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Sparachane named chairman of board at Main Street Bank

Derek Redd NEW CHAIRMAN — Incoming Main Street Bank Board Chairman Nick Sparachane, left, lauds outgoing Chairman Bruce Wilson during the Main Street Bank shareholders meeting Thursday at the Event Center in Elm Grove.

WHEELING — Main Street Bank had glowing news for its shareholders Thursday afternoon — record earnings, record asset value, and the rise of a new chairman on its board of directors.

Nick Sparachane will take the helm on the board beginning June 20, with current Chairman Bruce Wilson entering semi-retirement. Sparachane has been with Main Street Bank, which operates branches in Wellsburg and Toronto, since its establishment, and said he’s excited to see the bank continue to grow.

“I’m excited to step up … ,” Sparachane said. “We’ll continue to do what we believe in — community relationships, growing shareowner value, keeping focus on customer service. We’re not reinventing the wheel, and Bruce will be right here. He’ll be right at our side, and part of what he’ll be doing is bringing us into a whole new era.”

Wilson will continue to serve on the board, and come January, in a part-time position, focusing on business development and relationship management. He has served as chairman for 16 years.

During the meeting, Sparachane recalled the early days of the company, where Wilson was integral in getting the nascent bank on its feet.

“When this bank was started 21 years ago, we didn’t have one customer, we didn’t have one dollar,” he said. “We basically gave Bruce the challenge … he went out and he brought back his A-team. They started with seven or eight people, and we now have 90 people. No one would be here today … if Bruce decided to nix that challenge.”

“It’s been a fun run, but I’m turning 70 years old and I think it’s time for a transition, giving someone else a chance for a while,” Wilson said. “No regrets, I’m looking forward to the future.”

During the meeting, CEO Rich Lucas gave a summary of the bank’s activity over the previous year. He was particularly proud of Main Street Bank’s participation in the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides funding to small businesses and communities during times of need, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lucas said he was extremely proud of the bank’s employees for being able to learn the new program from scratch, and praised their success, providing more than 600 loans, with an aggregating balance of $36.6 million, with 99 percent of loans forgiven.

“Payroll protection kept businesses in business during the shutdown period, and Main Street Bank jumped right in,” Lucas said prior to the meeting. “We learned it from the ground up … the new rules, the changing rules, and we got through 600 PPP loans … all in the Ohio Valley, all of it internally. We didn’t outsource any of it, we learned it all, took care of our customers, and all but 1 percent of it has been forgiven.

“That is an awesome statement for our staff, and our whole bank joined in. If you weren’t directly in it, you were helping by supporting the areas that needed support. … We didn’t outsource it, we didn’t hire third-party companies. While they were doing that, the rest of the bank stepped up to take care of their roles, took care of closings, and took care of the 100 customers lined up in the lobby. That was a momentous thing.”

Additionally, Main Street Financial Services Corp. reached $607 million in total assets as of the new year, an increase from $511 million in 2020. That makes Main Street the ninth-largest bank in West Virginia, Lucas said. It also posted record net earnings of $5.4 million, representing $1.56 per share for shareholders.

“(We went) from starting at zero 21 years ago, to the ninth largest bank,” Lucas said. “… It’s always a great thing when a 21-year-old company can announce record earnings.”

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