You know when it’s time for a change, and Riverton Community Bank’s board members knew at the turn of the century that the day was coming. They knew they had to acquire or be acquired, remembered John McCree, chairman of Riverton Community Bank’s board in 2004.
A lot had changed since 14 of the town’s leading citizens had applied for the bank charter in December 1964. Back then these leaders wanted a bank to serve local needs, so they used their minds and might and made it happen . . . some sold stock, others helped build the two-story cinder block structure. With so much personal investment, it’s easy to understand why coming to the conclusion was a bit difficult, explained McCree.
“I had a friend who was a commercial loan officer at INB at the time,” John said. “He took the idea of buying the bank up the ladder. They (INB) were interested and put together a proposal . . . Our board knew most everyone at INB, and it just worked out.”
John says it worked out for customers and employees, too, and if it hadn’t, the sale probably wouldn’t have gone through. “INB could offer Riverton things we didn’t have. Debit cards. Credit cards. Large loans.” At that time, Springfield’s north end was growing, but Riverton couldn’t handle the business loans. Now, INB Riverton could. “The sale to INB preserved the spirit of local, community banking.”
Twelve years later, John, a senior civil engineer with Hanson Professional Service, Inc., noted the success of the relationship. “Look,” he said while visiting the branch, “the building is still here; banking is still here.”
But it’s more than just the building, it’s the staff, too. You’ll find Riverton resident Aimee Craft where she’s been our assistant branch manager for 10 years. Of course, she knows everyone who walks in the front door. “We definitely have our regulars,” she said. “Some come in once a week, others once a day, and then, some, several times a day.”
Though Branch Manager Dee Anderson splits her time between Mt. Pulaski and Riverton, she says the communities are very different. “In Riverton, the residents are five minutes from Springfield, so there aren’t a lot of small businesses like in Mt. Pulaski where the community is pretty much self-contained.” She adds that most Riverton customers stop by the branch for commercial and personal banking, while in Mt. Pulaski, the emphasis is on farming transactions.
Samantha Cullen was part of the team that transitioned from Riverton Community Bank to INB in 2004. “The change was great,” she said. “INB kept all the staff yet amped up the products. There were better perks and benefits. So customers saw the same people handling their finances, yet they got great new technology like online banking and debit cards.”
Today, Sam works in our downtown Springfield headquarters as part of our mortgage processing team. “I started as a bank teller right before INB came in.” She said, “Everyone in town wanted to work at the bank!” she said.
Five years and some promotions later, she took a position in mortgage operations. She said of her job, “I handle a lot of detail work that’s part of the mortgage loan process. It’s a lot of responsibility, but I feel good to be part of it. It’s a very rewarding job. Every single day, I help someone own a home.”
It’s the spirit of employees like Sam that make INB a special place to do business with. It’s that spirit that you get from banking in communities like Riverton, Ill.