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Renovation yields Ag Credit office

February 22, 2014
By Karen Kin - Staff Writer ( , The Advertiser-Tribune

In November, Ag Credit and Country Mortgages completed a major renovation project, and moved its Tiffin office from SR 53 to the freshly transformed property on West Market Street.

Ag Credit had been at its former location for 30 years, and John Orians, branch manager of the Tiffin office, said the company had outgrown that facility.

After a search of available properties in the area and consideration of building an entirely new property, Ag Credit decided to purchase the land and building of the former International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, located at 2500 W. Market St., and transform the location into office space.

The property, Orians said, had the potential to "serve members well," and was in an ideal location. Not only is the new office more visible to the public, especially those entering Tiffin on SR 18 and US 224, but it also offers convenient access to nearby businesses that tend to be frequented by Ag Credit members, Orians said.

He said the building and land needed a "large amount of work" when the property was purchased, and remodel efforts began soon after the sale was completed in September 2012.

The entire interior of the building, Orians said, "basically had to be gutted," although inspections of the building itself revealed the facility to be structurally sound. Also, he said, a considerable amount of asphalt and rock needed to be removed from the parking lot area of the property to ensure proper grading and to enhance the building's curb appeal.

Clouse Construction, Orians said, managed construction work on the property, and architectural and design work was done by Technicon Design Group of Ottawa. Plus, he said, a large percentage of contractors working on the project were local companies and individuals, and material purchases also were made locally.

The new office, he said, has about 5,000 square feet, and includes individual offices, a reception area and meeting rooms, which Orians said is one feature that was missing at Ag Credit's SR 53 building.

Orians said repurposing the Foursquare Gospel property was "a neat project to do," and, in addition to providing Ag Credit with a more usable space, helps to "beautify the area."

Since completing the move to the new property, Orians said the space is "working out very well," and the location has been "received well by (Ag Credit) membership."

New people, he said, have been coming in, and the new office is "very visible." Plus, Ag Credit has been able to use its expanded office space to conduct training sessions and "service members and the community."

In addition to the high-profile move to its new location, Ag Credit has experienced significant changes in senior management in the past few months.

Effective Feb. 1, Neil Jordan, former president and CEO of Ag Credit, retired from the company, and Brian Ricker was promoted to Jordan's position. According to a press release from Ag Credit, Ricker has more than 16 years of experience with the Farm Credit System, and had been named chief operations officer in 2013.

Other changes to Ag Credit's senior leadership, the release states, include naming Pierce Hodnette as chief credit officer, responsible for association credit and lending functions, and Jeff Rickenbacher as senior credit officer, responsible for all traditional branch lending.



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