“Ever since I was a kid, my vision of what a bank manager should be was different…"


Banker—what comes to mind when you hear the word?


Those are a few words that come to mind when we think of the banker in this photo. His name is Jeff, and he is out to redefine what banking can be in a community.

A San Diego native, Jeff has worked in banks all over the west coast, and each time he chose to build his bank in the context of community.

At one, he met with community members and heard their concerns, then worked closely with them to create a farmer’s market hosted by the bank that has become extremely successful as an economic incubator and social gathering space. When that market opened, they had 3,000 in attendance. Today, the market regularly has 2,000 people passing through each week.

Jeff’s bank work hard to listen, invest in, and to serve the community rather than relentlessly pursue the bottom line at the expense of the community.

Honestly, you’ll likely have the most passionate, interesting conversation you’ve ever heard about banking if you talk to Jeff about it.

“Ever since I was a kid, my vision of what a bank manager should be was different…a bank manager should be a community leader, involved in everyday life. Not just writing checks.”

This is how Jeff chooses to work in City Heights. More than a check-writer or a manager, Jeff leans into the needs and concerns of the community—and that’s why we’re so glad to have him on our board of directors.

“A lot of banks just focus on product-pushing, and that’s what’s wrong with the industry right now. Growth is relationship-driven. When we do a good job with that, the business follows. But people have to come first.”