By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Financial Services | Issue: October 2015
AVB President Ted Cundiff and Board Chair Kelley Kimbrough-Rash hold the reins of AVB as the new Downtown Broken Arrow branch opens in the heart of the Rose District. The bronze sculpture, “Binding Contract,” stands in the plaza of the new branch.
Founded in 1905, two years before Oklahoma achieved statehood, the 25-foot-wide AVB Bank was originally at Main and Dallas in downtown Broken Arrow. In 1906, a local newspaper printed an article about the then Arkansas Valley National Bank, stating the bank was “well managed by young men [and women] of much ability and proven business judgment, who recognize that they are there to treat people courteously and honorably, as well as to loan them money or receive deposits.”
Over the years, the bank has expanded both west and south, acquiring the area between Main and Ash, and Dallas and El Paso Streets.
Generations of customers have visited AVB Bank at 302 S. Main St. At close of the business day on Friday, September 18, 2015, AVB staff collectively gathered in the lobby to reflect on the past and look forward to the future.
The old drive-thru closed lanes for the last time on Saturday, September 19 and staff began transitioning to the new two-story, 15,000-square-foot building located in the previous AVB Bank parking lot. The new branch at 322 S. Main St. opened for normal hours of operation on Monday, September 21, 2015.
“For over 110 years, AVB Bank has been committed to the economic growth, development and success of downtown Broken Arrow,” said Ted Cundiff, AVB Bank President and CEO. “As we prepared for this historic move, we paused to reflect on the past and celebrate the many successes of both customers and community in which we have played a part. We are proud to remain in the heart of the Rose District and are excited about serving future generations.”
Retail and commercial depository and lending staff will be housed in the new facility, as will AVB’s financial services department, offering products and services through their broker-dealer, LPL Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Investment Holdings, Inc. AVB’s human resources and information technology departments will also office in the new building.
The new branch has a connected, multi-lane drive-thru with enhanced technology, allowing bank personnel to directly connect with customers, and a 3,500-square-foot exhibit area to be used for value-added bank events and functions. In coming months, clients visiting the lobby can explore AVB’s mobile and web offerings at the technology bar, plus, get a sense of AVB history at the History Wall, where bits of historic AVB memorabilia will be displayed. A portion of AVB’s extensive Native American and western art collection will be displayed throughout the facility.
While the location at 302 S. Main will be closed from public access, AVB support and operational staff, including credit administration, finance, compliance, and bookkeeping will remain on-site.
The sculpture, “Binding Contract,” by sculptor Bradford J. Williams, stands in the new AVB plaza. “The sculpture says so much about how people treat each other,” said Williams, “and I know that AVB still holds in high esteem the tried and true traditions of honest, hard work and that a person’s promise, by handshake, is still the highest form of shared expectations.”
Throughout her 40+ years at AVB Bank, Kelley Kimbrough-Rash has seen significant regulatory changes in the financial industry. Rash, AVB Bank Chairman, Board of Directors, stated, “In today’s regulatory environment, the amount of paperwork that must be generated has certainly increased. However, the way we have done business for generations is the way we do business today – with a handshake. This is our bond.”
The new AVB Bank at 322 S. Main St. in Broken Arrow’s Rose District.
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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