“In today’s world of corporate banks, we provide a local, community bank alternative.” —Rolf Nelson
How does a bank win the Best Business Bank designation for 11 years straight? “Each member of the team works hard, every day, to provide exceptional service to our customers,”says Rolf Nelson, senior vice president and manager of retail banking and sales at Exchange Bank.“We consider each of our customers our financial partner.”
The bank’s philosophy seems to be working, as it’s created and maintained a well-loved and lasting local institution. Co-founded by Manville Doyle and his son, Frank, the first branch opened its doors in downtown Santa Rosa on May 1, 1890, so the bank is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. The original bank was on Fourth Street, east of Mendocino Avenue. Since then, it’s been serving the North Bay, growing to $1.7 billion in assets, with 18 branches in Sonoma County alone.
“Our headquarters is here, we have full-service departments, our employees are your friends and neighbors, and Sonoma County will always be home for Exchange Bank,”Nelson says. Frank and his wife, Polly, placed their shares of Exchange Bank common stock—a controlling interest of 50.4 percent—into a perpetual trust, and the dividends fund the Frank P. Doyle and Polly O’Meara Doyle Scholarship fund for assistance to worthy young men and women attending Santa Rosa Junior College.
“Adherence to our core values of commitment, respect, integrity and teamwork has let employees build deep and lasting relationships that are based on trust,” Nelson says. “It’s also about being a good neighbor.”And Exchange Bank has proven to be both a supportive and generous neighbor. Last year, in the spirit of the Doyles’belief in giving back to the community, Exchange Bank gave in excess of $500,000 to more than 300 nonprofit and service organizations. These included being the corporate sponsor of the Human Race, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life andtheIndependent Living Program (that teaches life skills to foster youth). It also donated to the Redwood Empire Food Bank and many more organizations. The Santa Rosa Junior College Doyle Scholarship has provided $80 million in scholarship money to more than 120,000 students since its inception in 1948.
“Technology is having a major impact and mobile banking is becoming expected by our customers,”Nelson adds. Consequently, Exchange Bank has worked to stay ahead of the curve, providing its business customers with enhanced cash-management systems, merchant payment services and online banking options. Its “Branch of the Future”in Windsor has also provided a look into how Exchange Bank hopes to reshape brick-and-mortar banking. This new branch has a modern, open layout where “universal bankers”greet customers at the door, allowing for a comfortable environment in which to have conversationswith banking professionals while they mingle and handle each customer’s specific needs. Inside, there are ample options to speak with an adviser or to do business online while sipping a cup of gourmet coffee.
“In today’s world of corporate banks, we provide a local, community bank alternative. Exchange Bank has all the same services as the corporate banks,”Nelson says. “SBA loans [government guaranteed], equipment leases, commercial real estate loans, lines of credit and consumer loans,”and trust and investment management services,providing what Nelson calls a “full suite of products and services.”
When asked what winning the 2015 BEST Business Bank award meant, Nelson says, “We appreciate and honor the support that the community has given us over the years. And we work hard every day to provide service to each of our partners in a manner that will exceed their expectations.”
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Located at 1410 Neotomas Ave. in Santa Rosa,NorthBay biz magazine is a monthly business-to-business publication covering Napa, Sonoma and Marin counties. This year, the magazine is celebrating 43 years of continuous operation. It originally hit the stands in 1975, when it was called Sonoma Business, and only covered Sonoma County. Norm and Joni Rosinski and John Dennis, acquired it in 2000 and changed its name to cover an expanded market. Today, the magazine is part of Amaturo Sonoma Media Group. More here..