The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Sep. 29, 2023

VW independent staff/submitted information

Area residents and businesses are invited to Citizens National Bank’s Customer Appreciation Day celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, September 29, at the Van Wert office located at 1199 Westwood Drive.

Free pulled pork or brat sandwiches, chips and ice cream will be served. Attendees may enter to win a variety of door prizes.

This is an annual event the office hosts to show appreciation for its customers. With the convenience of online banking and drive-thru services, many customers don’t visit the office throughout the year.

“We really enjoy taking the time to mingle with our customers in person and show our appreciation for the trust they place in us,” said Pat Ryan, Van Wert City President.

Citizens National Bank is a community bank with a special focus on small business and agriculture. Learn more about the bank’s products and services at or like the bank’s Facebook page.

POSTED: 09/20/23 at 9:25 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent staff/submitted information

Superior Credit Union celebrated the grand opening and ribbon-cutting of its brand new full-service office at 202 Towne Center Blvd. in Van Wert on Friday. Representatives from the Van Wert Chamber of Commerce were on hand to conduct the ceremony.

The branch is now open and is the first Superior location in Van Wert County.

“We first joined the Van Wert community when we merged with CCC Credit Union in 2020,” said Phil Buell, President and CEO of Superior Credit Union. “That office had limited hours and capabilities until we could put our permanent brick-and-mortar here in Towne Center,” This new branch is centrally located to serve both Van Wert and Paulding counties. We look forward to providing customized financial products alongside top-tier member service.”

Superior Credit Union at 202 Towne Center Blvd. in Van Wert is now open for business. Photo submitted

The Van Wert location is managed by Nicole Wrasman, who has more than 10 years of experience in banking and mortgage lending. She is excited to provide a full-service branch for the community and help members achieve their financial goals.

“We had a steady flow of Van Wert members visiting the Delphos branch weekly so this is a natural addition,” Wrasman said. “I’m extremely excited to be a part of the Van Wert community and am eager to interact and build relationships with the members here.”

K4 Architecture, LLC of Cincinnati was the architecture firm and Schnipke Builders, LLC of Glandorf was the general contractor for the new building.

About Superior Credit Union

Superior Credit Union, Inc., headquartered in Lima, is a member-owned financial cooperative that serves more than 100,000 members at 25 western Ohio offices. With assets of over $1.4 billion, the credit union
provides consumer and mortgage loans, real estate brokerage, investment and retirement planning, insurance services, checking and savings accounts, and small business services and loans.

POSTED: 09/18/23 at 3:43 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent staff/submitted information

CINCINNATI — First Financial Bank has been selected by the National Community Action Partnership (NCAP) to receive the Corporate Partnership Award, recognizing the bank’s long-term commitment in supporting community action and working directly to impact economic growth and increase opportunities for children and families. Nationwide, First Financial is one of only two organizations receiving this award in 2023.

“First Financial Bank and our associates are thankful and honored to receive such a nationally prestigious recognition,” said Roddell McCullough, chief corporate responsibility officer for First Financial. “This is a welcome reminder of our focus in recent years on being a positive influence to help our clients and communities thrive.”

NCAP’s First Vice Chair Rick Baker is pictured with Roddell McCullough of First Financial Bank. Photo submitted

First Financial Bank was nominated by the Northwest Indiana Community Action Agency. McCullough accepted the recognition at the NCAP’s annual meeting in Atlanta on August 24.

First Financial prioritizes multiple initiatives in support of its local communities. First Financial achieved 183 percent of the goals outlined in its Community Benefits Agreement with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition for 2018-2022, totaling almost $3.2 billion in mortgage lending, small business lending, community development lending and investments, philanthropy and marketing. In 2022, First Financial Bank associates gave more than 12,000 volunteer hours and over $4.3 million in donations to organizations, enhancing the lives of individuals and communities. Donations of time are made possible because First Financial offers up to eight hours of paid time off for full-time associates to pursue volunteer activities during work hours. Additionally, community participation in the bank’s financial literacy programming reached over 30,000 people in 2022, nearly double that of the previous year.

NCAP is a national nonprofit organization that provides technical assistance, training and other resources to the nation’s more than 1,000 local Community Action Agencies. These agencies improve communities and change people’s lives by promoting workable solutions that connect more families to opportunity.


POSTED: 09/18/23 at 3:42 am. FILED UNDER: Business

Rob Gamble and Dale Butler have introduced Samantha Baker as a member of the Bee Gee Realty team as a licensed realtor. After graduation in 2015 from Parkway, she attended Creative Images to become a manicurist. She has been serving clients her entire career. When she is not at her nail salon (Nails by Samantha), she enjoys spending time with her son Mavrick. Samantha also has a passion for serving on missions and being active in her church. Samantha loves providing for people in any way that she can so please call her at 419.584.6191. Photo submitted

POSTED: 09/10/23 at 9:45 am. FILED UNDER: Business

Submitted information

A private retirement reception in honor of J. Michael (Mike) Romey will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, September 8, at the bank’s Operations Center. All current and former CNB employees and board members are invited to stop in.

Mike Romey

Romey has been Citizens National Bank’s CEO for 37 years and will retire from that position at the end of this year. The Romey’s have a long history with CNB, with Mike’s grandfather holding the position of head cashier when the bank opened in 1920, and later becoming president of the bank. Both his father and brother have held positions on the bank’s board of directors, with Mike officially joining the bank as President and CEO in 1986.

Mike stepped back from his role of president in 2019 and Eric Faulkner was chosen by the board to fulfill that role. Mike retained the CEO position until this year and will remain chairman of the board for the bank.

