Entries Due Soon For Annual Photography Contest

We are excited to announce that our Jackson County Banking Center and Vinton County National Bank in McArthur have teamed up with the Southern Hills Arts Council for their annual Picture Perfect Photography Contest.

This annual contest has been expanded this year to accept entries from both Jackson and Vinton counties and is designed to celebrate the beauty as well as the artistic talents of these communities.

Jackson County Banking Center Branch Manager Josh Palmer expressed his satisfaction that the bank and the Southern Hills Arts Council are working together. “The Markay Cultural Arts Center and Southern Hills Arts Council serve Jackson and the surrounding communities by providing wonderful services and events for our community. We want to do all we can to support them as well as local artists. Opening up this event to both Jackson and Vinton counties will give us a chance to recognize talented individuals that live and work in southeast Ohio,” Palmer said.

He went on to discuss the connection the bank feels to community projects like this one. “As the Jackson County Banking Center is a member of the Vinton County National Bank, we feel a strong tie and connection with both Jackson and Vinton counties. Our bank has always striven to be a community first bank, and organizations like the Markay truly serve our community,” Palmer explained.

This contest is free to enter and cash prizes will be awarded. It is open to amateur photographers including adults 18 and up and youth ages 10-17. Cash awards in both Youth and Adult divisions will be Grand Prize: $100, Second Prize: $75 and Third Prize: $50. A $50 prize will be awarded to the Overall People’s Choice.

Pictures must have been taken in Jackson or Vinton counties after March 1, 2015 to be entered in the contest. Each photographer may enter up to two photos.

Entries are due by 5 p.m. on February 26 and may be submitted at three locations: Vinton County National Bank, 112 W. Main St., McArthur; Jackson County Banking Center, 920 Veterans Dr., Suite E, Jackson; or the Markay Cultural Arts Center, 269 E. Main St., Jackson.

Each entry must be accompanied by an entry form. See below for form and rules. Forms may also be obtained at the drop off locations.

“This photo contest will be a great way to discover and appreciate the beauty of both Jackson and Vinton Counties. We hope everyone will take part,” Palmer noted.

Interested? Learn more about it here!

Click here to download the entry form and contest rules – Markay photo contest 2018

Turn Coins Into Cash At Select VCNB Locations

If you’re like a lot of us, you probably have in your home a jar or a piggy bank filled with loose change. You empty your pockets each evening and give those pennies and dimes a toss into the jar until it gets full. Now, instead of rolling that coin, you can bring it to some of our banks to run it through a coin counting machine.

These self-serve machines are available at the following locations:

     Friendly Bremen Banking Center – East Main Street branch
Friendly Bremen Banking Center – Pataskala branch
Ross County Banking Center – Western Avenue branch
Ross County Banking Center – Richmond Dale branch
Vinton County National Bank – McArthur branch

To use one of these machines, simply follow the instructions on the screen and dump your change onto the conveyor belt. The machine does all the sorting and counting! Then it prints a receipt which you can take to the tellers to receive your cash or have the funds deposited into your VCNB account.

This is a free service to VCNB customers. Anyone who does not have a VCNB account but who wishes to use the machine may do so for a five percent fee.

Small Business Spotlight: The Canal Wigwam

Small businesses are important to communities and running a small business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month!  

Canal Wigwam

Canal Wigwam has long been a fixture in downtown Canal Winchester.

After celebrating our own 150th anniversary last year, we wanted our first Business Spotlight of 2018 to feature a business with its own rich history and we didn’t have to look far.  Originally opened in 1899, The Canal Wigwam is known throughout the region as the perfect gathering place for locals and visitors in Canal Winchester.  But its century-plus old history has not been without a hitch; a fire in 2014 threatened the existence of our beloved local business.

Owners Mark and Angela Savino purchased Canal Wigwam in 2011, very quickly after learning the business was going up for sale.  Mark had been looking for a business opportunity in the Central Ohio food industry, and the timing couldn’t have been any better.  With his familiarity of the industry, passion for food, and the assistance of our Canal Banking Center, Mark jumped on the opportunity almost immediately.  “I heard about it going up for sale in February (2011), and we actually closed on June 1, 2011!”  Mark said with a smile.

