Meet Your Banker: Kati Maple

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 Kati Maple. Kati is the Branch Manager of our Pickaway County Banking Center in Ashville.

Katie Maple

Kati Maple is the Branch Manager of the Pickaway County Banking Center in Ashville.

Ask Kati what she likes best about her job and she immediately starts talking about her customers. The twenty-year banking veteran says that her career has always been centered on helping others and that this is the best part of her job.

Before coming to work for VCNB, she had experience working for another bank, was a stay-at-home mom, and sharpened her customer service skills helping antiques venders through the Scott Antique Company. But she describes coming to work for VCNB as “a little like coming home.”

While she has been in Ashville for the last five years, customers in Bremen and Lancaster will know her as well. She started out as a teller in Bremen before being promoted to Head Teller and then to New Accounts Officer before becoming Branch Manager. From there, she moved to our branch on East Main Street in Lancaster to be Branch Manager for five years.

When the bank acquired branches in Pickaway County, Kati’s experience with VCNB and her attention to customer satisfaction made her a good leader for the Ashville office. “I love to offer good customer service. 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,” she said. “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 has a tightknit family and one built around their faith. Her two grown daughters also work in careers of service to others – Haley is a teacher and Lydia is a nurse. She was also proud to welcome a son-in-law, Bryce, to her family last year. As her family’s middle child, she remains close to both her sisters as well.

Her husband Mike is deceased, but Kati remains close to his family and spends much time with her church family where her father-in-law is the pastor. She teaches Sunday School and helps with Bible School every year.

In Ashville, Kati and the staff are involved in a number of community activities. They help with weekend packs of food and snacks for students at Teays Valley Local Schools. The bank provides the chicken for the community’s free Gazebo Gatherings picnic over Labor Day weekend and the staff helps serve. They also pass out water at the 4th of July celebration fish fry. “It’s important to be out in the community and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she said.

Relationships and people are important to Kati and are at the heart of everything she does. “My home family, my church family, my community family and my relationship with God are the most important things in my life,” she explained. “My relationship with the Lord has brought me to this point and I just want to be a blessing to everyone around me.”

 

Meet Your Banker: Jessica Calder

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 Jessica Calder. Jessica is the Branch Manager of our Pickaway County Banking Center in Circleville.

Jessica Calder

Jessica Calder is the Branch Manager of the Pickaway County Banking Center in Circleville.

Jessica has worked in banking for over fourteen years. She has tried another line of work and knows that it’s just not for her. “I took a break from banking for a while. During part of that time I worked in another kind of office and hated it,” she explained. “I love what I do now because it gives me a chance to work with people, to get to know them. Our customers come to know us and to trust us when they have a problem or a question and I love being that person they turn to. Customers become friends and many become our family.”

She started her banking career as a teller for one of the corporate banks in Circleville. She went on to be a teller supervisor for two other big banks before finding her way to VCNB where she has been Branch Manager for Circleville’s Pickaway County Banking Center for about two and a half years.

“This place actually cares about the customers, about employees and their families and it shows. It’s possible to have work-life balance here and I’m grateful for that opportunity,” she explained. “Plus they give us the time and the money to give back to our communities!”

Jessica knows a thing or two about giving back to the community. The Circleville High School graduate is the Treasurer for the Pickaway County Chamber of Commerce and she coaches biddy league volleyball every August through October. She has volunteered as the fifth and sixth grade volleyball coach for four seasons. She had fourteen girls last season and, while she says her fall schedule is hectic and tiring, she feels like she’s doing some good. “It’s the greatest thing in the world to coach and to give back,” she exclaimed. “And when they run up to you off season and ask if you’re coming back next year, you know you did something right!”

She and her husband have been together for twelve years and have four children – their son is serving in Afghanistan, one daughter is in college and their other two daughters are in high school.

Jessica commented on how different work life is in her branch now that the lobby is closed. “We miss our customers and the face to face contact with them. Some of our customers we are used to seeing every day or at least a few times a week and I think we really took that for granted,” she said.

The staff has been reaching out to customers as time allows. “We just want them to know we’re here to help in any way we can and we want to make sure they’re staying healthy and well,” she said. “We look forward to seeing everyone back in the bank and life go back to normal.”

 

Meet Your Banker: Matthew Giroux

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 Matthew Giroux. Matthew is the Branch Manager at our Ross County Banking Center on Western Avenue in Chillicothe.

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Matthew Giroux is the Branch Manager of our Ross County Banking Center on Western Avenue.

Ask Matthew to talk about his role as a community banker and he first mentions his experience working for a big bank. “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,” he said. “It’s like night and day when you go to work for a bank that actually wants to work with customers.”

While he’s relatively new to VCNB, Matthew has close to sixteen years of experience in banking and a degree in Finance from Ohio State University. The Chicago native’s father attended OSU  and so Matthew said he always knew that’s where he wanted to study.

With sixteen years in banking around central Ohio he said that he especially likes working with business customers and small business start-ups. “New businesses are exciting. They’re usually starting a business with a purpose and they’re doing it because they’re passionate about something .  . . they’re doing it because they want to, not because they have to.”

However, he pointed out that many small business customers don’t know where to go for an EIN or to register their name. “They don’t know where to start but it’s something we deal with every day so it’s easy for us. It’s a lot of fun to guide customers to where they need to be,” he said.

Matthew and his wife Beth will celebrate their ninth wedding anniversary in May. They have a four-year old son.

