Beyond the Boardroom
Chris Call / by Luke Straub / August, 2019

Chris Call moved to Sonoma County in 1992, and he’s done well in making the North Bay his home. A Utah native and chief executive officer at North Bay Credit Union, Call lives in the Dry Creek Valley and spends much of his free time playing tennis and exploring wineries that surround him. As for his field of business, Call became interested in finance when he worked his way through college at the operations center of a bank, and the industry runs in his family—his uncle was the CEO of a credit union, as well. Having been in the business for 30 years, Call has seen a lot, including the legalization of recreational cannabis in California. He responded by creating the only cannabis-banking program in the Bay Area. In addition to Call’s passion for tennis, which compelled him to attend the Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy in Spain, he’s also an active member of the Rotary Club and loves to spend time with his two dogs, Ellie and Teddy.

When was the last time you gave a speech? How did it go?
I’ve recently been part of panel discussions on cannabis banking at several national conferences. I discovered there is an avalanche of interest on the topic.
When you travel, do you pack too much or too little and why?
Generally, too little as I pack last minute.  I ensure my credit card is handy to cover what I’ve forgotten.

What did you do professionally before North Bay Credit Union?
While CFO at another financial institution, I owned and operated a fitness club in Windsor. It fed my entrepreneurial hunger, and fitness was always something I’ve felt passionate about.
If you could play in one of the four major tennis tournaments, which would you choose and why?
The French Open—clay courts and a chance to beat Nadal!
What is the greatest moment, or one of the greatest moments, you've seen on a tennis court?
The McEnroe-Bjorg fourth set tiebreaker in the 1980 Wimbledon finals.
What would you tell someone about The Rotary Club if they were not familiar with it? 
It’s probably the best service/charitable organization in the world and largely responsible for the elimination of polio worldwide.
If you could play a musical instrument, which would you choose and why?
Blues harmonica—I love a good harmonica riff.
What was your favorite subject in school? Why?
English.  I’ve always loved reading and writing.
If you could look into the future and find out one thing, what would you want to know?
How long will it take for human civilization to exterminate itself?
What type of wine do you enjoy the most?
I’m a Zinfandel man.
What was the name/artist of the first album you bought? 
The first one I shelled out my own money for was Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

If you could sing any one song beautifully and perfectly, which one would you pick?
Ave Maria.

Describe your two dogs. What are their names?
Ellie is my pit-bull—gentlest dog to walk the face of the earth.  Teddy, my terrier, is very attuned to emotions—great therapy dog.