June 19, 2024

River City Bank’s 2024 Executive Forum Series

""
""

River City Bank's Executive Forum Series is an exclusive program tailored for senior executives. The Forum is designed to provide valuable knowledge and insights from business leaders and executives across different businesses and industries. Handpicked for their expertise on relevant topics for today’s businesses, panelists offer guidance and recommendations based on their professional experiences. The presentations are followed up with roundtable discussions with attendees to discuss key takeaways from their experiences.

 

With two successful programs already under its belt, River City Bank's 2024 series is off to a solid start.

March 27, 2024 – “The Growth Engine: Driving an Employee Development Culture"

Organizations that offer quality professional development and training opportunities can reap additional rewards when those programs result in significant performance improvement. When employees feel valued by their employer, the result is often improved loyalty, productivity, and engagement with their organization.

The March Executive Forum, "The Growth Engine - Driving an Employee Development Culture," offered a compelling overview of the importance of professional development and training in an organization. Moderated by Eric Anderton, CEO of Construction Genius, the all-star panel was comprised of Mary Teichert, President of Teichert Construction, Sue Weiler-Doke, Senior Consultant of D. Brown Management, and Pat Lewis, Chief Operating Officer of River City Bank. These experts discussed how creating open conversations with employees and balancing a supportive work culture with continuous learning can benefit employers and employees alike.

May 30, 2024 – “How to Effectively Structure a Finance Department”

The Executive Forum in May focused on structuring finance department roles and responsibilities for growth and success. The conversation centered around how companies develop, nurture, and maintain an airtight finance team to improve the bottom line.

The discussion, led by Moderator Rod Barbour from Lawson Mechanical Contractors, underscored the Finance Department's strategic role as a unifying factor across different parts of an organization. Panelists Rebecca Freeman of Chordline Health, Lorie Symon of Aerometals, Inc., and Brian Killeen from River City Bank shared their insights on how these essential roles within Finance can be harnessed for organizational success.

With the ongoing support of our sponsors, Bender Insurance Solutions, BFBA, LLP, and Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld LLP, we are excited to present more insightful programs for the business community.

June 19, 2024

Meet Olivia Gray

""
""

Olivia Gray serves as an AVP/Portfolio Manager for the Bank's Clean Energy Division. In this role, she underwrites and manages a loan portfolio of clients involved in the clean energy industry, such as Community Choice Aggregators, renewable project operators, and companies engaged in clean tech solutions. She also oversees one of the Bank’s largest deposit portfolios, assists clients with day-to-day deposit needs, and ensures clients are benefiting from River City Bank’s competitive deposit account products. Liv joined the Bank in 2019 after graduating summa cum laude from UC Davis with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and minors in Environmental Horticulture and European History. Liv, a passionate cinephile, shared her favorite spots in her hometown of San Francisco, her love for reptiles, and why she believes that slow and steady progress will always win the race.

Hometown: I was born in San Francisco, CA, but frequently moved between Northern and Southern California while growing up.

First Job: After working various odd-and-ends jobs in high school (e.g., tutoring, babysitting), my first job was at the UC Davis Campus Plant Nursery while in college.

Favorite Quote(s):  I often find myself saying, “Drop by drop is the water pot filled,” which is a partial quote I read a while back. That saying is very encouraging to me, particularly in situations that seem frustrating or daunting. Knowing that with slow and steady progress, anything can be completed.

Favorite Movie(s):  Watching movies is one of my favorite pastimes, so it’s a pretty even tie between Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927), Nosferatu (Werner Herzog, 1979); Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982), and Arrival (Dennis Villeneuve, 2016).

Favorite song: “Passenger” by Iggy Pop, will always be special to me.

First concert: The Black Keys with my dad and brother. My dad and I used to play covers of songs from The Black Keys' El Camino album (me on piano and him on guitar), so that was a meaningful outing.

