News from The Bank of Marion

Julia Jones Named to Governor’s Board

September 06, 2022 – Marion, VA   Chilhowie farmer and Marion banker, Julia Michelle Blevins Jones, has been appointed to the Virginia Cattle Industry Board. She was named to the board by Governor Glenn Youngkin as one of his recent key administration appointments.

“I’m proud to appoint these dedicated individuals,” said the Governor Youngkin.” Their work will move our Commonwealth into the future and help create a best-in-class government.”

Ms. Jones, her husband Farrell, and son Zack own Rolling Rock Farms in Chilhowie where they raise registered Simmental and Hereford cattle. She says their 100-acre farm was established in 1996 and was transformed from a commercial herd into a registered herd operation when Zack began showing cattle.

Ms. Jones joined the The Bank of Marion in 1999 as a part-time teller at the bank’s Chilhowie branch. She rose through the ranks to her current position as Assistant Vice President for Loan Review. She holds a Loan Review Professional (LRP) Certification. She is also a volunteer with the Smyth County 4-H youth development organization.

“We congratulate Julia on her appointment to the Virginia Cattle Industry Board,” said Chris Snodgrass, President and CEO of The Bank of Marion. “Her banking experience will be a great asset to the board as she works to promote Virginia’s cattle industry by increasing opportunities in education, industry research, and market development. We are very proud of her.”

Ms. Jones has already begun her duties with the board.


Julia Jones

Julia Jones


Charlie Clark to Chair The Bank of Marion’s Board

August 12, 2022 – Marion, VA   Perry D. “Pete” Mowbray, retiring chairman of The Bank of Marion’s Board of Directors, has announced his successor. Long-time board member Charles C. “Charlie” Clark. Jr. has been elected to chair the board.

Mr. Clark, a well-known Rich Valley farmer, has served on the board for almost two decades. He follows in the footsteps of his father, the late Charles C. “Champ” Clark, Sr., who chaired the board from 1985 until 1994. Mr. Clark replaced his father on the board in 1994 and now becomes the second member of his family to serve as board chairman.

Mr. Clark, who resides in Abingdon, is a graduate of Chilhowie High School, Virginia Highlands Community College, and East Tennessee State University. He is a member of the Rich Valley Fair Association, a former member of the Chilhowie Lions Club, and a member of the Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church in Abingdon.

Dr. Mowbray also formally announced his retirement from the board as well as the retirement of Board Secretary, Thomas E. “Tom” Copenhaver. Mr. Copenhaver was elected to the board in 1981 and was named Vice-Chairman and Secretary of the Board five years later.

Dr. Mowbray joined the board in 1986 and was elected Board Chairman in 2013. Under his leadership and direction, the bank enjoyed significant growth, adding new branches, a regional mortgage center and a regional business center.

“I congratulate Charlie Clark on his election as Chairman of The Bank of Marion’s Board of Directors,” said Dr. Mowbray. “He brings decades of business experience to the position along with an enviable record of service on the bank’s board. He has always been strongly dedicated to protecting the interests of our customers and shareholders while making astute recommendations and decisions affecting important banking issues.”

“I join Pete in congratulating Charlie on his new appointment and look forward to his leadership as Board Chair,” said Chris Snodgrass, the bank’s President and CEO. “We also commend Pete and Tom for a job well done and sincerely thank them for their outstanding leadership throughout the years,” Mr. Snodgrass continued. “We deeply appreciate their wise counsel and tireless service to the board. Both will be missed.”


Charlie Clark

Charles C. "Charlie" Clark, Jr.

Pete Mowbray

Perry D. "Pete" Mowbray, Jr.

Tom Copenhaver

Thomas E. “Tom” Copenhaver




Christian Alexander

Christian Alexander

Christian Alexander Joins The Bank of Marion’s Board of Directors

April 27, 2022 – Marion, VA.  Perry D. “Pete” Mowbray, D.D.S., Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Bank of Marion has announced the appointment of Marion businessman, Christian L. Alexander, to that board.

“It is a tradition at our bank to seek out the most talented and accomplished business professionals in our community to serve on our board,” Doctor Mowbray, said. “Christian Alexander certainly exemplifies that tradition. We are proud to welcome him to our board.” 

Mr. Alexander began his career in development at Counts Auction Group, one of the region’s leading auction and real estate companies. He continues to help manage sales and operations for that company.

In 2007, he joined the H.S. Williams Company, a Marion, Virginia-based commercial construction business as an estimator. As he quickly assumed greater responsibilities, he earned the position of Vice President of Operations in 2013. In 2020 he was named as the President and CEO and now owns and operates the company.

He has worked diligently to retain H.S. Williams’ title as one of the country’s top metal building construction contractors and has grown the business to include offices in Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee, and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Originally from Castlewood, Virginia, Mr. Alexander and his wife, Carrie, met at Emory and Henry College and now call Marion their home. They attend Highlands Fellowship Church and enjoy traveling the world seeking outdoor adventure. 

Together, he and Mrs. Alexander own and operate multiple real estate businesses in Southwestern Virginia that specialize in tourism real estate and rentals. 

Mr. Alexander proudly serves on the Board of Trustees for Speedway Children’s Charites and is passionate about finding ways to better the lives of our region’s youth.

