Debbie Pickett Will Retire Friday

It’s a new year and soon to be a fresh start for Debbie Pickett who will retire tomorrow. She joined the bank family nearly twenty years ago when she came in to do some business and was invited to apply for a job. That was twenty years and a few job titles ago. While she still enjoys her job, she says it is time to go.

“I had it in my mind that I would retired at 65 and I’m almost there,” she said. “After all, you have to weigh how long you want to work with what you want to do when you finally retire and have time to do the things you enjoy.”

Debbie Picket RetiresDebbie started out as a teller at the Friendly Bremen Banking Center on West Fair in Lancaster.  Since that beginning in 2001, she has taken on other new and challenging positions both on the front line and behind the scenes. “Friendships grew with staff and customers. I have deep respect for those working on the front line. I became the receptionist there before moving to the East Main branch as Ned Hinton’s processor for several years. I learned so much from different seasoned employees which helped me later as I was promoted to a loan officer.”

She went on to serve as Branch Manager at our West Fair location but had developed a curiosity about the bank’s Indirect Department.

“I thought it was interesting, working with all our dealers. I was able to join the department full time in 2015 and have enjoyed working with our dealerships to grow our relationships for auto and other financing opportunities,” she recalled. “I like the relationship that we build with our dealers that provide trust and loyalty to us which in turn provides us with new customers to offer our services to. They choose to do business with us from our personal attention and reputation of good service.”

Before joining the bank family, Debbie had a varied career that started when she was a young car hop at Kenny’s, a popular hangout on Memorial Drive before she went into office supplies and even funeral planning. “I have always worked. It’s exciting to think I won’t have to anymore but it’s strange at the same time. What will it be like to not get up and go to work for someone else?”

The good news is that Debbie has a lot to keep her busy.  She has been saving projects for around the house and especially looks forward to having more time with family including her husband Mark, a daughter, a son, and grandkids.

“I often work after hours and on Saturdays so it will be wonderful to have more free time when the kids are not in school. I won’t have to wait for a day off to plan time with them. It’s also important to be available for my little granddaughters to come over to visit and to spend time at my grandsons’ sporting events. Being involved in their lives means a lot to me.”

Debbie has worked from home for much of the last year and says this time at home has aided in the transition to retirement. “I miss spending time at the office and the people I see there. But maybe having this separation from the office will make the shift to retirement a little easier,” she said. “I have developed friendships with so many of my coworkers. I’m sure to miss all those people.”

She expects to make a cake with her family to celebrate tomorrow night. “Every time we make a cake lately, my granddaughters want to sing the Happy Birthday song. I can hear them changing the words to ‘Happy Retirement to you!” she laughed.

“I have a lot to look forward to and I’m going to enjoy just enjoying life!”

Your Dreams Matter To Us

At Vinton County National Bank, we have spent over 150 years helping customers reach for their dreams. It’s actually our favorite thing to do.

There’s nothing more fulfilling than helping a young person buy their first home, a family take their dream vacation, or to see eyes light up when a customer realizes their dream home is within reach.

But dreams can be lofty and it’s not always easy for individuals to know where to start. That’s ok because we have experienced, proven lenders who not only know where to start but who can also guide you down the road ahead.

There are few dreams bigger than building a house. Most customers have a floor plan, they have a vision of a big kitchen with a farm sink or a living room with just the right spot for the Christmas tree. Few are experienced with choosing a contractor or the hiccups that come with every home built.

We will guide you through this process because your dreams matter to us.

Ready to build? Now is a great time to start! Visit VCNBConstruction.com to get started.

Audit Your Expenses To Boost Your Savings This Year

Saving Money.

It’s a goal that many of us have. We want to save money, to put away something for a rainy day or maybe for a sunny one at the beach. But, let’s be honest. Saving money can be hard when it seems there is an endless stream of expenses and needs that throw our savings goals off track.

save or spend money

Looking for ways to cut costs is a good start toward saving more money. 

