Helping build careers in construction

WCC

We are proud to support many terrific, non-profit organizations in the communities we serve. Recently, we had an opportunity to present a scholarship check from Women’s Construction Coalition (WCC) San Diego to a Patrick Henry High School student, Adrianna, who hopes to pursue a career in construction. We were given this honor because of a grant we made to WCC to support the work they do affirming and sustaining the professionalism and success of women throughout the San Diego construction industry.

Specifically, we asked that our donation be used to help fund educational events for female students in low- to moderate-income schools to gain knowledge about the construction industry and also to support WCC’s Julia Morgan Society clubs. The purpose of the clubs is to mentor high school girls and boys and expose them to careers in construction, architecture and engineering.

Our executive vice president and regional manager Darla Clark presented the scholarship check during an installment of WCC’s Leadership Seminar, which featured a talk from Nancy Novak, who served as national vice president of operations for Balfour Beatty before recently joining Compass Datacenters. Nancy, who flew out from Texas for the event, has a national reputation for her work advancing opportunities and support for women in construction and technology.

Nancy shared some valuable insight at the event about closing the gender leadership gap, saying, “If we can figure out how to close the gap between potential versus credential, we will have made good progress in advancing women into leadership positions.”

She advised attendees about personal advancement as well, saying, “You need to figure out how to get to know your leadership and your peers on a personal and professional level in order to build advocates at the decision-making levels.”

Nancy’s comments and the entire event program created a lot of positive buzz among attendees.

“We were really honored to play an instrumental role at this exclusive and exciting event,” said Darla. “Supporting the non-profit organizations that are working hard in our communities to better the lives of others is a top priority for our bank. We’ve even developed services and products specifically geared to the unique needs of our non-profit clients.”

In addition to awarding scholarships, WCC provides assistance to high school and college students through its Mentoring Page, a resource to “help students, educators, counselors and parents understand and navigate through their career paths.” The mentoring resource includes descriptions of jobs and related salaries; education options with local colleges and universities; direct links to high schools with construction-related programs; and information about apprenticeship training programs.

Additionally, WCC holds a monthly lunch meeting at Santana High School, Patrick Henry High School, San Diego High School and Hoover High School for interested students (female and male) to learn more about careers in the construction industry. The lunches feature guest speakers who talk about how they got their start, what they do and some of the challenges they’ve overcome. The students also get information about scholarships, building their resumes, jobsite visits and opportunities for internships and summer jobs.

Beyond its work to educate students about construction-related careers, WCC also provides member education events for working professionals, industry advocacy, networking opportunities and more. For more information or to join WCC, visit wccsd.org.screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

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Tami Nesburg Joins Lewis & Clark College Center for Entrepreneurship Advisory Board

Tami Nesburg Regents Bank Executive V.P.

Tami Nesburg, who leads our Vancouver, Washington office, has joined the board of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Lewis & Clark College. She will help the Center further its mission of “igniting liberal arts education with entrepreneurial spirit.”

With more than 30 years of banking experience in Clark County, Tami, who now serves as regional manager and executive vice president, launched Regents Bank’s Vancouver office as a start-up banking operation in 2003. She brings that experience and entrepreneurial mindset to her client relationships, helping small to mid-sized businesses overcome challenges and grow their companies.

In addition to the Center for Entrepreneurship advisory board, Tami serves as treasurer and an executive board member for Identity Clark County; as past-president of Vancouver Public Facilities District Board; and as treasurer for Gifts for Our Community, serving low- to moderate-income families through grants in the community. She is also a former Royal Oaks Country Club finance committee member and served as its chairwoman in 2004.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the great team of professionals at Lewis & Clark,” said Tami. “I’m especially enthusiastic about the effort afoot to create an even stronger entrepreneurship curriculum and culture at the school.”

The Center for Entrepreneurship’s programming is designed to add experiential opportunities to the college experience. Programming is open to all Lewis & Clark students, regardless of whether they are enrolled in an entrepreneurship class. The Center leverages its location in a world-class, progressive and collaborative city to bring leaders onto campus to discuss their industry, trends and opportunities. Programming includes Lunch with a Leader, Winterim and workshops.

“With Tami’s banking knowledge and experience in the Northwest market, she will be an important partner in the Center’s efforts to foster both the academic and practical side of entrepreneurship and business creativity,” said Bruce Willison, Grandpoint Bank board member, Life Trustee of Lewis & Clark College and former CEO of First Interstate Bank of Oregon.

