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            Citizens Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony for                  New Buckhannon Office 

Buckhannon Office Groundbreaking

Citizens Bank of West Virginia held a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, July 13 at the site of the bank’s soon to be newest full-service facility at 77 West Main Street in Buckhannon, the former Bill Kelley Chevrolet location in downtown Buckhannon; the bank has a small office currently located at 10 East Main Street.  Citizens is headquartered in Elkins with other offices in Parsons, Beverly, and Snowshoe.

In attendance were several state and local dignitaries; Buckhannon City and County officials; representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and Upshur County Development Authority; local businesses; and the Citizens Bank Board of Directors, corporate office management team, and the local Buckhannon staff.   

The ceremony opened with a welcome from Nathaniel S. Bonnell, President & CEO of Citizens Bank of West Virginia.  An invocation was given by Robbie Skinner and remarks were  delivered by Tina McPhail, Chief Financial Officer, Pray Construction; Dave McCauley, Mayor, City of Buckhannon; Sam Nolte, President, Upshur County Commission and Nathaniel Bonnell.

In Citizens Bank’s president & ceo remarks, Bonnell commented, “In June of 2014 when Citizens Bank opened our doors just down the street at 10 E. Main Street, we received the warmest of receptions from the City of Buckhannon and its citizens.  The growth and vitality of this market, and the cooperative spirit among the many stakeholders in this community have made this a great place for Citizens Bank to do business.  In our short time in Buckhannon, our branch has truly outgrown the small office we have down the street.  It has become paramount that we add staff and resources to our presence here.  The project you see behind me is a testament to Buckhannon and the good things happening here.”

He also stated, “This expansion project represents our decision to make a significant and permanent investment in this community.  We are investing more than $2.6 million directly in Buckhannon.  I hope that all of you in attendance this morning realize that with this investment, Citizens Bank is here to stay.  Buckhannon is our home too.  It speaks volumes about our future together – our intention to serve this community and our role in the local economy.”

The new design-build project is expected to be complete in late fall and will include a 4,700 square foot building with an additional office space that is available for rent.  There will be over forty off-street parking spaces, a three-lane drive thru, an on-site ATM. 

Mills Group is the architect and Pray Construction Company is the builder for the project. A rendering of the stately new facility which was created and designed to complement the historic flavor of downtown was set in the backdrop for the groundbreaking ceremony.

Citizens Constructs New Office in Buckhannon
New Buckhannon Office Rendering

Citizens Bank of West Virginia President & CEO Nathaniel S. Bonnell has announced plans to erect a new full-service facility in the former Bill Kelley Chevrolet location in downtown Buckhannon; the bank has a small office currently located at 10 East Main Street. Citizens is headquartered in Elkins with other offices in Parsons, Beverly, and Snowshoe. 

“Making this significant investment and larger presence is due to the growth and progress Citizens has made in Upshur County since we first entered this market in 2014,” said Bonnell. “The former Bill Kelley property is a great space to build a more expansive and modern bank with three drive thru lanes, and plenty of parking.

The demolition of the current Bill Kelley structure is scheduled to begin very soon. The new 4,700 square foot building will house both a bank and additional office space that may be available for rent.

“Our expansion will allow us to better serve our customers with a stronger retail and commercial presence,” stated Bonnell. “We will also be adding staff members, including a full-time Business Development Officer to work with our business community. It will also allow us to strengthen our nonprofit and civic philanthropy as our bank continues to thrive.”

The Buckhannon move to the West Main Street location will allow better visibility, parking as well as easy in and out. “Our relocation will offer on-site parking, an on-site ATM, and drive thru services we don’t have the space for in our current office,” said Bonnell. “Customers will have off-street parking and the opportunity to bank in an interior that is spacious, open, inviting and bright, with a lot of glass.”

According to the bank’s president, the new facility will open this fall. “We will celebrate with a grand opening once we have moved in and the staff has had an opportunity to get acclimated to their new offices.” 

Mills Group is the architect and Pray Construction Company is the builder for the project.

“While many of our customers are banking on their phones, tablets, and desktops, Citizens chose to make this office unique for the town of Buckhannon,” said Bonnell. “The new building was created and designed to complement the historic flavor of downtown.” said Bonnell.

Citizens Announces Staff Promotions
Deborah T. Ritter Rebecca Falbo Schoonover Melissa D. Stalnaker

Citizens Bank of West Virginia President & CEO Nathaniel S. Bonnell recently announced promotions for three employees: Deborah T. Ritter to Vice President & Branch Manager; Rebecca Falbo Schoonover to Vice President & Financial Advisor; and Melissa D. Stalnaker to Executive Secretary/Officer.

Debbie Ritter earned vice president status having been employed with Citizens for 34 years and has worked in all areas of the bank including branch manager, assistant branch manager, loan officer, loan specialist, loan clerk, proof operator and teller.

She is a graduate of Tucker County High School, WV School of Banking, and WV Bankers School for Branch Managers. She has attended numerous bank seminars and lending courses throughout her banking career. 

Active in the Tucker County community, Ritter serves on the Board of Directors for the Tucker Community Foundation and is a member of the Tucker County Chamber of Commerce. Ritter resides in Hambleton with her husband, Mike, and they have one daughter, Kristin Thomas. 

Financial Advisor for Citizens Bank’s Wealth Management Department, Rebecca Schoonover has been promoted to Vice President. She earned a B.S. degree in Mathematics from the University of Charleston and received her securities registration in 2003. 

Schoonover is an Investment Advisor Representative (IAR) and has several industry licenses including her FINRA General Securities Representative (Series 7), NASAA-Investment Advisors State Law Exam (Series 66), Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam (Series 63), as well as her Life and Health Insurance licenses, and Medicare Supplements and Long Term Care Insurance licenses. 

She and her husband, Todd Schoonover, reside in Elkins and have two sons, Jacob and Mason. 

Melissa Stalnaker serves as the executive secretary to the President & CEO and has been promoted to a bank officer. She has previously worked in the loan and accounting departments as a Title & Commercial Loan Clerk and Accounts Payable Clerk. 

She is a graduate of Philip Barbour High School and studied Business Management at Concord College. Stalnaker and her husband, Tim, reside in Bowden. 

“We are pleased to offer congratulations to Debbie, Rebecca and Melissa, who have each demonstrated a strong commitment towards their responsibilities and are deserving of their respective promotions,” stated Nathaniel S. Bonnell, President & CEO. “We are very fortunate to have such dedicated vice presidents serving our customers, and an officer supporting the important administrative functions of the bank.”

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