Small Business Spotlight: The Willis-James

Being a small business owner is a tough job! That’s why we feature a different small business in our Small Business Spotlight every month. Today we learn about an exciting renovation happening in historic Chillicothe.

The phrase “if walls could talk” may sound cliché but that’s the focus of a big renovation happening now at a historic home in Chillicothe. The early nineteenth century era home is being transformed into a boutique bed and breakfast named for two prominent former residents. Now known as The Willis-James, the 6,000 square foot home is expected to provide guests with an experience that fuses old traditions with sophisticated hospitality.

Owners Drew Musser and Steph Moore have an extensive plan and a vision to honor the heritage of the home while giving their guests an exceptional, memorable stay.

What’s so special about this house?

Everything.

From the pocket doors to the eleven fireplaces to the history of the people who lived there, the Federal/Greek Revival house and its story could fill a book.  That story begins with Nathaniel Willis who was an apprentice in Benjamin Franklin’s printing office in Boston. He started his own newspaper, participated in the Boston Tea Party and was a veteran of the Revolutionary War all before journeying to the Northwest Territory and this new town called Chillicothe. When Willis arrived in 1797, the town had been laid out only the year before.

Here, he started the first newspaper in the Northwest Territory, securing his status in the area as a contemporary and friend of prominent men in Ohio history including Ohio’s sixth governor Thomas Worthington. The Scioto Gazette would go on to operate for 110 years, becoming the oldest continuously operating newspaper in Ohio.

Willis built the original house in 1805. The home changed hands over the centuries with each new owner expanding the home, improving and leaving their own mark. One such owner was Thomas James who is known as the “Father of the Western Iron Industry” for the work he did in constructing iron forges throughout southern Ohio and Missouri. The city of St. James, Missouri is named in his honor.

The house also was held by Eleanor Tiffin and Matthew Cook. She was the daughter of Ohio’s first governor Edward Tiffin. The home remained with Tiffin descendants for more than a century.

Drew can weave together the entire narrative of the people who called this place home and the influences they had on the house. As they have worked on the home for nearly two years, they have found where it has been added on to and uncovered interesting details like a large painted archway first thought to be wood that’s actually stone.

Long forgotten artifacts help to tell the stories of former inhabitants including Wesley Claypool whose labeled vest was found beneath attic floor boards.

While they are honoring the integrity of this home’s history, they intend to blend in 21st century amenities aimed at appealing to the modern guest. Each room will have its own thermostat, a king or queen bed fitted with high quality linens, slippers and robes. Each room will have a luxurious new bathroom fit for royalty complete with a walk-in shower and a comfortable tub for a long soak.

In all, the house has five guest rooms including one ADA accessible guest room on the main level and a two-room suite upstairs.

Guests will find nooks and crannies in common areas throughout the house where they might linger to relax and unwind. For example, just beyond the breakfast room, a greenhouse or orangery as it was once called will be at the ready for anyone wishing to sit with a book and a glass of wine. “There will be lots of spaces to relax and to make you just want to hang for a while,” Steph explained. “We want people to feel welcome to make this house their home during their stay,” she said.

Yet, they also want guests to explore the best that Chillicothe and the surrounding area have to offer. They are focused on helping guests discover the experiences that will make their stay special. Whether it be an in-room massage or help locating the best hiking trail, the hope is to create an authentic experience that allows guests to feel like they are the first to discover the amazing qualities that make the area special.

They intend to bring in local products such as Rost Coffee, local produce and Amish baked goods to provide guests with a taste of the area as well.

The property boasts a carriage house that will provide space for public rental. The board room table for twelve can be removed for small social gatherings and events. An ADA accessible restroom and kitchenette will be available for comfort and convenience. The upstairs of the carriage house will be Steph and Drew’s new home. As primary caretakers, the couple will provide top notch daily housekeeping services and home cooked breakfasts.

