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!

 

Meet Your Banker: Callie Duhl

In our Meet Your Banker Series, we visit with Callie Duhl. Callie is the Branch Manager of our Jackson County Banking Center in Jackson.

Callie Duhl

Callie Duhl is the Branch Manager of our Jackson County Banking Center in Jackson.

Chat with Callie about her life and career and one thing is clear. She is devoted to her community, family and bank customers. The Jackson native has spent her entire life in Jackson, graduating from Jackson High School and building a long banking career before joining the VCNB Financial Family last year.

Like many VCNB Branch Managers, she started her career as a teller, working her way through a variety of positions including head teller, assistant manager and lender, seeing the banking business from a variety of angles. “I’ve done lending for most of my career and that’s what I like the best. It’s fun helping people get the things they need or want, the things that improve their lives,” she said.

Yet, this isn’t the life path Callie had envisioned for herself. As a lover of the outdoors, she has always enjoyed spending time caring for flowers, mowing and doing other outdoor work. “I never gave a thought to sitting behind a desk eight to ten hours a day. However, this is the path that God lead me down. My Grandpa always told me that God has a big sense of humor,” she exclaimed. “I’m right where I’m supposed to be and I’m glad to be here.”

Callie and her husband Alan have a fifty acre farm that keeps them busy. They have been married for 35 years and have one son. Their son works for the sheriff’s office and his wife is an RN. They have four young children who Callie adores.

She also is active as a founding member and treasurer of the Jackson Area Kiwanis. “Up until Covid hit we were staying busy in the community. It’s been different this summer but everything has been different,” she said.

Callie praised her customers for being so patient with lobby limitations during recent months. “Our customers have been just wonderful. So patient and kind to wait their turn. We couldn’t ask for better,” she said.

She takes customer service very seriously. “It’s important to me that we know our customers and that we do as much for them as we can,” she said. “Most of the time, when someone comes in, at least one of us knows their name and I think that’s important for people to feel comfortable coming in and doing business with us. We have all the technology anyone could want and we have the products they’re looking for but most people are really looking to make a connection with their banker.”

The branch will soon move to a new building, just around the corner from the current location. Construction is wrapping up at 471 McCarty Lane, just across the street from the BMV. “We can’t wait to move in and to welcome customers into the new office. It’s going to be wonderful!”

 

 

 

Earn Rewards Points With A Visa Platinum Credit Card

Earlier this month we told you about Rewards Checking and how so many of our customers are accessing uChoose Rewards®. These rewards points can be redeemed for cashback to your checking account, gift cards, experiences, and other things simply by doing regular debit card spending and banking.

Today we’re going to talk about our Visa® Platinum Credit Card and how it can be used for earning rewards as well!

Here for You BadgeOur points savvy customers will tell you that having both the credit card and the checking account linked to the same uChoose Rewards account allows them to accumulate points more quickly. That’s because credit card customers earn one point for every dollar spent on purchases.

To earn points, you must register your card with the uChoose site. If you have both Rewards Checking and a Visa Platinum Credit Card through VCNB, be sure to link those cards to the same uChoose account to watch your points accumulate more quickly.

Click here for terms, rates and other important details about the Visa Platinum Credit Card. Note that customers who hold only the credit card are not eligible for cash back but can still receive all the other rewards including gift cards, movie passes, travel and merchandise. Receive 1,000 bonus points when opening a new Visa Platinum Credit Card account.

Contact your local banker or visit any of our branches to apply for a credit card or to learn more about uChoose Rewards and the Visa Platinum Credit Card.

 

VCNB Employee Uses Kindness Rocks To Spread Beauty

20200315_215622“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

VCNB Accounting Manager Cathy Rutter has made it her personal mission to spread a message of kindness with her newfound talent of painting on something unexpected – rocks!

While vacationing in Florida last year, Cathy stumbled across a beautiful hand painted rock, known as a kindness rock. Kindness rocks are painted and hidden to be found. Their journeys can then be tracked on various forms of social media.

Cathy Rutter

VCNB Accounting Manager Cathy Rutter spreads beauty with kindness rocks.

This sparked a fire in Cathy to start an endeavor to become a painter even though she had never painted before. She gathered the essentials including paint, brushes and rocks for her canvas. “Some of my first projects looked like kids’ work,” she said recalling the process to her painting success. “It’s amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it – turns out I have a gift I was able to develop and improve with work and determination.”

She developed her self-taught skills by studying other paintings and pictures for guidance. Nature is her inspiration including flowers, birds and scenery.

What started as a hobby has developed into a passion and one of her favorite ways to relax. Cathy has progressed from painting on dull creek rocks to sparkling Santorini stone. Her rocks are truly a work of art waiting to be found.

