Meet Your Banker: Sue Ross

Our Meet Your Banker series continues today with Sue Ross who is the Branch Manager at our Franklin County Banking Center in Grove City.

Sue never intended to be a banker but after a forty year career there is no doubt that banking is her calling. Most of those years have been spent working for Grove City banks but the last five have been with VCNB.

Sue Ross

Sue Ross is the Branch Manager of our Franklin County Banking Center in Grove City.

She started her banking career eleven days after graduating from Utica High School. She actually began working in lending, indirect lending, risk management, equipment leasing, and trust.

Sue spent a few years in a corporate environment where bankers devote most waking hours to work. “You worked 55 to 65 hours per week and it was all about doing more. There was no work life balance so it was a pleasant adjustment coming here,” she said. “They say no one ever puts on your headstone that you should’ve worked a little more and it’s true!”

Instead, she appreciates the reasonable work schedule and focus on customer relationships at VCNB. “I love generational banking! You take good care of mom and dad and when the time comes, you develop a relationship with their child as they need a savings account and a first car loan. As they’re getting married and need a home, as they’re raising their own children, the cycle continues because you were first a trusted advisor for their parents,” she explained.

Sue and her husband Donald live on a five acre ranchette with all their kids – three horses, two dogs and a cat. They spend a lot of time caring for their critter kids as well as helping elderly friends and neighbors.

She is active with the Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Chamber Foundation Scholarship Committee. Sue also prides herself on being a resource for local seniors, has volunteered at local nursing homes and is an avid bingo caller for Evans Senior Center in Grove City. She volunteers with the Refuge, providing financial education and budgeting assistance to women who are overcoming addiction.

There are two quotes that Sue draws from for inspiration. The first is “never allow yourself to be too busy to make someone feel special.” The other is an Albert Schweitzer quote. “He said ‘aim for service and success will follow’ and I just think that says it all. It has been a rewarding career because I truly love serving our customers. The true reward is getting to know them and building long, lasting relationships with people who become your friends and sometimes become like family.”

 

Reward Yourself With Rewards Checking At VCNB

If you use your debit card a lot and don’t have VCNB Rewards Checking, you are missing out on an opportunity to earn rewards for everyday purchases and other banking activities. This includes cash back, gift cards, travel credits and all sorts of merchandise.

How does Rewards Checking work? It’s simple!

With Rewards Checking you will receive UChoose Rewards® Points for every PIN and Signature based purchase you make with your debit card. You will receive one point for every $3 spent as well as 200 bonus points for 21 or more purchases.

Additional points are also offered for using Online Bill Pay, Direct Deposit and Automatic VCNB Loan Payments. Receive 500 bonus points annually for the life of the card and 1,000 bonus points for opening a new savings account. Use a Visa® Platinum Favor Credit Card to earn one point for every dollar spent.

You do have to sign up for a UChoose Rewards account and link your debit card and credit card to that account to begin earning points and to later redeem all those points for those great rewards you deserve!

There is a $7 monthly fee for this account that will be refunded if you either use your debit card for at least fifteen or more transactions a month or keep a combined balance of $5,000 or more in all of your VCNB accounts.

We know you work hard for your money. Why not put your VCNB account to work for you?

Existing customers can ask their personal banker to easily switch from their current account to a VCNB Rewards Checking. New customers can open a Rewards Checking account online, on VCNB Mobile or in their neighborhood VCNB branch. Get full details by visiting us online.

 

Small Business Spotlight: Crossroads Meats

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

Crossroads Meats exterior

Crossroads Meats is a custom butcher shop and retail store on Main Street in Adelphi.

If you’re looking for fresh, good quality meat, a local butcher shop is the place to go. Crossroads Meats in Adelphi specializes in custom butchering but has a popular retail storefront as well. Here you’ll find everything you need to stock your freezer or to entertain guests at your next backyard barbeque.

The attention to detail that owner Noah Cross gives to his work, combined with an increasing demand for quality meat, has helped the shop develop an eager following of customers.

Noah grew up in his father’s butcher shop in rural Missouri, where he helped out while learning the trade. “Growing up, I thought I’d never butcher for a living. Why would I when there’s all kinds of exciting things to do? But it comes back to what you know and what you love and I really love what I do,” he said with a smile.

Yet, when Noah and his wife Ann had the opportunity to relocate to Ohio and start a new life with a newly settled Mennonite community, Noah wasn’t sure he wanted to continue in the business. ‘It’s long days and they’re hard days. It’s real physical work, especially in your arms,” he said.