The couple do know a thing or two about hospitality. They are avid travelers who love the bed and breakfast experience. They have lived and worked in resort communities like Vail, Colorado and Santa Barbara California throughout their married life. She has been in the luxury boutique hospitality business for the last 28 years and has specialized in operations, finance and business development.

“It’s one thing to work hard for someone else’s dreams but it’s so meaningful to get to work on your own dreams and visions,” Steph said.

Drew is a Chillicothe native and Chillicothe High School graduate. The Ohio State University graduate has been an elementary school educator for the last several years. His local roots run deep and he has family in the area. “We love to travel and always go to bed and breakfasts but we also love to be home and to cook, to be surrounded by people,” Drew said.  “There’s always room for one more! The more the merrier” Steph exclaimed!

“We want to give the traveler somewhere nice, somewhere special to stay and we want to give Chillicothe something to be proud of,” Drew said. “We want to honor the history and the integrity of the house and the town, but still give guests the comforts they appreciate. We want to be a part of the town’s story.”

These images show parts of the Willis-James in various stages of restoration and construction.

While The Willis-James is still under construction, they will be ready to host guests during the Christmas Tour of Historic Homes on December 11-12.

Small Business Saturday Is This Weekend

Small Business Saturday is held the day after Black Friday every year but it has grown into more than just a day to focus on small businesses. It has evolved into a movement designed to coax shoppers out of the big box stores and out of their online shopping carts into the small businesses that line the streets of their towns and that dot the countryside of rural communities every day of the year.

Supporting small businesses in your community is about more than where you buy your goods and services. It’s about supporting your neighbors and about what happens to your dollars paid at a small business as opposed to a big chain or an online store.

When you buy online, every penny you spend is leaving your community. You aren’t even paying local sales tax and that online vender most likely isn’t contributing anything to your community. They don’t belong to the Chamber of Commerce, they don’t sponsor a little league team or occupy a storefront that makes your town appealing to visitors. They don’t employ workers in your town or support your local schools.

When you buy at a big box store or a big chain, the story is very similar. While they have a presence in your town and pay local sales tax, any dollars that don’t have to be kept in the community will leave the community. So they will provide jobs and use services like electric and water. In some cases, they have budgets for supporting limited local community projects. However, once the bills are paid, the money is sent to a corporate office to become part of a shareholder report.

When you support a small business, the bulk of your dollars will stay right there in your community. Salaries, utilities, charitable contributions and any additional profit stay right there. Plus, many small business owners prioritize doing business and striking partnerships with other small businesses thus creating a chain of support! These businesses typically support local organizations and fundraisers and the owners are apt to donate when your child’s team needs uniforms or when the Christmas parade needs sponsors.

Shop at a small business and the owner will do a happy dance! Be the reason someone does a happy dance today!

What We’re Thankful For This Year

This last year and a half has been tough for everyone. Yet, it’s often in difficult times that we find we have much to be thankful for in our lives. We asked our employees to share what they’re most thankful for right now and wanted to share their responses with all of you.

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It has been nearly a year that I have been with VCNB as an employee. Last year at this time, I spent two months caring for my youngest child, Lily, after her surgery. I would not have had the opportunity to do this if it wasn’t for VCNB and their flexibility with family. I was able to start work after she was well enough to stay with a sitter. I am very thankful for her health and for the entire VCNB Family.

Stephanie Mathias, Senior Personal Banker in Lancaster

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So far I’ve lost over 55 pounds since January 25 and I feel great! Not doing anything drastic – just counting calories, eating clean and trying to avoid gluten.

Amanda Blakeman, Senior Personal Banker in Chillicothe

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I know it might sound cliché but I am thankful for my health. Last year at this time I was recovering from a near fatal heart attack at the grand old age of 49. With quick action from my doctors, Fairfield Medical Center and my wife Karen, I’m back…good as new.  It was something I was able to get back, unfortunately some are not as lucky as I was.

