By Debbie Adams
Bank of Botetourt held the formal grand opening celebration of its Vinton branch on August 19 with the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce and officials from the Town of Vinton. The bank had opened the doors for business at 410 South Pollard Street in downtown Vinton on July 26 but made it official with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Chamber Executive Director Angie Chewning welcomed Bank of Botetourt to Vinton, and introduced bank President and CEO G. Lyn Hayth III.
“We, Bank of Botetourt, are very happy to be standing here today to celebrate our newest office in the beautiful and growing Town of Vinton,” said Hayth. “This has been on our wish list for several years, and I am happy today to be presenting our 13th Bank of Botetourt office to the Town of Vinton and Roanoke County. This is our fourth ribbon-cutting and office dedication in a little over five years.”
Hayth noted that during those five years, Bank of Botetourt has been thriving, growing in assets from $345 million to more than $645 million. The earnings of $320,562,000 for the six months ending June 2021 had increased from $1,105,000 for the six months ending June 2016 – over a 200 percent increase in earnings as well as nearly a 100 percent increase in asset size.
Bank of Botetourt, chartered in 1899, will celebrate its 122nd anniversary in September. The bank operates 13 retail offices in Botetourt, Rockbridge, Roanoke, and Franklin counties and the City of Salem. The company also operates a mortgage division, Virginia Mountain Mortgage, and a financial services division, Botetourt Wealth Management.
Hayth said, “During the past six years, three community banks in the Roanoke MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) have ceased to exist as a local independent community bank, the key words being ‘local, independent and community.’ In fact, Virginia has seen over a 30 percent decline in community banks over the past six years–100 banks headquartered in Virginia in 2014 are down to 68 today or less. This is not to mention the banks that are closing branches due to mergers and downsizing. Again, this is our fourth new office in five years. We are proud of our heritage and our strong and profitable growth.
“I would like to emphasize ‘local,’” Hayth continued. “We are not headquartered in another state, not 150 miles from here, and not even 60 miles from here. Our bank board and staff live, work and shop local; we don’t pretend to be local; we are local.”
Hayth went on to thank the Town of Vinton and Roanoke County for their cooperation and encouragement. He specifically thanked local government leaders Vinton Mayor Brad Grose, Vice Mayor Sabrina McCarty, and Town Council members Laurie Mullins, Keith Liles, and Mike Stovall; Town Manager Pete Peters, Assistant Town Manager Cody Sexton, and town department heads Chasity Barbour (Director of Community Programs), Anne Cantrell (Treasurer and Director of Finance), Donna Collins (Director of Human Resources), Chief of Police Fabricio Drumond, Director of Public Works Bo Herndon, Planning and Zoning Director Anita McMillan, and Town Clerk/Executive Assistant Susan Johnson, most of whom were on hand for the ceremony.
Mayor Grose commended Hayth and Bank of Botetourt for “becoming part of the community so quickly.” He noted that the bank is located on the corner of Pollard Street and Cleveland Avenue, where the iconic High’s Ice Cream once stood. The mayor and Town Manager Peters presented Hayth with a Vinton flag and the traditional “InVinton” lapel pin.
Hayth introduced Bank of Botetourt Senior Vice President Andy Shotwell, who was in charge of the construction project. Shotwell said that the Vinton office was “the best building experience the bank has had.” He acknowledged Hughes and Associates Architects and Engineers, the civil engineers and developers for the project, and their president Mike Woolwine and architect Earl Shumate.
Shotwell also recognized the general contractors for the Vinton Bank of Botetourt, G&H Contracting, especially Vice President Troy Henderson and job superintendent Donald Gibson for the “fabulous job” they did on the project with site preparation and construction.
Ground was broken for the project on November 24, 2020. Demolition began on March 9, with the goal of opening by the end of 2021. Construction crews kept a steady pace, and just these few months later, the project is complete.
Hayth introduced the Bank of Botetourt Vinton Office staff: Branch Manager and Assistant Vice President Paula Robins, Universal Banker/Head Teller Phillip Tingler, Universal Banker Kathryn Barberie, and Nikki Griffin of Virginia Mountain Mortgage. (Robins has over 39 years of banking experience and was previously the branch manager at the bank’s Peters Creek and Bonsack/460 offices.)
He recognized members of the Bank of Botetourt Vinton Advisory Board: Mary Beth Layman, Jason Boothe, and Paul St. Clair. He expressed his appreciation to Roanoke County Economic Development Director Jill Loope, the Board of Supervisors, and county administrative staff.
The grand opening celebration continued throughout the morning and included free Homestead Creamery Ice Cream, free T-shirts, gifts, and refreshments, and a visit from June Bug the Clown.
The Vinton branch of Bank of Botetourt is located just across from the Vinton Library and the Vinton Municipal Building. In his comments, Hayth noted that when Town Manager Peters was showing him potential sites for the new branch office, they stepped out of the Municipal Building on Pollard, and he noticed the vacant High’s Ice Cream location just across the street—the perfect spot for the new venture.
Lobby hours in Vinton are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Drive-through hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Bank of Botetourt in Vinton has a 24-hour ATM machine with deposit capabilities, located in the vestibule. Night deposit is available. The office also houses the bank’s mortgage company, Virginia Mountain Mortgage.
During the November 2020 groundbreaking ceremony, Mayor Grose said, “Bank of Botetourt is big in customer service and community service– the kind of business we look for here in Vinton, which is a close-knit, strong community. You have landed in the right community. We look forward to working with you,” a sentiment he echoed on August 19.