So when they came to Ohio, he took up tree trimming and removal. He did that for a while but quickly learned this fair weather business didn’t keep him busy enough. So he returned to his roots and began processing deer on the side, growing this business to accommodate the community’s need. This side business quickly took off, causing him to buy the old hardware store in Adelphi and set up a butcher shop and retail store.

Here he focuses on custom cattle processing jobs which keeps him extremely busy. At this time, their custom work is booked through early 2021.

But many customers know Crossroads for their retail shop. Here, customers line up to buy everything from hamburger and steaks to handmade sausage and fresh marinated chicken.

“A lot of our business lately has come in because of COVID. They say there’s a meat shortage and a lot of people have come here because they couldn’t get what they want at the store. But once they try our product they say they’ll never go back to buying at the grocery. They say they’re spoiled now,” he said. “A lot of people don’t believe there’s a difference in the taste but there really is. And you can shout till you’re blue in the face but it doesn’t mean anything until they try it and taste the difference for themselves.”

When asked about the difference in fresh meat from a butcher shop and that from a grocery store, Noah said that part of the difference lies in geography and timing. “When you’re buying meat from the store, you might be buying something that was raised in Kansas and slaughtered in California. Then it still has to be transported to the store for you to buy it. I’m not saying that a Kansas animal isn’t as good as an Ohio one but animals don’t transport well dead or alive. By the time it gets to you, that really shortens the shelf life,” he explained.

There’s a sign in the store that seems to summarize his work philosophy. It reads “Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy local and it can buy fresh.”

Group

Noah Cross and his employees take pride in the work they do, providing quality meats for the community. From left are Ginny Beachy, Twila Martin, Noah Cross and Jemima Zook.

That’s part of the reason he has begun raising his own cattle just down the road. “I like going from farm to table. I like feeding my own and knowing how it was cared for and that it just traveled a quarter mile down the road to get here. It’s important to me, knowing what I’m providing for people,” Noah said. “I have customers who have been up to see them and have already ordered cattle that isn’t even ready yet because they’re that confident it will be good.”

The meat they currently sell in the store comes from Heffelfinger’s Meats here in Ohio. Coolers are stocked with thick cut bacon, hamburger, steaks, chicken and pork chops. Noah’s employees make their own bratwurst, snack sticks, summer sausage, trail bologna, sausage links and sausage patties among other things. But some of their most popular items are already marinated and ready to cook. Chicken marinades include barbeque, garlic butter and southwest. He said their burgundy pepper New York strip steak and old fashioned dry rub bacon are especially popular too. Their seasoned hamburger patties are big sellers and can be purchased in smoky molasses, garlic tomato basil, and jalapeno cheddar.

Each Saturday, he fires up the smoker out front and cooks sixty to eighty sides of ribs. They come out of the smoker at noon, fresh and ready for customers to enjoy. They do encourage ordering in advance to ensure that customers are able to get this high demand product.

Some Thursdays, he smokes chicken wings, legs quarters and drumsticks too. Anything not sold that day will be available for purchase in the store.

Noah believes in delivering quality service and product. He also is pleased to work with customers and deliver what they request. He described a popular sweet Italian bratwurst link that they make. When a customer asked for that seasoning in a patty instead of a link, they were happy to accommodate. “That’s how new products are born,” he said.

The store also sells Camp Chef brand grills and smokers, chest freezers, some meat seasonings and Ben’s brand mustards and barbeque sauces. Essentially, if you need the meat or some way to freeze, flavor or cook it, Crossroads can help!

The business is very much a family operation. His wife Ann helps out with the business aspect and their four little boys, ages 10, 7, 5, and 2 spend a lot of time with their dad here and are well known to regular customers. They also employ three people to do processing, packaging and to help with the store.

While they clearly work hard and long days, Noah his thankful to the community for their support. “The people here are just wonderful. We moved here not knowing anyone and not deserving a thing and these Ohio people have absolutely showered us with their friendship, their kindness and business,” he said. “We’ve made so many wonderful friends that we simply couldn’t ask for more.”

Crossroads Meats is located at 11826 Main Street, Adelphi. For more information, visit their store or call 740.702.MEAT.

 

Meet Your Banker: Matt Hearn

Our Meet Your Banker series continues today with Matt Hearn. Matt is the Branch Manager at our Canal Banking Center in Canal Winchester.

Matt Hearn

Matt Hearn is the Branch Manager of our Canal Banking Center in Canal Winchester.

Ask Matt to talk about banking and it’s clear that it’s all about the customers for this California native. “I like being able to get to know my customers and I think they appreciate the personal touch they get from us. That’s not something that’s encouraged or even possible at big banks so it feels really good to offer it here,” he said.

