Bank of Marin donated $25,000 to SchoolsRule--Marin, part of its pledge to allocate 35 percent of its total corporate giving to education-related organizations in 2013.

The organization works to coordinate aid for Marin County's public schools, providing funding based on number of students. The donation from Bank of Marin will help support technology, art and literacy programs, according to an announcement.

[caption id="attachment_70953" align="alignright" width="375"] Peter Pelham (from left), executive vice president of retail banking at Bank of Marin; Joan Capurro, director of community relations at Bank of Marin; Trisha Garlock, executive director of Kiddo; and Mary Jane Burke, Marin superintendent of schools (image credit: Richard Wheeler)[/caption]

"We chose SchoolsRule-Marin for this contribution because they have developed an equitable process for distributing funds evenly across all schools, something that was very important to us," said Russell Colombo, bank president and chief executive.***

After joining the board of directors for the Oakland-based Women's Initiative for Self-Employment, Kimberly Kaselionis has worked to restart a specialized loan program for women entrepreneurs in Marin County that she helped launch while chief executive of the former Circle Bank.

Two financial institutions -- San Jose-based Heritage Bank of Commerce and San Francisco's First Republic Bank -- have expressed their interest in funding the program, she said. While supporting the program, Circle Bank funded a total of $140,000 in loans to graduates of the Women's Initiative small business training program for low-income women, helping them to start or expand their business.

"On average, they're adding two-and-a-half new jobs per new business," Ms. Kaselionis said.

The initiative to continue the lending program is among recent efforts in the North Bay to help fund the kind of "microloan" requests that often fail to pass the underwriting standards of typical financing. Working Solutions, a San Francisco-based microlender, has also set up shop at the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center in San Rafael.***

Santa Rosa's Exchange Bank celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Trust & Investment Management department this month, inviting clients to an economic presentation by economist Dr. Christopher Thornberg and marking a milestone for a department started under the bank's former president, Charles Reinking.

Surviving records from the department's early years show that it started with two employees and less than $1 million in assets under management. The department grew past $100 million in assets in 1994 and $300 million in 2000, and is managing nearly $1 billion in assets with a staff of 20 today, said Steven Jenkins, senior vice president and director of Trust Services.

Much of the growth since the mid-1990s has been due to a focus on business retirement plans and private client wealth management. Exchange Bank acts as discretionary trustee to more qualified retirement plans than any other state-chartered bank in California, Mr. Jenkins said.***

Santa Rosa native Jonathan Graves has joined First Community Bank as vice president and commercial loan officer. He is a graduate of Sonoma State University and has previously worked at U.S. Bank and Westamerica Bank.

In other personnel news, Summit State Bank announced that Kristin Andolsen has been appointed as vice president and commercial loan officer. She has been in the banking industry since 2006, with particular experience in wine, agriculture and commercial real estate lending. She was most recently at Bank of America, and is a recipient of Greater Bay Bank's 2007 "Going the Extra Mile" award. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in business administration.

Bank of the West has also appointed Christine Ramos as branch manager at its St. Helena office. She has more than 20 years of experience in the financial service industry and most recently worked as a banker in the Central Valley.***

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