VCNB Announces Tenth President In 151 Year History

Mark ErslanVinton County National Bank is pleased to announce that Mark Erslan has been named by the Board of Directors to replace Ron Collins in anticipation of Collins’ 2019 retirement. Collins has served Community Bancshares, Inc., the bank’s holding company, for over twenty years. This included nine years as president of First Bremen Bank and nine years as president of VCNB.

Erslan began his career with VCNB in 1992 after graduating from University of Rio Grande with a degree in Business Management. His first position with the bank was Management Trainee in the Operations Department. The following year, he requested a position interacting with customers and was entrusted with a Branch Manager position in the bank’s new Ross County market. Since then, Erslan has held various roles within the bank including Consumer Lender, Vice President of Lending and, most recently, Executive Vice President Head of Lending.

He is optimistic about the bank’s future and indicated he plans to continue following the bank’s current growth strategy. “We look forward to steady growth in the communities we serve by continuing to provide our customers with excellent in-person service while embracing new technology to provide additional conveniences on-line,” Erslan said.

“I am eager for the opportunity to lead the bank in this position. In my 26 years with VCNB, the past presidents have played a significant role in my development and I hope to pass that along to the next generation of bankers,” he continued.

Collins will help with the transition by continuing as CEO through 2019. He also plans to remain on the Board of Directors.  “It was a pleasure and honor to lead this organization and be able to work with such dedicated people.  I am pleased that Mark will be our new president. Over the years he has demonstrated his commitment to our bank, our customers and the great communities we serve,” Collins said.

Shareholders Convene For Annual Meeting

Shareholders attending the annual meeting of Community Bancshares, Inc. on Tuesday, April 1 learned that their investment yielded a total return of 8.58 % in 2013. Approximately 135 shareholders attended the dinner meeting held at the Eagles Events Center.

Chairman Thomas D. Will welcomed shareholders and their guests, informing them that 2013 was a strong year and discussing the need to keep up with the needs and demands of customers to insure continued growth. “We will continue to add new products our customers demand and, if we’re going to attract the younger generation, we need a strong internet channel,” he said. “If there’s a better way to deliver services to our customers we want to know about it,” Will explained.

He then turned the gavel over to CBI Secretary/Treasurer Ben Crow. Mr. Crow informed shareholders that total assets grew 1.9 % in 2013 to $750.8 million. Net income rose 3.1 % to $6,790,458, and the book value of CBI stocks is $68.33 per share, an increase of 6.4%.

Vinton County National Bank President, Ronald Collins presented the state of the bank and outlined goals for the coming year.He credited Head of Lending Mark Erslan and his staff for making 2013 a successful year and discussed the release of a new logo meant to unify the bank’s 13 locations. “We spent a lot of time branding our individual hometown branches. Now we need to tie them together,” he explained. Collins went on to inform shareholders that 2014 objectives include actively pursuing acquisitions, improving market share in our current branch network and expanding online banking.

Erslan went on to present achievement awards to several Loan Officers and New Account Representatives for their outstanding job performance in 2013. He recognized them individually, informing shareholders of their length of service with the bank and why they are each an asset to the organization. Retail Accounts Vice President Monica Delong gave a brief presentation on Online Banking and the various products and services the bank currently offers.

Perhaps the most memorable moment came when former VCNB President Steve Hunter presented a gift to longtime board member Esther Crownover. Mrs. Crownover recently retired after 30 years of service, helping the bank grow exponentially over her tenure.

Many people know Crownover for her involvement in the local timber industry and for her love of race horses but she has also been a valued member of the board throughout the bank’s growth.

Crownover joined the VCNB board in January 1984 and the CBI Board in March of that year.  “The growth of the bank was just amazing over the years. Incredible, really,” she said.

Among other things, she has been involved in the board’s Audit Committee since 1984. She noted how much the audit report has changed and how complicated it has become compared to when she started.

About board service, Crownover noted “It’s been a good relationship.Everyone has been good to work with and to see the amazing progress the bank has made has been interesting.”