One of the state's newer community banks has hired former South Valley Bank & Trust chief executive Bill Castle.
Lewis & Clark Bank, based in Oregon City, has named Castle senior vice president and Southern Oregon area manager.
Co-president and CEO Jeffrey Sumpter said Castle's role will be to expand Lewis & Clark's presence in Central and Southern Oregon.
Sumpter indicated Lewis & Clark will likely have a branch office in Klamath Falls, where South Valley Bank & Trust was headquartered, by the end of 2014.
"We want to be in Klamath Falls within a year and ultimately in the Rogue Valley," Sumpter said. "As a community bank, we don't move quite as fast as the large banks. It comes down to the people we hire, and then we build around them."
With AmericanWest absorbing PremierWest, Umpqua buying Sterling, and Washington Federal acquiring South Valley in the past 15 months, Southern Oregon's banking landscape has changed.
"Sometimes with mergers and things, there is opportunity," Sumpter said.
Castle's experience with business customers provides just that.
"His insight and experience will be extremely valuable as we focus more attention on key markets in Oregon that no longer have a traditional community bank to serve local residents and businesses," Sumpter said.
Sumpter said he got to know Castle through Oregon Bankers Association and Independent Community Banks of Oregon meetings. Talks between the parties began in September, and Castle joined Lewis & Clark in mid-December.
Oregon has spawned few banks in recent years, making Lewis & Clark among the newest. The headquarters and main office are in Oregon City, with a loan production office housed in west Portland. The bank's first foray out of the Portland area was to Bend, where it opened its second loan production office. (Correction: See below.)
Through 2013, Lewis & Clark had assets of $130 million.
"We were fortunate to come through the recession pretty well," Sumpter said. "We're certainly looking forward to growing in the markets we're in."
Correction: This sentence has been edited for clarity.