Valley Bank & Trust: 45 years later, still family-owned and local

Founder James O’Dell remains chairman of the board, and his daughter is CEO.

Valley Bank & Trust started out as a family-owned, community-oriented bank in 1971, and it remains one 45 years later. That’s no small feat, considering the trend toward consolidation – local banks swallowed up by giant institutions – that has characterized the banking industry over the past four decades.

Originally named Platte Valley Bank when James O’Dell opened it in Brighton, Valley Bank & Trust has grown to serve customers with two locations in Brighton, as well as offices in Hudson, Denver, Strasburg, Dacono and Westminster.

Forty-five years after he founded the bank, James O’Dell remains chairman of the board, and his daughter, Donna Petrocco, serves as president and CEO.

VB&T has grown to $310 million in assets, employing about 90 people at seven locations, including 13 employees who have been with the bank for more than 20 years.

The costs associated with increased supervision and regulation in the banking industry are one factor that has spurred the nationwide trend of consolidation, but it’s a trend that Valley Bank & Trust has managed to buck.

“In today’s economy and regulatory environment it’s a lot easier for banks to operate under bigger names and bigger umbrellas,” says Magi McEntire, community relations manager for Valley Bank & Trust. “The unfortunate fact is that when banks consolidate, it can hurt the consumer by taking away that personal touch.”

In a story about bank consolidation in 2014, the industry publication American Banker reported, “Community banks provide unique services that other financial institutions may be unable to provide in their absence. In particular, community banks make a disproportionate share of loans to smaller firms, who may face relatively high costs moving to another lender.”

Valley Bank & Trust strives to position itself as a partner with small business in the communities in which it operates. “Because we are locally owned, we can process, say, an equipment loan for a current small-business customer who has a sudden need much more quickly,” McEntire says. “The decisions are made right here, so the customers can be helped right when they need it.”

For Valley Bank & Trust, building relationships extends beyond customers. It includes the community. The bank currently contributes to more than 60 community organizations, including the generous contribution of the bank’s team members’ time and efforts.

(This sponsored content was paid for by Valley Bank & Trust.)

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