A recipe for success – Get to know the Market Leader for Eugene & Springfield

Jenny Bennett, Executive Vice President, Market President for Eugene and Springfield.

· How long have you been with Summit Bank?

I have worked at Summit Bank for eight years.

· Tell us about your banking experience.

I have over 20 years of community banking experience and a passion for our industry. I have learned that community banking is all about being of service. How can we help our clients? How can we contribute as bankers to making a difference in our community? How can we help our colleagues and clients grow? Banking is more of a service and relationship industry than anything else.

· What do you love most about banking?

I’m a people person, and this is a people business. I love that we can make quick decisions and do everything possible to help our clients with their lending needs, deposit opportunities, transactions, and more. I love the relationships I’ve made with clients, colleagues, and former associates over the years. I love feeling like I am making a difference in the lives of others. If we’ve done something to affect a life or business positively, that is a good day.

· What sets Summit Bank apart from other financial institutions?

We are locally owned and operated, so our business community and its citizens are invested in Summit. We offer the same products and services as other banks, but we can deliver these services in a better, more targeted way. We’re also the only bank headquartered in downtown Eugene. I also appreciate that Summit was started with two strong females – Ann Marie Mehlum, our Founding CEO, and Gretchen Hult Pierce, our founding Chairperson of the Board of Directors.

· What is the best part of your job? What is the part of your job you wish you could change?

The best part of my job is coming to work every day and getting to work with the most amazing people – both clients and colleagues. I also enjoy the autonomy of being in this industry and the values that Summit Bank instills in all of us – confidentiality, community, fun, etc. The only thing I wish I could change is that time is going too fast. I feel like I’ve been here for two years, not eight. I wish I could slow things down, but I don’t operate well on anything but 100%.

· What do you like most about the market where you live and work?

I love that everyone in Eugene has about one or two degrees of separation from each other. I love how heavily invested in the arts and nonprofits our community is, and when there’s a need, such as helping all the people affected two summers ago by fires, we all come together as one to help each other. The people I know here want to give back to our community.

· If you weren’t in banking, what else might you do for a living?

Later in life, I’d like to author a book or two. I wanted to be an actress when I was younger, so I married on stage at the Hult Center!

· While not at work, where might we find you?

Watching my kids play basketball or soccer. You might also find me with my spouse and friends at the Broadway Wine Bar at Oakway Center. I love to travel and spend time with my daughters, Vivian (10) and Drew (8), and my husband, Rob.

· Tell us a story about a positive experience with a client.

Although the whole Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) story was traumatic initially, I remember calling a woman we qualified for PPP in our initial round of funding. She was so happy, she cried on the phone. I realized the impact we had on helping livelihoods as bankers is significant. It gives me chills to think about it. She’s thriving now, and we were able to play a small part in helping her get to the place where she and her business are now.

· Tell us about an enjoyable time with your team at work.

My favorite part of being on this team is our epic annual holiday parties. I love being together with our office and everyone at Summit Bank and their significant others, being able to eat, drink, dance with everyone, and be together in a more formal, exciting setting. After the last holiday party in December, I returned with about ten great pictures I placed all over my office. We’ve got a great team, and I am so grateful to be a small part of it.

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