For Lauren Ross, Branch Manager at MVB’s Tech Park office in Fairmont, W.Va., family can be found in unexpected places.
“I really like the clientele we have. I’ve built a ton of relationships with customers throughout the years. Some of them are like family to me,” she said. “The employees are like family. There’s been many a time where my employees and the people I’ve worked with have helped me and my family through some hard times. I don’t think I could be where I am without that support.”
In December 2017, Lauren’s relationships with her MVB family and clients were put to the test. Her father, Rodney Ross, lost his year-long battle with Glioblastoma. And because life sometimes has a way of kicking us when we’re down, Lauren landed in emergency surgery the very same night. Without delay, the MVB family pulled together to support both Lauren and her young daughter, ensuring their Christmas and New Year would be full of love and joy.
“My hospital room looked like Santa’s workshop,” Lauren recalled. “It was full of presents for both me and my daughter, and there were flowers everywhere.”
Team MVB also scheduled a meal delivery plan, where employees made or picked up meals and delivered them to Lauren’s mother’s house, where Lauren spent three months in recovery. “I’ve never met such a loving group of people in my entire life,” Lauren said of her co-workers.
After her father’s passing and her own surgery, Lauren also received cards and check-ins from clients. “Our clients are awesome,” Lauren said, “They are always willing to help.”
She loves the positivity that MVB clients bring to her day. “There are some of them who come in and they’ll start yelling my name from as soon as they open the door until they get to my desk. They’re just awesome.”
There’s a particular client experience that sticks out in Lauren’s mind. “One of our clients and his family are from Italy, and he would go to Italy every year. One year he asked me what my Italian relatives’ last names were. He went to Italy and looked up some of my family that I still have over there. He videotaped himself at the courthouse finding my family’s record, and he brought me back a keychain from Italy that has the Virgin Mary on it. I’ve never had the chance to go to Italy. That was a memory that I’ll have probably for the rest of my life.”
Receiving such sentiments brings a big smile to Lauren’s face, but giving back is just as important to her. “I like to give back to the community, and that’s one thing that I like about MVB; we play a big part in the community,” she said. “I usually try around Thanksgiving or Christmas-time to have my daughter and I go and volunteer at the Union Mission or the Sobrania Soup Opera for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner, just to show my daughter that there are people out there who have it way worse than what she thinks she has.”
Lauren said sometimes she has gone shopping for sick clients who couldn’t leave their houses, especially those without a caregiver. “That’s a horrible feeling, to feel like you don’t have anybody, so I always like to know that I put a smile on their faces,” she said. “I always like to get out into the community and help wherever I can, and if I know one of my clients is sick or can’t get out of the house, I will call to check on that client, just to make sure they have everything they need.”
Banking wasn’t always Lauren’s plan. “Almost 12 years ago, I started here not thinking that I would ever work for a bank. I was a bartender before this and thought there’s no way I’m going to fit in with the perception of what people think bankers are,” she said.
“I wasn’t looking to switch from bartending. I loved working with the people, and making tips is always great, too, but like I said, my perception of bankers was they were people that wore suits and ties and didn’t smile and rarely worked--and all the stereotypical things you think of bankers.”
Lauren said she heard of a teller position opening through a friend of her mother’s. “I was 24 years old and I had just had my daughter, and it was time for me to grow up. I needed to have a profession. I came in kicking and screaming, but I’m so glad I did because this has been the best 12 years that I’ve had so far,” she said.
Lauren claims that she never imagined that she would have been promoted to branch manager. “I’d love to stay in retail and eventually be someone who goes to our different markets and trains others on how to sell our products,” she said.
She said it’s also great to work for a place where you feel appreciated. “I love knowing that I can text our CEO and that my superiors know me personally and will take time out of their day to come see me,” Lauren said.
Do you live in the Fairmont, W.Va., area and have a community service or financial need? Lauren Ross and Team MVB can help. Give Lauren a call at (304) 381-4035 or visit our Tech Park branch at I-79 Technology Park, 100 NASA Blvd., Fairmont, WV 26654.