“I am honored to be invited to the board of The Bank of Marion,” Mr. Alexander said. “It is a great banking institution and I look forward to serving our region in this additional way.”


The Bank of Marion Hosts High School Seniors for
VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program

Students Participate for a Chance to Win Up to $7,500 in College Scholarships

VBA Scholarship logo

March 11 - Marion, VA   On Tuesday, March 15th, The Bank of Marion will host local high school seniors for Bank Day, a statewide effort sponsored by the Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) Education Foundation and the VBA Emerging Bank Leaders.  The program introduces students to the banking industry and helps them learn about careers in banking, financial services, and the vital role that banks across Virginia play in their communities.

The third Tuesday in March was declared Bank Day by the Virginia General Assembly in 1991. The Bank of Marion has sponsored this important program every year since. The Bank will host interested students for a Bank Day gathering on Tuesday, March 15, at various branches.

As a part of the program, participating students will write an essay for a chance to win a college scholarship. Six regional scholarships of $2,500 each will be awarded by the VBA. From those six winners, an overall statewide winner will be chosen. That student will receive an additional $5,000 scholarship - $7,500 in total. There will also be six honorable mention scholarships of $1,000 each. In all, twelve students statewide will receive scholarships totaling $26,000.

Throughout the program, students will have access to a Virginia banking industry resource website for videos, articles, and podcasts to explore and research.

"Bank Day is one of the best short-term experiences for students—the opportunity to learn about the many services that banks offer and the ways Virginia banks support the communities they serve, and to start the networking that often leads to part-time and summer jobs, scholarships, and a start on a career path in the financial world,” said Bruce Whitehurst, president & CEO of the Virginia Bankers Association.

“This is the 10th consecutive Bank Day that we have hosted and we’re looking forward to this year’s event,” said Tammy Shuler, of The Bank of Marion’s Marketing Department, and local coordinator of the event.

“We have had four scholarship winners in the past and hope this year’s Bank Day will produce another one.”

The Virginia Bankers Association Education Foundation was formed in 2007 with the objective of recognizing the importance of economic education and financial literacy in Virginia and supporting the banking industry as a key participant in these areas. Its mission is to advance personal financial literacy to students in all public and private schools across the Commonwealth.



The Bank of Marion Donates $180,000 to Smyth County Schools

Check presentment to Smyth County Schools from The Bank of Marion.

From left to right:

Dennis G. Carter, PhD, Superintendent of Smyth County Public Schools

Christopher B. “Chris” Snodgrass, President and CEO of The Bank of Marion

Perry D. “Pete” Mowbray, Jr., D.D.S., Chairman of the Bank’s Board of Directors


February 08, 2022 – Marion, VA   The Bank of Marion has donated $180,000 to Smyth County Public Schools for new sports scoreboards, scorers’ tables, wall mats, and video cameras for athletic facilities at Smyth County Middle and High schools.

Announcement of the donation was made jointly on Tuesday, February 8, by Perry D. “Pete” Mowbray, Jr., D.D.S., Chairman of the bank’s board of directors and Dennis G. Carter, PhD, Superintendent of Smyth County Public Schools.

“We are pleased to work with Dr. Carter on the replacement of several scoreboards in gyms and on school athletic fields throughout the county,” Dr. Mowbray said. “Many of the scoreboards have become weathered and worn over the years or have become obsolete. The new scoreboards will boost morale among students and athletes and enhance the enjoyment of interscholastic sports by the fans.”

“It is a source of pleasure and pride at our bank to give back to the communities we serve,”
Dr. Mowbray continued. “We are thankful that we are able to do so in this instance on such a large scale.”

In addition to the new scoreboards, some gymnasiums will get new scorers’ tables and safety mats for the walls behind basketball goals. Some of the funds are allocated for automated camera systems for live video production and streaming of games and other events, such as graduation ceremonies, from school athletic facilities.

"We are very thankful for the community partnership we have with The Bank of Marion, Dr. Carter said.  “Chris Snodgrass, President and CEO of the bank, asked us to develop a wish list of scoreboard needs throughout the county.  Graciously, they funded every item on the list.  The generosity of The Bank of Marion will be seen as students, parents, staff, and community members attend events in our gyms and fields of play. We are deeply grateful for this gift.”

Installation projects for the scoreboards and wall mats are expected to begin immediately.


New Scoreboards Donated by The Bank are Going Up in Rural Retreat and Glade Spring as Well

The Bank of Marion also announced a donation of $9,372 to Rural Retreat High School in Wythe County for a new softball scoreboard and a $11,036 donation to Patrick Henry High School in Washington County, VA, for a new baseball scoreboard.



 Teresa Bystrek

Data Expert Joins The Bank of Marion’s Board of Directors

February 3, 2022 – Marion, VA   Teresa Bystrek, a Marion, Virginia resident and a Senior Product Manager with Neustar - A TransUnion Company, has been named to the board of directors of The Bank of Marion. The announcement was made by Board Chairman, Perry D. “Pete” Mowbray, Jr., D.D.S.

Although Ms. Bystrek spent her formative years in Radford, Virginia, she has deep family roots in Smyth County and now considers Marion as her hometown. A few years ago, she and her husband, Stan, purchased a home and farm on Snider Branch Road in Marion. That farm belonged to Ms. Bystrek’s grandfather, the late S.D. Scott, a well-known and respected dairy farmer.