“Mike led CNB through many years of record-breaking growth and introduction to new technology for our customers,” Faulkner said. “We’re all grateful for the leadership and genuine care he provided to CNB and wish him well as he enters this new chapter.”

Citizens National Bank is a community bank with nine locations in Ohio. Focused on commercial and small business, as well as agricultural banking, we serve approximately 13 counties throughout Ohio and Indiana and have assets of more than $970 million.

POSTED: 08/31/23 at 10:08 am. FILED UNDER: Business

Submitted information

First Financial Bank is working to make it easy for local residents to have a safe and clean home by launching a local cleaning supplies drive at its financial center at 1163 S. Shannon St., Van Wert. Unopened and unexpired cleaning supplies can be dropped off at all First Financial locations in the region during normal business hours from August 21 – September 1.

“First Financial has always recognized the importance that housing plays on our overall well-being, and we are excited to be working collaboratively with our communities to ensure that after our neighbors get into their dream home, they can keep it just as beautiful as it was on move-in day,” said Roddell McCullough, chief corporate responsibility officer for First Financial Bank.

After the cleaning supplies drive concludes on Friday, September 1, all donations will be delivered to local organizations selected by associates at each financial center.

All First Financial locations throughout its four-state footprint of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois will participate. An interactive list of financial centers is available at

This cleaning supplies drive builds upon a series of recent community-building initiatives from First Financial. In two recent campaigns, First Financial, associates and community members collected more than 7,600 food items and more than 20,000 books, all shared with local organizations for distribution to the community.

POSTED: 08/15/23 at 6:19 pm. FILED UNDER: Business

Submitted information

Financial advisor Eric Hurless of the financial services firm Edward Jones in Van Wert has received the Certified Financial Planner or CFP certification, granted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

Eric Hurless

Becoming a CFP professional expands a financial advisor’s knowledge base in the following areas:

  • Financial management
  • Tax-sensitive investment strategies
  • Retirement savings
  • Insurance planning
  • Education planning
  • Estate considerations

In addition to the education and examination components of certification, Hurless also has committed to abiding by the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct.

He completed his professional program at the Kaplan College for Financial Planning.

Edward Jones is a leading financial services firm in the U.S. and through its affiliate in Canada. The firm’s nearly 19,000 financial advisors serve more than eight million clients with a total of $1.8 trillion in client assets under care at the end of June 2023. Through the dedication of the firm’s approximately 52,000 associates and branch presence in 68 percent of U.S. counties, the firm is committed to helping more people achieve financially what is most important to them. The Edward Jones website is at, and its recruiting website is Member SIPC.

POSTED: 08/15/23 at 6:04 pm. FILED UNDER: Business

Submitted information

Six real estate professionals affiliated with Straley Realty & Auctioneers, Inc. have earned the 2022-2023 President’s Sales Club awards presented by the Ohio Realtors.

Realtors Warren Straley and Chet Straley have been awarded the Award of Distinction for having more than $2.5 million in sales between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023.

Receiving the Award of Achievement for $1 million to $2.5 million in sales were Joe Bagley, Anne Brecht, Cassie Bell and Jane Germann.

Pictured clockwise from top left are Warren Straley, Chet Straley, Joe Bagley, Jane Germann, Cassie Bell and Anne Brecht. Photos submitted

Ohio Realtors officially awards qualifying members the “President’s Sales Club Award” designation in four recognition levels for outstanding sales performance in the real estate industry. Honorees will be recognized at the President’s Sales Club Dinner during the Ohio Realtors Annual Convention in September.

The Ohio Realtors is the largest professional trade association in Ohio. All Ohio Realtors members in good standing were eligible for the award.

POSTED: 08/11/23 at 2:17 pm. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent staff/submitted information

The Van Wert Chamber of Commerce is excited to present a Lunch and Learn featuring Edward Jones financial advisor George Scott, on Wednesday, July 26, at Willow Bend Country Club in Van Wert.

Scott will talk about business retirement planning, SEP IRA vs Simple IRA, and evaluating retirement plan options.

Click here to register or call the Chamber office at 419.238.4390. The cost is $10 per person and includes lunch. Registration begins at 11:45 a.m. and with the program beginning at 12:30 p.m.

POSTED: 07/19/23 at 3:46 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News

Submitted information

BLUFFTON (IN) — Kenn-Feld Group and TTG Equipment will merge as TRULAND Equipment, the CEOs of the two companies announced Wednesday. The equal merger of the two John Deere Dealer groups is scheduled to occur on August 21, 2023.

This move brings together 18 John Deere locations across Indiana and Ohio, allowing TRULAND Equipment to provide their customers with greater service support and inventory choices. TRULAND Equipment will also provide new opportunities for their employees with increased scale.

“This partnership was a several-year process, and we really took our time to make sure this was a good fit for our two companies as well as for our customers,” said Tom Burenga, CEO of Kenn-Feld Group. “By combining our experience and capabilities, we are building a stronger organization that is better positioned to thrive while offering an expanded product portfolio to our customers.”

TRULAND Equipment will continue to serve its customers in all eighteen of its locations in the region and is poised for growth in both service offerings and number of employees. Jameson Ringger, CEO of TTG Equipment, emphasized that TRULAND will stay focused on maintaining a local feel and relationship-based business model.

“We are two local companies joining together into one local company,” he said. “While the name on the sign will change, the team will not. We are dedicated to cultivating lasting relationships with our customers, providing new opportunities for our employees, and investing in our community. This move is a win for all three.”

POSTED: 06/29/23 at 3:35 am. FILED UNDER: Business