Lancaster’s Angie Sargent has been elected to serve as Chair of the Pennsylvania Bankers Association’s board of directors, the PA Bankers announced Tuesday.
Sargent is senior executive vice president and chief information officer at Fulton Bank.
“We congratulate and welcome our 2023-24 board of directors, led by Chair Angie Sargent and our officer team,” Duncan Campbell, PA Bankers’ president and CEO, said in a statement. “We are honored to have such dedicated volunteers, and we look forward to working with them as we continue to represent an expansive and diverse membership and help our members to support their communities and the commonwealth.”
Campbell, of Harrisburg, will serve as a non-voting member along with M. Theresa Fosko.
Confirmed at the association’s recent annual convention held June 8 to 11, the board oversees the association’s strategic direction, policies, professional development offerings, member services and advocacy efforts.
Joining with Sargent as officers on the board are Randall Black as first vice chair, William Kuzo as second vice chair, and Mark Ritter as immediate past chair.
Serving as Policy Committee Chairs are Carrie Riggle, member engagement and development, and Clem Rosenberger III, government relations.
Deposit Category Representatives are Scott Daum, Category A ($0-$400M in deposits); Glenn Marshall, Category B ($400M-$1B in deposits); Gerard Champi, Category C ($1B-$4B in deposits); and Jeffrey Schweitzer, Category D ($4B+ in deposits).
Craig Kauffman, president and CEO of PEOPLESBANK in York, has been elected to serve as the PA Bankers Representative for Group Five. Mark Drenchko will represent Group 1, Janak Amin Group 2, Elaine Woodland Group 3, Brian Knepp Group 4, and Christopher Scott Group 5.
At-Large Representatives include Carol Myers, Daniel Schaffer, Lori Maley, Peter Bochnovich, K. Bernard Tynes, Laura Haffner, Evelyn Smalls, and Paul David Spradley.
Never in history have the short-term, mid-term and long-term economic outlooks differed so much.
So said Linda Duessel, senior economic strategist for Pittsburgh-based Federated Hermes, an investment management company, to a crowd of about 150 York business leaders at the 2023 York Economic Forum sponsored by PeopesBank at the Yorktowne Hotel Wednesday.
“We are in unprecedented times, and we will have to go through a recession,” she said. However, “I believe all will be well in the long run.”
Duessel said the reason for the differing outlooks is that the markets are moving fast.
The crosscurrents the country is seeing right now include inflation that hasn’t been seen since the 1970s, the S&P 500 with a wait and see what the Federal Reserve will do, and the concern about the banking system.
“This year is going to be volatile,” she said. “We could see swings decrease if inflation is brought under control.”
Duessel said the stock market forecasting mechanism is saying all will be well and good soon. “We need to be patient. The markets move quickly,” she said.
In fact, she said she believes the S&P will finish the year above 4,000 but “it will be a volatile ride” throughout the year.
In other areas, Duessel said there will be a mild recession on earnings this year but thinks the gross domestic product (GDP) will grow steadily.
A positive, she said, is “the job market is as strong as it was in the 1970s. Consumers have money.”
From 1971 to now, earnings are at near record highs and companies are profitable due to advances in technology, which has helped them overcome some of the labor shortage issues.
“Robots get no pay and don’t take vacation,” she quipped to the audience. “Automation is definitely helping with the labor shortage.”
Corporate debt is manageable with many companies seeing near record balance sheets.
She explained that since the housing bubble of 2007 to 2009, no one bought big. In the ten years following the recovery, corporations “hoarded” cash. That coupled with the last 13 years where the Fed held the rate at zero, corporations took advantage and borrowed money.
“Now they have cash in hand and debt at a low fixed rate. Corporate America is in good shape which gives the country time to to get through this pickle we are in now.”
Duessel said during COVID, money was “printed”, which she said she doesn’t think was done well, so with inflation being at a level not seen since the 1970’s, people under 55 have never experienced anything like this.
Housing, she said, has been affordable since 2015 with historically low rates that, all of a sudden in 2022, disappeared.
Duessel was referring to the millennials who are ready to buy their first home, which, she said, unfortunately is not affordable. Not only that, but the vacancy rate is at a four-decade low.
“There are 90 million millennials. That’s a lot of people who need to live somewhere but there is no stock. I don’t see prices coming down with the number that need homes,” she said.
York-based PeoplesBank recently donated $50,000 to the Y Community Development Corp., which is part of the YMCA of the Roses’ community development work to lift up local neighborhoods through projects ranging from establishing affordable housing to improving public safety infrastructure.
