Pataskala Banker Embraces Spirit Of Holidays Through Music

Friendly Bremen Banking Center Personal Banker Mitchell McCrady has a busy month ahead of him. By day Mitchell helps customers in our Pataskala branch with everything from cashing checks to opening accounts. After hours he is a passionate musician who plays French horn with three different Central Ohio symphonies and a local opera company. This month, he will be especially busy with Christmas performances in and around the Columbus area.

In fact, he will take part in four Christmas concerts and a New Year’s Eve fundraising gala this month!

beautiful poinsettia in flowerpot, gifts and Christmas ballsMitchell began playing French horn at the age of ten, learning the instrument with the school band at Berne Union in Sugar Grove. During his teen years, Mitchell took lessons at Ohio University in Athens and further developed skills that he carried into college. In fact, he holds an undergraduate degree in Music Performance from University of Dayton and a Masters of Music in Horn Performance from Indiana University.

He is a member of the New Albany Symphony, Central Ohio Symphony, Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra and Opera Project Columbus and participates in some seasonal projects as well.

Mitchell came to work at VCNB in 2015 and has since worked in our branches in Lancaster, Canal Winchester and now Pataskala, learning the ropes in retail banking and customer service.  “I feel lucky to work at the bank and pursue my passion at the same time. I’m so appreciative of that,” he said.

Here is the schedule of Mitchell’s upcoming holiday shows:

Central Ohio Symphony
Holiday Concert
Sunday, December 9 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Gray Chapel, Ohio Wesleyan University

New Albany Symphony
Santa and the Symphony***Sensory Friendly Concert***
Saturday, December 15 at 11:30 a.m.
Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts
This is a short 45 minute program; perfect for little kids and those with special needs.

Holiday Spectacular
Sunday, December 16 at 3 p.m.
Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts

Columbus Dance Theater
MATCHGIRL
Friday, December 14 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 15 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Otterbein University, Fritsche Theatre – Cowan Hall

 
Weathervane Playhouse/Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra
New Year’s Eve Fundraising Gala
Monday, December 31 at 8 p.m.
Weathervane Playhouse (100 Price Road Newark, OH 43055)

Mitchell invites everyone to come out and support, not just these shows, but other local performances in the area. “Every show is different and I would encourage people to go out and support as many as you can. These are local musicians in your own community and we enjoy giving great performances for people,” he said. “We’re lucky to have such a rich, thriving art scene in Columbus and in areas all over Ohio.”

Small Business Spotlight: BBB Music Center

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

Store from front.JPG

In an age when many specialty stores are going the way of the rotary telephone, downtown Chillicothe continues to support a number of specialty stores. One of the more unique of these is BBB Music Center, a locally owned store that specializes in all things related to musical instruments and sound equipment.

Owner Bob Green said the Water Street store really is a center for the community.  “We’re not here to serve ourselves, we’re here to serve our community,” Green said. “We think it’s still important to have a local music store in town, one that’s friendly to customers and that gives them the services they need.”

Bob Green.JPGBob is an Air Force veteran and family man who has made a point to include family, friends and the entire community in the store. “A lot of my family helps out and I like to get the grandkids in here to teach them some work ethic. They all know how to run the cash register and some of them can tune a drum or a guitar. Some can set up sound systems.” Bob explained as he named each of his children, sons-in-law and grandchildren who help out. One of Bob’s daughters, Sarah Lambert, has been helping customers since he opened shop.

The story of BBB Music Center dates back to 2005 when Bob was trying to purchase a guitar from another area music store. Their look-but-don’t-touch policy meant that he couldn’t try out the instrument he liked before buying it. “I just didn’t understand how you could buy something like that without trying it first. You buy a car, you drive it first. You buy a guitar, you need to know how it feels and what it sounds like,” he explained.

Shortly after, he began selling bluegrass instruments at area festivals and events but it soon became evident that he needed a storefront. The store began life as Bob’s Banjo Barn and has been in a few places around town. Today they are on Water Street and the name shortened to BBB Music Center to reflect the wide variety of merchandise they carry.

