Kim Carpenter Will Retire Friday

Kim Carpenter has spent her entire career in banking and it shows. The drive thru window teller will retire Friday from her post at Ross County Banking Center on Main Street in Chillicothe after spending years developing a loyal following of customers.

Customers know Kim as the friendly woman who remembers how they like their change and who knows the names of all their dogs. What some may not realize is that she hasn’t always worked in a customer facing job. She actually started out in the operations department of a bank in Homestead, Florida at the age of 17. “When I was a high school senior, I went to school in the morning and went home for lunch. Then I would go to the bank where I worked part time in bookkeeping. I loved that job.”

Kim Carpenter will retire this week after 22 years at Ross County Banking Center in Chillicothe.

After graduation, she got married and went full time at the bank before eventually taking time off to have children. “I tried to go back to work after my first son was born but I kept hearing about his firsts from other people and I didn’t want to hear about those things. I wanted to be there to see him grow up.”

By the time she returned to the workforce in the early eighties, a lot had changed. She recalled being assigned to use a computer for the first time. “I had been there a while and thought I was doing a good job but one day this message popped up that my password was going to expire and I thought that meant I was being fired,” she laughed. “I worried about that for two days before I worked up the nerve to ask someone about it. They got a big laugh out of it because it’s just standard procedure in a bank. But I didn’t know! I hadn’t worked with computers before!”

In 1995, her sons were grown, she was divorced and had an opportunity to return to Ohio. Her family had moved to Florida when she was in the first grade but her heart remained in the Buckeye state. In fact, she fondly recalls childhood summers spent visiting her grandparents’ farm where they raised crops and animals. “I looked forward to it all year. It was old school farm life and I think that’s where I really learned to love animals. I got that from my grandparents.”

After coming back to Ohio, she briefly worked another job before returning to her banking roots, this time as a teller. And the rest, as they say, is history.

“I had never worked as a teller or with customers so I really didn’t know if I could do it but I’m so glad that I came here.”

Starting part time, she quickly was offered a full time position and eventually moved to the drive thru window where she has stayed for about 18 of the 22 years she has been with the bank.

Here she has gotten to know customers from a different perspective. “The drive thru is different than meeting people at the teller window. You see a little bit into their world. You see their kids grow up in the backseat, meet their dogs. I‘ve been offered opportunities to do other things but really love working the drive thru and didn’t want to leave.”

She recalls how children who loved getting suckers when they came through with their parents are now adults bringing their own little ones to the bank. One little girl didn’t want her mom to even stop at the bank “unless my Kim is working” –she still banks with Kim as an adult.

While Kim loves her work, she looks forward to having free time to spend as she wishes. “I want to just be home, to take care of things I’ve been putting off because I’m busy. And I want to have more time with my animals,” she explained.

In fact, Kim’s eyes light up when she talks about her animals like her little dog Mandee, a pony named KT and a host of others including chickens, cats and goats. She and her husband Jeff have a small farm complete with a garden that she looks forward to working in more. “I love being outdoors. If I’m home, I’m not in front of the tv. I’m outside with the animals or mowing – there’s always something!” she said. “We like going to auctions and yard sales on the weekends so it will be nice to get things done during the week and not feel bad about going out to have fun on the weekends.”

Kim and Jeff have been married for almost 23 years. She has two sons, four stepchildren and five grandchildren. She soon will be a great grandmother.

Her last day of work will be Friday. “I will miss my customers and I’ll miss a lot of coworkers too,” she said. “The people here are so nice, so friendly. I will miss that aspect but I think this is a good time to go and I’m looking forward to my freedom.”

Deep Roots, Strong Branches

A Greek proverb tells us that society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.

Daniel Will, VCNB Founding President

This reminds us of our founder Daniel Will and makes us wonder if he had any inkling his bank would still be growing from seeds he planted in 1867. The roots of our family tree run deep and grow from principles that Dan gave us – be honest, get to know your customers, embrace what’s new that works, invest in the community, and do the right thing for the people who depend on you.

When he saw a need for a store in the community, Dan opened a store. When his customers needed credit, he helped them out. When they needed a safe place to keep their money, they trusted him to keep it secure in the store’s vault. And when he realized the town needed a bank, he set to work building what the community and his customers needed most.

This is the model we continue to follow. This is who we are and this is why we are grateful for Dan Will and those seeds he planted all those years ago.

Let’s face it – the deeper the roots, the healthier the tree and the stronger the branches will grow. So whichever VCNB branch you choose – whether it’s our first bank in McArthur, one of our newer branches in central Ohio or somewhere in between – it’s not just a branch. It’s part of a strong family tree of banks that continues to grow and reach toward the sky.

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

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

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

Katy Hanes

“I like being able to get to know my customers and I think they appreciate the personal touch they get from us. That’s not something that’s encouraged or even possible at big banks so it feels really good to offer it here.”

Matt Hearn

“One thing I really like about VCNB is that they encourage us to get involved in the community, they reward us for volunteering and they want us to know our customers.         I never had that before at my old job.”

Christina Wine

“The thing about working in a bank in a small community is that you get to know almost everyone and they get to know you. It feels good when someone calls and asks for you. It tells you that that you’re doing something right – that you’ve built a relationship with that person and that they trust you to take care of them.”

Charlotte McCarty

“It’s going to sound cheesy but I love helping people, especially the problem solving aspect of what I do. I appreciate that we are taught about why a policy or procedure exists and the bank gives us the tools and leeway to work with our customers.
We’re sometimes able to find ways to help the customer whether it’s helping them get approved for a car loan because their car just blew up or finding ways to help them
stop over drafting an account.”

JJ Wright

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

Brittany Walters

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

Kati Maple

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

Jeremy Robson

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

Matthew Giroux

Here for You Badge

VCNB Opens New Jackson Branch Monday

Jackson coming soonMonday will be a banner day for our staff in Jackson as this will mark our first day of operation in a newly constructed branch. The new office is located at 471 McCarty Lane, just around the corner from the current Jackson branch.

VCNB President Mark Erslan said that he looks forward to opening the new branch to the public. “We are really excited about the completion of our new office in Jackson. The growth we’ve experienced in the limited time we’ve been in Jackson has exceeded our expectations,” he said.

The bank opened a loan office in a small space on Veterans Drive in 2016. It quickly became clear that there was a demand in Jackson for VCNB to have a full service bank and the Jackson County Banking Center opened in 2017. That space was quickly outgrown and ground was broken last year for this new facility.

Customers will appreciate the state-of-the art drive-thru system and drive-up ATM. The Intelligent Deposit ATM uses no envelopes, accepting deposits of cash and checks and giving customers same-day credit for up to $500 daily. Inside, personal bankers are trained to help customers with nearly any loan or deposit need. A kid’s corner will help keep little ones occupied while their parents do business, and a digital learning area will allow customers who prefer self-service to log into their VCNB online accounts, read account literature and do more on iPads.

Most of all, there is plenty of room in the 6,000 square foot facility for bankers to spread out and help their customers with respect to customer privacy and safety in socially distanced times. “We just can’t wait to service our Jackson County customers with a brand new office that features modern amenities and plenty of room. We’re very pleased with the outcome of the planning, design and construction and looking forward to the chance for everyone to see and experience the new facility,” Erslan said.

The current branch will be open through Friday. This location will be closed on Saturday morning so they can move into the new facility. Visit us in Jackson at 471 McCarty Lane beginning Monday, July 27. We look forward to serving you in our new branch!