones was found guilty of conspiracy.
"It's a nice old home week," Jones said.
Tonya Jones, an original CFS employee, even brought some keepsakes from her first time around.
"Oh, I'm very confident it will be just as good or better than it was before," she said.
Cathy Buckner is another former and current employee. Like Jones, she has a good feeling about CFS II."I hope Tulsa will embrace this and see it as an opportunity for growth and to help the unemployment and help our economy grow because this is going to be big this time, again," Buckner said.
While no one will go on record, News On 6 has heard from some who are skeptical of CFS II, but Bill Bartmann points to the number of returning employees as evidence that the company is on the right track.
"If people lose their job because of tragedy that happened in the company and twelve years later they stand in line to get back in, that's the validation I look for," he said.
The Tulsa Metro Chamber said it welcomes Bartmann and his new business.
"As always, the Chamber is supportive of an individual and company seeking to grow jobs in the Tulsa metro region. Bill Bartmann has proven, many times, the ability to find a niche need in the business community and fill it," said Mike Neal, President and CEO of the Tulsa Metro Chamber.
CFS II has 85 employees, more than 30 worked for the company in the '90's. They're still hiring and Bartmann says in the past week he's received more than 500 resumes.