Small Business Spotlight: ABC Drivetrain Prepares For Veterans Appreciation Day

Being a small business owner is a tough job! That’s why we feature a different small business in our Small Business Spotlight every month. Today we talk with Daniel Bryan at ABC Drivetrain Parts and Service in Lancaster. They are busy gearing up for their Veterans’ Appreciation Day where they will give free oil changes to about a hundred veterans.

Something special happens at ABC Drivetrain Parts and Service every November, just in time for Veterans Day. That’s when this Lancaster business organizes a small army of volunteers and sponsors to provide free oil changes and even lunch for local veterans.

General Manger Daniel Bryan describes their Veterans’ Appreciation Day as “something special” as it brings together so many people who wish to use their skills and assets to give back to local veterans. “We call it a family event because the volunteers are literally family or they’re like family. They’re previous employees and people we’ve worked with closely. The sponsors are businesses we’ve worked with and people we can depend on like family,” he said.

Here’s what happens. On Saturday, November 13, veterans will receive a free full service oil change at ABC Drivetrain. There are donuts first thing in the morning and a free lunch available too. All of the labor, parts, supplies and food are donated. Even the tables, chairs and propane heaters are donated for the comfort of the veterans while they wait.

“We are normally closed on Saturdays but we open up especially for this. We provide the facility, labor and service. Everyone volunteers their time. We typically have forty to fifty volunteers who help with things like getting veterans signed in and you name it. We have former employees who come back and help with the oil changes so we can keep things moving and provide every veteran with a quality oil change,” he added.

Daniel went on to list the many local partners who help and that list is long. NAPA Auto Parts provides the oil filters, R.D. Holder donates the oil, and Advance Auto Parts donates miscellaneous items they need including windshield wiper fluid.  Jasper Engines and Transmissions donates bottled water and door prizes, Greg Clarke provides breakfast, Cherry Street Pub takes care of the lunch truck and Taylor Rental provides the tent, tables, chairs and heaters to keep everyone warm. Even their web designer, Complete Marketing Resources, gets in on the action donating their services to design the flier and update their website with their event info for free. The VA Hospital in Chillicothe provides literature about their services and there are goody bags for each veteran.

While this is the sixth year that ABC Drivetrain has organized this event, it actually began the year before with local business man Bill Allman. Mr. Allman was killed in a car accident while helping someone else. When two of his technicians came to work for ABC Drivetrain they mentioned the neat thing their late boss had done for veterans the previous year. “We wanted to carry on the legacy,” Daniel said.

While everything is free, any donations received that day will go to Honor Flight Columbus which honors our nation’s senior veterans with a trip to Washington D.C. to visit the nation’s memorials. Each year, they receive monetary donations from the VFW, General Machine, Locher, Inc., The Carriage Company and Ace Fence and Deck.

A Marine Corps veteran himself, this cause is near and dear to Daniel’s heart. “It’s amazing to me. In all the years we’ve been doing this, very rarely has anyone told me no. When I tell them it’s for veterans, everyone is all in,” he said. “We try to grow it every year. Right now, about 100 veterans are served each year but we really want to make it bigger.”

Oil changes are offered on a first come first served basis to any veteran with a DD214 or Veteran ID card. The event starts at 8 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, a prayer and flag raising. It will end at 4 p.m.

ABC Drivetrain also offers a year round discount on labor to veterans and first responders. “We like to give back in whatever way we can,” he explained.

Theirs is a unique business. It was opened by Daniel’s in-laws Jeff and Bridgett Hinerman in 1996. Jeff had experience with transmissions but suffered a back injury at work. When doctors said he would never walk again, he didn’t allow that diagnosis or a wheelchair to slow him down. Together, Jeff and Bridgett along with Bridgett’s parents who worked part time, set out to build a business that could provide for their family.

Today, the business has grown to employ eight people including a roster of ASE Certified Master Mechanics to see to nearly all your auto care needs. Jeff, whose prognosis was so dire, is indeed walking again and has been for nearly twenty years.

“We use the word family around here a lot. Some of us are related and some of us aren’t. But you spend so much time with the people you work with that they become like family.”

Consequently, he said the owners prioritize looking out for employees and customers as they would their own family. “Our mechanics are all experienced and certified,” he said as he described the importance that experience plays in their work. “Safety is a big priority for Jeff. He was injured in a work accident so he knows how important it is. So we have a fork lift, engine lifts, all the things to prevent anyone from getting hurt,” he said.

