Written by The Business Journal Staff
Education: UC Santa Barbara. Bachelor’s degree in political science
Family: Wife Kristie, children Reagan age 8 and Hunter age 6
Tell me a little about the history of Security First Bank and Wilkins Enterprises, Eric.
Wilkins Enterprises is a commercial real estate development company founded by my father, Ed Wilkins. The company has been developing commercial and residential property in the Valley and foothills for over 40 years. I joined the company in 1993, and after my father semi-retired five years ago, we moved the company from Oakhurst to Fresno.
In 2005, a long time family friend called and asked if we would like to be involved with a group of local professionals forming a new community bank. In 2007, Security First Bank opened its doors to the community with a focus of providing quality personal banking to the community. In 2009, I was elected as vice chairman of the board and continue to be involved in numerous committees of the bank
What are your duties as vice chairman of the board at the bank? And what do you do at Wilkins Enterprises, Eric?
My role as vice chairman of the board is to provide support to the chairman of the board in his role as the board’s leader and as the main liaison between the board and the executive management of the bank. Those duties include regularly meeting with regulatory agencies, bank management and shareholders to provide the board with the information they need to make decisions, which are in the best interest of the bank.
At Wilkins Enterprises, I currently oversee all of the day-to-day property management, new development opportunities and balance sheet management for the company. Those duties include interacting with tenants, analyzing market trends, reviewing financing options and identifying capital sources.
What do you like most about what you do, Eric?
The sense of accomplishment I feel when a project is completed. There are many moving parts in a development project and most are behind the scenes, but once you see the finished product, it gives you something tangible to point to as an accomplishment.
How long have you lived in the Fresno area, Eric?
What is your key business strategy, Eric?
If you can set and accomplish goals, which most people believe are too difficult to even attempt, tremendous value is created in the process.
What was the best business advice you received, Eric?
If you think a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur. You will eventually hire the professional to fix the amateur’s mistake, and it will cost you more in the long run.
Who influenced you most in moving into the work you do, Eric?
My father had me work with him when I was in high school and that fostered my interest in the real estate development business. Originally, I worked as a laborer on a construction site, but the more I sat in his office and attended meetings with him, I began to realize that the planning, leasing and financing of the projects was something that really appealed to me.
What was your first job, Eric?
Bagging groceries at Raley’s. It was hard rewarding work, but it made me realize that I would ultimately want to set my own schedule when I chose my career.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have hobbies? What kind of entertainment do you enjoy, Eric?
I like waterskiing, snow skiing, watching football and spending time with my family.
How do you give back to the community you serve, Eric?
I believe one of the best ways to give back to the community is to raise a quality family and support multiple causes, which are directly involved in the community.