VCNB Prepares To Host Santa!

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

Kids of all ages are invited to visit with Santa at some of our banks this holiday season. The jolly old elf in the red suit will visit with all the good little boys and girls at several of our offices this December. We invite you and your family to these free events to share treats and stories with Santa himself!

Here’s the schedule:

Ellora Starr cropped

Little Ellora Starr is pictured here snoozing with Santa at our Bremen office a few years ago. 

Friday, December 8
Friendly Bremen Banking Center – 119 W. Main Street, Bremen
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday, December 14
Friendly Bremen Banking Center – 700 Corylus Drive, Pataskala
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday, December 16
Ross County Banking Center – 775 Western Ave., Chillicothe
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Saturday, December 16
Friendly Bremen Banking Center – 1971 W. Fair Ave., Lancaster
10 a.m. to Noon

Wednesday, December 20
Canal Banking Center – 6360 Prentiss School Dr., Canal Winchester
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday, December 22
Friendly Bremen Banking Center – 521 E. Main St., Lancaster
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

In all the years that Santa has been coming to our banks, he has visited with children of all ages, some older folks and even a few pets! Bring your camera to be sure and capture the perfect image of your loved one with Santa!

Lender Speak: Tips For Choosing A Contractor

You’ve picked out your building site, you have your house plans and you’re ready to build a home. Congratulations! You must be excited! New home construction is one of the most exciting projects that our lenders get to work on. It’s also one of the most complex and has potential to be frustrating. That’s where a seasoned lender and a good contractor come in. VCNB employs some smart lenders who have been in this line of work for a lot of years. Today, we asked a few of them to weigh in with their tips for choosing a good contractor.

“My best advice is to take your time and ask lots of questions. First, get an estimate from more than one contractor and look at their history. You want to use a contractor with a solid history and not someone doing their first job. Another important thing to do is to look at other jobs they have done.”
Fred Wright

Fred works at our VCNB Loan Production Office on Veterans Drive in Jackson.

*   *    *

“Interview and meet with a lot of different builders. Look for a builder you will connect with and who you trust will meet your expectations.”
Donna Kopis

Donna works at our Friendly Bremen Banking Center on East Main Street in Lancaster.

*   *    *

“Choosing the right builder is the biggest decision one will have to make when building a home. I suggest speaking with multiple builders. Then choose one you feel you can trust to build the home the way you want and in a timely manner. It is vital to choose the builder who communicates clearly with you.”
Chris Coryea

Chris works at our Canal Banking Center on Prentiss School Drive in Canal Winchester.

*   *    *

“I have been fortunate to be involved in construction lending for nearly 20 yrs. Though customers may not realize it, a seasoned construction lender can help the process of building a home go smoother by helping them avoid common pitfalls and helping maintain the relationship between customer, lender, and contractor. Customers should be prepared to do a good deal of homework up front and that includes choosing the right contractor. The wrong contractor will make the project a nightmare very quickly and a struggle to complete. I encourage the customer to ask for references from the contractor and go look at some of their work including some projects that are in the process of being completed. Also, ask your lender about the contractor you are considering. If the lender is not familiar with the contractor, they will need to meet to make sure they are agreeable to our procedures. Those procedures are there for a reason and can help make sure we get a finished project. Ultimately, the customer and the bank are at risk until we get a finished project and neither of us want an unfinished home.”
Joe Risch

Joe works at our Pickaway County Banking Center on Court Street in Circleville.

Lender Speak: The Best Part Of Home Construction Lending

The VCNB Financial Family has some excellent, experienced lenders on staff. These folks have the privilege of working with customers to finance their dreams – their dream car, their dream kitchen, their dream home and a host of other projects that make life good. We talk a lot about what it’s like for the customer to finance a project with us but we don’t always stop and consider what it’s like for the lender.

Today, we’re asking some of our lenders about their favorite part of financing a home construction project! Here’s what they had to say!

 

“I love the excitement of it all. I love the excitement of the borrower once they know they are approved and the excitement of the borrower when the home is move in ready.”   Donna Kopis

Donna works at our Friendly Bremen Banking Center on East Main Street in Lancaster.

 

 

“The best thing is seeing a family’s dreams that started on a blueprint come true when they are given the keys to their new home. It’s a great feeling knowing we helped achieve their goal.”   Chris Coryea

Chris works at our Canal Banking Center on Prentiss School Drive in Canal Winchester.

