By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
First Exchange Bank is ready to celebrate with the community at its annual Groundhog Day Breakfast.
Morris Morrison, a Fairmont native, nationally known motivational speaker and entrepreneur, will help the audience do some forecasting during the event. As the guest speaker, the theme of his presentation will be “Forecasting Your Success.”
This is First Exchange Bank’s 19th year hosting the traditional breakfast, which is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 31, at 8 a.m. For the second year, this free event will take at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center in Fairmont’s I-79 Technology Park.
Morrison earned his bachelor’s degree from Fairmont State University and his master’s degree from West Virginia University. Bill Goettel, First Exchange Bank’s president and CEO, said Morrison is a dynamic speaker with a great personality and an inspiring story of success. The bank was happy to invite him back to the Friendly City.
The Groundhog Day Breakfast typically draws about 250 people, including many repeat guests. First Exchange Bank tries to always hold a program that is relevant to people and relates to current happenings, and works to improve upon the event each year, Goettel said.
Some of the past speakers have included the late Gov. Cecil Underwood; former governor and now U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin; Dr. George Hammond, previously of West Virginia University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research; radio personality Hoppy Kercheval; and FBI Special Agent Herbert Stapleton.
Goettel said the breakfast is a nice opportunity for attendees to socialize and network. In addition to that fellowship, the event is a way for the bank to say “thank you.”
“We like to reach out to our customers and friends,” he said.
First Exchange Bank has a wonderful staff and board of directors who have developed good relationships with the community, Goettel said.
Of course, predictions are also a part of the Groundhog Day Breakfast.
People will be able to make their own prognostications for the year on different topics, and the bank will encourage audience participation in various ways, he said. First Exchange Bank will announce the winners of last year’s prognostication contest and present them with prizes.
In addition, guests will be able to learn about the bank during the event.
First Exchange Bank, started in 1932, will celebrate its 82nd birthday in June. The financial institution has a rich history and many longtime customers, Goettel said. It has sites in Mannington, Fairmont, Barrackville, Fairview, Hundred and Morgantown, and is located online at www.FirstExchange Bank.com.
The bank focuses on being accessible and flexible for customers and coming up with solutions, he said.
“We’re a community bank,” Goettel said. “We try to get involved in the community. We try to be friendly to people, we try to be wise when they’ve got dilemmas, and we try to champion them to help them meet their goals.”
First Exchange Bank has all of these qualities, which are part of its internal tagline, “Warm, Wise, Champion,” he said.
The Groundhog Day Breakfast is free to members of the public, but people must RSVP to attend. To register, contact Janet Garner at 304-986-1700 ext. 310 or JanetG@FirstExchangeBank .com by Friday, Jan. 24.
“We’re looking forward to a successful breakfast,” Goettel said. “It’s a good time. It’s a nice outreach for us.”
Email Jessica Borders at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.