Matt should know. He cut his teeth in banking by working his way up from Retail Banker to Branch Manager for a big bank in Lancaster. He spent about six years there before making the move to VCNB’s Lancaster West Fair Avenue branch. He was hired to be a Retail Banking Officer but quickly rose to the position of Branch Manager.

Earlier this year, he made another change by moving to our Canal Winchester branch which he manages today.

“I have found opportunities here to really get to know my customer. They come in and we have a chance to talk about their child who just graduated high school or about what they need from us. Nothing makes me happier than when they bring their dogs and we get to give them a treat,” he said with a laugh.

In his free time, Matt sits on the Income Council of United Way for Fairfield County. He’s been a member since 2017 and says their primary focus is on funding for shelters, food banks and emergency services.

He and his wife have been married for four years and have a one year-old daughter.

“The best part of my job is the relationships. Nothing makes you feel better about what you do than when a customer says they trust you or when a customer shows up in your new office just to see you.”

 

 

 

 

Meet Your Banker: Christina Wine

Today we continue our “Meet Your Banker” series by talking with Christina Wine. Christina is the Branch Manager of our Salt Creek Banking Center in Laurelville.

When Christina joined the VCNB Financial Family last year, it was in search of a job where community mattered. She had spent most of her career working with customers – first in food service management and then at a home improvement store before receiving a phone call that changed everything.

Christina wine - use

Christina Wine, Branch Manager of our Salt Creek Banking Center in Laurelville

A manager from a previous job called one day and asked if she would like to try being a teller for a regional bank. She accepted the opportunity and the challenge, setting off on the path to become a Mortgage Lender. But Christina quickly learned that she was more interested in the personal side of banking. “I loved being able to change lives by helping people look at the big picture,” she said. “I have always liked to coach and help people grow so it fit my personality really well.”

But there was something missing at her old job. With a longer commute and an employer that took a hands off approach to the local community, Christina was ready to find work close to home where the bank was part of the community. “One thing I really like about VCNB is that they encourage us to get involved in the community, they reward us for volunteering and they want us to know our customers. I never had that before at my old job,” she said.

While Christina is glad to be here, she admitted her timing with the move was poor. She was in her second of trimester of pregnancy at the time so she worked only a few months before taking time off for maternity leave.

But she is actively seeking ways to become more involved in the Laurelville community. Christina and the branch staff had just made arrangements to help unload the food truck and organize items for giveaway day at the food pantry when COVID 19 hit and changed the way volunteers are able to participate.

The Logan High School graduate is a native of South Bloomingville where she still lives. She laughed when asked about free time and mentioned her young family. With a newborn, a four year old and an 11 year old at home, she and her partner Ryan stay quite busy.

“I used to enjoy horseback riding and ATV rides but those things don’t happen too much with little ones.”

She grew up on a small farm with horses, livestock and lots of 4-H involvement. “I was definitely a country girl and practically grew up in a barn. I’d go swimming in the pond and fishing. I loved it and so did my friends. All my friends wanted to come to my house, it was so much fun.”

Today, Christina and her staff are glad to have the lobby open again after being closed for several weeks during the height of the COVID-19 scare. “It has been challenging but we encouraged our customers to remember that there’s so much we can do for them in and out of the lobby. We’re still able to open accounts, to accommodate all your lending needs. We are here for our customers and can do anything our customers need no matter what.”

 

Meet Your Banker: Charlotte McCarty

Today we continue our “Meet Your Banker” series by talking with Charlotte McCarty. Charlotte is the Branch Manager of our Vinton County National Bank in Wilkesville.

Charlotte McCarty

Charlotte McCarty is the Branch Manager of our Vinton County National Bank in Wilkesville.

Charlotte has spent most of her banking career serving the people of Wilkesville and it shows. That’s because almost everyone knows and respects the Vinton County native who started at the bank more than 25 years ago. After training in McArthur, she took up her post as a part time teller in Wilkesville and has since grown to hold different positions including Assistant Cashier, Head Teller, Branch Service Manager and now, Branch Manager.

She also holds the distinction of being the bank’s first Master Teller, a difficult achievement that proved her knowledge and skill as a Senior Teller. “It’s funny because when I started here I didn’t know anything about banking and wasn’t sure that I could even do the job. But I was very excited to come to work and really enjoyed it,” she reminisced.

“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 that you’re doing something right – that you’ve built a relationship with that person and that they trust you to take care of them,” Charlotte said.

She knows all about building relationships, having grown up in a family of ten kids. “I love being part of a large family. The closeness of a big family is something really special and it’s nice always having so many people around for support. With that said, I didn’t want a large family of my own! I just had two,” she laughed.

