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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, January 10, 2011, 4:35 am

Banking & Finance: Circle CEO named to web domain panel; RCU chief on national board

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    Kim Kaselionis, president and chief executive officer of Circle Bank in Novato, has been named one of eight members of an American Bankers Association task force that will make recommendations about creating a top-level “.bank” domain name for the nation’s 7,000 community banks.

    There currently only 21 top-level Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers approved domains, such as .com and .net, and the last approvals for new names occurred in 2000.

    Kim Kaselionis

    “The strictness of the process is a means of protecting users of the Internet,” said Ms. Kaselionis.  “Top-level domain names require higher levels of security and have a clear relevance for banks.”

    The goal of this task force is to have recommendations completed during the first quarter of this year.

    “It is extremely important for community banks to establish the highest security standards in the financial services industry to maintain the trust with their customers,” she said.  “We are not impersonal, telephone menu banks. We are located in our customers’ neighborhoods and are deeply involved in their financial lives.  If .bank can be created to deepen that trust, I’m all for it.”

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    AmericanAg Credit is going through due diligence regarding a proposed merger with Mountain Plains Farm Credit in Greeley, Colo.

    This would be the next in a line of mergers for AmericanAg credit, the last of which was with Farm Credit Services of the Heartland in November of 2009.

    Pending regulatory approval, the institution will submit a plan of merger to shareholders sometime in 2011.

    Founded in 1916, American AgCredit is part of the cooperative nationwide Farm Credit System and is the nation’s seventh-largest farm credit cooperative. American AgCredit specializes in providing financial services to agriculture and rural customers throughout California, Nevada, Central Kansas and Northern Oklahoma, as well as to capital markets customers in 30 states across the nation.

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    American AgCredit has also announced the promotion of three long‐time employees: Bill Rodda, Jim Rizza and Clay Popko.

    Vice President Mr. Rodda has been promoted to branch manager of the new Santa Rosa office.

    He has been working with farm credit since 1981 and manages both commercial and capital markets portfolios.

    Vice President Mr. Rizza has been promoted to regional vice president of the Central Region. He began his farm credit career in 1981 and has been with the St. Helena office since January of 1985, most recently serving as branch manager.

    Mr. Popko was promoted to branch manager of the St. Helena office, where he has been a vice president since 2003.

    He began his career with American AgCredit in 1994 working for the Santa Rosa group.

    “With our expansion into Kansas and Oklahoma, we are also aiming to streamline our California operations,” said Chief Executive Officer Ron Carli. “Promoting seasoned staff to critical management positions will help us to better manage the Central Region and maintain good relations with our customers.”

    ***

    Bank of Marin Bancorp has signed a lease for a new branch office in downtown Sonoma.  The new office at 136 W. Napa St. will open in late spring.  With the new location, Bank of Marin will have five branch offices in Sonoma County with a total of 16 offices.

    Russ Colombo

    Russ Colombo

    “Bank of Marin has strong ties to Sonoma County, and we’ve considered expanding into Sonoma Valley for many years. We are very pleased to finally be opening an office in the town of Sonoma, just off the Plaza,” said Russell Colombo, president and chief executive officer of the bank.  “For local Sonoma businesses and residents, we plan to deliver the same legendary service and support to the community as we do in all the markets we serve.”

    Until the new branch opens, Bank of Marin will be offering banking services for both businesses and individuals in Sonoma by appointment.

    ***

    Brett Martinez, president and chief executive officer of Redwood Credit Union, has been elected to the board of directors of the Credit Union National Association, the national trade association for United States credit unions.

    With offices in Madison, Wis., and Washington, D.C., the association provides leadership, political advocacy, education, information and support to credit unions and credit union members.

    “It is an honor to be elected to the board of directors for CUNA during this important time in financial services,” Mr. Martinez said. “I look forward to working with the board and CUNA president to help guide our nation’s credit unions through the challenges and successes that lie ahead, to improve financial literacy in our communities, to advocate for financial issues on behalf of credit unions and their members, and to further promote the credit union difference.”

    Mr. Martinez has been in his current position since 2004 and has more than 25 years of credit union experience. He served as 2009 chairman of the board of the California Credit Union League and continues to participate on several Credit Union League committees.

    “RCU’s officials and staff are very proud of Brett for taking on this leadership role for our industry at the national level,” said Jim Olmsted, chair of Redwood Credit Union’s board of directors.

    ***

    U.S. Trust has announced the addition of Jason Foster as senior vice president and private client consultant, based in Santa Rosa, in the west division, as part of a talent acquisition campaign designed to enhance the depth and breadth of its service capabilities for ultra-high-net-worth clientele throughout the nation.

    “Now, more than ever, our clients are very interested in interacting with the experts in our offices, whether it be the wealth strategists, estate planning experts, senior portfolio managers or trust executives,” said Thong Nguyen, U.S. Trust west division executive.

    Mr. Foster brings 17 years of banking and wealth management experience to his new role at U.S. Trust. He was previously a senior vice president and consumer market executive for Bank of America for the San Francisco and North Bay communities.

    In his new role, Mr. Foster will help lead regional efforts to meet the needs of the affluent community across the North Bay, including Sonoma, Marin and Napa counties.

    ***

    Exchange Bank has announced that Lori Zaret was promoted to senior vice president, chief human resources officer.

    Ms. Zaret has more than 20 years of human resources management experience in the insurance, banking, telecommunications and manufacturing industries. She specializes in employee relations and talent acquisition and development.

    Her work in professional organizations includes serving on the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce Board, the Alliance of North Bay Chambers and the National Association of Independent Insurers HR Forum. She currently serves as vice president of workshops on the board of PASCO.

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    Submit items for this column to Jenna V. Loceff at jloceff@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4259 or fax 707-521-5292.

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