Millersburg-based Mid Penn Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mid Penn Bancorp Inc., announced that its Women’s Leadership Network awarded $16,000 in grants to organizations that have a positive and direct impact on the lives of Pennsylvania women and families. The funds are being distributed among 11 nonprofit groups within Mid Penn’s 16-county service area that aid in areas such as health and wellness, mental health, education, housing and workforce development.
M&T Bank presented 10 nonprofit organizations with $87,500 in year-end donations at its annual “Give Thanks” event Jan. 20. This year’s event celebrated those working to improve the quality of life throughout Dauphin and Cumberland counties.
Each organization received $8,750. The honorees included Big Brothers Big Sisters; Boys & Girls Club; Central Pennsylvania Food Bank; Joshua Group; LEAF Project; New Hope Ministries; Salvation Army – Carlisle; Salvation Army – Harrisburg; United Way of the Capital Region; and United Way of Carlisle & Cumberland County.
Mechanicsburg-based West Shore Home is sponsoring a second Susquehanna Service Dog with the arrival of SSD Remy. She is a 12-week-old, black Labrador retriever who will live with her puppy raiser for the next 15 to 18 months. During that time, she will learn manners, self-control and over 20 foundational cues. SSD Remy will then be matched with her partner, where she will enter advanced training to learn specific tasks to meet their unique needs.
York-based PeoplesBank is donating its building at 1 Manchester St., Glen Rock, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, to the borough of Glen Rock.
PeoplesBank, A Codorus Valley Company and wholly owned subsidiary of Codorus Valley Bancorp Inc., was founded as the “First National Bank of Glen Rock, Penna” in 1864. It was one of the first businesses established after Glen Rock’s incorporation in 1859, a release said, serving as a catalyst of economic growth in the post-Civil War era through the present.
In addition to housing the Glen Rock borough office, the building is home to the Glen Rock Historical Preservation Society, which operates a museum. The society will expand the museum into the portion of the building vacated by the bank as part of the donation, which will be finalized next month.
PeoplesBank, with assets in excess of $2.4 billion, will continue to serve Glen Rock residents at nearby financial centers offering a full spectrum of services.
Society President Jon Nicklow said, “With PeoplesBank’s donation of this historic building located in the center of our town, we have an opportunity to showcase Glen Rock’s place in local history.”
Craig Kauffman, PeoplesBank’s president and CEO, added: “As the birthplace of PeoplesBank, Glen Rock holds a special place in the hearts of every PeoplesBank associate. The donation is another example of the bank’s long-term commitment to the community and our commitment to memorializing the legacy of PeoplesBank’s contribution to the prosperity of the area.”
A great idea turns into a small business, often out of a dining room or garage. As it grows, it will require a brick-and-mortar location, an online presence, or both.
Sounds simple. But with success, comes questions. Where does the capital come from? What type of store is needed? How many employees will be needed?
PeoplesBank, a Codorus Valley Company, which is expanding from its Glen Rock, York County, roots since 1864, into Lancaster and Dauphin counties and northern Maryland, launched a Connections Center in Lancaster that allows small and medium-sized business owners use a large computer screen to create an individual business plan. The interactive screen lets owners move concepts around to see what works best for them before locking into a plan.
The Lancaster center has been so popular since opening last year, the bank opened one in York and will be opening one in Hunt Valley early next year, according to Craig Kauffman, president and CEO of Codorus Valley Company and PeoplesBank.
The brainchild of Chad Clabaugh, chief retail officer for PeoplesBank, the Connections Center uses a 90-inch computer screen to lay out options for financing whatever a company needs.
Kauffman, who joined the bank in 2018 and took on the role of president Oct. 1, said the Connections Center is a continuation of the organization’s culture of being a community bank.
“Our goal is the client is always first. It’s a value-based model,’ he said.
The bank, with total assets of $2.5 billion, works closely with small to mid-sized businesses to ensure they succeed. It’s a philosophy that allows customers to work with a team they can get to know. And this why the Connections Centers were built. Denise Thompson, manager of the PeoplesBank, 101 N. Queen St., Lancaster, home to the first Connections Center, said she works mostly with limited liability companies.
Clients come into the center and create immediate and longtime goals, and even retirement, she said. “The goals are driven by the client, not us. They create a plan for their business, and we help provide the resources.”
