Keep Your Debit Card Running Smoothly

We rely on our debit cards for nearly everything these days. Today we have two suggestions for how you can protect your card and keep your VCNB debit card running smoothly.

The first thing we want to discuss is CardValet. If you would like to have more power over your debit card, this is for you! VCNB recently rolled out this free app that allows you to apply spending restrictions and even turn your card on and off whenever you wish.

Alerts – Sign up for alerts with parameters you choose including amount, location and merchant type. For example, you can request an alert if your card is used at a gas station or if the purchase exceeds a set amount. Customers say the text arrives before they have even returned the card to their wallet.

Power Switch – One of our favorite features is that you can turn your card on when you’re using it and turn it off when you’re not. It takes just a moment and ensures that it can’t be used without your consent.

Geographic  – Limit the geographic area where your card can be used. Some customers choose to limit usage to their favorite neighborhood or even to require that their phone be present for the card to work. You can also turn off international usage.

Dollar amounts – Set limits for overall usage or for specific vendor categories. If you typically spend less than $100 at the grocery, set the grocery category limit for $100. If you need to spend more, simply change or remove the limit for that transaction. You can even limit the amount of any one transaction.

Vendor limitations – Parents will love using this feature! You can limit the types of vendors where your card can be used. Categories include restaurants, entertainment, gas, grocery and department stores. Give your teens the freedom to use your card for purchases they need but limit the places where they can spend.

Want to learn more? Watch a demo video in our Learning Center! 

Ready to use CardValet? Download the CardValet app from the Apple® app store or Google Play™ Once you have the app installed on your phone, it’s easy to register and get started. As always, we encourage customers to set strong passwords and to not share that information with others.  Multiple VCNB debit cards can be linked and customers will soon be able to use VCNB credit cards with the app as well.

The other way to keep things running smoothly is extremely easy – just keep your mobile phone number updated with VCNB. We ask for your cell number so we can reach you immediately if there’s a problem with your account. We hate to brag but we have a really good fraud department. If they detect something unusual happening with your debit or credit card they may restrict your card and call to confirm that you are indeed responsible for the purchase that raised a red flag.  Calling your home won’t help if you’re trying to buy something in a store. So give us a call or ask to update your number the next time you’re in the bank!

Local Coalition Observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month


According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three women and one in four men will be victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. These statistics are overwhelming.  This is why we are highlighting the fact that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

One group that tries to combat this widespread problem is The Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  The Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence serves women, men, and children who are victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes in Ross County.  In 2015 they assisted 390 new clients through their services in crisis intervention, safety planning, case management, protection order, advocacy, and safe shelter.

Their shelter, Phoenix House, is a 24/7 safe house for victims of domestic violence so that their clients can remain safe away from their abusers.  In 2015 the Phoenix House provided shelter to one hundred adults and children.  The numbers for 2016 are on track to serve about the same.  The Director of the coalition, Mandy Sullivan-Dyke says, “we are here to serve the community whether they are involved or someone they know is involved, we are here to give advice to help them get out of their situation.”

Are you interested in supporting this organization?  Check out the upcoming events in Ross County.

Candlelight Vigil to remember victims of domestic violence
October 20, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Orchard Hill United Church of Christ – 105 Courtland Drive, Chillicothe

Run for Their Lives  5K Run/Walk
October 29, 2016
8 a.m. registration and race begins at 9 a.m.
Yoctangee Park – 19 Enderlin Circle, Chillicothe
Click here for tickets.

Not able to make these events?  The Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence accepts monetary donations as well as paper products, cleaning supplies and household goods.  Any donations can be dropped off Monday-Friday from 8-4 at their office at 62 N. Paint Street in Chillicothe.

For more information call them at 740.775.5396 or follow them on Facebook.

Last Minute Savings For The Holidays

Christmas is about two months away.  Are you a last minute shopper who charges holiday expenses or have you been saving and planning for this all year? Our hat’s off to all you planners out there but if you’re not so prepared we have some thoughts to help you prep for the most expensive time of year:

Make a list and set a budget – List each person you’re buying for, the items you wish to give them and assign a cost estimate for each one. Also list all those extra holiday expenses like cards, postage, family photos, party expenses, dinners out and other special events that occur throughout the season. Having a total in mind will give you a savings goal. Is the goal too high? Consider ways to cut corners but remember to stick to the list when you shop.

