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2010 Best Business Bank: Exchange Bank

Author: John Abbott
May, 2010 Issue
“Dynasty” is the most apt description of Exchange Bank’s prominence in the “Best Business Bank” category of the NorthBay biz readers poll. This marks the fifth year in a row that Sonoma County’s largest local bank has won the award. It’s also received the Business Environmental Alliance Best Practices award and been voted the “Best Company to do Business With” and the “Best Place to Work” on numerous occasions.
“We were pleased and honored—and a little humbled—to learn we’d been voted Best Business Bank again,” says Sally Traughber, assistant vice president and marketing services manager. “Our team strives for a strong, mutually beneficial relationship with our customers, so it’s nice to think it’s being recognized.”

Exchange Bank will celebrate its 120th birthday in May, reinforcing its stability, longevity and heritage in Sonoma County. With 18 branches, the bank is an intrinsic part of the community, accruing generations of goodwill from its customers and solid, bottom-line returns for its shareholders. It specializes in the wine, dairy, agriculture, manufacturing and retail industries.

Founded by Manville Doyle and his son, Frank, in 1890, the bank survived two world wars, the Great Depression, the San Francisco earthquake and innumerable economic ups and downs. When Frank Doyle died in 1948, he gifted his 51 percent interest in the bank to a perpetual trust, ensuring the bank could never be bought or sold. He also directed that the dividends from his trust fund scholarships for “worthy young men and women” to attend Santa Rosa Junior College. Since then, more than 115,000 scholarships have been awarded by the Doyle Trust, totaling more than $76 million.

The bank also sets itself apart by its commitment to customer service. “We find that customers come to us—and stay with us—because they appreciate our service,” Traughber says. “Especially in these times, businesses and individuals place great value on customer service. When we say, ‘Thank you for your business,’ we mean it.”

In recent years, the bank has committed $75 million in new consumer and small business loans to help the community get through the recession. “Our small business banking department recently achieved the ‘Preferred Lender’ designation, which lets us underwrite 7a and 504 loans on an expedited basis for our customers,” Traughber says. “We’re committed to our ongoing investment in technology for our customers. This year, we also introduced iStatements as part of our green initiative to our online banking customers. They’re now able to view their statements online anytime.

“Our commitment to community hasn’t changed, as evidenced by our monetary contributions and countless hours of volunteer time supporting good works and charities in Sonoma County,” Traughber says. “It’s something that’s been part of our culture since we were founded…and it’s something that won’t change.”






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