Group plans new bank in Frederick, Md.

July 25, 2007|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

FREDERICK, MD. - A group of business people on Tuesday announced plans to open a new bank in Frederick.

It will be called Blue Ridge Bank, said Marvin Ausherman, the chairman of the board.

He said the first branch might open in early 2008. Organizers expect to have three branches within two years, possibly including one in Washington County.

Ausherman said investors thought Frederick needed a bank with local roots, something simpler and more personal, where "you could sit down at a table with someone who lives in your neighborhood ...."

Organizers have committed $2 million to the enterprise so far, they said in a press release. A stock offering is expected in the fall.


In January, a Washington County group gave similar reasoning for wanting to start a new "community-centered, consumer-driven" bank.

That bank, called Centra Bank, opened a Washington County branch on Frederick Street in Hagerstown at the end of June.

Centra Bank is based in Morgantown, W.Va. It has affiliates, with local management and control, in Morgantown, Martinsburg, W.Va., Uniontown, Pa., and Hagerstown.

Blue Ridge Bank will be based in Frederick.

Ausherman owns Ausherman Development Corp. of Frederick, which is involved in residential and commercial projects. The company has at least one significant Washington County project: the Westfields development off Sharpsburg Pike.

Blue Ridge Bank's 10-member board of directors is primarily tied to Frederick, Ausherman said.

J. Brian Gaeng, formerly of Fidelity Bank, will be Blue Ridge Bank's president and chief executive officer, organizers said in a press release. Gaeng also was with Fredericktown Bank for 16 years.

Richard C. Marshall III, another former Fidelity Bank executive, will be executive vice president and senior lending officer.

David L. Hoffman, who worked for Farmers & Mechanics Bank, will be executive vice president and senior credit officer.

Ausherman said the group plans to apply to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation and to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. this week.

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