During a time when it’s so common that institutions see people as numbers and not names, it feels awfully good to have a bank in which the opposite is true. Since opening a branch in Grass Valley six years ago, River Valley Community Bank (RVCB) has valued its role as being a good neighbor.

Top l to r: Craig Cruickshank, Luke Parnell, Phil Tissier, Bottom l to r: Cheri Hall, Amanda Connell, Cheryl Fisk, Danielle Coffee, Jeneé Hand

What’s refreshing is that this ethos begins at the top with John Jelavich, President and CEO for RVCB. “It’s important to show we’re a part of the community. We don’t mandate that our employees get involved. We don’t have to. It’s already in their DNA.” John says.

This goes to the heart of community banking. Community. Being a neighbor. “Often when I go to visit one of our business customers,” says Jeneé Hand, Business Development Banker for RVCB in Grass Valley, “I’ll end up chatting with them not just about their business, but about our community and our lives. That’s one of the most satisfying parts of my job.”

Entering the market in July 2013, River Valley Community Bank responded to the needs of the community after Citizens Bank closed in 2011. Providing a high level of personal service in being focused on the needs of local businesses and individual account holders, the bank has quickly become a valued and trusted neighbor.

“What’s great is that we can do loans – especially for small businesses – that other banks wouldn’t do,” Jeneé said. “That’s just another part of what I love about community banking.”

Another way River Valley Community Bank demonstrates their commitment to the community is through their support of Nevada County Habitat, sponsoring Street of Dreams since 2017.

“Habitat does a really good job in their selection process,” John says. “The homeowners selected have skin in the game through their sweat equity commitment, and by having pride of ownership. That creates much better outcomes and sustainability, in addition to having a beneficial ripple effect throughout the local economy. We’re proud of our partnership with Habitat.”

“It takes all of us to help solve the housing crisis here,” said Lorraine Larson, Executive Director for Nevada County Habitat. “Having faithful partners like River Valley Community Bank makes a tough job a little easier and gives hope to our prospective homeowners.”

For Jeneé, who was raised in Grass Valley, is a Nevada Union graduate, and is the mother of two, her support of Habitat is personal.

“It’s the kids. The first Street of Dreams I attended I heard the story of a single mother who dreamed of her two children having a bedroom of their own. It’s something we often take granted – having a safe place for our children to sleep at night. I just had to give back.”

Which makes perfect sense. It’s in Jeneé’s DNA…and in the DNA of River Valley Community Bank.


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