5 Questions with Regents Bank Vancouver Vice President Tami Nesburg
1.) Tell us about your professional banking background?
I started my banking career on February 2, 1982 on a Tuesday. I had the privilege of working for Tom Young and his family-owned banking business for 20 years at Northwest National Bank. We then sold Northwest National to Centennial Bank, which was later acquired by Umpqua Bank. Tom Young, Lisa Johns (my Operations Manager and long time partner) and I started the Vancouver office of Regents Bank as an LPO (Loan Production Office) on December 14, 2003. We converted to a full service Bank in 2005 and have never looked back
2.) Why did you decide to join Regents Bank?
At Regents Bank, it’s not just a job- it’s an adventure. It is a pleasure coming to work every day surrounded by an amazingly talented group of professionals. Our team works very hard but we have fun every day.
3.) What makes Regents’ Vancouver office unique in the Vancouver banking community?
The Vancouver team has served the banking needs of Southwest Washington and the surrounding areas for decades. We have created a stable team of experienced banking professionals that assist local businesses and the individuals who run those businesses.
Our Vancouver business banking team has been built by doing things differently—we do things that are difficult to imitate. That does not always mean these “things” are difficult to build or execute, but our style is difficult to imitate. From the furnishings, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies on Fridays, client appreciation days, and priding ourselves on using every client’s name as they enter our office, we strive daily to ensure that our clients enjoy an experience when they walk into our office. We have not had any turnover in the Vancouver office, which means our clients can rely on working with the same seasoned staff every day.
Our consultative banking approach has proven to be a successful formula, allowing the office to experience continued growth while many banks struggle with the current economic conditions. We are a vision-focused office, and our knowledgeable and attentive staff focuses on long term growth opportunities with our clients and their businesses, rather than focusing on products. Our continued focus on multi-generational companies and their succession planning has proven to be a rewarding part of our business.
Our group of professionals brings expertise in specific areas. Some of our specific areas of expertise include the Medical and Dental communities, Assisted Living Facilities, Attorney Firms, Country Clubs, Financial Services, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Electrical Contractors, Green Energy, Multi-Family Owner-Operators and Property Management companies, as well as high net worth individuals.
4.) How, in your opinion, is the Vancouver economy doing presently and what changes, if any, do you foresee for the rest of 2012? 2013?
Growth in the Southwest Washington region is happening at a very slow pace. Unemployment in this area remains higher than the national average, about 2.5 % above the rest of the United States. In this micro economy of Vancouver WA, we are seeing some changes, but continue to lag behind the rest of the United States and also the Portland metro area. The Vancouver economy is slowly rebounding, and we are cautiously optimistic for the rest of 2012 and 2013.
Because of the relocation of Peace Health and Fisher Investments, East Clark County construction in both residential and commercial sectors seems to be catching traction. There is concern, however, with the lack of public construction jobs being funded in the next two years. The Vancouver economy suffers from being overly-reliant on construction trades that have been in a deep recession since 2006.
With the residential housing market bottoming and even showing signs of a slow recovery, Vancouver’s economy and the Portland Market in general should improve, given its leverage to improving numbers of housing starts. We are also seeing positive absorption of rental housing and commercial space which will translate into more construction activity. The recovery promises to be slow, but the worst is behind us.
5.) Tell us something about yourself that we don’t know?
I won a sales contest as a Columbian newspaper carrier. I was 13 years old, had one of the largest paper routes, and was the only young woman at the time that had a paper route. I won a trip to the World’s Fair, $150.00 in silver dollars, and a new bike—-I was in heaven! I realized at a young age that “The harder I worked the luckier I became.” That work ethic and approach continues to be my driving force. Surround yourself with smart people who share a similar vision and anything is possible.