On January 31, 1920, the Citizens National Bank opened its doors for the first time in Bluffton, Ohio, and offered all new customers an apple in appreciation for stopping by. A review of the books from 1920 indicates that the bank began with $50,000 in capital and approximately four employees.
Now, 95 years later, we have expanded our offices to Lima, Elida, Van Wert, Celina, Findlay, Springfield, Defiance and now Toledo with a Loan Production Office. We currently employ about 160 people and serve customers in eleven primary counties: Allen, Hancock, Putnam, Hardin, Auglaize, Mercer, Van Wert, Paulding, Clark, Defiance and Lucas.
Citizens continues to experience consistent growth. Our newest location, Defiance, has been approved for a full branch license and can now take deposits. We plan to break ground on a full-service branch this year. Additionally we have added on to our Operations Center, located in Bluffton, in order to provide support for our growing sales staff. In the last 8 years our total assets have grown from $400 million to more than $650 million. This success is due to the confidence our customers have in our ability to provide them innovative products and solid performance.
We continue to focus on our website and social media, providing more content and frequent updates about our services through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. We also maintain a blog which allows for comments from our customers. We encourage our customers to also subscribe to our CNB Connection and Executive email newsletters and web video series.
Citizens National Bank is consistently rated high for performance and stability. We are currently rated a 5 Star Bank by Bauer Financial and a 4 Star Bank by Bankrate.com. Additionally we've been named one of the top 400 community banks in the nation by the Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA) for three years in a row. We were also named by SNL Financial as one of the top 100 community banks in the nation.