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Also: Beehler named executive director of RCU Services Group

Rabobank, a nationally chartered financial institution with more than $10 billion in assets, made the move into the North Bay earlier this year with the purchase of Napa Community Bank and is continuing the expansion with a branch in Sonoma.

Rabobank applied with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to open a full-service branch at 10 Maple St., just a few blocks from the square.

[caption id="attachment_26202" align="alignright" width="108" caption="Sean Cutting"][/caption]

Sean Cutting, the former president and chief executive officer of Sonoma Valley Bank, has joined Rabobank N.A. as senior relationship manager. Mr. Cutting will be responsible for business development and community outreach Mr. Cutting joins branch manager Cathleen Gorham in preparing for the branch opening at the end of the year pending approval by the OCC.

There will be about 10 people in the office, said Sean Dowdall, executive director of marketing for Rabobank.

“Our overall strategy network wide is as much as possible to get people there locally. Our business is having the local delivery and local knowledge which is why we chose Sean Cutting. We recognize him as a very talented banker.”

Mr. Cutting was the president and CEO of Sonoma Valley Bank, which just a month ago was taken over by the FDIC and sold to Westamerica, the largest North Bay-based bank.

“There were a lot of elements to what happened at Sonoma Valley Bank,” said Mr. Dowdall. “We think Sean knows the community very well. With the criteria we are looking for we think he is a great fit.”

Rabobank has 120 retail branches.

Mr. Dowdall said the bank expects to hear back from the OCC within a week.

With the purchase of Napa Community Bank and several lenders who work out of an office in Santa Rosa, Rabobank already has roughly 30 employees in the North Bay. The Santa Rosa lenders will be consolidated into the Sonoma office.

“Our plan in California has been to expand our footprint to cover all of the Central Valley and to expand our presence in the Wine Country in Napa and Sonoma counties,” Mr. Dowdall said.

In addition to the purchase of Napa Community Bank, Rabobank has made two FDIC-assisted purchases of Butte Community Bank and Pacific State Bank.

“Basically we have been busy opening branches and purchasing institutions,” Mr. Dowdall said.

In 2010 there has been 20 percent growth for the bank organically, and about 20 percent growth from acquisitions.

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[caption id="attachment_26201" align="alignleft" width="108" caption="Bobbi Hoff Beehler"][/caption]

Redwood Credit Union has brought on Bobbi Beehler as its new executive director for RCU Services Group, which offers consumer and business insurance through RCU Insurance Services and auto locating and purchasing through RCU Auto Services.

Ms. Beehler has more than 23 years of experience in finance, business consulting, and business development. She served most recently as a CPA with Pisenti & Brinker, LLP, along with managing her own real estate business, Beehler Homes, through Coldwell Banker.

“We have been looking to fill this position for some time,” Brett Martinez, president and CEO of Redwood Credit Union said.

“I have known her for a long time and am happy to have found a good fit for her here.”

Ms. Beehler has previously held positions as president & CEO at Gtext, Inc., a technology start-up company, and director of investor relations with OnHealth Network Co. / WebMD Corp. Ms. Beehler is a certified public accountant, a chartered financial analyst and a licensed Realtor. She received a bachelor’s degree in business economics with an emphasis in accounting and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California Santa Barbara. Ms. Beehler is a graduate of Leadership Santa Rosa, and serves on a number of community boards and committees including the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce and Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster.

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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.