Allen Tucker, Collections Manager

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I am thankful for every day that my family is healthy during this past year.

Keith Hood, Commercial Lender in Logan

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I am always thankful for good health, family and friends but TIME is something that seems like it’s more and more valuable as I grow older. I lost my Dad this year and the time spent with him was worth every single minute. It opened my eyes to see just how precious time is and to treasure time well spent with loved ones and that sometimes you need to slow down because the little things in life are actually the BIG things!!

Natalie Perry, Senior Loan Administration

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I am thankful for my family being in good health, for my loving boyfriend, and for a wonderful job that brings me joy.

Brieanna Riffle, Personal Banker in Grove City

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I am thankful for the opportunity to turn many of my dreams into reality. Early in my banking career I worked long hours and over committed myself. Later in life, I have been fortunate enough to see the fruits of my labors. I have done things, personally and professionally, that I could only dream about in my 20’s and 30’s. Anything is possible if you work hard and stay focused on the end goal.

Susan Ross, Branch Manager in Grove City

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I am thankful for my kidney transplant and for all the support from my family and my VCNB family during that time in my life. They asked no questions and brought me back to work after I was back on my feet. I’m so grateful to work with such wonderful people!

Kim Peoples, Customer Service Representative

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I’m in such a unique situation in my life right now I didn’t really know how to begin with my thoughts on what I’m thankful for. Since my husband was diagnosed with cancer this year we have been so blessed with not only our prayers being answered with the possible options of treatments but also the support from family, friends and my work family (VCNB)! I just started with the bank in February and they have been so accommodating with our needs. I feel very fortunate to work for such a caring organization.

Cindy Moore, Business Banker in Lancaster

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I am thankful for my four healthy and happy children, my wonderful wife Andrea, and the best dog ever, Tillie.

Tom Oyer, Head of Commercial Lending

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I love this time of year and what it represents, all the nostalgic things such as beautiful fall colored leaves, all things pumpkin, and most important time with family! Throughout the year I am always thankful but, this time of year I pause a little longer when reflecting on all the things around me and what I am most thankful for, reminding myself of how truly blessed I am. I’d like to share with you in order what I am most thankful for this year. First and foremost, I am thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ, I am imperfect but through him I have Grace. Second, my husband, Brad Swint who is a wonderful father, provider, and I just love him! Third, my two little kiddos, Rylan and Arabella, for they bring me joy and frustration daily yet somehow keep me humble. And last but not least, my work family, I am successful daily because of each one of you. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Christina Swint, Assistant Branch Manager in Ashville

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I’m so thankful to the Lord to have survived a severe battle with Covid in August, in which I spent ten days in Riverside Hospital.

Doug Delong, Senior Retail Lender in Laurelville

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I am thankful that I have crossed paths with some beautiful souls who have become lifelong friends. I am thankful for my family and for my fur babies and for the job that awards me the benefit of being able to take care of myself and help others.

Stef Sweany, Senior Auditor

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I am thankful for the good health of my two boys. Neither has any significant health problems and I can’t say that about everyone I know. It’s a blessing.

Michael Thurston, Facilities Manager/Security Officer

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I am thankful for all the things God has blessed my life with. The gift of family, friends, health and strength for each day are only just a few of my many blessings. Even in the difficult times there is always something to be thankful for.

Grace Delong, Senior Indirect Loan Processor

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I remind myself every day to be thankful for what’s right in front of me and I try to share that simple message with my family on a regular basis. I’m thankful for my health and the health of my family and the wonderful relationships we’ve developed, I’m thankful we’ve got a home to live in with plenty of food to eat and my wife and I have great careers close to home that essentially allow this to be possible. I strive to live with more gratitude each year. I think it’s something that is easy to lose sight of if you do not regularly take time to reflect on all of the things of which you’re really, truly appreciative. Happy Thanksgiving!

