Santa Claus Is Coming To VCNB!

Santa illustration.jpgSanta Claus will be coming to town for visits at several VCNB offices this December. Here’s the scoop on where and when to find him! Bring your own cameras to get pictures of the jolly old elf with your kids and grown-up kids!

December 9
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Friendly Bremen Banking Center, E. Main St. in Lancaster
Visit with Santa and tell him your fondest Christmas wish!

December 16
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Friendly Bremen Banking Center , Bremen
Meet Santa and come prepared to share your Christmas wish list!

December 16
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Canal Banking Center, Canal Winchester
Enjoy a Christmas Party with Santa, face painting and cookie decorating. Kids can also drop off their letters for Santa and wait for handwritten letters in the mail. If you’re bringing a letter, be sure to include a return address so Santa knows where to find you!

December 17
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Ross County Banking Center, Western Avenue in Chillicothe
Visit with Santa while you enjoy cookies and punch. There will also be a drawing for a jumbo prize. Don’t miss out!

December 17
10 a.m. to Noon
Friendly Bremen Banking Center, Pataskala
Have fun with a Christmas Party with Santa, face painting and cookie decorating. Kids can also drop off their letters for Santa and wait for handwritten letters in the mail. If you’re bringing a letter, be sure to include a return address so Santa knows where to find you!

There you have it! The magic of Santa will help him travel to several of our banks, spreading joy and providing lots of photo ops for the good little boys and girls! Come see us and be sure to bring your camera!

Small Business Spotlight: Ravenwood Castle

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. Today we’re visiting Ravenwood Castle in Vinton County. 

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The Great Hall of Ravenwood Castle is a popular destination for weddings, gaming conferences, romantic dinners and more!

If you want to get away from your daily life, Ravenwood Castle offers a unique getaway to guests who seek solace and beauty close to home. Ravenwood is one of Ohio’s most talked about lodging places and is just a few miles outside of McArthur.

The design of Ravenwood was inspired by English castles of the twelfth century but only opened for business in 1995. Its location in the Hocking Hills region provides a beautiful wooded setting and sense of isolation that is craved by many who seek relaxation. Yet it’s close enough to other Hocking Hills attractions including state parks, shopping and dining to be convenient for those who wish to strike out for some adventure.

Owners Jim and Pam Reed purchased Ravenwood in 2012 after visiting many times since the mid- nineties. Jim’s twenty years of business experience are put to work managing operations while Pam’s knack for event planning and guest relations have brought new life to the facility.

“This is a great place to get away and to relax. The castle is all about putting the technology down and talking to each other. There’s no WIFI here and there are no tvs in most of the rooms. My kids actually play together and have a great time when we’re here and we hear often that guests like that they can relax and be themselves here. You don’t have to be dressed up. We just want you to feel at home,” she said.

Guests can choose from several lodging options including a Castle suite, a cottage in a medieval village or cabin in Huntsman’s Hollow. All are well appointed and designed with the privacy and comfort of the guest in mind. Guests are treated to breakfast in the Castle’s Great Hall every morning.

Pam noted that the public can enjoy a buffet dinner by reservation most Friday and Saturday nights. In addition, Raven’s Roost Pub provides great atmosphere with a menu of pub fare and selection of hand crafted beers, wines and mixed drinks. It is open most Friday and Saturday nights.

She also discussed the success Ravenwood has enjoyed with a variety of events. She said Murder Mystery Weekends are scripted specifically for Ravenwood and are held, not just for an evening, but for an entire weekend. The experience begins with an email prior to arrival and clues left in the rooms when guests check-in.  Activities take place throughout the weekend until the identity of the murderer is learned on Sunday. “It’s written exclusively for us. You can’t get this experience anywhere else and I think that’s why we have so many repeat guests. People love it so much they come back time after time,” Pam said.

Ravenwood also hosts events throughout the year including beer and wine tastings, a Tudor Christmas and a celebration of Edgar Allen Poe’s birthday. In recent years they have hosted gaming events including a summer gaming convention called Con in the Castle. This event features three days and two nights of gaming activities related to role playing and board games.

Their Hoop and Stick Con is a winter weekend of gaming fun and fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network. This year, Ravenwood is on track to donate $10,000 to this charity which benefits Children’s Hospital. Pam said that she and her husband have been supporters of Children’s Hospital since their newborn child required some care at Children’s several years ago. “They were so wonderful, especially for first time parents. We’ve just always wanted to give back and realized that we could use this place to pay it forward,” she said.

Those planning weddings should note that Ravenwood also offers a number of wedding packages that range from a wedding of fifty inside the castle to a 150 person outdoor wedding.

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Pam added that they see many repeat guests and that the staff works hard to make every guest want to come back. “Our goal always is to make sure our guests have the best experience they can.  And we always ask ourselves how what we are doing will impact our guests. We have an amazing staff and wonderful innkeepers. They work like a team and it’s truly amazing how much they get done,” Pam said.

