OVB moves to VISA debit cards

As many of you may know, Ohio Valley Bank has made the switch to Visa debit cards. Not only does this switch help keep fees lower for customers, but it also provides better security.

If you have not yet received your OVB Visa debit card, no need to panic as these cards are being gradually issued over the next months. Customers should still use their current MasterCard if they have not yet received their Visa. MasterCards will be automatically blocked once the customer activates their new Visa or 30 days after the Visa card is issued if it has not been activated.

OVB assistant vice president, customer support manager, Angie Kinnaird, sat down for a Q&A to clear up any confusion regarding the switch to Visa.

  1. As an OVB customer am I required to do anything to receive my new OVB Visa debit card? No, all customers will receive a new Visa card by or before the end of June.
  2. Will my card number change? Yes, new card numbers will be assigned.
  3. When will I get my new card in the mail? Cards are being distributed randomly through June.
  4. Other than activate my new card is there anything else I need to do? Upon activation, you will need to create a PIN. You can establish the same PIN if you wish to do so or create something new.
  5. Will my account be affected in any way with the card switch? No.

If you are away from home when your new card arrives, there is no need to worry as your MasterCard will continue to work for 30 days after your new Visa is issued.

Each new Visa card will be EMV chip enabled. Along with a new number, the Visa cards will include a new expiration date and CCV. Cardholders with recurring payments tied to their old card will need to notify who they pay and update their information.

Customers who currently have a Community First design card and receive a standard Visa in the mail can visit an OVB branch to get their Community First design back for free. However, the fee is not waived if customers choose a different Community First design than they previously had. This way, the school or charity does not miss out on the donation.

For more information or for assistance in activating your new card, call 1-800-468-6682 or visit any OVB location.

 

Are you keeping your New Year’s resolutions?

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Saving money is a common New Year’s resolution. Be sure to check out OVB’s Benjamin Tracker so you can stick with your goal of spending wisely this year.

 

It’s hard to believe we are nearly two months into 2018. We’ve almost made it out of winter with spring ready to welcome us soon. As we continue to navigate the New Year, one question remains: have you stuck with your resolutions?

If you answered yes, great job and keep it up! If you answered no, don’t feel bad because there is still plenty of time to get back on track. It seems after January many people run out of their “fresh start steam” and New Year’s resolutions become long-forgotten goals of the past. Just because you’ve strayed off the path doesn’t mean you need to quit entirely. We are here to help you make 2018 your best year yet!

  1. Review your resolutions. If you’ve completely fallen off the path of sticking with your resolutions, think of what they were and how you can make them more attainable. Remember to be realistic. Maybe you started too big or didn’t have enough time? Fix what went wrong and try again. Remember it is ok to adjust your goals to be more realistic as long as you continue to work hard to achieve them.
  2. Remember to track wisely. Don’t forget to keep track of your progress as it can help you stay focused. Journal what you’ve done and remember to list your struggles too so you know what to work on next. For example, a common resolution is to save money. If you are struggling to maintain this resolution, be sure to check out OVB’s Benjamin Tracker, where you can create a spending target to keep you focused. “Say you set a New Year’s resolution that you weren’t going to indulge in those coffee specialty drinks—iced caramel mocha anyone?—as much this year. Simply set a target for the amount you want to spend and category (coffee). When your transactions come into the bank, Benjamin Tracker will keep a running total of what you have spent in the coffee category and will visually warn you with a progress bar that turns from green to yellow to red when you are getting close to your target limit,” Bryna Butler, OVB vice president corporate communications, said.
  3. Make yourself accountable. Join social media groups to share your struggles and victories. There really is strength in numbers. For example, are you finding it difficult to stick with a healthy eating plan? You are not alone. Through social media you can find needed support as well as suggestions, such as healthy recipes, to help achieve your goals.
  4. Are you organized? When we make our New Year’s resolutions we often don’t consider potential road blocks, such as a busy work schedule. Remember to write down times that you can work on achieving your goals. For example, if you want to exercise more this year, don’t let your already hectic schedule deter you. Instead, make it part of your already established routine. Block out 20 minutes a day to get in your exercise. Twenty minutes can be done before work, during your lunch break, after work, or even during the evening.
  5. Reward your success. Don’t dwell on your shortcomings. Resolutions aren’t easy to keep, but if you focus on what you have done that can help motivate you to continue. Remember a good attitude can make all the difference in your success. If you want to get yourself something special to reward your progress but don’t want to spend money, remember to take advantage of your OVB Visa Rewards by using your Scorecard points.
  6. Look to your local community for help. Sometimes the best resources to help you stick with your New Year’s resolutions lie in your own backyard. Maybe you want to exercise more and just can’t stay motivated? Check out your local gym for classes and hours. Many gyms even offer personal training services to keep you focused. If your resolution was to explore your creative side, look for local art classes at area museums. Even if your resolution was to save money, remember your community can help with that. Visit your local parks for recreation and take advantage of the many free community events offered throughout the year to keep you entertained and your wallet full.