Ms. Bystrek is a Distinguished Graduate of The University of Virginia’s School of Engineering with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and a graduate of The George Washington University School of Business with a Master of Science in Information Systems Technology.

Ms. Bystrek attributes her career path to an early interest in math, computer technology, data, and problem solving. She now works in data modeling and analytics.

“We are fortunate to have Teresa join our board,” stated Dr. Mowbray. “She brings over 25 years of IT experience and a practical understanding of the worth of data in decision-making. That is a valuable asset to our bank in an era when we increasingly depend on technology to better meet customer needs and demands.”

Ms. Bystrek and her family are members of First United Methodist Church in Marion and have strong ties to Mount Carmel Methodist Church near her home. She is a BSA Order of the Arrow Vigil Honor member, a Girl Scout troop leader and a Boy Scout pack, troop, and district leader.

Ms. Bystrek said, “I look forward to assisting the bank’s board wherever needed in its continuing quest for systems excellence and business results.”


Bob Shults Retires from The Bank of Marion’s Board of Directors

December 8, 2021 – Marion, VA     Robert M. (Bob) Shults, C.P.A., has retired from the board of directors of The Bank of Marion. The announcement was made by Board Chairman, Dr. Perry D. “Pete” Mowbray, Jr.  Mr. Shults has served on the board for two decades. The well-known Marion accountant is the principal officer of the accounting firm, Shults Kiser & Associates.

Mr. Shults is a 1967 graduate of Auburn University with a major in Business Administration. He joined the U.S. Army shortly after graduation and became an Artillery Battery Commander. He served in Vietnam where he was promoted to Captain and was awarded three Bronze Stars for meritorious service in a combat zone.

Following his military service, Mr. Shults pursued a career in accounting. He became a C.P.A. and worked for several accounting firms before forming Shults Kiser & Associates in Marion and Salem, Virginia. He is a Life Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Mr. Shults devotes much of his time in service to the community. He was a member of the Smyth County Community Hospital Board of Directors for 25 years and served four separate terms as the hospital’s Board Chair.  He is a charter member and treasurer of the Marion Morning Rotary Club, member and treasurer of Christ Episcopal Church, local member of the United States Selective Service System, member of the Smyth County Board of Zoning Appeals, member of the American Legion, and a Life Member of the Marion VFW Post. He also serves on the Town of Marion’s Economic Development Authority and is a past board member of the Smyth County Community Foundation.

“We are deeply thankful for Bob’s years of service to The Bank of Marion,” Dr. Mowbray said. “His knowledge of proven business practices and accounting principles, his dedication to excellence, and his devotion to constant improvement have contributed to our growth and success.”

Mr. Shults said he has enjoyed working with the bank and with other members of the board. “The Bank of Marion is very well run and has capable and talented management,” he stated. “Members of the board are collegial; they work well together and are willing to dive deeply into banking matters as needed. I will miss working with them.”

The Bank of Marion traditionally makes a $5,000 charitable donation in the name of retiring board members. At Mr. Shults’s request, his donation will go to these Marion, Virginia charities: Micah’s Backpack at Ebenezer Lutheran Church ($1,500), First United Methodist Church’s Food Pantry ($1,500), and the Mountain-to-Mountain Partnership at Christ Episcopal Church ($2,000).

Bob Shults

Robert M. (Bob) Shults, C.P.A.



Dana Carrico & Tammy Hash

Dana Carrico & Tammy Hash

New Manager at The Bank of Rural Retreat

November 19 - Rural Retreat, VA   Rural Retreat resident, Dana L. Carrico, has been named Manager and Loan Officer at The Bank of Rural Retreat. She replaces Tammy G. Hash, who recently retired. The Bank of Rural Retreat is a full-service branch of The Bank of Marion.

Ms. Hash joined The Bank of Marion in 1981 as a receptionist and soon moved to the teller line. She transferred to The Bank of Rural Retreat in 1995 as Head Teller/Vault Teller. She was later promoted to Branch Manager and Loan Officer.

The Atkins, Virginia native is a graduate of Marion Senior High School and The University of Virginia. She is a member of Davis Memorial Methodist Church in Atkins and is a former member of the American Heart Association and the Rural Retreat Lions Club.

At a recent retirement event at her bank, Ms. Hash said, “I am so grateful to The Bank of Marion for my years of employment, and to my customers and co-workers at The Bank of Rural Retreat for their friendship and support.”

“Tammy’s leadership at our Rural Retreat bank is responsible in great measure for that branch’s tremendous success and growth,” said Chris Snodgrass, The Bank of Marion’s President and CEO. “We will certainly miss her.”

Tammy’s successor brings almost two decades of banking experience to her new position. Dana Carrico, a Rural Retreat native, was hired by The Bank of Rural Retreat in 2002. She was Head Teller when she was tapped for the Manager’s job.

Ms. Carrico is a graduate of Rural Retreat High School and Wytheville Community College. She resides in Rural Retreat with her husband, Jeff, their daughter, Ava, and son, Lyric. She says, “I am very proud to have been at The Bank of Rural Retreat for 19 years and I look forward to many more years of serving my hometown bank.” 

Greg Griffin, Chief Loan officer, congratulated Ms. Carrico on her promotion and new responsibilities.  “We welcome Dana to her new position,” he said. “Her talent and her years of experience with our banking systems ensure a smooth management transition at The Bank of Rural Retreat.”

