First National Bank Cuts Ribbon at Canfield Branch
CANFIELD, Ohio – Customers for years have requested an office here to service them, officials with First National Bank of Pennsylvania say, a demand now being met with the opening Monday of its newest office.
Government leaders from Canfield and Boardman and representatives of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber joined First National Bank officers for the ribbon cutting at the bank’s newest office, on Tippecanoe Road just south of Route 224. The office is the bank's 11th in Ohio and eighth in the Youngstown-Warren area, said Peter J. Asimakopoulos, executive vice president for small business banking and Youngstown Market president.
“We’ve been looking at Canfield for quite some time,” said Thomas J. Wedzik, regional banking executive for the company's Northwest region. “A lot of our customers have been traveling over to Market Street into Boardman from Canfield, fighting the traffic on 224, so there’s heavy demand.”
The Hermitage, Pa.-based bank, the chief operating unit of F.N.B. Corp., had been looking for years to expand its Mahoning Valley footprint when the space, formerly occupied by Huntington National Bank, became available, “We absolutely wanted to jump on it,” Wedzik said.
The bank was in “a little bit of a bidding war” but “really wanted this location,” said Lydia Taylor, vice president and manager of the Canfield branch. “We really wanted to be able to better service the Canfield customers,” she said.
“We’ve had our customers request that we move west and be in the Canfield market for a number of years,” Asimakopoulos affirmed. “There’s a lot of growth out here and we’re just really pleased that we’re part of this particular community," he said.
Demographics are strong in the Canfield area, and there are a lot of opportunities in the market, including in housing, Asimakopoulos said. Many businesses have moved to the area and financial institutions based in downtown Youngstown have moved here as well. “We want to continue to stay downtown and promote the downtown area, but we also want to be in the suburbs that are growing,” he said.
Wedzik said he would like to see expansion into the Warren-Niles area as well.
"We're always looking for opportunities," Asimakopoulos said.
Also on hand for the press event were representatives of the Oh Wow! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology and the Rich Center for Autism at Youngstown State University. Both organizations were awarded $500 each as part of the opening event. In addition, $25 will be donated to either of the two organizations, of the customer’s choice, for opening a checking account, and $50 will be donated for taking out a loan. The loan or checking account must be opened by March 31.
Adjacent to bank’s building in downtown Youngstown, the Oh Wow! Center is located in the former McCrory’s building, which the bank owns.
“We’re where we are today because of First National’s support both financially and otherwise,” said Suzanne Barbati, Oh Wow!’s executive director.
FNB has been a “tremendous supporter” of the Rich Center, said Gloria Backus, director of the center. “When our parents apply to come to the center, there’s no tuition involved. The bank does what it can to help offset some of the costs, to make sure that no child who wants to attend the center is turned away because of financial issues,” she said. “It’s absolutely tremendous and we’ve had a good, long relationship.”
Copyright 2013 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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