Climber Monthly August 2019

Bank of the Sierra?sClimber Monthly | August 2019






President 's Corner


Chancesareyou areeither asportsfan or you?reclosetosomeone who is.WhileI?mprimarily afootball fan, duringthepast Winter Olympics, I foundmyself watchingcurling. I quickly becamefascinated with thesport. Although I admit toknowingvery littleabout curling, I was intrigued by thepassion and precision demonstrated by theathletes. Whether it isfootball, baseball, basketball, soccer, or an Olympicsport, there arethoseindividualswhostand out astheGreatest Of All Time. And each G.O.A.T. hasonethingin common: they arealwaysworkingto improveand dobetter.Michael Phelpscurrently has28Olympicmedalsand onewould think hehas?arrived.?However, hespendshourswatchinghisformon videowhilelookingfor any way to improvehistime. Thereisareal lesson herefor all of us. TheJapaneseword kaizen means?continuousimprovement.? That is, regardlessof howgood an organization might be, they can always improve. Thislesson certainly appliestobanks. After over four decadesof

growth and expansion,weareproud of our success. However,wecannot stop improvingand growing. I amproud towork with ateamof bankersthat understandstheimportanceof continually improvingin all areasof our organization. Let?s keep that upaswecontinuetogrowand bringthe very best of community bankingtoour markets!

Kevin McPhaill, Pr esident & CEO Bank of the Sier r a


Porterville Recorder reader s have vot ed Bank of t he Sier ra "Best Bank " ever y year since 2005! THEREADERS' CHOICE for 15 year s in a r ow!



Happy Retirement!

Bruce's first photo as a Bank of the Sierra employee! Br anch 21 Tehachapi Main Br anch 22 Tehachapi Old Town Br anch 23 Cal i for nia Ci ty

Tehachapi Market President Bruce Hamlin has retired!

We wish Bruce a happy retirement and thank him for his long career at Bank of the Sier ra.

Market President Lar ry Velasquez will now oversee Branches 21, 22, and 23.


Contest ends on September 27! Check out the Amazing Disneyland Giveaway hub on the intranet for more details.


Br anch 33 Pismo Beach

Meet Amelia, daughter of Branch Banking Administrator Mark Bernal!

Br anch 39 Santa

Bar bar a

Br anch 39 Santa

Bar bar a

Viva La Fiesta in Santa Barbara!


Br anch 34 Lompoc

The Lompoc Chamber held its Mixer at our Lompoc Branch in July!

Br anch 34 Lompoc

Ruth and her daughter Mia at Ruth's wedding.

Congratulations Ruth!



Old Faces in New Places


Br anch 7 Visal ia



Congratulationsto JamesFranco , whowasrecently promoted to Commerical Loan Officer. Seated around the table at a celebratory lunch are (from left around the table clockwise) Ryan Jennings, Haizi Alvarez, LuisR. Ruiz, JamesFranco, George Vasquez, Denise Freitas, andAraceli Lilley.

Br anch 10 Tular e Br anch 20 Tular e

Pr osper i ty


All Bank of the Sier ra employees are welcome to attend the Fresno State vs. Sacramento State football game at Bulldog Stadium! And it?s FREE for employees and their families! The Bank is hosting a tailgate before the game with free food and soft dr inks. We?re serving appetizers, salads, and Santa Mar ia-style barbecue! Saturday, September 21 Tailgate: 4 p.m. vs. : 7 p.m. If you'd like to attend, you'll be able to RSVP via Continuity soon! Keep an eye on the intranet for more details.

Game day parking fees, transportation/ mileage costs, and hotel costs for those attending this event will NOT be paid for by the Bank.



Eddie Bauer travel stroller . $50. Call Angie Davis at (559) 350-0521 if interested.


July's Pets of the Week




Baby Chicks


If you subm it a pict ure of a pet at one of our branches t hat makes our Pet post on Facebook , you w ill receive a f ree gif t card. If you subm it a phot o w it h a st or y or a video, you w ill receive t wo gif t cards! If you subm it a video w it h a st or y, you w ill receive t hree gif t cards! Older phot os and subm issions w it h st or ies or video are given pr ior it y when select ing Pet s of t he Week .


Win gift cards with your Pet of the Week entr ies!

