ICBA Announces Shirley Nelson as Community Banker of the Year

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The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) announced today that Shirley Nelson, founder, chairman and CEO of Summit Bank, Oakland, Calif., is the association’s national Community Banker of the Year. This annual award was created to recognize the exceptional work of individual community bank employees and the commitment they have to their local communities.

Shirley’s dedication to Summit Bank, the San Francisco and Oakland communities, and the financial industry are to be commended.

The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) announced today that Shirley Nelson, founder, chairman and CEO of Summit Bank, Oakland, Calif., is the association’s national Community Banker of the Year. This annual award was created to recognize the exceptional work of individual community bank employees and the commitment they have to their local communities.

“It’s truly an honor to recognize Shirley Nelson as ICBA’s first Community Banker of the Year. Her decades of experience in community banking and dedication to the industry show firsthand how exceptional community bankers can truly elevate this great profession and make a real difference in the lives of local citizens,” said ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine. “Shirley’s dedication to Summit Bank, the San Francisco and Oakland communities, and the financial industry are to be commended. Her comprehensive knowledge of the banking business, countless years as a community advocate and stellar reputation among her colleagues truly sets her apart.”

Nelson, who began her banking career in Kodiak, Alaska, opened Summit Bank in July 1982 to serve the medical market. Summit Bank is now the oldest operating community bank in Oakland, Calif., and under Nelson’s leadership has had 386 consecutive months of profitability.

A fellow community banker who submitted the Community Banker of the Year nomination on Nelson’s behalf states that Nelson is a “strong leader, who possesses strong moral ethics and principles. (She) is held in high esteem by her peers and is a woman with an outstanding reputation for giving to others…she understands that it takes a team to succeed.”

Nelson also has a long list of professional honors and recognitions, including being named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking by U.S. Banker Magazine, one of the Financial Women of the Year by the San Francisco Financial Women’s Leadership Association and one of the 50 Most Influential Businesswomen in the Bay Area. She also has received the San Francisco Business Times’ Women in Leadership Award.

In addition to Nelson being named ICBA Community Banker of the Year, three regional winners from the East Coast, Midwest and West Coast were also named. The winners will be featured in the December issue of ICBA Independent Banker®, the association’s award-winning monthly publication and the number one-source of community banking news for ICBA members. Nelson and the regional winners will also be recognized at the 2015 ICBA Community Banking LIVE national convention in Orlando, Fla.

Regional award winners are:

  • East: Ronald Paul, chairman and CEO, EagleBank, Bethesda, Md.
  • Central: Jim Gowen Sr., chairman, Merchants & Planters Bank, Newport, Ark.
  • West: Mark Zaback, president and CEO, Jonah Bank of Wyoming, Casper, Wyo.

ICBA sought nominations for passionate, innovative and dedicated community bankers in September, and received more than 400 nominations. This is the first year the association held this contest, which was sponsored by D+H, and raised national recognition exclusively for the nation’s community bankers.

For additional information about community banks, visit http://www.icba.org.

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 6,500 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit http://www.icba.org.

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