Favorite city to visit: I’m biased, but San Francisco! There are so many unique, diverse parts of the city to explore, and the food is beyond compare.

Favorite place in Sacramento/Bay Area/Southern California: I really love the coastal drive from San Francisco to Pacifica, especially on a foggy day.

First site or app you check in the morning: Either my e-mails, Instagram, or The New York Times (Connections, anyone?).

""

What are you reading right now? I’m about to start a short story that was highly recommended online: “The Invention of Morel” by Adolfo Bioy Casares. Short stories make prioritizing reading a bit more manageable, especially with a busy schedule!

Morning ritual:  A few sun salutations, stretching, and coffee!

If you have an extra hour in the day, how would you spend it? Practicing my instruments, swimming, playing tennis, or learning a new art craft.

Favorite podcast(s)? My favorite podcasts are currently Ologies with Alie Ward and The Partially Examined Life. With Ologies, I love the deep dive into very niche scientific and biological studies, especially since those aren’t fields I am exposed to on a daily basis. For the latter, I really enjoy the discussions that merge traditional philosophical concepts with modern-day, pop culture examples.

Who is your favorite hero/heroine of fiction? Tank Girl, a 1980s cartoon character. She rebels against the greedy corporations that prevent equitable, public access to water and electricity, which leaves many to fend for themselves in a post-apocalyptic setting. This is quite fitting for being part of RCB’s Clean Energy Division; the division supports the expansion of renewable energy projects, green tech, energy equity and resiliency, and community-led energy programs nationwide – all of which hopefully will help keep that dystopian scenario fiction!

Which talent would you most like to have? It would be incredible to either pick up new languages naturally or have a knack for playing instruments by ear.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you? I really love reptiles! I had a lovely 5-foot ball python for a while, and hope to one day have a pet chameleon.

What is your greatest extravagance? It isn’t truly extravagant, but binge-watching any Gordon Ramsay or Food Network series on the weekend is a guilty pleasure of mine.

What is your current state of mind? Gratitude! I’m very appreciative of my current work and personal life and thankful for the family and people who supported me along the way.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue (or underrated detriment)? I think there’s a certain level of conformity that can unintentionally occur in large group settings, whether at work or socially. Provided it’s the time, place, and appropriate, it’s important for people to respectfully voice their opinion, even if it differs from the status quo. Sharing different perspectives can encourage beneficial growth and change rather than falling into stagnancy.

What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting out? Like the rules of improv, “Just say yes!” Take the meeting, respond to the prospect, and volunteer to help internally when feasible. You never know where an opportunity will lead.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?  Most recently, I’m honored and proud to be the newest inductee into River City Bank’s esteemed President’s Club!

What do you like best about working at River City Bank?  Although this is my first professional job, I can’t imagine any other company does “it” like River City Bank! I appreciate management’s attention to employee valuation, and offering of flexible remote working options. The benefits and healthy work culture may partly be due to the high caliber of employees – everybody I’ve worked with is so hardworking, motivated, dedicated, and kind. Lastly, the day-to-day work with the Clean Energy Division is engaging and mentally stimulating; there’s never a dull moment when you combine banking with the energy industry!

June 19, 2024

Pig Butchering: What It Is and How to Protect Yourself

""
""

In 2023, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)[1]." issued a critical alert about a virtual currency investment scam known as "Pig Butchering According to most recent estimates, pig butchering schemes cost victims $3.3 billion in 2022, the most recent year that data was available.

What is "Pig Butchering"?

Pig butchering is a type of online investment fraud where scammers create fake personas to trick victims into fraudulent investment schemes by building trust over time. Scammers use various tactics to deceive victims into parting with their money. They establish an emotional connection and gain the trust of their victim over the long term. Unlike other scams that involve smaller, frequent transactions, pig butchering typically aims for a large, single payday that can drain victims' life savings.