There are typically two ways to save money – either make more or spend less. Today, we will focus on spending less.

For most Americans, there isn’t one easy fix that will save them a ton of money but there usually are some small savings opportunities that add up to a good bit in a month or year. Some require research. Others require lifestyle changes, discipline and maybe some inconveniences in the name of cutting costs.

The first thing you need to do is understand how you spend your money in the first place. Is it all eaten up by bills and debt? Are you spendy when it comes to eating out? Do you blow all your money shopping online?

Keep a log of every dollar you spend and then honestly consider opportunities for cutbacks. It’s smart to audit your own spending and bills every year.

Examine Your Monthly Bills – When was the last time you shopped your car or homeowners insurance? What about internet, phone and television? Are you paying for a landline that no one uses? Call the cable or dish company to ask for a discount or consider alternate means of watching your favorite shows. If your mortgage is high, refinancing could be an option for you. A few simple phone calls could save you a lot.

Scrutinize Memberships And Subscriptions – Chances are you are paying an annual fee for something you don’t need or a magazine or website you don’t use. Review your credit card statements as many of these expenses auto renew. If you never go to the gym, that $20 a month could be better spent elsewhere.

Study Your Habits – If you eat lunch out five times a week and average $10 per lunch, that’s $2,600 a year. Maybe you can pack part of the time. If you shop when you’re bored, bring home take-out because you’re unprepared for dinner, or make purchases without looking for a deal there is room for savings. What habits are you willing to change in the name of having more available cash?

Avoid Late and Overdraft Fees– Always pay your bills on time to avoid late fees. The easiest way to do this is to automate your payments and this can be done with VCNB Online Bill Pay. Also, keep tabs on exactly how much money you have in your checking account to avoid overdraft fees.

Pay Yourself First – When you’re cutting expenses, be sure to safeguard your savings by tucking away that money in a savings account. If you save $40 a month on car insurance, set up an automatic transfer to your savings account each month. By the end of the year, you’ll have $480!

Save Those Windfalls – If you get a bonus at work or a tax refund, transfer those funds to your savings account. Use this good fortune to give your savings a boost!

The bottom line is that the way to savings is often through mindful spending. You work hard for your money. Be smart about how you spend it so you can save more.

 

 

 

 

 

Looking Back On A Year Of Giving

Looking back on 2020, we can say this year has been unlike any other we’ve seen in our 153 year history. This global pandemic has changed the way we do business, how we are entertained, how we interact with loved ones, and in countless other ways.

It has been challenging and scary for many who are suffering economically or because of their health. That’s why we have committed to working with our customers who have struggled due to income loss this year. We also continue supporting our communities in the best way we know how – through volunteerism and monetary donations.

Our employees log hundreds of hours volunteering in their communities every year and have continued to do so when safe this year as well. You’ll find them helping at food pantries, serving on boards and lending a hand at animal shelters. They give blood, are leaders in their churches, visit nursing homes and seek other ways to make a difference.

Our branches have donated nearly $300,000 to causes important to their communities. Those causes come in many forms. We have supported events like the drive-thru Pataskala Cookie Walk, a Chamber event that gave local families a socially distanced and fun way to welcome the holidays.

We bought livestock at county fairs, supporting the age old tradition of 4-H members learning useful skills and responsibility while caring for their animals.

We’ve donated to some big projects too. The Logan Theater project will provide local teens a place to go after school and a place for movies to roll and the arts to come alive in downtown Logan.

Donations were made to high school programs, libraries, and food pantries. In McArthur, we donated care packages of non-perishable food and snacks to be sent home with local kids when schools were closed.

We even gave away $2,020 to a graduating high school senior from each of the counties where we have a branch.

Supporting our local communities and people and the causes important to them is important to us. As we bid farewell to 2020, we look with hope for the new year ahead. From our bank family to yours, we wish you a new year that is happy, healthy and prosperous.

Charlotte McCarty To Retire On New Year’s Eve

When Charlotte McCarty rings in the new year, she will do so as a retired person. In fact, New Year’s Eve will be her last day on the job after a 26 year career at Vinton County National Bank.

