New bank branch manager wants to connect with the community

Heather Smidt, branch manager for New California Bank & Trust, said an important goal was to get to know people in the community.

Heather Smidt, California Bank & Trust’s new branch manager, says her goal is “to provide full service and provide people with relationship banking services.” I want to help people with anything in the financial world that will meet their needs.

As part of her campaign to get out and meet the people she hopes to serve, the new branch manager attended the Valley Center Business Association breakfast in June and met the many business owners in attendance.

This is Smidt’s first job at California Bank & Trust (CB&T). She comes from the world of credit unions and recently made the jump to the banking world. Some VC residents might remember her as the branch manager of one of the San Diego Credit Union branches in Escondido.

What is the difference between credit unions and banks? “In the banking industry, we are focusing more on business and corporate financial services,” Smidt said. “When you talk about community banking, they are there for the same thing: to help people be financially successful. That’s what it’s about. We don’t necessarily do the same things, but it depends on people’s needs. I want to offer full service.

The Roadrunner asked for Smidt’s impression of Valley Center after six weeks here. “It’s very community-based,” she says. “Being involved in a networking group is very important. Valley Center also has a high concentration of tribal members, which is not an environment I have worked in before. So it’s a challenge. It’s a strange time for Valley Center because it’s growing and some people are against it. The question is whether this will create competition for us or will it benefit us because we are the only financial institution here? But it’s also a good time. Growth is normally very good.

Her number one goal right now is “to get to know the people in the community, my clients, people who are not my clients.” Let people know what we are offering.

CB&T offers traditional banking services, checks and savings, mortgages, business loans. “We have great business card products,” she said. “I’m still learning everything we offer. If I don’t know the answer to something, I’ll find it.

Smidt is originally from New Hampshire, born and raised. “My husband Adam and I moved here in 2012 and we started in downtown San Diego and then in 2019 we moved to San Marcos,” she said. His career has been in the financial world since 2006, starting with the world of credit unions. She has been an agency director since 2007.

She and Adam have a 6 year old boy, Braden. She enjoys running, training and spending time with her family on the weekends. Adam works at Lexus, Escondido.

The bank’s normal hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. For more information, call 760-749-1311.


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