Honoring a Pioneer: Gwen Egan

Earlier this year we told you about the first woman employed by Vinton County National Bank. Today we’re featuring the first female employee at Salt Creek Valley Bank, now known as Salt Creek Banking Center. Read on to learn more! 

When Gwendolyn Dent Egan began working at Salt Creek Valley Bank in 1937, the landscape of the banking industry was decidedly masculine. Few women worked in banks and there were no other women at the Laurelville bank.

Many things have changed in the industry and the country in general since Gwen was a young woman starting her first day at a job that would become her career for many years. She was not just Salt Creek’s first female employee, she was the first female bank officer as well.

Fresh from high school, Gwen enrolled at Capitol University to study business but found herself homesick and unhappy. “Mom said I had to stay but Dad said I could come home as long as I did something else,” Gwen recalled.

At the time, the bank employed just two men – Elmer Strauss and Joe White. “Dad knew Mr. Armstrong, the Bank President, so he went to see him. He asked Mr. Armstrong if he didn’t need a girl in that office,” she laughed. “Mr. Armstrong talked to the board and that’s how I got the job!”

That’s how Salt Creek Valley Bank hired their first female employee. “After that we had a lot of women employees. Most were very good but I was the only one for a while,” Gwen said.

Her first job was to run checks through a posting machine. “I remember that thing was a real antique, all the way back then!” she exclaimed. Another big part of her job was waiting on customers. “We had some very nice customers. You got to know everyone working at the bank.”

While modern banks are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, for the early part of her career, banking tools were basic. “Everything was recorded in a big ledger. After we balanced out for the day, I did the book work. There was a ledger I wrote it all in,” she explained. A typewriter, adding machine and pencil were the other tools of the trade used during her early career.

In 2016, at age 97, she claimed her memory was failing but she recalled the names and family trees of many coworkers and shared a host of stories about the town and the bank. “There were a lot of good times and there were some bad,” she said recalling friends of old, girlhood hours at the skating rink and the terrible flood of 1968 that threatened the town’s future.

She discussed how the flood waters reached countless homes in town and how everyone pitched in to help with clean up and recovery, saying that even inmates from the state penitentiary were sent to help clean up. “We got the town cleaned up and went back to work,” she said.

But Gwen has many positive memories as well. Since the bank closed on Thursdays, she recalls how she spent her Thursday afternoons. “When we closed on Thursdays, away I went to Columbus to shop at Lazarus. I just loved that Lazarus store in downtown. I know I spent too much money on clothes over the years but I loved them and my husband never complained,” she said with a chuckle. “The bank didn’t have a strict dress code but I always tried to look nice.”

By the time she retired, the banking industry had changed a great deal and the Salt Creek Valley Bank was changing with it. “When I first went to work, if someone came in and wanted to borrow a little money and you knew them, you would just write the note out. But it got to be you just couldn’t do that anymore. Times certainly changed,” she said.

One thing that never changes, according to Gwen, is the flow of customers who need their community bank. “I miss the people. I loved the people. I liked to talk to people and always tried to be real nice to everyone. After all, you have to be a friend to have a friend.”

Gwen retired in 1983, after 46 years of service to the bank and community. She still lives in the home she was born in and the one she shared with her late husband Howard Egan. “This is home. I hope to never leave,” Gwen said.

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.

 

 

 

VCNB: We’re The Bank For You

Construction - FBBC (Nauman Digital)

Doug DeLong

Doug DeLong is a Lender at the Salt Creek Banking Center in Laurelville

If you’ve seen one of our billboards or heard our current radio spot, you know we say that if you want to redo your home or build new, we’re the bank for you. We hear from countless customers that building a home with VCNB financing is easy or that they love our Home Equity Line of Credit. So we chatted with one of our lenders to find out what he believes our customers like best about financing these types of projects with us.

Doug DeLong is a Loan Officer in our Salt Creek Banking Center in Laurelville. He has worked in this office for thirteen years and is a favorite among customers around Laurelville. He expressed excitement about the construction and home equity loan specials VCNB is currently offering. “There are many things that set our bank apart, and these products are at the top of the list,” DeLong said.

Building a home can be an intimidating process for the customer but DeLong said he works to make the financing part as easy as possible. “We pride ourselves on being available to the customer and their contractor for communication during the important building process,” he said. “Frequent communication is necessary. We inspect the home each time a contractor requests a draw from the loan. We also speak to the customer before releasing the funds to the contractor to make sure the customer is happy with the work thus far.”

One thing that sets apart VCNB from many other banks is the turnaround time for loan draws. “There are typically no cumbersome delays in the draw process, as there are at many of the larger banks. Quite often, we can have an inspection done on a home and have the draw disbursed the same day! I doubt this is ever the case at the large banking institutions,” DeLong ventured. “We make it a priority to be prompt, knowing how important it is to the customer.”

