Exchange Bank Santa Rosa branch manager wins North Bay Latino business leadership award
Times are tough, but it’s only temporary, said Exchange Bank Vice President Veronica Rincon, a 2020 winner of the Business Journal’s Latino Business Leadership Awards.
Tell us your story and that of your organization.
I was born in San Francisco to Arthur and Anna Garcia. I have three sisters, Victoria, Vanessa and Viviana. Growing up in our home was different than most Latino families.
My father, who is Mexican, was born in San Francisco and his parents in California and Texas. My mother was born in El Salvador and came to California when she was seven.
In my home growing up, we did not speak Spanish. I learned Spanish through my mother’s mother and my baby sitter. I met my husband, Marco, in high school and we have been married 20 years this year. We have three children Marcus, Malina and Marisa.
Exchange Bank is a premier community bank headquartered in Sonoma County and founded in 1890. Exchange Bank provides a wide range of personal, commercial and trust and investment services with 18 branches in Sonoma County and a commercial branch in Roseville, California. The Bank’s legacy of financial leadership and community support is grounded in its core values of Commitment, Respect, Integrity and Teamwork.
Exchange Bank is a 15-time winner of the North Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work survey, a recipient of the 2020 North Bay Community Philanthropy Award and the 2019 Healthiest Companies in the North Bay Award. NorthbayBiz magazine named Exchange Bank the 2020 Best Consumer Bank and Best Business Bank.
The Petaluma People’s Choice Awards named Exchange Bank the Best Local bank and the North Bay Bohemian’s Best of 2019 Readers Poll named Exchange Bank the Best Business Bank and Best Consumer Bank. Exchange Bank can also be found in the NBBJ’s Book of Lists as a leading lender and wealth management adviser, claiming the No. 1 position in SBA 7(a) lending in Sonoma County for 2019.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?
Working as a branch manager at Exchange Bank is different than the branch manager roles I’ve held at previous banks.
This year I expanded my knowledge around business lending. I’m also really proud of my team—2019 was the first year we’ve met our goal in every category—not only sales, but running an operationally sound branch as well. I work with an awesome team!
What is the achievement you are most proud of?
In my personal life, being a mom. My drive in life changed when I had my son. I call him my “reason.” My daughters are strong willed and resilient.
With regards to my career, I left Wells Fargo to open a brand-new branch with WAMU. My team and I grew that branch to a “Top Performing Branch” over the eight years that I was there.
What is your biggest challenge today?
My biggest challenge today is the challenge of the unknown. It feels as if one bad thing after another keeps happening. I have to remind myself that although times are tough, this is only temporary.
What are you most proud of regarding the achievements of the area Latino business community and what are the greatest challenges faced by that community?
I am most proud of our “Si Se Peude” attitude: “Yes we can! “
I love how we rally together as a community. We not only want to make it to the finish line, but we want everyone to get there. The Hispanic Chamber and Los Cien, to name a few, are paving the way for our community to be involved, educated and engaged in working together.
Our greatest challenge is citizenship and earning a living wage. I have seen many families attempt to qualify for a loan yet they are unable to do so because they do not have a social security number.
I have also seen families attempt to qualify for a loan, yet their income is not sufficient—some families even work two to three jobs but are still dependent on their children’s income.
Words that best describe you: Faithful, empathetic, dedicated
As a successful professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?
The biggest obstacle I have faced is working with change. Getting everyone on board, whether the change is welcome or not, can be difficult. Many times change is good; it’s just uncomfortable. As a manager, you have to earn the trust of your team. That does not happen overnight. Your team has to trust that you want what is best for them. You have to inspect what you expect to ensure the desired results are achieved.
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?
People will continue to move forward using our electronic channels for their banking. They will come to our offices for less transactions and more guidance with their finances and lending needs.