Mark grew up in the food business – his grandfather owned a grocery store in western Ohio, which Mark, his father and family continued and evolved through the years. Mark eventually came to Canal Winchester in the banking industry but he always had his eye on getting back into the industry in which he worked with his family.  The Canal Wigwam opportunity was too good to pass up and it seemed to be smooth sailing once taking ownership.

That was, until Friday, December 5, 2014.  A fire started in the wiring in the ceiling while a packed house enjoyed their food, friends, and conversation.  Mark recounts “It was serious.  We had to go.  We did what we could, but it was time to get out.”  The fire was severe enough to warrant a shut down lasting nearly eight months.  It was devastating to the business and the community alike.  Especially considering the timing.

2017 Staff Christmas Party

The restaurant hosts a Christmas party for employees every year! 

“It was Christmas time, obviously.”  Mark recalls.  “And Canal Wigwam had a large catering event that very night.  We had to buy all new inventory and supplies – serving dishes, food, you name it.”  And, in a true show of support, the City of Canal Winchester granted Mark’s crew permission to use the Community Center kitchen to cook and prepare for this event, which unbelievably, given the events of the day was a success.

But that wasn’t the only event impacted.  Mark and Angela annually throw a Christmas party in the restaurant for the employees. Now they had this event to worry about in addition to the status of the business and general well-being of the employees.

“The impact on the employees was significant, and it was important to continue the Christmas gathering so that we could come together and laugh despite the tragedy” explained Mark.  Again, working with the City of Canal Winchester, the Christmas party was moved to the  Community Center.  Because the community was also affected by the fire, Mark and Angela extended an open invitation to join in the festivities.

Everyone associated with the restaurant was overwhelmed by the support they were shown.  The Community Center was filled with friends and enough food to feed a City, as all brought a treat to share.  Canal Winchester Human Services provided Christmas baskets to all of the employees.  A GoFundMe account was set up by a customer, and an account was set up at our Canal Banking Center strictly for Canal Wigwam staff support.  By February, that account had reached over $9,000!  “The support we were shown was unbelievable.  Everyone who works at the Canal Wigwam think of our customers as family, and clearly the community mirrored the sentiment.  All who responded were incredibly generous and kind.  The response was humbling and healing, and continues to have an impact on me and Angela.”

The rebuild was not easy.  Facing multiple difficulties in construction and coding updates, insurance, ownership, etc., the project took longer than expected.  Mark continued to press on, eventually working toward gaining ownership of the building.  After months of delay, Brocon Construction was hired to finish the physical repair and rebuild project.  Finally, the project began to gain traction, and was essentially finished about seven weeks after beginning.  Mark was thrilled, crediting Brocon President, Bud Bropst, who “kept things on track with a dedicated and qualified staff and weekly project meetings.”

Raised ceilings, updated lighting, revamped bathrooms and updated equipment are just some of the physical improvements.  Staff updates were also needed.  Seven months-plus was a long time to be without work, and there were employees that had found good jobs elsewhere.  While Mark hated losing them, he was happy to see them land on their feet.

After time spent learning the new equipment and adjusting everything within the diner to their liking, it was time for a grand re-opening on July 31, 2015.  It was a tremendous success.  “We were swamped!  And we stayed swamped for two months straight!” Mark recalls.  “The community support during and after has been awesome!”

Since the re-opening, business is up dramatically.  Canal Wigwam employs about eighteen employees, its catering business is continually increasing, and the diner continues to serve up incredibly delicious, simple, affordable meals for breakfast and lunch daily, and dinner on Fridays.

Dinner at the Diner

Have breakfast and lunch at the Wigwam most days but enjoy dinner on Friday night! 

A visitor recently stopped Mark to shake his hand in the middle of the restaurant one afternoon.  “I assume you’re the owner?  I see you here all the time…” the gentleman started.  “I just want to commend you for the way you run your business.  You don’t know me, but I came across town, across the county to eat here and I wanted to tell you this.  You don’t cut corners.  Everything you serve is top notch – from the potatoes on down.  I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate that.  You don’t cut corners and I know it’s hard to run a small business.  I wanted you to know that.”
“Thank you.  My father would kill me if I didn’t do it right!”  Mark responded with a smile.

