2018 was a transformational year of growth for Community Bank in many ways. Community Bank is confident that this transformation will create long term value.
Growth through acquisition: On April 30, 2018 Community Bank closed on the merger of First West Virginia Bancorp (“FWVB”) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Progressive Bank (Wheeling, WV), into CBFV. This transaction added eight branch offices, approximately $350 million in assets. The general economy of the footprint of this new market in West Virginia and Eastern Ohio (contiguous to our Southwestern Pennsylvania market) is generally positive with robust shale gas development and with momentum for petrochemical industry investment.
In addition, on August 1, 2018, Exchange Underwriters, the Bank’s wholly-owned insurance brokerage subsidiary, , purchased the Beynon Insurance Agency of Pittsburgh, PA. The Beynon Agency is a well-known name, synonymous with the Pittsburgh business community. In addition, Beynon’s book of business further expands both the insurance brokerage business and bank brand into the vibrant Pittsburgh Metropolitan area. Patrick G. O’Brien, CB’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said “Beynon Insurance is a well-known Pittsburgh-based agency. This combination is consistent with our increasing focus on the greater Pittsburgh market. Additionally, when you combine this transaction with our recently completed merger with Progressive Bank, , we are truly excited about our expanded footprint and our ability to bring our competitive products and “high-touch” service to the businesses and consumers of these markets.
Growth within the core company: In the midst of a year marked with the hard work of the acquisition and assimilation of two companies, the sales and support teams were successful in growing the core company. Community Bank is enjoying a strong economy in Southwestern Pennsylvania that includes growth in the technology, medical, educational, shale gas development and petrochemical industries.
The dedicated and hardworking team was successful in growing the loan portfolio (excluding the loans acquired from Progressive Bank) by 9.8%. This was primarily in the commercial loan portfolio, which grew 17.9%. To complement the loan growth, on October 18, 2018, they opened a Loan Production Office in the vibrant North Hills of the Pittsburgh market. (Warrendale, PA) It is staffed with two commercial lenders and a mortgage lender and has “hotel office space” for other lines of business. In addition, excluding the deposits acquired in the FWVB merger, Community Bank was successful in growing their core deposits by $26.4 million, or 3.4%.
Growth in our brand awareness: As reported last year, the bank had embarked on the remodeling of a 22,500 sq. ft. building in Washington, PA (well positioned in the middle of the company’s footprint) to become their Corporate Headquarters. On August 15, 2018, they officially opened the facility and appropriately named it the Barron P. McCune, Jr. Corporate Center in honor of their recently retired CEO and Vice Chairman, Pat McCune’s for his long term of service, leadership and vision for the company. The building is in a high visibility corridor of Interstate 70 and is seen by thousands of motorists daily.
In addition, they have raised their brand awareness in the Pittsburgh and greater Southwestern Pennsylvania markets through a more robust marketing plan utilizing powerful area media outlets along with creative, low cost, social media platforms. This same model has been employed in their new markets in West Virginia and Eastern Ohio to assist in the retention of current customers and to attract new ones.
During 2018 Community Bank saw changes in the Board of Directors, the members voted to re-elect Ralph J. Sommers, Jr. as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Sommers joined the Community Bank family in 1979 and has served Community Bank for 39 years. Mr. Sommers has served on the Board of Directors since 1983 and as Board Chairman since 1999. Mr. Sommers led Community Bank with the theme: “We are your friends, your neighbors, and your partners in progress. We are your Community Bank.” Mr. Sommers was honored in 2017 with the opening of the Ralph J. Sommers Jr. Operations Center in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.
In addition, the Board of Directors voted Mark Fox as Vice-Chairman. Previously, Barron P. “Pat” McCune, served as Vice-Chairman since 1992 and retired at the June 20th’s Board Meeting. He will continue serving Community Bank as Director Emeritus. .
Mr. Fox is the owner of Fox Ford dealership in Waynesburg, PA. Mr. Fox has served on the Community Bank Board of Directors since 1998. On his appointment, Mr. Fox said, “It is an honor. Pat McCune has served as Vice Chairman for years and I hold him in highest regard.”
Community Bank is a family tradition for Mr. Fox. His maternal Great-Great Grandfather was Isaac B. Patterson, one of the first Board Members for First National Bank of Carmichaels, later renamed Community Bank. Mr. Fox said, “Even though I never met my Great-Great Grandfather, I am proud to continue our family’s legacy of leadership at a fine local institution like Community Bank.”
Also during 2018 Ralph Burchianti, was appointed to the Community Bank Board of Directors. Ralph currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer. He has been with Community Bank for over 35 years and has contributed greatly to the growth and success of the Bank.
Growth through community service: Throughout 2018, Community Bank continued to serve its communities in many unique and meaningful ways. Through their popular “Community Bank Cares” program, they donated $41,800 in 2018 and $216,600 from the program start, $100 at a time to over 740 churches and charities throughout the market area. Each of those donations were of our customers’ preference when that customer borrowed, or opened a meaningful deposit account.
In addition, the community-minded employees logged thousands of hours of service to the many communities within the market through their churches, economic development organizations and service clubs.
At the core of the company’s value is its people. Patrick G. (Pat) O’Brien recently said “I highly commend our dedicated employees for their performance in 2018. We asked so much from them as we assimilated two new companies while still growing our core organization. Their performance was nothing short of remarkable.”
About CB Financial Services, Inc.
CB Financial Services, Inc. is the bank holding company for Community Bank, a Pennsylvania-chartered commercial bank located in Washington, Pennsylvania. Community Bank operates sixteen offices in Greene, Allegheny, Washington, Fayette, and Westmoreland Counties in southwestern Pennsylvania, seven offices in Brooke, Marshall, Ohio, Upshur and Wetzel Counties in West Virginia, and one office in Belmont County in Ohio. Community Bank offers a broad array of retail and commercial lending and deposit services and provides commercial and personal insurance brokerage services through Exchange Underwriters, Inc., its wholly owned subsidiary.
For more information about CB Financial Services, Inc. and Community Bank, visit our website at www.communitybank.tv.