Craig Wanichek, president and chief executive officer of Summit Bank (Nasdaq: SBKO), announced today that Summit Bank has taken the first step towards entering Oregon’s largest market, by hiring seven employees that will be based in downtown Portland. While the new employees will operate out of a professional suite initially, Summit Bank intends to occupy office space and a branch in the downtown Portland area in the near future.
“With a proven business model that has delivered 23 percent annual organic loan growth over the last five years at the same time generating an average return on equity of 13 percent,” said Wanichek “we feel that the timing is right for Summit Bank to expand our relationship-based approach to small and medium sized businesses, professional and medical firms and nonprofits in the Portland Metro/SW Washington market.”
The new employees hired for the Portland office are Steve Watts, SVP, Commercial Banking Team Leader, Gabe Wells, VP, Business Client Advisor, Kevin Holmquist, VP, Business Client Advisor, Brian Thomas, VP, Business Client Advisor, Phil Czajka, Portfolio Manager, Max Hawes, Associate Business Client Advisor and Winni Drake, Loan Operations Executive Administrator.
“We are eager to bring Summit Bank to Portland,” said Watts. “We are bankers who build long term relationships based on knowing our clients, holistically addressing their needs, anticipating the future and providing a consultative approach. We also strongly believe in giving back to our local community. We feel confident that Summit Bank is the perfect match. In addition, the Portland banking landscape currently has a void that Summit Bank, as a strong, nimble, well-positioned Oregon-based community bank will step in and fill.”
“We are very excited to welcome this accomplished group of bankers to our team,” said Wanichek. “Our new colleagues come to us with vital knowledge of the Portland Metro market, a proven history of commercial lending success and a great team camaraderie. We could not ask for a better group to spearhead this new and exciting venture for Summit Bank.”
With offices in Eugene, Bend and now a loan production office in Portland, Summit Bank is a community bank that specializes in providing high-level service to professionals and medium-sized businesses and their owners.