Way to go, Tami!

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Our Regional President, Stephen Friedman, Profiled by San Diego Business Journal

Stephen Friedman headshot NEWRecently, San Diego Business Journal ran a story profiling our regional president, Stephen Friedman. If you have a subscription to the publication, you can access the article in the September 1, 2017 issue.

Stephen spoke about Regents Bank’s philosophy of creating value at a deeper level for our clients and about how his personal experience as a C-suite executive at food companies provided valuable insight that he leverages in his banking career.

While many of our readers know Stephen as our regional president and before that as executive vice president and regional manager of our La Jolla office, he has also been an entrepreneur and a corporate CFO.

Stephen’s banking career included a hiatus, during which time he took on roles in C-suite management of some food companies and even owned a bakery business. Those experiences gave him the feet-on-the-ground knowledge he relies on to understand the business challenges and opportunities our clients face.

In his role now as regional president, he manages operations at all four of our San Diego offices in La Jolla, downtown, Vista and Escondido. We are fortunate to have Stephen and others like him on our staff — banking professionals who understand all stages of business growth and capital raising and apply that knowledge to help our clients.

If you’d like to learn more about Stephen and Regents Bank’s philosophy, we encourage you to read the great San Diego Business Journal profile story by reporter Sarah DeCrescenzo … or to connect with Stephen in person.

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CNBC/Survey Monkey Poll Reveals Small Business Vulnerability to Cyberattack

Protection concept. Protect mechanism, system privacy.

“Hackers have breached half of the 28 millionscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am small businesses in the United States, according to the 2016 State of SMB Cybersecurity Report,” says a recently-released CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey article about cyber security.

Through a survey of 2,000 small business owners across the nation conducted in April, the CNBC/Survey Monkey team found that only two percent of small business owners surveyed saw cyber security as “the most critical issue they face.”

Many business owners are more concerned about personnel, competition or benefits issues, but the resulting lack of focus on cyber security, combined with an attitude of ‘we’re too small to be targeted,’ may make these businesses more vulnerable to cyberattack, the article stated.

The article also cited Hemu Nigam, founder of SSP Blue, an internet security consulting business, and the former vice president of internet enforcement at the Motion Picture Association of America, who said, “Hackers love small businesses [because] they don’t have the resources to put in high-end cybersecurity protection and they may not be consciously aware they are a target.”

The cost of not having a high-end cybersecurity protection system can be high as well. For a retailer, a credit card data breach can range from “$200 per transaction to $395 per transaction” to respond adequately to the breach, according to the report.

Cyberattacks against businesses can come in many forms (we suggest reading through our blog archives to learn more about these types of attacks and defensive steps to take). The CNBC/SurveyMonkey article’s authors recommend the following precautionary measures:

  • Use large service providers like WordPress and Gmail for your company’s website and email since they already have complex protection systems built in.
  • Refrain from checking personal accounts from a company computer.
  • Use a cloud-based service rather than keeping your information local.

For more cybersecurity tips, please check out our blog post “Nine Tips for Better Cybersecurity” and “Cybersecurity Best Practices” on our website.

More information about the CNBC/Survey Monkey Small Business Survey can be found at the CNBC web page on the tech/cybersecurity page.

(Promoting cybersecurity best practices, Regents Bank recommends against clicking links provided by second-hand parties and chooses instead to provide written directions about how to find material we reference on our blog.)

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Regents Rovers Step Up to Save Animals

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Regents Rovers 2017 (l to r): Donna Provencher with Brodie; Claudia Sanchez with daughter Natalie, chihuahua Charlie, sister Bernice, Luka the husky; Kim Flores with kids Jaely and AJ; Erin Brosch with Zoe; and Taryn Diehl with kids Brandon, Layla and Trinity

The Regents Rovers were at it again this year, raising money for the San Diego Humane Society’s Walk For Animals event. We’re happy to report that, under the leadership of our own Erin Brosch, our team of 10 raised more than $1000! Overall, the event, a two-mile walk at Liberty Station in Point Loma, helped raise tens of thousands of dollars to support the vital work of the San Diego Humane Society.

