Community State Bank Holds Annual Shareholders Meeting
As he prepares to step down as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Community State Bank late next year, Paul H. Yohn, Jr. knows he will be leaving everything in good hands with new chief operating officer (COO) Trudy K. Everhart that will succeed him when he retires. Yohn gave a report on the state of the bank during its annual shareholders meeting held Thursday at Orbisonia.
Yohn thanked board of directors chairman Emory Parsons, Jr. for his kind words on his pending retirement and on Everhart’s replacing him as CEO. (See separate story). In 2013, Yohn said he will be 70 years old and feels it is time to get out and let the “young bucks” run the bank.
He said it has been a wonderful 30 years for him since first coming to work at the bank on Dec. 1, 1982, and the bank has come a long way during that time and has a long way to go. He noted the loss of 260 community banks across the country per year and the reason for that – regulators overzealously pushing community banks into mergers.
“Regulators apply the same regulations to a multi-billion dollar Wall Street bank as they do to us. Those Wall Street banks have tons of auditors, lawyers and people who can fight the regulators or do what they say,” he said.
“You’re setting in the training room of the only community bank headquartered in Huntingdon County. We’re the last of the Mohicans,” stated Yohn.
Many community banks, he continued, are going by the wayside very, very frequently and it’s getting tough to do. “I believe you have a board of directors and over 100 employees that are dedicated to this bank and to not only the communities here in Huntingdon County, but also in Fulton and Bedford counties and we’re going to stay the course,” Yohn said.
While many banks are “on their heels” fighting regulators, Yohn said CSB is “on its toes” and is going to continue to stay there and to be the best community bank in central Pennsylvania. Yohn said he knows in his heart that the people operating CSB offices love what they are doing, and the bank is going to be the life of the community and bank officials are going to continue with what they’ve done in the past.
Yohn provided a quick overview of what happened in 2011 that included ending the year with $293 million in total assets, growing $17 million, which he said is about the lowest they’ve grown in the past 8 to 10 years. Deposits were up around $267 million, or an increase of $15 million from the previous year, and loans were around $215 million, or $12 million up from the previous year.
While other banks are not loaning money, Yohn said CSB is and has never stopped. “What we have done, we have done on our own and our growth has been methodical and not by acquisitions. We are one of the fastest growing banks in Huntingdon County,” continued Yohn.
Back in 2000 CSB has 23 percent of the deposits in the county and as of June 2011, it had 34 percent. One of the bank’s “hot spots” has been in Fulton County where the bank constructed a new branch in McConnellsburg in 2009.
In 2000, Yohn said CSB had 7.5 percent of deposits in Fulton County and now has a total of 25.8 percent of deposits there as of June 2011. This occurs because other banks merged with larger banks and the only thing they care about is people’s pocketbooks and social security numbers.
“At CSB, we care about who you are, who the customer is and what their needs are. We care about them and their kids, we want to help them build a house and help their kids who just got out of school buy a car,” he said.
In 1987, Yohn said a Bancorp was formed and one of the main reasons for this was to have antitakeover provisions to prevent a hostile takeover of the bank and to allow it to remain an independent community bank. He said it is the intentions of CSB officials to stay independent.
“God has blessed this bank with its employees and customers that have helped us through some very difficult situations and we just continue to grow. I think this is because we stayed focused on the small guy, the people who need the money and the people who are going to make our bank go,” continued Yohn.
During the bank’s 60th Anniversary in 2011, Yohn said the bank spent a lot of money giving away five $5,000 grants to nonprofit organizations to help them out with projects they were doing. Ten additional $500 grants were also given out since Yohn said there are so many groups out their trying to do things to improve life in their communities and the bank wanted to give back and help them accomplish their projects.
“One of our goals last year was to help these people out; to give back to the community who gave to us and made us what we are today. Part of our vision and our strategic plan for this bank is to give back to the community. We just gave $1,000 to five area food banks that are hurting,” he said.
Yohn told shareholders that the bank is solid due in part to those they chose as directors and employees who have dedicated their lives to the bank. He said he receives many compliments on the service provided at all of its branch offices and said this is due to the friendly employees throughout its banking system.
“We take care of people out on the street and they take care of us,” Yohn told shareholders. Yohn said he feels the bank is even going to be more successful in the future with the change in the regime and with the same people and the same directors.
In the future, he said the bank is going to focus more on technology in order to stay competitive, but will not forget those customers such as the elderly who may not be computer literate. The bank, he said, must continue to make things as easy as possible for older customers who are not attuning to technology.
However, he said the bank must prepare itself to adequately deal with the younger generation and their use and need of today’s technology. “There has to be a happy medium somewhere to serve all our customers’ needs,” continued Yohn.
During the next 18 months, as Everhart is in transition for her new role as CEO, Yohn said he will be there to assist her. He said it has been a joy, honor and a pleasure to be part of the CSB family and feels that Parson’s father, Emory Parsons Sr., who started the bank in January 1951, would be proud of the bank’s accomplishments.
“The focus then was on customer service and it still is today. The everyday friendly performance of employees at all our branches is our key to success and will be in the future,” concluded Yohn.