Magazine article Independent Banker

15 Minutes with ... RICHARD MEARES

Magazine article Independent Banker

15 Minutes with ... RICHARD MEARES

Article excerpt

RICHARD MEARES

PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE $212 MILLION-ASSET FLEETWOOD BANK, FLEETWOOD, PA.

IB: Where is Fleetwood, and what is the community like?

Meares: It's northeast of Reading, 11/2 hours northwest of Philadelphia. We work with farms-though [the] Farm Credit [Administration] is pushing us out of the business-manufacturers and entrepreneurs. And the residential market is pretty strong.

It's an interesting place: Nationally, more than 90 percent of pretzel flour comes from Fleetwood, and 60 percent of our public water supply goes into Snapple products. Deka makes 62,000 car and RV batteries a day in Lyon Station; we have a branch there.

IB: You have five branches total?

Meares: Five and a loan office, and we'll open a sixth in December. Wachovia had a branch in Shoemakersville that was sold for nonpayment of real-estate taxes. A couple of investors bought it for $16,250 and sold it to us for a little more.

IB: Weren't there some violent holdups at your bank in the past few years? …

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