The Bank of Marion was established in 1874 and is Virginia’s third-oldest bank.



Chris Snodgrass Named to State Community Bank Board

November 12, 2021 – Richmond, VA   Christopher B. Snodgrass has joined the board of directors for the Virginia Association of Community Banks.  He is the President and CEO of the Bank of Marion in Marion, VA.  His election took place during the association’s recent 44th annual convention.

Steve Yeakel, VACB President & CEO said, “Chris brings a unique skill set to our board, given his early experience in bank examinations, followed by twenty years’ work at the same bank he now leads, which is Virginia’s third-oldest bank. He’s a dedicated community banker with broad knowledge whose bank focuses on balancing product innovation with strong community-focused values.  We’re looking forward to learning much from his perspective that will better equip us to provide value to our member banks and their customers.”

Said Snodgrass, “It is my honor and pleasure to serve on the board of the Virginia Association of Community Banks.  The VACB leadership does an excellent job of fulfilling our mission of advocacy and education for Virginia community banks, and I look forward to working more closely with them.”

Snodgrass, a resident of Chilhowie and a Virginia Tech graduate, joined the bank in 1999 as Chief Financial Officer, and was appointed to the bank’s board of directors last year. He is a licensed CPA and a graduate of the University of South Carolina’s Graduate School of Bank Investments and Financial Management.

Snodgrass is also quite active within his home community.  He currently serves on the board of the Smyth County Community Hospital.  He is a member of the Smyth County Community Foundation and the Marion Rotary Club. He is a Paul Harris Rotary Fellow and was recognized for outstanding service as a board member of the Mountain Empire Chapter of the American Red Cross.  He also plays drums in a local band as a hobby.

On a broader scale, he has assisted the Independent Community Bankers of America and the Virginia Association of Community Banks in their efforts to ensure legislation that is supportive of community banks and their customers.

Headquartered in Richmond, the Virginia Association of Community Banks works with locally owned and operated banks to provide undiluted advocacy at the federal level, targeted educational programming, and quality opportunities for collaboration among members and associate members.  VACB and its members strive to improve the lives of customers and employees in community banks across the Commonwealth.

Christopher B. Snodgrass

Chris B. Snodgrass
The Bank of Marion


Report Your Bank Account Data to the IRS? No Thank You!

An op-ed by

Chris Snodgrass, President and CEO, The Bank of Marion, Marion Virginia

October 18, 2021 - The Biden Administration has proposed a sweeping expansion of tax information reporting aimed at raising revenue to help offset the cost of funding the American Families Plan.   This proposal, if enacted, would require banks to report to the IRS information on the inflows and outflows of every account above a threshold of $600 during the year - or any account that has an average of $50 worth of activity each month.

We join the Virginia Association of Community Bankers, the Virginia Bankers Association, and the American Bankers Association in strong opposition to this proposed requirement. While policymakers insist this provision is aimed at high income earners, it affects almost every American with a bank account, including our local customers. This is bad public policy and should be rejected for reasons you should care about - privacy, impact, and cost.

U.S. Congressman Morgan Griffith of Virginia’s 9th District also opposes the proposal. He says, “Many constituents have contacted my office to express their concerns about this proposal. I agree that it would be an invasive and unnecessary expansion of power…”

On the privacy side, the IRS is a constant target for hackers and has had multiple data breaches.
Adding this enormous amount of data for every account that meets the $600 de minimis threshold will expose even more taxpayer financial data to cyber risk.

Recent polling by Independent Community Bankers of America found that 67 percent of voters opposed the proposal, which ICBA says, would be an excessive government intrusion that could hurt small businesses by double-taxing their income.

The Administration has also failed to explain how this new information would close the tax gap, and why virtually every American should sacrifice their financial privacy to enable closer inspection of the top 1% of taxpayers. Banks are already subjected to a burdensome number of compliance regulations, and we provide an enormous amount of information to the IRS.

We are also concerned about the impact this proposal would have on unbanked and underbanked citizens in our communities. Asking them to trust the IRS with more of their personal information would only add to the apprehension these groups already feel, and, as a result, cause them to be even more reluctant to have bank accounts.

The impact on average Americans and the safety and privacy of their financial information would not be mitigated by raising the reporting threshold to $10,000 or even higher. Consider a taxpayer who earns $18 an hour, has no other income, and pays rent and other living expenses. The sum of this taxpayer’s gross inflows and outflows after taxes would be around $60,000.

Self-employed contractors who buy materials and install them for customers will commonly have gross inflows and outflows that far exceed the income they earn. Whether it is average workers or self-employed citizens, virtually all Americans would be subject to this new reporting requirement.

For the IRS to design system capabilities to capture and report account inflows and outflows and other information is complex, expensive to maintain, and will take years to fully implement.

On the banking side, regardless of the threshold chosen, financial institutions like ours would be required to develop the necessary processes and technology to identify the accounts, report to the IRS and educate bank staff and customers on what these new systems.  These would be time-consuming and expensive endeavors.

This proposal claims to target wealthy Americans whom the IRS believes are dodging taxes. It neither targets only the wealthy nor focuses on those who dodge their tax bill.