As Cathy’s journey of painting has evolved, so has her career with VCNB. She began as Management Trainee at The Friendly Bremen Bank nearly thirty years ago and has worked in several bank departments throughout her career.

She resides in Bremen with her husband Vince. Together they leave kindness rocks at various places, spreading kindness as they travel. Keep your eyes open for a painted treasure!

See below for a slideshow of her art.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Small Business Spotlight: Crossroads Meats

Small businesses are vital to our communities and running a business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month!

Crossroads Meats exterior

Crossroads Meats is a custom butcher shop and retail store on Main Street in Adelphi.

If you’re looking for fresh, good quality meat, a local butcher shop is the place to go. Crossroads Meats in Adelphi specializes in custom butchering but has a popular retail storefront as well. Here you’ll find everything you need to stock your freezer or to entertain guests at your next backyard barbeque.

The attention to detail that owner Noah Cross gives to his work, combined with an increasing demand for quality meat, has helped the shop develop an eager following of customers.

Noah grew up in his father’s butcher shop in rural Missouri, where he helped out while learning the trade. “Growing up, I thought I’d never butcher for a living. Why would I when there’s all kinds of exciting things to do? But it comes back to what you know and what you love and I really love what I do,” he said with a smile.

Yet, when Noah and his wife Ann had the opportunity to relocate to Ohio and start a new life with a newly settled Mennonite community, Noah wasn’t sure he wanted to continue in the business. ‘It’s long days and they’re hard days. It’s real physical work, especially in your arms,” he said.

So when they came to Ohio, he took up tree trimming and removal. He did that for a while but quickly learned this fair weather business didn’t keep him busy enough. So he returned to his roots and began processing deer on the side, growing this business to accommodate the community’s need. This side business quickly took off, causing him to buy the old hardware store in Adelphi and set up a butcher shop and retail store.

Here he focuses on custom cattle processing jobs which keeps him extremely busy. At this time, their custom work is booked through early 2021.

But many customers know Crossroads for their retail shop. Here, customers line up to buy everything from hamburger and steaks to handmade sausage and fresh marinated chicken.

“A lot of our business lately has come in because of COVID. They say there’s a meat shortage and a lot of people have come here because they couldn’t get what they want at the store. But once they try our product they say they’ll never go back to buying at the grocery. They say they’re spoiled now,” he said. “A lot of people don’t believe there’s a difference in the taste but there really is. And you can shout till you’re blue in the face but it doesn’t mean anything until they try it and taste the difference for themselves.”

When asked about the difference in fresh meat from a butcher shop and that from a grocery store, Noah said that part of the difference lies in geography and timing. “When you’re buying meat from the store, you might be buying something that was raised in Kansas and slaughtered in California. Then it still has to be transported to the store for you to buy it. I’m not saying that a Kansas animal isn’t as good as an Ohio one but animals don’t transport well dead or alive. By the time it gets to you, that really shortens the shelf life,” he explained.

There’s a sign in the store that seems to summarize his work philosophy. It reads “Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy local and it can buy fresh.”

Group

Noah Cross and his employees take pride in the work they do, providing quality meats for the community. From left are Ginny Beachy, Twila Martin, Noah Cross and Jemima Zook.

That’s part of the reason he has begun raising his own cattle just down the road. “I like going from farm to table. I like feeding my own and knowing how it was cared for and that it just traveled a quarter mile down the road to get here. It’s important to me, knowing what I’m providing for people,” Noah said. “I have customers who have been up to see them and have already ordered cattle that isn’t even ready yet because they’re that confident it will be good.”

The meat they currently sell in the store comes from Heffelfinger’s Meats here in Ohio. Coolers are stocked with thick cut bacon, hamburger, steaks, chicken and pork chops. Noah’s employees make their own bratwurst, snack sticks, summer sausage, trail bologna, sausage links and sausage patties among other things. But some of their most popular items are already marinated and ready to cook. Chicken marinades include barbeque, garlic butter and southwest. He said their burgundy pepper New York strip steak and old fashioned dry rub bacon are especially popular too. Their seasoned hamburger patties are big sellers and can be purchased in smoky molasses, garlic tomato basil, and jalapeno cheddar.

Each Saturday, he fires up the smoker out front and cooks sixty to eighty sides of ribs. They come out of the smoker at noon, fresh and ready for customers to enjoy. They do encourage ordering in advance to ensure that customers are able to get this high demand product.

Some Thursdays, he smokes chicken wings, legs quarters and drumsticks too. Anything not sold that day will be available for purchase in the store.

Noah believes in delivering quality service and product. He also is pleased to work with customers and deliver what they request. He described a popular sweet Italian bratwurst link that they make. When a customer asked for that seasoning in a patty instead of a link, they were happy to accommodate. “That’s how new products are born,” he said.

