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New bank to open State College branch

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Jack Infield, left, divisional president for Old Dominion National Bank, and Mark Merrill, Old Dominion's president and CEO
Jack Infield, left, divisional president for Old Dominion National Bank, and Mark Merrill, Old Dominion's president and CEO - (Photo / )

A bank started by executives with midstate ties is planning to open its first branch in Pennsylvania.

Centre1st Bank is a new division of Virginia-based Old Dominion National Bank.

It is hoping to have a State College branch up and running by February 2019, according to Jack Infield, divisional president for Old Dominion and a former executive with Graystone Bank, which was sold in 2012.

Based in Tysons Corner, Virginia, Old Dominion is led by president and CEO Mark Merrill, another former Graystone executive who joined Old Dominion in 2015. Old Dominion has four branches in Virginia: three in the Charlottesville area and one in Tysons Corner. It has about $240 million in assets.

Old Dominion has operated a loan production office in State College for about 18 months and has originated about $60 million in loans and $15 million in deposits, Infield said. It began using the Centre1st name in November.

The bank also has about 150 shareholders in the region who invested about $25 million during a 2018 capital raising. 

The new division and branch are the next step, Infield and Merrill said in an interview. The bank focuses on lending to small and midsized businesses.

"This will allow us to grow for the next 12 to 24 months," Merrill said.

Centre1st's State College branch is at 1276 N. Atherton St., formerly home to a branch of Nittany Bank which was purchased by National Penn Bank in 2006 and eventually absorbed into BB&T Corp.

The branch will employ 10 people, including commercial and residential lenders. Among them will be Samuel Malizia, an attorney who co-founded Nittany Bank. He is vice chairman of Centre1st's advisory board.

Merrill said the bank is weighing further expansion in Pennsylvania, with loan production offices possible in both the Lehigh Valley and the Harrisburg area. But, he added, there is no timeline.

"We want to build Centre County and the State College market and then be opportunistic," he said.

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Joel Berg

Joel Berg

Joel Berg is editor of the Central Penn Business Journal. Born in Philadelphia, raised in Northern Virginia and now living in York, he's a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College and the University of Maryland. Have a question or story idea? Email him at jberg@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JoelBYorkPa.

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