Austin Rohr, Marketing Manager

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I am thankful for all of the small businesses in my community that have wonderful handmade products that I can purchase for Christmas gifts for my family and friends. There is not a shortage of handmade products and I am able to support a local proprietor.

Brenda Doles, Head of Retail

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I am most thankful for my health and that I am able to spend the holidays with my family.

Teresa Tennant, Senior Loan Administration

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I am thankful for Vinton County National Bank and all my fellow employees who make the days fun and eventful. Some days we come to work dealing with stresses from home and then you have that one person that calls and makes your day better with their kind words.  I am thankful for the wonderful relationships I have formed over the last 13 years while with the bank and cherish each and every one of them, especially the ones who have to listen to me every day all day. God bless you! I know it’s hard!  I am also thankful for my wonderful family, especially my husband and daughter and for them putting up with my craziness. Life would not be the same without them! Life is short and we all have our issues, problems, and days we feel like we just cannot go on but, in the end, we should all be thankful for every day and for the people who surround us to help keep us going! Last but not least I am thankful for the clerks at the stores that still give you a receipt for your transaction without looking at you like you are old and crazy for wanting one. Happy Thanksgiving to all!   

Tricia Wilburn, Deposit Operations

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I am most thankful for my family, (the grandchildren Brysin and Charolette are the best), great friends, good health, and my employment with VCNB. This job allows me to enjoy my friends, family and to be able to travel and enjoy life! I am also thankful for my parents who made me the person I am today!

Lisa Puckett, Senior Loan Administration

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I am thankful for my healthy 8 month old grandson!! Brixton has brought so much joy to my life!!

Phyllis Perry, Loan Operations

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I am thankful for all the things we take for granted everyday: a roof over my head, a warm bed, a full belly, that my family is healthy, laughter with friends, natures beauty but also I thank God for keeping our son safe while he’s deployed, and for allowing us to live in the Land of the Free because of the Brave.

Heather Groves, Commercial Loan Processor

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I am thankful for family!!! We just welcomed our eighth grandchild on November 13th!  

Peggy Pence, Assistant Branch Manager in Chillicothe.

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I am grateful every day for the good life I have thanks to my family, friends, job, good health, and my little cats Scout and Oliver. I’m thankful for great books, sunrises, old diners, small businesses, and for all the characters who keep life interesting. It really is a beautiful life and I’m thankful that I can see and appreciate it!

Brandi Betts, Marketing Manager

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The older I get, and especially given the environment we have been in the past year or so, I wake up every day feeling very thankful for my health and I reflect a lot on having a great group of friends and family both personally and at work. Though we hear a good bit of griping and complaining, we still live in the best country in the world, for which, we should be very thankful.

Joe Risch, Business Development Manager

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This time of year always feels nostalgic and makes me reflect on years past. This year I am thankful for every family member who is here on earth and in heaven. For the health and safety of my loved ones through a year of uncertainty. For my Ashville work family who has been so welcoming and loving over this year as I settle into a new office. And finally for another great year to come.

Katie Wright, Branch Manager in Ashville

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I am very thankful for my friends, family and my good health! I am looking forward to spending time with my family this Thanksgiving!   I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Beth Ann Patterson, Senior Relationship Banker in McArthur

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I am thankful for this wonderful company that I work for. I feel like I truly matter here. I am also thankful for my amazing husband, three children and my parents.

Krista Dennewitz, Assistant Branch Manager in Chillicothe

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I am very thankful to be blessed with a wonderful husband and two children. I am so thankful for answered prayers and good health. I have been blessed to work with a fantastic group of ladies in the Bremen office and now in the Logan Office I am working with another great group of people. Just to wake up each day and see everything that God has done for me is such an awesome blessing.