We?re looking for interesting and unique stories?alongwith cute photosand videos?of the pets that visit our branches to share on social media. - Pet photo(s) ?Win $5 in gift cards - Pet video ?Win $10 in gift cards - Pet photo(s) with story ?Win $10 in gift cards - Pet video with story ?Win $15 in gift cards! Submit your Pet of the Week entries to

Did you move t o a di f f erent branch or depar t ment ? Let us know and we' l l get t he word out in t he CLIMBER! Old Faces in New Places


Can you beat these 5K times?

Edgar Suarez, Br. 2 20:07

The women's belt is open! 26:10

Send Marketing evidence of your winning time in your local 5K race and CLAIM THE BELT!


Nineteen employees earned Meridian rewards points with TSYS that can be exchanged for prizes: - Armando Acevedo ? Porterville Main - Antoinette Bowen ? Visalia Downtown - Vitelia Dejesus ? Sanger - Sara Duran ? Tulare - Raul Estrada ? Visalia Mooney - Fernanda Faria ? Hanford - Tarah Frederick ? Atascadero - Alicia Hicks ? Fillmore - Krystal Honeyman ? Porterville Main - Eloisa Jimenez ? Bakersfield California Avenue - Johnny Martinez ? Fresno Sunnyside

- Benjamin Pena ? Selma - Renay Rodarte ? Reedley

- Richard Rodriquez ? Visalia Mooney - Edgar Suarez ? Porterville West Olive - Shane Thompson ? Fresno Sunnyside - Sydney Tobias ? Farmersville - Joel Wheeler ? Arroyo Grande - Jennie Yang ? Fresno Sunnyside

If you?re on this list, you should have received an email from TSYS around July 20 with rewards login information. Thanks to everyone who participated!


Assist ance League of Visalia Assistance League of Visalia purchased 1,600 backpacks for underpr ivileged kids that at tend Tulare County schools. Var ious donors provided school supplies and our Visal ia Mar ket donated pencils and rulers for the backpacks. The event helps local kids have a bet ter exper ience at school and our Visalia Market was proud to be a part of such a wonderful cause. Thank you to David Soares, Luis Ruiz, Ryan Jennings, James Franco, George Vasquez, Haizi Alvarez, Denise Freitas, and Araceli Lilley for donat ing their t ime to help.


Cheers t o Charit y Cheers to Char ity was held at Aviator Park in Tehachapi on August 10. The fundraising event featured vibrant music, fantast ic food, award-winning wines, and expert ly crafted beer beneath the canopy of a beaut iful evening. The event raised money for several local nonprofit organizat ions. Br anch 21 Tehachapi Main Br anch 23 Cal i for nia Ci ty


Por t er vi l le St r ings

Summer Camp provides at-risk youth with a high-qualitymusic education at a lowcost.

Visal ia Emer gency Aid Counci l Summer Gap Food Program providesfood for familiesduring summer monthswhen kidsare not receiving free school lunches.


Salvat ion Army - Visal ia

Providesfood assistance, utility assistance, clothing vouchers, and youth programs.

Salvat ion Army - Tehachapi Sending 35 youth from low-income familiesto six-day sleepaway camp in the beautiful Redwoods of the Santa Cruz mountains.


Por t er vi l le Hist or ical Museum

Preservesand displays the history of Porterville.


From the Port erville Recorder: Smi th?sMar ket Tr uck has a new home: Bank of the Sier r a gi f ts Por ter vi l l e Hi stor i cal Museum $2000 Dr. Don Stover and Susan Uptain accepted a check for $2000 on behalf of the Porterville Historical Museum from Bank of the Sierra Market President JaniceCastleon Wednesday, August 7.

?The Bank of the Sierra has graciously given us the $2000 grant towards the installation of the 1918 Smith?s Market Truck exhibit,? said Uptain and Stover. ?We thank them for all the things they do for the community. The money will partially fund the restoration and improvements and upgrades to the shed that houses the fire engines, tractor, ice wagon. Now it will also house the grocery storedelivery truck.?

