Brandy Seppi of Santa Rosa’s Summit State Bank wins Women in Business award

Brandy Seppi, chief lending officer, Summit State Bank, Santa Rosa

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Brandy Seppi says she is fortunate Summit State Bank, which she joined in 2015, allows her to serve in the community where she grew up and where she and her husband, Will, are now raising their family. Since starting at Summit, she notes her team increased the bank’s net loans by 22 percent in her first year.

“This investment in Sonoma County business, people and community was a huge accomplishment,” she said.

She says banking is “a continually evolving industry.” Technology and customers access to it has made “banker’s hours a thing of the past.”

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR COMPANY

EDUCATION: B.A., economics, U.C. San Diego.

STAFF: 11

I joined Summit State Bank as the Bank’s Chief Credit Officer in 2015. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to work in the community where I grew up and where my husband, Will, and I are now raising our family. I love what I do, the people I work with and most of all the community we serve.

I joined Summit because it stands for a commitment to our Sonoma County community and helping it thrive. When I’m not working, we are busy raising our family, which includes three small (ages 4, 3 and 2) children, a dog and a cat.

Summit State Bank is headquartered in Sonoma County, with five branch locations and specializes in providing exceptional service and customized financial solutions to aid in the success of local small businesses and nonprofits throughout Sonoma, Napa, San Francisco, and Marin Counties.

IS THERE A MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT IN THE PAST YEAR OR SO THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?

I am very proud of the growth my team accomplished to increase the Bank’s net loans by 22 percent in my first year. This investment in Sonoma County business, people and community was a huge accomplishment.

WHAT IS THE ACHIEVEMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?

As the mother of three wonderful children, I would have to say their advancement and growth into caring, empathetic and aware individuals makes me extremely proud.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE TODAY?

Juggling! I am extremely fortunate to have a wonderful support base of family, help and a wonderful hands-on husband. There is no way I could balance three kids, owning the business with Will and my own career without them all. It really does take a village.

WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE YOU: By nature I am optimistic and look for the good in everything. I tend to have a lot of energy and a “can-do” attitude towards life.

AS A SUCCESSFUL FEMALE PROFESSIONAL, WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES YOU FACED AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?

I remember one of my early managers telling me I couldn’t have a family with a successful career. Luckily I like a good challenge.

HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR PROFESSION WILL CHANGE IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?

Banking is a continually evolving industry. The technology side of our business has taken hold and customers desire to do things anywhere and anytime, has made “banker’s hours” a thing of the past. We will continue to look for ways of delivering products and service to our customers to accommodate their ever changing needs.

WHO WAS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MENTOR?

My mother. An immigrant from Spain, she came to California with her family and grew up on a dairy in California’s central valley. She worked hard to learn English, earn her college degree and later her master’s degree in education. She set firm but fair rules as a mother and always instilled in her children the benefits of curiosity, continued education, hard work and giving back to the community.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A YOUNG WOMAN ENTERING YOUR PROFESSION OR THE WORK WORLD TODAY?

Do your homework and educate yourself before speaking, but remember to have a voice. Make it known what you want and need to be successful. Align yourself with like-minded people and don’t be afraid to take risks. Don’t let your idea of wanting a family hold back your career – focus on the present day – and strive to be your best in it.

MOST ADMIRED BUSINESSPERSON OUTSIDE YOUR ORGANIZATION: Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook and author of “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.”

TYPICAL DAY AT THE OFFICE: A full in-box, voicemails and meetings. I am fortunate to work with some very talented lending professionals, which makes my job enjoyable. We work hard but have fun doing it.

BEST PLACE TO WORK OUTSIDE OF YOUR OFFICE: I live in Healdsburg, so I periodically office out of the Bank’s Healdsburg Branch. The commute is wonderful!

CURRENT READING: Who has time to read? Most of my reading is to my children before bedtime or credit approval write-ups at work.

SOCIAL MEDIA YOU MOST USE: LinkedIn and Facebook.

STRESS-RELIEVERS: Chocolate and a great glass of wine or bubbles.

FAVORITE HOBBIES: Spending time with my family and friends.