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Dan Wahlin recently joined Summit Bank as the new Senior Vice President, Commercial Team Lead for our Westside Portland Office. Wahlin is a longtime Beaverton resident and veteran community banker with over 30 years of experience and a proven track record of building and maintaining long-term business relationships. His experience made him a perfect fit for Summit Bank and its mission as Oregon’s Business Bank™. An active volunteer in the Portland community, he has served on various local boards and committees, including the finance committee for Community Action of Washington County, the Chairman of Habitat for Humanity, and the Pilgrim Lutheran School Board, where he served as chairman for six years. Dan sat down to tell us a bit about himself and Summit Bank.  

Tell us about your banking experience.  

I started my banking career through a management training program with one of the large regional banks in the early 1990s. I transitioned to a community bank, where I recognized the positive impact a community bank can make for family owned businesses. From the start of my career, I quickly gravitated towards the commercial lending side of the bank and have been working with small- to medium-sized family owned businesses my whole career.  

What do you love most about banking? 

I love the opportunity to build relationships with businesses and business owners. It is an opportunity to support their vision and provide support to develop their businesses. As a relationship banker, you live vicariously through the business owner, enjoy success, and sometimes lose sleep when the company experiences tough times. It is very gratifying to help owners access resources and be able to help provide the capital to grow their businesses. Being able to have a positive impact on the trajectory of a company is extremely rewarding.  


What sets Summit Bank apart from other financial institutions?  

Our focus on the client and the willingness to take the time to understand the business’s and the owners’ complete needs. This holistic approach enables us to provide unique and creative solutions that work for both the bank and the client. Building those solid personal relationships has become uncommon as larger institutions rely heavily on technology and lose that personal touch.

What is the best part of your job?  

I am always fascinated by the opportunity to peek behind the curtain and see the inner workings of the businesses within our community. The unique people you meet daily and the constant opportunity to learn new industries and ideas continues to drive my passion for small businesses. There are few jobs where you can say you learn something new every day, which is invigorating.  

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

Many might say “keeping Portland weird” is the secret sauce to the growth in the Portland Metro area. The many natural wonders are from the scenic Oregon Coast to Mount Hood or a trip to the iconic Columbia Gorge. The beauty within an hour of your door has attracted people from all over the country to visit and settle. This steady migration has provided economic growth, giving the Portland area a diverse environment for businesses to thrive.  

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

Banking has been my entire career. I tend to be a bit of a Jack-of-all-Trades but a master of none. A home builder, as I love working with my hands and have remodeled and resold homes, but based on history, it would be a sparse living. However, I am glad I have stuck with banking.  

While not at work, where might we find you?  

My wife and I love exploring the great Northwest and its sights and sounds. Our most recent adventure was exploring the Columbia River Gorge and Glacier National Park in our RV. It was a caravan with siblings in three other RVs enjoying the ride. If not exploring the outdoors, enjoying a PAC-12 football game is a close second. 

Tell us a story about a positive experience you had with a client.  

I worked with a business owner for over 15 years as he grew his company from sales of just over $2MM to over $20MM million. At this size, it attracted the attention of East Coast companies, one of which made him an offer he could not refuse. With the proceeds, he and his wife are happily retired, traveling and spending quality time with their grandkids.

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