For the full story, visit: news/ smith-s-market-truck-has-a-new-home-bank-of/ article_56181ab8-b9ec-11e9-88f3-fb02f176ad29.html


Int erest ed in volunt eering? Consider t hese Sierra Grant recipient s:

Kern County Kern County Kern County Tul are County Tul are County Tul are County Tul are County Tul are County Tul are County Tul are County Tul are County Tul are County

Sequoia River lands Tr ust Read f or Li f e Por t er vi l le Hist or ical Museum contact-us The Salvat ion Army - Visal ia (559) 733-2784 Visal ia Emer gency Aid Counci l volunteer-sign-up The Salvat ion Army - Tu lare (559) 687-2520

Por t er vi l le St r ings

Fresno County Kern County

Clay School Parent s Club, Inc. Clay Joint Elementary School District: (559) 897-4185

Fresno County

Sequoia Par ks Conser vancy TamaraMarks,Dir.of Philanthropy,


MissionCommun i t ySer vicesCor porat ion / Ker nWomen'sBusinessCent er

The Salvat ion Army - Tehachapi (661) 823-9508


Int erest ed in volunt eering? Consider t hese Sierra Grant recipient s:

Kings County Kings County SLO County SLO County SLO County SB County Ventura County Ventura County Ventura County LA County al l Count ies

Kings Gu i ld of Val ley Ch i ldren's Hospi t al; (559) 415-6700; (559) 353-7145 Kings Gospel Mission

Fr iends of t he San Lu is Obispo Bot an ical Garden join-our-team Habi t at f or Human i t y f or San Lu is Obispo Count y volunteer

SB County

Honor Fl ight Cent ral Coast Cal i f or n ia

St udent s f or Eco-Educat ion and Agr icu l t ure (SEEAG) volunteer Commun i t y Act ion Comm ission of Sant a Bar bara Count y, Inc. contact

Boys & Gi r ls Club of Great er Vent ura volunteer.html Fi l lmore Dist r ict Saf e Graduat ion Jennie Andrade; (805) 340-3601

The Sant a Clar i t a Val ley Yout h Project , Inc. Kim Goldman, Executive Director,, (661) 257-9688

PLANT Foundat ion; (559) 633-3215


BankApparel Update Younowhavea

$150st ipendfor apparel t hroughJune30,2020!

Thanks to our generous Senior Management Team, you now have a st ipend of $150 to spend on bank apparel with Drew & Rogers! This increased limit will last only through June 30, 2020, and then the annual stipend will return to $100 for each 12-month period (July through June). If you?ve already ordered bank apparel with the stipend, those purchases will count against the new $150 limit. This is not an additional $150 stipend on top of the original $100 stipend ? instead the limit has been increased by $50. New hires will be exempt from the $150 stipend, as they will have already received a New Hire Kit for this 12-month period. If you spent your own money on bank apparel, Drew & Rogers will refund your credit card for the amount that would have been covered by the new $150 stipend. Also, employees can now order a f ree volunt eer sh ir t for each 12-month period. Additional volunteer shirts may be purchased. Anyone who used part of their stipend towards a volunteer shirt will see that amount reimbursed.

Drew & Rogers would like to thank Bank of the Sierra employees for ordering so many shirts! Due to the high number of orders received, processing took longer than anticipated. The shipping schedule should return to normal after the initial batch of orders is complete. If your order contains items with defects, please send a photo of the clothing to Amy Gathagan at Drew & Rogers will send replacement clothing at no additional charge. Please also contact Amy if your order is missing any items, or if you receive a different size than what you ordered. If you have any other questions about your order, please contact Emmylou Dowling in Support Operations. Sample clothing is now available to view at our Training Department in Porterville by appointment only. Please contact our Training Department before you stop by and take a look.

COMPLIANCE BSA?Wil l ful Bl indness All of us have been through the BSA training regarding money laundering and the way funds are typically laundered through a bank. These are examples of that type of activity. - Placement ? The physical deposit of cash derived from criminal activity; - Layering ? The separation of the criminal proceeds from their source by complex layering of the proceeds; - Integration ? The appearance of legitimacy of the funds through re-entry of the funds into normal business or personal transactions. We also understand that the BSA regulations allow for penalties and f ines to be levied against the bank and individuals for violations of BSA regulations. Did you know that you can also be held personally liable for ?willful blindness?of transactions? Willful blindness is def ined as the

?deliberate avoidance of knowledge of the facts?or ?purposeful indifference.? Courts have held that willful blindness is the equivalent of actual knowledge of the illegal source of funds or of the intentions of a customer in a money laundering transaction. What this means for you and me is that it is important to know your

customer and understand where cash deposited is derived from ? so it is okay to ask questions. We really cannot just ignore when customers bring in large amounts of cash or multiple cash deposits in a short period of time. This is true for deposits, withdrawals, loan payments and loan applications. This can also be a great opportunity to better understand how your customer does business and possibly cross sell additional products.




