Author: powellva

Secure Travel Tips


This summer, traveling in style means traveling secure. These cybersecurity tips from Homeland Security can help keep your information safe while you’re on the go this summer.


8 Cybersecurity Tips for Traveling


Before You Hit the Road…

Update Your Phone Software

In addition to being our lifeline to friends, family, and most of the world, our cellphone contains valuable information. That information is pertinent to our daily lives and attractive to hackers. Keeping your software up-to-date will help ensure that your malware protection is working as it should, protecting you from any malicious attacks.

Back Up Your Device

If you lose your phone, which is especially easy to do while traveling, you can lose access to all of that valuable information. To prevent this, store important information like photos, contacts, etc. on the cloud or another device.

Lock Your Device

In the event you do lose your phone, a strong password lock can prevent whoever finds it from accessing your information.

Bonus Tip: Create a note in your phone that says something like, “In the event you find my phone, please contact this number (use the number of someone you are traveling with, with their permission) to help me find it.” Then screenshot the note, and set it as your lock screen background. That way a good Samaritan will be able to help you locate your phone without having to unlock it. 


While On the Go…

Turn Off Bluetooth

When Bluetooth is turned on, it may automatically attempt to connect with other Bluetooth enabled devices and wireless networks. Turn this off so you can remain in control of which devices or networks you do or do not want to connect to.

Be Cautious with Free WiFi

When possible, avoid using free public WiFi. If it’s necessary to connect to public WiFi, ensure you are connecting to the correct network, and avoid performing sensitive tasks like accessing online banking or making online purchases. While convenient, unsecured networks or public devices can offer cybercriminals a convenient path to your internet-enabled device.

Avoid Unknown Links

  • If you receive an email or message from an unknown sender, delete it.
  • Do not click on any suspicious links.
  • Review the details before you download a new app.
  • Only visit websites with “https” at the beginning of the URL.

Guard Your Device

Criminals often target travelers for theft, so keep an eye on your devices when in public. If possible, store them in a safe when you need to leave them in your hotel room or locked car.

Read More: 6 Tips for a Scam-Free Summer

Powell Valley National Bank Opens New Full-Service Office in Abingdon

Abingdon Office
Abingdon Group Picture

Jonesville, VA–Powell Valley National Bank (PVNB, Bank) is pleased to announce the opening of its newest full-service office located at 24495 Lee Highway in Abingdon, Virginia in the Walmart Development shopping area at Interstate 81, Exit 19. 

On Thursday, June 27th at 5:30 PM, Powell Valley National Bank, in conjunction with the Washington County Virginia Chamber of Commerce, will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new state-of-the-art facility.

“We are thrilled to open the doors to our new office, and there’s a lot of excitement surrounding the opening,” stated PVNB Market Executive, Sam Neese.  “We have a very highly-trained and veteran staff of community banking professionals working in our new building.  This staff has served the Washington County community with over 313 years of combined community banking experience,” says Neese. 

Leton L. Harding, Jr., President and CEO, also says, “With over 131 years of community banking experience, our Bank’s commitment to community and our legacy of strength and longevity is reflected in the group of talented and caring local bankers that will be serving Washington County, and the surrounding area, in our new office.  Abingdon and Washington County are a vital part of the economy in our region, and the opening of our new full-service facility echoes our commitment and intent to serve our region.”

The new office operating hours are Monday-Thursday 9AM-5PM; Friday, 9AM-6PM, and drive thru hours Monday-Friday 8AM-6PM and Saturday 8AM-1PM.

Powell Valley National Bank Promotes Ashley Hammonds

Ashley Hammonds picture

Jonesville, VA–Powell Valley National Bank (PVNB, Bank) is pleased to announce the promotion of Ashley Hammonds to Assistant Vice President and Commercial Loan Administration. 

