Santa Rosa retail banker Cassandra Zorn of Exchange Bank wins North Bay Forty Under 40 award
Responsibilities with your company: I am a member of the Retail Banking team. I am responsible for the operations of 19 branches. This includes responsibilities in the areas of training, audit, procedures, process improvement and many projects that all affect the branches. I have ownership of safety and soundness, and sales and service leadership.
In 25 words or less, how do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?
At 39 I have both experience and knowledge to appreciate what I've accomplished, but still want to continue to strive to grow both professionally and personally.
Years with company: 20
Length of time in current position: 4 years
Number of companywide employees: 430
Number who report to you: 1
Greatest professional accomplishment: While I've grown and promoted within Exchange Bank over my 20 year career, when I was promoted to regional customer service manager at age 27 stands out the most.
Prior to this promotion I had minimal management experience so to be given this responsibility by Exchange Bank showed me that they believed in me, and my future with the company.
Greatest professional challenge: Balancing work commitments and parenthood. I have a lot of work responsibilities plus I am a mother to a 7 year old daughter. I am always needed in three places at once, but I make it work.
Best advice received: Your work is always going to be there the next morning, but the time I spend with my daughter is precious and fleeting, especially when she's young.
Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: Exchange Bank is currently evolving in our technology. Working alongside my coworkers to make sure this under taking goes smoothly is by far the most important professional moment in the last 12 months.
What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?
In the last year we have taken major steps to move into the future of banking with improved computer systems. These improvements are, and will be, a huge benefit for all our employee and our customers. Although change can be difficult we are very cognizant of this and are taking great strides in communicating.
We are using all avenues of communication to make sure all bank employees understand the changes and have the opportunity to ask questions and get the information they need to both understand the changes and continue to do their job.
Next professional goal: My goal is professional and personal. Every day I want to set the example of a strong, professional woman both at work and at home for my employees and my daughter.
Education: Some time at SRJC
Hometown: Santa Rosa
Community/nonprofit activities: Board member and secretary of the Bennett Valley Education Foundation
Mentor/admired businessperson: Currently Brene Brown I've read a couple of her books, watched her Netflix special and follow her on social media. She talks about being genuine, authentic and honest, which are all things I can really connect with. Although those things can be difficult in a professional setting at times, I think those are the qualities you must have to be a great leader.
What is your most disliked industry buzzword?: Synergy
Typical day at the office: I don't really have a typical day in the office. I spend a lot of time in meetings, but with 19 branches there is something new every day!
Best place to work outside of your office: On my patio at home!
Hobbies: Hiking, being outdoors, spending time with family, reading
What you wanted to be when you grew up: Elementary school teacher, but it turns out I'm a much better banker than I would have been teacher!
#1 thing you want to accomplish by the time you turn 40: I'm very happy with what I've accomplished at 39 and hope to continue to build on that.
First job: When I was 16 I worked at Papa Murphy's Pizza in Rincon Valley
Social media you most use: Facebook/Instagram
Favorite book: A recent favorite read was “The Moment of Lift “ by Melinda Gates. She is truly inspiring.
Favorite movie: I feel like I should say “Shawshank Redemption,” that's a great answer. Great movies like that have a place, but since I've become a mother I rarely have time to watch movies. When I do have a moment to enjoy a movie, nowadays I prefer either comedy or action- something that provides a light-hearted escape.
Favorite App: Audible- I listen most days on my way to and from work. I rotate between non-fiction, novels and self improvement.
Favorite after-work drink: To many friends and co-workers dismay I'm typically skip the after work drink.
Last vacation: Went skiing in Tahoe for the first time with my family this winter. Skiing may be a new hobby!