Angled view of the front of the Kish Innovation Center building with Kish sign
Belleville, Pennsylvania (KISB) – Dr. Eric J. Barron of State College, William L. Dancy of Belleville, Gregory T. Hayes of State College, Paul G. Howes of State College, and Paul H. Silvis of Port Matilda were elected Directors of Kish Bancorp, Inc. at the company’s 120th consecutive annual shareholders’ meeting, held virtually in May. All will serve three-year terms ending in 2023. Also recognized were the Corporation’s and Kish Bank’s other directors who are serving existing terms: William P. Hayes, Spyros A. Degleris, Edward A. Friedman, James J. Lakso, William S. Lake, Kathleen L. Rhine, Frances V. Vaughn, and George V. Woskob.
“We are truly fortunate at Kish to have the benefit of insight from a board with broad and diverse perspectives on this region we serve. Most importantly, they demonstrate a deep appreciation for the role of governance in overseeing the affairs and strategic direction of the Corporation on behalf of you, our shareholders,” said William P. Hayes, Chairman and CEO of Kish Bancorp, Inc.
The second order of business of which the shareholders approved was the amendment of the Restricted Stock Plan, which will replenish the original 240,000 shares of Kish Bancorp, Inc. stock under the plan.
In his address to the shareholders attending, Chairman Hayes reviewed the Company’s financial performance in 2019 and over the past decade. He noted the dramatic growth of Kish Bank and its affiliates, their expansion of market share in central PA, and the considerable increase in the number of business lines through which Kish meets customer needs. “Powerful financial results do not simply happen in the course of a year or two. For Kish, advances in our business model have resulted from a strong vision, careful planning, and plan execution,” Hayes remarked. “The role of the board of directors cannot be overstated, as they have set a vision for the future of the Corporation and focused on the core values that have been—and remain—a key differentiator for Kish in all of our markets.”
2019 highlights included sustained growth, culminating four years of exceptional growth; earnings performance across all business units; market share gains; a high-quality balance sheet; prudent capital management and return on equity; a twin rails approach to innovation and transformation; an insurance agency acquisition; and preparedness to tackle planned—and unplanned—challenges. Hayes said, “What is truly amazing about 2019 was that fee income expansion managed to keep pace with extraordinary expansion of our core banking business. Wealth Advisory and Trust was up just under 10%. Core insurance agency revenue was up just under 10%. In addition, the announced acquisition of Sausman Insurance Agency late in the year has great implications for the future, as the size of our agency will double. Travel revenue was up almost 20%. Kish Benefits Consulting was up just under 25%. And most compelling, the mortgage banking unit grew by more than 35% on top of several years of very powerful growth.” He continued, “The combination of net interest income expansion and the added strong results of our fee-producing businesses was very powerful in 2019. As we look ahead, we anticipate that the construction of the Kish Innovation Center and the Core Transformation that is now underway to support sustained growth but with greater efficiency will allow us to grow profitably.”
Following the summary of Kish Bancorp’s performance in 2019, President and Chief Operating Officer, Gregory T. Hayes, discussed the Company’s current and future strategic priorities, as well as its focus on an innovative technology plan that will allow Kish to compete in a rapidly evolving digital environment while creating long-term sustainability. “Kish Innovation is the best possible preparation for unexpected headwinds. Without this innovative technology plan, responding to COVID-19 would have been difficult,” G. Hayes commented.
“COVID-19 presented a major societal challenge that will change how we interact, think, and adapt,” remarked W. Hayes. “Since financial well-being follows closely on the heels of physical well-being, the banking industry will be critical to supporting our business, non-profit, and consumer customers during the associated economic downturn and recovery. Kish pivoted very quickly as the COVID-19 maelstrom descended by implementing programs introduced by the Treasury and Federal Reserve.”
Steps Kish took since the coronavirus arrived in America were made possible by thoughtful planning and guided by a “prudence, not panic” approach. The organization took action by closing branch lobbies, distributing work teams, encouraging remote work, and making borrower and depositor accommodations. “The Kish team acted fast to respond to the needs of our customers. Our lending team approved over 800 SBA Paycheck Protection Program loans, continued a record pace of mortgage originations, and facilitated commercial and mortgage loan deferrals,” W. Hayes exclaimed. “We’re very focused, and we recognize the critical role Kish Bank plays in the lives of our customers. At no time in the last 40 years has our core set of values been put to a greater test.”
W. Hayes went on to read from emails he received from both customers and non-customers.
“Today is a great day at [our company] thanks to the people at Kish. These are people that care about others more than themselves and do so by going the extra mile. On behalf of all at [our company], thank you more than you realize. And as we have a chance, I hope all of us can stop by Kish Bank to personally express our thanks,” one email said.
Another email read: “In these times of distress and uncertainty, working with your staff has been like having a guiding light. From the initial concerns to the continuous effort at all hours, please know that they are appreciated from our point of view. You have a great team of wonderful folks who are reflective of each other and certainly their leadership.”
W. Hayes concluded, “There are many more messages like this. As the news spread of Kish responsiveness and capabilities, new customers contacted us from near and far, customers whose business operations were given a lifeline by our team, and who now will remain loyal customers for many years to come.”
About Kish Bancorp, Inc.
Kish Bancorp, Inc. is a diversified financial services corporation headquartered in Belleville, PA with executive offices in State College. Kish Bank, a subsidiary of Kish Bancorp, Inc., operates sixteen offices and financial centers in Centre, Mifflin, and Huntingdon counties. In addition to Kish Bank, other business units include: Kish Insurance, an independent property and casualty insurance agency; Kish Financial Solutions, which offers trust, fiduciary, and wealth management advisory services; Kish Benefits Consulting, which provides employee benefits consulting services; and Kish Travel, a full-service travel agency. For additional information, please visit www.kishbank.com. KISB is the OTC stock ticker symbol for Kish Bancorp, Inc.