He indicated there are many advantages when it comes to the VCNB Home Equity Line of Credit as well. “No closing costs is one big plus.* The rates and easy ability to access your money are others. And, as always, the great customer service continues to set us apart.”

VCNB does have a HELOC special that makes this project even more rewarding for the customer at this time. Click here to read about the special which expires May 15, 2016.

DeLong expressed how easy it to is love his job when he feels like the customer comes first and the loan products are good for the customer. “I like seeing dreams come true for my customers. A new home is one of the biggest dreams people have in life – it’s rewarding being involved in that process. These are just a few reasons I am proud to work at VCNB, a bank that truly cares about our customers’ well-being!”

*There are no closing costs unless the amount of the loan is over $100,000. Borrowers will be assessed fees for title, insurance and survey. If the loan is closed within three years, borrower will be assessed a $500 fee.

Why We’re Thankful: Part One

Someone once said that it is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy. In that spirit, we are asking our employees what they’re thankful for this Thanksgiving week. We will feature three of their responses before Thanksgiving. Here’s the first one.

When we asked Salt Creek Banking Center Branch Manager Sarah Young what she’s thankful for this year, she sighed and asked a great question. “Where do I start?”

“I am grateful for my healthy little child, my family, my job, for my health, my friends…I could go on and on,” Young exclaimed. And then she did, explaining that she is even grateful for her German Shepherd Schnelle.

Salt Creek Banking Center Branch Manager Sarah Young is pictured this fall with her loves: Ben Lingo, their daughter Kinsley and her dog Schnelle.

Salt Creek Banking Center Branch Manager Sarah Young is pictured this fall with her loves: Ben Lingo, their daughter Kinsley and her dog Schnelle.

An Ohio University graduate and McArthur resident, Young began her career with VCNB two years ago as a Retail Account Representative at the Ross County Banking Center in Chillicothe. She transferred to Salt Creek in April, taking over as Branch Manager.

While she is thankful for this new position and opportunity with VCNB, she is clearly most thankful for her little girl, a ten month old fire cracker named Kinsley who makes Young’s eyes light up.

“She is so wild. She’s very loving and cuddly. She’s outspoken even though she can’t say anything yet. She can’t walk but she can climb. She loves to climb everything,” Young explained.

This Thanksgiving will be special for Young’s family as it is Kinsley’s first Thanksgiving. “I am super excited for her first Thanksgiving. She’s at the age where she can try different foods so she will get her own little plate,” Young exclaimed.

“She’s what I’m most grateful for.”

 

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!

Building a Home? Start With Expert Advice!

New ConstructionBuilding a home can be one of the most rewarding things you do in your lifetime but it can also be extremely stressful. That’s why it is important to speak with an expert before you start. VCNB decided to help you in the process by talking to a builder who has decades of experience. We asked him about the things he wishes everyone knew before they begin building their new home.

Bob Brown, owner of Brown Builders Custom Homes, is not only a skilled builder of homes but a builder of dreams. He works with clients all over Ohio, helping them build their dream home. When we sat down with Bob, we wanted to know how someone who has never been through the home building process could get from start to finish with their sanity and their wallet intact.

Bob told us you should involve a builder as soon as you begin looking at land for your new home. He recommends talking with a couple of builders of your choice before deciding who you trust to do the job. “The builder you select must make you feel comfortable, should not pressure you and should never tell you that you cannot do something you want to do. If you hear them say ‘you can’t do that’ during the initial get-to-know-you process, you should be wary. This project is all about you, about what you want, not about the builder,” Bob explained.

The initial meeting should last an hour or two and should be your opportunity to assess the builder. “It’s kind of like a marriage,” Bob said. “You must completely trust this person to have your best interest at heart at all times. This is probably the most money you will spend on anything in your lifetime and you want it to be exactly what you want for you and your family.”

Bob also recommends taking the builder to the lot you are considering for purchase. “It is important for the builder to see the lot, to discuss it with the buyer and to get a feel for exactly what the buyer has in mind. Sometimes, the lot is not conducive for the type of house they want to build and we can tell them that. We can also discuss different options they may have never thought about before,” Bob explained.

The next step in the process is financing. Your builder will want to see pre-approval from your bank so that he or she knows exactly how much you can spend on your new home. From there, you will move into financing the lot and begin talking construction costs. This process could take three to four weeks or, sometimes longer. Patience is virtue during this process. From start to finish, a home can take anywhere from five to nine months – or more to complete. “It depends on each individual house as to the time-frame. Some take less time, some take more. It depends on the client and whether or not they want a custom, semi-custom or production built home. Your builder should review these options with you upfront,” Bob told us.

