Free CE Class Offered For Realtors

We like to find opportunities in our communities to provide services that folks need but maybe don’t expect from their local bank. That is why we regularly host continuing education classes for realtors.

This month we will work with First American Title to co-host “Ethics: Changing with the Times,” a three hour course for realtors in the Canal Winchester area. Shawn Fosnaugh, a Retail Lender at our Canal Banking Center, calls the partnership a “win-win” for everyone.

“We partner with First American Title and sponsor a Continuing Education class two or three times a year. This is a win-win for both the bank and title company, as well as the realtors,” Fosnaugh said.

Fosnaugh explained that the State of Ohio requires realtors to take continuing education courses which can often be expensive. “With the continuing education classes we sponsor, the realtors attend for free, gain knowledge and education on today’s current real estate market and rules and regulations, and get to network with one another,” he said.

At the same time, bank staff and title company staff have opportunity to build rapport and better relationships with realtors serving the community.

The class will feature a lot of group discussion about a realtor’s duty to the public and industry, to clients and customer and to fellow licensees.

Instructors will be Paul Blevins, Vice President/Area Manager and Counsel – Central and Southern Ohio for First American Title and Larry Press, Vice President of Business Development and Branch Underwriting Counsel for First American Title.

“Ethics: Changing with the Times” will be held Thursday, April 23 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Kingy’s Pizza (7470 Hill Rd, Canal Winchester, OH 43110). Refreshments will be served. Sign up today by contacting Shawn Fosnaugh at 614.834.5626 or shawn.fosnaugh@vintoncountybank.com

VCNB Receives Financial Education Innovation Award

We simply couldn’t be more excited. Yesterday VCNB was recognized with an incredibly prestigious award and we can’t wait to tell you about it.

VCNB was honored to receive the Innovation in Financial Education Award presented by Nasdaq and EverFi. The award recognizes its significant efforts to improve the financial capability of young Americans. Only twenty-five financial institutions were honored with this distinction at a ceremony hosted Tuesday at Nasdaq’s Marketsite headquarters in New York City.

Honorees were selected based on a set of criteria that included the scale and reach of their financial education initiatives, the duration of their commitment, and unique employee volunteering activities that supplement their programs.

“The institutions we’re recognizing here today have led exceptional efforts to rethink how financial education is taught in our nation’s schools,” said EverFi Founder and CEO Tom Davidson. “Our global competitiveness is dependent on the next generation understanding how the economy works and how to achieve financial security in their lives. We are grateful to the organizations that are helping pave a brighter future for students today.”

As young adults are faced with increasingly complex financial decisions, VCNB is committed to providing students with the skills and knowledge needed in order to succeed. VCNB has partnered with EverFi to bring the financial education program Financial U to local students at no cost to schools or taxpayers, reaching over 1200 students since 2012. The web-based program uses the latest in new media technology – simulations, gaming and adaptive-pathing – to bring complex financial concepts to life for today’s digital generation.

VCNB offers EverFi’s Financial U at Logan, Chillicothe, Southeastern, Circleville, Teays Valley, Canal Winchester, Berne Union, Watkins Memorial, Vinton County and Fairfield Union high schools.

VCNB Vice President of Marketing Audra Johnson called this a proud day for VCNB. “We are honored to accept this award for Financial Education Innovation from Nasdaq and EverFi. This is a very proud day for us and hopefully for the ten schools that participate in our Financial U program,” Johnson said.  “Financial U is intended to help students become more self-aware and smarter about their financial decisions and thus far, it has proven its worth.  It is all about helping our local youth prepare for their future.”

A FINRA-funded study released in February 2015 found that students who received rigorous financial education in high school saw increased credit scores and decreased chance of credit delinquency as young adults, compared to their peers who did not receive financial education.

Administered by teachers in a classroom setting, the web-based course offers over six hours of programming on a variety of financial topics including credit scores, insurance, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, taxes, stocks, savings, 401k’s and other critical concepts that map to national financial literacy standards. The platform uniquely tracks the progress and performance of every student.

VCNB has long been a supporter of financial education in local schools. Staff members frequently visit students in local schools through Teach Children To Save programs, Get Smart About Credit, Bremen Banking Days and several other events.

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Shareholders Convene For Annual Meeting

The role of family and community was the theme of the Community Bancshares, Inc. (CBI) annual meeting on Tuesday evening. Shareholders attending the meeting enjoyed a family style feast and received positive reports from CBI and Vinton County National Bank.

