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Centra Bank opens local branch

July 03, 2007|By JANET HEIM

HAGERSTOWN - Centra Bank has opened its first branch in Hagerstown.

A grand opening, complete with the cutting of a ribbon made from dollar bills, was held Thursday, marking the official opening of the bank's branch at Kenley Square off Frederick Street.

During the festivities, Centra Bank Hagerstown Board Chairman Michael A. Murray announced that Centra was filing for a $20 million stock offering to be available to investors in Washington County.

Murray, who is president and owner of Direct Mail Processors Inc., said that demand for the stock was high and that a rapid completion of the offering was expected.

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Murray said Centra plans to open additional branches in the county.

Mark Harrell, Centra Bank Hagerstown's president and chief operating officer, noted that all deposit dollars that go into Centra in Hagerstown will stay in the local area and be loaned out in the form of residential, commercial and consumer loans. He said decision-making will take place locally rather than at a regional level.

Timothy Henry, the chief executive officer, introduced the bank's staff and said its tellers "have been empowered to make decisions."

John F. Barr, president of the Washington County Commissioners, and Deborah Everhart, director of economic development for the City of Hagerstown, also spoke.

"When you talk about support of the community, give yourselves a hand. You have shown great faith in Hagerstown," Everhart said.

Murray said that Hagerstown was the 14th market to approach Centra Bank about opening a branch, but only the fourth to get the go-ahead. After starting out in Morgantown, W.Va., Centra expanded to Martinsburg, W.Va., and Uniontown, Pa.

"Centra's motto is local management with a local active working board. We can consider factors beyond the average balance sheet," Murray said.

During the ceremony, Boy Scouts from troops in the Mason-Dixon Council helped raise the flag, as Miss Washington County 2003 Stacy Miller sang the national anthem.

The program ended with the ribbon-cutting, which was followed by a lawn party and tours of the new branch.

Included in the ribbon-cutting ceremony was Glen Singer of Royal House Construction, who was the bank's first customer.

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