Miranda Nicholson, Assistant Branch Manager in Logan

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As a bank, we are most grateful for the people who we serve every day. That includes our wonderful employees, the shareholders who believe in VCNB enough to invest in our company and our customers who welcome us into their lives, and trust us to be there when they need us. We would have nothing without all of these people and we are thankful each and every day for these relationships. On behalf of our entire bank family, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Give Back This Holiday Season

Here at VCNB, some of our departments like to celebrate the holidays by volunteering together. For example, our Marketing Department does something different every year. They have baked cookies for residents at the Ronald McDonald House and volunteered at the Fairfield County Meals on Wheels by stuffing bags and lending a hand with BINGO. They will tell you that giving of your time to help others is a wonderful thing to do but it seems especially rewarding during the holiday season.

If you look around your own community, you will find endless ways to give back whether it’s by volunteering with an organization or finding and filling a need on your own. Here are some ideas to help you find just the right volunteer project for you.

Booster Clubs – Wherever you see a high school sporting event, odds are there’s a concessions stand that’s operated by volunteers who have kids involved in the sport. A shortage of volunteers might leave the same few folks working every game, unable to just relax and enjoy the event. Food preppers, runners and cashiers are always welcome!

Animal Shelters – Most animal shelters need volunteers to help with everything from cleaning cages to walking dogs or playing with cats. If you love animals, this could be a great way to give back and to help someone who can give you nothing in return but purrs and puppy kisses. We have one employee who often volunteers her time looking out for bunnies at her local Humane Society.

Holiday Events – Most communities have special events for the holidays. For example, McArthur has Christmas in Downtown, a one day event where there’s always a need for volunteers. From passing out programs to helping with the parade, most community events need people of all skill levels to pitch in and help make the magic happen.

Senior Center – Your local senior center could likely use some volunteers to help with their activities or to pack the blizzard bags that help seniors on days when meals-on-wheels cannot deliver.

Food Pantry – Nearly every food pantry in America needs helpers, especially these last two years when the number of people needing help has skyrocketed. Over the years, countless VCNB employees have passed out boxes of food to folks who need a helping hand.

The Places You Already Support – Whether it’s your child’s school, your church or the neighborhood library, there are needs all over your community. You just have to ask if there’s room for one more to help with their activities.

Make Up Something – Maybe you see a need in your community and feel like you can help. Picking up litter at your favorite park or making blessing bags for homeless people are two ways you can give back in an informal but meaningful way.

Nothing makes you appreciate the people in your life, the pets in your home and the food in your cupboard quite like helping someone else. Gather coworkers or family and find a project that everyone can support. You may find that you enjoy volunteering so much you want to do it more often!

VCNB Cards Work With Your Digital Wallet

If you carry a smartphone, you likely have access to a digital wallet, an app provided by your smartphone maker. The concept is simple and it’s designed to make payments safe and easy for you. If you are a VCNB customer, we partner with Apple Pay®, Google Pay® and Samsung Pay® for your convenience.

Here’s how it works:

Sign into the wallet app on your phone and follow the instructions to start adding cards. Each company offers slightly different services and perks but the basic concept is the same. You can load your qualifying credit, debit, gift and membership cards to your wallet app. When it’s time to check out, look for the logo that corresponds to your app to tap and pay at the register or to safely pay online as well.

Each transaction is covered by the fraud protection provided by the bank that issues your card. In other words, your purchases made with a VCNB debit or credit card in your digital wallet are covered by our first-in-class fraud protection just the same as if you swiped your card or typed in your number online. However, by using your digital wallet there’s an added layer of protection provided by your phone such as your password, fingerprint or iris scan.

Each provider offers different perks. For example, Samsung Pay allows you to store your Covid vaccine record to keep it safe and accessible. Apple Pay can be used with an iPhone or Apple Watch while Google Pay touts ways to link accounts and track spending patterns.

Want more information? Find the app on your phone or you can click the name of each provider to visit their site.

 Apple Pay

 Samsung Pay

Google Pay

Want to learn more about other mobile products at VCNB? Read more here!