Hammonds joined PVNB in 2004 in the Pennington Gap Office.  Over the last 15 years, Ashley has had the opportunity to work in several different departments and capacities across the Bank.  For the last 2 years, Ashley has worked as a Commercial Loan Processor in the Jonesville office.  She is responsible for receiving and processing commercial loan applications and assisting lending officers during the underwriting process including orders for title work and policies, deeds, inspections, appraisals, and payments of fees.  “Ashley’s strong organization and communication skills, combined with her character, dedication, and commitment to customer service support the core values of PVNB.  She is an asset to our loan administration staff and our PVNB team,” stated Powell Valley National Bank President and CEO, Leton L. Harding, Jr.  

Hammonds is a native of Jonesville, VA.  She is a 2008 graduate Mountain Empire Community College and a 2005 graduate of Lee High School.  Ashley and her husband, Josh, have two children, Ellis and Elijah.  They attend First Baptist Church and reside in Jonesville, VA.  

Powell Valley National Bank Promotes Sarah Moore

Sarah Moore picture

Jonesville, VA–Powell Valley National Bank (PVNB, Bank) is pleased to announce the promotion of Sarah Moore to Assistant Vice President in the Real Estate Department of the Bank. 

Moore joined PVNB in 2015 as a Mortgage Loan Clerk in Jonesville where her responsibilities include managing the real estate loan origination process for its mortgage loan customers.  “Sarah’s character, strong work ethic, dedication, and commitment to customer service support the core values of PVNB.  She has achieved remarkable results in her time with us and we look forward to her continued contribution to our team and the success of our Bank”, says Powell Valley National Bank President and CEO, Leton L. Harding, Jr.  

Moore is a native of Jonesville, VA.  She attended Mountain Empire Community College and is a 2010 graduate of Lee High School.  Sarah and her husband, Justin, are members of Long Hollow Christian Church and reside in Jonesville, VA.  

6 Tips for a Scam-Free Summer

With summer soon arriving, many of us are gearing up for trips and vacations. Here are some tips from the Federal Trade Commission to help ensure you have a scam-free vacation.


A good place to start is asking friends and family for recommendations on travel agencies, vacation rentals, hotels, and packages. Next, Google the travel companies, hotels, rentals and/or agents you plan on using. Search the name of the company alongside words like “reviews,” “scam,” or “complaint” to see what comes up. If you buy travel insurance, make sure the agency is licensed – you can check through the US Travel Insurance Association.

Read the Terms

Before you pay or sign anything, carefully read the details of the travel offer you’re considering.

  • Keep an eye out for extra costs like “resort fees” (also known as amenity, destination, or facility fees).
  • Inquire about taxes, which can vary depending on location.
  • Make sure you have a clear understanding of cancellation and refund policies, and keep a copy of these terms for yourself.

Take your time considering the offer, and don’t let anyone rush you into a decision.

Keep the Paperwork

Keep your receipts, and bring copies of the confirmation details showing the rate you paid and the amenities you payed for.

Don’t Pay for “Prize” Vacations

A legitimate company will never ask you to pay for a prize. Additionally, look for catches on resort/timeshare offers which often come with hidden taxes or fees and mandatory presentations with high-pressure sales pitches.

Read More: 2019 Scam Trends and How to Avoid Them

Use a Card

If possible, using a credit card for your vacation spending can help give you more protection than cash.

Read More: 5 Tips to Prevent Card Fraud

A debit card is also a safer option than cash, especially with our MobiMoney app which allows you to monitor your accounts on the go from anywhere and turn your card on/off with a single click. You can even sign up for real-time transaction notifications, so you’ll be notified immediately if an unauthorized transaction occurs.

Read More: 5 Benefits of Online/Mobile Banking

Protect Your Information

Only bring the IDs and credit/debit cards that are necessary, and make copies so if your bags are stolen you’ll know what you lost. Make a copy of your insurance card to bring with you, and leave other important documents at home.