Don?t fal l for fake Equ i fax set t l emen t si tes,war ns FTC by Lisa Vaas | Naked Security by Sophos

Two years ago, we asked this quest ion: Will the Equifax pain ever end? We can now say that the answer is ?Nope, probably not?. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last week said that just one week after it put up a site for people to check whether their data was exposed in the 2017 mega-breach, e-scum have put up bogus Equifax set t lement claim sites. At the legit imate FTC site, people can file a claim for benefits available under the set t lement that the FTC and others reached with Equifax. An est imated 147 million potent ial claimants may be eligible for up to $425 million in compensat ion from the set t lement . The FTC says that in order to make sure you?re not handing over your personal data to crooks, start your claim at the official website:


Important notes from the FTC: You never have to pay to file a claim to get benefits from the set t lement , so if somebody tr ies to call and talk you into filing a fee for a claim, they?re a scammer for sure. Once you?re on the official set t lement website, you can determine if you?re an eligible claimant . You might shudder at having to hand over personal details, but you will have to enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Secur ity number (SSN). If the site tells you your personal informat ion was affected by the data theft , you can go ahead and file a claim. Take note of the URL for the administrator ?s site to make a claim for compensat ion and upload support ing documents: it?s ht tps:/ /www.equifaxbreachset t lement .com/ . That?s the only official website. You can mail your claim, if you prefer: download and pr int the designated form, fill it out and send it with any support ing documents to: Equifax Data Breach Set t lement Administrator c/o JND Legal Administrat ion P.O. Box 91318 Seat t le, WA 98111-9418


Is i t t ime f or a (ret i rement ) t une-up?

Many things in life require regular checkups? our cars, our homes, even ourselves. Financial plans need regular care, too, especially when it comes to retirement. ?It 's important to do, at a minimum, an annual checkup on your retirement readiness,?says Stanley Poorman, CFP®, a financial professional with Principal®. ?This allows you to adjust things like your asset allocation and funding to help you stay on track for one of the largest goals you'll save for? retirement.? Is your retirement account in need of a little TLC?All it takes is a quick review once a year to see if your saving strategy is still in line for the future. These questions can help you get started. Are you on t rack? You likely have at least a decade of retirement savings under your belt. And that?s great! But as people live longer, our money needs to last longer. Consider this: Social Security was created in 1935, when the average life expectancy was just 65. 1 Today, we could spend 20 to 30 years (or even more) in retirement. Our Retirement Wellness Planner can give you a quick snapshot of how much income you may need. It factors in your current retirement savings, your age, your income, your estimated Social Security benefit, and other factors to show you where you stand. It can also identify potential gaps. If that?s the case, you can look for ways to


increase your contributions, or consider catch-up contributions if you?re 50 or older. 2 Has your r isk t olerance changed? When you started saving for retirement, you may have felt pretty comfortable with risk. But if retirement is getting closer, a more conservative

approach might feel like a better fit. Have you rebalanced your invest ment s recent ly (or ever )?

Over time, investment options perform differently. Your original mix of investment options can get out of whack? so you could end up with more (or less) risk than you want. Some retirement plans, like a 401(k), offer options for automatic rebalancing. If your plan doesn?t have this option (or you didn?t elect it), rebalancing at least once a year resets your investment balances to the original mix you chose. Cou ld you consol idat e your ret i rement account s? It?s common to have several different retirement accounts? a typical example is 401(k)s from former employers. Having multiple accounts can be overwhelming and make it harder to clearly see if you?re on track to meet your investment goals. Combining your accounts into one can help simplify the process and give you a better feel for how your progressing towards your goals. A common option is rolling your accounts into an IRA or into your current employer ?s 401(k) plan. 3 Your retirement savings is one of your most important assets. By adding it to your list of annual checkups, you can help ensure it stays healthy for years to come. 2 Contributions are limited to the lesser of plan or the IRS limit as indexed. Some plans may not allow catch-up contributions to the plan. 3 You should consider the differences in investment options and risks, fees and expenses, tax implications, services, and penalty-free withdrawals for your various options. There may be other factors to consider due to your specific needs and situation. You may wish to consult your tax advisor or legal counsel. 1 Social Security Administration,


