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Blue Table Talk: Engaging and inspiring conversations

Farmers President and CEO Kevin Helmick sits down to talk.

As the President and CEO of Farmers National Bank, Kevin Helmick is used to being asked questions and for his advice.

But a recent innovation has turned the tables, literally—the Blue Table, to be precise.

Helmick is sitting down for a series of interviews with industry leaders, having relaxed and engaging conversations with business leaders and people in the community who have interesting stories.

Blue Table Talk is a popular video segment produced by the team at Farmers National Bank. It’s currently showcasing the different ways people can get involved and make an impact in the community. Through a series of intimate chats, you can get to know the people behind some well-known organizations and enjoy a thought-provoking conversation.

These interviews also just happen to give insight into the culture at Farmers. Employees are collaborative, work as teams and are high performing. They’re also committed to supporting the organizations that are vital to the community. 

The first sit down was conducted with Bob Hannon, the President and CEO of the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. That was followed by Chris Sammartino, COO of The Muransky Companies. Look for Garry Mrozek, CEO of Hometown Pharmacy Solutions, to appear next.

The host and guests’ commitment to helping others is clear and the series has inspired many to get involved where they can. Not surprisingly, after watching these videos, many have found they’ve been moved to act.

Farmers’ own Amber Wallace, Executive Vice President, Chief Retail and Marketing Officer, counts herself among them. “Just hearing Kevin have these conversations, you learn a lot more and it really does pique your interest. There has been many informative calls to action that have even inspired me to get more involved,” she says. 

The series was originally intended as a vehicle for Helmick to interview high performers within the company. It immediately became clear he was a natural who had a real gift for drawing others out. 

“Having Kevin as a CEO is a gift on a golden platter,” says Wallace. “He is just so versatile. He’s a fantastic public speaker and, guess what, an even better host.”

Helmick has an affinity for small business and it shows; taking care of them is the number one priority at Farmers. “If we can deploy capital to all of these small businesses, then we’re helping our friends and neighbors with potential employment. It just trickles down. It’s definitely the heartbeat of our organization,” Wallace says.

There’s certainly no shortage of stories in the Mahoning Valley to tell. So many people and small businesses in Northeast Ohio are doing special things. When you create platforms to showcase that, it’s motivating to others. 

You can also learn a lot about the business leaders themselves. “There’s always some little tidbit that got this person or that company where they are today. It’s kind of like he’s exposing the secret sauce behind the individual’s success,” says Wallace.

Right now the focus of Blue Table Talk is on non-profits, as Helmick serves as 2020 Campaign Chair for the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. Going forward, expect to see a mix of community initiatives, organizations and business professionals who have a good story to tell. 

To shoot these videos, the staff took the time to create a proper studio in the atrium at Farmers, complete with full lights-camera-action set-up. “We’re perfectionists over here so I will say it’s pretty highly produced,” laughs Wallace. She remains surprised by how little editing they’ve had to do due to the authentic footage they’ve filmed.

They’ve already grown used to the gushing feedback about Helmick being such a great host, so much so that Wallace hopes this newfound success won’t take him away from his day job. “He could be the next David Letterman or something,” she jokes.

Clearly, this enterprising group is on to something and has created its own niche: authentic conversations with interesting guests who inspire viewers to action. Somehow, in 2020, it’s just what we all needed.

Watch the latest episodes of Blue Table Talk here

To learn more, visit Farmers National Bank.