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By Brandy Templeton, Observer News Enterprise

Lance Sellers has been the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Peoples Bank for 18 years now.

Growing up in Gaston County, he often played against area high schools, not knowing that he would eventually work in the area.

"I worked with a regional bank in the area and when they told me I had to transfer to Washington, D.C., I didn't want to leave," Sellers said.

The man who refers to himself as a 'homeboy' to the area learned that Peoples Bank needed a credit officer.  Sellers proudly served in that position until five years ago when the previous CEO retired.

Since being in his new role, Sellers has strived to make positive changes to Peoples Bank and their headquarters.

The current corporate center is around 10 years old and housed where a former grocery store and auto parts store used to be.

Peoples Bank has around 330 employees total, with 125 working at the headquarters in Newton.

Recently, major renovations were completed at the headquarters.  A whole new section was added on where a former Little Caesars Pizza was located.  Other renovations including new amenities and furniture were added to the remaining areas.

"We invested around $4 million in renovations," Sellers said.  "We added on additional space based on growth to create a better working environment for our employees."

He said they put "a lot of attention to training areas and breakrooms."

Sellers said that the renovations and new furniture have been well-received , however there are some things that the corporation is still putting final touches on.

Along with the renovations, Peoples Bank changed their branding.  It is now a "person" icon with the hopes of reaching a younger crowd.

"We decided to refresh the look of our brand to help us keep up with the millennials," Sellers said.  "We need to be relevant to them as we are to our long-term customers."

The CEO said that the 100 year old institution now has 55,000 customers, with other locations outside of Catawba County.  There are branches in Lincoln, Iredell, Alexander, Charlotte, Raleigh, and a new branch will open soon in Durham.

"we really focus on hiring locals who want to live, work, and have an impact in the community," Sellers said.  "We want to be known as a local bank who makes local decisions."

He concluded that the goals of Peoples Bank are serving their employees and serving their customers. "We want to be known as a well-performing bank," Sellers said.

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