Cut discretionary spending – With Christmas just a few paychecks away, now is the time to reduce spending on the things you don’t really need. Your child needs new shoes but does she need an expensive pair? Do you eat out a lot? We don’t want to tell you how to spend your money but encourage you to think before you spend. Is this item today worth cutting corners later?

Reduce household expenses – On a related note, think about your major household expenses. Can you cut back your cable package or reduce your electric bill? When was the last time you cost-compared car insurance? Can you prepare less expensive meals? You may find there is more than one way to save a few bucks around the house.

Find inspiration to jumpstart your savings with this VCNB story that features 35 ways to save!

Look for discounts – Thanks to a competitive retail environment and the internet, there are tons of ways to save money these days. In addition to traditional coupon clipping, you will find promo codes for discounts and free shipping. There are also websites that sell discounted gift cards and tons of websites that will help you cost compare your purchases. Always look for ways to save on what you’re buying.

Get rewarded – If you’re shopping with your VCNB Platinum Visa® credit card or your Rewards Checking debit card, you have the potential to earn points for purchases. Those points can be redeemed later for gift cards, travel and other items. Points earned with your Rewards Checking debit card can be redeemed for cash back too.

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If you think there’s no way you can save enough to pay for all these seasonal expenses, remember that VCNB offers both a Classic and Platinum Visa® credit card for qualified applicants. With the VCNB Platinum Visa, cardholders can earn UChoose® Rewards Points for purchases made with the card. Click here to learn more about our credit cards  and contact your local office to apply.

Want to better prepare for next year? Consider a VCNB Christmas Club account!

Folks who now have a Christmas Club with VCNB will receive their checks this week. We’ve been helping them squirrel away small amounts of money every two weeks since last October so they would have a handsome savings in time for this year’s holiday shopping. Their club will automatically renew for their convenience so they will be getting a jump start on 2017 holiday savings.

If you’re interested in opening your own Christmas Club account, it’s important to note that Christmas Club members determine how much they wish to contribute to their Christmas Club. Want to save a thousand dollars? We’ll divide that amount into twenty-six payments that will be automatically transferred from your checking or savings account to your Christmas Club. In mid-October 2017, your funds will be direct deposited into the checking or savings account of your choice or sent to you as a paper check.

Stop by or call your local branch to get your Christmas Club started today!

What’s your approach to funding big expenses like Christmas? Tell us in the comments section below!


Small Business Spotlight: Rushcreek Feed & Supply

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


Rushcreek Feed & Supply is a landmark in Bremen that has been evolving to meet the needs of customers for over fifty years.

“You have to change with the times,” Rushcreek Feed & Supply owner Bob Pontious repeated.  “You have to.”

This gentleman would know. He has weathered much change in his business, his town and the economy for over five decades. In 1961, Bob and four other Bremen area farmers partnered to purchase the Brown-Burnworth Company, which included office space and a mill that operated out of facilities constructed in the mid and late 1800’s.  The five farmers organized and began operating what is now known as Rushcreek Feed & Supply, a mill that processes and creates seed and mix for the agricultural community.

The business has seen various incarnations of the ownership group but Bob, who just celebrated his 92nd birthday, has remained the only constant and is the sole owner to this day.  His business has continuously evolved, installing new machinery, adopting new processes, and acquiring property to allow growth and efficiency, allowing them to stand out as a staple in rural small town living.

Bremen has seen much change during the last several decades and much of the change has resulted in loss. Bob said that several auto dealers have come and gone and the rail system that once rolled within ten feet of Rushcreek Feed’s building has disappeared.   The cheese factory that existed years ago that was supplied by local dairy farms is long gone.  The number of dairy farms in the area has dwindled from thirty or forty in the 1960’s and 70’s to just two. The number of local hog farms is now down to about ten.  As more folks have moved toward green farming and the landscape of the agricultural industry changes, the needs of the customer have changed.  “It used to be cattle, chickens, and pigs.  Everything was operated by hand,” Manager Terry Bell said matter-of-factly.  “But you have to meet the needs of your clientele.  You really have to diversify.”

“We used to have folks bring in truckloads or trailers of whole ears of corn, which we’d unload by shovel or hand.”  Terry explained.  “Now there’s a hoist and dump pit.  We used to bag feed by hand in 100 pound bags.  That was it – that was all we had.  But we’ve installed a bagging system for 50 pound bags.”