Her two – a boy and a girl – are grown now. She has three grandchildren as well. Charlotte stays busy in her free time. Her husband Denver pastors the Fairview Church of Christ in Christian Union. The couple have been active in their church for their entire married life and she has taken on many roles including Sunday School teacher and song leader. She also looks forward to Wilkesville’s events like the annual Fish Fry and the Independence Day parade.

Many people have recently benefited from Charlotte’s generosity and talent as a seamstress. She’s made over 140 masks with sewing supplies she had in her stash. “I had all kinds of fabric here that I hadn’t done anything with and enough elastic to get started with. So when I heard that people needed masks I thought that’s something I can help with!”

She has made many dresses over the years including all of the dresses for her daughter’s wedding party and the wedding gown, embellished with hand sewn pearls. Her granddaughters and their friends benefit from her talent as well as she does the alterations for their special event dresses.

Back at work, Charlotte said she and her staff continue working to serve customers and to prevent disruptions for customers through these challenging times. “We are still able to help customers with anything they need even though our lobby wasn’t open for a awhile. We just want to keep everyone safe in the process and to do everything we can to satisfy our customers,” she said. “It has been different but we’re making it work.”

 

 

Meet Your Banker: JJ Wright

Some of our lobbies are open while others are available by appointment only but we are still here to help with what you need! Today we continue our “Meet Your Banker” series by talking with JJ Wright. JJ is the Branch Manager of our Hocking Hills Banking Center in Logan.

While JJ has worked in our Logan office since 2018, customers in three markets will recognize him. That’s because he’s also been the Branch Manager for our Canal Banking Center as well as the Friendly Bremen Banking Center on East Main Street in Lancaster.

JJ Wright

JJ Wright is the Branch Manager of our Hocking Hills Banking Center.

The 2006 Lancaster High School graduate has a degree in Business Administration from Liberty University. His career has been spent in banking, starting out as a teller and working his way up through the ranks at another bank before moving to VCNB in 2015 to be the Branch Manager in Canal Winchester.

“It’s going to sound cheesy but I love helping people, especially the problem solving aspect of what I do,” he explained. “I appreciate that we are taught about why a policy or procedure exists and the bank gives us the tools and leeway to work with our customers. We’re sometimes able to find ways to help the customer whether it’s helping them get approved for a car loan because their car just blew up or finding ways to help them stop over drafting an account,” he said.

JJ grew up in Lancaster but has lived in Hocking County for the last ten years. He and his wife LaBreeska will soon celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. The couple have two children – McKenna, who is five and Jayce, who is three.

In his free time, JJ has taken up woodworking, a hobby which he is able to share with his wife. “I do the building and she’s phenomenal at the finishing – whether it be with stain or paint. So a lot of times, I’ll be working on a project and she’ll be over there finishing another,” he said while describing the blanket ladders, tv stand and other pieces they have completed. “It’s just a really good way to let go of stress after a long day. It’s nice to have that creative outlet and to have that sense of accomplishment when you can see what you’ve done.”

He is also very involved in the New Life Christian Center, belongs to the Logan Rotary Club, and serves on the United Way of Hocking County Board.

Many Hocking County Fair supporters will recognize JJ and the Logan staff for their work organizing and running the fair’s livestock sale. “This is a ton of work that extends beyond the fair but it’s an incredibly rewarding thing to do. Those kids have worked so hard on their 4-H projects. We love the small part we play in helping them sell their animals at the livestock sale.”

While VCNB has taken numerous safety precautions, the Logan branch did have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in April. While everyone is healthy, they continue to operate with drive-thru service only. “We are profoundly grateful to our customers for their understanding and willingness to let us work with them to best serve their unique needs and circumstances. So many of them have been concerned about our health and I honestly can’t stress how grateful we are for their caring and cooperation.”

Meet Your Banker: Megan Cline

Our lobbies are available by appointment only but our bankers are still here to help you! Today we continue our “Meet Your Banker” series by talking with Megan Cline. Megan is the Branch Manager of our Pickaway County Banking Center in Commercial Point.

Megan Cline

Megan Cline is the Branch Manager of our Pickaway County Banking Center in Commercial Point.

Ask Megan to describe her job and she immediately hones in on the people – the customers, community and bank employees she interacts with daily.

She started in banking at the age of 18, fresh out of high school and ready for a career. She worked as a teller at another community bank before moving on to a credit union and another corporate bank, gaining supervisory experience along the way. In all, she’s been a teller, a teller supervisor and a personal banker. She actually worked for the Citizens Bank of Ashville at the time this bank joined the VCNB Financial Family in 2014.

