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Something Old, Something New: Adding Branches in the Neighborhood Where We “Grew Up”

There is something about Lancaster County that allows the old and the new to exist together. Horse buggies rolling alongside hybrid buses. Farms alongside factories and malls. The same goes for Susquehanna Bank. We recently opened new offices in the same Lancaster County area where we expanded with our first branch more than a half-century ago.

Early photo of the interior of the Lancaster Shopping Center branch; at left is a goldfish pond, which was always popular with children.

It takes a certain type of organization to gain the trust of a community, and Susquehanna has surely stood the test of time. After starting on Main Street in Lititz under the name Farmers National Bank in 1901, the bank added its first branch office in 1958 in the newly-opened Lancaster Shopping Center in Manheim Township.

Flash forward to the present, and you’ll find both the shopping center and the bank branch have a whole new look. Susquehanna Bank just moved from its original location into a brand new custom-built office in the parking lot of the newly-renovated Lancaster Shopping Center.

Nancy Klugh, the office manager, is excited to offer her customers a drive-up ATM and ample parking – some things the location was in desperate need of. “Now that the renovation is over, we’re glad to have our customers back and see some new faces,” she said.

Branch Manager Nancy Klugh outside Susquehanna Bank's new office at the renovated Lancaster Shopping Center.

One of those regular customers is Holly Brosey. Holly visits the shopping center weekly to take care of both professional and personal business at the bank. The office continues to receive her business because they treat her with great customer care – always greeting her by first name and with a smile.

Not far down the street from this well-established office, a new kind of energy is developing. Susquehanna Bank’s Landis Valley office opened in January and is off to a great start. The new office is located in a shopping area along with several other new businesses and start-ups. Hmmm… a new bank branch in a new shopping center? Sounds like Landis Valley in 2011 is a parallel to Lancaster Shopping Center in 1958.

Branch Manager Melissa Argall poses inside the new Landis Valley office.

Branch Manager Melissa Argall really feels that the new businesses are connecting with each other and developing a sense of community. “It makes it easy for me to reach out to my co-workers and fellow businesses to become involved in area happenings. Through my community involvement, I am able to stay in touch with our market and in turn do business with my customers with a real sense of their needs and surroundings.”

She recalled a recent visit from a customer. “They were cutting it really close with their finances. We successfully helped them refinance, so they’re saving money on a monthly basis. And I told my team, ‘This is it.’ This is how we can help our community. This is a good day on the job – we’re helping someone make a positive change in a challenging situation.”

It is acts like these that have allowed Susquehanna to help its neighbors over the past years and team members like these that will continue to help the community as we move into the next century. I wonder what the Landis Valley office will be up to 50 years from now?

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