We hope 2018 is off to a good start for you, but if you have stumbled these first two months remember that it’s not too late to get back on track. Hopefully our tips will keep you motivated to stick with your resolutions. Let’s continue to make 2018 a great year!

 

 

OVB BANKit wraps first semester

Ohio Valley Bank recently wrapped up another successful semester with their high school financial literacy program. The OVB BANKit program, which brings real-life banking lessons to the classroom, runs throughout the entire academic year.

The 2017-2018 academic year includes participating schools from both Ohio and West Virginia. While some participating classes operate on a school year-long basis, others are split into semesters. Semester classes complete the full BANKit program just as those on a full academic schedule.

Created in 2010, the program brings real-life banking lessons to the classroom. Lessons are conducted by OVB’s Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush. The program also works as a game in which students are given $100 in “buzz bucks,” the OVB BANKit currency. Their goal is to make as much money as they can by the program’s end. Students have the option to invest their buzz bucks as they wish among different accounts, including CDs, money market accounts, basic checking accounts and savings accounts. They also have the option to purchase and sell shares of stock in the game’s mock company, Pseudosoft.

Each visit, students draw a Real Life Card, which may force them to pay a bill or provide them with unexpected cash. During this time, students also have a chance to manage their banking and make deposits/withdrawals in their accounts. This portion of the program is especially important as students learn to fill out basic bank paper work as well as practice money management in a hands-on environment.

Along with the game aspect, each BANKit visit includes a lesson on a banking topic. Lessons covered last semester included:

  1. Basic differences in account types
  2. Filling out basic bank paper work, including deposits and withdrawals; check writing; updating check register
  3. Reading a bank statement
  4. Credit/Cost of Credit/Credit Reports/Credit Scores
  5. Budgeting
  6. Identity Theft
  7. Credit vs. Debit
  8. Interest

The overall winner of BANKit at each participating school last semester received a cash prize, while classroom winners received a special treat. In addition, a final review game is played at the program’s conclusion. The final review game covers all BANKit topics. The review game winners during last semester earned a cash prize as well.

OVB BANKit 2017-2018 first semester winners are as follows:

  1. Tessa Skinner, Gallia Academy High School
  2. Hanna Davis, River Valley High School
  3. Garrett Jeffries, Mason County Career Center

Final review game winners were Kaitlyn Williams, Gallia Academy High School; Caleb Dunford, Gallia Academy High School; Braden Jamora, Gallia Academy High School; Haven Kingery, River Valley High School; Noah Patterson, River Valley High School; and Tyler Hess, River Valley High School. Due to snow days, Mason County Career Center classes were unable to play the final review game.

OVB BANKit started second semester sessions this week at participating schools. For more information on the program as well as other financial education programs, contact Roush at hdroush@ovbc.com.

 

Give back and give thanks

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While the feast at Thanksgiving often takes center stage, it is important to remember the meaning behind the celebration. Being thankful for the blessings you have is what makes Thanksgiving truly special.

