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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, January 27, 2014, 6:40 am

Banking: Exchange Bank adds two new directors

Also: Mechanics names wealth management lead; Travis CEO to retire; the annual “Wonderful Life” effort; Bank of Napa earnings rise

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    Eric Gneckow, Business Journal Staff ReporterSanta Rosa-based Exchange Bank has added two new members to its board of directors, one a long-time executive and the other a well-known name in Sonoma County business.

    Bruce DeCrona

    Bruce DeCrona

    Bruce DeCrona, who retired from the bank in 2013 after 15 years as chief financial officer and chief operating officer, and Steve Dutton, a fifth-generation Sonoma County farmer with ventures including the Dutton-Goldfield Winery, joined the board in January 2014.

    “I’m delighted that these two talented individuals are joining our board,” said William Reinking, board chairman and former president of Exchange Bank, in a statement. “Steve brings new insights on how we can serve our community and Bruce brings us a vast knowledge about banking and about our bank in particular.”

    Steve Dutton

    Steve Dutton

    The board also includes William Schrader, president and chief executive of the bank, Richard Abbey, partner at Abbey, Weitzenberg, Warren & Emery, Dante Benedetti, chairman of the board of Clover Stornetta Farms, Inc., Daniel Libarle, president of Lace House, James Ryan, president of Ryan Mortgage, Marlene Soiland, president and CEO of Soiland Management Co. and Carlos Tamayo, president and chairman of La Tortilla Factory.

    ***

    Mechanics Bank has hired Deberah Kelley as executive vice president of wealth management. Ms. Kelley assumes that role after more than 20 years as a financial executive, most recently leading the personal trust team as senior fiduciary officer in the trust and investment management division of Santa Rosa’s Exchange Bank.

    A Sonoma County resident, Ms. Kelley is a certified public accountant, certified financial planner and accredited estate planner. She received a bachelor of science degree in accounting from California State University, Chico, a master of taxation from Golden Gate University, San Francisco and is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School.

    ***

    Solano County’s Travis Credit Union said Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, president and chief executive officer for 12 years, plans to retire this summer. The institution’s board of directors unanimously voted for Barry Nelson, currently executive vice president, will succeed Ms. Van Ouwerkerk.

    Ms. Van Ouwerkerk became chief executive in June 2002, overseeing the institution’s growth from $1.1 billion to $2.1 billion in assets and the addition of 14 new branches. It is her most recent role in a 38-year career in the credit union industry.

    A member of the institution’s senior management team since 2001, Mr. Nelson has a 23 year history working with credit unions. He served as chief financial officer and cheap operations officer before a promotion to the institution’s second-ranking executive role in 2013.

    ***

    Bank of Napa, N.A. reported a 6.7 percent increase in net income in 2013, 13.2 percent rise in loans and 11.1 percent boost to net assets.

    The bank had net income of $1.93 million as of Dec. 31. Loans totaled $99.2 million, and net assets were $166.5 million

    The bank earned 83 cents per share for both years. Its return on assets was 1.27 percent for 2013, compared with 1.39 percent for 2012. Return on equity for 2013 was 9.23 percent, compared with 9.92 percent in the prior year.

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    Westamerica Bancorporation, parent company of Westamerica Bank, reported a 17.2 percent decrease in net income for 2013.

    The bank cited continuing challenges in the operating environment for lenders for the decline. Net income last calendar year was $67.2 million. Interest and fee income decreased 14.9 percent to $167.7 million from 2012.

    Westamerica said credit quality had improved. Nonperforming assets were $35 million at the end of the year, representing a decline of 32.7 percent over the final three months of 2013. That portfolio had decreased 40.9 percent over the year.

    The bank reduced its provision for loan losses to $8 million for all of 2013, versus $11.2 million in the prior year.

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    Summit State Bank joined Oliver’s Markets, Costeaux French Bakery and new participant McLea’s Tire and Automotive Centers in donating a combined $6,000 through the second-annual “It’s a Wonderful Life in Sonoma County” giving campaign.

    Sponsor donations and sales of jingle bells at participating locations helped exceed the previous year’s donation to the Volunteer Center and KZST’s Secret Santa Program by $400.

    ***

    Send items for this column to eric.gneckow@busjrnl.com or call 707-521-4259.

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