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.  

Letters From Leton: Dierks Bentley Takes a Back Seat

During my years serving and working with the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance (BCMA), I have had a chance to meet many interesting folks. I count Dierks Bentley among them.

Dierks has been a noted performer for a long time. He was (and is) an admirer of a Public Radio Show called “Mountain Stage” (MT) that broadcasts out of Charleston, WV each week (locally on WETS FM 89.5). He likes the show’s focus on the songwriters who write songs for performers like him, so he sent word to the show that he wanted to play for them sometime.

On July 23, 2008, Dierks Bentley arrived in Bristol to perform at the Paramount Theater for a Mountain Stage show sponsored by the BCMA and my former Bank. Naturally, we hung around backstage during the afternoon up until show time.

Another musician playing in the show was Vieux Farka Toure, a blues player from Mali (West Africa), and the son of legendary blues player Ali Farka Touré (think the Bob Dylan of Africa). Vieux spoke very little English, and his songs were in French (Mali had been a French Colony). My friend, Fred, had previously met Ali at the 2003 Smithsonian Folklife Festival at which the BCMA had participated in and provided support. Fred helped Mountain Stage line up the entertainment and had suggested Vieux for this show with Dierks.

Vieux seemed to be a pleasant and happy young man, and I had tried to make some conversation with my limited French skills. It was mostly nods and smiles.

By 7:00 PM the Paramount was full with a tremendous buzz. I suspected the buzz was for Dierks. We took our seats in the back.

Vieux played before Dierks, and I could tell the crowd was thinking, “Who is this guy?”

Then it happened.

The crowd rose to their feet for a standing ovation after nearly every song. They called Vieux back out for an encore. The closest experience to something like this I have ever had prior was at a Bruce Springsteen concert.

Following, Dierks came out and played a great set, but the crowd was somewhat spent having exerted so much energy during Vieux’s performance.

At the end of the show, Mountain Stage has a tradition of bringing all the musicians back on stage for one final song. Dierks and Vieux were center stage, and they ripped into the final song. Then, something wonderful happened. Dierks pushed Vieux up front and allowed him to take out the show. Dierks was taking a backseat to this fellow whose music he was also unfamiliar with!

I thought that Dierks and Vieux had made a connection, and that was confirmed later when we went backstage as they hung out together the rest of the evening, even retreating into Dierks dressing room to play a few more licks. Later on, Dierks brought Vieux to Nashville to meet some folks, and I think they even recorded together.

I can’t tell you that I am a Dierks Bentley music fan. Outside of that night, I don’t know if I have really heard much of his music. But I can tell you I am a Dierks Bentley “man” fan, as I saw that night the character of a person sharing and caring for another musician.

Sometimes in our lives, at work, or in our communities, we let our egos get in the way. Our experience. Our title. Our knowledge. We forget the most important thing is getting the job done – whatever is in front us – wherever it may be – and sometimes, that requires stepping aside to let someone else fix the problem or tackle the challenge, who may do it better than we can.

I often wonder if I had Dierks Bentley’s talent and acclaim, would I have played second fiddle to an unknown (at that time) blues musician from Mali during that show? Would you?

– Leton

“Letters From Leton” is a blog series comprised of the weekly updates that Leton Harding – President, Chairman, and CEO of Powell Valley National Bank, shares with the Bank’s team members. These newsletters are full of uplifting anecdotes and intriguing insights that are applicable beyond the Bank, so we want to share them with you.

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.

Letters From Leton: The Frenchman and Aunt Leen Leen

I know what you are thinking. Is this the latest romance novel from a famous author? Or a story of a chance encounter?

No, it is the story of two people born roughly around the same time but worlds apart. They have never met, but they are kindred spirits.

Earlier this month (May 6, 2019), NPR Morning Edition featured a story of a Frenchman who was five years old when the D-Day invasion occurred. He had moved a year earlier from Paris to his grandfather’s home in Normandy since there was little food in Paris. As the American liberators arrived, the young French child learned two English words – Freedom and Hershey’s (Candy Bar)  – kids will be kids.