“What’s the saying? If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life? That’s how we operate around here,” he said. “We look forward to doing this every year and invite any veteran around to come and spend some time with us. Let us change your oil and get to meet you. It’s all free because we just want to say thanks.”

Visit ABC Drivetrain at 330 S. Broad Street, Lancaster. Veterans who wish participate in Veterans Appreciation Day should remember that services are offered first come first served. Look for the sign-in sheet when you arrive. To learn more about this business or to book an appointment for another day, visit their website here

You can also contact them if you wish to support their Honor Flight fundraiser. Want to know more about Honor Flight? Click here.  

Simplify Your Finances With Online Bill Pay

Here at VCNB we are taking time this fall to be thankful for all the great ways technology has made banking easier for our customers. Here’s a peek at just one of several. Want to know about other popular technology products that we offer our customers? Click here! 

Paying bills is a task that no one enjoys. That’s why Online Bill Pay is so handy. Whether you wish to automate your payments or log in and pay them individually, it’s a quick and useful tool for making sure your bills are paid on time, every time and without the cost of stamps and checks.

Whether you are paying a national cell phone provider or your family doctor, setting up a biller is simple. Some payments will be sent to the payee electronically while others will require that a check be mailed but there’s no worry – we’ll take care of that part.

Once you have set up a biller, it’s easy to pay them as needed or to set up a recurring payment. Some bills that are the same amount every month such as a car payment or mortgage can be scheduled to pay the same day each month. This streamlines your budget and bill paying activities and gives you the peace of mind that your bill is paid when you schedule it.

If your biller offers e-bills you can sign up to receive your bill electronically. Also, sign up for reminders so you don’t forget to log in and pay those commitments on time.

This is a free service to VCNB customers as long as you use the service at least once a month. It’s straightforward and easy to use and manage. It’s just another way that VCNB is putting technology to work for you! Log in to your Online Banking or VCNB Mobile to get started today!

Embracing Kindness

Kindness. Caring. Compassion. In the fast paced and opinionated world that is 2021, it feels like these are words not used enough. Everywhere you go people are frustrated and sometimes unkind.  

That’s not true of everyone, of course, as there are still good people working to make this world a better place. Here at VCNB, we encourage our employees to follow the Golden Rule and to focus on being kind to others. That’s why we were so excited when we noticed how many offbeat holidays happening in October are dedicated to making the world a kinder place.

For example, October 1 was International Day for Older Persons. More than 60 million people ages 65 or older reside in America and, if we’re lucky, we’ll all eventually join this club of elderly Americans. As far as we’re concerned, every day is a great opportunity to show some kindness to an older person, to listen and to learn from them.

This is also Bullying Prevention and Domestic Violence Month. Any domestic violence shelter will tell you that these two issues go hand in hand. Bullying can happen at any age – on the playground or in the board room. It can happen to anyone as can domestic violence. As many as one in three women and one in ten men ages 18 and older experience domestic violence. While it’s hard to spot, chances are someone you know is living with an abuser.

 Sometimes the first step to addressing the issue is to be aware of it and to talk about it. Click here to learn about domestic violence in America and here to learn about bullying prevention.

October also addresses animal issues. It’s Adopt A Dog Month and there are days designated to recognize black cats and black dogs. Black animals are often the last adopted and the first abused thanks to silly superstitions. Animal shelters across the country are brimming with pets in desperate need of a home. Looking out for these four legged friends is a great way to bring joy into your own life while helping a creature in need.

Of course, October has long hosted Make A Difference Day, a national day of service where volunteers are encouraged to work together to do something impactful in their community. That could mean churches and 4-H Clubs or private individuals helping support community projects and things that they see simply need to be done.  

October 5 happens to be Do Something Nice Day. While it’s a pleasant sentiment on a calendar, here at VCNB we would like to think every day is a new chance to do something nice. There’s no opportunity too big or too small if it means extending kindness to another or doing something to improve the world around us.

Our employees are encouraged and even rewarded for their community spirit when they volunteer. In fact, our employees give hundreds of hours of their time every year, helping out wherever they can. They serve on boards like domestic violence shelters and the local chamber of commerce. They cuddle rabbits and walk dogs for animal shelters, pick up litter and help with distribution day at the local food pantry.

The bank also invests over $300,000 a year in sponsorships, fair animals, customer appreciation days, financial literacy, school sports teams, Chamber activities, and a host of causes in our communities.  We do this because we understand the value of investing in our communities and the people who call them home.

