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Villa Grove State Bank celebrates centennial year

Submitted Photo Pictured from left to right Brad Beccue, Jennifer Bender, Marsha Hillard, Janet Hettinger, Scott Beccue, Jacki Burchett, Amie Maestas, Jimmie Vandeventer, Jennifer Arbuckle, Debbie Albin, Candace Vandeventer, Don Cler, Lisa Corum, Crystal Vecchio.

All year long, we’ve been celebrating the centennial year of the Villa Grove State Bank with a superb series of historical articles by Kent Elam.  For our series finale, we decided to see what’s in store for the future of the iconic VG institution.

What is new at the Villa Grove State Bank?

There are many new products and services at the bank.  We are now offering mobile banking, bill pay, e-statements, we have enhanced our internet banking platform, our customer bank statements have a new, modern look and feel. Behind the scenes we are now out sourcing our data processing. It has been a busy couple of years at Villa Grove State Bank.

What are some services that the bank used to offer that have become obsolete in the last century?

With technology we no longer use the big bulky proof machine. Hand written ledgers to track account balances have been replaced with computers.  Hand counting coin trays have been replaced with the automated coin counting machine.   

What kind of services can you envision the bank offering over the next 100 years that might seem far-fetched today?

A total cashless society?  We seem to be heading that direction.  Banks with no tellers? Everything will be done online.

Has there ever been any thought given to expanding the bank to other communities?

We have had discussions about expansion in the past but what we are currently doing is working great.  If the right opportunity presents itself we would certainly look at it.

Have the bank’s customers changed over the past century?  How? 

We see fewer and fewer customers in the lobby of the bank.  Between the convenience of the drive-up facility and the use of technology many customers rarely come into the lobby.  In the past all customers came to the lobby.

 What has been the single biggest change, both to Villa Grove State Bank, and to banking in general over the past century?

Technology, with increased banking regulation a close second.  The advances in technology have changed our society as a whole and the banking industry is no different. 

What are the best steps to take for someone who wants a career in banking?

A degree in Finance or accounting is a great start.  If a person can get some experience at a bank either part time or an internship is also helpful.

The bank has always been an active and supportive member of the community and the school.  Is that by design or has it just evolved that way?  Why?

This is definitely by design.  Our ownership has always been committed to the school and community.  The school is an integral part of the community. We feel if we work together we can all be healthier at the end of the day.  If we can help facilitate projects by helping these organizations it is win win for them and the bank.  

Are there any special activities planned for November 1, your 100th birthday?

Yes.  We are hosting an open house October 23rd – 26th. We will have cake, punch, cider, etc.  We also have a couple of special events planned.  Please go to the banks face book page for details.  We will have our grand prize drawing for $1,919 on Friday the 25th.  We invite everyone to come and celebrate with us. 

Is there anything you would like to add?

We work to provide modern products and services for our customers while keeping the small-town atmosphere.  The bank’s staff and Board of Directors want to thank our loyal customers for their support over the years.  We look forward to offering the same service you expect from “Your Hometown Community Bank” for another century.

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