In addition to stringed instruments, they sell band instruments and supplies, drum sets, keyboards, amplifiers, sounds systems and all the connectors, cables, power supplies, reeds, strings, neck straps, music books, tuners, cases and cleaning supplies you might need. They offer a wide selection of new and used guitars, banjos, mandolins, violins and strumsticks.

“We look for well-made instruments because we want to sell quality stuff for less money. It’s that simple,” Bob explained. He also is insistent that it’s important to sell customers the right instrument. “We fit people with instruments. They may not realize that a guitar may be too big or too small. We don’t want to see you waste your money. We’d rather help you find the right instrument that could last you a lifetime.”

On top of all that, they do cleaning, repair and restoration for all instruments as well as for sound systems and other musical electronics. In addition, they do warranty repair for certain brands of instruments. “We have experienced people who know what they’re doing and who I trust to do good work for our customers,” Bob continued. “Sometimes an instrument just needs cleaned, adjusted, tuned, or maybe a new set of strings. We can do all that and more.”

They also offer space for instruction. They have classroom space where independent teachers provide lessons for instruments including stringed instruments, keyboard and drums.  Each instrument purchased here comes with a free lesson. Also, it is possible to take lessons through an instructor here without actually owning the instrument but by using one at the store.

instruments and books.JPGBob is cognizant of the need to be competitive in an increasingly online world, working hard to keep prices competitive and to offer those personalized services that online sellers cannot. In fact, many customers come in for help setting up a new instrument they purchased online or to repair one damaged in shipping. “A lot of people buy online without knowing if it’s right for them and without realizing there is work to be done to make a new instrument playable,” he said.

Plus, if they do not carry what you need, they are pleased to order it for you.

They also provide set up and service for sounds systems. “Sometimes a church will call with a problem with their sound system or a microphone or keyboard and we’ll go right over. We know how important it is to have someone to rely on when you’re having a problem.”

Bob also keeps the store active in the community and is complimentary of many other downtown merchants. For example, the store accepts donated instruments which they clean and repair before donating to veterans through the VA Hospital. Churches, veterans and Kenworth employees all receive a ten percent discount.

giftEvery Saturday morning, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., a group of locals stop by to jam, playing gospel, folk and bluegrass music in a room at the back of the store. Everyone is welcome and there is no limitation on age or experience – one regular participant is ninety. “Whoever can come just shows up. We’ve seen friendships develop and bands form just from playing in the back room,” he said. Bob hopes to soon offer the jam room to younger artists on Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The beautiful thing about this line of work is that music appeals to everyone. “It’s a love, really. There’s nothing like picking up a guitar, closing your eyes and playing. It’s not a man’s world. It’s anybody’s world here. From six to ninety, we serve everyone,” he said.

The store’s customers come from all walks of life and from all over. Bob said that a number of their customers come from West Virginia, Kentucky and from all over Ohio. “We have customers come down from Columbus because the stores up there don’t carry what they need and they don’t offer the service we do” he said.

This store clearly is a passion and a labor of love for Bob. “Come in as a customer and leave as a friend. That’s what we want here,” he said. “Come in and ask questions, try the instruments, be sure about what you’re buying. That’s what we want and we’ll do our best for you.”

BBB Music Center is located at 20 East Water Street. With street parking available in front and in a public lot across the street, it is easy to park and visit them during business hours 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call them at 740.772.2262, visit them online or follow them on Facebook.

See more images of the store in the slideshow below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Renovation Underway at Salt Creek Banking Center

VCBC SCBC Laurelville Exterior Render Elevation 073118VCBC SCBC Laurelville Render Elevation RED 073118We have started construction on a full renovation project at our Salt Creek Banking Center in Laurelville. This is now the third branch in a multi-year plan to renovate or replace all of our seventeen offices.

We are pretty fired up about the work we have planned here. In fact, when we saw the architect’s renderings of this office we all said a collective “Oh, wow!”

This renovation will usher into Laurelville a new era of banking that will empower most of our retail staff to help customers with all their needs and will create an atmosphere that is both personal and easy for customers to bank.

The work will begin with an exterior renovation that will include widening the front steps and making them easier to climb. The front door will be replaced with one that is wider and easier to open.

