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Good people make a great difference.

No one has to tell Denise Pozderac about the importance of people helping people. After all, that has been the focus of her life and her career for more than 30 years. Nisi, as she is known, is the chief executive officer, president, and administrator of Transitional Living Centers, Inc. (TLC), a company devoted to helping individuals with developmental and intellectual challenges to live as independently as possible or desired.

Pozderac, whose parents were in the nursing home business, founded TLC with her late husband, Patrick, and today oversees the business with the help of their three sons and two daughters-in-law. The company operates 13 group homes with a combined capacity of 96 clients in Valley City and Brunswick, Ohio, and also offers daily, non-residential care at its Riverside Habilitation Center, as well as in-home services. In all, TLC employs some 200 people including registered and licensed practical nurses, licensed social workers, qualified intellectual disability professionals (QIDPs), and dieticians.

Several years ago, when Pozderac became interested in moving her business accounts to a new bank, she went looking for the same type of success-oriented relationship her organization strives to provide every day. She found exactly what she wanted at Westfield Bank.

“I was doing business with a larger bank that was continuing to grow,” Pozderac said. “I could tell the bank was either positioning to sell or to buy and, either way, I did not want to be with a large bank. With Westfield, I like that I can actually talk with the people who make the decisions and look them in the eye. It’s also important to me that as a smaller regional bank, Westfield knows and supports the community. Plus many of the Westfield fees are lower than at my previous bank.”

The business banking relationship between TLC and Westfield began with a commercial loan. When the loan was finalized, Pozderac knew she had found her new bank and began the process of switching all of the business accounts to Westfield. Because TLC is Medicaid funded, the transition did not take place overnight. But it was eventually finalized and Pozderac now relies on Westfield for checking accounts, payroll services, and a line of credit.

Pozderac, who is now a member of the Westfield Bank Community Development Board, sums up her business banking relationship by saying, “The budget process and the ebbs and flows of long-term care and Medicaid are very difficult to understand, but with Westfield I can sit down, explain it, and they get it. They understand my business. I would use the word ‘comfortable’ to sum up our relationship. They are just really nice and knowledgeable people.”

Pozderac also relies on Westfield Bank as a partner with longtime Valley City resident Bryan Weber in an organization known as Valley City Development Group, LLC. The group owns seven buildings in the main street area of Valley City and is devoted to bringing new business and vitality to the area. It is an endeavor that has realized much success over the past several years.

Oswald considers Westfield a close business partner.

As one of the nation’s largest independent and employee-owned insurance brokerage and risk management firms, Cleveland-based Oswald Companies comprehends the importance of partnering with a financial institution that understands their industry. They discovered exactly the partner they were looking for when they began doing business with Westfield Bank.  

With its inherent connection to the insurance business, Westfield Bank is one of the few financial institutions in the country to offer agency banking. The conveniences of agency banking include a portfolio of products and services addressing the unique needs of independent insurance professionals.

For Oswald, the company’s need for an operating line of credit launched its relationship with Westfield. But that was just the beginning and the association has strengthened ever since.

“The insurance industry is different because it is not a capital intensive business,” Oswald Chief Financial Officer Joe DuBois pointed out. “It requires a specialized financial institution that thoroughly understands how we operate. Our entire relationship with Westfield Bank, and all the work we do with them, is rooted in their comprehensive understanding of our business. That’s why it’s a whole lot easier working with them than it is with any other bank.”

Today, all of Oswald’s banking needs are handled and met by Westfield. The company is one of the bank’s major depositors and also a borrower for transactions such as internal stock purchases, agency acquisitions and other undertakings.

“We can literally write a check on our line of credit to acquire a small to medium size agency and then work with Westfield to create a term loan for the purchase,” DuBois said. “That’s the degree of flexibility the bank provides.”

As a company dedicated to the philosophy of building longstanding partnerships and solid relationships, Oswald found its perfect match with Westfield. DuBois recalls Oswald’s involvement with various banks and financial institutions when he joined the company in 2008, but now the company finds its “partnership” approach with Westfield much more efficient and to its liking. It’s a relationship that has also carried over to company employees, many of whom rely on Westfield for home mortgages, auto loans and personal banking services.   

Joe DuBois sums it up beautifully when he says, “We very much value our relationship with Westfield Bank. They understand us and they understand our industry. They understand our financials as well as we understand our financials. They’re a great business partner and they get what we are trying to do.”