We at The Bank of Marion strongly believe that everyone should pay their fair share of taxes. However, only a targeted approach aimed at those truly suspected of tax avoidance merits consideration. We continue to oppose this proposal and we hope you will express your concerns to our elected officials as well.  

To express your opposition to this proposal, we encourage you to contact your lawmakers here.

The Bank of Marion was established in 1874, making it the third oldest bank in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Rob Donnelly

Robert L. (Rob) Donnelly, recently retired Vice President for Marketing & Security

Rob Donnelly Celebrated by The Bank of Marion

Janice Conner and Debby Robinson Honored as Well

September 24, 2021 – Marion, VA   The management and staff of The Bank of Marion recently treated three newly retired employees to a cookout at Hungry Mother State Park. The September event celebrated the careers of three retirees who had collectively contributed over 144 years of service to the bank.

Robert L. (Rob) Donnelly joined the bank in 1974 as a teller. He was the first manager of the bank’s Washington Avenue branch and quickly rose through the ranks to become Vice President for Marketing and Head of Security. Along the way, he also served for many years as a loan officer.

A native of Chilhowie, Mr. Donnelly is a graduate of Chilhowie High School, Virginia Highlands Community College, and the Virginia Bankers Association School of Bank Management at the University of Virginia. He completed his formal education at the Graduate School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

Mr. Donnelly is an avid sports fan and community booster. He has served in many capacities in support of local youth sports, including volunteering and coaching for the Marion Recreation Department and Chilhowie Little League, where he also served as president. He is a past member of the Smyth County Chamber of Commerce, the American Red Cross, the Seven Mile Ford Ruritan Club, and the Marion Downtown Revitalization Association - where he served as a member of the board of directors. He was among the first volunteers for the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. Mr. Donnelly is a past president of the Virginia Young Bankers Association Group Five.

A father of two sons, Shannon and Joel, Mr. Donnelly is a devoted family man. He says he is especially fond of his three grandchildren and his daughter-in-law, Katie, who is married to Shannon.

“I am thankful for all the friendships that I made with customers and with my co-workers during my career at The Bank of Marion,” Mr. Donnelly said. “And I really enjoyed being a part of the tremendous growth of the bank over the years.”

“Rob Donnelly is going to be missed,” said Chris Snodgrass, the bank’s President and CEO. “He set the standard for customer service and community support at The Bank of Marion. He was tireless in his work on bank security and his creative ideas for community outreach, especially in terms of the region’s festivals and music events, is greatly appreciated.”

Mr. Donnelly’s supervisory responsibilities for marketing have been assumed by Marion resident, Sam Russell, who had served the bank as a consultant for many years. Mr. Russell joined the bank as an employee in 2019 and was recently named Vice President for Marketing.

“Sam has made a significant positive impact on the Bank’s growth and profitability over the years as a marketing consultant and recently as Vice President for Marketing,” Mr. Snodgrass continued. “Our Board and entire management team look forward to continue working and collaborating with Sam.”

Janice Conner was hired by The Bank of Marion in 1971 as a bookkeeper. She guided the bookkeeping department with a steady hand and an aptitude for accuracy with figures. For decades, bank customers who needed help with their checking account balance or wanted to trace a transaction would call the bank and simply ask for “Janice.” When Ms. Conner retired recently, she had worked for the bank and served her customers for a little over 50 years.

Ms. Conner and her husband Fred reside in Marion and attend Mount Carmel United Methodist Church. The Conners have one daughter, Emily Conner Peake, and two grandchildren, Isaac, and Ian.

Ms. Conner says she will enjoy spending more time with her grandchildren and attending their sporting events.

Debby Robinson, the Bank’s former Savings and C.D. Administrator, retired at about the same time as Ms. Conner. She joined the bank in 1973 and always maintained an attitude of service to customers and coworkers throughout the years.   

In retirement, Ms. Robinson continues her life-long dedication to serving others through her church affiliations.  She has made three mission trips to Interlockin, Switzerland and served as Acteen Director for the Lebanon Baptist Association. She teaches children at Family Missions Camp at Eagle Eyrie Conference Canter in Lynchburg, Virginia and leads Sunday Morning Bible Study for young children.

Ms. Robinson is a member of Marion Baptist Church and resides in Marion.

“Janice and Debby exemplify the kind of people who we love to have as team members at our banks,” Mr. Snodgrass remarked. “They were hard-working and energetic employees who made many contributions to the bank and who continue to serve people in the communities where they live.”


Janice Conner and Debby Robinson

Janice Conner (left) and Debby Robinson (right) recently retired Bank of Marion employees pictured at a celebration in their honor


Bruce Whitehurst, President and CEO of The Virginia Bankers Association (left) and Chris Snodgrass, President and CEO of The Bank of Marion (right) are pictured with Marcus Lomans, Assistant Operations Officer at The Bank of Marion (center.)

Bruce Whitehurst, President and CEO of The Virginia Bankers Association (left) and Chris Snodgrass, President and CEO of The Bank of Marion (right) are pictured with Marcus Lomans, Assistant Operations Officer at The Bank of Marion (center.) The occasion was the graduation of Mr. Lomans from Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management on August 6.




August 6, 2021- Charlottesville, VA   Marcus Lomans, Assistant Operations Officer at The Bank of Marion was among the sixty-three Virginia bankers who graduated this past Friday from the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management in Charlottesville. The three-year school is sponsored by the Virginia Bankers Association.