PeoplesBank, which has the second largest market share in York County at 15%, behind M&T, relies on the staff knowing the customers. “We grow by word of mouth,” Kauffman said. “It’s a personal experienced where people know their bankers; it is the crux of what we do.”
The mantra is relationships matter. “It’s important for people to know who handles them, who stays with them in good time and bad,” he said. COVID was a good test for that.
Clients, especially those in the hospitality industry, were in a panic, he said. The bank made sure the loans were processed as quickly as possible instead of sending them to a portal, he said. “Many of our customers are better now because they faced diversity and overcame it. It was amazing to watch. We were there every step of the way.”
Now with the infrastructure bill being passed, Kauffman said many of the bank’s clients will need supplies to meet the new demands. “We work with companies with pretty substantial revenues,” he said. “We grow with them, so we build together.”
Peoples can serve about 80% of its market, he said.
Thompson said the Lancaster branch was built so the center counter area can be moved to create a space for community use. “We will have artists in on First Fridays and small businesses come in and show off their merchandise on Small Business Saturdays,” she said. “This is a way for them to take advantage of the busy Queen Street corridor.”
In addition to a board room, there is a “huddle room” for small gatherings or Zoom meetings.
“Our vision is to become the bank of choice,” Kauffman said. “We believe we can grow, especially in adjacent markets while building stronger teams with the best employees without losing our ability to keep personal connections.”
If you’re thinking about starting a business now that the pandemic is over, your business plan might want to spell out what would happen if there was another disaster. That was one piece of advice from panelists at a May 18 Central Penn Business Journal webinar that indicated how much the landscape for startups has changed.
Liz Ackerman, executive director of the Northern Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce, said post-pandemic business plans need what she referred to as “catastrophic clauses.”
“What happens if there is another stretch of time when the business has to be closed for another three to six months and you can’t do business as usual?” she asked.
Ackerman was joined on the panel by Annie Hughes, director of Harrisburg LaunchBox and a management consultant with the Penn State Small Business Development Corporation, and Tammy Clark, vice president and SBA department manager with PeoplesBank. PeoplesBank was the webinar sponsor.
“I think the biggest change right now is our SBA and commercial credit guidelines and how we are actually looking at the credit request,” said Clark.
“If you’ve been heavily reliant on government assistance over the last year, that’s something to be concerned about.”
And Clark had bad news about the Small Business Administration: Not surprisingly, it’s behind on processing applications, especially if you’re relying on a general-processing lender without special lender status.
As the emphasis in the federal Paycheck Protection Program shifts from loan origination to forgiveness, ‘they just don’t have the staff,” she said.
From the perspective of Penn State’s LaunchBox and Innovation Hub Network, which was created specifically to offer resources to entrepreneurs and innovators, Hughes noted an uptick in interest in entrepreneurship and said it didn’t surprise her.
“That’s really consistent with what we’ve seen before in times of economic insecurity,
she said, “like in 2008.”
Hughes recommended that any business plan take into account what’s changed as a result of the pandemic, and what behavioral changes are likely to stick. “People have personal cooking equipment,” she said. “Mental health services had a boom during the pandemic out of necessity.
There are definitely radical changes that we don’t see very often that have happened in consumer behavior.”
All three panelists mentioned the hiring frenzy that has swept southcentral Pennsylvania as COVID restrictions are lifted and business swing back into gear.
“My office is in Camp Hill. I’m not far from the Carlisle Pike,” said Clark, who said she loses count of the number of help wanted signs she sees as she drives from one end of the highway to the other.
Ackerman said she hears the same thing from members of the Northern Lancaster Chamber and described it as a seller’s market for labor.
But Hughes says that doesn’t necessarily put entrepreneurs at a disadvantage in hiring for startups and suggested several nontraditional alternatives to base pay to attract good employees, such as equity profit sharing, deferred bonuses and a willingness to accommodate a different work-life balance. For people with a family, she said, flexibility might be key.
Ackerman mentioned the importance of mentoring before launching a startup, and the presence in Lancaster County of a strong SCORE branch, the nonprofit that offers free business mentoring.
Hughes agreed enthusiastically and said mentors can help you see straight.
“Every entrepreneur is biased towards their own ideas,” she said.
Central Penn Business Journal’s next webinar, Legal Update, is at noon on Tuesday, July 20, and will explore changes in family law, employment law, tax codes and succession planning. Free registration at cpbj.com/webinars
Financial companies across the country and in the central Pennsylvania region are looking ahead to a year defined by greater certainty in 2020, now that phase one of a trade agreement has been signed by the Trump administration and China.