Shop Now and Relax Later

There’s nothing worse than the stress of last minute holiday shopping. Why not start preparing now so you can enjoy the holiday season without stress later? After all, Christmas shouldn’t be defined by crowded malls, shipping worries and hassle. It should be about time with the people who matter most to you and the things you love about the season.

What You Can Do Now

Gather Wish Lists – Ask your kids and spouse what they want for Christmas. Ask them to write it down or send you links now. Begin to brainstorm gifts for other family members, the mail carrier and coworkers.

Make A Game Plan – Start by making a list of all you need to buy and do. We all think about gifts but what about wrapping paper, tape, bows, cards and stamps? That favorite box of Christmas chocolates that you order from the local candy shop? Write it all down and start prioritizing. You can buy wrapping paper almost anywhere but your child’s one request may need to be ordered now to guarantee Christmas delivery.

Just Do It – Set aside some time to shop. Make a date with a friend to knock it all out on a Saturday and make it a fun day. Instead of scrolling endlessly on social media, use your downtime to order gifts. Spend your lunch break browsing the cute small business down the street for unique gifts that you won’t find in a big box store.

Set A Deadline – Make it a priority to have the bulk of your shopping done before Thanksgiving. If you love Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, you can still go pick up some things but there won’t be so much pressure to find the right gifts amidst the crowds.

What To Do Later

You may be surprised to learn how fun the holidays can be when you enter December with the shopping under control. You may have more time to spend with loved ones or to enjoy some me time. Here are some ways to use all that free time and celebrate the season:

  • Turn up the Christmas carols, make some hot chocolate and wrap gifts.
  • Bake cookies! Who doesn’t love warm cookies?
  • Attend a holiday event like a church service, play or school concert.
  • Load up the family in the car and drive the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights.
  • Decorate! Brighten your own neighborhood with a few lights and decorations.
  • Gather the family or some friends for game night, a holiday movie marathon or a potluck.
  • Brighten someone else’s season. Visit an elderly neighbor and take them a plate of food or a tin of cookies.

The list of ways to observe the festive nature of December is endless but you may also wish to simply enjoy quiet evenings at home. Most importantly, you can sit back and relax, knowing that you won’t be waiting for that last gift to arrive on Christmas Eve.

Small Business Spotlight: ABC Drivetrain Prepares For Veterans Appreciation Day

Being a small business owner is a tough job! That’s why we feature a different small business in our Small Business Spotlight every month. Today we talk with Daniel Bryan at ABC Drivetrain Parts and Service in Lancaster. They are busy gearing up for their Veterans’ Appreciation Day where they will give free oil changes to about a hundred veterans.

Something special happens at ABC Drivetrain Parts and Service every November, just in time for Veterans Day. That’s when this Lancaster business organizes a small army of volunteers and sponsors to provide free oil changes and even lunch for local veterans.

General Manger Daniel Bryan describes their Veterans’ Appreciation Day as “something special” as it brings together so many people who wish to use their skills and assets to give back to local veterans. “We call it a family event because the volunteers are literally family or they’re like family. They’re previous employees and people we’ve worked with closely. The sponsors are businesses we’ve worked with and people we can depend on like family,” he said.

Here’s what happens. On Saturday, November 13, veterans will receive a free full service oil change at ABC Drivetrain. There are donuts first thing in the morning and a free lunch available too. All of the labor, parts, supplies and food are donated. Even the tables, chairs and propane heaters are donated for the comfort of the veterans while they wait.

“We are normally closed on Saturdays but we open up especially for this. We provide the facility, labor and service. Everyone volunteers their time. We typically have forty to fifty volunteers who help with things like getting veterans signed in and you name it. We have former employees who come back and help with the oil changes so we can keep things moving and provide every veteran with a quality oil change,” he added.

