Smith retires after nearly a half century
May 21, 2020
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio—Ohio Valley Bank announces the retirement of Ohio Valley Banc Corp. and Ohio Valley Bank Chairman of the Board Jeffrey E. Smith. Smith marks an exceptional 47-year career with Ohio Valley Bank that spanned working as a clerk in the bookkeeping department to the highest leadership position. Thomas E. Wiseman was named as the new chairman of the board and will also continue in the role of CEO.
Smith joined Ohio Valley Bank on January 2, 1973, after graduating from Gallia Academy High School and serving in the ROTC. In 1976, he became the first manager of the Jackson Pike Office and in 1984 was named executive vice president. He became the 9th president in the bank’s history in 1995, taking on the role of president of Loan Central as well later that year. He added CEO to his role in 2000 and was named chairman of the board and CEO in 2010.
Smith was a charter member of the board of Ohio Valley Christian School. He is a past chairman of the University of Rio Grande Board of Trustees. He also served on the board of the Ohio Bankers League and on the Community Bank Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. In 2014, he was elected as the national president of the American Bankers Association Community Bankers Council.
During his tenure, Ohio Valley Bank opened 13 of its 16 present day offices, installed the first ATM in Gallia County, launched the bank’s first website and internet banking, opened groundbreaking branches inside Holzer Health and Walmart, and organized Ohio Valley Banc Corp. as the bank’s holding company with publicly traded stock.
At the company’s virtual Annual Shareholders Meeting held Wednesday, OVB President and Chief Operating Officer Larry Miller said of Smith, “His leadership, strong work ethic, counsel, and positive example has permanently changed his company and our community for the better. And for that we are indeed grateful.”
Ohio Valley Bank hopes to host a retirement celebration for Smith at a later date when safeguards allow guests to gather. The Bank will make an announcement once a date is set.
Ohio Valley Banc Corp. is headquartered in Gallipolis, Ohio. The primary subsidiaries of the company are: Ohio Valley Bank and Loan Central. Ohio Valley Bank is an FDIC-insured, state member bank of the Federal Reserve operating 16 offices in Ohio and West Virginia. Loan Central, specializing in tax preparation and loans, is a finance company with six offices in southern Ohio. Ohio Valley Banc Corp. stock is traded on The NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol OVBC. The companies’ Websites are www.ovbc.com and www.myloancentral.com. For banking related pandemic information visit www.ovbc.com/covid-19.