 

 

“I like to see the excitement of the customers. It’s great helping them with their dream of building their own home and seeing that dream become reality.”    Fred Wright

Fred works at our VCNB Loan Production Office on Veterans Drive in Jackson.

 

“My favorite part of a construction loan is being able to help the customer fulfill a dream of building their very own home. The end result is very rewarding and helps mend the stress that it may have caused in the process. I enjoy seeing the different types of homes people build. Also, the process is very interesting – when it’s in the foundation/ framing stage it looks huge, then when drywall goes on it looks too small, then when it is painted and trimmed it gets bigger and usually just right. It’s a perception thing. As an owner, they may only build one or two homes in a lifetime. As a lender, we build several per year. It is this experience that can help both parties navigate through process and can also be rewarding knowing that you were instrumental in making it happen.”   Joe Risch

Joe works at our Pickaway County Banking Center on Court Street in Circleville.

Santa Claus Is Coming To VCNB!

Santa illustration.jpgSanta Claus will be coming to town for visits at several VCNB offices this December. Here’s the scoop on where and when to find him! Bring your own cameras to get pictures of the jolly old elf with your kids and grown-up kids!

December 9
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Friendly Bremen Banking Center, E. Main St. in Lancaster
Visit with Santa and tell him your fondest Christmas wish!

December 16
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Friendly Bremen Banking Center , Bremen
Meet Santa and come prepared to share your Christmas wish list!

December 16
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Canal Banking Center, Canal Winchester
Enjoy a Christmas Party with Santa, face painting and cookie decorating. Kids can also drop off their letters for Santa and wait for handwritten letters in the mail. If you’re bringing a letter, be sure to include a return address so Santa knows where to find you!

December 17
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Ross County Banking Center, Western Avenue in Chillicothe
Visit with Santa while you enjoy cookies and punch. There will also be a drawing for a jumbo prize. Don’t miss out!

December 17
10 a.m. to Noon
Friendly Bremen Banking Center, Pataskala
Have fun with a Christmas Party with Santa, face painting and cookie decorating. Kids can also drop off their letters for Santa and wait for handwritten letters in the mail. If you’re bringing a letter, be sure to include a return address so Santa knows where to find you!

There you have it! The magic of Santa will help him travel to several of our banks, spreading joy and providing lots of photo ops for the good little boys and girls! Come see us and be sure to bring your camera!

VCNB Gives Back

Sunday was World Kindness Day and, as a community bank, we think that’s kind of a big deal. In fact, the idea of being good to our customers, employees and communities is something we embrace every day.

We try to be a good corporate citizen and to lead by example, supporting as many community functions as we can across all the communities where we do business. Since our footprint has expanded a lot during our 149 year lifetime, the area where we try to do good is also expanding. From as far south as our hometown in Vinton County up through Logan, Lancaster and Chillicothe to Grove City and all points in between, we donate money and time to countless community and school groups.

This year we expect to spend more than $220,000 in our local communities!

We also reward our employees for their volunteer efforts. In an average year, our employees collectively donate several hundred hours each year to organizations close to their hearts. Animal shelters, food pantries, school events and countless community events benefit from the generosity of our wonderful employees who like to help out where they can.

During the holidays we like to spotlight some local groups that need public support and give our customers the opportunity to help out as well. Throughout the month of November we’ll be collecting donations for the following:

mcarthur-coat-drive

Thanks to Dollar General of McArthur for kicking off their coat drive with a big donation of coats, hats and gloves for kids. Rachel Hoyt, Carol Faber and Heather Ramey are pictured with a few of those items!  

Vinton County National Bank in McArthur – Monetary donations will be collected for the Vinton County Local Schools Backpack Program. New and gently used coats, hats, scarves and gloves will also be accepted for kids in need in Vinton County schools.

 

Vinton County National Bank in Wilkesville – Monetary donations will be collected for the Vinton County Local Schools Backpack Program.

Hocking Hills Banking Center in Logan – Monetary and donations of items will be collected for the Hocking County Humane Society. Click here for more info. 

Salt Creek Banking Center in Laurelville – Monetary donations will be collected for the local Backpack Program.

