With Fanfare, Cortland Banks Opens Canfield Branch

CANFIELD, Ohio – Over the past year, Cortland Banks has been involved in a flurry of projects along the U.S. Route 224 corridor between Canfield and Poland. Off the top of his head, President and CEO Jim Gasior listed off several projects such as Primanti Brothers, the Boardman High School football stadium and the Arby’s in Canfield.

“And I know there are more out there,” he said with a wry smile Thursday morning shortly before cutting the ribbon on the bank’s 13th and newest office at 3615 Boardman-Canfield Road.

The branch at the corner of Tippecanoe Road and U.S. Route 224 is Cortland Banks’ third in Mahoning County. While Gasior said the recent local activity isn’t a result of the expansion into Canfield Township, he pointed out that the expansion is simply business as usual, that Cortland has been looking to enter the market for some time.

“We had done an extensive search along 224 on the visibility of retail and commercial space along the corridor and we believe we have found the ideal location here,” he said. “It’s just a continuation of what we’ve been doing very successfully since the late 1990s when we moved into Mahoning County.”

In addition to the traditional retail and commercial banking, the branch has a mortgage center, a commercial lending center and wealth management services. While seeing the branch reach $40 million in deposits is one goal, Gasior says, the more important goal is to serve customers both old and new.

“We won’t get that [deposit goal] within the next 12 months – there’s a startup period to get to that – but more important to us is to provide loans and meet the financial needs needed by the businesses and residents of this area,” he said.

The new office, at the site of the former Goldstein’s Furniture Warehouse, consolidates the mortgage office that had been nearby on Seville Drive since 2013.

One of the best things about the branch is its location on the heavily traveled Route 224 at a busy intersection, several members of the bank’s management noted.

“At this location, we’re on a hill at a busy, well-traveled intersection where people can get to us easily,” said retail manager Danielle Cantrell. “Especially with retail banking, it’s all about the convenience and we’re at a great location for that.”

Between Tippecanoe Road and the state Route 11 interchange are several other financial institutions and wealth management companies: Wells Fargo, Talmer Bank and Trust and a branch of PNC Bank. Even with so many competitors nearby, Ignazio and Gasior are confident the Canfield office will succeed.

“We’re still a community bank. A majority of our management is from Mahoning County, so from a competitor’s standpoint, we have that local feel and we’re making local decisions,” Ignazio said. “Our decision-makers are always just a phone call away and we see them on a constant basis, which is unique in the banking industry any more as the larger banks grow even bigger.”

Over the past two weeks – the soft opening – many customers, mostly current ones, have transacted business at the branch and a few stopped in shortly after the ribbon cutting to open new accounts.

“We’ve seen some steady flow. We expect now with the official opening that we’ll get much more recognition,” Gasior said. “Our customers who have banked with other locations have been to the branch and love the location. I expect to see a mix of both new accounts and maybe transfers between other locations.”

The CEO didn’t have a definitive answer for whether the bank would expand into new markets any time soon, now with three offices all a short drive from Columbiana County, an area where Cortland Banks has no physical presence.

“We always look at opportunities to continue to grow the locations we service and the residents and businesses of certain communities,” Gasior said. “If there’s an opportunity that makes sense, whether it’s in Mahoning County or Columbiana County or somewhere else, to expand into, we’ll look into it.”

Pictured: Cortland Banks officials and community leaders cut the ribbon Thursday for the new Canfield branch.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.