In 2001, 102 years after their original opening, it was written that “Canal Winchester just wouldn’t be the same without the Wigwam Restaurant.” Another seventeen years later, and the statement is still so very true.  Canal Wigwam is an icon in this tight knit Central Ohio community, and we’re thrilled to have their business!

Like Canal Wigwam on Facebook, or for a full menu, contact information or for more on the history of Canal Wigwam, visit http://www.canalwigwam.com/.

How I Ditched Debt: ‘Born Spender’ Goes on a Spending Fast

In this series, NerdWallet interviews people who have triumphed over debt using a combination of commitment, budgeting and smart financial choices. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
and then we saved

And Then We Saved

Who: Anna Newell Jones
How much: $23,605 in 15 months

Anna Newell Jones considers herself a “born spender” whose desire for the latest fashions and gadgets landed her in debt.

When she got married in May 2009, she had a big secret — she owed nearly $24,000 in credit card debt, student loans and money that her parents borrowed for her. She was living paycheck to paycheck and felt like she had hit a bottom financially. So she shared with her husband, Aaron, a plan to cut her expenses to the bone, pay off debt and become a financial adult. And she decided to blog about her efforts to keep herself motivated and accountable.

First up was making a list of wants and needs customized to herself. Do-it-yourself hair color in a box made the “needs” list, but salon services did not. Then she did what she calls a reverse budget — she analyzed the previous three months’ spending to see where her money was going so she could determine what could be cut.

Newell Jones declared a “spending fast” in 2010: spending the bare minimum and only on necessities. The Denver resident found it freed up time previously spent shopping, returning items and worrying about the financial hole she was digging. That extra time helped her figure out how to increase her income, including photographing weddings on weekends, writing a book and creating her website at andthenwesaved.com.

» SIGN UP: Set and track your own goal to ditch debt

What was your total debt when you started? What is your debt today?

At the tail end of 2009, I [had] $23,605.10 in debt, and I managed to eliminate all of it in only 15 months! I have a mortgage now. Apart from that, I’ve been able to remain completely debt-free.

How did you end up in debt?

I’m a natural spender. I like new things. I used to live for finding that perfect shirt or decoration for my house. … Even though I owed money to others (like my parents for school), I was always able to find money when I wanted something. I was completely overwhelmed by my debt and thought I’d die with it, so in a lot of ways I decided, “Ah, screw it! Might as well at least enjoy myself!” Basically, I spent money I didn’t have on things I didn’t really need. I was reckless.

What triggered your decision to get out of debt?

I wanted my financial life to be about more than just covering my minimum balance each month or not bouncing a check. I got to the point where I was tired of feeling like crap about myself and the situation I had created for myself. I had, in a lot of ways, hit my “financial bottom.” I was desperate enough to make sacrifices and do whatever I had to to get out of debt.

What steps did you take to reduce your debt?

I made some very serious lifestyle choices … meaning I only spent money on necessities (rent, basic food, etc.) and nothing extra. I started my blog as a way to hold myself accountable. I thought that maybe if I went public about my debt and about how much it weighed on me, I’d be more likely to not immediately ditch the entire idea once things got difficult.

How has your life changed for the better since you got out of debt?

Oh man, it’s so much better! Life without debt, shame, worry and anxiety centered around money is so freeing. Before, I was stressed and worried all the time, and it showed. Now I own several businesses, have money to save for my family’s future, and have the freedom to spend more time with my husband and son.

How do you remain debt-free today?

I’m very mindful of my money and my spending. I regularly do reverse budgets [to watch for overspending issues that could crop up]. I also run a Spending Fast Bootcamp and connect with members of the bootcamp each week in Facebook Live videos. Helping them helps me stay aware and present, rather than mindlessly slipping back into my old “spender” ways.