Inside, the interior will be remodeled to open the floor plan and add glass storefronts to three office spaces. Lower ceilings and new paint, carpet and lighting will create a light, bright and airy space to do business. A new history wall will spotlight the town’s heritage. Plus digital signage and iPads will provide customers with a more modern, hands-on banking experience.

During construction, temporary teller stations will be set up at the rear of the building and all customers will be asked to use the rear ADA entrance. Our Laurelville customers have been loyal for many, many years and we look forward to giving them a better place to bank.

Why We Are Thankful

Give thanks with a greatful heart - Thanksgiving day lettering calligraphy phrase with leaves and hearts. Autumn greeting card isolated on the white background.jpg

We asked our employees to tell us what they’re thankful for this Thanksgiving! Here are a few of their responses.

There are so many things to be grateful for! Faith, family, friends, health and each new day are all blessings I am thankful for. I am also thankful for my job with VCNB and for the opportunity to transfer to a new position this year!

Grace Delong
Indirect Loan Processor

* * *

I am thankful for my two daughters. They are truly the best blessing I could have ever asked for. I’m also thankful for my family and friends. They are always there to help and support me.I am very thankful for my job. Without my job I wouldn’t have been able to provide for my daughters.

Kati Maple
Branch Manager, Pickaway County Banking Center – Ashville

* * *

Most of all, I am thankful for family. I know that sounds so typical but you haven’t met my family! We are not typical!

Barbara Perry
Teller, Pickaway County Banking Center – Circleville

* * *

First and foremost, I am thankful to serve a God who gave his son so that I may have everlasting life. I am thankful to have great family and friends to share my life with. I am thankful to have the ability to pull memories of loved ones who have gone before me. I am happy to live in this beautiful free country where I can make my own choices. I am also grateful to be able to help others as the opportunities arise. All in all I am a very thankful and blessed lady.

Monica Delong
Retail Accounts, VP

* * *

Thanksgiving is here, with another year coming to an end. I have always thought of Thanksgiving as a favorite holiday of mine. We can celebrate together, giving thanks to the God that we serve for what he has done for us. I am thankful for my wife, children, and now grandchildren for the happiness they give me. As I continue to age, I am more and more thankful for the health that I have. We cannot forget the country that we live in, and the freedoms that we take for granted. I will, also, pause to thank VCNB for the opportunities that they give to us to grow and serve the communities that we work in. Lastly, I was born on Thanksgiving!

Dale Massie
Senior Retail Lender, Jackson County Banking Center

* * *

I have so much to be thankful for. God has blessed me with a wonderful family, nice home, a good job and so many other things that we sometimes take for granted. I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your time with family and friends.

Charlotte McCarty
Branch Service Manager, Vinton County National Bank – Wilkesville

* * *

I am thankful for having two healthy little boys who fill my heart with joy, along with my husband who is my biggest supporter and best friend. I am thankful for having a great place to work at that is so understanding to a working mom and the hiccups that happen with having two small children.

Emilee Harper
Branch Manager, Pickaway County Banking Center- Commercial Pont

* * *

I am thankful I work for a company that allows – and encourages – personal involvement with my community and allows me the freedom to make sure I can be there (wherever “there” may be from time to time) for my family. I live a busy life between my professional life and the extracurriculars my family is involved with and the groups and organizations that are important to me. The ability to simply “be there” sometimes is greatly appreciated. Add to the fact that I call Southeast Ohio home – I’m born and raised here – and there’s a certain pride I have in making a living here. I’d feel silly asking for much more than that.

Austin Rohr
Marketing Specialist

* * *

I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turn into family, and dreams that turned into reality.