Our team included Erin, Matt Fishman, Donna Provencher, Claudia Sanchez, Taryn Diehl, and Kim Flores from Regents Bank, as well as a few family members. While billed as “San Diego’s largest dog walk,” we also spotted a miniature horse, a pig, a couple of cats, some parrots and a goat.

Additional members of our Regents Bank team stepped up to the plate to support Regents Rovers with cash donations to the Humane Society, including Ben Lundeen, Mike Churchwell, Cindy Thomas, Bill Scheffel, Tom Schmidt, Mark Anderson, David Ekings, Linda Thomas, Jean Porter, Amber Santos, Nick Nattkemper and Victoria Vossler. We also had some customer support, for which we are very grateful.

The money raised through Walk For Animals provides food, medical care and a safe haven for thousands of animals in need. Each year, the San Diego Humane Society rescues tens of thousands of animals. It’s one of just a small handful of Humane Society organizations in the U.S. with a no-kill policy.

Erin, who has coordinated a team for this event several years running, is motivated by her love for animals. “I want to keep San Diego County a kill free county,” she said. “An animal’s love is unconditional, and you’re never alone when you have a pet.”

San Diego Humane Society’s next big fundraiser, The Fur Ball, is coming up on September 9, but you can support the Society’s mission with a contribution any time of the year. More information can be found at sdhumane.org.

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Regents Rovers 2017 (l to r): Donna Provencher with Brodie; Erin Brosch with Zoe; Kim Flores’ son AJ; Claudia Sanchez with sister Bernice, Luka the Husky and daughter Natalie with Charlie; and Matt Fishman with Vail

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FBI: How to Protect Your Computer

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Below are some key steps to protecting your computer from intrusion, as detailed on the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ cybercrime webpage:

Keep Your Firewall Turned On: A firewall helps protect your computer from hackers who might try to gain access to crash it, delete information, or even steal passwords or other sensitive information. Software firewalls are widely recommended for single computers. The software is prepackaged on some operating systems or can be purchased for individual computers. For multiple networked computers, hardware routers typically provide firewall protection.

Install or Update Your Antivirus Software: Antivirus software is designed to prevent malicious software programs from embedding on your computer. If it detects malicious code, like a virus or a worm, it works to disarm or remove it. Viruses can infect computers without users’ knowledge. Most types of antivirus software can be set up to update automatically.

Install or Update Your Antispyware Technology: Spyware is just what it sounds like—software that is surreptitiously installed on your computer to let others peer into your activities on the computer. Some spyware collects information about you without your consent or produces unwanted pop-up ads on your web browser. Some operating systems offer free spyware protection, and inexpensive software is readily available for download on the Internet or at your local computer store. Be wary of ads on the Internet offering downloadable antispyware—in some cases these products may be fake and may actually contain spyware or other malicious code. It’s like buying groceries—shop where you trust.

Keep Your Operating System Up to Date: Computer operating systems are periodically updated to stay in tune with technology requirements and to fix security holes. Be sure to install the updates to ensure your computer has the latest protection.

Be Careful What You Download: Carelessly downloading e-mail attachments can circumvent even the most vigilant anti-virus software. Never open an e-mail attachment from someone you don’t know, and be wary of forwarded attachments from people you do know. They may have unwittingly advanced malicious code.

Turn Off Your Computer: With the growth of high-speed Internet connections, many opt to leave their computers on and ready for action. The downside is that being “always on” renders computers more susceptible. Beyond firewall protection, which is designed to fend off unwanted attacks, turning the computer off effectively severs an attacker’s connection—be it spyware or a botnet that employs your computer’s resources to reach out to other unwitting users.

https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/cyberscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Regents Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Regents Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Regents Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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Happy Independence Day

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In observance of our nation’s birthday, we wish everyone a happy 4th of July.

In honor of the holiday, we’d like to share some history about the American flag with you from usa-flag-site.orgscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am:

On January 1, 1776, the Continental Army was reorganized in accordance with a Congressional resolution which placed American forces under George Washington’s control. On that New Year’s Day the Continental Army was laying siege to Boston which had been taken over by the British Army. Washington ordered the Grand Union flag hoisted above his base at Prospect Hill. It had 13 alternate red and white stripes and the British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner (the canton).

In May of 1776, Betsy Ross reported that she sewed the first American flag.

On June 14, 1777, in order to establish an official flag for the new nation, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”

Between 1777 and 1960, Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design and arrangement of the flag and allowed for additional stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state.