How to tackle your own debt

Jones, who says her blog kept her accountable, wishes she had known about other people who were also battling debt and also felt ashamed and isolated. She created just such a community on her website. Support and accountability can help, she says.

  • Analyze your current spending, to see where money has been going and pinpoint expenses that can be reduced or eliminated
  • Identify your own wants and needs. Needs are non-negotiable, while wants can wait. But every person’s list will vary.
  • Save for an emergency fund. When you are trying to repay debt, watching balances go up can be discouraging. But emergencies will happen. Be prepared with money designated for just such occasions. An amount as low as $500 in reserve can insulate you from an unexpected expense and running your credit cards back up.

More From NerdWallet

Bev O’Shea is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: boshea@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @BeverlyOShea.

The article How I Ditched Debt: ‘Born Spender’ Goes on a Spending Fast originally appeared on NerdWallet.

Advice From The Experts: American Heritage Homes Talks Construction

Amercan Heritage exterior

Building a home is the biggest investment most people will ever make. Over the years, VCNB has helped scores of customers finance their new home projects and our lenders have noted that the same types of questions frequently pop up during home construction projects.

That’s why VCNB sat down for a long chat with Teri Robison, Sales and Design Representative with American Heritage Homes. Teri shared with us some of the things she wishes people knew when they are thinking about a home construction project. And Teri should know. American Heritage Homes is an established leader in the custom home business in central Ohio. Designer Gary Libertini and longtime carpenter Bill Crum opened the business in 1995. Today Gary is in charge of the Sales Team and Product Development while Bill runs the Production side of the business. Together they have built a business that can literally guide the client from A to Z, from locating land to turning the key.

It is Teri’s job to guide the customer through this process and to help make it go as smoothly as possible. She insists that trust is the number one factor in making this process less stressful. “Stress is what makes it intimidating to so many. That’s why you have to choose a builder who you trust. If I do my job right, you will be more confident,” she explained. “You will work with us a lot. It’s important that you trust us so if you don’t like something, I want you to tell me so that I can take care of it for you.”

When you meet with American Heritage, be prepared to talk. Teri suggested that when someone is ready to build, they typically have been thinking about it for some time. “You’ve been thinking about it, dreaming about it. They have researched, they have a Pinterest Board, they have a lot of ideas and dreams already” she said.

“You need to come in and sit with me. Talk to me. We’ll talk about kids and animals and how they live. Are their kids in soccer every night and there’s not a lot of time to cook big meals? Do the kids sit at the counter and do their homework while mom cooks? How do they live in their house? Is this a forever home or a stepping stone? That’s what I want to know,” Teri added.

If you do not have land or a location in mind, American Heritage can help you with this piece. First they will discuss how much land you want and where you wish to be. Then they can help you narrow down the options and ultimately find the land that is right for you and your budget. “Are you looking for ten acres with a pond and woods? Maybe you don’t care about the land but want a big house close to town. Knowing how you live and how you want to live is key,” she said.

With the land in check, Teri can begin guiding you through designing your home on paper. She says that a good builder will have a lot of questions about how you will live in your home. “I don’t want to just sell you any house. I want to build for you the home you want and need. My job is to disseminate the difference between what you think you want and what you really want,” she said.

“We will talk a lot because I want to understand you and I want to help you see what’s really important in your home. Where do you live in your house? Is the kitchen the heart of your home? Do you spend all your time in the living room or den or do you want your master bedroom to be a sanctuary? Do you soak in a tub? Would you prefer a big, luxurious shower? These are things we need to know to get started on your design,” Teri noted.

She recommends coming to your builder with a floor plan in mind first. “Don’t worry about what the house will look like. First we need to talk about how it will flow, how your home will work for you,” she said.

But before you ever begin designing your new home, Teri recommends shopping builders and considering a few key points:

Customer Service – when you visit a model home, how are you treated? Are they friendly? Do you feel pressured? Do they ignore you? Teri points out that you can tell a lot about a builder’s customer service by how they treat you on this first meeting. If you are uncomfortable or if you feel undervalued as a potential customer, these are red flags.