Ross County Banking Centers in Chillicothe – Monetary donations will be collected for the Good Sam Food Pantry.

Ross County Banking Center in Richmond Dale – Monetary donations will be collected for the Mission Family Ministries and Goshen Run.

Pickaway County Banking Center in Circleville – Monetary donations will be collected for Emergency Clearing House Association of Pickaway County.

Pickaway County Banking Center in Ashville – Monetary donations will be collected for local Backpack Program.

Pickaway County Banking Center in Commercial Point – Bank will purchase canned goods for a local church at Thanksgiving and will also participate in Secret Santa at the church.

Friendly Bremen Banking Centers in Lancaster and Bremen – Monetary and non-perishable food donations will be collected for local food pantries.

Friendly Bremen Banking Center in Pataskala – Monetary donations will be collected for a local food pantry.

Canal Banking Center in Canal Winchester – Bank will accept monetary donations for the Canal Winchester Food Pantry.

Franklin County Banking Center in Grove City – Bank will accept monetary donations and packages of new men’s and women’s socks for Socks For Soldiers.

 

If you’re in the area and would like to help out a local organization, we hope you will stop by a branch and make a donation. The bank will also contribute funds to each of the organizations we are spotlighting this holiday season.  All of these collection efforts are for good causes and we are excited to help them!

 

Pack An Extra Form Of Payment

If you’re planning a vacation this summer, you’re probably eager to pack your bags and hit the road. But before you go, there’s one more thing to pack – one or two extra forms of payment.

We know that you love your plastic and we swipe our debit and credit cards more today than ever before.  After all, it’s quick and easy, it’s safer than carrying a lot of cash and, if you’re a VCNB customer using Rewards Checking or our Platinum Visa© Card, you earn UChoose® Rewards Points on purchases.

PrintUnfortunately, plastic is not always foolproof. While most businesses accept credit and debit cards, some mom and pop establishments, festivals and farmer’s markets are not equipped to do so. Also, technology is imperfect and occasionally even major retailers experience a hiccup that prevents them from accepting cards.

Also, with the increased use in debit and credit card usage has come an increase in the amount of fraudulent activity related to cards. That’s why we have a great Fraud Department here at VCNB to monitor your activity round the clock. If we see something that is clearly fraudulent or that looks suspicious, we will place restrictions on your card and then give you a call to confirm that you are actually making those purchases. This is meant to protect you and your money but can sometimes cause an inconvenience for the customer.

We occasionally have customers who are on vacation, spending outside their regular pattern of activity, who will be flagged by the Fraud Department. If you can confirm that it’s really you spending your money, the restrictions will be released and you can go about your vacation. If it’s not you, we will shut down your card to prevent future fraudulent activity and take actions to get you a new card. If that’s the case, you will need another way to pay.

There are many options for a second or third form of payment. If you plan to pay primarily with debit, take along a credit card and some cash too. If your primary payment is going to be credit, a second credit or debit card and some cash might come in handy.

Here at VCNB, we offer credit cards as well as a Reloadable Travel Card. You can use it to make purchases anywhere worldwide that Mastercard© is accepted. It costs $5.99 to purchase but we are waving this fee through the end of July. The Travel Card and other reloadable/gift cards are available in any VCNB branch. Click here to learn more. 

And, of course, cash is still accepted almost everywhere.

By the way, if you’re planning to travel, take a minute and give us a call. If we know you’re out of state or out of the country, you’ll be less likely to experience a disruption in service. Also be sure to give us your mobile phone number. If our Fraud Department does need to reach you, you don’t want them calling your home when your card is being rejected in a restaurant far from home.

 

 

 

Small Business Spotlight: Loose Rail Brewing

Being a small business owner is a tough job. That’s why we spotlight a different business each month to help you learn about unique businesses in your own back yard.

Loose Rail - LogoThere’s a new business coming to Canal Winchester that has been generating excitement since it was announced last year. That’s when we learned the number one craft beer maker in the United Kingdom will construct its USA headquarters in Canal Winchester. While Brewdog’s new 40-acre campus is a few months from opening, we thought craft beer aficionados and small business enthusiasts would enjoy learning about another much anticipated local brewery prepping to open in the heart of Canal Winchester.

