Photography by Chelsey Ashford Photography

Seeds are stripped from their pods, get buried, and crushed. Only after they’ve nearly completely broken down will they grow into a bud that will blossom. The lesson? During the darkest moments, the best of us comes out.

Such was the case with Countybank at their genesis. While our country was in the Great Depression, a small group from Greenwood banded together to help their neighbors. They determined that their community would be cared for then, and remain cared for in the good times that would inevitably return. Nearly 90 years later, those core values of communal care are just as present as ever but have expanded with Countybank’s presence to the Greenwood, Greenville, Greer, and Anderson areas.

Always local, and always focused on the community they serve, Countybank functions as a sort of umbrella of aide to cover all financial needs. Thus, it is more than a mere bank, as it is comprised of qualified, knowledgeable professionals who help manage clients’ insurance, mortgages, investments, lending, and trusts.

Featured in this year’s Behind The Counter issue are Paul Pickhardt (Senior VP and SBA Lending Manager), Lisa Gilstrap (Mortgage Consultant), Steve Pardue (Commercial Insurance Agent), and Marko Huttunen (VP).

Pickhardt notes the uniquely creative, personalized service offered by Countybank. Whether refinancing commercial buildings and renovations or large business purchases, they strive to tailor the experience to each person or business. Gilstrap agrees with that sentiment, and adds that, on her side of things, Countybank Mortgage is big enough to stay competitive, but small enough to give individuals the attention they deserve, never allowing the client to feel overlooked or rushed through.

Pardue stresses the importance of being a resource to the client so they are always informed about insurance programs and what is ideal for the business or company. Huttunen, who has been a familiar face with Countybank for more than a decade, finds joy in helping others just as the founders did. “We pride ourselves on being a customer-focused organization. We are unique for a community bank in that we provide our customers a broad range of financial services offered by a dedicated group of banking specialists.”

Technology and mobile services are a must-have for almost every business in the age of the smartphone, and Countybank has understood that from the beginning. One of the main differences, of course, is that instead of assigning individuals a number and adding them to the faceless crowd of consumers, Countybank is focused on the relationship and tailors products to the individual. This cannot be achieved by an algorithm, only genuine attentiveness and consideration for one’s neighbor. Countybank has found a way to stay grounded in their founding principles while remaining attuned and responsive to the needs of today. It turns out, the flower has bloomed.

201 West McBee Ave., Greenville | 3431 Pelham Road, Greenville | 864.942.1500