The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Customers who happened into the new branch of Orange Savings Bank Tuesday morning found themselves elbow to elbow with representatives of local chambers of commerce and city officials, then after a moment of getting their bearings they would invariably find their way to one of the smiling tellers to conduct their business.
The lobby of the new bank at 8535 Central Mall Drive was crowded with well wishers ready to cut the ribbon for Port Arthur’s newest financial institution. Stephen Lee, president and chief executive officer of the bank, welcomed the several dozen people crowding the new lobby.
“We’ve been warmly received by the Mid-County community and the city of Port Arthur,” Lee said. He remembered how excited his company was when they opened a temporary location in Port Arthur on Halloween Day in 2011. “We’re even more excited today. We think our future’s bright in Mid-County.”
Port Arthur Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince also remembered that Halloween Day event.
“I was here when you opened the other facility. I can remember the anticipation” of Orange Savings Bank building a new, permanent home. But with all the talk of Mid-County, Mayor Prince made sure everyone knew which city was home to the new bank.
“Let me tell you, this is in Port Arthur, but right in the middle of area cities. I think you’re poised to achieve what you want,” Mayor Prince told Lee.
Ida Schossow, president of the Greater Orange Chamber of Commerce, emphasized the community involvement Orange Savings Bank has become known for.
“Y’all are very very fortunate to have them,” she told the gathering. “They are fantastic partners with everything in the community,” she said in a later interview.
Chairman of the Board for Orange Savings Bank Tommy Gunn told those attending the ribbon cutting that some years back his board was reviewing the bank’s strategic plan and saw a big hole — Jefferson County.
“We saw the need to fill that gap in Jefferson County. We are happy to be here and we will be actively involved,” Gunn said. “We are not done yet. There will be many more steps in the bank’s future. The board and this management team are committed to Southeast Texas.”
Orange Savings Bank is headquartered at 812 16th St. in Orange. It is the 118th largest bank in Texas, according to the Web site depositaccounts.com. It was established in 1954 and has grown to 99 employees at six locations.
Nickie Collier is the branch manager of the new bank. She emphasized the great location next to Central Mall, the spaciousness of the new facility and the open area.
“It’s a convenient bank now,” she said. “You have your ATM, safe deposit boxes. The feel of it, it’s like a house and we like to make people feel at home.”