Stress Management – This is a huge investment and there’s always going to be stress where money is involved. However, Teri says that it is her job to make sure you do not feel that stress.

Better Business Bureau – Teri admits that most businesses will have a claim with the Better Business Bureau. The question is, how do they address the claim? Are there repetitive claims for the same issues?

Read The Specs – Pay attention to the specs of a builder’s plan. Teri advises looking at even the smallest details from the quality of the plumbing fixtures to the type of doors they use. For example, American Heritage fills garages and porches with gravel to provide greater support and stability for the concrete being poured on top. Other builders often just use dirt which settles more easily than gravel. Also, a base plan with American Heritage includes about forty percent more cabinets than other builders provide. Teri said they maximize available spaces for additional storage space in closets and cabinets. She emphasized the need to examine these specific items in the quotes rather than just the price per square foot which can sometimes be deceiving.

Trust Your Gut – Go with the company that makes you feel calm, the one you think you can trust. “Trust is the most important thing. I cannot stress enough that you have to trust your builder to have the best possible experience,” Teri said.

Learn more about American Heritage and even view sample home plans by visiting them online. Follow them on Facebook or visit their model home at 11143 US. 23 South, Lockbourne, Ohio.

 

 

Savings Tips From Saver Squirrel

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur friend Saver Squirrel loves to “squirrel away” cash and is always excited to talk to other savers about their habits. Today, he’s offering some advice to anyone trying to get started with their savings goals!

Open a savings account: Saver says it is important to keep your savings separate from the money you use for paying monthly bills and daily expenses. Keep it safe from temptation and put it in a savings account. At VCNB, we offer a Passbook Savings Account that gives you online access to your funds. Read more about Passbook Savings Accounts to learn about minimum balances and how to access your money.

Automate, automate, automate: Schedule automatic transfers to your new savings. This makes it like any other bill you would pay and removes the burden of remembering to do it. With the online access you receive when you open a Passbook Savings, it’s easy as pie to schedule a regular transfer from your VCNB checking to your savings.

Start small: Saver likes to say that every acorn counts! Start saving what you can spare. Just $10 a week will add up so don’t be embarrassed if this is where you have to start. Saver has found that the more he saves, the more he wants to save. He thinks when you see your own savings start to add up, you may be inspired to stash away more.

Make it a game: If you have a little more to spare, make it a game. Some folks save every $5 bill they get. Others toss their change in a jar every day. Someone told Saver the other day that when they are tempted to buy something they don’t need, instead they skip the purchase and transfer the funds into their savings account. Save a dollar a day or find a fun savings chart to follow. Pinterest is a great source for this kind of inspiration.

Keep a goal in mind: Saving money for the sake of having it doesn’t always inspire us to stick to make spending cuts or to even stick to a plan. That’s why it’s important to know why you’re saving. Most Americans don’t have an emergency fund. Maybe you want to save money so you’re prepared the next time Murphy’s Law comes knocking and an appliance breaks or you get sick. If you are planning a big vacation or saving for a house payment, keep visual reminders around or stop and think about how nice it will feel to take your family on that summer vacation.

Track your progress: Saver thinks that the best way to stay focused is to assess progress. He recommends checking your account online periodically to see the dollars add up. Better yet, keep a chart on the refrigerator or a spreadsheet with your budget so you can celebrate your successes!!

While saving comes naturally to Saver Squirrel, it’s not so easy for everyone. Start small, make it easy on yourself and celebrate your accomplishments! Before you know it, you’ll have some cushion in the bank and you’ll be on your way to being just like Saver Squirrel!

Small Business Spotlight: Tiffany’s T’s

Small businesses are important to communities and running a small business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month!  

In an age of cookie cutter clothing, it’s refreshing to walk into a local business and be able to choose your own designs. That’s exactly the service Tiffany’s T’s of Jackson provides. They have some items ready to buy off the rack but most customers like to choose their own designs and have items custom made.

