Norton Center Salutes: Farmers National Bank
It’s easy to see that the three principles making up “The Farmers National Bank Difference” give strength to a firmly rooted tradition in banking, one that has existed in the Danville community for over 130 years. This history makes Farmers National Bank one of the oldest charters in Kentucky, and with just under $500 million in assets, also one of the top 25 in size for the state.
Greg Caudill, eleventh in a line of Farmers National Bank Presidents that have included Danville icons Robert L. Shoulty, M. Carlisle Minor, Nelson Rodes and Jere C. Caldwell, credits community for paving a path to success for the company. “We hold our employees and our relationships with our customers to a higher standard,” he says. “We live, eat, and breathe here. Community banking is special.”
Caudill, a Kentucky native who graduated from UK and discovered a love for banking while working a summer job as a teller for Second National Bank (now PNC), has had a pretty good run with Farmers, working his way up the chain of command under the mentorship of Rodes to become President himself in 2002. “He and my father-in-law were the best of friends. We talked a lot during banking hours and a lot outside of banking hours. I gained so much.” Another relationship, he muses, that most likely can’t be gained within the structure of large national banks.
National or not, Farmers believes that they have first a legal, then an ethical obligation to their business practices. “We want to be above reproach when it comes to our reputation,” Caudill explains. “We truly feel that this is a key component to the exceptional service we provide. And that our uncompromising ethics should apply to our outside activities as well.”
Employees with Farmers take the company’s mission of not just exceptional customer service, but community service, seriously. “We’re involved in nearly every good cause,” says Caudill, “from Millennium Park to United Way to Relay for Life. Our employees understand that their service extends beyond our banking hours. We believe that what we do after-hours makes the biggest impact on our relationships with customers.”
“Danville is unique because of its people,” he continues. “We’re a city of firsts, we’re our own harshest critics, and our politics sometimes drive us nuts, but people genuinely care about what’s going on here. At the end of the day we come together to make sure we’re ALL headed in the right direction. The libraries, parks, hospitals – even in times when it’s tough to be in the banking industry, and this is still one of those times,” he adds, “we want to support programs that have a meaningful impact on the community.”
Caudill describes another program, Youth Leadership Boyle County, which the company supports in partnership with Centre College, with pride. “We worked with other partners on the program before, but none with as much dedication as Centre. I called John and said ‘Centre is about leadership and this is right up your alley.’”
Caudill’s reference is to John Roush, Centre College’s President, who explains, “Farmers National Bank and the college have, together, a long history for collaboration and cooperation that benefits the common good. We are proud to have them partner with us on this opportunity, as well as countless others throughout the years.”
Based on the Adult Leadership coursework, the Youth Leadership program reinforces an awareness of the importance of civic responsibility. High school juniors and seniors develop leadership and creative problem-solving skills, while making new friends and gaining experience in team building.
When asked about the Bank’s sponsorship of the Huey Lewis & The News concert, Caudill states simply: “The Norton Center gives Danville a cosmopolitan feel. It’s the cherry on top of a great town and intrinsically woven into the fabric of the region.”
“Music is art to me. Art improves the quality of life for our citizens,” he continues. “And that quality of life creates a better banking environment as well.”
In 2004 Farmers National Bank celebrated its 125th Anniversary. In a message that year to Bank shareholders President Caudill wrote: “For a century and a quarter your bank has been a leading provider of financial services in this area. The management team is dedicated to making sure that this tradition continues for many years to come.”
And indeed, it has. The company’s commitment to uncompromising ethics, service and community ensure a bright future for local banking.
Farmers National Bank is proud to sponsor the Norton Center’s engagement of “Huey Lewis & The News.” Learn more at fnbky.com