Relationships at the Heart of Plumas Bank’s “Best of” Win — 10 Years Running
By June 30, 2023 Community banking
Sherina Kreul values the idea that she’s more than “just” a banker to her clients.
As the Vice President and Business Advisor/Branch Manager at Plumas Bank’s Tahoe City branch, she notes that several clients confide in her and share their dreams, failures and successes with her.
Business owners navigate all kinds of challenges, and their businesses mean everything to them – it’s not just a job, it’s their livelihood.
“It makes my heart warm that they respect and value my thoughts,” she says. “I’m not just a branch manager, but also their friend that actively listens.”
Plumas Bank’s many hard-working business advisors use their active listening skills to provide financial input on important matters.
Perhaps it’s these very listening skills and financial expertise — combined with a deep sense of community pride — that have inspired Plumas Bank to be voted “Best Bank” for the past decade running at its Tahoe City, Kings Beach, and Truckee locations.
Voted ‘Best Bank’ by the Community We Serve
The Sierra Sun newspaper holds its “Best of North Lake Tahoe and Truckee” contest annually, with readers and members of the community voting to determine the ultimate category winner.
“Plumas Bank winning ‘Best Bank’ 10 years in a row shows that we stand out above the rest,” reflects Elizabeth Wainscoat, Vice President, Business Advisor and Branch Manager at the Truckee branch. “It shows that we are doing exactly what we are meant to do, and that is to serve the communities where we are located.
“We are part of the communities that we serve, and we are committed to being a part of strengthening our communities by understanding their needs, listening to their dreams as well as their struggles and working together to achieve their goals.”
Wainscoat also notes that she considers going above and beyond to deeply connect with clients as a foundational component of her role.
“When we know their hopes and dreams, we can better serve them, and it also helps in building trust,” she says. “Our clients know we are there for them in more ways than one.”
Caring for Clients Is Part of the Job
To further illustrate the point, Wainscoat recalls a recent situation that highlights this important relationship established between client and community bank. “It happened when an elderly Plumas Bank client started receiving several fraudulent phone calls that were trying to weasel her out of her money,” Wainscoat recalls. “We saw her frustration in trying to navigate it all.
We provided her with social support information, she changed her phone number, and one of our team members helped her get set up with autopay, these steps helped alleviate several of the issues she was experiencing."
Plumas Bank CEO Andrew Ryback notes it’s this level of relationship-building and caretaking that makes Plumas Bank stand out among its competition.
“This is the community aspect of our community bank,” he says. “We truly care for the people we serve. These are our communities, the places we call home. And these are our neighbors.” He added, “We are very proud of our Truckee and Lake Tahoe teams for earning this award for 10 consecutive years – it means a great deal to all of us, and we appreciate our local communities for choosing Plumas Bank.”
A Bank Where Clients Are Family
Diana Garcia, Plumas Bank Assistant Vice President and Business Advisor/Branch Manager of the Kings Beach branch, reflects this commitment to community spirit.
“The most rewarding aspect of my job: Having the honor and opportunity to help our community flourish — the community where our kids and future generations will grow and develop, the community where I have chosen to set roots and grow my family,” she says.
Garcia agrees that her clients are like an extended family, noting, “We care, and we are here for them. Each client has a story, and at Plumas Bank we are able to help our neighbors, the families that our kids go to school with, the people we grew up with. We are a community — a family.”
Perhaps at no time was that reliance on family ties so important than during and after the beginning of the COVID pandemic.
“We were the only bank in the area that was open the whole time through COVID, and we were there to assist our clients through this difficult time,” Kreul recalls. “Plumas Bank also strives to support our communities by giving back through sponsorships, volunteering and participating in events. We support things in the community that matter — environment, financial literacy for families and businesses as well as seniors and kids. We give back.”
Building on a Foundation of Trust
Winning the “Best Bank” honor 10 years in a row is a touching testament to the team that values the important roles they serve, their mission to strengthen the communities they call home, and their relationships with clients — many of whom are also friends, family, and neighbors.
“We are grateful to the communities of Truckee and North Tahoe for voting us ‘Best Bank,’” Wainscoat says. “We appreciate the recognition, but even more important to us is that it comes from the people that we serve. We wouldn’t be here without our communities and their trust in working with Plumas Bank and allowing us to provide for their banking needs.”
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