Making a Difference in the Communities We Serve

Our Story - First Edition

A NEW YEAR - A NEW BRANCH IN NEW HOLLAND

Fast forward to 2020, a year like no other. Again, we saw the glass half full and made the decision to build a new branch in New Holland and help their community at the same time. We are donating our existing building to the Village of New Holland to be used for Village offices, a Community Center and their Historical Society. We plan to have our new branch open in the fourth quarter of 2021 and will post updates and pictures as we write this next chapter in our history.

NEW COMMUNITIES - NEW OPPORTUNITIES

In 2001, we had an opportunity to share our banking vision with the community of New Holland in Logan County, Illinois and in 2004, we did the same in Hopedale, Illinois. By 2005, we had outgrown our space in Tremont. A new addition provided us with the current drive up area and additional office space.

The Beginning

We have a history of seeing the glass half full and finding opportunities for growth, even in difficult times. But that is what you’d expect from a bank that has roots going back to 1879 in Tremont, Illinois. By 1931, we joined with the other bank in town, to become a new bank named The First National Bank in Tremont. Not the easiest time in our country’s history to be starting a new bank to be sure, but when opportunity knocks, wisdom tells us to answer the door. The bank continued to help build and grow the Tremont community through the remainder of the 20th century. Our current building in Tremont was built in 1966 and expanded in 1973.


Why did we pick this phrase for our brand? What does it even mean? Well, the truth is, we didn’t create this...one of our customers did. She had called to thank us for solving a problem with one of her accounts and in the midst of the conversation, said she always tells her friends how satisfied she is with us and that they “just have to experience it to understand the difference.” Sometimes your best ideas come from others, right? With some brainstorming and graphic design work, we had our new brand. You see, our industry’s best kept secret is we all have basically the same products and services. We all function under the same regulations. So WE are the only thing that can set ourselves apart. It may not be easily defined, quantifiable or explained, but we hear it all the time. We do the right things for the right reasons, see opportunities when others may not, live and invest in our communities because we want to and our employees support each other and are known to even have fun at work! 
Our donation to the Village of New Holland is just one example of how we serve our communities and live our brand.  The Village needed a new space for their offices, the Historical Society and the Community Center.  We had a building that would be vacated when we moved to our new branch being built, so we donated our current building, along with a $20,000 grant we received from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, to help pay for remodeling costs of the project.
It’s true, “You Have to Experience It!


Even in a very difficult year, filled with event cancellations and social distancing rules, our team found unique ways to continue to serve our communities and help those in need.

2020 Community Service

613+ Volunteer Hours

60+ Organizations Served

97% Employee Participation

Volunteer night at the Midwest Food Bank

“We’re a “community” bank, and we take that role to heart.  Our success depends on the strength of the people and organizations in the communities we serve.  To that end, we believe volunteering is vitally important.  Whether it’s working a Turkey Festival tent, serving on a charitable board, giving blood, or taking food to a bereaved family, we want to help our friends and neighbors.  Our employees are encouraged to give at least 15 hours of charitable service each year, and I’m proud to share that most all of them achieve that goal.”

— June, President/CEO

“It is so heart-warming to be able to help someone that has an unspoken need.  Usually, I feel better than the person that I have helped!”

— Patty, Customer Experience Specialist I

Whether it’s a team volunteer night at our local food bank, the community share closet,  working the multi-day Hopedale 4th of July event, Tremont Turkey Festival, or the Logan County Fair, our employees really know how to have fun while giving back. On an individual level, we quietly make and deliver food to those in need, provide rides to medical appointments for those who cannot drive, or pet sit for our neighbors due to a family emergency. Still others work with the youth in our communities, serve on Boards of charitable organizations, spend endless hours working the school concession stand or donate blood regularly. Some of our employees help our bigger community by planting milkweed and tracking the life cycle of monarch butterflies in an attempt to support their declining population, or provide regular bird observation information to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 
Whether volunteering as a large group, with just a few of us, or individually, the reason is the same-we care about people, the world we live in and just want to help. It’s just that simple, and we can’t think of any better reason.



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