Charlotte McCarty will wrap up her 26 year career at VCNB when she retires on New Year’s Eve.

She began her career as a part time teller, a position that grew into a full time job. She has held a few titles including Head Teller, Branch Service Manager and now Branch Manager. Through it all, she has served the customers of our Wilkesville branch where she has gotten to know scores of people who she says she will miss. “I’m looking forward to retiring but I’ll miss the people a lot. We have customers who I’ll miss. Plus we have some wonderful employees who I’ll miss too,” she said.

Charlotte has worked for the bank for 26 years and has spent most of them with coworker Alice Mccloud who just retired last week.  “We live close enough we can see each other sometimes but it will be strange not seeing her every day,” Charlotte laughed.

She didn’t intend to get into banking. A friend who worked at VCNB called and asked if she would be interested in the job. “I didn’t know anything about banking and wasn’t sure I could even do the job. But I really enjoyed it when I got the hang of things.

One important part of community banking is building relationships with customers and she is especially good at doing that. “The thing about working in a small community is that you get to know almost everyone and they get to know you. It feels good when someone calls and asks for you. It tells you that you’re doing something right – that you’ve built a relationship with that person and they trust you to take care of them,” she explained.

While she says she will miss those human connections, Charlotte looks forward to having free time for the things she enjoys. “I just like the idea of being able to do what I please, when I want to. It will be nice to get into sewing more or to get in the car and go somewhere. I’m hoping to do some gardening and take better care of my flowers. I always have good intentions in the morning and think of all the things I’ll do when I get home after work but sometimes I’m lucky just to make dinner and do dishes. It’s hard to keep up.”

Her husband Denver has been retired for a few years. “It has been hard to get up and leave home on cold, frosty mornings when he gets to stay home,” she laughed. “Now I can stay in or we can go to Amish Country or something. I was up there a while back and did some fun things but I really loved just driving around a looking at things. I hope to do more of that.”

Charlotte and Denver have two grown children and three grandchildren. Denver pastors the Fairview Church of Christ in Christian Union and the couple have been involved in the church for their entire married life. She has taken on many roles including Sunday School teacher and song leader. She also is a talented seamstress who made over 200 masks early in the pandemic and has made special occasion dresses including her daughter’s wedding gown and all the dresses for the bridal party.

“Sometimes I think I might come to really miss working. I like staying busy and I like the people. This has been a good place to work. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to work all these years but I’m glad that I’ll have more time for me.”

Meet Your Banker: Jodi Motta

When Jodi Motta talks about her role as a Regional Manager at VCNB, she rarely talks about herself. Instead, she discusses the team she manages, the people who have helped her along the way, and the drive she has to be better every day.

Perhaps that’s why she thrived in the leadership training programs offered by the Community Bankers Association of Ohio (CBAO). Motta recently completed the organization’s Advanced Leadership Development Program. Before that, she completed their Emerging Leader Program as well.

Jodi Motta is a Regional Retail Manager for VCNB and is known for developing others.

“There are many opportunities to help others and developing people is my passion. My motivation comes from helping others grow,” she said. “Maybe that’s because it’s important to me that I grow every day and because I’ve had so many people help me. Developing others is a true passion.”

Jodi’s path to becoming a successful member of the VCNB family actually began at Kroger where she started as a teenaged bagger. She went to college while working her way up at Kroger until landing in the back office. “Much of the work was similar to teller work. Balancing cashiers, money orders, some supervisory too so it really was good training for my banking career.”

She started as a teller for the Friendly Bremen Banking Center in Bremen in 2000 before making a shift to the Loan Operations Department. Here she learned all the back end processes of banking and worked with experienced employees who were happy to teach her.

She eventually made the shift back to retail to manage our Bremen branch before becoming a Regional Manager in 2009. While VCNB is just her second employer, she says she gained knowledge and was helped by others every single day and that those experiences have helped her become a better leader.

