To complete an acquisition with American River Bank, based in Sacramento, Bank of Marin of Novato needed a firm hand and an experienced leader, part boss, part coach.
Those who know him say that’s what the Marin County financial institution got with Tim Myers, its chairman and chief executive since replacing longtime executive Russell Colombo on Nov. 1.
Colombo’s departure comes two months after he and Myers, with the help of staff, achieved a major expansion in the Central Valley when Bank of Marin completed its takeover of American River Bank for $125 million. The big task led by Myers added 10 retail banking locations to the Marin County banking network and grew its assets to more than $4 billion.
“Tim is very transparent and focused on open communication,” said Cheryl Cinelli, Bank of Marin’s senior commercial lender, who has worked with Myers for 20 years. The first five years were spent at Comerica Bank about two decades ago, where and when the duo worked with Colombo.
Cinelli, which specializes in home loans, characterizes Myers as a “trustworthy” manager who “fosters an environment where everyone” matters. Additionally, she pointed out that he has cutting-edge skills that have helped many borrowers achieve their goals – without sacrificing the bank or shareholders.
Colombo agreed, adopting an honorable work ethic.
“Tim is one of the hardest workers I know,” Colombo said, citing times he received emails at 10 p.m. as evidence.
Colombo said Myers is a calm, deep thinker who displays “no instant judgment” at work.
“That’s what makes him very good at his job. All the details are important to Tim,” Colombo said. “I’m thrilled for Tim. He worked hard for it.
The 51-year-old bank chief secured the top spot by putting in the time, patience and clarity that comes with his experience as a youth sports coach.
“No, I’m not surprised he’s a coach. He’s a very good coach,” Cinelli said, adding that his skills have translated into his managerial style.
Sport is important, but family life is even more so.
“If I have to dedicate my time to any activity, it tends to revolve around the kids,” said Myers, who raised two daughters, Polina, 21, and Daniela, 19, and 16-year-old son Michael , with his wife, Oksana.
To date, Myers serves on the board of directors of Side by Side, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that provides mental health assistance to vulnerable children.
He passed on his first quest to become a doctor.
“I understood how much math and science went into it,” he said.
Myers, originally from Sherwood, Oregon, northwest of Salem, moved into finance.
“I saw banking as something I could develop into a career. I liked finance and economics. But I had no idea that I would (eventually) run a bank,” he said.
He graduated from Williamette University with an MA in International Political Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. He also attended Pacific Coast Banking School.
His 25-year financial services career includes experience in small business, middle market and corporate banking, primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area. Much of his career has been spent in the lending business.
Beyond his tenure at Comerica Bank with Colombo and Cinelli, Myers worked as a commercial banking officer for US Bank. He joined Bank of Marin in April 2007 to launch its commercial banking office in San Francisco. In 2013, he was named Senior Vice President, Head of Commercial Banking, and in 2015 was named Executive Vice President. In June 2020, Myers was promoted to chief operating officer, then president in May.
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Colombo, as a predecessor, suspended his retirement. The shutdowns posed a huge challenge for banks across the country to try to restore order to their financial customers who had to make do with a long pause to reflect on business activity.
“My first thought was, ‘How bad is this going to get and how long is this going to be? “, He said. “It was the unknown who was hard. It was like a boost that saw things get better and better. We saw restaurants closing left and right. The pandemic was fatal, but it was temporary. Our people showed up every day. We were just concerned about everyone.
For Myers, “having the right people in place” makes all the difference in overcoming these types of business challenges. He feels he has that at Bank of Marin.
“It’s a fabulous opportunity. I am excited about this role and the reception at the bank has been very supportive,” he said.
He plans to approach the job with the mindset of another coach, legendary former San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh:
“Keep your head down, do the work, add value, do the right thing; and the rest will take care of themselves,” he said.
Susan Wood covers law, cannabis, manufacturing, biotech, energy, transportation, agriculture, and banking and finance. For 25 years, Susan worked for various publications, including the North County Times, now part of the Union Tribune in San Diego County, as well as the Tahoe Daily Tribune and Lake Tahoe News. She graduated from Fullerton College. Contact her at 530-545-8662 or [email protected]