Main Street to Wall Street: Cortland Bank investors benefit from profitable year

Local News

CORTLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – The small town feel of Cortland is starting to catch Wall Street’s eye. Cortland Bank finished 2018 with a record profit of over $8 million and shareholders were rewarded with a special dividend.

Cortland Bank opened in 1892. Its main location is right along Main Street, but it’s certainly changed in 127 years.

The most recognized branch of its 14 is in Canfield along Route 224.

“Today, the name of the game is grow and not only grow assets, but grow earnings. Survival is becoming more difficult,” CEO Jim Gasior said.

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Cortland Bank’s strength is personal and business banking, particularly small business loans.

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It’s opened three new branches in the past four years. That’s its strategy for growing and expanding its presence in northeast Ohio.

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The other strength is being listed on the NASDAQ. That happened two months ago and Gasior rang the closing bell last Friday.

“It’s probably one of my top five to be able to do that and do that with a group of people I really respect,” he said. “On top of that, to be able to represent the people of the Mahoning Valley was tremendous.”

Gasior was a public accountant and switched to banking 28 years ago. He’s risen through the ranks at Cortland Bank, becoming CEO in 2009.

Gasior has taken it to new heights with nearly $700 milllon in assets. The bank’s 1,200 shareholders are benefitting.

“Over three year’s time, the bank has grown somewhere around 30% on [total shareholder return] and over 114% on a five-year basis,” Gasior said.

Cortland Bank is hoping to attract more investment with the greater visibility on the NASDAQ.

But one thing it won’t lose is its hometown feel.

“We’re not based out of Columbus, Michigan, Pittsburgh. We’re right here in the Valley and that gives us an opportunity to know the people we’re doing business with,” Gasior said.

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