By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Financial Services | Issue: December 2015
The New AVB downtown branch and plaza sculpture, “Binding Contract,” by Sculptor Bradford Williams.
The grand opening Celebration of the new AVB downtown branch was November 3, 2015. The new bank is located on Main in the heart of Broken Arrow’s Rose District. AVB Bank has been a stalwart fixture throughout the community for 110 years.
The celebration kicked off with champagne and a tour of the new bank lobby. AVB President/CEO Ted Cundiff served as Master of Ceremonies and welcomed those attending. Dr. Clarence Oliver, former Broken Arrow superintendent of schools, asked the blessing. Wes Smithwick, Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce President/CEO, stated, “I get the opportunity to attend a lot of grand openings, ribbon cuttings and parties, but nobody throws a party like AVB!”
Smithwick added, “I knew we would end up with a nice bank, but didn’t expect it to be quite this grand. It is a fabulous addition to the AVB family, but also a fabulous addition to the Rose District. I knew it wouldn’t be an AVB project without some form of art, and it is spectacular this time!” Matt Pivarnik, executive vice president and COO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber, thanked Board Chair Kelley Kimbrough Rash, President/CEO Ted Cundiff, and the entire AVB family for their generosity of time and support to the Broken Arrow community. He recognized AVB Bank as recipient of the 2013 Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce Award for Family Owned Business. AVB Bank was also recognized as the 2014 SBA Family Owned Business for the State of Oklahoma.
Broken Arrow City Manager Michael Spurgeon also made remarks at the celebration.
A letter from Congressman Jim Bridenstine was read, extending his congratulations on the opening of the new AVB branch. It stated that he had no doubt that the employment opportunities, goods and services provided would have a positive impact on the economic success of our community. A Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition was also presented by Bridenstine to the new AVB Rose District branch.
A highlight of the evening was the ribbon cutting ceremony and remarks by Bradford J. Williams, sculptor of “Binding Contract.” Mr. Williams is an authentic cowboy, a highly-gifted artist and an entertaining speaker. He related to the audience, “As I was ironing out the details with AVB’s vice president and CFO, Doug Brinsfield, he mentioned several forms that I would need to sign. I didn’t know what language he was speaking; I just knew that if he sent me what he needed, we’d get ‘er done. It ain’t the easy way, but it’s the cowboy way.” Mr. Williams said the sculpture portrays what AVB stands for: the power of a handshake is proof of your word - a binding contract. During the post-ceremony celebration held on the second floor of the new facility, Williams was presented with an AVB Bank custom etched decanter, highball glasses and a bottle of bourbon, along with specially designed bottles of wine that showcased his sculpture on the wine label.
Board Chair Kelley Kimbrough Rash has served AVB Bank for more than 40 years and carries on the tradition of a fourth-generation of family leadership. The wrapper on the celebratory wine bottle presented to Mr. Williams bears this label: “For over 110 years, generations of customers have called AVB Bank their bank. Through the years, the face of banking has changed. One thing that has not changed…AVB’s respect for tradition, honesty and integrity. The way AVB Bank has done business for generations is the way we do business today. A handshake is our bond.”
AVB President/CEO Ted Cundiff presented a fitting tribute in remembrance of Barbara Brown Kimbrough, Kelley’s mother and pillar in the Broken Arrow community, stating, “Barbara touched the lives of so many and was dearly loved. She will be remembered for her generosity, integrity, honesty and kindness.”
On behalf of the AVB Board of Directors, Advisory Board, executive management and all AVB employees, the new bank building was dedicated in memory of Barbara Brown Kimbrough. After a moment of silence, Cundiff added, “Now, just as Barbara would have said, ‘Let’s cut this ribbon, kid – and have us a party!’”
The post-celebration was held in the approximately 3,500 square foot Exhibit Hall located adjacent to the AVB Financial Services* area. Over 350 customers and community members were treated to an impressive celebration complete with wine, cheese, heavy hors d’oeuvres and decadent desserts, along with jazz entertainment provided by Grady Nichols. Guests were also able to enjoy a scotch and cigar bar on the newly constructed AVB second floor patio.
Mary Bransford, publisher of Value News and attendee of the event, said, “The AVB Bank grand opening was truly a grand event and marked another historic milestone for this organization and our community.”
*Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products offered through LPL Financial or its licensed affiliates. The investment products sold through LPL Financial are not insured AVB Bank deposits and are not FDIC insured. These products are not obligations of the AVB Bank and are not endorsed, recommended or guaranteed by AVB Bank or any government agency. The value of the investment is not guaranteed, and loss of principal is possible.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.
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