Every time Rob Garst and Kirk Fox pull their cars into the parking lot of Riverview Bank headquarters at 200 Front Street in Marysville, Perry County, they are inspired by what they see in front of them.
No, it’s not a uniquely palatial office, a packed parking lot, or a running tally of satisfied customers served.
It may not seem like much to the untrained eye, but the six modest houses within eyesight of their office windows are a joyful manifestation of their core mission.
With what Garst calls “a lot of TLC and a line of credit,” Riverview Bank executives breathed new life into those six once-dilapidated houses, bolstered by a partnership with the Perry County Housing Authority.
Hard-working families with small children now call those houses homes.
Knowing that the young parents there probably could never have scraped together the money to live there on their own, “There is a sense of pride,” said Fox, President of the bank.
Watching the new owners and their children mowing the lawns, painting trim, planting flowers, unloading groceries, riding bikes, and playing ball proves that the pride the bankers take in those homes has transferred to the families who live there.
“It’s only six houses, but it’s a nice start,” said Garst, CEO of the bank, modestly. He and Fox said they are ready for the next six. Having a bird’s eye view of a struggling bedroom community and knowing they had a hand in being “regenerative,” “That’s something we feel good about,” Garst said.
“It’s interesting and significant in an area people were pulling out of,” Fox said.
It is that kind of multi-layered partnership, between Garst and Fox, between the two rural banks they have married, and between the banks and their surrounding neighborhoods, that have propelled Riverview Bank and its 65-plus employees to new heights of success despite an anemic national economy.
Riverview is now in the midst of a merger with Pottsville-based Union Bank, which has six locations in Schuylkill County and one in Northumberland County, and about $120 million in assets. The new bank will operate under the Riverview name, bringing Riverview’s holdings to about $450 million in assets, according to the Central Penn Business Journal.
As the merger pieces fall into place, they’ve “been there, done that” before, with sweet success.
Read the full article in October’s issue of Transactions. Aren’t a subscriber? Visit the Transactions page on this website or call PACB at 717-231-7447 to start receiving the magazine.