Those of us who’ve enjoyed extended careers in banking have seen a lot of change, but never at the pace and with the intensity we’ve experienced during the past couple of years. As you see on the facing page, there’s been a whole new vocabulary to learn, which we’ve had to learn in a hurry. We’ve kept up with the pace of change as dictated by the Federal government and our regulators; but most importantly, we’ve also learned how to meet the evolving needs of our customers and employees during the Coronavirus Pandemic. As the pandemic becomes endemic, a new normal will likely emerge; but at this writing, uncertainty and change still looms ahead as the world stage continues its struggles with inflation, supply chain problems, workforce challenges, and now, the tragic Ukraine crisis.
Because of our very professional and resolute team, we’ve managed to not just survive but flourish through all the challenging times in our Bank’s brief history—including the past two years—and we intend to continue that success. I believe the main reason we’ve been able to achieve financial success in an ever-changing environment has been our steadfast dedication to the three goals we’ve lived by since 2015 and that underpin every strategic choice:
Grow. Do it profitably. Do it right.
Our management and Directors translated this mantra into three distinct periods. The first challenge was getting
the right people in place and setting up the internal management structures to make sure the bank “did right” both technically and by the people affected by our decisions—our customers, regulators, employees, shareholders, and by our communities. The next phase focused on growth – growth in capital and physical facilities; growth in delivery systems, product lines and customer service; growth in staff; and ultimately, growth in assets, loans, and deposits. The third phase, where we are now, is the time to focus on earnings growth and create sustainable value for our shareholders. I believe our growth in assets and earnings in the past five years proves that we’re staying on track and we’re doing it right.
What we show you in each of these shareholder mailings is a combination of financial data and the pride and spirit of our people. I hope you enjoy the photos in this report that illustrate our personality and commitment to our communities.
Over the past four years, our growth has continued to be excellent. Assets are up 143% during that time. Earnings have strengthened significantly, particularly this past year. Earnings grew from $3.5 million in 2020 to $8.8 million in 2021. As you can see from the bar charts and tables, earnings have grown steadily in each of the past four years. Because of the strength of earnings in 2021, dividends paid last month were doubled from the expected payout of $0.35 per share to $0.70 per share. We are thankful to all our investors who have trusted us over the years.
Our directors have supported us every step of the way—with their expertise, advice, time, and whenever we needed it, their financial support. Our employees embrace what we mean when we say, “Do it right.” The dedication they bring to their jobs and communities is the key to our success. People serving people. It can’t get better than that. Thank you all for a fantastic year.
Marnie B. Oldner
Chief Executive Officer