Bruce Whitehurst, VBA President and CEO said about this year’s graduating class, “We are proud of the sixty-three bankers who graduated this year. These students have developed a range of skills that will both enhance their current performance, as well as qualify them as potential candidates for advancement within their institutions. The connections they have made with other students – even after a fully virtual program in 2020 – will benefit them both personally and professionally for years to come.”

Employing highly qualified instructors and a challenging curriculum, the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management provides a multidimensional banking education experience. Graduates complete three one week summer sessions and eight home study problems. They participate in a BankExec simulation that gives them the opportunity to make decisions acting as senior officers of a bank. Graduates broaden their knowledge in all respects of banking, economics, and related subjects.

“All of us at The Bank of Marion are proud of Marcus and the contributions he has already made to our bank and to the communities we serve,” said Chris Snodgrass, President and CEO of The Bank of Marion. “I’m sure that Marcus will continue to advance his banking education and excel in his profession.” 



Beth Morefield and Ben Hartsock

Beth Morefield & Ben Hartsock


The Bank of Marion Announces New Employees

June 8, 2021 – Marion, VA    Beth A. Morefield is the new Manager and Loan Officer at The Bank of Chilhowie, a branch of the The Bank of Marion. She replaced the former manager, Marcus Lomans, who was promoted to Assistant Operations Officer at the bank’s main office in Marion, Virginia. 

Ms. Morefield has 36 years of experience in banking with 31 of them in bank management. She is a graduate of Castlewood High School and Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Virginia, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management.  She is a Castlewood, Virginia native but has lived in Abingdon for most of her life.

“I appreciate the fact that my staff members here at The Bank of Chilhowie are so involved in the community,” she said. “That is a key aspect of hometown community banking and one that I earnestly endorse.” 

Benjamin W. (Ben) Hartsock has joined The Bank of Marion’s downtown Marion staff as a Loan Officer. He is originally from Scott County, Virginia and now lives in Rural Retreat with his wife, Alisyn, and daughter, Lockie Elizabeth.

Mr. Hartsock is a graduate of Twin Springs High School in Nicklesville, Virginia and Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in History with a minor in Business Administration from UVA-Wise. He is a former Personal Lending Specialist and Banking Relationship Manager.

Mr. Hartsock is an Eagle Scout and a volunteer with youth and GameChurch ministries. “I am delighted to join The Bank of Marion,” Mr. Hartsock said. “I appreciate the way this bank seeks to build lasting relationships with its customers.”

“Although both of these new employees have been in their jobs for some time, we wanted to announce that they have joined our bank family,” said Chris Snodgrass, the bank’s President and CEO. “We are lucky to have them both. Our customers will certainly benefit from their knowledge and experience.”



Ernie Catron, Heidi Lyall and Marcus Lomans.

Ernie Catron, Heidi Lyall & Marcus Lomans


The Bank of Marion Announces Staff Promotions


Three veteran employees have been elevated to senior positions.

May 13, 2021 – Marion, VA   Ernest F. (Ernie) Catron of Chilhowie was promoted from Assistant Vice President to Vice President and Security Officer. He is a graduate of Marion Senior High School, Emory & Henry College, the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management at the University of Virginia, and the Graduate School of Banking At Louisiana State University.

Mr. Catron joined the bank in 1981.

Mr. Catron is a Member of First United Methodist Church in Marion, a former Representative of Smyth County on the Revolving Loan Committee of the Mount Rogers Planning District Commission, and a former member of the Smyth County Chamber of Commerce.

Heidi D. Lyall, Professional of Human Resources (PHR) and Society of Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP), was named Vice President and Director of Human Resources.

The Rural Retreat native was first employed by the bank in 1997 as a part-time teller at The Bank of Rural Retreat and worked there during her summer breaks while in college. She is a graduate of Rural Retreat High School, Emory & Henry College, and Virginia Intermont College.

Mrs. Lyall is a board member and Vice Chair of Brock Hughes Medical Center in Wytheville, a member of Rural Retreat United Methodist Church, and a member of the Wythe County Planning Commission where she also serves as Secretary.


Marcus A. Lomans, the former Manager and Loan Officer at The Bank of Chilhowie, was recently promoted to Assistant Operations Officer at the bank’s main office in Marion.

Mr. Lomans is a graduate of Chilhowie High School. He received his undergraduate degree in Business Management from the University of Virginia at Wise and his MBA with a Concentration in Management from King University. He was a member of two All-America Track and Field Teams while at King.

Mr. Lomans is an Assistant Coach of the Chilhowie High School Boys Basketball team and a member of the Board of Directors of the Smyth County Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s not often that I have the pleasure of announcing the promotions of three employees at the same time. Especially three individuals with the outstanding talents, work ethics and dedication to community service as these,” said Chris Snodgrass, President and CEO of The Bank of Marion. “We are indeed fortunate to have such a strong system-wide staff, and Ernie, Heidi and Marcus certainly exemplify that.”



Greg Sayers


Sayers Joins Hometown Financial Services*

Marion, VA - 13 May 2021   James Gregory (“Greg”) Sayers has joined Hometown Financial Services as an Investment Advisor Representative. The Marion resident has 19 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Before joining Hometown Financial Services, Mr. Sayers had worked since 2002 for the Horace Mann Companies of Springfield Illinois under his own enterprise, Sayers Financial Services, LLC. He specialized in retirement planning, investing, asset protection, and financial growth.  

