Business View Magazine | July 2022

131 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE VOLUME 9, ISSUE 7 WALLK I LL VALLEY FEDERAL SAV INGS AND LOAN Orange County.” Throughout these mergers, Wallkill Valley Federal has continued to employ existing frontline staff whenever possible, an example of the bank’s commitment to people and communities. As a mutual bank, there are no stockholders to answer to, making it easier for the focus to be on customers. “Our technical ownership is our depositors,” Horodyski explains. “It is really cool when the only focus you have is your customers and your employees. I don’t have to maximize shareholder value.” Having fun is a main part of the bank’s culture – the loan center is set up with a cornhole board, and the overall attitude is relaxed. Valuing customer relationships is something that sets Wallkill Valley Federal apart from other banks. As Horodyski attests, “I always say that if you know for a fact that you are never going to have a challenge or concern, then you probably could go to any other bank. If what you want is somebody to pick up the phone when you call, if you want to know who the bank President is, if you want to know that when times get tough, we are not just going to run from you, well, that is the experience that we want people to feel when they are here. We are in it together.” For a bank so committed to its people, COVID brought unprecedented challenges. “We are a small bank, and we were hearing that the economy was going to shut down, that there was going to be a two-week pause and everything was going to close. We were not really geared for remote, and the commercial customer base we had was kind of losing their minds, not knowing what was going to happen,” says Horodyski. Approaching things one day at a time,