Read More: 7 Tips to Protect Your Identity

Powell Valley National Bank wishes everyone a safe and wonderful summer! If you do witness or experience any type of fraud, you can report it to the FTC here. Additionally, if you believe your financial information may have been compromised, contact your bank immediately. Click here for PVNB Debit Card Support Numbers.

PVNB Kingsport Collecting Donations for Fire Victims

A terrible apartment fire at Aspen Ridge Properties in Kingsport yesterday has displaced several families. Four apartments were destroyed leaving four different families at a complete loss of all of their belongings. They only have the clothes on their back and need everything!

We have coordinated with individuals affected by the fire to offer Powell Valley Bank’s Kingsport location as a collection point for donations. Below is a summary of needs:

UPDATE 6/4/2019:  The families affected by the apartment fire are now in need of gift cards to purchase food and gas.


Children’s Needs

  • 6-9 month old girl clothes
  • Anything else for a baby
  • Girls 4T and 5T tops and 3T and 4T bottoms
  • Girls shoes size 7/8 toddler and T 11/12
  • Boys clothes size 7/8
  • Boys shoes size 12 1/2

Women’s Needs

  • Pants sizes from 6/7 to 16
  • Shirts M-XL
  • Shoes 7-9

Men’s Needs

  • Pants 34/32, 36/32, 29/30 and 38/30, M-XL
  • Shirts M-XL
  • Shoes 10, 10.5, and 11

Other Needs

  • Unused toiletries
  • Chargers
  • etc.

We will update the list as more information becomes available. Powell Valley Bank’s Kingsport branch is located at 240 W Center St, in Kingsport, TN. The office is open and accepting donations Monday – Friday 8:30AM – 5:00PM.

Powell Valley National Bank Promotes Jason Laster

Jason Laster Picture

Jonesville, VA–Powell Valley National Bank (PVNB, Bank) is pleased to announce the promotion of Jason Laster to Vice President and Director of Information Technology of the Bank. 

Laster joined PVNB in 2002 and previously held the position of Assistant Vice President and Network Administrator.  Over the years Jason has gained a great deal of experience in many different capacities of Information Technology while most recently specializing in the development and execution of PVNB’s Cybersecurity Program.  He is a Certified Banking Cybersecurity Manager and a Certified Banking Security Technology Professional.  In his new role, Laster will oversee PVNB’s team of information technology professionals and continue to manage the Bank’s cybersecurity program, network, and systems.  Additionally, he will oversee the Bank’s business continuity and disaster recovery programs along with daily activities and administration of PVNB’s information services.

“With over 17 years of information technology experience at our Bank, Jason plays a vital role in protecting PVNB and its future, as we strive to stay on the forefront of operational efficiency and cybersecurity,” says Powell Valley National Bank President and CEO, Leton L. Harding, Jr.  “In today’s society, ensuring data security and identity protection is one of the most important functions of any bank and we are confident that as we continue to expand our footprint throughout the region that with Jason’s leadership our Bank will remain at the forefront of technology, security, and safety.”

Laster is a native of Stickleyville, VA.  He holds an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in Computer Networking Technology from Mountain Empire Community College.  He and his wife, Amanda, have one son, Easton.   They are members of the Woodway Church of God and reside in Stickleyville, VA.

Powell Valley National Bank Promotes Melody Lovell

Melody Lovell

Jonesville, VA–Powell Valley National Bank (PVNB, Bank) is pleased to announce the promotion of Melody Lovell to Assistant Vice President and Senior Loan Administrator of the Bank. 

Lovell joined PVNB in 2015 as a Commercial Loan Processor in the Wise office.  Throughout her banking career, Melody has had the opportunity to work in several different capacities within the profession.  She is a 2018 graduate of the Wise County and City of Norton Chamber of Commerce leadership development program, Forward Wise County.  Lovell has served on the Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, and is currently serving on its Family Selection Committee.