Erin Hart
Teller, Salt Creek Banking Center

* * *

This holiday season, I have the privilege of hosting our family’s Thanksgiving gathering for the very first time. In October, we were blessed with a new home and enough space to accommodate my 20+ loved ones for dinner. I am so very thankful for the opportunities given to me in 2018, and more importantly, to be able to share them with the people I love. To my father who returned home from surgery just last week, I am grateful to have you here to cut the turkey. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Nicole Scott
Branch Service Manager, Friendly Bremen Banking Center – Bremen

* * *

This Thanksgiving, I have so many things to be thankful for. Here are just a few. First and foremost, I’m thankful to have a God that forgives us and loves us unconditionally. I’m thankful for my family and friends and I’m thankful for our military who fight for our nation’s freedom every single day so we can be free. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Patricia Scott
Senior Teller, Ross County Banking Center – Richmond Dale

* * *

This year I am thankful for another fantastic year with my husband. We have built a beautiful life and I am thankful for it each and every single day. We adopted the sweetest/crazy puppy this past January and have truly enjoyed watching him grow into an amazing companion to us. We have a home that we built together fifteen years ago filled with all of our precious memories. We get to travel and well, just spend as much time together as we possibly can. He is my best friend and I am more than blessed and thankful to get to live my life with him.

Emily Wangler
Personal Banker, Franklin County Banking Center

* * *

I wish to give thanks for all the blessings I have today. I’m thankful for all those around me – my co-workers, customers, friends and my family. I’m grateful for my good health, living life to the fullest with my family, and getting to call beautiful Vinton County my home.

Beth Ann Patterson
Senior Retail Accounts Officer, Vinton County National Bank – McArthur

* * *

I am thankful for my home, family, and for the memories we make everyday.  For the love ones that I lost. Who taught me to live life to the fullest and gave me the opportunity to love them in return. I am blessed each day and thank God for the great scenery.  All the colors in the fall, to the first frost, only to start at the beginning with all the colors of spring. Each day is a blessing and I’m thankful.

Tracy Nichols
Senior Customer Service Representative

* * *

I am thankful every day for our God, family, health, home, friends and neighbors. Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!

Melda Cottrill
Personal Banker, Canal Banking Center

* * *

This year I am especially grateful for our new house and family. From my sister giving birth to two beautiful twin girls in September (I’m an uncle!) to the more recent loss of my grandmother only a few short weeks ago, it’s been an eventful year. I feel lucky to have such a supportive and loving family through the high and low moments of life.

Mitchell McCrady
Personal Banker, Friendly Bremen Banking Center – Pataskala

* * *

I am so thankful for my family. My wife and children and all of my family, whether they’re blood related or not. They all collectively make my life better and without them, I’d be lost. They’re my biggest supporters through everything and my biggest comforters when things aren’t so good.

Johnathon Bentley
Teller, Vinton County National Bank – McArthur

 

From all of us here at VCNB, we wish you and yours a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving. We are thankful to be a community bank with hard working employees and to be serving customers in so many amazing communities. We thank you for your business!

West Fair Branch Remains Open Through Renovations

Our branch on West Fair Avenue in Lancaster is undergoing an expansion and renovation project and we couldn’t be more excited.

This project is a direct result of strategic planning that was done by bank leaders and is part of an effort to focus on transforming VCNB branches to meet the needs of customers. EVP of Marketing Audra Johnson explained the purpose behind this work. “Our goal is to update many of our branches in the next few years, not only in look, but in technology and in convenience as well. We want our customers to feel comfortable in our branches, but also to feel like they leave knowing they received excellent service and the resources they need for a better financial future,” Johnson explained.

The West Fair Avenue expansion and renovation will include the rerouting of drive-thru lanes and changes in the customer parking area. A new addition to the building will be constructed to include a new employee lounge and employee restrooms. While the expanded area will not be open to customers, per se, teams of employees that are essential to the success of the bank will be moving their offices to this new space.

“Customers will not be conducting their transactions or meeting with their personal banker behind the doors of the expansion, but rest assured that the space will be put to good use. We are starting to outgrow many of our branches and also our operations centers. This is a great problem to have because it means we’re growing, we’re employing more people and we’re ensuring we will be there for our customers in the long run,” Johnson said.

In addition to the expanded square footage, the building will receive some cosmetic upgrades as well as changes to the way customers and employees interact. A new roof and face lift to interior design and décor are in the works. More importantly, there will be a new style of employee office meant to create more privacy as well as new teller pod stations instead of the traditional teller line. Finally, the lobby will be outfitted with new technology that will allow customers to interact with the bank’s online and mobile platforms inside the branch.

