David’s Two Cents: It Takes A Community to Raise a Bank

October 14th, 2011

It occurs to me that the term community bank needs to be redefined a little bit. Let me be the first to suggest what it means to truly be a community bank.

All too often a bank will open its doors in a neighborhood or city and immediately call itself a community bank. As if simply by saying so, makes it true.

Perhaps we were a little guilty of that belief back in 2008 when we opened Adams Dairy Bank. We believed that by opening our doors in a prominent location, seeking local shareholders and board members and staking our flag in the ground we could call ourselves a community bank with no reservations.

What we’ve learned over the years is that  becoming a community bank isn’t what happens when you open the doors; it’s what happens in the coming months and years that determine your stature in the community.

Today, nearly four years later, we have earned  the right to be called a community bank – as determined by our customers and neighbors who rightfully should decide who truly serves the community.

So what’s my definition of a community bank? Perhaps it’s less about defining words and more a collection of definitive actions:

  • Since 2008 we have become 100% locally owned, making local decisions that positively impact our community.
  • The vast majority of the dollars invested in our bank turns around and goes back into our local community in the form of loans for families and businesses.
  • We have local relationships with customers, vendors and suppliers – that create other local relationships, ultimately creating jobs.
  • We hire friends, family and friends of friends and family, all in our local community.

We have and will continue to support our iconic institutions by serving on boards and donating time and resources.

And every so often you’ll find us simply grilling hot dogs in the parking lot – having lunch with anyone who stops by to say hi.

Nearly every day one of our customers refers us to a neighbor or friend that eventually becomes an Adams Dairy Bank customer. To us, that is the ultimate definition of a community bank. We thank you for that.