By Jan Rahn
Chamber’s monthly business spotlight for the month of April focused on Valley Bank and Trust—a downtown Grant business with five employees providing full service banking.
Don Softley, president of the Grant branch, gave a brief historical summary of the bank during the regular meeting of the Perkins County Chamber last week.
Valley Bank was founded in 1988 by John Stinner and a group of investors, explained Softley. The Grant branch of Valley Bank and Trust was acquired from Wauneta Falls Bank in 1999.
Softley said Valley Bank has grown from a $20 million bank to a $330 million bank. The Grant branch has grown from a $12 million branch to nearly $20 million.
There are 30 individuals who have ownership in the bank, said Softley.
“The focus has expanded to include all things financial, including investment services, trust services, full line of insurance, health savings accounts and long term care savings plans,” he told chamber members during the business portion of the meeting April 21.
Throughout the bank’s branches, there are 115 employees—the five local employees in addition to Softley include Robin White, Donna Mayer, Joey Ross and Deb Richardson.
Valley Bank and Trust Co. has been one of Nebraska’s fastest growing banks since opening.
The bank, which was originally known as Gering State Bank, underwent a name change in July 1997 to reflect its locations along the North Platte Valley.
The bank acquired three additional locations in 1999—Ogallala, Grant and Wauneta.
In 2000, the bank opened its first in-store service in Scottsbluff inside the Albertsons food store.
A branch of Valley Bank and Trust Co. opened as Western States Bank in 2001 in Ft. Collins, Colo.
A second Ft. Collins location opened in July 2003, and a third location is in Loveland, Colo.
Another branch opened in Scottsbluff in August 2005.
Bank customers are also served in Gering and Bayard in addition to those formerly mentioned.
Valley Bank and Trust Co. currently has nine convenient drive-thrus, along with 15 24-hour ATMs over an area of 250 miles.
Valley Bank was also the first bank in the North Platte Valley to offer Saturday banking hours and the first with an in-house investment office.
The bank has been honored by the Small Business Administration as the number one bank in all of Nebraska for being “small business friendly.”