Behind success of Collusion and York Academy, a nod to PeoplesBank

Whether it’s helping a local brewery expand or turning a dream of a charter school into a reality, PeoplesBank continues to make an impact in York County and beyond.

Story paid for by: PeoplesBank
Written by: Anthony Machcinski
Facing frustrations with the big-name bank he'd been working with, Jared Barnes sought out PeoplesBank when seeking to expand his brewery Collusion Tap Works. (Photo by Caleb Robertson/Our York Media)

Jared Barnes grew tired of the hassle. He wanted to expand his York brewery, Collusion Tap Works, and the big-name bank he’d been working with a year ago was giving him the runaround.

“I was getting hit with ridiculous fees, and if I had any issues, I was getting a customer service line,” Barnes says.

Now, not only has his bar expanded to include a full-sized kitchen and a canning line for Collusion’s beers, it’ll expand next year to a retail location in Lititz with a restaurant, bar and music venue.

The expansion of Collusion Tap Works included purchasing a canning line, which Collusion currently sells at its York taproom, and will continue to sell at a retail location in Lititz next year. (Photo by Caleb Robertson/Our York Media)

Backing dreams

He credits PeoplesBank with making it easier to fulfill his ambitions.

“Within a day, they gave us the loan we needed and provided us with merchant services processing,” Barnes says. “They’re a block away, so I can walk in there and talk to someone directly at the bank. It was a no-brainer.”

Backing local business owners’ dreams is what PeoplesBank is all about, says Aaron Kveragas, Vice President, Business Banking Officer.

“The bank has been in the county since 1864,” Kveragas says. “We take pride in being home grown and taking care of our own.”

Former York Academy CEO Dr. Dennis Baughman, right, leads PeoplesBank Vice President Aaron Kveragas on a tour of York Academy's Upper School. Had PeoplesBank President, Chairman and CEO Larry Miller not seen the potential in the project and assisted with the loan, York Academy might not have existed, Baughman says. (Photo by Caleb Robertson/Our York Media)

‘We were just going to bag it’

Since 2011, York Academy Regional Charter School has developed into one of the most respected education systems in York County.

Today, a brand-new Upper School overlooks the Codorus Creek, and the school’s waiting list exceeds 180 families.

What most people don’t know, says York Academy’s CEO Dr. Dennis Baughman, is that the school almost never opened.

Back in 2007, when Dr. Baughman and others proposed opening the school, they needed about $950,000 to begin laying a foundation.

“Our expectations on getting the money were pretty slim,” Dr. Baughman says. “We believed it could work, but we weren’t expecting anyone to come forward.”

Our purpose is to build communities, we just do it by providing banking solutions to our clients.

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Aaron Kveragas PeoplesBank

During a meeting with community investors, the price tag didn’t go over well as expected.

Later, though, Larry Miller, Chairman, President and CEO at PeoplesBank, approached Dr. Baughman. PeoplesBank saw potential in the project and gave him the loan.

The expenses went to securing the building that would become York Academy’s lower school, making initial hires and starting the marketing of the school.

If PeoplesBank hadn’t stepped forward, Dr. Baughman says, York Academy wouldn’t exist.

“We always had high expectations for the project, but we also understood it could come to a screeching halt at any time with that price tag,” he says. “If they didn’t come forward, we were just going to bag it.”

Money from the initial loan went to securing the building that would become York Academy's lower school and making initial hires. When York Academy sought grants for the Upper School years later, it went back to PeoplesBank for help. (Photo by Caleb Robertson/Our York Media)

Rooted in York

There’s a sense of pride Kveragas gets that comes when a PeoplesBank client asks for his opinion or when he drives by a project that he had a hand in.

“It means I’m more than just a banker. I’ve earned their trust,” Kveragas says. “They know we’re going to help them achieve their dreams, and that’s when you know you’ve made a difference.”

That trust was recognized this year as PeoplesBank was named the “Best Bank in York” for the fourth straight year.

“It’s a great feeling to know that our mission to be community builders had such an impact on the whole county,” he says.

What separates PeoplesBank, Kveragas says, is associates rooted in the community.

“I think we have a lot of associates who honestly care,” he says. “You wake up every day and make other people happy by going above and beyond, and that makes our job.”

Staying Relevant

Think neighborhood banks are the same as when your parents went there? Think again.

PeoplesBank stays ahead of the technological curve with new banking features.

“As new generations grow up, we need to stay current,” says Aaron Kveragas, Vice President, Business Banking Officer. “We have to offer those bits of technology to make everyone’s lives easier.”

Here are two new features the company offers:

Digital Payments: Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are now available to use with PeoplesBank’s Visa Debit Cards. Tap to pay for easier purchases.

PeoplesBank Mobile App: App-guided banking isn’t only for big banks. Mobile banking for personal accounts, like checking balances, transferring funds and depositing checks, can all be done through their app. A mobile app for small businesses is also available.

Staying Relevant

Think neighborhood banks are the same as when your parents went there? Think again. PeoplesBank stays ahead of the technological curve with new banking features. “As new generations grow up, we need to stay current,” says Aaron Kveragas, Vice President, Business Banking Officer. “We have to offer those bits of technology to make everyone’s lives easier.”

Here are two new features the company offers:

Digital Payments: Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are now available to use with PeoplesBank’s Visa Debit Cards. Tap to pay for easier purchases.

PeoplesBank Mobile App: App-guided banking isn’t only for big banks. Mobile banking for personal accounts, like checking balances, transferring funds and depositing checks, can all be done through their app. A mobile app for small businesses is also available.

Story paid for by PeoplesBank

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