Nathan and Kelley Doerfler, owners of the Canal Winchester landmark Harvest Moon Craft Kitchen and the Garden Herb Shop, originally intended to expand Harvest Moon to a second location but plans changed when another opportunity presented itself. Approximately 18 months ago, the plans shifted toward building a brewery. In a whirlwind time period for the couple and with help from the Canal Banking Center, the perfect location – a former power substation for a rail line that ran until the early 1900s – was targeted and purchased.

Joined by business partners Jonathan Woodruff and Dennis Smalley, the newly minted “Loose Rail Brewing” operation began to take form. The building is located just walking distance from Harvest Moon in downtown Canal Winchester.  What this means for the brewery is that while they won’t have a full kitchen and menu  in the beginning, they will offer a food shuttle service from the Harvest Moon for limited menu items.

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Loose Rail will be a seven barrel brew house, with four fermenters, a taproom, a patio, a bar, and first and second floor seating.  Five beer recipes are being brewed – the craft brew standard India Pale Ale, a Session IPA, an Amber, a Pilsner, and a Stout.  Nathan said it was important to offer something for everyone.  Loose Rail hopes to separate itself by being created as a family-friendly space, in which families large and small can stop in to listen to live music on the weekends, host gatherings, and bring food in to sit outside on the patio to enjoy an evening open-air dining.

The excitement is growing and the promotion of the brewery is well underway.  Buzz is growing on social media and merchandise and apparel are being printed and sold at Harvest Moon.  They’ve already been featured in Columbus CEO magazine, The Dispatch, Columbus Underground, and Columbus Business Monthly.  They also are being added to various Ohio beer trail maps and look forward to bridging the gap between Central Ohio breweries and the growing craft brew hotbed that is Southern and Southeastern Ohio.

The old railroad building at 37 Waterloo Street is really starting to take a life of its own as Loose Rail Brewing and though adding a brewery to their business portfolio has been an exciting process so far, it hasn’t all gone smoothly.  Nathan says Loose Rail was originally targeted to open this summer but an overwhelming amount of nationwide permit requests within The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has caused the opening to be delayed.  It’s now tentatively slated to open on Labor Day Weekend but, at this point, they are playing a waiting game as it’s out of their hands.  The good news?  There are a host of people anticipating the grand opening, anxiously awaiting the official announcement.  “This community has been really supportive and there is a lot of excitement for this,” Nathan says.  “We can’t wait to get going!”

Click here to visit them on Facebook! 

 

 

Local Business Spotlight: Blystone Farm

We understand that being a small business owner is tough. That’s why we plan to spotlight a different business each month to help you learn about unique businesses in your own back yard. 

WP_20150707_10_30_51_ProIt’s summertime in Ohio and the season for sunshine, swimming pools and family gatherings is upon us. That means perfect weather for grilling out! And if you’re looking for a place to pick up fresh, local meat to throw on the grill and fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables to pair it with, look no further than Blystone Farm in Canal Winchester.

Blystone Farm is a historic, four generation family farm that has taken eating local to a whole new level. Herds of commercial sheep have been raised on the farm through the years. Then, eleven years ago, Joe Blystone had a brainstorm. Seeing opportunity in Franklin County and surrounding areas, Blystone led the charge in opening an on-farm meat processing facility.

“The idea to bring back the old time butcher shop really started with the growing ethnic community in Franklin County,” Joe said. With lambs and goats being raised at the farm already and the development of the butcher shop, Blystone Farm found their niche in their ability to “provide a high quality fresh meat product to the immigrant and refugee community, with respect to their religious need.”

Opportunities for expansion accompanied the operation’s success. The family farm took on pigs and cows and began laying plans for expanding the shop. Joe’s wife Jane was welcomed into the family business in 2010, bringing expertise as a baker and experience as a business owner.

The building was expanded and the Blystone Farm Retail Market was developed into what it is today – a one stop shop for fresh, local meats, fresh baked bread and pastries, local seasonal fruits and vegetables, craft beer and more, including locally made condiments such as Blystone Farm branded sauces and seasonings.

Nearly all of the meat available at the shop is processed on-site from all Ohio raised livestock. The only exception is grass-fed, naturally-raised buffalo meat used in their bison burgers, sent straight from The Wild Idea Buffalo Company in South Dakota.

