Vermont Business Magazine Stephen P Marsh, Board Chair of Community Bancorp and Community National Bank, based in Derby, welcomed nearly 180 shareholders at the Elks’ Club on May 18, 2017, for the annual shareholders’ meeting. Marsh led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and asked for a moment of silence for friends, neighbors and shareholders who were no longer with us. He continued with introductions of Directors, Advisory Board members, Executive Officers and retired Directors. He introduced guests Janice Latulippe from the public accounting firm BerryDunn and Denise Deschesnes from the law offices of Primmer Piper Eggleston and Cramer, PC.
Marsh stated that of the 5,057,954 total shares, 54.38% were represented, enough to reach a quorum. Shareholders voted to reinstate directors Tom Adams, Jacques Couture, Dorothy Mitchell and Jake Wheeler for another term and BerryDunn was ratified as the external auditor. Marsh introduced the Judges of Election, Deb Fournier, JP Fournier and Linda Parenteau, as well as Proxy Voters, Betsy Bumps and Rachel Ducharme. The Judges of Election and the Proxy Voters entered private quarters to certify the election.
The podium was turned over to Louise Bonvechio, Treasurer of Community Bancorp., and Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Cashier of Community National Bank, to share the company’s financial report. Bonvechio reported the Company’s consolidated assets of $638 million from the year ended December 31, 2016, an increase of 7% due to loan growth. The increase in loans of over $29 million, or 6.4%, continues to be in the commercial loan portfolio. Bonvechio also reported an increase in the investment portfolios of $13.7 million.
The company reported consolidated earnings for the year ended December 31, 2016, of $5.5 million or $1.07 per share compared to 4.8 million or $0.96 per share for the year ended December 31, 2015, an increase of nearly 14%. Contributing to strong earnings were an increase in overdraft charges with the new Courtesy Overdraft program, a decrease in occupancy expenses mainly due to the closing of branches in Caledonia County in addition to continued improvement in asset quality and lower levels of charge-off activity during 2016.
Earnings for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017, were 1.4 million or $0.27 per share compared to $1.2 million or $0.23 per share for the first quarter of 2016. Bonvechio commented, “The board and management team are pleased with these results and are happy to see how the loan growth, combined with a couple of increases in prime rate, continue to have a positive impact upon the results in 2017”. The company continues to focus on increasing the profitability of the balance sheet and prudently managing operating expenses and risk, particularly credit risk, in order to remain a well-capitalized bank in the challenging economic environment.
Community Financial Services Group, LLC (CFSG), a trust and investment company, partly owned by Community National Bank was invited to share a company report with shareholders. President and CEO Mark Frederick and Vice President and Trust Officers Joe Preddy and Shellie Wright shared documents that highlighted CFSG’s positive performance and steady growth of gross revenues and net profit over the past 5 years.
Continuing the meeting, Kathy Austin, President and Chief Executive Officer Community Bancorp. and Community National Bank, recognized employees and commended them for their hard work and thanked the Board of Directors for their support and guidance. She thanked Melissa Tinker for organizing the shareholders’ meeting and reported the promotions of Jackie Carey to Manager of the Barre office and herself as President and Chief Executive Officer. She also recognized Senior Vice President and Senior Lender Tim Bronson who just celebrated his fortieth anniversary of employment.
Austin shared that the bank recently opened a loan production office in Burlington. While not a full-service banking office, it provides a professional space for our lenders to meet their customers and prospective clients. The bank also recently updated the mission and values statements and adopted a new tagline, “Vermont’s Community Bank”. Austin commented, “It is who we are, what we do, and our commitment to our customers and to our communities”.Marsh concluded the meeting by asking Jacques Couture to give a blessing for the delicious meal served by members of the Elks’ Club.
Source: Community Bancorp 5.18.2017