LifeStore employees, Board of Directors, customers, Ashe Chamber of Commerce members and those who were instrumental in the remodel gathered for a Grand Re-Opening celebration Wednesday, January 22 at 840 East Main Street in Jefferson.

Following the welcome by LifeStore employee Sandy Grubb and Jerry Roten, Chairman of the LifeStore Board of Directors. Joedy Eller, LifeStore Bank Chief Banking Officer, recognized all those who worked to make the project happen. Vannoy Construction of Jefferson constructed the facility in 1994 and served as the lead contractor during the remodel. Eller remarked about the efficiency in which they managed the project and the flexibility and customer service they exhibited.

Martin Little, Ashe Market President, added that 26 years ago, LifeStore was having a similar celebration at the Jefferson Branch-it was a significant event, as it was the banks very first; stand-alone branch and first drive-thru for LifeStore, then Ashe Federal. Little introduced the employees who are now working in Jefferson commenting, “They run a gamut of experience with Life Store, from 90 days to 38 years.”

Mike Johnson is LifeStore’s longest-tenured employee and is a loan officer in Jefferson; Sandy Grubb, who has spent her 21 years of employment in Jefferson and leads the deposit team; Amy Miller who recently moved from our Mt. Jefferson office to become a member of the Jefferson deposit team; Michaela Duvall is operating our new drive-thru, and Val VanOrsdel is our newest employee in Jefferson. Greg Ashley and Kim Isaacs are our insurance employees in Jefferson. Kim is working in Jefferson during the remodel of the West Jefferson Insurance office, and Greg has worked with LifeStore for 22 years in Commercial Insurance and has been in the Jefferson location for over ten years.

CEO Bob Washburn followed, noting some of the features added during the remodel. “The Financial Consultants use new “TCR’s” or Teller Cash Recyclers which have taken the place of traditional cash drawers and are quicker and more secure. We have added a full-service ATM
which does all the typical transactions and takes deposits, installed a new coin counter, available for our customers to use free of charge, redesigned the lobby to make it open and inviting for customers and we gave the entire location a facelift.”

Washburn then noted, “the feature I really want to mention is our new conference room.” In addition to being used by the bank, this room will be available to non-profit groups in the Jefferson area needing a small meeting room. As part of the celebration for the bank’s 80th anniversary, the conference and board rooms are being named in honor of those individuals who have been important to the company over the years. The Jefferson Conference Room is the first of four rooms to be named. Washburn announced this room is the Caddell Conference
Room, dedicated to Jan Caddell in recognition of the service he gave to our community, the Board of Directors, and this organization. Jan was a member of the Board of Directors for thirty- four years and served as Chairman for twelve of those years. Jan, his wife Lucy, and their children, Graham and Charlotte, were on hand for the dedication. Just before the ribbon cutting. Pastor David Lawrence of Jefferson United Methodist Church shared a blessing for the building.

LifeStore invites those who haven’t seen the facility to stop by. The hours are Monday-Thursday, 8 am-5 pm, Friday 8 am-6 pm and on Saturday the drive-thru is open 8 am-Noon.

LifeStore dates back to 1939 when its founders saw the need for a local building and loan association to help people purchase or build new homes. Today LifeStore Bank operates four locations in Ashe and Watauga Counties and insurance offices in those counties as well as Alleghany, Avery, Surry and Caldwell Counties.