The Reeds are continually making improvements at Ravenwood and she indicated their work is not done. “We’ve been working to improve the property. Refurbishing the rooms has been an ongoing process and we plan to continue working on projects and investing in the property,” she noted. “This has been such an experience, truly a leap of faith, but it has been so rewarding to see it pay off.”

Ravenwood Castle operates every day of the year except for Wednesday and Thursday for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The public is welcome to visit the public areas of the Castle during the day. Ravenwood is located just off St. Rt. 93 at 65666 Bethel Rd., New Plymouth. Call 740.596.2606, click here to visit their website, or here to follow them on Facebook.

 

 

 

VCNB Debit Cards: Fraud, Frozen Cards And How To Prevent This From Happening To You

Our customers are mobile. They travel around the neighborhood, the nation and the globe. As they go about their day, working, running errands and having fun, we find that our customers are relying on their debit and credit cards as a primary form of payment and we love that! We are glad when our customers are so comfortable with VCNB that they want to use our cards.

Yet we want to remind customers that technology is not flawless and that on occasion, paying with your card isn’t possible. In fact, there are a few things we hope you will remember.

Fraud is rampant in our society today. That’s why we have 24-hour fraud protection for our customers. When our Fraud Department sees suspicious activity, they will take steps to protect you. That means the suspicious charge could be declined. It means our Fraud Department will attempt to call you to confirm the purchase and that means they will turn off your card if they cannot reach you. We understand this can be an inconvenience but most customers would prefer to be inconvenienced for a few minutes rather than have a stranger stealing their money.

Sometimes whatever caused the red flag is indeed fraudulent activity. Sometimes it’s really the customer, just spending outside their regular pattern or with a retailer that is known for higher than normal rates of fraud.

For example, if you buy gasoline in Lancaster, Ohio and ten minutes later a charge in California shows up on your card, there will be suspicion of fraud.

When there is a suspicious charge we will call whatever number you have on file with the bank. If you’re out shopping and the only number we have is your landline, you have no way of knowing there’s an issue until your card is declined. When you get home you’ll find a message that provides a case number and requests a return call for something we could have cleared up while you were at the register.

That’s why we ask our customers to provide their mobile phone number. This is an easy way you can do your part in keeping your accounts safe while minimizing the inconvenience.

We also cannot stress enough the importance of carrying a second form of payment. We’ve known customers to travel hundreds of miles from home with nothing in their wallet but a single piece of plastic. If catastrophe strikes and your card is lost, stolen or shut off because it was victim to fraud, you may find yourself in dire circumstances. Always carry a second form of payment – a little cash or another card will be a lifesaver if you have issues with your favorite card.

Now through the end of 2016 we are offering VCNB prepaid gift cards with no purchase fees. Accepted anywhere that Mastercard® can be used, these gift cards are a terrific second form of payment.

Also remember that if your card is declined, repeatedly swiping your debit card will not make it work and may even cause your card to be turned off. Instead, contact your local branch or Customer Service  during business hours or our Fraud Department at 1.800.262.2024.

We know our customers love the convenience of swiping their card. We love it too! Just remember to protect yourself by carrying that emergency second form of payment and by giving us your mobile phone number.

 

VCNB Gives Back

Sunday was World Kindness Day and, as a community bank, we think that’s kind of a big deal. In fact, the idea of being good to our customers, employees and communities is something we embrace every day.

We try to be a good corporate citizen and to lead by example, supporting as many community functions as we can across all the communities where we do business. Since our footprint has expanded a lot during our 149 year lifetime, the area where we try to do good is also expanding. From as far south as our hometown in Vinton County up through Logan, Lancaster and Chillicothe to Grove City and all points in between, we donate money and time to countless community and school groups.

This year we expect to spend more than $220,000 in our local communities!

We also reward our employees for their volunteer efforts. In an average year, our employees collectively donate several hundred hours each year to organizations close to their hearts. Animal shelters, food pantries, school events and countless community events benefit from the generosity of our wonderful employees who like to help out where they can.

During the holidays we like to spotlight some local groups that need public support and give our customers the opportunity to help out as well. Throughout the month of November we’ll be collecting donations for the following:

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Thanks to Dollar General of McArthur for kicking off their coat drive with a big donation of coats, hats and gloves for kids. Rachel Hoyt, Carol Faber and Heather Ramey are pictured with a few of those items!  

Vinton County National Bank in McArthur – Monetary donations will be collected for the Vinton County Local Schools Backpack Program. New and gently used coats, hats, scarves and gloves will also be accepted for kids in need in Vinton County schools.

 

Vinton County National Bank in Wilkesville – Monetary donations will be collected for the Vinton County Local Schools Backpack Program.

Hocking Hills Banking Center in Logan – Monetary and donations of items will be collected for the Hocking County Humane Society. Click here for more info. 

Salt Creek Banking Center in Laurelville – Monetary donations will be collected for the local Backpack Program.

