Citizens Bank celebrated its 65th anniversary on Wednesday with 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremonies at its regional branches. Here, Kathi Harwood, Philomath branch manager, cuts the ribbon with Philomath Area Chamber of Commerce members, business leaders and bank personnel in attendance. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The oversized ribbon-cutting scissors worked in unison on Wednesday morning at Citizens Bank branches all around the valley, including the one on the corner of 13th and Main in Philomath.

Right at 10 o’clock — and those in attendance counted down — branch managers cut their ribbons in celebration of the bank’s 65th anniversary. That hour was the chosen moment because on Oct. 5, 1957, the Citizens Bank of Corvallis at 143 S. Second St., celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Kathi Harwood, manager of the Philomath branch, cut the ribbon.

“I think being here for the community as a bank, all of your deposit dollars are right out here in this community,” she said. “I think everybody needs a community bank.”

Citizens Bank stresses the community part of its operation. During a talk before the ribbon-cutting with the Philomath Area Chamber of Commerce and other community business leaders on hand, Harwood offered various perspectives that supported the bank’s approach to community banking.

Harwood also expressed great pride in her staff.

“All of our employees volunteer and we serve the community in a number of ways — Rotary, chamber, a lot of volunteering at Philomath Community Services,” she said.

From those beginnings in Corvallis, the bank has expanded to 15 branches in 13 communities. In all, Citizens Bank employs 175 people who serve individuals and businesses.

As part of its event, the bank donated $500 checks to Philomath Community Services and Lilly’s Lope for Hope to help support those causes.

The Philomath branch will be celebrating its own anniversary in 2024. The bank held its grand opening on Dec. 9, 1974 with a ribbon-cutting — and yes, it was right at 10 a.m. — with Mayor Martin Hoffman doing the honors.

The Philomath bank’s first staff included Manager Joe Malcom along with Dan Brown, Barbara Chambers, Ann Guernsey, Kathy Pettit and Dorothy Hanlon. The new building was constructed at a cost of $240,000.