“To say that I am excited about the upgrades we are making is an understatement. We have a mission to be the best for our customers, shareholders and employees. This is just another step toward upholding that mission,” Johnson concluded.

Customers should rest assured that this office will remain open during construction. “It’s business as usual at our West Fair Avenue office. Our staff there is ready to assist you with all of your banking needs.”

 

Celebrating Success: Stout Graduates From Stonier

Cassie Stonier Class 2018
Cassie Stonier 2018The VCNB Family has a reason to celebrate!

VCNB Regional Retail Manager Cassie Stout recently graduated from the American Bankers Association (ABA) Stonier Graduate School of Banking, following in the footsteps of countless VCNB leaders who completed this challenging piece of their banking education.

Stonier is an elite program for the nation’s best and brightest bankers. The three year program prepares future industry leaders with curriculum covering a wide variety of industry topics. Taught at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in Philadelphia, the program also provides a series of leadership sessions.

Stout explained that she has been completing off-site work for the program for the last three years. Then one week a year the class convenes at the Wharton School in Philadelphia for an intense period of classes and networking. “They cram a lot into those weeks we are there. It’s a very intensive week we spend there every year,” she explained. She indicated that students choose from a catalog of banking courses and are encouraged to select those that are most appropriate for their financial institution.

They also take Wharton School leadership classes that are taught by Wharton professors. While they aren’t specific to banking, they teach skills useful in all lines of business. Wharton is widely regarded as one of the world’s top institutions for business education and the Stonier School attracts bankers from all over the country and around the world.

“I have learned a lot about banking and about bank management through this process,” she said before naming some of the topics she learned about and how they apply to her role at VCNB. She also praised the connections she has made through Stonier and the efforts made to pair bankers with others who are from similar institutions but not from competing institutions. “They are very selective in how they pair bankers so in the end you have a nice network of bankers you can call on to bounce an idea off of or to just have someone to talk with.”

The class of approximately 240 graduated on June 14 with a Stonier diploma and a Wharton leadership certificate.

She indicated that she has already put to good use some things that she learned at Stonier on both special projects and on daily tasks. In fact, just last week she used a Wharton exercise during a meeting with the branch managers who she supervises.

Stout began her career with VCNB in 2006. Many customers will remember her as the Branch Manager at our Ross County Banking Center on Main Street in Chillicothe. Today she serves the bank in a different kind of role, overseeing managers of branches in Vinton, Hocking, Jackson and Ross counties.

“I am grateful for the opportunity and appreciate that the bank gave me this opportunity,” she said.

VCNB Head of Retail Brenda Doles expressed pride in Cassie’s accomplishments both at the bank and at Stonier. “I am so very proud of Cassie. When she sets her sights on a goal she can accomplish anything,” Doles said. “She truly manages her time. Through all of this she managed her branches, she managed her personal life, she managed her course work without missing a step and without ever letting anyone down. She’s someone I hope will go far for us.”

AEP Recognizes VCNB Improvements

VCNB was recognized earlier this year by AEP Ohio for their work to improve energy efficiency and environmental impact at several bank branches. This was a result of a lighting project which has made work spaces lighter and brighter and that will save the bank money over time.

New lighting was installed at offices in McArthur, Circleville, Grove City, Chillicothe, Bremen and at one Lancaster location.

As a result of this project, the bank will save 61,868 kWh or 47.4 tons of CO2 annually. This is equivalent to:

– Ten cars off the road per year
– Annual C02 generation of five single family homes
– 1,228 tree seedlings grown for ten years.

According to AEP Ohio, commercial buildings account for nearly one-fifth of the total energy used and one-third of end use electricity. They point out that the benefits of improved building energy efficiency and lowered energy costs are widely recognized and they commended VCNB for working to be part of this movement through their savings incentives programs for businesses.

VCNB Says Farewell To Longtime Employee

 

Sandy Bates Retires 2017 croppedA longtime familiar face at the Depot Drive Thru in McArthur will soon retire. Sandy Bates, a 33 year employee of Vinton County National Bank will retire this Friday.

Even on a slow day, scores of vehicles line up in Sandy’s lane to be waited on by the friendly woman who seems to always wear a smile. She asks customers about their kids, talks about the car they just bought and passes out dog bones to customers of the canine variety. Often times she knows what the customer wants before they even ask.