“Melody has played an integral role in the growth and development of the processes relative to our commercial loan originations,” says Powell Valley National Bank President and CEO, Leton L. Harding, Jr.  “As our Bank continues to expand its footprint across our region, Melody’s dedication, experience, and integrity will be a very significant contribution to the growth of our commercial lending origination initiatives.”

Lovell is a native of Norton, VA.  She is a 2002 graduate of Mountain Empire Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Business Management.  Melody and her son, Elijah, reside in Norton, VA.   They are members of the Norton First Church of God, where Melody serves as Church Council Secretary.

Powell Valley National Bank Announces Special Homebuyer Programs

Sold home

Jonesville, VA— Powell Valley National Bank (PVNB, Bank) is pleased to announce its participation with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta’s First-Time Homebuyer Program and Community Partners Product Program.  The program provides funding assistance to consumers with down-payment proceeds and closing costs associated with a new home purchase.

Buying a home is an important milestone in a person’s life, and Powell Valley National Bank understands that finding the right financing plan is as important as finding the right home.  In helping to form that strong foundation, PVNB can assist first-time homebuyers in accessing matching funds for the down-payment and closing costs associated with a new home purchase.

For every $1 contributed by the borrower towards their new home purchase, the borrower can receive $4 in matching funds, up to a maximum limit of $5,000. Funding is available to qualified first-time homebuyers.

PVNB is also pleased to announce special financing opportunities for current and retired law enforcement officers, educators, healthcare workers, firefighters, and first responders who are purchasing a new home.  Funding is available to assist with down-payment funds, closing costs, and rehabilitation costs incurred when purchasing a new home.  For every $1 that community partners contribute towards a new home purchase, a borrower can receive $4 in matching funds up to a maximum limit of $7,500.

A borrower’s income must be less than or equal to 80 percent of HUD median income for the area and adjusted for family size to be eligible for available funds.

Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

In addition to meeting income eligibility requirements, homebuyers must also contribute a minimum of $1,250 towards the purchase of a new home, occupy the home for a minimum of (5) years, and complete a homebuyer education and financial literacy course specified by the FHLB Atlanta.

5 Benefits of Online/Mobile Banking

1. Increase Security & Control

With mobile and online banking, you’re in control. Through features like event alerts and our mobile app, MobiMoney, you can monitor your accounts anytime, anywhere, in REAL TIME. This doesn’t mean you HAVE to check your account every 30 minutes though. Instead, you can set up alerts to notify you of things like:

  • When a deposit is made to your account
  • When your balance gets low
  • When a debit is made to your account
  • When transactions of a specified amount occur

You can also turn your debit card on and off with the touch of a button from your phone. Taking advantage of these features not only provides the convenience of control, these features also decrease your risk of fraud.

For additional information about mobile banking, check out our Mobile Banking Tutorial.

2. Save the Trees

Did you know there are environmental benefits to online/mobile banking? By taking advantage of features like online statements and online bill pay, you can greatly reduce your paper usage.

3. Eliminate Late Fees

Speaking of online bill pay… Never missing a payment means no more late charges! The ability to pay your bills online from anywhere means you can get those payments in on time no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Even better, set up automatic bill pay!

4. Reduce Carbon Emissions

Did you know you can do things like deposit checks, make payments, check your credit score, view your accounts, re-order checks, and more from the convenience of your home (or anywhere with internet)? Saving a trip to the bank not only saves you time, it also reduces your fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Save time, money, and the environment at the same time? Sign us up! (Just kidding, we’re already signed up for online banking. But if you’re not, you can here.)

5. Bank Anytime, Anywhere

With online banking, you have access to a 24/7, mobile branch of the bank. Essentially, you can take PVNB with you on vacation, to college, on business trips… anywhere, anytime. Say “YES” to that last-minute road trip without having to worry about getting your finances in order. Pay your bills in bed, check your balance at the beach, send someone money on a mountain – live your life!

If you’re interested in online and mobile banking but have questions, please contact us by phone or email, and we will be happy to provide assistance and answer your questions!