What We’re Thankful For This Year

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

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

Stephanie Mathias, Senior Personal Banker in Lancaster

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

Amanda Blakeman, Senior Personal Banker in Chillicothe

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

Allen Tucker, Collections Manager

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

Keith Hood, Commercial Lender in Logan

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

Natalie Perry, Senior Loan Administration

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

Brieanna Riffle, Personal Banker in Grove City

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

Susan Ross, Branch Manager in Grove City

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

Kim Peoples, Customer Service Representative

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

Cindy Moore, Business Banker in Lancaster

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

Tom Oyer, Head of Commercial Lending

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

Christina Swint, Assistant Branch Manager in Ashville

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

Doug Delong, Senior Retail Lender in Laurelville

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

Stef Sweany, Senior Auditor

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

Michael Thurston, Facilities Manager/Security Officer

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

Grace Delong, Senior Indirect Loan Processor

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

Austin Rohr, Marketing Manager

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

Brenda Doles, Head of Retail

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

Teresa Tennant, Senior Loan Administration

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

Tricia Wilburn, Deposit Operations

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

Lisa Puckett, Senior Loan Administration

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

Phyllis Perry, Loan Operations

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

Heather Groves, Commercial Loan Processor

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

Peggy Pence, Assistant Branch Manager in Chillicothe.

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

Brandi Betts, Marketing Manager

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

Joe Risch, Business Development Manager

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

Katie Wright, Branch Manager in Ashville

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

Beth Ann Patterson, Senior Relationship Banker in McArthur

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

Krista Dennewitz, Assistant Branch Manager in Chillicothe

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

Miranda Nicholson, Assistant Branch Manager in Logan

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

Meet Your Banker: Tom Will Oyer Is A Sixth Generation Banker

It is rare to meet someone who is the sixth generation working in a family business. Yet, that’s the case for Tom Will Oyer whose family founded Vinton County National Bank in 1867. He is aware of how tightly intertwined the Will family history is with the bank’s story and the role the bank has played in local history all these years.

Tom Will Oyer is the sixth generation of the Will family to work at Vinton County National Bank.

“The bank has always been a part of my life in some way. As a kid I remember my grandfather taking us to lunch in McArthur there in the basement of the bank and I remember knowing that he was important in the community. When I got older, I was teller a couple of summers but it was never assumed that I would join the family business. No one ever made me feel pressured to come here but the option was available,” he said.

In fact, Tom began to pursue an entirely different career path in the forestry industry. He was studying Forestry at West Virginia University and working a summer internship at a local company when he realized that it may not be the future he wanted for himself. So he switched gears and headed off to Ohio State University to study Economics.

With a degree in hand he began his career doing management and outside sales for Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes in Dayton. Here he went to night school for his MBA at University of Dayton, met the woman he would marry, and decided to come home to contribute to the family business.

“When I decided to come here, I knew that it couldn’t be just a job. It would be my career and not a stepping stone to somewhere else. I owe a lot to the bank and it’s been wonderful being here and finding my way,” he explained.

Tom’s first step at the bank was in 2013 as part of the Management Trainee program. His grandfather Bob Will created this program more than sixty years ago to attract talented college graduates to the bank. The program gives participants opportunity to experience several departments and has produced many bank leaders over the decades

It was through this training that Tom found his love for lending and for helping customers achieve their dreams. “When you are lending money, you’re helping a customer reach their goals. Whether it is a first car, a new home, or starting a business, it is a great feeling when you’re able to help a neighbor,” he said.

He spent a short time as Branch Operations Manager for the bank before taking over as Head of Consumer Lending. This position gave him the opportunity to manage and develop lenders. His mother, Emily Will Oyer, is a retired Head of Retail who told him that he would truly enjoy his work when he started to see employees grow because of the efforts he has made in helping them improve and develop.  “I have also enjoyed my role as a manager, helping to guide employees and have a positive impact so they can blossom into the employee you know they can be. This is one of the true highlights of my job.”

It was under Tom’s leadership that the bank created the Personal Banker position which empowers bankers and broadens their ability to help customers with most of their deposit account and lending needs. He helped to develop new processes and training for this position which reached about forty employees in the first year. “We had to identify what was working and not working and even go back to the drawing board a couple of times to make sure we got it all right. In doing so, we went from about twenty lenders to sixty and we saw significant growth because of it,” he said.

Last year, VCNB President Mark Erslan approached Tom about a new opportunity on the horizon. Head of Commercial Lending Darrell Boggs had announced his intent to retire and Mark asked Tom if he would be interested in taking the reins. “Obviously, I don’t have a commercial lending background but I do have the lending background and the management background. I understand the processes and that it’s my job to facilitate the process to help lenders do what they do best,” he said.

