Byline: David Roeder Daily Herald Business Writer
William Gooch Jr. remembers the day in 1993, not long after he opened his Community Bank of Elmhurst, when a first-time customer walked in and froze in her tracks.
The woman, whom Gooch knew from his former post at York State Bank in Elmhurst, stood there and gaped. She saw the familiar faces of 14 former York employees Gooch had hired for his venture.
Then she cried out in glee, "I'm home."
Most people don't have such an emotional reaction to a bank, but they do have preferences about the repositories of their money. Some, like Gooch's customer, flee banks whose characters disappear beneath mergers and buyouts. They want a bank that they know and that knows them.
"Right after the name changes on the door of a bank nearby, those tend to be our best days for opening new accounts," said Dan Miller, president of American Chartered Bank in Schaumburg.
Others, whether individuals or companies, like the convenience and added services of a big bank and appreciate not having to go to downtown Chicago to …