Dave Thomas often hears how Clear Mountain Bank helped businesses get their start when no other bank would. “Those stories go back 15, 20 years,” says Thomas, who serves as president and CEO. “Those stories obviously make me feel good.” A community bank can judge the risks of loans to families and businesses more accurately than a remotely headquartered bank can.

But Thomas thinks the 125-year-old institution’s popularity stems from the many other ways it supports north central West Virginia and western Maryland. “We try to be very involved, whether it be through serving on boards, donating our time, or making monetary contributions,” he says. The bank’s new Clear Mountain Cares program gives each employee a paid day off from work every year to do community service. “We really try to give back.” — PK