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

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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 recent months. “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.”

The branch will soon move to a new building, just around the corner from the current location. Construction is wrapping up at 471 McCarty Lane, just across the street from the BMV. “We can’t wait to move in and to welcome customers into the new office. It’s going to be wonderful!”

 

 

 

Meet Your Banker: Katy Hanes

Our Meet Your Banker series continues today with Katy Hanes who is the Branch Manager at our Friendly Bremen Banking Center on East Main Street in Lancaster.

Katy Hanes

Katy  Hanes is the Branch Manager of our Friendly Bremen Banking Center on East Main St. in Lancaster.

For Katy, her job, family and connection to the agricultural community are so closely intertwined, it is hard to separate the three. The Amanda area native grew up in a farm family and is happy that her job allows her to serve so many customers who are part of the local agricultural community.

She grew up on a crop and cattle farm, belonged to 4-H for 12 years, and learned to value the agricultural community so much that she went after a degree in Agricultural Business at Ohio State University. While she didn’t intend to become a banker, Katy said that the job gives her an opportunity to help lots of people and to use her experience in agriculture to specifically help area farmers.

“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,” she explained. “And it’s sort of fun when a customer comes in and they recognize me from 4-H. We’ve never met but they remember me as that little girl showing her steer at the fair years ago. It’s important for a banker to be able to relate to their customers and this is an area where I can definitely relate.”

Today Katy lives on a 140 acre farm with her husband Calvin and their two kids. They have about 75 cows and their calves and enjoy the farm life. The farm, work and family keep her busy but she does find time to enjoy the bank’s involvement in various community activities. Her kids, ages five and seven, both love horses and their practice and competitions keep the whole family on the go.

“I talk a lot about agriculture because that’s what I grew up with and that’s what I know best. It’s what I’m most passionate about but I really love getting to know all kinds of people. We live in a great community and that shows in the wonderful customers we have here!”

 

 

 

VCNB Employee Uses Kindness Rocks To Spread Beauty

20200315_215622“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

VCNB Accounting Manager Cathy Rutter has made it her personal mission to spread a message of kindness with her newfound talent of painting on something unexpected – rocks!

While vacationing in Florida last year, Cathy stumbled across a beautiful hand painted rock, known as a kindness rock. Kindness rocks are painted and hidden to be found. Their journeys can then be tracked on various forms of social media.

Cathy Rutter

VCNB Accounting Manager Cathy Rutter spreads beauty with kindness rocks.

This sparked a fire in Cathy to start an endeavor to become a painter even though she had never painted before. She gathered the essentials including paint, brushes and rocks for her canvas. “Some of my first projects looked like kids’ work,” she said recalling the process to her painting success. “It’s amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it – turns out I have a gift I was able to develop and improve with work and determination.”

She developed her self-taught skills by studying other paintings and pictures for guidance. Nature is her inspiration including flowers, birds and scenery.

What started as a hobby has developed into a passion and one of her favorite ways to relax. Cathy has progressed from painting on dull creek rocks to sparkling Santorini stone. Her rocks are truly a work of art waiting to be found.

As Cathy’s journey of painting has evolved, so has her career with VCNB. She began as Management Trainee at The Friendly Bremen Bank nearly thirty years ago and has worked in several bank departments throughout her career.

She resides in Bremen with her husband Vince. Together they leave kindness rocks at various places, spreading kindness as they travel. Keep your eyes open for a painted treasure!

See below for a slideshow of her art.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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.”

 

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.”