Once your financing is secure and you break ground on your new home, the planning game turns into a waiting game. “If you are working with a sound builder, they should plan your project up front. They should tightly manage the scope, time-frame and budget. I give my clients weekly progress updates and ample time to make decisions about things. I don’t want there to be any surprises. It should not be a guessing game,” Bob added.

Keep in mind that the process of building a new home and selling your current one can result in life disruptions. That means you may need to find alternative housing if you sell your home before the new one is move-in ready. “The best time to sell your home is between March and August. If you want to be into your new home before the holidays, plan accordingly,” Bob explained.

Bob recommends that you select a reputable builder and lender that you trust. It is also key to always communicate your needs. “Communication is king when building a house. It can make the process much smoother, can erase any fears or doubts and can keep a project on track. It is the most important ingredient in a builder/client relationship,” Bob said.

At VCNB we pride ourselves for working well with our customers and their builders. If you follow Bob’s tips and if you work with VCNB as your lender, there is no need to be apprehensive about building your new home. We are here to help.

The next step in the process is financing. Your builder will want to see pre-approval from your bank so that he or she knows exactly how much you can spend on your new home. From there, you will move into financing the lot and begin talking construction costs. This process could take three to four weeks or, sometimes longer. Patience is virtue during this process. From start to finish, a home can take anywhere from five to nine months – or more to complete. “It depends on each individual house as to the time-frame. Some take less time, some take more. It depends on the client and whether or not they want a custom, semi-custom or production built home. Your builder should review these options with you upfront,” Bob told us.

Once your financing is secure and you break ground on your new home, the planning game turns into a waiting game. “If you are working with a sound builder, they should plan your project up front. They should tightly manage the scope, time-frame and budget. I give my clients weekly progress updates and ample time to make decisions about things. I don’t want there to be any surprises. It should not be a guessing game,” Bob added.

Keep in mind that the process of building a new home and selling your current one can result in life disruptions. That means you may need to find alternative housing if you sell your home before the new one is move-in ready. “The best time to sell your home is between March and August. If you want to be into your new home before the holidays, plan accordingly,” Bob explained.

The building process can be hair-pullingly stressful and can take months to complete. Remember though, it is worth it to have the home you have always wanted, the home of your dreams. Bob recommends that you select a reputable builder and lender that you trust. It is also key to always communicate your needs. “Communication is king when building a house. It can make the process much smoother, can erase any fears or doubts and can keep a project on track. It is the most important ingredient in a builder/client relationship,” Bob said.

At VCNB we pride ourselves for working well with our customers and their builders. If you follow Bob’s tips and if you work with VCNB as your lender, there is no need to be apprehensive about building your new home. We are here to help.

Better Together

Some things are simply better together.

That’s how we feel about our checking and savings accounts here at VCNB. One is great but the two are even better together!

300X600 Audience Network (VCNB)Think of your checking account as a place to manage your money. This is a transactional account from which you can make frequent withdrawals. You can do this by making debit card purchases at point-of-sale machines or by writing checks. You can make ATM withdrawals or come into the bank to withdrawal or deposit money. You can even pay bills online.

A savings account is a different kind of animal. Instead of using this account for daily transactions, a savings account is used for . . . you guessed it! Saving money!

It’s a great place to tuck away funds for an emergency or for a rainy day. If you’re planning a vacation or getting ready for Christmas, a savings account is a great option for keeping those funds separate from your daily spending money. While it’s kept in savings, your funds will grow some with interest.

Because federal law dictates that you can only make six savings withdrawals per month, this is a perfect place to park money and forget it until you actually need the cash. One time or periodic transfers of funds from your checking to savings make saving money much easier.

Right now, we are rewarding customers who open a new checking and savings at one time. From now through March 31, 2015, open a Checking My Way or Classic checking account and accept a debit card to receive a cash bonus of $100. If you open a Passbook savings account at the same time as the checking, you will receive an additional cash bonus of $50.

To receive the bonus, customers must make a $100 minimum deposit into the checking account and a $100 minimum deposit into the savings account. The account can be opened online or at a branch with a coupon requested online.

Want more information? Be sure to read the terms and conditions pictured below. Simply click on the photo to enlarge. Are you ready to open your new accounts? Click here!  

Checking + Savings Terms and Conditions

 

Your Financial Checklist

We’ve been talking a lot lately about spending tips and saving money on our Facebook page and here on our blog. It’s a timely topic with January being Financial Wellness Month.

Today we have a checklist to help you get started toward your money goals today!

Financial Checksheet

Follow us on Facebook and subscribe to this blog to keep up with VCNB!