Daniel went on to list the many local partners who help and that list is long. NAPA Auto Parts provides the oil filters, R.D. Holder donates the oil, and Advance Auto Parts donates miscellaneous items they need including windshield wiper fluid.  Jasper Engines and Transmissions donates bottled water and door prizes, Greg Clarke provides breakfast, Cherry Street Pub takes care of the lunch truck and Taylor Rental provides the tent, tables, chairs and heaters to keep everyone warm. Even their web designer, Complete Marketing Resources, gets in on the action donating their services to design the flier and update their website with their event info for free. The VA Hospital in Chillicothe provides literature about their services and there are goody bags for each veteran.

While this is the sixth year that ABC Drivetrain has organized this event, it actually began the year before with local business man Bill Allman. Mr. Allman was killed in a car accident while helping someone else. When two of his technicians came to work for ABC Drivetrain they mentioned the neat thing their late boss had done for veterans the previous year. “We wanted to carry on the legacy,” Daniel said.

While everything is free, any donations received that day will go to Honor Flight Columbus which honors our nation’s senior veterans with a trip to Washington D.C. to visit the nation’s memorials. Each year, they receive monetary donations from the VFW, General Machine, Locher, Inc., The Carriage Company and Ace Fence and Deck.

A Marine Corps veteran himself, this cause is near and dear to Daniel’s heart. “It’s amazing to me. In all the years we’ve been doing this, very rarely has anyone told me no. When I tell them it’s for veterans, everyone is all in,” he said. “We try to grow it every year. Right now, about 100 veterans are served each year but we really want to make it bigger.”

Oil changes are offered on a first come first served basis to any veteran with a DD214 or Veteran ID card. The event starts at 8 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, a prayer and flag raising. It will end at 4 p.m.

ABC Drivetrain also offers a year round discount on labor to veterans and first responders. “We like to give back in whatever way we can,” he explained.

Theirs is a unique business. It was opened by Daniel’s in-laws Jeff and Bridgett Hinerman in 1996. Jeff had experience with transmissions but suffered a back injury at work. When doctors said he would never walk again, he didn’t allow that diagnosis or a wheelchair to slow him down. Together, Jeff and Bridgett along with Bridgett’s parents who worked part time, set out to build a business that could provide for their family.

Today, the business has grown to employ eight people including a roster of ASE Certified Master Mechanics to see to nearly all your auto care needs. Jeff, whose prognosis was so dire, is indeed walking again and has been for nearly twenty years.

“We use the word family around here a lot. Some of us are related and some of us aren’t. But you spend so much time with the people you work with that they become like family.”

Consequently, he said the owners prioritize looking out for employees and customers as they would their own family. “Our mechanics are all experienced and certified,” he said as he described the importance that experience plays in their work. “Safety is a big priority for Jeff. He was injured in a work accident so he knows how important it is. So we have a fork lift, engine lifts, all the things to prevent anyone from getting hurt,” he said.

“What’s the saying? If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life? That’s how we operate around here,” he said. “We look forward to doing this every year and invite any veteran around to come and spend some time with us. Let us change your oil and get to meet you. It’s all free because we just want to say thanks.”

Visit ABC Drivetrain at 330 S. Broad Street, Lancaster. Veterans who wish participate in Veterans Appreciation Day should remember that services are offered first come first served. Look for the sign-in sheet when you arrive. To learn more about this business or to book an appointment for another day, visit their website here

You can also contact them if you wish to support their Honor Flight fundraiser. Want to know more about Honor Flight? Click here.  

Simplify Your Finances With Online Bill Pay

Here at VCNB we are taking time this fall to be thankful for all the great ways technology has made banking easier for our customers. Here’s a peek at just one of several. Want to know about other popular technology products that we offer our customers? Click here! 

Paying bills is a task that no one enjoys. That’s why Online Bill Pay is so handy. Whether you wish to automate your payments or log in and pay them individually, it’s a quick and useful tool for making sure your bills are paid on time, every time and without the cost of stamps and checks.