Ross County Banking Centers in Chillicothe – Monetary donations will be collected for the Good Sam Food Pantry.

Ross County Banking Center in Richmond Dale – Monetary donations will be collected for the Mission Family Ministries and Goshen Run.

Pickaway County Banking Center in Circleville – Monetary donations will be collected for Emergency Clearing House Association of Pickaway County.

Pickaway County Banking Center in Ashville – Monetary donations will be collected for local Backpack Program.

Pickaway County Banking Center in Commercial Point – Bank will purchase canned goods for a local church at Thanksgiving and will also participate in Secret Santa at the church.

Friendly Bremen Banking Centers in Lancaster and Bremen – Monetary and non-perishable food donations will be collected for local food pantries.

Friendly Bremen Banking Center in Pataskala – Monetary donations will be collected for a local food pantry.

Canal Banking Center in Canal Winchester – Bank will accept monetary donations for the Canal Winchester Food Pantry.

Franklin County Banking Center in Grove City – Bank will accept monetary donations and packages of new men’s and women’s socks for Socks For Soldiers.

 

If you’re in the area and would like to help out a local organization, we hope you will stop by a branch and make a donation. The bank will also contribute funds to each of the organizations we are spotlighting this holiday season.  All of these collection efforts are for good causes and we are excited to help them!

 

VCNB Is Saying Thanks!

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November is the month of Thanksgiving and we want to use this time to thank our customers for another great year. As a community bank we have the opportunity to not just meet our customers, but to get to know them, and we can say with certainty that some truly wonderful people bank with VCNB.

Here’s how we’re saying thanks:

Earn 5,000 Points – Customers both new and existing can earn 5,000 bonus points by opening a Rewards Checking account online now through the end of the year. Rewards Checking has been extremely popular with our customers and employees because it provides the opportunity to earn UChoose® Rewards Points for every day banking habits. That means you can earn points for dollars spent with your debit card, for using Bill Pay and other VCNB products.  Those points can be used for gift cards for your favorite restaurants and retailers, for gifts, travel and even cash back! Click here to learn more about Rewards Checking.

Free Mobile Deposit – Mobile Deposit is now free for VCNB Mobile customers! Use the camera on your smart phone to take pictures of your check inside the VCNB Mobile app. Your check is deposited into the checking or savings account of your choice, saving you a trip to the bank!

No Purchase Fee Gift Cards – We all have folks on our list who are hard to buy for or who simply like to receive gift cards for holidays and birthdays. Through December 31, our VCNB prepaid gift cards are now free of purchase fees. These cards can be used anywhere that Mastercard© is accepted. Secure, even for online purchases, this is a great gift for anyone. Prepaid gift cards are available in any denomination up to $1,000.

Giving Back – We try to be good neighbors by supporting community organizations and events throughout the year. During the holidays we like to partner with our customers to help some special organizations that are close to our hearts. Every VCNB office is accepting monetary contributions to assist a local organization including food banks, Project Backpack and even a local humane society. Stop by your local office to find out what we’re doing in your neighborhood.

Contests – Throughout November and December we are giving away a $100 gift card every week to one lucky winner on Facebook. Visit our page to learn more about our weekly contests! 

We love our customers and hope you will love the things we are doing to say thanks!  Learn more by clicking here!

 

 

 

Small Business Spotlight: Mighty Voice Printing Apparel & Graphics

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.

Chad and Michelle Noggle are lifelong residents of Ashville, Ohio.  They have busy full time careers they love but when an opportunity arose last year to purchase a ten year old existing business, they decided to take a leap of faith.

The Noggles took over the business last November and renamed it Mighty Voice Printing Apparel & Graphics. The business offers an array of services including direct to garment, vinyl, screen printing, yard signs, banners, trophies, plaques, awards, and even car magnets.  What they believe really makes them stand out from other like businesses is their ability to do custom work.  This work is no easy feat with custom shirts averaging about four hours of work for one design.  Using programs like Corel and Illustrator the Noggles can recreate ideas that customers see on social media outlets such as Pinterest.   “We will take your idea and create the art,” Chad said.

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Michelle and Chad Noggle stand with some of the ready made merchandise available in their store.

With no prior knowledge in this type of business, they encountered an early learning curve.  But the self-proclaimed novices are quickly perfecting their craft as they go and say the business has grown rapidly in just under a year, now employing a manager, an outside sales agent, and freelance graphic designers. They are constantly working with the local schools to design custom shirts for the football student sections and they sell those shirts at a deep discount to students.  They also keep a stock of ready-made items in their shop at 286 Long Street in Ashville.

Customers generally learn of the business by word of mouth and often come from as far as an hour away for their services but they welcome business from anywhere.

For more information contact them at 740.983.3069, email mvpapparelandgraphics@yahoo.com , visit them on Facebook or stop in their store at 286 Long Street, Ashville.

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

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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.