On Jan. 15, President Trump signed a trade deal that requires China to import more U.S. goods in exchange for a reduction in tariffs imposed on Chinese goods.
The United States’ tariff on Chinese-made consumer goods set to be imposed in December has been indefinitely halted, and the 7.5% tariff on $120 billion Chinese goods has been cut in half. In return, China agreed to increase its purchases of American agricultural products to $40 billion annually and increase its imports of other U.S. goods by $200 billion annually.
A January investment strategy report by PeoplesBank, a York-based community bank with 26 locations throughout the south central Pennsylvania area and Maryland, reported confidence among Pennsylvania’s small businesses peaked in the summer of 2018 then slumped as the trade disputes between Beijing and Washington heated up. In the months since then, confidence has ticked upward, though it remains well below its 2018 heights.
“To the extent that business confidence does increase, that should lead to more hiring and more capital investment, which should lead to faster economic growth,” wrote Michael Haun, vice president of investment strategies at PeoplesBank.
PeoplesBank says the trade deal will ease the general economic uncertainty faced by American and Pennsylvania businesses since Trump began waging tariffs on Chinese goods arriving on American shores in January of 2018.
“Over the next several months, we continue to expect that the U.S. economy will remain in an expansion,” Haun said. “The leading economic indicators we follow suggest this outcome, as do easy credit and financial conditions.”
PeoplesBank said its investment strategy for 2020 will be to maintain an asset portfolio that favors stocks rather than bonds, expecting the U.S. economy to remain in an expanding state in the near future.
Globally, the U.S. dollar appreciated over the last two years as tariffs were imposed between Washington and Beijing, which commonly happens during periods of global uncertainty and companies seek the security of the U.S. currency, financial experts say. If global markets perceive more certainty now that the trade deal has been signed, Haun wrote, this should help the dollar to weaken and global borrowers pay back depreciated loans.
This in turn would help U.S. companies with global sales and international stocks to increase their earnings this year, the analysis states.
Record high percentages of Pennsylvania’s business community are feeling optimistic about their local economies and the national economy, a PNC Bank survey published in January reports. According to the Pittsburgh-based bank, 42% of Pennsylvania business leaders say they are optimistic about the local economy, and 47% say they are optimistic about the nationwide economy as a whole.
The business community’s optimistic outlook for 2020 owes a significant amount to consumers, according to PNC’s economic analysis team. Look no further than a national unemployment rate that’s at its lowest in 50 years and a “movement back to homeownership over the shift to renting in the wake of the Great Recession and housing bust,” thanks to low mortgage rates and record-high stocks.
Financial analysts say long-term investments could be discouraged by more unsettled negotiations between U.S. and China surrounding the 25% tariff on $250 billion of Chinese imports from early 2019. PNC and PeoplesBank economists remain skeptical about China and the United States’ projections under the new trade agreement of more than $300 billion in U.S. goods exported to China by the first quarter of 2021.
“China will have to increase their U.S. imports at a rather quick rate to meet their obligation under the trade deal,” Haun wrote. “The skeptic in me thinks that by the end of 2021, it is likely that tariffs will again be discussed when China fails to meet these extremely ambitious targets.”
Clients of PeoplesBank can expect a new brand identity this year as the York-based financial services company seeks to highlight coming innovations in community banking across its 26-branch footprint.
The Codorus Valley Bancorp subsidiary told clients the brand rollout will begin in February when new signs go up for the PeoplesBank Lancaster City Connections Center. Scheduled to open in early spring of 2020, the Lancaster center will reflect a new approach to the traditional banking experience with interactive touch screens to develop personal and business vision boards, officials told investors at a recent earnings call.
“We are excited to bring a fresh new banking experience to Lancaster City in order to meet the needs of this vibrant community,” Craig L. Kauffman, president and CEO of PeoplesBank, told investors during January’s annual earnings report. “Lancaster City has been identified as a high growth market that is currently underserved.”
The revamped image came from PeoplesBank’s analysis and client research in 2019, which studied how the bank’s existing brand was received across all markets. Kristen Heisey, director of marketing and client experience for PeoplesBank, said the cranberry diamond represents clients — “that they are the center of everything we do” — bordering a right-pointing grey arrow, suggesting upcoming innovations in banking operations.
