"We are not just a community bank. We are a bank for the community.”
The dream of starting a locally owned and managed full service community financial institution began in 2006 when a group of Bedford county business leaders formed an organizing group. Included in the group were Don DeArment of Friends Cove Mutual Insurance, Barry Ressler of Ressler, Inc., Todd Roadman of Reed, Wertz & Roadman, Merle Helsel, associate professor at Allegany College of Maryland and former president of First American National Bank , Ted Chwatek, past president of First American Bank, Darrell Dodson of Dodson Brothers, Bob Appleby of Everett Foodliner and John Corle of Corle Construction. The necessary regulatory approvals were obtained and a campaign to raise capital through the sale of stock was begun in the fall of 2006. “I’m especially pleased that many of our stockholders are local Bedford County citizens. This really makes Hometown Bank their bank”, commented Mr. Helsel. In April, 2007, Hometown Bank opened its first branch in Everett and in July of the same year opened a branch in Bedford.
Fast forward ten years to 2017, when the Bank had grown to an asset size of over $150 million, the decision was made to open a third branch. Land was acquired and a new building was constructed in Claysburg and Hometown Bank’s third branch was opened in September, 2017. Claysburg was chosen because it was a community similar to Bedford and Everett. The Bank’s philosophy of delivering outstanding customer service remains the Bank’s primary cornerstone. The Bank offers a full service of traditional banking products combined with today’s technology. ATMs are located at each of the Bank’s offices. Customers are able to access their accounts through automatic telephone service, through the internet, on their mobile devices as well as calling the bank directly and speaking directly with an employee.
“We don’t have fancy slogans about customer service, but we do have experienced bank employees who care about their customers and will give them the highest level of service and commitment. Our employees are committed and believe in Hometown Bank”, said Beth Manges, President and CEO. “Our employees have the authority to take care of the customers. Changing accounts can be a complicated process for some customers and our employees are able to guide them through the entire process. We will do whatever it take to take care of the customer.”
The Bank’s loan products include small business loans as well as consumer loans and home mortgage loans. The Bank’s loan officers include Jim Gonsman, Carol Clark, Rod Clapper, Sue Plummer, Jo Corle and Stephanie Cessna. All have expansive banking experience and are involved in community organizations and activities. The Bank’s loan rates and fee structure is competitive, but the Bank’s true edge is delivering what the customer needs. All loans are approved and documented locally. Knowing the customers and businesses in Bedford County helps the Bank to deliver personalized service and meet individual business needs.
In 2015, the Bank lost one of its founding board members when Darrell Dodson passed away unexpectedly. Mark Kelly president of NPC in Claysburg, Pennsylvania was asked to join the board. Mark has been a welcome addition to the Hometown Bank Board of Directors. In late 2017, Ted Chwatek, announced his retirement and Beth Manges was selected as the new President and CEO. Beth has been with Hometown Bank since the Bank’s formation in 2007 as Branch Operations Manager and Loan Officer. She has taken on increasing levels of responsibility and management within the Bank and was instrumental in opening the new Claysburg branch of Hometown Bank in September, 2017. She brings with her a banking career of over twenty-eight years. Before Hometown Bank, she held a variety of banking positions, working her way up to being a Commercial Loan Officer at the former Susquehanna Bank. “In 2017, we celebrated the Bank’s ten year anniversary and we are confident Beth and her management team have the experience and skills to lead the Bank into its next ten years and beyond,” said Merle Helsel, Chairman of the Board of Directors.