  • Act of January 13, 1794 – provided for 15 stripes and 15 stars after May 1795.
  • Act of April 4, 1818 – provided for 13 stripes and one star for each state, to be added to the flag on the 4th of July following the admission of each new state, signed by President Monroe.
  • Executive Order of President Taft dated June 24, 1912 – established proportions of the flag and provided for arrangement of the stars in six horizontal rows of eight each, a single point of each star to be upward.
  • Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated January 3, 1959 – provided for the arrangement of the stars in seven rows of seven stars each, staggered horizontally and vertically.
  • Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated August 21, 1959 – provided for the arrangement of the stars in nine rows of stars staggered horizontally and eleven rows of stars staggered vertically.

Today the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with 6 white. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies, the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well: Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor, White symbolizes Purity and Innocence and Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Regents Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Regents Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Regents Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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Stephen Friedman Named Regents Bank Regional President in San Diego County

Stephen Friedman headshot NEWIt’s official! Longtime San Diego banker and business executive Stephen Friedman has been promoted to Regional President in San Diego County. Stephen will oversee operations at our four San Diego offices, which include locations in downtown, La Jolla, Escondido and Vista. Stephen, who has been with Regents Bank since 2009, will continue to work from the La Jolla office.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the charge for Regents Bank in San Diego going forward,” says Stephen. “Having been part of the leadership team here for many years, Regents Bank’s brand of what we call consultative banking is in my DNA. We have a seasoned team that is focused on providing customized banking solutions crafted to meet each client’s unique circumstances, but we don’t stop there. We seek to understand our client’s short- and long-term goals so that we can direct them to relevant resources to help them. My primary objective is to provide the leadership and support our team needs to execute on our mission of serving our clients at the highest level every day.”

As the former CFO of Bruegger’s Bagels – the national bagel chain, the former CFO of the Westwind Group – a large Burger King franchisee, and the former owner of a local commercial bakery, Stephen thinks entrepreneurially.

“Stephen combines his 20 years of banking experience with his past business experience to provide a unique level of business understanding not normally found in a banker,” said Rocky Laverty, President of Grandpoint Bank. “He has demonstrated leadership and success in consistently growing Regents Bank, primarily due to his ability to deliver valuable services and advice to Regents’ clients.”

Stephen is a resident of Carmel Valley and has been an active member of ProVisors, the Association for Corporate Growth of San Diego, the Rancho Bernardo Professional Group, Renaissance Executive Forums, the Business Executives Council and Chairman’s Roundtable. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Vermont, followed by a master’s degree in business administration from Boston College and a graduate banking degree from University of Colorado at Boulder.

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Regents Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Regents Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Regents Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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Defenses Against Cybercrime

Through our work in cyber and information security, we have formed relationships with professionals at Secure the Villagescreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am and Citadel Information Group.screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am They have kindly allowed us to post on our blog site some of the articles they have authored about cyber security. This articlescreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am provides a great overview of the business email compromise scam and how to avoid being taken in by it.

Business E-mail Compromise: Don’t Be a Victim

By Stan Stahl, PhD, President of Citadel Information Group, Inc. & Founder and President of Secure the Village

What to Do: Implement very strong controls on wire transfers

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 5.47.51 PMAssume all email or fax requests from a vendor to change bank accounts are fraudulent. Assume all email or fax requests from the company President or others are fraudulent. Assume all email or fax requests to set-up a new vendor are fraudulent. Pick up the phone, call the party in question and verify the request is legitimate.

If you discover you are a Business Email Compromise victim, immediately contact the FBI’s Southern California Cyber Fraud unit at sccf@leo.gov. They have established banking relationships and are often able to recover funds if they are notified within 72 hours.

And talk to your banker. Make sure they have your back.

It’s also a good idea to check with your insurance broker to ensure that business email compromise losses are covered.

Background

Not too long ago, email scams were relatively easy to detect. They were often from unknown contacts and referenced bank or credit card information which was clearly incorrect. Sometimes, the emails would simply contain a link. As time has passed, fraudulent attempts to gain control of your online banking, your critical information, and your identity have become more skillful and harder to spot. These days’ emails often appear to come from recognized accounts, are well written, and–at least at first glance–seem legitimate.