Our Core Values say that we will be community minded and that we will have the integrity to do the right thing – even when no one is looking. We encourage you to do the same and to seek out ways to make the world around you a little better. Money is great but sometimes what’s more important is a kind word to a friend, a little patience with that frazzled fast food worker, or a simple thank you to people who have helped you. Provide a home to a pet in need, stop to see an elderly neighbor or offer a shoulder to someone who is struggling.

There are many ways to help make our world brighter. You never know the ripple effect it may have and how your one small action could manifest into something far bigger than intended.

Can You Spot a Phishing Scam?

Check out these phishing red flags and read on for more about these dangerous scams.

 Every day, thousands of people fall victim to fraudulent emails, texts and calls from scammers pretending to be their bank. And in this time of expanded use of online banking, the problem is only growing worse. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission’s report on fraud estimates that American consumers lost a staggering $3.3 billion to these phishing schemes and other fraud in 2020—that’s nearly double what was lost in 2019.

It’s time to put scammers in their place.

Online scams aren’t so scary when you know what to look for. And at VCNB, we’re committed to helping you spot them as an extra layer of protection for your account. We’ve joined with the American Bankers Association and banks across the country in a nationwide effort to fight phishing—one scam at a time.

We want every bank customer to become a pro at spotting a phishing scam—and stop bank impostors in their tracks. It starts with these four words: Banks Never Ask That. Because when you know what sounds suspicious, you’ll be less likely to be fooled.

These top 3 phishing scams are full of red flags:

• Text Message: If you receive a text message from someone claiming to be your bank asking you to sign in, or offer up your personal information, it’s a scam. Banks never ask that.

• Email: Watch out for emails that ask you to click a suspicious link or provide personal information. The sender may claim to be someone from your bank, but it’s a scam. Banks never ask that.

• Phone Call: Would your bank ever call you to verify your account number. No! Banks never ask that. If you’re ever in doubt that the caller is legitimate, just hang up and call the bank directly at a number you trust.

You’ve probably seen some of these scams before. But that doesn’t stop a scammer from trying. For more tips on how to keep phishing criminals at bay, including videos, an interactive quiz and more, visit http://www.BanksNeverAskThat.com. And be sure to share the webpage with your friends and family.

What’s Your Scam Score? Take five minutes to become a scamspotter pro by taking the #BanksNeverAskThat quiz at BanksNeverAskThat.com. Share your score on Facebook to encourage your friends and family to test their scam savviness, too. The more scamspotters out there, the harder it is for phishing criminals to catch their next victim.

Practice Awareness To Boost Your Financial Health

Having a budget and regularly reviewing your financial commitments is a great place to start down the road toward better financial standing.

Being engaged and aware of what is happening in your financial life is the most effective way to improve your personal finances. We have some tips to help you be more mindful of your finances and how your VCNB account tools can help!  

First: Know Your Income and Commitments

It is imperative to know how much money comes in every month and where it’s going. The best way to do this is to gather up pay stubs and other income documents. Start by adding up your income. Then make a list of all your expenses and add them up to see how much you have going out every month to create a basic budget. Read our Budgeting 101 article to get started!    

Next Step: Get the Right Tools

VCNB offers account holders some user-friendly tools that will make life easier. From checking your balance and paying bills online to turning off your debit card in our mobile app, there are a number of tools for keeping tabs on your finances. Many customers especially love Account Alerts which allow them to receive a text or email for things like when a loan payment is due or each time their debit card has been used. You can even set an alert for when your account drops below a certain balance. Click here to learn more about how the leading technology offered at VCNB can help your financial life!

You’ll also want to review your credit report for accuracy. Download your credit report for free at www.annualcreditreport.com. This document will help you spot errors in your credit history which could impact your credit rating as well as your ability to borrow money, rent a home, qualify for auto insurance or even get a job.

As you’re creating your budget, be sure to put in place some maintenance routines. Have a special place for bills that need attention, automate what you can, and designate a time to pay bills and check balances. While you’re at it, be sure to file or scan any paperwork you need to keep.

What’s next:

These are some basic first steps that everyone should take on the path to financial awareness. Here are a few more.

Start by looking for ways to cut costs. Be sure to apply that savings to paying off debt or to plan for big expenses. Click here for 31 ways you can save money now.

If you know that you spend six hundred dollars on Christmas every year, don’t wait until the holidays and rack up credit card debt. Instead, open a VCNB Christmas Club account to have automatic transfers made from your account into a Christmas Club every two weeks.

Get into the mindset that you will think before you buy and curb those impulse purchases to save strain on your budget. Start thinking about what you want your life to look like and how money can help you strive toward those goals.

Most of all, be mindful and start thinking about how you can put your personal finances to work for you.