Charcteristics of Pig Butchering

  1. Gaining trust: Scams often begin with casual conversations initiated by the scammer, who may pretend to have received the victim's contact details accidentally or through a mutual acquaintance. These initial interactions are designed to build trust and may involve the use of attractive profile images to lure victims.
  2. Introducing the investment: As trust is established, the scammer introduces the victim to a fraudulent investment scheme, promising significant returns in a short period. The scammers use persuasive tactics and counterfeit investment portfolios to convince victims of the scheme's legitimacy.
  3. Collecting money: After convincing the victim to invest, scammers collect funds, often through digital payment platforms or cryptocurrencies, to complicate tracking and tracing of the transactions.
  4. Disappearance of the scammer: Once a substantial amount has been collected, or when victims attempt to withdraw funds, scammers become unreachable, delete their online presence, or create new identities, leaving the victims with no way to recover their funds.

Investors need to be vigilant and conduct thorough due diligence before investing in cryptocurrency or any other investment scheme. Be wary of unsolicited investment offers and approach overly promising investment proposals skeptically. Review these actions to protect yourself:

  1. Be careful who you trust: Fraudsters do their best to create emotional connections with their victims. Think critically before letting your guard down with someone you just met. They use your social media information and anything they can get you to share to manipulate and take advantage of you.
  2. Beware of red flags: Never rush into any investment. Only use well-known and reliable trading platforms, including Cryptocurrency exchanges.
  3. Don’t fall for FOMO: Fraudsters try to get victims to feel the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). Be very skeptical if a new acquaintance tries to get you to invest fast so you don’t miss an opportunity. That is often a trick to get you to give them money before your judgment kicks in.
  4. Trust your instincts: Think twice before investing - if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  5. Keep your information to yourself: Do not provide details about your financial positions or share sensitive information online or on unverified sites.
  6. Verify Information: Validate individuals you meet online are trustworthy through mutual friends or acquaintances. Verify investment opportunities by conducting independent research and seeking advice from trusted financial professionals to ensure legitimacy.

Be Cautious and Conduct Your Due Diligence

"Pig butchering" continues to pose a significant threat to investors. Don’t make rash financial decisions with too-good-to-be-true promised results with people you meet online. If you suspect you are involved in a cryptocurrency scam or fraudulent activity, immediately report it to authorities and your financial institution. Always be cautious and conduct due diligence when considering investment opportunities.

[1] FinCEN is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. FinCEN’s mission is to safeguard the financial system from illicit use and combat money laundering and promote national security through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence and strategic use of financial authorities.

February 29, 2024

Celebrating California Hall of Fame Honorees

""

River City Bank was honored to participate in this year's California Hall of Fame event at the California Museum in Downtown Sacramento. Governor Gavin Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom inducted the 17th class of honorees, highlighting trailblazers who have embodied the California Spirit. Team RCB was in attendance to celebrate the newest class of inductees, including The Go-Go's, federal judge and civil rights leader Thelton E. Henderson, and basketball star Cheryl Miller, to name a few.

""
""
""
""

Needless to say, we are "Head Over Heels" with this year's Hall of Fame inductees and congratulate them all on this well-deserved honor.

To learn more about the California Museum and the California Hall of Fame, visit their website at www.californiamuseum.org.

February 26, 2024

Protecting your Business from Fraud with Positive Pay

""
""

Even though evolving payment options means that fewer checks are being written, check fraud remains a threat to businesses. Positive Pay is one of the best fraud detection tools and River City Bank offers two options: Check Positive Pay and ACH Positive Pay.

ACH Positive Pay. ACH Positive Pay is a security feature that prevents unauthorized electronic debits from posting to your accounts. Whenever there are debits from new or unrecognized sources, they are highlighted as exceptions for your review. You can either add these new companies to your list of authorized debtors or return the transactions within the Commercial Cash Management platform.