Whether you are paying a national cell phone provider or your family doctor, setting up a biller is simple. Some payments will be sent to the payee electronically while others will require that a check be mailed but there’s no worry – we’ll take care of that part.

Once you have set up a biller, it’s easy to pay them as needed or to set up a recurring payment. Some bills that are the same amount every month such as a car payment or mortgage can be scheduled to pay the same day each month. This streamlines your budget and bill paying activities and gives you the peace of mind that your bill is paid when you schedule it.

If your biller offers e-bills you can sign up to receive your bill electronically. Also, sign up for reminders so you don’t forget to log in and pay those commitments on time.

This is a free service to VCNB customers as long as you use the service at least once a month. It’s straightforward and easy to use and manage. It’s just another way that VCNB is putting technology to work for you! Log in to your Online Banking or VCNB Mobile to get started today!

Embracing Kindness

Kindness. Caring. Compassion. In the fast paced and opinionated world that is 2021, it feels like these are words not used enough. Everywhere you go people are frustrated and sometimes unkind.  

That’s not true of everyone, of course, as there are still good people working to make this world a better place. Here at VCNB, we encourage our employees to follow the Golden Rule and to focus on being kind to others. That’s why we were so excited when we noticed how many offbeat holidays happening in October are dedicated to making the world a kinder place.

For example, October 1 was International Day for Older Persons. More than 60 million people ages 65 or older reside in America and, if we’re lucky, we’ll all eventually join this club of elderly Americans. As far as we’re concerned, every day is a great opportunity to show some kindness to an older person, to listen and to learn from them.

This is also Bullying Prevention and Domestic Violence Month. Any domestic violence shelter will tell you that these two issues go hand in hand. Bullying can happen at any age – on the playground or in the board room. It can happen to anyone as can domestic violence. As many as one in three women and one in ten men ages 18 and older experience domestic violence. While it’s hard to spot, chances are someone you know is living with an abuser.

 Sometimes the first step to addressing the issue is to be aware of it and to talk about it. Click here to learn about domestic violence in America and here to learn about bullying prevention.

October also addresses animal issues. It’s Adopt A Dog Month and there are days designated to recognize black cats and black dogs. Black animals are often the last adopted and the first abused thanks to silly superstitions. Animal shelters across the country are brimming with pets in desperate need of a home. Looking out for these four legged friends is a great way to bring joy into your own life while helping a creature in need.

Of course, October has long hosted Make A Difference Day, a national day of service where volunteers are encouraged to work together to do something impactful in their community. That could mean churches and 4-H Clubs or private individuals helping support community projects and things that they see simply need to be done.  

October 5 happens to be Do Something Nice Day. While it’s a pleasant sentiment on a calendar, here at VCNB we would like to think every day is a new chance to do something nice. There’s no opportunity too big or too small if it means extending kindness to another or doing something to improve the world around us.

Our employees are encouraged and even rewarded for their community spirit when they volunteer. In fact, our employees give hundreds of hours of their time every year, helping out wherever they can. They serve on boards like domestic violence shelters and the local chamber of commerce. They cuddle rabbits and walk dogs for animal shelters, pick up litter and help with distribution day at the local food pantry.

The bank also invests over $300,000 a year in sponsorships, fair animals, customer appreciation days, financial literacy, school sports teams, Chamber activities, and a host of causes in our communities.  We do this because we understand the value of investing in our communities and the people who call them home.

Our Core Values say that we will be community minded and that we will have the integrity to do the right thing – even when no one is looking. We encourage you to do the same and to seek out ways to make the world around you a little better. Money is great but sometimes what’s more important is a kind word to a friend, a little patience with that frazzled fast food worker, or a simple thank you to people who have helped you. Provide a home to a pet in need, stop to see an elderly neighbor or offer a shoulder to someone who is struggling.

There are many ways to help make our world brighter. You never know the ripple effect it may have and how your one small action could manifest into something far bigger than intended.