Farmers National Bank emphasizes United Way support, growth of financial management group

February 09, 2004|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - On Feb. 10, 1879, Farmers National Bank opened its doors for the first time, even though those first doors did not belong to the bank.

The Danville bank's first home was a house on Main Street the bank rented. The bank acquired the red-brick Whitely Building on the south side of West Main Street eight years later. In 1937, the bank enlarged and remodeled that location at a cost of $100,000.

At the bank's opening there were two employees: J.G. Cecil was the first president and CEO of the bank, and G.W. Welsh Jr. was the cashier. Two more employees were soon added: G.W. Welsh Sr. was named vice president and J.H. Engleman was the teller.

"A tradition built on relationships," is the bank's slogan. President and CEO Greg Caudill and Director of Marketing Sharon Howell point to relationships that have kept the bank growing and building. Those relationships are not only with individuals but with businesses and other organizations.


Caudill is the 11th CEO in the bank's history.

As part of the 125th anniversary celebration, the bank has joined with the Heart of Kentucky United Way and urged the bank's employees and people in the communities the bank serves to support the United Way.

"We really want to give back to the communities, and we think the United Way is the best way," Caudill said last week.

He said the United Way supports agencies that help people of all ages in all of the communities where Farmers has banks.

Caudill, who went to work at Farmers in 1981, became president and CEO a little more than a year ago. He has worked with the United Way for 15 years.

Farmers' employees are urged to be active in civic organizations in their communities. Caudill has also helped with the Great American Brass Band Festival since its inception.

Farmers now employs 120 people in three counties

From a four-member staff and one bank, Farmers has grown to employ 120 people in three counties. The bank has full-service offices in Junction City, Perryville, Harrodsburg and Stanford in addition to the main office at the corner of Third and Main streets.

The bank also has four express locations in Danville; they can be found in Greenleaf Shopping Center, Danville Square Shopping Center, Southtown off of the bypass, and on East Main across from the Danville post office. At the beginning of this year, the Burgin office was switched from a full-service bank to an express branch.

The express locations provide very basic banking services such as cashing checks, withdrawals from saving and checking accounts and deposits to both savings and checking accounts. However, to open a checking or savings account, the customer must go to one of the full-service locations.

Farmers Bank-United Way pledge cards may be picked up at any of Farmers' offices and Caudill said the money will be sent to the United Way chapter the person pledging the funds prefers. In the two other counties where Farmers has offices, Lincoln County is part of Heart of Kentucky United Way; in Harrodsburg and Mercer County it is United Way of Mercer County.

A bank service Caudill points to as a growth area for the bank is Farmers Financial Management Group, which is headed by Senior Vice President Mort Hoagland. The group is on the ground floor of the main office, but members are available to meet with customers in all three counties Farmers serves.

"We think that's one of the keys to our future," Caudill said.

The group offers services in investment management, financial planning, trusts and estates, managed IRAs, brokerage and insurance and retirement planning.

The group includes Richard Born, an attorney, who Caudill said "is, as far as we know, the only certified financial planner in the county. We want to make trust (business) more retail."

Howell points out that when Farmers expanded into Lincoln and Mercer counties, they were able to utilize bank employees who live in those counties.

"They knew the Farmers Bank way and they took the show on the road," she said.

She relies on those employees as the eyes and ears of the bank in those areas, especially where advertising and community services are concerned. All of the bank's locations have advisory boards.

When the full-service banks and the Burgin branch open their doors Tuesday, they also will be opening doors to open houses. Howell said the open houses will be held from opening until closing. Since those times vary, those wishing to attend the events should contact the bank they plan to visit.

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