“We are pleased that Greg has joined us”, said Danny Rose, OSJ Branch Manager, Investment Advisor Representative with Hometown Financial Services. “Greg’s extensive and diverse financial experience and his dedication to helping individuals and businesses build a strong, secure, financial future will be a great asset to our organization and to our customers.”

Mr. Sayers is a 1988 graduate of Marion Senior High School and a 1992 graduate of Radford University. He and his wife, Jennifer Bordwine Sayers, reside in Marion with their sons Carter, 14, and Campbell, 10. A former Club Golf pro himself, Mr. Sayers, enjoys watching and coaching his sons in golf as well as basketball and baseball.

“I’m looking forward to my association with Hometown Financial Services and the opportunity to work with Danny Rose and his team to help our communities and their residents and businesses reach their financial goals,” Mr. Sayers said.

Hometown Financial Services – Available through The Bank of Marion.

*Services and insurance products are offered through Cetera Investments Services LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services are offered through Cetera Investment Advisors LLC. Neither firm is affiliated with the financial institution where investment services are offered.

Investments are: *Not FDIC/NCUSIF Insured *May lose value *Not financial Institution guaranteed *Not a deposit *Not insured by any federal government agency.

Registered address and registered telephone number:

101 E. Main Street, Marion, VA 24354  276-783-6646


Retiring Members of The Bank of Marion’s Board of Directors Honored

Retiring members of The Bank of Marion’s Board of Directors received resolutions of appreciation for their service to The Bank and to the community at the recent annual meeting of the shareholders of Southwest Virginia Bankshares, Inc.

The honored retiring board members are Everette N. Umbarger and Donald W. Taylor, both of Marion, Virginia. Mr. Umbarger served on the board for 18 years and Mr. Taylor served for 20 years.

The resolutions were presented by Thomas E. Copenhaver, Secretary of the Board of Directors.

Thomas E. “Tom” Copenhaver, Secretary of the Board of Directors of The Bank of Marion (left) and outgoing board member, Everette N. Umbarger (right).

Thomas E. “Tom” Copenhaver, Secretary of the Board of Directors of The Bank of Marion (left) and outgoing board member, Everette N. Umbarger (right).

Thomas E. “Tom” Copenhaver, Secretary of the Board of Directors of The Bank of Marion (left) and outgoing board member, Donald W. “Don” Taylor (right).

Thomas E. “Tom” Copenhaver, Secretary of the Board of Directors of The Bank of Marion (left) and outgoing board member, Donald W. “Don” Taylor (right).


The Paycheck Protection Program Ends

The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding has been exhausted.

“The PPP application portal stopped accepting applications yesterday for loans from most lenders,” said Greg Griffin, The Bank of Marion Chief Lending Officer. “Our Bank will do everything in our power to ensure funding of loan applications received and processed before the SBA’s announcement that funding had been depleted.”

The SBA said that it has reserved approximately $6 billion in funding for previously submitted loan applications subject to “hold codes that have yet to be resolved.” There is also approximately $8 billion remaining in congressionally mandated funding for PPP loans made by designated “community financial institutions,” defined as minority depository institutions and community development financial institutions.

As of April 28, The Bank of Marion and its branches had made 1,070 loans totaling over $34.4 million in PPP loans to small businesses in our region. Most of these loans have been forgiven. Others are pending forgiveness based on qualifications.

Since its inception, the Paycheck Protection Program has provided $780 billion in forgivable loans to fund 10.7 million applications across the country. Congress had extended the program through the end of this month before it ran out of funds.

May 5, 2021



Tim Carter and Dennis Perkins

Timothy W. "Tim" Carter & 
Dennis W. Perkins, D.D.S.


The Bank of Marion Appoints Board Members 

January 27, 2021 – Marion, VA   Perry D. “Pete” Mowbray, D.D.S., Chairman of the Board Directors of The Bank of Marion,  has announced the appointment of two area residents to that board.

Timothy W. “Tim” Carter, a resident of Rural Retreat, and a graduate of Chilhowie High School and Emory and Henry College, was recently named to the board. Mr. Carter co-owns and operates the general contracting and restoration firm, Red Oak Construction, with his family. The company has offices in Chilhowie and Wytheville.

“Tim Carter is a welcome addition to our board,” Dr. Mowbray said. “He is a successful businessman and entrepreneur who understands the financial needs of small business owners throughout our service area. His experience and expertise will be great assets to our board and to The Bank of Marion in general.”

Marion resident Dennis W. Perkins, D.D.S., was appointed to the board earlier.  Dr. Perkins is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and practices with Appalachian Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery of Marion. He is a graduate of Marion Senior High School and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Dr. Perkins’s post-graduate work was done at the Medical College of Virginia  and at the University of Illinois at Chicago Health and Science Center, where he was graduated with honors. He is a member of the Association of Maxillofacial Surgeons.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Perkins on our board,” Dr. Mowbray said. “He is a strong proponent of community banking and will well represent our medical and professional customers and communities.”





