May 22, 2012

Top: (front row l to r) Deb Higgins, Ana Estrada, Kristen Schneider and back row l to r) Shelly Wagner, Kelli Vaughn, Vicki Kennedy, Darrel Wiley, Matt Pieper, Bob Carpio, Lori Thompson, Anita Callahan, Marilyn Smith. Bottom: Gary Nichols(foreground) (l to r) JoAnn Gerk, Cathy Heimann and Patti Vandenbark.

Top Photo: The team that keeps things running smoothly at the Colorado Community Bank in Yuma include (front row l to r) Deb Higgins, Ana Estrada, Kristen Schneider and back row l to r) Shelly Wagner, Kelli Vaughn, Vicki Kennedy, Darrel Wiley, Matt Pieper, Bob Carpio, Lori Thompson, Anita Callahan, Marilyn Smith. A number of students from Yuma County have used the Hope Scholarship to attend NJC in the last five years and it is expected that many more will access this help to attend NJC in the future. (Photo courtesy of Tony Rayl)
Bottom Photo: Gary Nichols, president of Sterling’s Colorado Community Bank (foreground) surrounds himself with an awesome team of employees including (l to r) JoAnn Gerk, Cathy Heimann and Patti Vandenbark. Other employees at the bank who were not present for the photo include Lance Tilton, Denise Knight and Jan Tappy. (Courtesy Photo)

Recent acquisition will be good for northeast Colorado

By Barbara Baker

For thirty years now, Colorado Community Bank has been doing business in northeastern Colorado and points beyond. Based out of Yuma, this corporate citizen, offering a full array of banking services, really understands what it takes to build a thriving community.  That’s why the answer came easy  when they were asked by the Northeastern Junior College Foundation to join Club 1941 in support of the Hope for Northeastern Colorado Scholarship program.  The Bank purchased the year 1982, which marks the date it first opened a site in Yuma. Originally known as First National Bank of Yuma, the name was changed to its current title several years later.

“NJC is a viable part of the region and provides numerous opportunities for students of all ages to grow as individuals to become productive members of the communities they live in,” says Bob Carpio, president of the Colorado Community Bank in Yuma. “The economic impact of NJC is significant and it serves an important function in the well-being of the community.”  In this case, Carpio is referring to the five county area served by the college.

With locations in Yuma, Otis, Akron, Sterling and 13 additional sites on the front range of Colorado, the bank’s name certainly is indicative of its size. The Front Range locations include Castle Rock, Castle Rock North, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, Northglenn, Firestone, Loveland, Johnstown, Milliken, Evans, Greeley, Longmont, and Severance. Despite some big city locations, the bank began in a rural community in 1982 and it continues to put great emphasis on serving rural areas.

“Colorado Community Bank views its contribution to the Hope Scholarship Fund as an investment in one our most valuable assets, the youth of Northeastern Colorado,” notes Gary Nichols, president of the Sterling location. “Many of our youth choose to return to Northeastern Colorado after college and the opportunity to receive a higher education enhances the productivity of this resource.” Colorado Community Bank employs a number of Northeastern Junior College alumni across the state, including Carpio, a 1978 graduate.

Carpio and Nichols understand the role education plays in economic development and the viability of an area as it relates to being able to do well when it comes to supporting business and industry.  Both have taken their turns serving on the various boards and commissions that work so diligently to protect and enhance the economic indicators of this area. They also know a thing or two about helping lead non-profit organizations. Nichols has been on numerous boards including having served on the Logan County Chamber of Commerce Board and currently serving on the board of the Logan County  Economic Development Corporation.   Carpio currently sits on the Northeastern Junior College Advisory Board and  is a director for the NJC Alumni Association. He is also currently on the board of Yuma County Economic Development.

“NJC is a major contributor to Sterling’s status as a regional economic hub,” Nichols said, adding “Having a college the caliber of NJC is an important factor in attracting economic development to Northeastern Colorado. Colorado Community Bank’s contribution to the Hope Scholarship fund is evidence of its commitment to our extended community.”

It was just announced last week that Colorado Community Bank is being sold to Carlile Bancshares, Inc., a bank  holding company headquartered in Fort Worth.  Established in 2009 by experienced community bankers, Carlile’s mission is to invest in community banks positioned for growth. The Colorado Community Bank’s 18 locations has over $500 million in assets.

According to Carpio and Nichols, Carlile will bring about a win-win situation for each of the Colorado Community Bank entities, their customers, employees and the communities in which they serve.

“The Hope Scholarship is an excellent way of giving back to the communities that support us,” concludes Carpio.  Nichols adds, “Colorado Community Bank and Carlile Bancshares, Inc., share the same vision for community banking . It’s built on the tradition of customer relationships, service quality and strong roots within the community.”

Welcome to Club 1941 Colorado Community Bank.  And, welcome to northeastern Colorado Carlile Bancshares.