published on November 12, 2021 - 12:00 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

President and CEO | Central Valley Community Bank and Bancorp

Education: MBA and BS in Accountancy from California State University, Sacramento

Age: 45 

Family: Spouse, Ellen; Son, Ethan (sophomore at Clovis North High School) and Daughter, Ena (8th grader at Granite Ridge Intermediate)

What we do:

Central Valley Community Bank (CVCB) is a full-service community bank with a focus on business banking for companies large and small. Our mission is providing personalized financial solutions that guide businesses and communities to succeed and thrive. 

Since our founding in Clovis, CA, in 1979, CVCB has grown to serve 16 communities with 20 Banking Centers located throughout the San Joaquin Valley and Greater Sacramento. As of Sept. 30, assets have exceeded $2.3 billion. Despite our growth, CVCB exemplifies the best qualities in a community business bank and is committed to the core values of teamwork, respect, accountability, integrity and leadership.

Advocating for clients, providing exceptional service with access to decision makers and deeply investing in the communities we serve are our hallmarks and key reasons why our clients actively refer their colleagues to CVCB. Additional information on CVCB can be found on our website at www.cvcb.com.

Tell us a little about your career to your current position.

I joined Central Valley Community Bank on Jan. 30, 2018 after more than two decades of leadership roles in community banking. Originally serving as the Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, I was later named Chief Operating Officer and, most recently, appointed by the Board of Directors to serve as President and CEO of the Bank and Central Valley Community Bancorp effective Nov. 1, 2021. 

In my work with previous community banks, I served in the positions of chief executive officer, chief operations officer, chief financial officer and controller, and also worked with an international business firm in the Greater Sacramento region. Throughout my career, I’ve gained valuable experience in strategic planning, financial management, regulatory relationships, team-building and leadership while learning the importance of exemplary client service. 

How does it feel to be stepping into your new position?  

As only the fourth person to hold this office, it’s humbling to follow the great leaders who came before me, as well as the many bankers who have built CVCB into what it is today. I continue to be excited to be part of what I believe is the region’s best banking team and for what we will achieve together. And I’m passionate about the positive impact we’ve made over nearly 42-years and will continue to make — for our loyal clients and the communities we are so honored to serve. 

How has the transition been?  

Serving in a leadership role with CVCB for four years has helped make the transition smooth but busy. I give credit to the Board for making the process well-planned and efficient, and to my predecessor, Jim Ford, who has made the change seamless. I should add: such a transition is always easier when you have an immensely competent team that daily proves that their potential is limitless.

Nearly two years into the pandemic, how has it changed what the bank is today?  

The pandemic certainly magnified the importance of community banking.  As an essential business, we not only remained open, but delivered the financing needed to sustain many of our clients, all part of what it means to be a true community bank. Our role in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) allowed us to make a disproportionally large and positive impact on businesses through PPP loans and consultation to help our clients and communities better navigate the crisis. 

We’ve served our communities in other ways as well, such as accelerating our giving to area food banks, housing and health care, while supporting our team members financially and emotionally. The pandemic brought our team together with a renewed commitment to our values and mission. We are better and stronger as a Company for the experience.

What are major priorities for the bank moving forward?  

Our focus continues to be on enhancing relationships, from our team members and clients to our communities and vendor partners.  We are driven to make a positive difference with everyone we are privileged to be associated with.  

While the pandemic was devastating to so many around the globe, the crisis enabled us to implement new approaches and seek innovative solutions when the status quo wasn’t the best option — a way of thinking that will serve our team well going forward.  

What are your roots in the Central Valley?  

When I began with CVCB four years ago, my family moved to the Fresno area. Prior to that, we lived in the Greater Sacramento region for approximately 20 years. We are now deeply rooted in Central California, and honestly, there’s no other place I’d rather work and raise my family.

What is your impression of the Fresno community?  

The people of Fresno and the Central Valley are warm and welcoming, and have been extremely friendly in helping our family settle in. I’ve long known about Fresno’s educational opportunities, sports programs, cultural and recreational offerings, and now that I live here it just reinforces what a family-friendly place it is to raise your family and grow your business.

Beyond that, I’m impressed by this community’s generosity and interest in giving to education, health care, feeding and sheltering the hungry, and sustaining and growing the art community. Plus, there is a strong commitment to improving the economic opportunities for all citizens that speaks highly of this region’s values. 

What cause/organization is close to your heart?  

There are so many organizations that I have been blessed to be involved with, but those impacting children are the closest to my heart: Boys & Girls Clubs, First Tee, Make-a-Wish and several local educational institutions.

What was the best advice you ever received?  

Commit to learning.  To me, a learner is humble, listens, is curious, receptive and adaptable — all of which are the most important traits to being an effective leader.

What was your very first job and what did you learn from it?  

My first job out of college was at Arthur Andersen, an international business firm. While I already had a strong work ethic, it was greatly enhanced during my time there. Just as valuable, I learned that I needed more than just “smarts” to differentiate myself.

What do you like to do in your spare time?  

I love to travel with my family, golf, read and, from time to time, take on a challenge way outside my comfort zone.


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