By streamlining seemingly simple processes and taking the “work smarter” approach, Terry says Rushcreek Feed and Supply has been able to expand their facilities, services and offerings.  For example, a warehouse was constructed and a neighboring plot of land was purchased, which included several buildings that now serve as workshops and storage for equipment and inventory.  The old mill was just redone this summer, and within the last five years they’ve added to their custom fertilization capabilities with a new truck and a new sprayer.  Last summer, they installed seventy foot scales to better accommodate semis upon weighing in/out.  Their secret Rushcreek Deer Plot Mix was created and is a hit for deer season, with customers from as far as Pennsylvania and New York ordering regularly.  And recently, they became a licensed dealer for “The Stump,” a long-window weather resistant hunting blind by Banks Outdoors.  As only one of a handful of dealers in the state, they actually keep them in stock so they are ready to go out the door upon purchase.  Terry said that none of this would be possible without their expanded facilities.  “We were running out of room.”

The expansion and rock-steady quality service are due in large part to a great group of people working for their team, Terry said.  “We’ve got our locals (customers).  But we’ve also got people from Franklin, Licking, Meigs, Athens, Muskingum Counties that are regulars.”   Customers are getting quality products, but it’s the quality service from the twelve Rushcreek Feed & Supply employees that make the sustained success possible.  “It works because we’ve got a great staff” Terry added.

If you’d like to visit Rushcreek Feed & Supply, they’re located at 103 S. Broad Street in Bremen, just across the parking lot from our Friendly Bremen Banking Center.  They can be contacted at 740.569.4105 and can be found on Facebook and at their own website

See more images from our visit to Rushcreek Feed & Supply in the slideshow below.

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Community Spotlight: Camp Oty’Okwa


Camp Oty’Okwa is located in the heart of the Hocking Hills region and provides both solace and adventure for young campers and adult visitors alike.

You can tell a lot about a place by the sounds it makes. At first Camp Oty’Okwa seems quiet. There are no cars whizzing by and no dogs barking. Instead, there’s wind rustling in the trees, birds chattering and the distant sound of locusts coming together to create a chorus of summer. But leave the parking lot and walk closer to the camp and you’ll hear music and laughter: the happy, carefree sounds of children at summer camp.

For some kids who attend camp here, it’s a life changing experience they will never forget. Built in 1942, the camp began as a 165 acre farm that was operated by Big Brothers Big Sisters, primarily to serve the sons of soldiers lost in World War II.  Today the camp is 730 acres and offers a year-round experience for boys and girls. In addition to regular summer camp, there are camps with varying focuses including Science Camp, Grief Camp, Literacy Camp, Seasonal Environmental Education and Girls Week.


Summer camp provides lots of opportunities to make new friends!

David Schirner began his career here as a lifeguard in 1971. Today he serves as Camp Director and Executive Vice President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio. “I started as a lifeguard and I just never left,” David said with an easy laugh.

He explained there are many things that make this place unique. To start, it is one of only two remaining Big Brothers Big Sisters camps left in the United States. Moreover, Camp Oty’Okwa gives kids the opportunity to experience and explore nature in the breathtaking natural environment of the Hocking Hills where rock outcrops, woodlands and hiking trails abound. At camp, they make new friends and learn lots of skills including how to work with others and even how to deal with adversity.

At regular summer camp, structure exists mainly at mealtimes and there is no set program for the rest of the day. Instead, kids live and play in a setting where a small group and counselor decide what to do each day, considering the needs, interests and limitations of each child in the group. Hiking, swimming, art projects, bird watching and canoeing are just a few of the possibilities. The day VCNB visited, a large group was enjoying a spirited session of Zumba.


David Schirner, pictured here with kids at Holiday Camp, is Camp Director and Executive Vice President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio.

Cathy Knoop serves as Business Development Coordinator for Camp Oty’Okwa and her devotion to camp shows in the hugs she happily accepts and the interest she takes in what the kids are doing. “They learn to compromise and to work with others. Sometimes a member of the group has a physical limitation and the others have an opportunity to learn empathy and compassion because that child isn’t great at what the others want to do,” Cathy explained.

David said the camp has evolved over the decades to suit the needs of the kids. It began serving kids who lost dads in the war but by the sixties, the camp was evolving as divorce and single parent homes became more common. “The challenge has been changing, adapting to the needs of families and remaining current through 2016. A lot of what we do is social work,” David said.

He indicated that many kids are referred by schools and organizations locally and across Ohio while other children attend simply because they desire a camp experience.

David said that a fair number of campers are from the immediate area. “We’ve found from working with kids in this area that local kids need this place as much as city kids. We are finding they just don’t get outside much. They’re playing video games and watching tv as much as any other kid in America despite having nature so close,” he said.