He worked closely with Darrell to achieve a smooth transition and to prepare for the challenge ahead.

Mark commended Tom for the contributions he has made to the bank during his career here. “Tom has served the bank in multiple positions including the Head of Consumer Lending and Strategic Planning Committee Co-Chair. He’s helped foster changes that have resulted in bank growth and improved customer and employee experiences. We look forward to his continued contribution to the bank’s success, in this new role.”

While Tom takes pride in his family business, he is modest about his own accomplishments “There’s definitely pride in the Will family history with the bank and how we’ve served the community for so many years. It’s a wonderful thing, a rare thing but I think we all have a kind of built in modesty. We’re not flashy people, we don’t call attention to ourselves, we live pretty modestly and are grateful to have good careers in southern Ohio, serving our neighbors and employees,” he said.

He expressed gratitude for many people who helped to shape his views on community banking and who have helped him along the way. “Mark Erslan has been critical to my success. He’s been my mentor from day one and I’m grateful to him.  My vision of the bank and perception of where it’s been and where it’s going have been influenced by my grandfather, my mother and my Uncle Tom Will who is Chairman of the Board.”

Tom grew up in Ross County. He and his wife Andrea live in the Laurelville area with their children ages 6, 5, 2 and newborn. 

Meet Your Banker: Cindy Moore Joins The VCNB Family

The VCNB Financial Family is happy to welcome Cindy Moore to our Friendly Bremen Banking Center. Moore is a Business Banker who brings to the job the enthusiasm and experience necessary to help businesses with all their banking needs.

Cindy Moore is a Business Banker in Lancaster.

She has actually worked in the banking world since 1991, serving in a number of positions including branch management, consumer lending, mortgage lending and commercial lending. While she has vast experience in banking, Moore’s expertise may actually be in understanding customers and helping with their needs. “I really enjoy learning about our customers, their business and being able to assist them with all their lending needs,” she said.

She is a graduate of the Blythe School of Banking, American Bankers Association Bank Management School and American Bankers Association School of Consumer Lending.

When asked why she chose to join the VCNB family, Moore referenced the bank’s core values and how they relate to the community and customers. “I chose to come work for VCNB because we pride ourselves in being a community centered organization. I appreciate our core values: integrity, leadership, community focus, progress and our relationship with our customers,” she said.

Moore lives in Lancaster with her husband Eric and they have two grown children and three grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, swimming, gardening and being outdoors.

Cindy Moore is excited to serve local businesses and help them reach their banking goals. Find her at our Friendly Bremen Banking Center on East Main Street in Lancaster or call her at 740.687.3920.  

Amanda Crabtree Joins VCNB Family in Jackson

Vinton County National Bank and Jackson County Banking Center are pleased to welcome Amanda Crabtree to the bank family. Crabtree is a veteran community banker and active volunteer in Jackson County.

Many area residents will remember her working in local community banking for sixteen years prior to being named General Manager at Total Media where she helped consolidate offices and improve efficiencies while rebranding and adding new services for customers. She recently joined the VCNB Financial Family to work from the Jackson County Banking Center as a Senior Business Banker.

Amanda Crabtree

“I’m excited to be part of the VCNB team. The people you work with are everything and VCNB has the best of the best. Jackson County Banking Center has really made me feel at home and it has been an easy transition as I have worked with most of my teammates while in my previous jobs at other banks,” she explained.  “You won’t find a friendlier group or one that’s more dedicated to customer service than the folks at VCNB and I feel fortunate to be able to work with them every day.” 

The Jackson resident is an active community volunteer. She is President Elect of Jackson Rotary Club, Treasurer of Support Our Soccer, Secretary of Apple City Players, Vice President of Southern Hills Arts Council and Vice President of Lillian Jones Museum. She is also a board member of Jackson County Airport Authority, Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce and Jackson County Economic Development Partnership.

She is a graduate of Jackson High School and Ohio Northern University where she majored in Public Relations and graduated with honors. Crabtree and her husband HD have four sons, two of whom are grown and living in Bexley. Their younger sons are teenagers who reside at home. In their free time, she and HD enjoy hiking, golf and travel.

Crabtree said her passion for local involvement stems from her desire to see her community and the entire region succeed.  “I’m a true believer that when one of us succeeds we all succeed. This truth is evident in our communities. When our local businesses are successful, it helps our local economy flourish. I love Southern Ohio and I love working with new and established businesses in the area to help them achieve their goals for success.”

Senior Business Banker Amanda Crabtree can be found at Jackson County Banking Center at 471 McCarty Lane in Jackson. Call 740.577.3562 to speak with her or to make an appointment.

