June 19, 2024

Meet Olivia Gray

Woman in a jacket standing in front of a blue sky and a field of purple flowers
Woman with curly red hair wearing a white colored shirt in front of a window

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?).

Woman in a jacket standing in front of a blue sky and a field of purple flowers

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!

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