Her most recent accomplishment, graduating the CBAO Advanced Leadership Development Program earlier this month, was a ten month journey along with just a handful of other bankers who represented various departments of banks of all sizes. “Everyone came from different backgrounds and departments and brought a diverse perspective to the conversation,” she said.

Their instructor asked each participant of the elite program to bring live problems for class discussion and for one-on-one coaching sessions. “It was helpful to be coached through real life situations and to see the results,” Jodi explained.

One of her strategies is finding someone’s strengths and passions and to help them use those tools. “A lot of people don’t know their own strengths, they don’t give themselves enough credit and underestimate where they are. If you can help them identify their strengths, help build their confidence, they will grow,” she continued.  “It’s a great strategy to use when building your team. When you, as a leader, can identify everyone’s strengths and develop them your team will succeed.“

Jodi admits that she has high expectations for her team but she holds herself to high standards as well. “I never want to feel like I’m not pushing myself to grow and learn new things and to be a better leader. I have high expectations for my team and push them to be better because I know they’re awesome and I know they’re capable.”

She is actually known for reviewing her own performance on each project or even when facilitating a meeting.  “Anytime I do something, I like ask myself what I could have done differently. What could I do better next time to get better results? It’s important to always do this because there is always room to improve and grow, to learn from your experiences.”

The Sugar Grove native has been married to her husband Chris for 22 years. They have three children who keep her very busy. “I guess you could say my hobbies involve spending time with my kids and their activities. Marching band, sporting events – those things and spending time with my extended family keeps me busy,” she exclaimed.

Jodi serves on the Lancaster Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce Board and is a board member and Treasurer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fairfield County. “That organization is very near and dear to my heart. Anything that has to do with children and developing young minds is important and this organization pairs young people with adults or ‘bigs’ as we call them. Every child deserves to grow up knowing that someone believes in them and sees their potential.”

She is known for encouraging others and for supporting those who wish to work in community banking. “Working in any aspect of community banking is very rewarding. It is a profession that offers a variety of opportunities for career growth and development.”

Perhaps that’s why she rarely meets a colleague without extending the offer to help if they ever need advice or just someone to listen on a bad day. “I like to help people understand their why. Sometimes you don’t know what’s bugging you, you just know you’re having a bad day. Understanding the why can help you work through it. In the bigger picture, knowing your purpose and understanding your why will help you to grow, to succeed and to be better.”

Alice McCloud Will Retire On Christmas Eve

Longtime VCNB employee Alice McCloud is giving herself the gift of retirement this Christmas. In fact, Christmas Eve will be her last day as a teller in our Wilkesville branch. “I don’t think it has really sunk in yet that I won’t be coming back after Christmas. It doesn’t feel real yet,” Alice said.

Alice McCloud will retire on Christmas Eve.

Real or not, the day is fast approaching and Alice said that she is excited even though she will miss the people she works with and many of her customers. “I enjoy my coworkers and how we all get along. We help each other out and no matter what comes up, we work together. It’s fun being a part of that,” she said.

She also talked at length about her customers and what they mean to her. “Our customers are all so great. They make you feel like part of their family because they kid with you, they joke, and stand and talk to you even when they’ve finished their business. We have so many wonderful customers that I’ll miss,” she said.

She talked about helping regular customers and getting to know their needs. “You get to know them, you remember their account numbers and sometimes I know what they want before they tell me. That makes them feel good,” she said.

While she will miss the people she encounters at work, she looks forward to having more free time and to doing the things that she enjoys best.  “Family. I want to see my family more. I’m looking forward to having more time for my hobbies and crafts too.”

She has a grown daughter and two grandchildren who she hopes to see more. She enjoys needlepoint, cross stitch and reading as well. Alice also hopes to do some traveling in the form of day trips. She enjoys getting out to hike and sightsee. “There are a lot of places I would like to see that are close but I could never get around to visiting. It’s hard when you work all day, all week and you try to fit everything into a weekend,” she explained.