To make your Turkey Day great this year, why not give thanks and give back? A focus of Ohio Valley Bank’s Community First mission is to help make the communities we serve a better place. Volunteering and helping others is part of that mission, and what better time of year to lend a helping hand than Thanksgiving?

There are many ways you can give back this Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season. To start, count the blessings you currently have. Nothing makes you more ready to help others than to be grateful. Here are some ideas to get you started on what you can do to help make someone’s Thanksgiving extra special this year:

  1. Host a food drive. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, start a food drive in your local neighborhood and/or workplace. Encourage people to donate non-perishable items, which will go toward a local soup kitchen or food bank. This is a great thing to keep going throughout the holiday season, and more importantly throughout the year. Donations do tend to come in more plentiful during the holidays, so strive to keep your food drive going well past the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.
  2. Volunteer to help prep/serve dinner. Many soup kitchens, shelters, and church groups often host Thanksgiving dinners for those in need. Look into what you can do to be involved. Whether you help with meal prep beforehand or serve meals, this is a great way to give back and truly see firsthand how important it is to lend a hand in your community.
  3. Host dinner for people who have no place to go. While we often celebrate Thanksgiving meals with our families, we may not realize that there are many people who don’t live near their relatives and end up spending the holiday alone. Whether it’s a co-worker without dinner plans, a friend, or maybe your children’s friends, open your home and give those folks that would otherwise be alone a place to enjoy dinner this year.
  4. Run or walk a Turkey Trot. Turkey Trots are a great way to not only get in some exercise this Thanksgiving, but many race proceeds go toward various charities. Sign up to run with your family and make it a tradition. Locally, on Thursday, Nov. 23, at Barboursville Park in Barboursville, W.Va., the Racing Hunger 5K Turkey Trot will take place. The proceeds will go toward providing meals and supplemental food assistance to locals in need. In Huntington, W.Va., the Huntington Turkey Trot is also scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 23. The race will take place at Ritter Park. All proceeds will benefit the Little Victories No Kill Animal Shelter.
  5. Visit senior citizen centers and/or nursing homes. Sometimes just spending time with someone can make their day. The holidays can be a lonely time for many people, especially the elderly. Contact your local center for visiting hours and get a group of friends together to volunteer. Singing songs, making crafts, or simply just having a conversation with a nursing home resident can make their day and Thanksgiving especially great.
  6. Help your fur friends. Animal shelters seek donations of food and toys year round. Don’t forget the critters this holiday and organize a donation drive for these lovable animals in need. Contact your local animal shelter for more information on how to get started.
  7. Reconnect with old friends and family. Sometimes without meaning to do so, we lose touch with our friends and even some family members. Instead of sending a card or letting another holiday slip away, give your old friend a call this Thanksgiving. It can make them feel special and it will make you feel good to reconnect as well. A simple phone call is all it takes to make someone’s day great.
  8. Donate blood. Giving the gift of life is a wonderful way to help those in need this Thanksgiving and holiday season. So often, we only think to give blood during times of crisis, however blood donations are needed year round. Contact your local hospital and/or Red Cross for more information.
  9. Volunteer at your local children’s hospital. No one likes to spend their holidays sick, especially children. Around the holidays many children’s hospitals or pediatric wings allow volunteers to come read and entertain their patients. Locally, the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital at Cabell-Huntington Hospital in Huntington, W.Va., is a good place to start. Contact Hoops for more information on what you can do to help.
  10. Stick with it. While Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to give back, our communities are in need the entire year. However you choose to volunteer or whatever helpful project you take part in, make it a goal to keep up your efforts throughout the year.

There are several other ways to give back this Thanksgiving. We hope you are inspired to help your communities. Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

Have a holly jolly Christmas with local events

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Santa Claus and OVB President and CEO Tom Wiseman spread Christmas cheer at the Mini Bank

It’s the most wonderful time of the year indeed as many festive local events are set to make this holiday season memorable.