Chairman Thomas D. Will welcomed shareholders and their guests, informing them that 2014 was a year of growth. “Last year, at this meeting we spoke about the need for more growth. With the addition of the four offices of the Citizens Bank of Ashville we certainly did grow.   We now have a strong presence in Pickaway County and a good start in Grove City,” Will said. “This new expanded market area gives us plenty of opportunity to grow in the future.”

Will also welcomed the new Ashville customers to the VCNB Financial Family and went on to describe evolving customer expectations in the banking industry and measures CBI and VCNB are taking in 2015 to meet and exceed those demands.

He then turned the gavel over to CBI Secretary/Treasurer Ben Crow who informed shareholders that total assets grew 12.5 percent in 2014 to $844.4 million. The book value of CBI stocks is $70.29 per share, an increase of 2.9 percent.

Vinton County National Bank President, Ronald Collins presented the state of the bank and outlined goals for the coming year. Among the goals, Collins said the bank plans to improve performance in all seventeen existing offices while maintaining the identity of a hometown community bank. “It’s very important to keep the hometown image. It’s easy to say but hard to do,” Collins said. “We want to be a good corporate citizen and to be a good neighbor.”

Head of Lending Mark Erslan presented awards to eight outstanding lenders for their performance in 2014. Brandon Cottrill, Lori Cramer, Shawn Fosnaugh, Donna Kopis, Trisha Kyer, Jeff Thacker, Andrea Elliott and Brenda Fee were recognized individually for their work in lending.

Business Spotlight: Improving Health In Fairfield County

We understand that being a small business owner is tough. That’s why we plan to spotlight a different business each month to help you learn about unique businesses in your own back yard.  

In a world where time and money are at a premium, the YMCA in Lancaster is making it easy and affordable for people of all ages to achieve their physical fitness goals. The Robert K. Fox Family YMCA helps strengthen the community by teaching youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

By offering a wide variety of youth programs – from gymnastics to swimming – the YMCA works with children to help them reach their full potential. By teaching more than the fundamentals of a sport, the YMCA teaches kids fair play, allows everyone to participate and helps kids develop social interaction skills they will use for a lifetime. Best of all, the YMCA scholarship program allows everyone to participate, regardless of their ability to pay.

Last year, a Gallup poll revealed that 27.7 percent of Americans are now obese, the highest obesity rate in American history. The YMCA works to combat this epidemic by teaching overall healthy living in their wellness center. They encourage members, not just to exercise, but to also eat healthy and sleep consistently to keep their minds and bodies in shape. A balance of these three areas will help create a healthy lifestyle needed to live a long and happy life.

With 15,000 square feet of wellness center equipment and more than one hundred fitness programs that members and community members can participate in to gain needed strength, there are abundant opportunities for people of all ages to find the activity that works for them.

The YMCA also teaches social responsibility and strives to pay back the community for all the community does for the YMCA. For example, they have a Live Strong program for cancer survivors. This life changing addition to their schedule involves a free program of exercise and social interaction for people recovering from cancer.

There is even a child care program for families with kids. Child care for kids in school is offered along with a summer program for children who need a place to learn and grow especially for families who are working. They even have a preschool program for young children to start them on the road to a “healthy” education in Lancaster.

Their 36,000 square foot RecPlex facility provides ample space for tennis, volleyball, baseball, boxing and gymnastics. Purchased in 2008 and renovated in 2009, the RecPlex has allowed the Y to act on the vision of expanding services to the community, expanding the nationally recognized gymnastic program, and offering children a place to call their own. By investing in local kids, neighbors and the health of all, the YMCA ensures that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to thrive.

The Robert K Fox Family YMCA is located at 465 W. Sixth Ave. on the west side of Lancaster. The RecPlex is located at 1180 Locust St., on the east side of Lancaster. To learn more about the Robert K Fox Family Y, go to the website, http://www.ymcalancaster.org or call 740-654-0616.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find Us Out and About This Weekend!

One of the things we enjoy best about this time of year is having opportunity to see a lot of people outside of the office. It’s always great seeing our customers out and about and we think meeting new people is a lot of fun too.

This weekend is a big one for us as our Ross County Banking Center will be at the Southern Ohio Home and Garden Show and the Vinton County National Bank will be at the Jackson County Business Spring Showcase.

The Southern Ohio Home and Garden Show is celebrating eighteen years and will feature demonstrations, giveaways and more than one hundred indoor and outdoor exhibits. The event will feature a fish fry, live music, a Columbus Zoo show, an American Red Cross Blood Drive and presentations on gardening tips and on beekeeping.

In addition to exhibiting, we are proud to sponsor the Hospitality Suite for vendors again this year.

This event will be held on the Ross County Fairgrounds this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the show is free with a $3 parking fee that benefits Habitat for Humanity & Building Industry of South Central Ohio. Visit their website to view a complete schedule and list of vendors.