Banking Convenience, Leading Technology With Mobile Deposit

Depositing a check with Mobile Deposit is an easy way to take care of your banking business without a trip into the bank!

Here at VCNB we are taking time this fall to be thankful for all the great ways technology has made banking easier for our customers. Here’s a peek at just one of several. Want to know about other popular technology products that we offer our customers? Click here! 

While you can get cash from an ATM or even while paying at the grocery store, depositing a check keeps some customers coming into the bank even when they don’t have the time to spare. Thanks to Mobile Deposit, customers no longer have to do that. Instead, they can opt to deposit their check whenever and wherever is convenient for them.

Working through lunch? Can’t make it in during business hours? No time for errands? No problem.

Simply use the camera on your mobile device to submit images of your check through our mobile app! It really is that easy.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Log in to your account in VCNB Mobile.
  2. Choose Deposits and then press Deposit a Check.
  3. Choose the account where you want the deposit to be made.
  4. Enter the amount of the check.
  5. Endorse your check with your signature and the phrase “Mobile Deposit.”
  6. Photograph both the front and back of the endorsed check.
  7. Review and confirm deposit details and hit Yes to complete the transaction.

It’s a quick process that can save you loads of time driving to the bank. Whether it’s from home in your jammies or on a break from work, you can make that deposit whenever and wherever you have a free moment!

Don’t already use our mobile app? Find it in the app store on your mobile device by searching VCNB Mobile.

Find Leading Technology And Local Support At VCNB

Here at VCNB we strive to offer customers best in class leading technology. In fact, we have everything the big banks offer but with community bank service and local values.

While we take for granted that our customers know about all this great technology, we find that some customers still haven’t heard that they can deposit a check using their phone or that they can send money to a friend with Zelle® in our mobile banking app. We find they don’t know they can pay bills on the go or that our app makes banking as easy as 1-2-3.

That’s why we will be spending the next few weeks talking about some of the leading technology we offer. This technology makes it easier for you to keep track of your money, open accounts and bank whenever and from wherever is most convenient for you.

Here’s an overview of some of these services and we promise to talk more in depth about a few of them soon!

VCNB Mobile and VCNBfamily.com – Use our website and mobile app to check balances, pay bills, transfer funds, view account statements and even open accounts. It’s like carrying a bank branch with you everywhere you go! Both are free and easy to use and give you access to a ton of great options including those below.

Mobile Deposit – Customers who use our mobile app love that they can deposit a check using the camera on their mobile device. It’s easy and quick! Click here for instructions and to get started today.  

Online Bill Pay– There’s no need to stand in the post office line when you can pay bills without even leaving your chair! Log in to your online banking to sign up for Online Bill Pay to schedule bills to pay automatically or on demand.

ZelleZelle is a fast, safe and easy way to send money directly between almost any bank accounts in the U.S., typically within minutes. With just an email address or U.S. mobile phone number, you can send money to people you trust, regardless of where they bank. Find Zelle in Online Bill Pay on VCNB Mobile or in your Online Banking.

Account Alerts – Keep tabs on what’s happening with your accounts when you want to be notified about certain activities. Sign up for any of our almost two dozen account alerts to be sent via text or email. Want to be notified if your card has been used? Perhaps you want to know if a check has cleared, that a loan payment is due or if your balance dips below a certain amount. It’s easy and free to sign up in your Online Banking!

Mobile Wallet – Leave your VCNB credit or debit card in your wallet and pay for purchases with Apple Pay®, Google Pay and Samsung Pay! These mobile payment options are contactless and have built in security measures. Visit the app store on your mobile device to get started!

MoneyPass® – Need cash quick but aren’t near a VCNB ATM? Find a surcharge free ATM near you by searching MoneyPass.com or on their mobile app. VCNB belongs to this extensive network which includes over 32,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. No need to sign up! Just look for the MoneyPass logo and insert your card!  

Rewards Checking Account – Earn uChoose Rewards for your everyday banking behaviors like direct deposit, bill pay and swiping your debit card with our Rewards Checking Account. Earn rewards like cash back, gift cards, travel and event tickets! Have a Visa® Platinum Favor Credit Card? Earn points for using that as well.

Ready to get started but still have questions? Chat online or call our Customer Service Team at 1.800.542.5004. You can also speak to a banker in your local branch today.  

Bruce Block To Retire Friday

VCNB Lender Bruce Block will finish his forty year career in banking and finance when he retires Friday. In doing so, he will turn the page to a new chapter in his life’s book. “I have enjoyed my years in banking and finance and have met a lot of people and made friendships that I hope will continue,” he said. “However, I’m looking forward to moving on to something different.”