In his free time, he is an avid OSU fan and is proud to be a 23 season ticket holder. He is also the Treasurer of the Ohio State Alumni Club of Ross County, belongs to the Chillicothe Rotary, and helps with concessions for the Zane Trace Athletic Boosters. He also represents the bank at the quarterly Ross Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce New Member Breakfast that the bank sponsors.

Until the pandemic caused disruption to daily life, Matthew was volunteering with the United Way, doing taxes for people through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program which provides free tax preparation services to low to moderate income tax payers in the community. “I was having a lot of fun doing taxes for people a few nights a week and some Saturdays,” he said. He laughed when teased for calling tax time fun. “It IS a lot of fun. You get to meet a lot of people and help others. Plus, I got to expand my own knowledge so I think the program is great,” he said.

“The pandemic has complicated the way we do some things but we are still here helping customers. I’m just a phone call away and we can accomplish everything a customer needs even though the lobbies are closed.”

 

Meet Your Banker: Jeremy Robson

Our lobbies may be closed but our bankers are still here to help you! Today we continue our “Meet Your Banker” series by talking with Jeremy Robson, the Branch Manager at our Vinton County National Bank in McArthur.

Jeremy Robson

Jeremy Robson

Ask Jeremy about his new position managing VCNB’s original location and he focuses on how much he appreciates the bank’s role in the community. “I like being able to impact where I come from and I like having the means to get out there and help wherever we’re needed,” he said.

Jeremy is a well known face to many – the 2006 graduate of Vinton County High School may be remembered as captain of the high school football team. Since then, he graduated from The University of Rio Grande with a B.S. in Business Management and minor in Accounting before working as a manager at Kenworth in Chillicothe.

It was in 2018, when his son was just two, that Jeremy realized he was looking for something different in his career and made the move to VCNB as part of the Management Trainee program. The program molds college graduates into VCNB leaders of the future. Most of his training took place under the leadership of former longtime McArthur Branch Manager Jane Nickels. “I’m so grateful to have spent all that time under Jane’s wing and I’m thankful for all the mentoring and guidance she gave me,” he said.

“I grew up here and my family has always banked here -my grandpa, my mom and dad -I’ve had a savings account here since I was about ten years old,” he recalled. “I wanted better balance with my job and personal life. The bank has always been a stable employer in Vinton County, always involved and respected and community minded. Since I already had a vested interest in the bank it just felt like the right place to be.”

Like most community bankers, Jeremy talks about helping people and being active locally. “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!” he exclaimed. “Right now, with the kids at home, it has meant a lot to all of us that we were able to pitch in and help get food to some of those kids,” he said when talking about a recent donation of care packages made by employees and a planned monetary donation from the bank. “That’s what it’s all about. Positively impacting our community.”

Jeremy and his wife Shelley will celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary later this year. They have one son and currently live in Londonderry but are actively looking to move back to Vinton County.

With bank lobbies closed, Jeremy said that he and the entire McArthur staff have had to adjust to new ways of doing things. “We’re so used to telling people who have a problem just to come in and we’ll fix it. Now, instead of fixing you a cup of coffee and sitting down with you, we have to find other ways to resolve issues and take care of our customers. They can still get their business done, it’s just that the way they do business may look a little different for now,” he explained. “Regardless, we’re here for you, just a phone call away!”

 

 

 

 

Meet Your Banker: Josh Palmer

Our lobbies may be closed but our bankers are still here to help you! Today we kick off our “Meet Your Banker” series by talking with Josh Palmer, the Branch Manager at our Friendly Bremen Banking Center of Pataskala.

Josh Palmer

Pataskala Branch Manager Josh Palmer

Josh came to work for the bank in 2015 when he was hired for the VCNB Management Trainee Program. This program gives college grads an intimate look at the bank and an overview of several important departments. “I met my wife at college and she had taken a job in Wellston so I was looking for work near her. I saw the ad and it talked about this management trainee program where you could do research and learn different jobs. It sounded right up my alley so I applied,” he explained.

The OU grad has a B.A. in History with a minor in Business. He had worked as a teller for another bank so he had some valuable customer service skills as well. As a Management Trainee, he worked in a few departments but mainly in Chillicothe and McArthur. After the two year Management Trainee Program, Josh was assigned to be the first Branch Manager for the Jackson County Banking Center, the bank’s new branch in Jackson. “That was a challenging and fun adventure,” he recalled.

However, he and his wife Jess are central Ohio natives and longed to be closer to family. She accepted a position teaching for Teays Valley Schools and he was able to transfer to a new adventure in Pataskala. “It worked out well that my wife found a job up here and we had an opening in Pataskala,” he said.

Josh has been managing this office for about 16 months and says he has enjoyed getting to know the community. “There are so many wonderful things about this job but one of them is that we are encouraged to be involved in the community and to get out and meet people. In Jackson it was Rotary and Community Action. Here it’s things like A.M. Spirit in Granville. You don’t find a lot companies that really value community,” he said.

In his free time, Josh enjoys the arts and has long been motivated and excited by drawing. He also enjoys running and is excited to again be part of the bank’s Buck Fifty team in Ross County.

One interesting quality about Josh is that he has this creative side but he’s equally at home with spreadsheets. “I love to do research and to track progress. It’s fun for me to help others get the spreadsheets and things they need or to help them learn from the data they have. I know it’s strange to enjoy that” he exclaimed.

While the bank lobbies are currently closed because of COVID-19, Josh reminds customers that they can still do all their banking and accomplish their goals. “We just have to be creative and stay positive right now. You can still accomplish what you need to do – it just may not be the way you normally do it. You may need to learn a new skill set and you may find that the new way is better than the old,” he said. “Regardless, we are still here for you and we are ready to find solutions for whatever you need.”