Check Positive Pay. Check Positive Pay matches the check number and dollar amount of each check presented for payment against an approved list of authorized checks issued by your company. Both components of the check must match exactly to be paid. If there isn't a match, the check is flagged as an exception and a list will be emailed for authorization before payment will be made. A payee match is automatically added to enhance your check-positive pay review process.

At River City Bank, your account security is our priority. If you would like to learn more about Positive Pay, please contact our Cash Management Team at (916) 567-2660 or email at [email protected]

February 26, 2024

Meet Brian Killeen

""
""

Brian Killeen is River City Bank's Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, Brian oversees its accounting, financial reporting, and treasury functions. Since his arrival at the Bank in 2007 as the Controller, he has gradually assumed additional responsibilities within the Finance Department and spearheaded several bank-wide initiatives. Brian joined us to chat about his passion for Bay Area sports teams, his new role at River City Bank, and the importance of his faith.

November 20, 2023

Commercial contractors need a banking partner at their side to navigate opportunity and risk

""

By Rebecca Fabisch Miller, Executive Vice President and Commercial Banking Director, River City Bank

""

With a still-vibrant level of activity and reasons for optimism, Northern California’s commercial contractors remain healthy and strong. Many contractors in the region enjoy a strong backlog in the near-to-medium term.

 

But longer term, questions remain, as they always will in this cyclical – if not sometimes volatile – industry. Faced with fluctuating economic conditions, continued rising interest rates, inflation, a tightening labor market, and unpredictable volatility in the coming years, planning for the more-distant future remains a challenge.

The regional construction industry, estimated at $9.1 billion in 2023 and expected to increase next year, is still likely to fall short of the levels it reached in 2021, according to recent projections. That makes strategic planning difficult, especially for contractors who must weigh the capital costs and minimum level of liquidity they should maintain on their balance sheet.

As an experienced banker with a diverse portfolio of contractor clients at River City Bank, I know the industry has been here before. I’ve seen up close what works, and what doesn’t in positive but uncertain times. And with the western part of the U.S. the only area in the nation to see an increase in construction backlogs this year, I’m also optimistic in the short term.

Still, there are several areas that commercial contractors should prioritize to maximize opportunities and minimize unexpected risks in the long term.

Leveraging cash flow

For the first time in decades, deposits can generate additional revenue. If you’re a commercial contractor with funds sitting in the bank, you can finally earn a meaningful return on your deposits. In fact, River City Bank has several programs that allow its clients to maximize their deposits, while ensuring that up to $150 million has full FDIC insurance. Money market accounts and certificates of deposit can deliver especially attractive interest rates these days. Even retention accounts can generate sizeable income.

Keep in mind, though, that with interest rates rising, commercial contractors should also be careful with capital expenditures. Take care to manage excess cash carefully and avoid incurring unnecessary debt in a period of economic flux. Now is the time to consider renting and/or incurring short-term leases if new equipment is needed to work through the current level of backlog.

Develop a hiring pipeline

Today’s economic environment is unusual in that it is marked by low unemployment. This is critical in the construction industry, where the unemployment rate has fallen below 4% and hiring skilled workers is a challenge.

It’s important to develop a hiring pipeline so you don’t end up overpaying for talent as you compete for new employees. You might consider an example from another industry. At River City Bank, for instance, we recruit at university job fairs and offer a voluntary “banking academy” to teach commercial banking to college students and develop the next generation of talent. We also have a robust summer internship program that often results in a job offer.

That approach can work in any sector. The Sacramento Region Builders Exchange, for example, has similar efforts to entice new people into skilled trades. Contractors would be smart to invest in youth programs and leadership training now to build for the future. One potential source of workers is the new charter high school for the trades in Sacramento, which opened this year.

Plan for succession

Nobody wants to work forever. Contractors need to plan for succession, so when they do turn over the company to new owners, the company doesn’t miss a beat or a client. Some of the best transitions I have witnessed had a succession plan in place as early as 15 years prior to the sale to the new generation of owners.