Darrell Boggs To Retire Friday

When Darrell Boggs took his first job in banking it was to earn some cash while he studied accounting at the University of Rio Grande. In fact, he never planned for a career in banking and had other plans altogether. Yet, he’s still at it and retiring this week after a lifetime of helping local people achieve their financial goals.

Darrell Boggs

“I honestly didn’t intend to stay in banking. I liked my accounting classes. That work made sense to me but I was tired of asking my parents for money. No young man wants to be dependent on his parents like that so I took a summer job doing something completely different and went to school at night,” he recalled.

When a position in banking became available, he jumped at the chance to work in a finance job where he could continue his education at night and make contacts that would serve him in the future. The year was 1978 and the rest, as they say, is history. He started out as Assistant Branch Manager, working his way up through different positions including Regional Manager and Head of Lending.

Darrell left that job in 2005 and spent six years farming with his dad before resuming his banking career with other banks in the region.

When VCNB was planning to open a loan office in Jackson, VCNB Head of Retail Brenda Doles came knocking. The two had experience working together and she thought he would be a good fit for directing the bank’s entrance to that community. Today he’s the Head of Commercial Lending.

“I have really loved working with Mark and for the company. I couldn’t ask for a better way to wrap up my career,” he said. “I’m thrilled with the staff we’ve developed here. Jackson County needed a good community bank and we’ve proven that time and again with the great customers who have come to us and the bankers that we have attracted to work for us here. I’m really proud of what we’ve built here – the building, the wonderful staff. It’s worked out better than we could have imagined.”

The Oak Hill area resident doesn’t plan to rest on his laurels in retirement. A lifelong farmer, he’s caretaker for a family farm that his parents moved to in 1967. “I plan to keep my cattle and farm as long as I can but I’m looking forward to traveling in the RV too,” he smiled, describing some of the places he and his wife have been with the RV and others he hopes to see.

His wife Marilyn is a retired Oak Hill Elementary School Principal. The couple have two grown children and two young granddaughters who they look forward to spending time with throughout the year rather than just during summer vacation. “We love to take the girls camping and to have them at the farm. We’re talking about getting everyone together for family trips and just look forward to seeing them more, having more time to enjoy our family.”

Will he miss banking? “I’ll miss the people. I’m ready to go but I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of great people and have a lot of great customers. I’ll miss all the people.”

However, VCNB President Mark Erslan said that Boggs likely won’t be leaving the bank completely. “Given Darrell’s significant contributions to the bank, we’re working on a way for him to stay involved with the bank and enjoy retirement.”

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.”

Barbara Perry Will Retire Friday

Barbara Perry will end her banking career when she retires on Friday.

Barbara Perry’s mother always told her that it is important to be kind. This simple piece of instruction has made her popular among our Pickaway County customers and someone who will be missed when she retires later this week. “I just always try to be kind to people. You never know what someone is going through so a little kindness and a smile can go a long way,” she explained.

Barbara had a career in the medical field before switching to banking to work as a teller in our Pickaway County market for over fifteen years. While she has spent most of her time in Circleville, Ashville customers will remember her as a teller in that office for a few years as well. “I always thought it would be interesting to work in a bank and it really has been. Some things we do get kind of routine but I really like my customers and having a relationship with so many of them,” she said. “You get to know their children and families and jobs. I’m going to miss seeing so many of them.”

The Circleville native graduated from Circleville High School but now lives at Amanda with Terry, her husband of 44 years. Their son Kyle and daughter-in-law Amy have two sons – Drew and Carson – who Barbara calls her “little grandjoys.” She literally lights up when talking about these youngsters and how she looks forward to seeing them as often as possible.

Family is important to Barbara who came from a family of nine kids and she can’t wait to spend more time with her loved ones. “I always say my sister Cheryl is my best friend. I’m looking forward to spending more time with her and with my family.”

The self-described homebody has a number of hobbies to enjoy and aspirations to look forward to in her retirement. She has a large collection of teapots, enjoys cooking and baking when time allows, and enjoys going to flea markets with her husband.

Some of her retirement plans have been put on hold because of the pandemic but that doesn’t seem to have dampened her excitement. She especially is looking forward to a lighthouse tour with her sister once travel is safer. She also wants to learn salsa dancing and try Tai Chi. “They say it helps your peace  of mind, it centers you. I think I would enjoy that,” she exclaimed.

She also enjoys music and loves to sing. “I like to sing and all of us, my family, sing when we get together,” she said. She has sung at weddings and even used that as her talent when competing in the Miss South Central Ohio pageant. “That was a long time ago,” she laughed. “Good memories!”

But Barbara is looking forward to making wonderful new memories in the years ahead. “I’m ready. My husband has been retired for a while and I’m looking forward to not having a schedule and being able to do my own thing.”

