Success stories motivate at Fredonia Valley Bank

Photo from ICBA

Former Fredonia Valley Bank presidents Virgil Coleman and Leon Brasher and cashier W.W. Gillihan stand in a remodeled bank branch in this 1959 photo.

Since he started as a bank teller right out of college in 1987, J. Brent Bugg has worked for 125-year-old Fredonia Valley Bank in Fredonia. Just nine years after he joined the $83 million-asset community bank, he was named president.

"We are very proud of reaching our quasquicentennial," he says. "One interesting fact is that we have had only eight presidents since we were founded in 1894."

One secret to the bank's longevity, he says, is in the community-focused board of directors.

"We have been very conservative over the years, and that has worked toward keeping us around," Bugg says.

Another reason for the bank's success is its community involvement. "We are active in both communities, sponsoring a Dave Ramsey financial literacy class at Lyon County Schools in Eddyville and sponsoring a yearly scholarship for three of our local county schools," he says. "We support all the sports teams, camps, Relay For Life Cancer drives and more."

Fredonia Valley Bank celebrated its milestone with a free document shred day in June, and the community bank is planning an even bigger event in the fall with a concert on the outfield of the Fredonia ballpark.

The festivities will include bands, craft booths, a chili cook-off, games and food.

Donations will be accepted during the night for Operation Overhaul, a community drive to improve the ballpark, playgrounds and facilities in Fredonia.

Bugg says he looks forward to Fredonia Valley Bank remaining independent for many more years.

"I have seen a lot of changes in my 30 years, and many hurdles for small community banks, but I have also seen more local success stories that we have helped," he adds. "These success stories will keep us motivated to remain a vital part of our community."