Written by The Business Journal Staff
Tony Cabrera, Area Manager
Bank of the Sierra
What we do:
Bank of the Sierra is passionate about helping the people of the Central Valley. As a full-service bank, we offer a wide variety of competitive products and services including commercial loans, ag loans, checking and savings accounts; but our purpose and passion goes much further than that. We strive to reinvest in our customers and communities. Our Sierra Grant program gives local non-profit organizations $100,000 annually and our employees log many volunteer hours. We believe this ongoing commitment to the people of our valley is what community banking is all about.
I been married to my very supportive wife Michele for 8 years and we have a wonderful son and daughter.
What brought you to the Fresno area?
I moved to the Fresno area in 1993 from Manteca (San Joaquin County) to attend Fresno State.
What made you pursue a career in banking, Tony?
Originally I was studying to be a CPA and graduated with a degree in accounting, but while in school I financed my education by working in banking. I attempted to work in the accounting field for a short period of time, but found myself drawn back to the banking industry. I rekindled my banking focus in 1999 and it has remained my passion since.
How is the Central Valley’s community banking industry doing these days? And what role does Bank of the Sierra play, Tony?
As a whole, the Valley’s community banking industry is bouncing back after the downturn in 2009. Some banks required assistance from the government in the form of TARP funding, however Bank of the Sierra stood firmly through the recent recession, declining any government assistance. Over the years, Bank of the Sierra has grown to include 25 locations throughout Tulare, Kings, Kern and Fresno counties. Through sound banking practices, the bank has enjoyed unprecedented growth during its 36-year history, including 128 consecutively profitable quarters amid good and challenging economies.
What are the hot industries in the area that are borrowing money, Tony?
We are seeing increased loan demand in nearly every industry. Demand is especially up in all areas of real estate, including: property refinance, investor and owner occupied first purchases, and construction.
What should entrepreneurs know before approaching your bank for a business loan, Tony?
We are always available and happy to help navigate the financing process. A good starting point for an entrepreneur would be a well thought out business stratagem and some evidence of demand. Additionally, a solid business plan with realistic capital needs and financial objectives is very important.
What are the opportunities for Bank of the Sierra moving forward, Tony?
Advancements in banking technologies will help play a major role in moving the bank forward. These technologies include mobile check deposit, advanced internet banking capabilities, and mobile/tablet apps. Additionally, we are fortunate to have a solid group of banking professionals at our organization who are highly experienced in various industries.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it, Tony?
My first job was delivering the newspaper (The Manteca Bulletin) when I was 11 years old. I learned about responsibility, dedication, and customer care. I also learned the better I took care of my customers, the better they took care of me.
What do you like to do on your spare time, Tony?
I enjoy spending time with my family doing things like boating, camping, sporting events, etc… However, my personal passion is riding my Harley-Davidson to really any destination.