The Jackson County Business Spring Showcase is a nineteen year tradition that will feature over sixty vendors and a Taste of Jackson Food Court. There will also be numerous prizes given away in their grand prize drawing.

We are extremely excited to participate in this event for the first time this year!

The Jackson County Business Spring Showcase will be held at the Jackson High School Field House beginning Friday with a Business After Hours for invited Chamber members from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. This will be followed by a public preview from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is just $3 but $1 off coupons are available at Wal-Mart, Kroger and other participating Chamber members, including VCNB.

Plan to come see us at one of these shows this weekend!

Good Credit, Better Choices

March is National Credit Awareness Month. Do you know your credit score or how it impacts your financial future? Do you know that your credit score can affect your ability to get a job, how much interest you pay on a loan and even whether you can get a cell phone?

Your Credit Report and Credit Score                 
A credit report is a compilation of everything you are doing with your credit today and what you have done with it in the past. A credit score is a mathematical representation of the information in your credit report. It can tell a creditor, potential employer or even a landlord, at a glance, whether you are a good risk.

What Is Considered On A Credit Report?
Credit reports include data such as payment history and debt to available credit ratio on a lot of things. Included on that list are mortgages, home equity loans, car loans, student loans, credit cards and personal loans. Credit inquiries, employment history, collection accounts and account summaries are also included on your credit report.

What Isn’t Considered On A Credit Report?
Credit reports do not consider on-time utility and phone bills, checks that you have written or cashed, debit cards or daily expenses you pay with cash.

Why Establish Good Credit?
There are countless routine and often life changing activities that are easier and less costly with established good credit. This especially applies to large purchases. When you are borrowing money for a home or car, the terms and rates offered to you will typically coincide with the quality of your credit score and credit history. If you need a cell phone, a small personal loan, insurance or even an apartment, your credit may be considered. Many landlords use credit as a way to identify potential good tenants. Even your career may depend on your credit score. Before an employer hires you they make check your credit rating. That means poor financial decisions can ruin your ability to get a better job.

Keeping It Clean (Or Making It Better)
Talking credit does not have to be a source of anxiety. Improving your credit score or keeping your credit report clean isn’t that difficult with a little effort and common sense.

  • Pay your bills on time- If a bill is paid late it can show up on your credit report for up to seven years
  • Know your limit and never max out your cards – Need we say more?
  • Use your cards wisely – Keep balances low and pay them off every month. It is never a good idea to maintain a big balance on a credit card, even if you plan to pay it off soon.
  • Remember to use your credit – One way to improve a credit score is to use credit wisely. Demonstrating that you can and will pay your bills on time is better than never using your credit at all.
  • Check your credit report- Comb through your credit report three to four times per year, looking for mistakes or for accounts that do not belong to you. Not only is it helpful in maintaining a good credit score, this act can help you identify signs of identity theft. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) says that you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Although you can ask to receive copies from all three credit bureaus at the same time, you also can spread out your requests throughout the year to check for major changes or inconsistencies. To order your free reports, go to AnnualCreditReport.com or call toll-free 1-877-322-8228.

Overwhelmed? Take a moment this month to see what your credit says about you. Once you know what your credit report says, you can begin taking steps to improve that message and to improve your financial future!

 

Checking + Savings = $150

Banner Slide HomepageThe month of March is beginning to dwindle, as is the time you have left to take advantage of our Checking + Savings promotion! Do you know that you could potentially earn $150 simply for opening new checking and savings accounts with us this month?

Here’s the deal: Open a Checking My Way or Classic checking account and accept a debit card to be eligible for a $100 cash bonus. If you open a Passbook savings account at the same time as the checking, you will be eligible for a $50 cash bonus.

To receive your bonus, you must make a minimum $100 deposit into the checking account and accept a debit card. A $100 deposit will be made into this account within thirty days of the date you meet these requirements.

For the savings account bonus, the $50 cash deposit will be made into the account within thirty days after you make the $100 minimum deposit into your new savings.

The Passbook savings account has an Annual Percentage Yield (APY) of .10%. The Classic checking account has an APY of .10% for balances over $250. The Passbook savings account will incur an early close penalty of $20.00 if it is closed within 60 days of opening. Rates current as of 02/01/2015 and are subject to change. Fees could reduce earnings.

These accounts can be opened online or, with coupon, in one of our seventeen banking centers. Read full terms and request a coupon here.

If you have been thinking opening an account with us, now is the time. Offer expires March 31, 2015.

Building a Home? Start With Expert Advice!