It doesn’t stop at the butcher shop and bakery though. Customers with special occasions can place custom orders including half and whole animals for events like a hog roast. In fact, custom orders are gladly accepted and prepared for customers with specific needs.   And, as an added bonus, the outdoor table seating and in-house deli at the shop offer visitors a chance to sit, relax and have a sandwich at lunch while overlooking the beauty of rural farmland.

Word has begun to spread about quality products and service in the expanded shop and rave reviews are rampant on social media. “We’re starting to see folks stop in from further out than Lancaster, Fairfield County, and Franklin County” which is what the primary customer base was in the past, Joe explained.

So the next time you have a hankering for a bison burger or a fresh baked pie, you’re planning a hog roast, or you feel like impressing your guests with local brewed craft beer and a porterhouse steak, stop by Blystone Farm in Canal Winchester. At Blystone Farm, it’s always the season for quality food and drink!

Want to know more? Visit their website or follow Blystone Farm on Facebook!

What’s Your Next Step?

Next Step 160x600 Audience Network (VCNB)

We have been busy talking about next steps here at VCNB. Everyone has a next step in life. Maybe it’s a huge step like getting married, starting a family or buying a home. Maybe it’s a small step like the bathroom remodel you have been planning for years. Perhaps it is a far off step like retiring or becoming an empty nester. As we look around the VCNB Financial Family we see people taking next steps every day: babies, promotions, military service, weddings, retirements, new homes, smaller homes, new hobbies, children going off to college, and adults going back to school. There have been some unhappy next steps along the way as we have said goodbye to parents, siblings and mentors as well. While we hope all your next steps are happy, the good and the bad are all a part of life. With this in mind, we want to be with you along the way for whatever your next step in life is, no matter where it takes you. Home loans, savings accounts, cutting edge services and good old fashioned customer caring are some of the things we do every day. Plus, for a while we are offering you a chance to earn money for becoming our customer. Now through June 30, you can get $100 for opening a new checking account with a debit card. You can also earn $50 for opening a new savings account. These accounts can be opened online or in any of our seventeen branches. We also want to help some neighbors in need as they take their next steps. That is why we will donate $10 for every qualifying checking or savings account opened during the promotional period. The money will be shared by two charities – Sojourners of Vinton County and Maywood Mission of Lancaster – to purchase shoes for people in need. We will donate up to $1,000 at the end of the promotional period.

Next Step Promo Terms and Conditions_Final

Click Image To Enlarge Terms and Conditions.

Click the terms and conditions at right to view a full screen description of complete details. Visit www.vintoncountybank.com for account information or to get started opening an account. You can also stop by any one of our seventeen branches to speak with an expert and open your new account today. Are you thinking about your next step? Comment below to tell us what it will be! We are excited to hear your stories!

Free CE Class Offered For Realtors

We like to find opportunities in our communities to provide services that folks need but maybe don’t expect from their local bank. That is why we regularly host continuing education classes for realtors.

This month we will work with First American Title to co-host “Ethics: Changing with the Times,” a three hour course for realtors in the Canal Winchester area. Shawn Fosnaugh, a Retail Lender at our Canal Banking Center, calls the partnership a “win-win” for everyone.

“We partner with First American Title and sponsor a Continuing Education class two or three times a year. This is a win-win for both the bank and title company, as well as the realtors,” Fosnaugh said.

Fosnaugh explained that the State of Ohio requires realtors to take continuing education courses which can often be expensive. “With the continuing education classes we sponsor, the realtors attend for free, gain knowledge and education on today’s current real estate market and rules and regulations, and get to network with one another,” he said.

At the same time, bank staff and title company staff have opportunity to build rapport and better relationships with realtors serving the community.

The class will feature a lot of group discussion about a realtor’s duty to the public and industry, to clients and customer and to fellow licensees.

Instructors will be Paul Blevins, Vice President/Area Manager and Counsel – Central and Southern Ohio for First American Title and Larry Press, Vice President of Business Development and Branch Underwriting Counsel for First American Title.

“Ethics: Changing with the Times” will be held Thursday, April 23 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Kingy’s Pizza (7470 Hill Rd, Canal Winchester, OH 43110). Refreshments will be served. Sign up today by contacting Shawn Fosnaugh at 614.834.5626 or shawn.fosnaugh@vintoncountybank.com