Megan has been the Branch Manager at Commercial Point since last fall and says that supervising and helping others in their career is one of the most rewarding parts of her job. “I like a lot of what I do but the biggest part for me is helping people get what they want out of their careers and helping them advance,” she said.

She also enjoys spending doing good in the community. “We were really excited because we had just formed a partnership with the Pickaway County Dog Shelter when all this started. We’ll be donating our time at some of their events and donating money to help with things they need. That’s the best part of the job – just being able to help others.”

She also serves on the board for Fishing Has No Boundaries, an organization that provides people with disabilities the opportunity to go fishing and promotes this recreational activity as something accessible to all. She had been looking forward to helping with their spring event and to the bank helping sponsor the event until COVID-19 forced its cancellation. “It’s a great cause and helps all kinds of people with special needs. I just love it.”

The Ashville native is a graduate of Teays Valley Local Schools and has two little boys. “They’re four and eight so I’m busy with them. They’re pretty much my whole life outside of work,” she laughed.

Back at work, Megan said that limited access to the lobby has been a challenge for employees who miss seeing their regular customers. “We’ll be glad to see everyone again!” she said.

VCNB Announces Plan For Reopening Branch Lobbies

We have some exciting news to share! We will begin reopening our lobbies for transactions, new account openings, loan inquires and other everyday banking on June 1, 2020. However, we will be taking extra safety precautions to keep our customers and our employees safe.

Here for You BadgeThe following branch lobbies will reopen on June 1, 2020:

McArthur
Lancaster (East Main Street)
Chillicothe (Main Street)
Canal Winchester
Ashville
Logan
Wilkesville (closed on Wednesdays)

The remainder of our branch lobbies will reopen for business on June 15, 2020.

Business as usual will look a little different when we reopen. Please read carefully so you know what to expect should you visit the branches after they reopen. Remember, the safety and the health of our customers and employees is always our first priority.

  • Masks: Our employees will be required to wear masks in areas where they are not able to maintain a 6 foot social distance or where a barrier is not installed between customer and employee. We strongly encourage all of our customers to wear masks when visiting our lobbies, for the safety and health of our employees and for other customers. Should you be unable to wear a mask due to a valid medical concern, please allow us to handle your transaction in a manner which keeps both you and the employee safe while maintaining distance. It may also be difficult for us to identify you properly while wearing a mask. Because of this, we ask that you please bring your identification with you when visiting a branch.
  • Limited Occupancy: Each branch will have their maximum occupancy posted on the door. Please read all signs posted on the doors before entering. We will do our best to have an employee at each door, directing traffic flow and assisting customers. Should the lobby be at maximum capacity, we may ask that you wait outside or in your car until a customer exits the building. We thank you for your patience when this occurs.
  • Maintaining a Social Distance: Each lobby will have proper 6 foot social distance stickers marking the floor. We ask that you maintain that distance when standing in line to see a teller at their window. In addition, we have installed plexiglass barriers and have some movable plexiglass shields in offices where maintaining social distancing may be of concern.
  • At-Risk Individuals: Those individuals that are the most at-risk may visit each branch lobby between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. During that time, only the at-risk population will be able to enter the branch lobby. The branches will open to the general population at 9:00 a.m.
  • Cleaning and Sanitation: The branch employees will conduct regular sanitation and cleaning throughout the business day. This will include wiping counter tops, door handles, pens and other high traffic areas. Our cleaning companies will conduct a deep cleaning and sanitation routine each night, ensuring that the branch is up to CDC cleanliness standards. We do ask that every customer sanitize their hands on the way in and on the way out of the branch lobby. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the branch.
  • Lobby Restrictions and Signs: Please be sure to review all signs posted on the doors before entering the branch lobby. Additionally, if you are feeling ill or have any symptoms of COVID-19 we ask that you do not enter the branch for the safety of others. You will notice that our branches will look different, with the furniture arranged to maintain a 6 foot social distance. We will not be providing beverages, food, lollipops, dog treats, etc. during this time to maintain a healthy standard.
  • Drive Thru, Technology and Appointments: While the branch lobbies are reopening, we still encourage our customers to conduct their banking business in the drive thru when possible or via “curbside service.” Additionally, the VCNB Mobile app and our Online Banking are available to conduct everyday business. Our network of over 32,000 surcharge-free ATMs through MoneyPass® will allow you to get cash when you need it. Our bankers and lenders will be available to customers by appointment as well.

We want to thank each and every customer who has been patient with us while we have made changes and have adapted to a new normal. We always strive to do the right thing for our customers, employees, shareholders and communities. We appreciate you! We miss our customers and hope to see you all soon . . . from 6 feet away of course!