Oak Bank

Oak Bank, located at 5951 McKee Road #100, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

The mighty roots of the oak tree support its ability to grow, gather nutrients and maintain its weight.

Without them, the tree is bound to wither and collapse, the Oak Bank website states. That’s how the business, 5951 McKee Road #100, got its name upon its August 2000 founding.

In 2020, Oak Bank celebrates 20 years of building those roots, Bob Gorsuch, chief executive officer told the Star. They have held steadfast during COVID-19, he said, in how the bank has adapted to new staffing circumstances, evolved online services and helped businesses navigate the economic fallout of the pandemic.

“From the design of the lobby to the type of person we hire, we are very deliberate in trying to give our clients an experience with us that feels more like a relationship than a transaction,” Terry Taylor, Oak Bank president said in a news release. “Whether on the phone or in-person, we want everyone to feel like they are a member of the Oak Bank family.”

That culture is exemplified by how there are no teller windows, Gorsuch said. Staff would normally sit at desks in the lobby if it was open. Deposit boxes would be self-serve, and clients are given keys to access them. Visitors would be greeted by a fish tank, fireplace and a laid back feel, he said.

One doesn’t have to visit the space to experience Oak Bank’s welcoming atmosphere however, Gorsuch said. Associates are available in-person by appointment, but also by email, phone and at the drive-thru.

They are working in-person on a rotating schedule during COVID-19, Gorsuch said, but also remotely — especially if they have children.

To keep employees remote as much as possible, Oak Bank continues to accommodate clients with its online services, he said. He’s seen a rise in customers using internet banking within the last decade overall.

The website offers shortcuts for secure file transfers, home loan applications, knowing deposit rates, secure file transfers and downloading Oak Bank’s app — which has features like mobile check deposits and secure transactions with Zelle software.

Oak Bank has assisted several local businesses as they navigate the recession, he said.

“They pledged everything they owned to steer a business,” Gorsuch said. “We’ve been very active in the (Paycheck Protection Program).”

“There’s been a lot of hurt,” he added. “We’ve (also) been modifying loans so (clients) don’t have to make payments or or pay interest only. If we can keep them alive, they will recover.”

Even without a pandemic, Oak Bank has donated to 100 local nonprofits annually — 887 in all since its founding, according to the website.

“As a community bank, we have a duty to help our neighbors live their best lives,” Gorsuch said.

Email Emilie Heidemann at emilie.heidemann@wcinet.com or follow her on Twitter at @HeidemannEmilie.