Alice is a self-proclaimed homebody who likes to call herself “a plain old person.” However, there is a part of Alice’s life story that isn’t at all boring and that is actually inspiring.

After the end of a “not so great relationship,” Alice went back to school and got her degree from the University of Rio Grande more than twenty years ago. ‘I always told my daughter that school was important and thought I should act like it,’ she said. The single mom was older than most of her classmates and sometimes even older than her professors. “The first time I walked into a class and my teacher was younger than me, I wanted to turn around and walk out,” she laughed. “It was a lot of work and it was hard to get back into the swing of studying and doing homework but I’m so proud of myself for doing it.”

She saw a number of life changes while pursuing her education. It was during this time Alice met Keith, the man who would become her husband. She also started working part time at the bank. “When we started dating, I told him that I wasn’t looking to get married or anything until I could take care of myself and stand on my own two feet. That was important to me that I be able to do that for myself.”

Today, the pair have been married for 22 of the 29 years they have been together. She says he’s a good guy and a great cook and that she looks forward to spending more time together when she retires.

As for that degree, she never actually put it to use. “I went full time at the bank at about the same time I graduated and didn’t really want to leave. The bank has been good to me, it’s like a big family here, and I have always enjoyed what I do,” she said.

With her last day fast approaching, Alice said she will miss working but has much to look forward to in the future.  “I will miss it. Coming here every day is like being part of a family but I’m looking forward to having time for myself.”

Make Deposits At The ATM

Need to make a quick deposit or get some cash on the go? You probably knew that you can get cash from the ATM but you can also deposit cash and checks at your local VCNB ATM. The ATMs at all of our branches have updated machines with advanced capabilities.

These new machines can read images. That means that the customer can insert cash and checks without an envelope. Just follow instructions on the screen to receive immediate credit for up to $500 per day. The remainder of the balance will be processed and credit will be given next business day if deposited before 2 p.m. and on the second business day if deposited after 2 p.m.

This service gives customers 24 hour access to deposit funds to their accounts without waiting in a drive-thru lane or making an appointment to visit a branch lobby.

While we are cleaning our ATMs, we do encourage customers to take precautions by using hand sanitizer and washing their hands as soon as possible after using the ATM.

We miss seeing our customers in the branches and are happy to serve you through the drive-thru. However, if you need to make an after-hours deposit or if you wish to practice greater social distancing than you find at the drive-thru, please remember that the ATM may be the right option for you.

Bank Outside The Branch

VCNB was encouraging customers to bank outside the branch long before the pandemic caused people to seek safer ways to handle errands.

We know your time is valuable and we know you can’t always bank during regular business hours. We also want you to do businesses with us in a way that’s convenient and safe. For many, that means using technology on their phone or computer to bank wherever they may be. For some, that means popping by the drive-thru or an ATM to make a deposit or get cash.

Here’s a refresher course on options we offer for banking outside the branch.

Direct Deposit – Payroll, social security and unemployment checks can all be received by direct deposit. Instead of driving to the bank, direct deposit users simply wait for their money to appear in their account on the day they are owed.

VCNB Mobile – You may not realize it but you have the power of a bank lobby in your pocket. Download VCNB Mobile from the app store on your mobile device and do much of your banking from wherever you are. Just log in to your account to transfer funds, pay bills, check balances, and open new accounts. You can also deposit a check using Mobile Deposit. With Mobile Deposit, use the camera on your mobile device to send a photograph of the front and back of your endorsed check. If the check is endorsed properly and the deposit is made correctly, you will receive immediate credit for up to $1,000 per day.

Website – Much like the mobile app, use the website to open accounts, apply for a loan, check balances, pay bills, view statements, set account alerts and more!

ATM – Most VCNB branch ATMs have been upgraded to accept image deposits. The last upgrade is expected to be completed at our East Main Street Lancaster location by December 12.  Receive immediate credit for up to $500 in cash and check deposits per day at the ATM. The remainder of the balance will be processed and credit will be given the next business day if deposited before 2 p.m. and the second business day if deposited after 2 p.m.

