The Villages - May 2012 - (Page 54)

Citizens First Bank For the eighth consecutive quarter, Citizens First Bank has received high ratings from two of the nation’s leading bank ratings firms. Coral Gables-based BauerFinancial Inc. and Woonsocket, R.I.-based Veribanc Inc. classified The Villages’ community bank as well-capitalized and solid. BUSINESS BRIEFS GO & DO MAY 2012 The quarterly financials the community bank submitted to the Federal Deposit Insurance Co. describe a strong bank, said Karen Dorway, president and chief banking analyst at Coral Gables-based BauerFinancial Inc. Following a review of those financials, Dorway said, BauerFinancial awarded Citizens First Bank a four-star rating — a measure of banking excellence. “As you’ll see, the bank continues to have excellent performance and strength,” Dorway said. Those ratings reports tell Steve Kurtz, the bank’s president and chief executive officer, that the board of directors, management and staff are providing the highest quality banking services possible to their customers. “While we like our progress, we never lose sight that there is always room for improvement,” Kurtz said. That progress comes as the community bank’s deposits grew by almost 11.1 percent to $1.17 billion during the fourth quarter, compared with $1.05 billion for the same period a year ago. Assets grew at an even greater rate — by almost 12.6 percent to $1.35 billion during the same quarter, compared with $1.2 billion for the same time period. That growth came as the bank maintained strong FDIC efficiency indicators. “If you compare us to other institutions, we have a very good efficiency ratio,” Kurtz said. “That’s a good way of ranking us against other banks. Then the other ratio is just your pure expense ratio. Both of them are very solid.” The Villages, a World-Class Model The Villages’ economy recently became the focal point of an academic review by the Kent State (Ohio) University Center for Entrepreneurship & Business Innovation. What a contingency of Kent State staff and students found in the community surprised and amazed them. “First of all, it’s been incredible,” Julie Messing, the center’s director, said about what she and two students experienced in The Villages through an alumni-funded scholarship. Because of this contribution, Messing said, the center has been able to send its most entrepreneurial students to visit and study some of the most dynamic local economies in the United States. And The Villages joined a distinguished list of local economies picked by the center’s faculty. On one visit, for example, the center sent a contingency to California’s Silicon Valley region. The trip to The Villages served as an eye-opener for Kent State seniors Genia Kollie and Christopher Lintner. During their visit, Messing and the students visited with several successful Villages entrepreneurs — Robin and Shawn Carr, owners of the Custom Apparel embroidery and silk-screening store in Southern Trace Plaza Shopping Center; Ellie Heiner, owner of the Purple Pig specialty gift store in Sumter Landing; Roger Ciskie, president and chief executive officer of the Picture You home decor and fashion jewelry store in Spanish Springs Town Square; and Alan and Lyn Cook, owners of the All Things Fine specialty gift store in Spanish Springs and operators of a very successful online retail business. Already, Messing intends to incorporate her observations into the center’s lesson plans. “Hands down,” she said.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Villages - May 2012

The Villages - May 2012
Couples Who Play Together
Memorial Day in The Villages
Cars and Culture
Mother’s Day Memories
Around The Villages
The First Villages Golf Star
Sports and Recreation
Easter Memories
Business Briefs
Shopping & Dining Guide
Major Events

The Villages - May 2012