Inside Benchmark online
A quarterly newsletter for shareholders and customers
Summer 2019 - 2nd Quarter
Breaking ground in Henderson
One of the highlights of 2019’s second quarter was the picture-perfect groundbreaking ceremony for Benchmark’s new fullservice location at 1750 Graham Avenue in Henderson, NC. President/CEO Jay Stafford welcomed guests to the May 14th gathering of Henderson and Vance County elected officials and business leaders. Speakers included Mayor Eddie Ellington; Tommy Hester of the Henderson-Vance County Economic Development Commission; and Dennis Jarvis, Director of Economic Development for Henderson-Vance County.
"When Benchmark decided to enter the Henderson market, we chose this corridor because we believed this is an up-and-coming business section of Henderson and we wanted to be a part of it,” Stafford shared with the group. “We are really excited about expanding Benchmark’s banking model into our North Carolina markets."
“Benchmark has a unique banking model based on building relationships with our customers rather than selling to them. For us, working with our customers is about listening to their situations and helping them find a good solution to suit their needs. That builds trust. I’ve seen it at work for over 30 years and cannot wait to share it with the Henderson-Vance County community."
Construction is underway with a scheduled opening in mid-December.
$mart$tart Scholarships awarded to 11 graduating seniors
Outstanding high school seniors throughout the Benchmark footprint were awarded Benchmark Community Bank $mart$tart Community Commitment Scholarships during Senior Awards ceremonies at their respective schools. Eligibility for consideration for the annual scholarship round is based on a student’s contributions to both school and community organizations, as well as their perspective on community involvement as presented in an essay.
Recipients of the 2019 $mart$tart scholarships are: Savannah Blalock, Franklin Academy (Franklin); Laura Care, Vance County HS (Vance); Kayla Chaffin, Central HS (Lunenburg); Kayla Gurley, Fuqua School (Prince Edward); Caroline Laughorn, Halifax County HS (Halifax); Izabelle McClelland, Crossroads Christian School (Wake); Jonathan Paul, Brunswick Academy (Greensville); Katelynn Roark, Bunn HS (Franklin); Lucy Smith, Brunswick Academy (Mecklenburg); Kelsey Wallace, Nottoway HS (Nottoway); and Hannah Waller, Brunswick Academy (Brunswick).
Benchmark named a Top 200 Community Bank
Benchmark Community Bank, through its holding company Benchmark Bankshares, Inc., has been named to American Banker magazine’s Top 200 Community Banks. The early May announcement marked the 13th consecutive year the bank has been included in the listing.
“We are both honored and humbled to be included among this prestigious group of our peers,” said Benchmark President/CEO Jay Stafford of the early May announcement. “We have been honored with this designation annually since 2007. I believe it speaks highly of the support we receive from the communities we serve and our employees, as well as the legacy and culture of our bank.”
In making the announcement, Benchmark President/CEO Jay Stafford said, "The role of community banks is to support and invest in the communities we serve,” Stafford commented. “Where we differ from many of our financial institution peers is in how we approach our customers by creating products and services that meet them wherever they are at their particular life stage. Through our donations program, we sponsor community events, our employees volunteer for events and civic groups, and Benchmark invests in the small businesses that contribute to a robust quality of life in our 15 communities.”
Eligibility for the Top 200 list is based on a three-year average of the bank’s return on average equity as compared with the approximately 5,500 publicly traded community banks located in the United States. The annual peer analysis is sponsored by American Banker magazine, a publication of SourceMedia, an Observer Capital company serving senior executives in banking and financial services.