Contractors need to identify the next generation, then coach and mentor them for their respective future leadership roles. Mentorship programs help create an environment of sharing years of knowledge from the folks about to retire with the newly-hired, younger employees.

As part of this planning, companies should work with their bank early to figure out an appropriate debt structure to facilitate a company sale. Owners don’t want to walk away from something they’ve spent years building without adequate compensation, but they also need to leave behind something of value that can survive.

Your bank is your partner

Many commercial contractors don’t think of using their banker as a true strategic partner, the same way they would with their surety, CPA, and attorney. But they should. If you’re changing your corporate structure, for example, you call your lawyer. Similarly, any operational strategy you pursue will affect your finances. When that happens, you should talk to your bank.

At River City Bank, we have the experience and a portfolio of relationships large enough that we’ve seen the pitfalls and benefits of many strategic actions. Among the many things we’ve learned is that it’s important to stick to what you know. We’ve seen companies bid on larger jobs or those outside of their normal course of work only to lose money because they lacked expertise.

At our bank, we also focus on what we do best – and that is work with you to find solutions for your business. The construction industry is challenging enough. It’s important to find a partner that can help bring stability and success for years to come.

To learn more about our commitment to nonprofit organizations in our communities, or to inquire how we might provide services that support your mission, please visit us here or contact one of our relationship managers at (916) 567-2899.

With assets of over $4.3 billion, River City Bank is the largest independent and locally owned and managed bank in the Sacramento region. With a 50-year track record of success, eight branches, an office in San Francisco, and a presence in Southern California, the bank is rated as one of the strongest in the country.

 

MEMBER FDIC

Rebecca Fabisch Miller has spent her 30-year commercial banking career in Sacramento, working as a relationship manager and regional director at several major banks. She earned her MBA from the University of California, Davis, and has an undergraduate degree in international business and marketing from California State University, Sacramento. She is the treasurer for the California Forest Foundation and has been involved with many local charities.

 

 

November 7, 2023

Meet Dan Franklin

""
""

Dan Franklin is EVP, Director of Commercial Real Estate at River City Bank.  He manages the commercial real estate lending activity for the Bank and leads a team that focuses on establishing long-term relationships with commercial real estate investors across the Western U.S. Dan took time to chat with us about ‘80s rock and country music, and his one-time dream of becoming a veterinarian.

November 7, 2023

Yolo Crisis Nursery Groundbreaking

""
""

River City Bank had the distinct pleasure of attending the groundbreaking ceremony for the future home of the Yolo Crisis Nursery. The demand for services has become so great that the program is expanding to an 8,800-square-foot building in Davis, set to open in Spring 2025. The Yolo Crisis Nursery team raised the funds in record time  as there is a need for a larger facility to meet the increasing demand and serve more children and families in crisis in Yolo County.

""
""

With a larger facility comes an opportunity to offer even more help, with the team planning to add counseling and therapy services and job-seeking assistance to ensure that parents and kids that access their programs thrive.

To learn more about Yolo Crisis Nursery, visit their website at www.yolocrisisnursery.org

November 7, 2023

PBS KVIE Celebrates Local Art

Photo of three people standing in front of a building.
Photo of three people standing in front of a building.

River City Bank was on hand to support the PBS KVIE Art Auction, an annual broadcast and livestream event celebrating the artwork of Northern California artists and California masters. For over 40 years, professional artists throughout the region have donated their artwork to the annual art auction, which serves as PBS KVIE's largest single fundraising event. Over 270 works of art were selected for entry into the 2023 auction.

PBS KVIE receives additional support from regional framing businesses, distinguished art experts and arts educators, and over 100 volunteers who assist with artwork moving, exhibit installation, broadcast presentation, event support, and taking live bids on the phone. The art auction is an exciting, community-supported event over three days every fall.

Thank you, PBS KVIE, for supporting the exceptional artists in our region.