OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE PENNSYLVANIA ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNITY BANKERS

Pub 3 2021 Issue 1

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Hometown Banker Pub 3 2021 Issue 1

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Communities across Pennsylvania are growing and thriving because their community banks care. The service and commitment demonstrated by community bank employees keeps customers faithful and their sincerity keeps others hopeful. It is because of these employees that communities across the Commonwealth are thriving and becoming better places to live and work.

When it comes to community banking in Pennsylvania, the uniqueness, talents and attributes of the 14,000 individual community bank employees combine to make the entire industry greater than the sum of its parts.

As we travel across Pennsylvania, we meet community bank employees from many different backgrounds. Some are new to the industry, while others have worked their entire careers in it. No matter how long these employees have been involved in banking, they all share a common thread — a love for their community. They truly are the ones responsible for bettering their hometowns.

As part of an ongoing series, each issue we will be featuring interviews with these community bank employees, these “Hometown Champions.” Through these interviews, we hope to gain some insight into what makes the community banking industry great in Pennsylvania.

This month we chat with Hometown Champions from Atlantic Community Bankers Bank (ACBB), located in Cumberland County.

Owned and managed by community bankers for community bankers, ACBB has been serving financial institutions since 1983. They provide correspondent services to over 300 shareholder banks in addition to many non-shareholder banks. From their full product and service lineup to banking expertise with a personal touch, they help customers meet the needs of their communities.

ACBB is headquartered in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, with a branch office in Newark, New, Jersey, where their technology subsidiary, BITS, is headquartered. They serve community banks in the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions, offering both credit and non-credit services. Their aggregation capabilities with their business partners provides superior pricing to match their high level of customer service. ACBB specializes in helping community banks remain profitable and competitive. We are proud to introduce you to ACBB’s Hometown Champions.

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Orlando Cleaves

Orlando Cleaves
AVP, Human Resources Manager

PACB: How did you get into community banking?

ORLANDO: I was always a hard worker that enjoyed working with people. It was later that I learned, it was not just about working with people, it was the networking and helping aspect of my dealings with people. After spending many years in the retail, service, and hospitality industry, I found a new interest in helping others and rather than spending countless hours on the clock, I found banking. It was a mixture of in-office hours and time spent in the community. In the late 90s, banking was prestigious, financially rewarding, Monday through Friday and most of all, it was a way that I could grow my career and continue to network and help people all at the same time.

PACB: What is the most rewarding aspect of working in community banking?

ORLANDO: The most rewarding aspect of community banking is not only do I have a genuine interest in helping others, but the bank also has a genuine interest in helping others, and the communities that they serve. I believe the impact that community banking has on the community is far more than their expectations from the community.

PACB: People always want a definition of “community bank,” what’s yours?

ORLANDO: Unlike larger institutions, community banks are vested in the communities they operate within and are often owned by a family from that community. They exist to be the place to go when you need that personal and customized twist to your banking experience.

PACB: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

ORLANDO: Most people do not know that growing up, I wanted to be a stuntman/daredevil. I was born and raised in the inner city of Philadelphia, the middle son of five siblings, and was the only one from my household to graduate from High School. I have since successfully completed programs from three reputable colleges.

PACB: What is the 5th picture in your camera roll on your phone, and can you please share the story behind it?

ORLANDO: The fifth picture in my camera roll is a picture of me from 2014 during a company golf outing with my former employer. It was a great capture of my follow through after teeing off. Although, I am not a good golf player, you would not know from looking at the picture. In all cases, aside from practice, it is the consistency, proper structure and form that takes you from good to great.

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Sarah Karwath

Sarah Karwath
VP, Commercial Lending

PACB: How did you get into community banking?

SARAH: I got into community banking after I finished college in 2009. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after school, but the opportunity came along at Atlantic Community Bankers Bank, and I am thankful that it did because I love what I do, and it is a fulfilling job.

PACB: What is the most rewarding aspect of working in community banking?

SARAH: The most rewarding aspect of working in community banking is knowing that you are only not working for your company but for the whole community. I enjoy going to work every day and interacting with our clients. It is interesting to think about how my job affects the community and how each transaction that I process is important, whether it is a wire for a mortgage, a holiday cash order for someone to gift to a relative, etc.

PACB: People always want a definition of “community bank,” what’s yours?