Christmas isn’t just about gifts and food, it’s also a great time to come together as a community while spending time with your family. Our area has many different holiday activities on tap for everyone to enjoy.

Kicking off this year’s festivities is the Holiday Bazaar in Mt. Sterling, Ohio. The event, slated for Saturday, Nov. 4, will take place at the Community Center. In Jackson, Ohio, there will be a Winter Wonderland and Craft Show Nov. 5-6 at the YMCA.

You won’t want to miss the largest night time illuminated Christmas Parade in Southern Ohio, which is scheduled for Saturday Nov. 18 in Waverly. The parade will begin at 5 p.m. and wind through the streets of town. More festive events, including a Jingle Bell 5K Run and indoor craft show at Waverly High School, will also take place Saturday morning. For more information and a full schedule of the weekend’s festive events, call 740-947-9650.

See the Christmas season come to light starting Nov. 17 with the Christmas Fantasy Light Show in Point Pleasant, W.Va. The event will run until Dec. 31 from 6-9 p.m. every evening at Krodel Park. Across the river in Gallipolis, Ohio, the Gallipolis City Park will be illuminated in the holiday season as well. The 5th Annual Gallipolis in Lights Park Lighting will take place Nov. 22. To celebrate the lighting’s kick-off, a variety of entertainment is scheduled. The Gallipolis Twirling Angels will perform at 5:30 p.m. with live Christmas music on the stage to follow. Cookies and hot chocolate will be available to keep everyone warm and toasty.

You will be able to see one of the classic holiday tales come to life with The Marshall University School of Theatre’s presentation of “A Christmas Carol.” Shows are scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Nov. 15-18, at the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center in Huntington, W.Va. Tickets are free to full-time Marshall students. For more information on regular pricing and tickets, call the box office at 304-696-6395.

From Nov. 22-Dec. 22 you can check out the Holiday Exhibit at the French Art Colony in Gallipolis. The exhibit will feature work by a local artist. Hours are from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Festive fun will take center stage on Friday, Dec. 1, in Point Pleasant with the evening Christmas parade and Tree Lighting at Gunn Park. The events will begin at 6 p.m. On Saturday, Dec. 2, the Mason/New Haven Christmas Parade will also take place at noon. Christmas Parade fun is slated on Dec. 2 in Gallipolis as well. The parade will start at 1 p.m. with the route making its way down 2nd Ave. to the City Park. Santa will be the featured float and will be in his house at the park following the parade. Be sure to check out our OVB elves in the parade with the bank’s Christmas Express float!

Santa will also be available at his house in the park for several more days before he makes his way back to the North Pole for Christmas Eve. For more information, call 740-446-6882.

More holiday activities will take place Dec. 2, including Christmas on the Frontier at Krodel Park’s Fort Randolph in Point Pleasant. In Wellston, Ohio, enjoy Christmas Treats on Wellston Streets from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. The traditional hometown holiday event will feature a silent auction of decorated Christmas trees, carolers on the streets, special events in local businesses, and arts and crafts.

On Sunday, Dec. 3, the Mt. Sterling Community Center will host Christmas in the Village from 2-4 p.m.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas LIVE!” will bring another holiday favorite to the stage on Dec. 5. The performance featuring the Peanuts gang is slated for 7 p.m. at the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center in Huntington. For more information, contact the box office at 304-696-6656.

On Dec. 9 in Huntington, round up the kiddos to get their picture taken with Santa all the while supporting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Huntington. The event will run from 10 a.m.-noon at FPC Huntington. In addition to pictures with Santa there will be super heroes, including Batman, as well as cookies, crafts, and face painting. All event proceeds will help children and their families who stay at the Ronald McDonald House.

In Gallipolis, the “Voices of Christmas” show will take place Dec. 16 at the Ariel Theatre from 7-9:30 p.m. For more information, call the Ariel at 740-446-2787.