The newest — and one of the costliest — in a long line of fraudulent e-mail scams is “Business E-Mail Compromise” (BEC).

Business Email Compromise (BEC) is a very sophisticated attempt to induce a business to willingly hand over their money to a cybercriminal. In Business Email Compromise (BEC), crooks spoof communications from executives or vendors at the victim firm in a bid to initiate unauthorized wire transfers.

According to the FBI, thieves stole nearly $750 million in such scams from more than 7,000 victim companies in the U.S. between October 2013 and August 2015. Business Email Compromise cost Ubiquiti Networks $46 million.screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

Collectively, Business Email Compromise has resulted in actual and attempted losses of over a billion dollars worldwide. The FBI reports, “…since the beginning of 2015 there has been a 270 percent increase in identified BEC victims. Victim companies have come from all 50 U.S. states and nearly 80 countries abroad.”

BECs can target businesses working with foreign suppliers or regularly performing wire transfer payments, although they have also targeted some that do not strictly fit this criterion. In order to solicit unauthorized transfers of funds, the scams compromise legitimate business e-mail accounts through social engineering or computer intrusion techniques. Prior to making contact, the scammers learn enough about their target to create emails that use language specific to the company and request wire transfers that seem legitimate.

For more information on BECs, see https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2015/august/business-e-mail-compromise/business-e-mail-compromisescreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am and http://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/08/fbi-1-2b-lost-to-business-email-scams/screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Regents Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Regents Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Regents Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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A spotlight on one of our longest client relationships: Coffman Specialties, Inc.

Regents_Home_Coffman_noband

Coffman Specialties, Inc. (CSI) started with one woman’s entrepreneurial vision. Today, the construction company specializes in large public and governmental projects that are improving and expanding transportation infrastructure across the United States. CSI is headquartered in San Diego, California and operates offices in Phoenix, Arizona.

CSI was founded in 1991 by President Colleen Coffman. She works together with her husband Jim, who directs the activities of all CSI projects. Since its inception, CSI has completed nearly 100 major highway, airfield, bridge, railway and waterway projects. CSI specializes in cement treated pavements, mass excavation, structural concrete of all types, bridges and other complex infrastructure. Notable projects include the major runway renovation at LAX Airport, the completion of a 3.5-mile HOV addition to the 805 freeway in San Diego, and the repaving of the All American Canal — the largest irrigation canal in the world — in Imperial, California.

Regents Bank Relationship Manager Darla Clark has banked CSI since 1997. Colleen and Jim followed Darla when she joined Regents Bank as a founding team member in 2002. At that time, Darla and the Regents Bank team provided an operating line of credit that helped support CSI’s early growth. Since then, CSI’s expansion has been guided by the Coffmans’ entrepreneurial spirit, as they have vertically integrated their business by acquiring transportation and materials companies. This has enabled CSI to control costs when bidding for projects — a strategy that has driven the company’s substantial growth. During this time, Regents Bank has been on hand to provide CSI’s equipment and real estate financing for both personal and business investment — including the company headquarters building in San Diego.

“Over the past 20 years, I have been privileged to work with CSI and assist with its extraordinary growth,” says Darla. “CSI is a high-integrity company. They do exactly what they say they will do. I appreciate Colleen and Jim for this and also that they are very loyal to their employees and to their banker.”

The Regents Bank team has also assisted the Coffmans with financing assets that they will be able to use in their retirement. This comprehensive partnership between Regents Bank and the Coffmans effectively supports the Coffmans’ financial needs, both business and personal.

Today, CSI is one of Regents Bank’s largest banking relationships. As the company’s business continues to grow, Regents Bank can draw upon its substantial lending capacity, as part of Grandpoint Bank, to help them achieve their goals. Darla also brings a unique understanding of the construction industry to the relationship, which many banks do not have. Darla’s experience has given her the insight to cultivate and manage contractor relationships in a way that is beneficial for both clients and the bank.

As a thriving industry leader, CSI has many choices when it comes to banking. Colleen and Jim Coffman appreciate the longevity of the relationship they have with Regents Bank, particularly the way in which Darla and the team remained committed to CSI while all contractors were experiencing challenges during the last recession. In doing so, Regents Bank helped CSI create a foundation for future growth and prosperity. They choose to bank with Darla and the Regents Bank team because they value the ability to work with bankers who can get them what they need, while understanding the complexity of their business.

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