The list of items the crew at Tiffany’s T’s can create is seemingly endless. From sports uniforms to business hoodies to school fan t-shirts – they make everything in between for people of almost any size, according to owner Kelly Alford. “We can copy a design you bring in. So if a business has a logo or if an individual has something specific they want the shirt to say, we can create something custom. We also have a lot of designs for them to look at and that we can personalize with their team name or player number,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if they need one of something or a thousand, we can accommodate any order size.”

While many customers come to them for sports items, they can cover any theme and any subject matter except those that are copyrighted. They can do any school and any color but most popular schools have been Wellston, Oak Hill, Jackson and Vinton County.

basketball displayCustom creations include:

Sports equipment
Coats
Shirts
Hoodies
Lettermen jackets
Shorts
Sweatpants
Track pants
School uniforms
Team uniforms
Embroidered ear muffs, scarves, hats, bags and blankets
Flags
Magnets
Signs including parking, political and yard signs
Sublimation slates, cups and coasters

For most items, sizes range from 0-3 months to Adult 6X.

Their custom letterman jackets are extremely popular, beating most competitor prices at a base price of just $175.  Other popular items include receiving blankets embroidered with the baby’s name, custom onesies and bibs and first day of school shirts.

Letterman jacketsThey also have the ability to customize designs with different materials. “We’re the only place around that can do rhinestones and we bought a new program that allows us to do all sorts of different kinds of designs you won’t find someplace else,” she said. “We could do glitter, rhinestones and vinyl on one shirt if you want. We want to make things that are special and different than everyone else.”

Organizations like schools, churches and balls teams will be glad to know the store offers fundraising opportunities.  “We can customize a fundraiser to suit the needs of the group,” she explained.

 

In addition to custom creations, they also have a selection of locally made gift items.

Tiffany’s T’s is a family affair. The staff includes Kelly’s daughter Tiffany McManis, her cousin Tammy Stapleton, Kelly’s parents Gary and Jean Dixon and her grandma Norma Beatty. Her daughters Molly Miller and Leah Alford help out too as does her two year old grandson who occasionally likes to pitch in behind the scenes. “It’s been fun but it has been a real learning experience. We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback so that’s been exciting,” she said.

Kelly was enthusiastic to discuss future plans in the works for the business. Soon customers will be able to place custom orders on their website.  They also intend to use an expansive space in the store’s basement to offer batting cages. Kelly and her husband Mike have been involved with the softball program at Jackson High School and understand the need for this service. With the batting cages, they plan to use their connections in the softball community at Ohio University, Marshall and in Columbus to offer camps that focus on softball.

The store is located at 211 E. Main Street in Jackson. However, geography is no problem as all items can be shipped. Regular business hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Follow them on Facebook to see new products and to keep up with new developments at the store! See below for a slideshow of pictures from this great downtown Jackson store!

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Looking Back On Our 150th

This has been a big year here at VCNB as we have been celebrating our 150th anniversary. We did this through a variety of means including events and sponsorships  throughout the eight counties we call home. We’ve celebrated our entire 150 year history with a museum in our McArthur office and focused on our post-Civil War birth with big events over the 4th of July weekend in Vinton County.

However, 2017 hasn’t been just a year of living in the past. It has also been a year of reflection for the employees and Directors of Vinton County National Bank. We have spent 2017 working on a plan for the years ahead and have been contemplating the bank we want to be, the bank our customers need us to be for the next 150 years.

We opened a new banking center in Jackson this year and continue to focus efforts on improving our mobile and online services to make banking with VCNB simpler and better. We have developed many plans to make VCNB a better place to work and a better place to do business as well.

If you are a VCNB customer, we thank you for your business. If you are not a customer, we ask that you give us a chance to become your bank. We have been successful these 150 years because of our customers and because of the fine communities where we do business. We would love to bring you into our bank family as well.

We’re about to turn the page on the calendar to a new month, a new year and to countless opportunities to grow this bank and to help our customers realize their dreams. What’s the old quote?

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among stars!”

Thanks to all of you for supporting Vinton County National Bank and for allowing us the privilege to be your bank. Together, we’ll shoot for that moon!