Cathy and her husband Paul have volunteered at the camp for about six years. Now retired, Paul was Education Director at Aullwood Audubon Nature Center and Cathy was an elementary science teacher. “My husband and I volunteer here because we enjoy getting to know the kids, teaching them, seeing them grow up and being part of their lives,” she said. “Environmental education is important to us and we enjoy sharing that.”

They extend environmental education into all areas of the camp including through a recycling and composting program that prevents most waste. They also buy locally produced food at the Chesterhill Produce Auction as much as possible.

David said there is much work that needs done to keep the camp operating. “We are here to be good stewards for the property and to send kids to camp,” he said. “We have a strategic plan designed to make facility improvements and to keep this camp running for another seventy years. Fortunately, we have a lot of amazing people who like this place and who are willing to give of themselves and to provide funding to send kids to camp. We couldn’t do it without them,” he added.

One of the newest additions to the camp is the Discovery Center. The dining hall is located inside and the walls are lined with stations that use artwork and interactive pieces to teach about the area’s native plants and animals, about recycling and a number of other topics. Outside the building there is a pond, native garden and a compost station.


The camp hosts many events that are open to the public. Michelle Stitzlein will give a presentation on art inspired by nature with recycled materials on November 13, 2016. Tickets for the presentation including soup, salad bar and dessert cost just $20 but advance registration is required at

All this work is not just for campers. Camp Oty’Okwa encourages community involvement through community events and hikes, school group visits, adult education workshops for teachers and naturalists and a host of other events. For a fee, they also teach adult education classes like one on preserving produce and even a weekend survival workshop. Their next free Community Hike will be on October 1. Reserve your spot for this or learn about other events by contacting Al Marietta at or by calling 740-975-6384. Click here for a full list of upcoming events.

Organizations and businesses that need retreat or conference space often use the camp as well. Facilities, food and programming are available for small groups of up to twenty and large groups up to 200.

Volunteers are welcome for trail repair, camp winterization and other project work days. The public is also encouraged to attend events at the camp and cash donations are always appreciated. “We value our community and the partnerships we have here.  The volunteers, the donors, the wonderful people who support what we do. We couldn’t do it without them.”

Camp Oty’Okwa is located at 24799 Purcell Rd., just a few miles from the Old Man’s Cave Visitors’ Center.  Click here for more information.

Click through the slide show below for more images from Camp Oty’Okwa.

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Rake In The Points At VCNB!


With the arrival of September, we’ve noticed that some leaves are starting to turn colors and fall. While raking leaves in your back yard isn’t so fun, we think you’ll like our offer to “Rake in the Points” this fall.

Rake in the Points is our latest offer for new Rewards Checking customers to receive 5,000 extra points when they sign up online.*

We bet you’re wondering what these points are all about. Customers who use VCNB Rewards Checking earn UChoose Rewards® points for their regular banking habits. Customers can earn points for using Online Bill Pay, Direct Deposit, and for making automatic loan payments. They also earn one point for every three dollars spent using their debit card. Additional point earning opportunities are available to customers. Read more here.

These points can be redeemed for gift cards, cash back, concert tickets, travel, merchandise and more! Rewards Checking offers so much added value that we’re seeing more and more customers embrace  the Rewards Checking lifestyle every day!  Click here to read an example of how an average customer might earn points.

Opening an account online is easy and can be done in five easy steps. What are you waiting for? Put down that rake and pull up a chair. You can rake in the points at VCNB with just the click of your mouse!

*Limit two per household. Personal accounts only. Account must be opened online and have a $100 minimum deposit, an activated debit card and a debit card registered with within 60 days of opening account to receive the bonus. Points will be awarded within 30 days of meeting criteria.


Take Control Of Your Debit Card!

VCNB just introduced a new feature that we think our debit card customers will really like. It’s called CardValet and it’s a free app to help customers take more control over their VCNB debit cards.

Some of our employees have been testing CardValet and one thing we hear repeatedly from them is they like being able to restrict where their card can be used. They also enjoy being able to completely turn off their card when they don’t need it. You read that right: you can turn your card on and off with the flip of a switch in the app!

Here are some popular features of the app:

  • Turn off international card usage
  • Set the geographic locations where the card can be used.
  • Restrict transactions based on merchant type
  • Set transaction amount limits
  • Receive alerts for certain transaction types
  • View card balances and recent transactions

Perhaps you want to limit the types of merchants where your card can be used. You can turn on and off several categories including gas station, grocery, restaurant, entertainment, travel and more. You can also set spending limits to deny a purchase over an amount of your choosing. If you are in the store and find you need to spend more than your CardValet limits are set for, you can simply log in to the app and set new limits.

