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.”

 

Supporting Community By Investing In Ourselves

Artists Renderings of the new Pickaway County Banking Center in Ashville

 

Last month we told you a little about our core values – the things we value most and that make us who we are. We talked specifically about how we value community and the things we do to support our communities through volunteerism, donations and encouraging our employees to get involved.

Another way that we support our communities is through investing in ourselves. That sounds a bit self-serving but we believe in taking care of our buildings and putting our best foot forward whenever possible. A well cared for branch that operates efficiently is an investment in the community as well as in ourselves.

That’s part of the reason we have been undergoing upgrades at some of branches for the last several months. Last year we updated the storefront of our Circleville location and we’re putting the finishing touches on work at our Grove City branch while renovation projects are in full swing at our Laurelville and Lancaster West Fair locations. We recently finished demolition and clean-up of our Ashville building to make way for a brand new facility.

Plans are in the pipeline for improvements at other branches in the coming years.

Supporting the community means being good neighbors and we hope you’ll be happy with the results as we modernize and improve our locations in the coming months and years. The next time you’re in one of the branches under construction, be sure to ask the staff about the plans and have a look at the artist’s renderings of the new work!

Small Business Spotlight: Broadway Fireplace and Decor

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! 

Broadway Fireplace and Decor Owners, Jeremy and Danielle Johnson

“Live the life you’ve imagined.”

This is the advice written on the wall at Broadway Fireplace and Decor in Grove City. It also seems to be the way owners Jeremy and Danielle Johnson are living their lives.

The couple has combined Jeremy’s twenty years of experience with fireplaces and her love for making things beautiful to build their retail business near downtown Grove City. The store literally is a one-stop-shop for home décor, fireplace and chimney needs. Jeremy explained they are able to guide customers through the process every step of the way, beginning with helping customers determine their needs all the way through planning, installation and even through decorating the mantle and the room around it.

A trained chemical engineer, Jeremy has enjoyed a diverse career, doing everything from retail to MRDD casework. But it was in Nashville where the London, Ohio native moved to find a fresh start that he found his calling as a chimney sweep about twenty years ago.  “Every day is a different home.  Every day I meet different people and I get to do something different every single day,” Jeremy said.

The road to this retail location was a long one and to really understand it, you have to go back to high school. Jeremy and Danielle were high school sweethearts. He says he was in love with her then. She says he was her best friend. Over time, they went their separate ways. While his career took him different places, she got married and was stay-at-home-mom to three children before divorcing.

fb2.JPGSeveral years passed before they reconnected on Myspace and rekindled their friendship which grew into romance.  They have been married for five years.

In 2016, the two decided to branch out his chimney sweeping business to the retail space they have today. “She had always wanted to do home décor and me with my fireplaces and stoves – it just made sense,” Jeremy said.

Danielle said they located the building, which was once the city’s popular Kentucky Fried Chicken, and set to work on an extensive renovation project to make the storefront suit their needs. They opened in 2017 and have been growing ever since.

The store is beautiful and welcoming, featuring a variety of home décor items with various textures, colors and scents, all arranged to compliment the fireplaces on display. “We want you to get a feel for what it’s like to live with a fireplace so we want you to come in and sit down. You’re able to see how you might decorate the mantle or arrange chairs around the fireplace so you can imagine what it would be like in your own home,” Danielle said.

She likes décor pieces that are unique and different than those found in most stores. “I like to hunt flea markets and barn sales and antique malls to find just the right piece,” she said. “You don’t want to have the same things that everyone else has,” she said describing her style to include everything from industrial and barn look to boho chic.

Inventory includes pillows, blankets, seasonal décor, vintage and antique items as well as a number of interesting candles from brands like Firefly Creek, Marcus Alan and the Columbus based Small Batch Candle Company. Handmade candles in great containers that were created by her daughter and niece are very popular too. In addition, she and her daughter collaborate on handmade custom wood trays that are perfect for centerpieces.

They also have on display a number of fireplaces and stoves– wood, propane and gas log burning styles as well as outdoor fire pits and gas grills. Plus, they have the expertise to back up any product you purchase. Product brands include Regency, Majestic, R.H. Peterson and Monessen. Customers are especially impressed with Music City Fire Tables which use Bluetooth to stream music and then coordinate the fire to react to the energy of the music.

fb6.JPG“The first step is we’ll come out and look at what you have already. I don’t want to sell you something  until I know what you have. When we come out, we can recommend the size and type of product you need for your home,” Jeremy said.

They also do all of the installation and can even lay brick or stone around the fireplace if that is what the customer wants. Then Danielle can step in and help make the room flow around it. “That’s the difference between us and the other stores. We don’t just sell you a product, we make that product a part of your home,” he said.

He has a number of horror stories of customers who attempted to DIY a stove or fireplace project, only to call in a professional when it wasn’t as easy as home and garden television shows made it seem. “When it comes to something like this, it’s best not to rely on Google for advice. Find a professional to help you. Find someone who knows what they’re doing and that you can trust to do it right the first time,” he said.

They also provide services including chimney sweeping, even for products they did not sell or install.

Broadway Fireplace and Décor is located at 3827 Broadway in Grove City. Call them at 614.277.8340. Click here to visit their website or here to follow them on Facebook.

Be sure to stop by for their Christmas Open House on Saturday, November 3 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. They will have music, door prizes and shopping for unique vintage, Christmas and handmade décor. Enjoy refreshments, including a complimentary glass of wine by the fire! Plus, Legacy Smokehouse Food Truck will be available at the open house from noon to 4 p.m.

See below for a slideshow of more pictures from Broadway Fireplace and Decor!

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