What's in a name?

Especially when everything else stays the same, much like it has at First Northern Bank & Trust in Palmerton.

Except of course, for the name, as Susan Choy, vice president of residential lending, explained to members of the Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce earlier this week.

Choy informed the Chamber that the bank, which had previously been First National Bank of Palmerton, has gone ahead and changed its name.

"Senior management and the board of directors just felt that in order for us to continue as a community bank, that this would be the better business decision," Choy said. "The First Northern Bank & Trust logo better describes our footprint."

The switch, Choy said, became official on Dec. 29 of last year. She said the bank has 10 other branches as well: Gilbert, Sciota, Tannersville, Blakeslee, Mt. Bethel, Egypt, Bath, Northampton, Stroudsburg, and Wind Gap.

"It's still business as usual," she said. "We still have the same employees, same board of directors, and are offering the same services."

Choy said customers are certain to receive the same top-notch services they've come to expect over the years.

"What we do is we're able to pay attention to our customers, and I think our customers appreciate that," she said. "You get a comfort level with the customers you're serving, and a trust level with your customers."

Peter Kern, chamber president, said familiarity breeds success.

"One thing that's reassuring about all three of our local banks here in Palmerton is that you see familiar faces," Kern said. "In general, the turnover is far less than at what I refer to as 'big box' banks."

Kern then wished Choy "well in developing and growing your bank with your new name."

In other business, Kern announced that the next luncheon meeting of the chamber will be held at noon on Tuesday, March 13, at the Blue Ridge Country Club.

The guest speaker will be Julia K. Hearthway, secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.