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Neffs National Bank opens Walnutport branch

After 97 years, The Neffs National Bank opened its second branch at 211 S. Best Ave., Walnutport, in April.

More than three dozen VIPs gathered last week for the official ribbon cutting that was postponed by the pandemic.

Kylie Adams, manager of Affiliated Chambers at the Lehigh Valley Chamber, opened the event by welcoming guests to the bank’s second location in almost a century of business.

“It truly is a momentous occasion - for nearly a century Neffs has worked tirelessly to serve our community and has also been a wonderful Chamber partner as well,” Adams said.

Tony Iannelli, CEO and president of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce also offered words commending the work done by the bank as a local institution.

“First of all, I love our community banks, and really one of the most recent times where they shined was during the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program),” Iannelli said, adding he knew of many businesses that got “lost in the shuffle” at major banks.

“But, if they had their local bank, The Neffs National Bank, they knew they had a friend in a family, a friend in the business, and it worked out.”

Several local officials and representatives were in attendance.

State Sen. Mario Scavello, R-40, told the audience he truly enjoys going to openings because he sees jobs.

“I normally say to people, ‘Don’t grow your business too quickly, take your time.’ I think in your case I don’t have to tell you that,” Scavello told Schmidt before presenting him with a certificate from the commonwealth recognizing the Walnutport grand opening.

Megan Beste, representative from the office of Congresswoman Susan Wild, D-7th, also presented Schmidt with a certificate on Wild’s behalf.

“It does take a village to raise a child. It also takes a community to raise a bank, and it takes a bank like Neffs to raise a community,” Beste said. “There is no substitute for a community bank.

Schmidt discussed words of advice given to him by former board Chairman and former Slatington School District Superintendent Herman Snyder.

“(Snyder) often said to us, ‘Fellas, you got to remember the three publics. Whenever you make a decision you have to remember the three publics and the three publics are your employees, your shareholders and the community,” Schmidt said, adding The Neffs National Bank had a responsibility to support and benefit all three parties.

“When we planned this branch, we never thought we’d be doing it amid a pandemic, a troubling economic downturn and social unrest. But in our 97 years, the bank has faced many similar adverse situations … from the Great Depression to the Great Recession, from World War II to the Cold War and on.

“Yet throughout the period we have remained strong, a trusted partner and committed to our community, hence our commitment and our mantra ‘strength, trust and community.’?”

The Walnutport branch opened for business in April, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the grand opening ceremony was pushed to July.

The Neffs National Bank’s first branch at 5629 Route 873, Neffs, was originally founded in 1923.

Both branch lobbies are open to the public with COVID-19 safety protocols, including mask-wearing and social distancing.

The bank also offers online and app-based banking solutions, a 24-hour banking phone line and drive-thru services.

State Sen. Mario Scavello, R-40th, congratulates The Neffs National Bank President and CEO Kevin Schmidt on the grand opening of the bank's second branch in Walnutport July 23. Scavello also presented Schmidt with a certificate of recognition from the state. SARIT LASCHINSKY/PRESS PHOTOS
The Neffs National Bank branch at 211 S. Best Ave., Walnutport, began operations in April, but had its ribbon-cutting ceremony July 23. The Walnutport office is the bank's second location.