NEW LEXINGTON – Walking into the lobby of Peoples State Bank, it might be surprising to see a new face sitting in the medium-sized office next to the entrance.
That face belongs to Ronald Cooley, the new executive vice president/chief credit officer at Peoples State Bank. He began working for the bank on April 19 but has been a longtime resident of the area, having lived in New Lexington for seven years.
Before working at Peoples State Bank, Cooley was the president/CEO/chairman of the Pataskala Banking Company. He has extensive experience in banking, having been in the industry for 41 years and a president/CEO for 21 of those years. He chose to come to Peoples State Bank because it was closer to home.
To Cooley, working for Peoples State Bank is a pleasant experience, as he gets to work for a business that is heavily invested in the community, and meet members of that community.
“You’re dealing with your neighbors, you’re making local decisions,” Cooley said. “It’s not decisions being made in Columbus or New York or Michigan or Texas. It’s all local decisions made by local people.”
To Cooley, banks not based in the community run the risk of taking money from the community, but not giving back. Whereas banks such as Peoples State Bank have an investment in the health of the local economy.
Cooley believes that the board and management of Peoples State Bank make decisions based on the local community.
“It’s a community bank, it’s not a corporate bank, in my heart, it’s a community bank,” Cooley said.