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Kish Bancorp elects four directors

BELLEVILLE — William S. Lake of Lewistown, Edward A. Friedman of State College, Frances V. Vaughn of Huntingdon and William P. Hayes of State College, were elected Directors of Kish Bancorp Inc. at the company’s 118 consecutive annual meeting in Belleville earlier this month. All will serve three-year terms ending in 2021. Also recognized were the corporation’s and bank’s other directors who are serving existing terms: Dr. Eric J. Barron, William L. Dancy, Spyros A. Degleris, Paul G. Howes, Dr. James J. Lakso, Paul H. Silvis, George V. Woskob and Gregory T. Hayes.

In reviewing the 2017 year, William P. Hayes, chairman, president and CEO, said, “The corporation’s dramatic growth and powerful financial results firmly established Kish Bancorp as a dominant community financial institution in our region. In tandem with our four affiliates, Kish Bank has achieved a sustained strong performance for our customers and our shareholders by holding true to our core values–values that put our clients and communities first and enable us to stand strong and confident in our future.”

Hayes highlighted stellar financial performance for 2017, including: growth in loans (up 16.20 percent) and deposits (up 16.33 percent); affiliate performance (notably higher revenue was generated by travel and wealth management services); shareholder performance (end of year stock price of $58 per share, up from $46 the previous year); core net income growth (up 10 percent compared to the prior year); and the acquisition of Benefits Management Group, an employee benefits consulting business. Total assets at the end of the year were $811 million. In addition, there was strong growth in net interest income, which increased by $2.2 million or 10.7 percent, and higher margins resulting from the robust growth in loans and core deposits.

“2017 was a year in which vision, strategy, execution, and culture all combined to produce powerful and compelling results,” Hayes said. “It was a watershed year when our investment in the market, in our team, and our focus on the client all combined to produce an unprecedented year of growth and financial performance.”

He also noted that the year ended with a “flurry of activity” that challenged the Kish team to adapt quickly to significant changes in the company’s financial reporting requirements and a 40 percent cut in the corporation’s tax rates.

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act elevated the outlook for future profitability dramatically,” Hayes said, noting that it produced good news for Kish customers, Kish team members and Kish shareholders. Following the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Kish was among the first companies in the nation to announce one-time employee bonuses, an elevation in starting hourly wages and a commitment to capital spending that will support the company’s growth for the next decade.

Hayes also pointed to the successful acquisition of Benefits Management Group in 2017, which he said dramatically expanded not only Kish’s capacity to serve the needs of its middle market business relationships with employee benefits consulting, but also supplied an additional source of non-interest income.

To the applause of shareholders in attendance, Hayes introduced Kish Bank’s newly appointed president and chief operating officer, Gregory T. Hayes, who addressed the shareholders present on the importance of strategic planning to ensure that Kish is properly positioned both for future growth and rapid changes affecting the industry.

Gregory Hayes credited 38 consecutive years of strategic plans as the mechanism that not only has clearly established and maintained Kish’s mission and vison, but also has produced consistently compelling results for the company.

Contrasting the past with current and anticipated changes in client expectations, Gregory Hayes discussed changes in buying habits and personal interactions that have followed the explosive use of digital platforms around the world.

“Our clients used to come to us in person during traditional banking hours and sit down to have a conversation,” Hayes said. “Now, in addition to traditional means, clients want to text, social message, and video chat at all hours of the day, when it is most convenient to them.” Kish’s mobile banking users, for example, are up 21 percent year over year, resulting in more than 1 million mobile check deposits in the first quarter of 2018 alone.

“Digital natives, the generation of people who have never known a world without digital services, expect their financial transactions to happen instantly, including getting a loan or opening an account,” Hayes said. “You can now bank by voice through Amazon Alexa,” he added. In the midst of such powerful change, he said, Kish remains committed to maintaining and expanding the trusted relationships it has with clients, the community, and its shareholders.

“We believe we can enhance the quality of life in our community. We believe that we can help our clients achieve their dreams. And we believe that we can continue to add highly personalized value while ensuring that shareholder performance continues as a fundamental element of our sustainability and our success.” Those, he said, are the core values and beliefs that Kish will embrace as it moves forward to serve clients the way clients want to be served.

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