The store also sells Camp Chef brand grills and smokers, chest freezers, some meat seasonings and Ben’s brand mustards and barbeque sauces. Essentially, if you need the meat or some way to freeze, flavor or cook it, Crossroads can help!

The business is very much a family operation. His wife Ann helps out with the business aspect and their four little boys, ages 10, 7, 5, and 2 spend a lot of time with their dad here and are well known to regular customers. They also employ three people to do processing, packaging and to help with the store.

While they clearly work hard and long days, Noah his thankful to the community for their support. “The people here are just wonderful. We moved here not knowing anyone and not deserving a thing and these Ohio people have absolutely showered us with their friendship, their kindness and business,” he said. “We’ve made so many wonderful friends that we simply couldn’t ask for more.”

Crossroads Meats is located at 11826 Main Street, Adelphi. For more information, visit their store or call 740.702.MEAT.

 

Meet Your Banker: Matt Hearn

Our Meet Your Banker series continues today with Matt Hearn. Matt is the Branch Manager at our Canal Banking Center in Canal Winchester.

Matt Hearn

Matt Hearn is the Branch Manager of our Canal Banking Center in Canal Winchester.

Ask Matt to talk about banking and it’s clear that it’s all about the customers for this California native. “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,” he said.

Matt should know. He cut his teeth in banking by working his way up from Retail Banker to Branch Manager for a big bank in Lancaster. He spent about six years there before making the move to VCNB’s Lancaster West Fair Avenue branch. He was hired to be a Retail Banking Officer but quickly rose to the position of Branch Manager.

Earlier this year, he made another change by moving to our Canal Winchester branch which he manages today.

“I have found opportunities here to really get to know my customer. They come in and we have a chance to talk about their child who just graduated high school or about what they need from us. Nothing makes me happier than when they bring their dogs and we get to give them a treat,” he said with a laugh.

In his free time, Matt sits on the Income Council of United Way for Fairfield County. He’s been a member since 2017 and says their primary focus is on funding for shelters, food banks and emergency services.

He and his wife have been married for four years and have a one year-old daughter.

“The best part of my job is the relationships. Nothing makes you feel better about what you do than when a customer says they trust you or when a customer shows up in your new office just to see you.”

 

 

 

 

Meet Your Banker: Charlotte McCarty

Today we continue our “Meet Your Banker” series by talking with Charlotte McCarty. Charlotte is the Branch Manager of our Vinton County National Bank in Wilkesville.

Charlotte McCarty

Charlotte McCarty is the Branch Manager of our Vinton County National Bank in Wilkesville.

Charlotte has spent most of her banking career serving the people of Wilkesville and it shows. That’s because almost everyone knows and respects the Vinton County native who started at the bank more than 25 years ago. After training in McArthur, she took up her post as a part time teller in Wilkesville and has since grown to hold different positions including Assistant Cashier, Head Teller, Branch Service Manager and now, Branch Manager.

She also holds the distinction of being the bank’s first Master Teller, a difficult achievement that proved her knowledge and skill as a Senior Teller. “It’s funny because when I started here I didn’t know anything about banking and wasn’t sure that I could even do the job. But I was very excited to come to work and really enjoyed it,” she reminisced.

“The thing about working 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 said.

She knows all about building relationships, having grown up in a family of ten kids. “I love being part of a large family. The closeness of a big family is something really special and it’s nice always having so many people around for support. With that said, I didn’t want a large family of my own! I just had two,” she laughed.

Her two – a boy and a girl – are grown now. She has three grandchildren as well. Charlotte stays busy in her free time. Her husband Denver pastors the Fairview Church of Christ in Christian Union. The couple have been active in their church for their entire married life and she has taken on many roles including Sunday School teacher and song leader. She also looks forward to Wilkesville’s events like the annual Fish Fry and the Independence Day parade.

Many people have recently benefited from Charlotte’s generosity and talent as a seamstress. She’s made over 140 masks with sewing supplies she had in her stash. “I had all kinds of fabric here that I hadn’t done anything with and enough elastic to get started with. So when I heard that people needed masks I thought that’s something I can help with!”

She has made many dresses over the years including all of the dresses for her daughter’s wedding party and the wedding gown, embellished with hand sewn pearls. Her granddaughters and their friends benefit from her talent as well as she does the alterations for their special event dresses.

Back at work, Charlotte said she and her staff continue working to serve customers and to prevent disruptions for customers through these challenging times. “We are still able to help customers with anything they need even though our lobby wasn’t open for a awhile. We just want to keep everyone safe in the process and to do everything we can to satisfy our customers,” she said. “It has been different but we’re making it work.”