Even more holiday lights will come to life Dec. 8-17 with the Christmas Light Show at the West Virginia State Farm Museum in Point Pleasant. These lights transform the museum grounds into a unique Christmas village. You can view the lights from 6-9 p.m. each evening.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

 

Save money with DIY Halloween costumes

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OVB employees got all dolled up for the perfect DIY Halloween costume

Ghosts galore, spooky tricks and tasty treats can only mean one thing – it’s time for Halloween! Like any holiday, however, Halloween can end up being quite costly. Don’t let money scare you like ghosts and ghouls. There are many ways to have a Happy Halloween without frightening your finances away.

While many people associate Halloween with candy, costumes are generally the focal point of the holiday. Halloween costumes appeal to all ages, and unfortunately can be expensive. Many store bought costumes have a high price tag, but don’t feel forced to overspend. With some extra time and a little creativity, you can make your own costume that can be just as good, if not better, than one you purchase.

Halloween is the perfect time to tap into your creative, artistic side. As DIY projects continue to be all the rage, why not work some do it yourself magic into this year’s costume? Whether you are making a costume for yourself or making multiple costumes for your children and family, DIY is the way to go. Not only will you save quite a bit of money, but your costumes can even be unique and different.

Here are some of our ideas to help you get started with your DIY Halloween costuming:

  1. Go classic. Halloween costumes that never go out of style are traditional ghosts and witches. While these may be a little basic, it’s an easy, low-cost option. Both of these costumes are also great for the last minute Halloween party-goer. To create your ghost costume, simply cut two holes for eyes side by side in a white sheet. If you already have an old white sheet that you don’t mind cutting up, even better! For a witch costume, all you really need is a witch’s hat, which can typically be purchased at an inexpensive price. Simply wear your witch hat with black clothing and hocus pocus: transformation complete!
  2. Search your closet. In an age where fashion trends are constantly changing, it can be comical to dress as a blast from the past. Wear older styles that you still own. You might have to do some digging, but taking it back a decade makes for a great costume, and one that’s almost cost-free. A “groovy” 70s you, your “gnarly” 80s self or taking it back to that “da bomb” style of the 90s all make for pretty cool costumes.
  3. Puns are fun. Want an easy to make, unique and funny costume? Time to break out the puns. One example is be a “cereal killer.” To make this costume, just take an old shirt and hot glue empty cereal boxes on it. For an added splash, throw some red paint or fake blood on it too. Get it? A cereal “killer.” Another easy pun costume example takes a stab at one of the big movies currently in pop culture, Fifty Shades of Grey. No, we don’t mean something naughty. All you need is a grey shirt and some grey paint sample cards. Simply hot glue the samples to your shirt and boom: you’re “fifty shades of grey.” For another twist, paint some cat or dog whiskers on your face and wear a party hat, you party animal. Another idea is to gather your friends and go as “The Four Seasons.” No, we don’t mean the musical group, but the actual seasons with each person wearing either a winter, spring, summer or fall themed-outfit. There are many more easy and fun pun costumes. Check out your Pinterest boards for inspiration.
  4. Accessorize. Adding a simple headpiece or accessory to a regular outfit can make for a fun, easy and relatively inexpensive Halloween costume. For example, adding cat ears to a black, white, pink or grey dress and/or shirt/pants combo is a simple costume. Make it even cuter by painting some whiskers on your face. Ladies, transform into a princess simply by pairing a costume tiara with a party dress you already own. As for the guys, you can be a king just by adding a costume crown to any suit you already have in your closet. Devil or Angel? You can be either by pairing devil ears or an angelic halo and wings to color appropriate clothing. When you add just a small detail to your current clothes it makes your costume creation process simple and nearly cost-free.
  5. Go simple scary. Want to be frightening this Halloween? All you need to do is rip some old clothes and splash either fake blood or red paint on them. Pair it with a cheap scary mask or use face paint to transform into a spooky zombie.
  6. Do Halloween as a group. There are so many creative, fun, low-cost group costume options. An easy example is to dress a rainbow, where each member of your costume party simply dresses head to toe in their assigned color. Find pieces from thrift stores or your closet and do a group theme as characters from your favorite movie or show. When it comes to group themes, half of what makes your costume so great is seeing your idea come together with multiple friends.

