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Bank of Stockton: Banking on Tradition

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Following in your father’s footsteps and leading an institution where tradition, trust and a legacy of safety are the foundation upon which you stand can be intimidating. Hearing the words, “You have some big shoes to fill,” from your colleagues, family and friends would add to the pressure for most of us. Douglass M. Eberhardt II, president, CEO and chairman of the board of Bank of Stockton has seamlessly stepped into his role and continues to lead the bank with memories of his father as a driving force and motivation, carrying on his father’s legacy and the long-standing reputation of the bank in our community. 

Learning by Doing
Doug started his journey with Bank of Stockton as a summer job when school was out. His father, Douglass Eberhardt Sr., strategically put him in the mailroom. “My father wanted me to learn who everyone was and what department they worked in,” smiled Doug. “It was his way of teaching me the operations of the bank and the roles of each employee in every department.” In 2018, after the passing of Doug Eberhardt Sr., Doug was elected CEO and chairman of the board. He attributes the seamless and natural transition to the 25 years of working side by side with his father. “We will continue to conduct business how we deal with life; we strive to be the best and exceed customer expectations,” commented Doug. 

Continuing the tradition of doing what’s best for the customer, Bank of Stockton has been an innovative leader in technological advancements. In 1995, the bank was the first community bank west of the Mississippi to offer internet banking and launched a bank website. A couple of years later, Bank of Stockton was the first in the state to offer internet banking with check imaging and deposit detail. In 1999, the bank then opened a dedicated online banking department to assist customers with internet banking. Mobile text banking was launched in 2007 and its own mobile app with mobile deposit debuted in 2013. Doug credits the technological advances and leadership in community banking to that tenet of business his father so well exemplified. “Over the last 20 years, technology has advanced and changed at such a rapid rate. Our customers are the driving force for our leadership and innovation in technology,” he further explained. 

When I asked Doug to share with me something about Bank of Stockton that he is most proud of, he spoke of the history, tradition and culture within the bank. “We have 400 employees. Seventy-two percent of those employees have been with Bank of Stockton for ten years or longer!” Doug said proudly. He continued to share that 40 employees have been working with the bank for 30 years and they have nine employees who have over 40 years with Bank of Stockton. “We have a different atmosphere than other financial institutions. We are family here; we work together respectfully in a supportive environment,” revealed Doug. 

“Our local community and charitable giving will continue to be a focus for the bank,” conveyed Doug. Bank of Stockton donated over $1 million to nonprofits and charitable organizations last year. The partnership between University of the Pacific and Bank of Stockton has deep roots going back to the 1920s, when then-President Eugene L. Wilhoit was instrumental in bringing the original College of the Pacific to Stockton. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to our community,” Doug commented. “As we continue to navigate the unprecedented times of COVID-19, the safety of our employees and customers is a high priority.” Bank of Stockton has limited the lobby traffic and moved customers to walk-ups and drive-throughs while continuing to educate customers on the benefits of banking remotely through mobile banking.

Legacy of Customer Service
As the fourth generation of Eberhardts to lead Bank of Stockton, Doug carries the weight of his family legacy on his shoulders with grace and a commitment to excellence. He is a family man who enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing. His welcoming nature and pride for the bank were apparent during our interview. “My door is always open,” affirmed Doug as we ended our conversation. 

Bank of Stockton operates under its original state charter, celebrating 153 years in business. “The bank was founded two years after the Civil War. It has stood strong through wartime, the Great Depression and recessions. We remain strong, trusted and safe because we continue to do what our founders set out to do, and that is always “with the safety of the depositors in mind,” commented Doug. As for the legacy Doug embarks to set for himself, he believes small actions over time will leave his distinguished mark in the history of Bank of Stockton.

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