New ConstructionBuilding a home can be one of the most rewarding things you do in your lifetime but it can also be extremely stressful. That’s why it is important to speak with an expert before you start. VCNB decided to help you in the process by talking to a builder who has decades of experience. We asked him about the things he wishes everyone knew before they begin building their new home.

Bob Brown, owner of Brown Builders Custom Homes, is not only a skilled builder of homes but a builder of dreams. He works with clients all over Ohio, helping them build their dream home. When we sat down with Bob, we wanted to know how someone who has never been through the home building process could get from start to finish with their sanity and their wallet intact.

Bob told us you should involve a builder as soon as you begin looking at land for your new home. He recommends talking with a couple of builders of your choice before deciding who you trust to do the job. “The builder you select must make you feel comfortable, should not pressure you and should never tell you that you cannot do something you want to do. If you hear them say ‘you can’t do that’ during the initial get-to-know-you process, you should be wary. This project is all about you, about what you want, not about the builder,” Bob explained.

The initial meeting should last an hour or two and should be your opportunity to assess the builder. “It’s kind of like a marriage,” Bob said. “You must completely trust this person to have your best interest at heart at all times. This is probably the most money you will spend on anything in your lifetime and you want it to be exactly what you want for you and your family.”

Bob also recommends taking the builder to the lot you are considering for purchase. “It is important for the builder to see the lot, to discuss it with the buyer and to get a feel for exactly what the buyer has in mind. Sometimes, the lot is not conducive for the type of house they want to build and we can tell them that. We can also discuss different options they may have never thought about before,” Bob explained.

The next step in the process is financing. Your builder will want to see pre-approval from your bank so that he or she knows exactly how much you can spend on your new home. From there, you will move into financing the lot and begin talking construction costs. This process could take three to four weeks or, sometimes longer. Patience is virtue during this process. From start to finish, a home can take anywhere from five to nine months – or more to complete. “It depends on each individual house as to the time-frame. Some take less time, some take more. It depends on the client and whether or not they want a custom, semi-custom or production built home. Your builder should review these options with you upfront,” Bob told us.

Once your financing is secure and you break ground on your new home, the planning game turns into a waiting game. “If you are working with a sound builder, they should plan your project up front. They should tightly manage the scope, time-frame and budget. I give my clients weekly progress updates and ample time to make decisions about things. I don’t want there to be any surprises. It should not be a guessing game,” Bob added.

Keep in mind that the process of building a new home and selling your current one can result in life disruptions. That means you may need to find alternative housing if you sell your home before the new one is move-in ready. “The best time to sell your home is between March and August. If you want to be into your new home before the holidays, plan accordingly,” Bob explained.

Bob recommends that you select a reputable builder and lender that you trust. It is also key to always communicate your needs. “Communication is king when building a house. It can make the process much smoother, can erase any fears or doubts and can keep a project on track. It is the most important ingredient in a builder/client relationship,” Bob said.

At VCNB we pride ourselves for working well with our customers and their builders. If you follow Bob’s tips and if you work with VCNB as your lender, there is no need to be apprehensive about building your new home. We are here to help.

The next step in the process is financing. Your builder will want to see pre-approval from your bank so that he or she knows exactly how much you can spend on your new home. From there, you will move into financing the lot and begin talking construction costs. This process could take three to four weeks or, sometimes longer. Patience is virtue during this process. From start to finish, a home can take anywhere from five to nine months – or more to complete. “It depends on each individual house as to the time-frame. Some take less time, some take more. It depends on the client and whether or not they want a custom, semi-custom or production built home. Your builder should review these options with you upfront,” Bob told us.

Once your financing is secure and you break ground on your new home, the planning game turns into a waiting game. “If you are working with a sound builder, they should plan your project up front. They should tightly manage the scope, time-frame and budget. I give my clients weekly progress updates and ample time to make decisions about things. I don’t want there to be any surprises. It should not be a guessing game,” Bob added.

Keep in mind that the process of building a new home and selling your current one can result in life disruptions. That means you may need to find alternative housing if you sell your home before the new one is move-in ready. “The best time to sell your home is between March and August. If you want to be into your new home before the holidays, plan accordingly,” Bob explained.

The building process can be hair-pullingly stressful and can take months to complete. Remember though, it is worth it to have the home you have always wanted, the home of your dreams. Bob recommends that you select a reputable builder and lender that you trust. It is also key to always communicate your needs. “Communication is king when building a house. It can make the process much smoother, can erase any fears or doubts and can keep a project on track. It is the most important ingredient in a builder/client relationship,” Bob said.

At VCNB we pride ourselves for working well with our customers and their builders. If you follow Bob’s tips and if you work with VCNB as your lender, there is no need to be apprehensive about building your new home. We are here to help.