Still, she said that retiring is a little bittersweet. “It’s been a pleasure serving my customers and meeting so many people over the years. It’s amazing all the people you meet in this line of work and I will miss that.”

Of those people, she especially has enjoyed serving elderly customers. “I have always had an affinity for older people and marvel at all they’ve seen in their lives. They remind me of my mother who passed away at 93 and all the experiences she had. People need to pay more attention to them because they have a lot of wisdom to share,” she said. “Of course some people might say that I’m elderly now too,” she laughed.

The bank will celebrate Barbara with a party on Thursday night and her last day of work will end Friday at 2 p.m.

In Their Own Words: Community Banking According To Our Branch Managers

We are proud to be a community bank. What does it really mean to be a community bank? We asked some of our branch managers to tell us in their own words what community banking means to them and what they like best about being a community banker. Here’s what they had to say!

“One of the things I appreciate about working for a community bank is that we get to know our customers and their unique needs. Growing up on a farm, I understand a farmer’s business and their needs. They don’t have to explain their life and the challenges to me the way they would to someone without that background.”

Katy Hanes

“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.”

Matt Hearn

“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.”

Christina Wine

“The thing about working in a bank 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 McCarty

“It’s going to sound cheesy but I love helping people, especially the problem solving aspect of what I do. 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.”

JJ Wright

“You don’t find that community feel just anywhere but our involvement in the community allows us to be a resource to customers. That extends to employees too. When your staff and coworkers feel like family, you all work together better. You help each other out more and you feel like we’re all in this together.”

Brittany Walters

“I like to problem solve and love when I can figure out a customer’s issues.
That’s rewarding to help and to be a resource for them. Even with seventeen branches, we are still a community bank. We’re still allowed enough leeway to help customers
in a way that you just don’t find at big businesses. I mean, we all know
the Executive Team here. We all know the President.
We all are given the confidence and the freedom to work together.”

Kati Maple

“Do you know how important it is to work for a company that encourages employees to get involved? And it’s not just about opening savings accounts and lending money. It’s about helping out at events and going to the fair to buy livestock. I was a 4-her once and I remember how important it was to have businesses support the livestock sale. That’s where I got the money to open my savings account, from taking hogs to the fair!”

Jeremy Robson

“This is so much more rewarding than corporate banking which is very black and white. In corporate banking, there’s no opportunity to get to know your customers or to help someone who you’ve had to tell they can’t have what they want but that there
may be another solution. It’s like night and day when you go to work for a bank that actually wants to work with customers.”

Matthew Giroux

Here for You Badge

Meet Your Banker: Callie Duhl

In our Meet Your Banker Series, we visit with Callie Duhl. Callie is the Branch Manager of our Jackson County Banking Center in Jackson.

Callie Duhl

Callie Duhl is the Branch Manager of our Jackson County Banking Center in Jackson.

Chat with Callie about her life and career and one thing is clear. She is devoted to her community, family and bank customers. The Jackson native has spent her entire life in Jackson, graduating from Jackson High School and building a long banking career before joining the VCNB Financial Family last year.

Like many VCNB Branch Managers, she started her career as a teller, working her way through a variety of positions including head teller, assistant manager and lender, seeing the banking business from a variety of angles. “I’ve done lending for most of my career and that’s what I like the best. It’s fun helping people get the things they need or want, the things that improve their lives,” she said.

Yet, this isn’t the life path Callie had envisioned for herself. As a lover of the outdoors, she has always enjoyed spending time caring for flowers, mowing and doing other outdoor work. “I never gave a thought to sitting behind a desk eight to ten hours a day. However, this is the path that God lead me down. My Grandpa always told me that God has a big sense of humor,” she exclaimed. “I’m right where I’m supposed to be and I’m glad to be here.”

Callie and her husband Alan have a fifty acre farm that keeps them busy. They have been married for 35 years and have one son. Their son works for the sheriff’s office and his wife is an RN. They have four young children who Callie adores.

She also is active as a founding member and treasurer of the Jackson Area Kiwanis. “Up until Covid hit we were staying busy in the community. It’s been different this summer but everything has been different,” she said.

Callie praised her customers for being so patient with lobby limitations during the early months of the pandemic. “Our customers have been just wonderful. So patient and kind to wait their turn. We couldn’t ask for better,” she said.

She takes customer service very seriously. “It’s important to me that we know our customers and that we do as much for them as we can,” she said. “Most of the time, when someone comes in, at least one of us knows their name and I think that’s important for people to feel comfortable coming in and doing business with us. We have all the technology anyone could want and we have the products they’re looking for but most people are really looking to make a connection with their banker.”