MoneyPass®  – VCNB customers can access a network of over 32,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the nation. Visit www.MoneyPass.com to find a MoneyPass ATM near you!

Of course, we also have a great Customer Service Team waiting to help you via phone and the staff at your local branch will be happy to see you in-person by appointment, to help you via the drive-thru or to chat on the phone or via email!

What’s your favorite way to bank outside the branch? Leave us a note in the comments!

 

Small Business Spotlight: Made On Main

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!

Nothing makes a crafter happier than a fun project, unique supplies and someone to share it all with. Made on Main in Ashville provides all that, even finding ways to keep people connected and happily crafting through the pandemic.

When asked about her store, owner Tiffany Jackson has a long list of reasons why her store is so special why it is drawing customers from all over the region and beyond. “There aren’t a lot of local craft stores around and we are different than your typical big box craft store because we carry different items. What really sets us apart is that we partner with other small businesses to sell brands that you can’t find everywhere else,” she explained.

While Made on Main specializes in paper crafts like scrapbooking and card making, they also holdclasses on mosaics, quilting, painting, knitting, crochet and beyond. “If it sounds like fun, we are willing to give it a try,” she exclaimed

In addition to raw materials, the store offers kits for a variety of projects including things like cards, applique, wall hangings or mini albums. “For example, a kit might include everything you need to make six to ten cards. Everything is pre-cut and there is a picture of the completed project and instructions so you can make it look just like my finished project or you can do your own thing,” she said. “This way, you can make a variety of things without being stuck with a lot of leftover materials.”

The store actually started a few years ago when Tiffany began hosting classes and make-and-take parties in her home. These events grew so much in popularity that she outgrew her home and badly needed space. When the old apothecary building in Ashville became available, it was a clear choice for her growing business. Now, the store has plenty of space for classes, crops and even a party rental room.

Day long crops give crafters opportunity to gather with others to work on their projects. For those who need or want some more direction, classes are offered as well.

While the pandemic has made events and gatherings much more challenging, it has also created opportunity for crafters to spend more time working on projects at home. “When we were closed earlier this year, I had people knocking on my door asking for projects so we started putting together more kits, things they could do at home.”

They also began doing online classes, offering curbside pick-up and doing more online business.

In addition, the store offers some handmade items that would make great stocking stuffers and gifts. Baby quilts, dog scarves and pillows are just a few of the handmade gift items that can be found on the store’s second floor.

Gift cards are available too.

All of this combined keeps customers coming back, not just from Ashville but from much further away. “We are a small town but we are just fifteen minutes from Columbus so we get customers from Grove City, Canal Winchester, from all over because we are just so different from the big box craft stores,” she said.

She actually organized a shop hop with several other craft stores in the area this summer. For a small fee, participants could visit each store to receive a discount and a make-and-take project that could be completed in person at the store or taken home for later. ‘It was so popular, we already have dates for 2021. People loved it and we loved it because we met new friends!”

The next Shop Hop will be July 1 through August 14, 2021 and participants can buy their tickets online in the coming months.

Tiffany isn’t just community minded when it comes to crafting. She also is holding a fundraiser to help with the construction of Ashville’s new food pantry. She is raffling two die cut machines – the Big Shot, valued at $120, and the Big Shot Foldaway, valued at $160. Raffle tickets are $5 each and can be purchased on their website or at the store. The drawing will be held at 3 p.m. on December 5.

Made on Main also has big plans for Small Business Saturday on November 28 so be sure to stop by for some early Christmas shopping and to stock up on projects and supplies for yourself this winter!

“Crafting is how I decompress and it’s wonderful helping others and bringing together others who love to craft,” Tiffany said. “When someone pops in to say hello because they were here once and enjoyed it that makes my day.”

Made on Main is located at 4 East Main Street in Ashville. Call 740.983.6777, follow them on Facebook or shop online.