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SUBMITTED PHOTO Blue Ridge Bank officials celebrate Jan. 2 at the New York Stock Exchange. The Luray-based bank was recently added to NYSE American. It merged last month with Virginia Community Bank.

Luray-based Blue Ridge Bank officials kicked off the new year by ringing the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange, of which it recently became a member.

The bank recently completed a $42.5 million merger with Virginia Community Bank and was approved for listing on the American New York Stock Exchange in late December.

“We are excited to take this meaningful and important step in the continued creation of value and liquidity for our shareholders,” said Brian Plum, the bank’s president and chief executive officer, in a release. “Listing on the NYSE American elevates the profile of our company and supports our efforts to generate attractive returns, transparency, and liquidity for our current and prospective shareholders.”

In December, the bank also announced its merger with Virginia Community, which started in Louisa County and has seven branches throughout Central Virginia.

Blue Ridge now operates 15 branches and has about $950 million in total assets, according to a company news release.

Virginia Community accounts will be converted to Blue Ridge at the end of January.

“We are incredibly excited to have partnered with the leadership team at Virginia Community Bank,” Plum said in a news release. “This is a significant transaction for Blue Ridge Bank as we continue to build one of the premier community banks in the region. Our combined resources will allow us to better serve our communities and offer responsive commercial banking services while also growing our noninterest income lines of business, including purchase and credit cards, payroll, insurance, mortgage, and qualified intermediary services.”

A. Preston Moore Jr., the former president and chief executive officer of Virginia Community, will become the Central Virginia market president for Blue Ridge.

Moore said in the release that he believes Virginia Community’s level of service and community commitment will be elevated with Blue Ridge.

“The Blue Ridge team sincerely believes, as we do, in delivering responsive and personalized service to our clients,” he said. “Our collaboration will offer significant opportunities and benefits to our clients, communities, employees, and shareholders.”

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