There are many more creative and fun DIY Halloween costumes. Shop your local craft stores for fabric and supplies to help you get started. A hot glue gun can work wonders if you don’t sew. Glue dots are also a nice tool to aid in your costume creation. Search the internet for inspiration. Once you have an idea, you will be surprised at how quickly it comes together. Your wallet will thank you too.

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OVB employees dress as everyone’s favorite campfire snack 

Happy Halloween!

Celebrate autumn with festive area events

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Autumn is officially here. With the vibrant changing leaves and soon-to-be cooler temperatures, the fall season is also widely celebrated locally.

Beginning this month, our area communities have many fall activities on tap. From family events to historical reenactments, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Kicking things off in a festive fall manner is the Annual West Virginia Pumpkin Festival in Milton. The event, which began in 1986, is one of the state’s largest fests. This year’s festival will begin Thursday, Oct. 5 with events taking place through Sunday, Oct. 8.  The festival will feature a cultural array of family activities. More than 100 skilled artisans will display crafts and there will be a variety of exhibits and demonstrations, such as blacksmithing, pottery making, quilting and woodworking. In addition, the event will host a variety of musicians, featuring the sounds of bluegrass, traditional and contemporary styles. A 5K run will also take place.

In Point Pleasant, the West Virginia State Farm Museum’s Annual Country Fall Festival is slated for Oct. 7-8. The event features a variety of family activities serving as a great kick-off to the autumn season. Also in Point Pleasant, history will come to life Oct. 6-8 with the Annual Battle Days Festival. The event will take place at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park and Main Street. Historical reenactments along with other demonstrations are scheduled. A parade is set for 11 a.m. on Main Street Saturday, Oct. 7. The Battle Days Encampment will also take place Oct. 6-8 at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park.

In Gallia County, the autumn season means it’s time for the Bob Evans Farm Festival. The annual event is set for Oct. 13-15 in Rio Grande, Ohio.  The festival offers a wide range of entertainment, handmade arts and crafts, farm contests, children’s activities, demonstrations and musical performances. What makes the festival so unique is that it takes place at the original Bob Evans Restaurant, which will have a food tent on site. Additional food including Ohio-made cheeses and trail bologna will be available as well as traditional fare including bean soup, corn bread, kettle corn, pies, apple dumplings and ice cream.

In Jackson County, Ohio, the Foothills Art Festival is scheduled for Oct. 13-15. The 36th annual event will take place in the Main Lodge at Canter’s Cave 4-H Camp, located five miles northwest of Jackson. Hours are Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 12-5 p.m. The festival is a long standing tradition held within the foothills of Southeastern Ohio and features approximately 100 artists and over 500 works of art.

More festive fall fun is in store at Point Pleasant’s Fort Randolph and Krodel Park with Harvest Fest/Tales in the Tavern. The event is slated for Saturday, Oct. 28 from 4-8 p.m. Harvest Fest will bring history to life in the area once again.

The Pumpkin House, which is located in the Kenova area of Cabell County, will bring autumn and Halloween fun starting Friday, Oct. 27. The house is certainly unique decorated with more than 3,000 hand-carved pumpkins. Visitors can see the famous house through Oct. 31. Along with the Pumpkin House, the C-K AutumnFest will take place in Kenova and the community of Ceredo. There will be arts and crafts booths, an old-fashioned bake-off and local vendors.

In Madison County, Ohio, the London Strawberry Festival will host their Halloween Car and Motorcycle Show Saturday, Nov. 4. The event will take place in the Walmart Parking Lot in London. There will be contests for best decorated car, best decorated cycle, best decorated truck, best adult costume and best youth costume.

For more information on any fall events that may take place in your community, contact your area chamber of commerce or tourism center. Have a fun, festive fall!