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Suncrest Bank: Helping to Build and Sustain Local Communities

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In 2008, during a time of financial downturn and economic uncertainty, a group of business leaders in the Central Valley founded Suncrest Bank. Responding to a need from the local community when large national banks and some local banks had stopped lending and, in some cases, had pulled completely out of the market, they recognized the need to provide financing to local business in the strained economy. 

Within their first five years, Suncrest Bank injected over $100 million into local economies, providing much-needed loans for working capital, equipment purchases, farmland and commercial real estate. Their commitment to developing strong relationships with local small businesses helped the bank continue to grow throughout the Central Valley. 

Expansion
Part of the continued growth included the acquisition of Community Business Bank in 2018, giving Suncrest Bank a footprint into Northern California. The acquisition was a great fit as both banks were focused on local businesses, customer service and building relationships. “The core values were aligned from the beginning and this made the transition go smoothly for our team and our customers,” explained Melissa Estrada, community banking manager. Melissa has years of banking experience and has been with Suncrest Bank for two years, managing relationships between clients and the bank. “The family atmosphere and focus on work-life balance make this a great company to work for. From the CEO and down, we are supported in creating work-life balance,” commented Melissa. 

Melissa continued to share with me the family atmosphere and open-door policy within the branches of Suncrest Bank. “Relationships are the core business at Suncrest and we want our clients to know that when they walk through the doors, we will know their names and they will be greeted by familiar faces,” Melissa said proudly. 

Personal Touch
The longevity of employees within the Lodi branch is impressive. Lydia Lerma, the branch operations manager, has been working in the Lodi branch for 15 years. “Lydia is my go-to when it comes to problem solving. She also knows the history of almost all of our clients,” Melissa said with a smile. “Customers will come into the bank to show her pictures of their grandchildren. She cares about each client and strives to exceed expectations,” further commented Melissa. “In my experience with commercial banking and the banking industry in general, it is nice to see such longevity from staff and so many women employed with Suncrest Bank,” Melissa shared.

“Nobody is so far removed that you can’t meet someone or speak over the phone to them,” Melissa explained. Suncrest Bank’s focus on customer service extends beyond other financial institutions as they continue to develop personal relationships between the bank and their clients. Personally, after experiencing a frustrating mishap with an ATM deposit with a large national bank, I made the switch to Suncrest Bank after my deposit was “missing” for almost two months. I made a phone call and walked into the Lodi branch where Lydia had my account opened quickly. Anytime I need anything, I find it so refreshing that an actual human being answers the phone and is also capable of problem solving or answering questions.

As we turn the corner into a more hopeful 2021, the goals of Suncrest Bank remain the same. They remain steadfast in building relationships as they continue to support small businesses and agriculture within the Central Valley. “When you focus on customers, you will grow the bank,” expressed Melissa. “No transaction looks alike; we will continue to make sure we tailor our services to each and every client as needed,” she finished. 

With a personal approach to understanding how their clients’ businesses operate, Suncrest Bank is breaking the mold when it comes to personalized service and attention.

To find a branch near you or for more information on Suncrest Bank, please visit suncrestbank.com.