VCNB Says Farewell To Longtime Employee

 

Sandy Bates Retires 2017 croppedA longtime familiar face at the Depot Drive Thru in McArthur will soon retire. Sandy Bates, a 33 year employee of Vinton County National Bank will retire this Friday.

Even on a slow day, scores of vehicles line up in Sandy’s lane to be waited on by the friendly woman who seems to always wear a smile. She asks customers about their kids, talks about the car they just bought and passes out dog bones to customers of the canine variety. Often times she knows what the customer wants before they even ask.

She’s recently begun telling regulars that she won’t be with the bank much longer. “I retire in eight days” she exclaimed to one regular customer.  “One man seemed a little upset when I told him I was leaving. I didn’t even know him that well so I was kind of surprised,” she explained.

Sandy began her career at the bank in the Bookkeeping Department. “Bookkeeping wasn’t quite what I thought it was,” she offered with a laugh. “I filed checks all day, every day! I worked at that quite a while before I went to Mr. (Bob) Will and asked to do something else.”

She has worked as a teller since, spending some time in the bank lobby but most of her career in the Depot. “I have enjoyed it here. It’s nice and quiet here and I feel close to the customer waiting on them here,” she said. “I get to see their kids and their animals and a lot of things I would miss in the lobby. Little kids will talk to me, dogs know they’re going to get a bone. I’ve seen people grow from car seats into parents.”

It can be a stressful job at times, especially on busy days. However, Sandy said she received some very good advice from another VCNB retiree who trained her. “Ruth Molihan always said that the customer in front of you is the most important person right now. I’ve always made that my policy and I think it’s a good one,” Sandy said.

She reminisced about many of the changes in bank personnel and in changes to banking and society that have taken place over the years. “I started out filing checks all day and now you just don’t see that many checks,” she said. She also expressed great respect for late VCNB President Bob Will who she said “was quite the visionary” for his early adaption of new technologies.

Sandy said that her retirement is bittersweet. “I have enjoyed working here and am sad to leave but a little happy too. I’ll miss the customers and the people I work with but it’s a good time to go while I still have my health and can get out and enjoy life.”

She looks forward to spending more time with family and is especially excited to spend more time with her grandchildren.

McArthur Branch Manager Jane Nickels said that Sandy’s absence will be felt by the bank and by her customers. “Once the customers find out she’s going to be gone, many will be very disappointed. That first lane is always lined up when the second lane has no one in it because Sandy tends to be everyone’s favorite,” Jane said. “The drive thru seems to be her niche. We’ve asked her to come into the lobby before but she enjoys the challenge and seems to genuinely enjoy how busy she is with her customers at the drive thru.”

Jane complimented Sandy’s professionalism, noting that at the age of 79 she still works every day in high heels. “She’s a lady. She’s a lady who cares about her customers, who has built relationships with her customers. We wish her the best but her absence will be a loss to the customers and to the bank.”

Friday will be Sandy’s last day on the job. The entire bank family wishes her a long and happy retirement!

VCNB Prepares To Host Santa!

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

Kids of all ages are invited to visit with Santa at some of our banks this holiday season. The jolly old elf in the red suit will visit with all the good little boys and girls at several of our offices this December. We invite you and your family to these free events to share treats and stories with Santa himself!

Here’s the schedule:

Ellora Starr cropped

Little Ellora Starr is pictured here snoozing with Santa at our Bremen office a few years ago. 

Friday, December 8
Friendly Bremen Banking Center – 119 W. Main Street, Bremen
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday, December 14
Friendly Bremen Banking Center – 700 Corylus Drive, Pataskala
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday, December 16
Ross County Banking Center – 775 Western Ave., Chillicothe
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Saturday, December 16
Friendly Bremen Banking Center – 1971 W. Fair Ave., Lancaster
10 a.m. to Noon

Wednesday, December 20
Canal Banking Center – 6360 Prentiss School Dr., Canal Winchester
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday, December 22
Friendly Bremen Banking Center – 521 E. Main St., Lancaster
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

In all the years that Santa has been coming to our banks, he has visited with children of all ages, some older folks and even a few pets! Bring your camera to be sure and capture the perfect image of your loved one with Santa!