The Deposit Growth Contest continues. A prize will be given for most deposits in both the consumer and the business categories as a way of allowing each branch to be more aware of their capacity for growth, while encouraging a little good-natured competition at the same time. The results are in for the current month. Congratulations to the winners! Each of the winning branches will each be rewarded with a branch-wide lunch. When you have the lunch, SEND MARKETING YOUR PICTURES. One representative from each winning branch must contact Marketing to coordinate claiming the prize! Thanks for your efforts, everyone, and Keep Climbing!

Note: The amounts above do not include CDs.


HOWIS YOURBRANCH PERFORMING? These new charts help branches compare monthly checking account openings. If your "factor" is larger than 1.00, your branch opened more accounts than the same month in 2018. Likewise, if your "factor" is smaller than 1.00, your branch opened fewer accounts.

You Ar e A Star !

Rudy Garcia Branch 40 - Woodlake "I would like to recognize Rudy Garcia! He current ly is the 'Employee of the Month' here at the Woodlake branch. Rudy is a hard worker and is always willing to help, whether it be helping with translat ing for our Spanish speakers, doing disputes, let t ing people into the safe deposit box, or helping with online banking, all while being our Financial Service Representat ive. Rudy is a big part of our team, and deserves to be recognized not only in branch but bankwide as well. GO Rudy!! " - Monica Caldwell

Sara Duran Branch 10 - Tu lare "With another employee on

vacat ion, Sarah took over certs to make sure they were completed in a t imely manner by reminding those of certs to be completed. Way to be a team player. Great job!" - Cindy Santoyo

Have you seen your cowor ker go above and beyond? Email your submission to the Marketing and Training Departments.

You Ar e A Star !

Mon ica Nicolas Branch 26 - Farmer svi l le

Yolanda Buenrost ro Branch 20 - Tu lare Prosper i t y "You are an amazing FSR. You have the best greet ing for your exist ing and new customers. Thank you for being so great at your job and always doing it with a beaut iful smile." - Cindy Santoyo

"Even outside of work I hear how great your customer service at the Farmersville branch. Despite not being bilingual you do your best to understand all your customers and give them the best customer service. " - Cindy Santoyo

Have you seen your cowor ker go above and beyond? Email your submission to the Marketing and TrainingDepartments.

You Ar e A Star !

Regina Lara, Sara Duran, Tabi t ha Best , Ber n ice De Jimenez, & Veron ica Chavez Branch 10 - Tu lare "Thank you for making my transit ion a wonderful one. I enjoy working with you all. Your energy in contagious!" - Cindy Santoyo

Have you seen your cowor ker go above and beyond? Email your submission to the Marketing and TrainingDepartments.


This month?s quiz is based on information found throughout the newsletter. Please submit answers for the following questions to the Marketing Department. There will be only one winner per branch or depar tment. The first correct respondent per branch/ department gets the prize!

1. What does the Japanese word ?kaizen?mean?

Have Newslet ter Ideas?Tell Us!

2. What day does the Amazing Disneyland Giveaway contest end?

If there are any ideas or topics you?d like us to cover in our future newslet ters, let us know! We?re also open to cont r ibut ions that may benefit your fellow employees. Share informat ion about banking, finance, new technology, policy and law changes, bank events, and helpful t ips& t r icks. Please send your newslet ter submissions to the Market ing Department for review. We thank you in advance for your cont r ibut ion!

3. What day is the video submission deadline for the Amer ica?s Got Talent : Bank of the Sierra Edit ion talent show? 4. When is the deadline to RSVP for the Fresno State vs. Sacramento State football game and tailgate? 5. How many backpacks did Assistance League of Visalia purchase for underpr ivileged kids?


Best day ever!

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