By Travis Mounts
One of Conway Springs’ two oldest businesses, the State Bank of Conway Springs, will be sold following an agreement between the banks’ shareholders and the owners of Vintage Bank of Leon. The announcement came Friday from David Young, chairman of the board of the State Bank of Conway Springs.
Vintage Bank is owned by Willis “Wink” Hartman and his wife, Elizabeth Hartman, and by Steve Worrell, who serves as CEO of Vintage Bank. Wink Hartman is known as the owner of Hartman Arena and was a challenger for the District 4 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives following Rep. Todd Tiahrt’s retirement. Hartman also is active in the oil industry.
The sale is subject to regulatory approval by the State Bank Commissioner’s Office and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
ALSO READ: History of the State Bank of Conway Springs
State Bank’s current ownership of 15 shareholders voted unanimously to approve the sale. Young said the group began looking for new owners three or four years ago.
“People have contacted us and we’ve contacted people, and this one just seemed to click. We liked their philosophy of community banking,” Young said. “We liked the way they do business and thought they’d be good for Conway Springs.”
Candace Wolke, president of State Bank of Conway Springs, said every effort will be made to ensure the transition is as seamless as possible for customers, and that all current employees of the bank will remain in place. Wolke said she was excited about the opportunities the sale would give the bank and its customers.
“The merger will allow the bank to provide more services to current customers, take on new customers, and handle larger lines of credit for the further development of our community,” she said.
Young described reaction from the community as positive.
“They understand. Change can be uncertain,” he said. Young said talks took a few months but went smoothly.
One of the things that State Bank’s owners wanted was for all current employees to keep their jobs. That will happen, said Worrell.
“We’re excited to get into the community and grow with it,” he said.
Worrell, a native of Leon, has a long history in the banking industry. He went to work for Wink Hartman in 2007.
“Wink had been wanting to get into banking for some time,” he said. They originally looked at the bank in Leon, but the owners were in talks with another potential buyer. That deal eventually fell through, and the Hartmans and Worrell purchased the bank in January 2011. They later added an east Wichita location in the Hartman Oil building.
Since then, Vintage Bank has been looking for other opportunities in the greater Wichita area, Worrell said.
“We want to grow and have a nice size bank,” he said.
Vintage Bank began in the late 1880s as a merchants bank. It became a state bank in the early 1900s. It underwent a sale in the 1950s.
State Bank of Conway Springs is one of the two oldest businesses in the city. It was founded in 1884, the same year as the city. The Conway Springs Star was founded the same year.
Customers of State Bank of Conway Springs will see expanded online banking services, and the merger will allow the bank to double the sizes of loans it can offer. Both Young and Worrell said outside of the name change, customers will see few other changes.
“It should be banking as normal,” Worrell said.
At this time, there are no changes planned for the Young Agency. The insurance agency is owned by David and Nancy Young.