Lender Bruce Block will end his forty year career in banking on Friday.

The Pennsylvania native began his career as a management trainee with a finance company in Yuma, Arizona. When they transferred him to Columbus, Ohio, his career took off and he spent the next four decades forging relationships and hitting his stride in a range of finance and banking areas. He trained younger employees, worked in collections and did all types of lending. Before coming to VCNB, Bruce had worked fourteen years as the Head of Consumer Lending for a community bank in Logan.

He joined the VCNB family as a Retail Lender in McArthur in 2015. It quickly became clear his connections with dealerships across Ohio would make Bruce a great fit in the bank’s growing Indirect Lending Department. So for the last four years, he has helped customers who wish to finance their vehicle purchase from the comfort of the dealership while working closely with the dealers who make that happen.

“These aren’t just business acquaintances. I’ve gotten to know a lot of people over the years and have developed good relationships with many dealers,” Bruce said. He went on to describe the lessons he has instilled in a new employee he has been training. “The key to being successful is developing relationships with people. Find common ground so that you have something to relate to when you’re talking. For me, it might be running or soccer or the fact I lived in Arizona for a while and they did too. Building relationships with people will help you become successful and will help you enjoy your job more.”

Bruce has many interests that he enjoys pursuing outside of work. He has been a soccer referee for eighteen years and will soon take on a new title as the Miller High School Boys Junior Varsity Basketball Coach. Bruce also enjoys running and working out at the gym.

The self-described lifelong learner is an avid reader who enjoys substitute teaching at the high school level. He has a bachelors degree in Public Administration and Social Science from Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania, a masters in Social Science from Ohio University and his teaching license in Social Studies. He also takes online classes from the University of Chicago as time allows.

“I believe there is no such thing as too much education,” Bruce explained. He went on to describe a letter of recommendation from a professor at OU who said she had never seen a student who pursued learning for the sake of learning the way that Bruce did, all while juggling family and career.

Bruce has a grown daughter and a stepson. His wife Korrie is a teacher in Athens County where they reside near Glouster.

“I have enjoyed my forty years in banking and finance. I’ve had the opportunity to meet many good people, interesting people, and to learn a lot from working for different people. Looking back, I have to wonder where the forty years went. Time goes so quickly as the days become weeks and the weeks become years.”

The bank will host a reception in Bruce’s honor at our Friendly Bremen Banking Center on West Fair Avenue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday.

Six Ways To Save On Groceries Today

It’s a necessary purchase and one of the most expensive line items in most household budgets. What is it?

Food.

Everyone has to eat and it can be costly but there are some ways to eat healthy and for less simply by making a few adjustments to eat with the seasons.

  • Eat what’s in season. It typically costs less, isn’t shipped as far and tastes better. For example, melons, berries, cucumbers, zucchini, sweet corn, green beans, tomatoes, cherries and a host of other fruits and vegetables are in season during the summer. In the fall, look for pears, apples, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, peppers and eggplant. Each season offers different bounty and new opportunities to switch up your diet.
  • Go for fresh. Those prepackaged salads are quick and look good but can go from attractive to limp or slimy quickly. Fresh romaine, head lettuce and spinach make a great salad and will last longer. Pre-cut veggies and melons are convenient but cost far more per pound that cutting melon or celery for yourself.
  • Go for frozen. Frozen fruits and veggies are typically picked when ripe and then flash frozen. That means frozen produce is a good substitute for fresh. However, beware the frozen prepared meals which often are packed with sodium and sugar and cost more for their convenience.
  • Eat (and take care of) what you have. How many times have you loaded up your cart with tons of fresh produce only for it to rot in the fridge? Make sure you’re either eating what you buy or learn what can be frozen for later. For example, grapes are an amazing treat when frozen. Even odds and ends of leftover vegetables make a great base for soups or omelets. Fruits go well in smoothies or baked goods.
  • Go meatless. Meatless Monday has long been a popular concept and summer is a great time to try that out. With an abundance of fresh from the garden produce, there’s a world of recipes and meal combinations to entertain your taste buds.
  • Preserve it for later. Learn what kind of produce freezes well. Then you can snatch up deals while the selection is abundant and enjoy the season’s bounty when the price is higher again later.
  • Shop local. By shopping farmers markets or farm stands, you’re getting seasonal foods and supporting a business in your community.

How do you cut grocery costs and still eat healthy? Tell us in the comments. We would love to hear from you!