July 26, 2017

How a new bank name evolved

The new name and logo of Skyline National Bank.

The new logo of Skyline National Bank, now the name of the combined forces of Bank of Floyd and Grayson National Bank, was designed by a bearded, tattooed Harley Davidson riding designer who — bank president Allan Funk says — made him think of Floyd.

Funk told the story of the designer to a gathering of bank customers and community leaders Wednesday night in the Community Room behind the 100-plus year old Floyd bank that will sport its new name in March, when customers get new debit cards and new signs go up on the corner of the bank.

Customers will need to start using their new debit cards after the conversion weekend that begins when the banks close early at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 10 and will not reopen until 9 a.m. on Monday, March 13 and old debit cards will stop working on Monday, March 13.

Other parts of the banks, including checking account numbers, existing checks and bank routing numbers will not change.

Funk joked that he could just say that “we named it after the nursing home,” referring to Skyline Nursing Home on Franklin Pike.  Others have wondered if the name came from the Skyline Drive, the 90-mile two lane mountain road that runs through Shenandoah National Park from Front Royal to Waynesboro where it hooks up with the beginning of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

But the new name came from the work of a “branding” creative company near Nashville, TN, that examined the area, held focus groups, talked with residents, business owners in towns with branches, and others.

“We named our bank after everything built around us:  the mountains, parkways, and roads that line our Blue Ridge region, our roots, passion, customers, communities, everything,” says a brochure that arrived in the mail of customers of both banks this week.  “The name is uniquely local and visionary.”

As a 69-year-old man who graduated from Floyd County High School in 1965 and left the area of his mother’s roots for four decades before returning home in 2004, I find the name straightforward and simple.

As a bearded Harley rider with some tattoo ink on my body, I smiled at the reference to the designer who came up with the logo.

Skyline National Bank begins life this year with $55 million in physical assets, customer deposits of $499 million and comes off last year with a combined profit of more than $1 million more than it forecast in a meeting with shareholders last year.

The combined bank is considered a “regional community banking” operation with offices and branches that include Floyd, Independence, Galax, Elk Creek, Fairlawn, Hillsville, Salem, Cave Spring, Whitetop, Willis and Wytheville.

Funk stressed that each letter of the bank’s new name involves:

S: Smart: Clever minds create change.

K: King: We’re never wrong by doing right.

Y: Young-at-Heart: We surprise and delight.

L: Local: We’re from here.  We own it.

I: Inspired: Extraordinary passion drives us.

N: Nonconforming: We don’t do mediocre or status quo.

E: Energetic: This is contagious.

Welcome to Skyline National Bank.

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