Rick Brauer

Rick Brauer

About the company: Valley Republic Bank is a local community bank based in Bakersfield. The bank opened in early 2009 with a commitment to revive a level of confidence and service to local professionals and to the business community. VRB was founded by a group of 24 local professionals who believed its customers deserved a local financial institution that could respond to them quickly, efficiently, consistently and personally. To those founders, it was about relationships; it was about being available, prepared and engaged.

What I do: With the opening of the new VRB Delano branch, I will work closely with our customers to ensure they receive the highest quality of customer care, while providing them loan and deposit services that match their needs.

Where I grew up: I was born and raised in Southern California. When I was 11 years old, my parents moved our family to the small community of Green Valley, north of LA, where they purchased and operated a small country store and restaurant.

How I landed in Kern County: I began my banking career in Bakersfield with American National Bank in 1975 after completing college.

Education: I received my Bachelor of Business Administration from Eastern New Mexico University in 1975. I also attended the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington as well as the National Commercial Lending Graduate School at Oklahoma University.

Family: My wife, Carol, and I will celebrate our 40th year of marriage in August. We have two wonderful sons: Travis, a lineman with PG&E, and Adam, who works for Western Dental as its director of operations for southern central valley and coastal regions. So far, we are blessed with one grandson.

Hobbies: I enjoy the outdoors — hunting and fishing; road and mountain bike riding; and, more recently, getting the shotgun out and shooting sporting clays.

What was your very first job and what did you learn from it? At my parents store when I was 11 where I priced and stocked shelves and manned the cash register. I learned many things but most important was how to be courteous, helpful and respectful to our customers.

Who or what has been the biggest influence on your career? Playing high school and college sports as well as my military service taught me much about teamwork. That being said, I was greatly influenced by the leadership and integrity of the late Ray Dezember while I worked at the former American National Bank. Mr. Dezember’s business acumen lives on today in not only his family members, but also in the many people he touched in his lifetime.

What was the best piece of advice you ever received? It was from my father who said to just be myself, work hard and be the best at whatever I pursue in life.

What is the most challenging part of your job? The evolution of the financial services industry — keeping current with the many facets of both state and federal regulatory requirements.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? The opportunity to work with so many great business clients and their owners as well as the many people I get to work with.

What is the most memorable accomplishment of your career? During my career, I was given the opportunity to start from the ground up by opening two new bank offices and both became successful. Now I have been given a third opportunity with the opening of a new Valley Republic Bank branch in Delano. Working together with a seasoned team of bankers, I am confident our new Delano branch will be another success story.

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