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POB Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

                                                    Photo by Christy Porter
Progressive Ozark Bank and their guests gathered for 
the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting on Friday.
By Christy Porter
Managing Editor

Guests and the Licking Chamber of Commerce officially welcomed Progressive Ozark Bank to the Licking community at their red ribbon cutting on Friday, July 17.
Jason Stone, VP and Manager, began the celebration with a personal message and prayer. He would like for people to know they are “Here to Stay, Where People Matter.” Stone is a LHS graduate and continued his education at University of Missouri – Columbia; he came back to Licking and continued his professional career in banking. He and his family are active members in the local community.
“I would like to personally invite all Licking and surrounding area residents to come in and see what we have to offer. We would like to help with any of your financial needs, whether it’s opening an account, financing a loan or helping with business solutions.” says Stone.
A large gathering showed their support, “checked out” the newly remodeled facilities, and enjoyed Olig’s pulled pork, sides, desserts and drinks.
The banking institution had a soft opening July 10 but attendees on Friday had the opportunity to met all the local, friendly staff: Jason Stone; Mattie Buckner, Branch Retail Supervisor; Leann Hamilton, Dana Lewis and Jessica Guajardo, the Personal Banker Team; Carolyn Moncrief, Loan Processor; and Kayla Merida, part-time Teller; in addition to surrounding area staff, Cynthia Ramsey, VP/Market Manager – Houston and Stuart Pryor, Sr. VP/CFO – Salem.
“Since we are a locally owned and managed community bank, we are able to be flexible and make quick decisions for our clients,” says Pryor. “The deposits that are made in your local branch are loaned out in those same communities, providing a long-term investment in the success of our communities.” Shareholders and members are local to Dent, Texas and Wright counties.
Community involvement was already being displayed with the Wildcat and Progressive Ozark Bank logo caps that were given away. Water bottles, Koozies and POB trademark cookies from My Little Cupcake were also distributed among the guests. Cynthia Ramsey drew one lucky guest’s name, Dacia Daniels, who won a gas smoker in the drawing held that day.
Photos by Shari Harris and Christy Porter
 The banking institution itself has been established since June of 1965, starting as Ozark Rivers Saving and Loan Association in Salem. The Houston area joined the bank community in 1991, and the name changed to Progressive Ozark Bank. Their growth continued in 1993 with a branch in Hartville, followed by another location in Mountain Grove in 2001. Licking is the fifth community to join the POB group, and fourth quarter of this year, a sixth branch will open in Mansfield. The group remains headquartered in Salem. Being progressive in their locations, they are also progressive in the services they offer – on-line banking as well as friendly, personal service for personal banking needs, mortgage solutions, agriculture consumers, business banking and wealth management.
Stone reiterates, “My thanks to Stuart Pryor and Kara Huitt, CEO for allowing me the opportunity to manage this branch in my hometown, to my staff for all their hard work and support, and definitely not least, thank you to the community for the exceptionally warm welcome.”
Progressive Ozark Bank is located in Licking at 109 West Highway 32.  You may contact them at 573-674-3200 or https://www.progressiveozarkbank.com.
Hours for drive-up are Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., and lobby hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. They are closed on Sunday and are FDIC Insured, Equal Housing Lender.

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