She’s recently begun telling regulars that she won’t be with the bank much longer. “I retire in eight days” she exclaimed to one regular customer.  “One man seemed a little upset when I told him I was leaving. I didn’t even know him that well so I was kind of surprised,” she explained.

Sandy began her career at the bank in the Bookkeeping Department. “Bookkeeping wasn’t quite what I thought it was,” she offered with a laugh. “I filed checks all day, every day! I worked at that quite a while before I went to Mr. (Bob) Will and asked to do something else.”

She has worked as a teller since, spending some time in the bank lobby but most of her career in the Depot. “I have enjoyed it here. It’s nice and quiet here and I feel close to the customer waiting on them here,” she said. “I get to see their kids and their animals and a lot of things I would miss in the lobby. Little kids will talk to me, dogs know they’re going to get a bone. I’ve seen people grow from car seats into parents.”

It can be a stressful job at times, especially on busy days. However, Sandy said she received some very good advice from another VCNB retiree who trained her. “Ruth Molihan always said that the customer in front of you is the most important person right now. I’ve always made that my policy and I think it’s a good one,” Sandy said.

She reminisced about many of the changes in bank personnel and in changes to banking and society that have taken place over the years. “I started out filing checks all day and now you just don’t see that many checks,” she said. She also expressed great respect for late VCNB President Bob Will who she said “was quite the visionary” for his early adaption of new technologies.

Sandy said that her retirement is bittersweet. “I have enjoyed working here and am sad to leave but a little happy too. I’ll miss the customers and the people I work with but it’s a good time to go while I still have my health and can get out and enjoy life.”

She looks forward to spending more time with family and is especially excited to spend more time with her grandchildren.

McArthur Branch Manager Jane Nickels said that Sandy’s absence will be felt by the bank and by her customers. “Once the customers find out she’s going to be gone, many will be very disappointed. That first lane is always lined up when the second lane has no one in it because Sandy tends to be everyone’s favorite,” Jane said. “The drive thru seems to be her niche. We’ve asked her to come into the lobby before but she enjoys the challenge and seems to genuinely enjoy how busy she is with her customers at the drive thru.”

Jane complimented Sandy’s professionalism, noting that at the age of 79 she still works every day in high heels. “She’s a lady. She’s a lady who cares about her customers, who has built relationships with her customers. We wish her the best but her absence will be a loss to the customers and to the bank.”

Friday will be Sandy’s last day on the job. The entire bank family wishes her a long and happy retirement!

VCNB Opens New Jackson County Office

Jackson Office October 2017

We are thrilled to say that we have an office in Jackson! The Jackson County Banking Center is now open for business at 920 Veterans Drive in Jackson.

VCNB has operated a loan production office at this address since 2016. Bolstered by the enthusiastic support of customers who wished to have a more extensive relationship with VCNB, Bank President Ron Collins said the choice was clear. “We were seeing more and more customers from Jackson County who wanted to bank with us and we wanted to open an office that is convenient for them,” Collins said. “Our roots are in southern Ohio and we are very excited to be in Jackson.”

This office employs local bankers who know Jackson County and who will are excited to serve their neighbors and the entire community. The staff includes Branch Manager Josh Palmer, Dale Massie, Darrell Boggs, Fred Wright, Jordan Stepp, Kelly Halley and Laura Ellenberger.

Many Jackson Countians are familiar with VCNB and have done business with the bank which was founded in McArthur in 1867. The bank now operates seventeen offices, embracing the values and identity of each community where it does business. While the bank branches identify with different names, such as Jackson County Banking Center, all branches are part of the VCNB Financial Family and customers can do business anywhere they see the bank logo.

The new Jackson branch has a walk up ATM, night deposit access and courteous staff who can help with all their banking needs, including loans and deposit products. Customers can learn more and even open accounts online at VCNBfamily.com. The community is invited to stop by the bank to meet the staff and see the newly remodeled facility.

Stop by and have coffee and snacks with your bankers Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week. We’ll also have a drawing for $150 cash.

We would love to meet our neighbors so stop by and say hello!