“Our new brand communicates in a fresh way the heart of who we’ve always been at PeoplesBank, an independent and local community bank with a commitment to helping our clients achieve their dreams and live confidently,” Heisey told clients in an official company statement. “The objective of the refresh is to ensure we continue to stay relevant to the changing needs of our current and future clients while keeping several elements of the brand the same.”
A grand opening for the Lancaster City Connection Center’s opening is scheduled for March 9, while a total brand overhaul is scheduled for March 2, Heisey said.
York-based PeoplesBank’s upcoming office in Lancaster will forego the fixtures of an average bank when it opens at Lancaster’s 101NQ building next year, the company announced Tuesday.
The bank’s new “connections center” is set to open at 101 North Queen Street in the spring and is designed around the concept of open communication consisting of built-in conversation areas with booth seating and high-top tables.
Along with the change in furniture, the company’s staff will act more like financial mentors than traditional bankers by talking to clients about their goals and dreams and less about the products offered by the bank, the company said in its announcement.
The new office will still include a teller line located at the back of the center as a secondary feature, with staff available on site to help clients serve themselves through the bank’s app.
“We are excited to bring a new banking experience to Lancaster City in order to meet the needs of the community,” said Craig Kauffman, president and CEO of PeoplesBank. “We have identified Lancaster City as a high growth market that is currently underserved, and we are happy to provide a solution for consumers and businesses who are visiting their local branch less often.”
PeoplesBank will also be looking into how it can use its new space as a community resource by offering financial literacy classes and access to its conference rooms for local non-profits and small businesses.
PeoplesBank operates 26 branches in Pennsylvania and Maryland and has more than $1.8 billion in assets.
PeoplesBank is planning to open a limited-service branch in Bethany Village, a retirement community in Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County.
The bank, based in York Township, York County, has asked state regulators for permission to open the office, which would offer fewer hours than a traditional full-service branch. It would replace a now-closed office operated by Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank.
If approved, the PeoplesBank office would open later this year as the bank’s first at a retirement community in Cumberland. It has offices at five senior-living communities in Lancaster County and six in York, according to Kristen Heisey, the bank’s director of marketing and client experience.
“A lot of banks are moving out of senior-living communities, and we really see it as a need to serve that group of people,” Heisey said.
The Bethany Village office would be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and by appointment, Heisey said.
PNC closed its Bethany Village branch in November 2017 and consolidated it with an office in downtown Mechanicsburg, according to Amy Vargo, a PNC spokeswoman.
“PNC remains committed to branch banking,” Vargo wrote in an email. “We routinely review our branch network to ensure we are serving our customers as efficiently as possible. In some cases, this leads us to the difficult, but necessary decision to consolidate branch locations. In other cases, we may open new branches or relocate exiting branches. When consolidation occurs, we continue to serve our customers and the communities through other, nearby PNC branches, ATMs and through our online and mobile banking offerings.”
PeoplesBank has branches throughout Central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. It is the chief operating subsidiary of Codorus Valley Bancorp Inc., which had assets of $1.8 billion as of March 31.
Gettysburg-based ACNB Bank is testing the waters of the Lancaster County market with a new loan office opening next week in Manheim Township.
For the new office to succeed, ACNB sought loan officers that could help it build a relationship with the area’s business community, according to Jim Helt, president and CEO of ACNB.
Staffing the new office are Adnan Pasic and Ryan Wilhelm, two Lancaster County residents with years of lending experience in the area. Both worked most recently for PeoplesBank, which is based in York Township, York County.
“They live in Lancaster and have an existing clientele in Lancaster. For us to come into the market without knowing anyone, it wouldn’t have worked,” Helt said.
Pasic was hired as a vice president and Lancaster market executive. Wilhelm is a vice president and commercial loan officer.
They will be based out of the office, which is at 160 North Pointe Blvd., and are responsible for building commercial customer relationships in the county.
ACNB has 22 branches in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties and a loan office in Spring Garden Township, York County. A division of the company, NWSB Bank, operates seven branches in Maryland.
Helt said the Lancaster County market is a natural extension of ACNB Bank’s current footprint in Central Pennsylvania. He also cited Lancaster’s similarity to Gettysburg as a hub for tourism, with more restaurants and hotels than other counties.
“We understand that niche business and we believe we have something to offer,” he said.
The opening of a loan office is a strategy that ACNB has used in York, Chambersburg and Franklin counties. Helt said the idea is to test the market and the Lancaster community before eventually opening a full-service branch.
“Starting on the commercial side and building up those relationships over time with the lending avenues is a more efficient and productive path to success,” he said.
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