Fast forward to the mid-80s. The Frenchman is married to an American woman and living here in the United States. He asked his American Father-in-Law about the celebrations for WWII Veterans. He was shocked to learn that while in Normandy each year schools are closed, the French Flag taken down and the U.S. Flag raised, but no celebration occurred here in the U.S. to celebrate D-Day or Victory in Europe (VE Day).

So, he started an annual dinner celebration and invites any WWII Veteran to attend.

A few years before the birth of the Frenchman, a woman was born in Appalachia of modest means. Fast forward many years, and she, as a young lady, is helping to raise her niece. Her niece, as a young child, can’t pronounce her name (Pauline), so she calls her “Aunt Leen Leen”.

Over the years the bond between Aunt Leen Leen and her niece becomes, in many ways, like a surrogate mother with Aunt Leen Leen encouraging and nurturing her (and many others) until her niece’s tragic death in a car accident on May 3rd, 2019.

While the stories of these two people can be construed as being very different, in my mind they are very similar. Two people who care for and cherish others and see the value of people, regardless of relationships or backgrounds.

It is a reminder to us that we too can make a difference that lingers through history.

So thank you Mr. Frenchman and Aunt Leen Leen (my mom) for showing others how to care.

– Leton

“Letters From Leton” is a blog series comprised of the weekly updates that Leton Harding – President, Chairman, and CEO of Powell Valley National Bank, shares with the Bank’s team members. These newsletters are full of uplifting anecdotes and intriguing insights that are applicable beyond the Bank, so we want to share them with you.

Letters From Leton: Jim Swartz Guest Post

This week I’d like to share a story from Jim Swartz, Vice President and Loan Review Officer:

“Last month I donated blood with Marsh at the Virginia Tech 4/16 blood drive. The Marsh folks reminded me of us. Very friendly, jovial, and got the job done. I had never donated with them before. I’d donated via Johnston Memorial Hospital and Blood Assurance, but today was a first time for me with Marsh Blood.

I mentioned to the nurse as she was checking my vitals before the donation that I was reaching the 10 gallon mark in total donations. We talked a bit about my history with the hospital and then the other blood bank. As I’m sitting on the donation cot, here she comes with a 10-gallon lapel pin! I’d given up on ever getting one….  Sometimes it’s the little things that make you remember something.”

– Jim Swartz

“Letters From Leton” is a blog series comprised of the weekly updates that Leton Harding – President, Chairman, and CEO of Powell Valley National Bank, shares with the Bank’s team members. These newsletters are full of uplifting anecdotes and intriguing insights that are applicable beyond the Bank, so we want to share them with you.

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.

Letters From Leton: Mission Trip

Each summer our church sends a Mission team out to help others. The past 3 summers, we have sent the mission team to North Carolina to help rebuild a church and homes impacted by a hurricane from a few years back.

After their work, the team comes back and shares special stories of their efforts and the inspirations that came from their work.

I suspect that many of you attend a church or are involved in other groups that do good works for others.

Last month on April 26th, we had our annual shareholders meeting. It is a formal requirement of corporations to have an annual meeting and re-organizational meeting to continue business.

Our annual meeting is a time for us to update the folks who have decided that one of the best usages of their money is as an investment in Powell Valley National Bank.

Economic benefit is most definitely a part of their investment; however, our shareholders believe in our Mission to serve the consumers, businesses, and communities that we are privileged to be a part of.

Most mission trips are planned for a certain time of year, a certain destination. Our Mission Trip happens every day. When we’re at work, every time we speak to a customer at the grocery store or a ballgame, every time we gather in deposits and put them back out into loans.

The Bible says, “Too whom much is given, much is expected.”

Our shareholders entrust us with much, and I am happy to say our “Mission” continues to be a successful one.

– Leton

“Letters From Leton” is a blog series comprised of the weekly updates that Leton Harding – President, Chairman, and CEO of Powell Valley National Bank, shares with the Bank’s team members. These newsletters are full of uplifting anecdotes and intriguing insights that are applicable beyond the Bank, so we want to share them with you.

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.