SARAH: A community bank is a bank that serves the individuals and businesses in its community. Community banks make financial services affordable and accessible and support the growth of communities. Community banks are vital to the people that they serve.

PACB: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

SARAH: I enjoy skiing and snowboarding. When I was learning how to snowboard, I broke my wrist and arm.

PACB: What is the 5th picture in your camera roll on your phone, and can you please share the story behind it?

SARAH: I have many pictures of my dog, MeMe, on my phone, so not surprisingly she was the fifth picture in my camera roll. At Christmastime, she likes to sleep under the tree.

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Brandi Lambert

Brandi Lambert
VP Loan Administration Officer and Loan Documentation Manager

PACB: How did you get into community banking?

BRANDI: I was looking for a job but not sure which direction to go. Knowing that I loved numbers, I started applying for a variety of positions with different banks. I was offered a couple of teller positions but had one last interview scheduled with ACBB. I had a feeling that I needed to go to this last interview before I committed to an offer, and I’m glad I did. I was hired on the spot and started the next day. I’m now 21 years into my journey with ACBB.

PACB: What is the most rewarding aspect of working in community banking?

BRANDI: The most rewarding aspect of working in a community bank to me is the people. I love the relationships that I have developed with our client banks over the years. I have laughed, cried, and celebrated with so many great people over the years.

PACB: People always want a definition of “community bank,” what’s yours?

BRANDI: A community bank is so much more than a bank. To me, a community bank is personal, a friendship, a family there to support you and believe in your dreams.

PACB: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

Brandi: I love downhill mountain biking. As the weather starts to warm, my family travels to a variety of bike parks to ride their downhill trails. We love every place we ride, but our favorite is Killington in Vermont.

PACB: What is the 5th picture in your camera roll on your phone, and can you please share the story behind it?

BRANDI: The fifth picture on my phone is of the “iconic” South of the Border sign and sombrero tower taken as we were coming home from Florida in December. Between visiting Mickey in Disney and Christmases in Tampa, my family has spent plenty of time traveling to and from Florida and South of the Border is a required stop that brings a smile to our faces. We always take a picture on our way south and then again on our way home, it’s as if our vacation begins and ends when we see the big, yellow sombrero.

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Virginia Wright

Virginia Wright
AVP, Relationship Manager

PACB: How did you get into community banking?

VIRGINIA: Years back, I spent some time working for Dauphin Deposit Bank in the Customer Service Division. It was fast-paced, fun, crazy, and each day presented different ways to assist customers. I found that I enjoyed helping people and that there was satisfaction in making their day just a little more pleasant. Fast forward to 2002, after having two children, I decided I wanted to reenter the workforce full time. Curiosity got the best of me when I saw an ad for “Atlantic Central Bankers Bank,” now “Atlantic Community Bankers Bank,” in the newspaper. Many years later, I now know what a “bankers bank” is. I love what I do, and the curiosity to find ways to assist our client banks in reaching their full potential makes community banking even more exciting to me every day.

PACB: What is the most rewarding aspect of working in community banking?

VIRGINIA: The most rewarding aspect of working in community banking is the opportunity to nurture and grow relationships with our client financial institutions. From my perspective, I am a cheerleader for the community banks, a supporter of community banks, and lastly, a resource. The best part about my job is hearing the many success stories shared by our client bankers, which often includes ACBB.

PACB: People always want a definition of “community bank,” what’s yours?

VIRGINIA: A bank in a geographic area that values relationships, family, and community. A community bank treats customers as more than just a number or a goal to meet while respectfully caring about the people who are their customers. A community bank provides a personal touch to the complete banking relationship.

PACB: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

VIRGINIA: My serious side will say that I am an avid reader. I read many books a month and typically have anywhere from 2-4 books going at the same time. I prefer holding a book, but I always make sure that I have books available to read on my Kindle. The non-serious side of me will say that I am a huge Muppets fan and even have a framed picture of Jim Henson with Kermit the Frog hanging in my house.

PACB: What is the 5th picture in your camera roll on your phone, and can you please share the story behind it?

VIRGINIA: The fifth picture on my camera roll is a picture of my first sporting clay event that Joe Krzywicki from ACBB and I attended with other bankers. We did not disclose that it was the first time I ever held a gun of any sort! Good news, nobody got hurt. I even returned a few more times. Let’s just say, there is room for improvement!

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