The Bank of Marion’s Charitable Giving Tops $100,000 in 2020

$46,000 in Christmas Season donations helped push The Bank of Marion’s 2020 charitable donations to $111,000. During the weeks of December 14 and 21, the bank donated a total of $20,500 to food banks and church pantries in its service area.

“We have an annual goal for charitable giving.” said Chris Snodgrass, the Bank’s President and CEO. “Because of the increased need for food donations caused by COVID-19, we decided to use a large portion of our remaining 2020 charitable giving fund to help our local food distribution centers and churches that have taken on food pantry ministries. We know that there are people who donated food in the past who now must depend on such donations themselves.”

During this same period, the bank made four charitable donations in honor of retired members of its board of directors.

$5,000 was donated in honor of Everette N. Umbarger, Jr. to the Mel Leaman Free Clinic, which serves low-income uninsured residents in Smyth, Washington and Grayson Counties with free medical care. The clinic’s operating funds come from donations and grants.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital received a $5,000 donation in honor of Donald W. Taylor. The hospital is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee and has eight affiliated hospitals across the U.S. including Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City.

$5,000 was donated to the Gracie Dimit Memorial Scholarship Find in honor of Joseph S. Tate. This fund was established as a memorial to Smyth County resident Gracie LeAnn Dimit to promote education and understanding.

The Wytheville Community College Educational Foundation received a $5,000 donation in honor of Cameron L. Wolfe, Jr. The foundation’s mission is to foster and promote the growth, progress, and general welfare of Wytheville Community College.

The Bank of Marion also donated $5,500 in December to United Way of Southwestern Virginia.

Prior to these donations, the bank had already donated $65,000 to various charities, schools and other deserving organizations in 2020.



Chart of donations given by the Bank of Marion.


Don Taylor and Everette Umbarger

Don Taylor & Everette Umbarger

Bank of Marion Board Honors Retiring Members

Marion, VA - August 24, 2020  The Board of Directors of The Bank of Marion has honored long-term members, Donald W. “Don” Taylor and Everette N. Umbarger, upon their recent retirement from the board. The Smyth County residents represent a combined total of almost four decades of service to the bank. Mr. Taylor was named to the board in 2000.  Mr. Umbarger joined the board two years later in 2002.

Mr. Taylor began his professional career in diesel mechanics, hydraulics and large construction equipment. For much of his early career, he was based in Hampton, Virginia with the McIlhany Equipment Company. This experience prepared him for his later endeavors in building systems for industrial, manufacturing, warehousing and commercial use.

He joined the H.S. Williams Company in 1967 as Fleet Manager for the Marion, Virginia-based building systems leader. He quickly assumed greater responsibilities and was promoted to Vice President for Manufacturing as the company expanded. During his tenure with the company, H.S. Williams became the largest metal buildings distributor and erector in the United States. Mr. Taylor became a part owner of the company in 1998 and was later named to the position of President and CEO; a post he held until he retired from H.S. Williams in 2010.

Mr. Taylor and his wife Barbara are members of First United Methodist Church in Marion, where he serves as chairman of the church’s transportation committee. He has long been active in the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), is a past member of the Independent Erectors Board, and a past member of the U.S. Army Reserve.

The Taylors have one daughter, Angela Taylor Kraus, who resides in Royal Oak, Michigan with her husband, Edwin.

In commenting about his tenure on the bank’s board Mr. Taylor said, “I can’t say enough about the board and the way it functions as a team. The board members work together to look after the bank’s customers, staff and stockholders and maintain the bank’s dedication to being a great hometown bank for all the communities it serves.”

Everette Umbarger is a well-known retired Smyth County dairy farmer who began moving his fifth-generation Laurel Springs Farm from a dairy operation into beef cattle production in 2013. He then turned the farm over to his son, Seth, and retired from farming. Established in 1909, Laurel Springs Farm had operated as dairy farm for well over a century.

Seth and his wife, Courtney, now manage Laurel Springs Beef, a large natural beef production and distribution operation specializing in pasture-raised beef that is free of growth hormones, steroids, and antibiotics. The farm’s products are distributed to restaurants throughout the region and are sold to consumers from the downtown Marion Laurel Springs Beef store.

Everette Umbarger has served on the boards of the Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Southern States Marion Cooperative, and the Chamber of Commerce of Smyth County. He is the Chairperson of the Laurel Springs United Methodist Church Board of Trustees and a Charter Member and Lifetime Member of the Adwolfe Fire department. He has served on the Thomas Bridge Water Corporation Board for 35 years.

Mr. Umbarger and his wife, Brenda, have two sons, Jason and Seth, and four grandchildren. The family is a past honoree as a Smyth County Farm Family of the Year.

“I’m proud to see the heritage of my family’s Laurel Springs Farm continuing into future generations,” Mr. Umbarger said. “In my tenure on the board of The Bank of Marion, I have observed and participated in the board’s strong support of our communities’ businesses, including agri-business. That support enables local businesses to thrive and grow through good times and bad. That also makes me proud.”                                                                                                      

In announcing the retirement of Mr. Taylor and Mr. Umbarger from The Bank of Marion’s board of directors Board Chairman Perry D. (Pete) Mowbray, D.D.S stated, “We will surely miss Everette and Don and the outstanding contributions they made to our board and to the mission and daily operations of The Bank of Marion. Their unique perspectives and steady guidance are deeply appreciated.”