Turning the card on and off is so fast and easy that you can keep your card off all the time and simply turn it on when you’re in line at the store and ready to use your card. Customers can also set a variety of alerts to let them know when their card has been used.

With the prevalence of fraud in the world today, we think many of our customers will be pleased to know that this control feature is available to them.

Ready to get started? Download the CardValet app from the Apple® app store or Google Play™ Once you have the app installed on your phone, it’s easy to register and get started. As always, we encourage customers to set strong passwords and to not share that information with others.  Multiple VCNB debit cards can be linked and customers will soon be able to use VCNB credit cards with the app as well.

Our employees are loving CardValet and we think you will too. Give it a try today!

Small Business Spotlight: Hillside Country Store

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

Hillside exterior.jpg

Hillside Country Store offers an array of baked goods, bulk food items, wind chimes, wood furniture, candles, outdoor furniture and much more.


Hillside Country Store carries seasonal bedding plants, vegetable plants and other supplies to help both the advanced and novice gardener. They currently have a selection of fall mums.

The owner of Hillside Country Store calls his business “an old fashioned store in the middle of God’s country.” Perched on a hill overlooking St. Rt. 180, Hillside is close to Adelphi and not far from Lancaster, Chillicothe or the Hocking Hills State Park. The store smells divine and is a feast for the eyes, nose and taste buds, making it worth the drive into the country.

It is a family run business where the employees are friendly and helpful and many of the customers are regulars. Owner Michael Martin says he opened the store in September 2014 “because the Lord gave me mostly girls and it made a lot of sense.” He grew up in Wisconsin where his father runs a bulk food store but he married a Zanesville girl and moved to Ohio where his own store is filling a real need in the rural community.

Hillside is packed with all sorts of goodies including bulk snacks, candy making supplies, baking and cooking ingredients. Jams, jellies, salsas, pickled foods and maple syrup are popular as well.  An extensive deli offers approximately 35 different kinds of cheeses and at least that many kinds of meats. A popular service of the deli is the made-to-order sandwiches which are delicious and generous in portion. Being close to the Tar Hollow and Hocking Hills State Parks, it’s a good place to pick up sandwiches, cold drinks and snacks for a picnic. Soft serve ice cream makes a delicious treat for a hot day too.

What gives the store its heavenly aroma is the bakery which produces fresh bread daily as well as homemade pies and cookies like the popular Monster Cookie which is packed full of peanut butter, molasses, oatmeal, chocolate chips and M&M candies.

They welcome large orders for weddings and other events and are able to produce large amounts of baked goods as well as meat and cheese trays.

Practical items also line the walls including sewing notions, canning supplies, dish towels, books, bird houses, feeders and bulk bird seed.  An extensive line of poly yard and deck furniture offers maintenance free swings, Adirondack chairs and dining tables and chairs.

In addition, they offer a popular line of gift items like scented candles, windchimes and oak furniture which Michael pointed out are good for any occasion but are especially popular Christmas and Mother’s Day gifts. Backyard gardeners will find hanging baskets, bedding plants, vegetable plants and other seasonal flowers. They currently have a nice assortment of fall mums and Michael said there will be even more in stock soon.

Michael said his family has enjoyed running this business and that he looks forward to the future. “We’re enjoying it. It’s nice to live near the place where you work and we are growing,” he said. In fact, he said they expect to soon add fried pies to the menu, an addition he believes customers will enjoy.

Hillside Market is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They accept cash and plastic and welcome new customers to stop in. Call them at 740.655.3600 or visit them at 10244 St. Rt. 180, Laurelville.

See below for more pictures.

Start With Student Checking



Piggy bank with glasses and blackboard

Begin with the basics. That’s what we tell young people who are interested in opening a bank account. This is why we have introduced a checking account specifically for young people and for students who wish to learn how to manage their money and their accounts responsibly.

With our new Student Checking account, students as young as 14 can have a checking account with all the bells and whistles including a debit card, online banking, VCNB Mobile, account alerts, direct deposit and more.

With Student Checking, young customers can learn good money management skills that will last a lifetime and develop a relationship with a bank they can trust. A parent or guardian must be made a joint owner of the account if the student is under 18 years of age. Visit this link to read the full details of our new Student Checking account and to open online.

Student Checking accounts can be opened online or in any of our seventeen VCNB offices. Click here to find one in your neighborhood!