Well, here it is. My last day of work for Pacific Continental Bank. Yes, I know, technically since November 1st I have been an employee of Columbia Bank, but for most of the non-continuing employees, in our hearts and minds, we have been employees of Pacific Continental Bank.
I’ve known since January 9, 2017 that this day was coming. I’ve had ample notice and ample time to prepare. Over the last year we (continuing and non) have celebrated a company that we had a personal stake in. That we helped build. We have mourned the loss of something bigger than just a job and losing the daily interactions with coworkers who know us as intimately as our families. But even with all that time and all the events I. Am. Not. Ready. to say goodbye.
My career has taken me from Operations Supervisor to Network Administrator to Information Technology Manager to Business Resource Manager. When I first started at PCB there were 4 offices located in Eugene, PCs were running a mix of Windows 3.0 and 3.1; the network was Netware 3.x; our core was Jack Henry 20/20 and we had a single dial-up line to the internet that I used for server patching. There was no online banking, no external email and relatively little pressure. As a young network admin learning my new duties I could bring the network to it’s knees and nobody really noticed or cared. Phones still worked, typewriters still typed and original signature cards and processed checks were still in the offices. On the core side of the house, upgrades could go bad or transactions could mis-post and as long as everything was in order when statements cut nobody was the wiser.
Fast forward 22 years and PCB has 15 offices in 3 geographic regions and a national dental banking presence. Data flows in and out of our network continuously on fiber and sophisticated telecommunications lines. Clients have a real-time view into their accounts through online banking and the ATM network. Sometimes they know there is a problem before we do!
During my initial interview with Hal, Carol and Tom if they had told me all the things I would help accomplish I would have said “I can’t do that.” There was no way I could imagine helping to implement such change! I don’t think any of us could comprehend what a group of “home-growns” could do! But we did it! We did big amazing things… and do you know how? Working with like-minded, talented bankers.
On the system side of the house we had employees dedicated to making processes work. Every day. Task oriented, project-minded people who could sit around a table, discuss the situation, crisis or project and walk away knowing their piece and also knowing they could rely on the other members of the team to do their part and do it well.
On the client facing side of the bank we had employees dedicated to building relationships with their clients. Understanding their businesses and business practices and offering solutions and support. Always championing to get them what they needed to meet their business and personal goals.
Personally and professionally, we have watched each other grow and learn. We’ve seen each other through better and worse, sickness and health, tragedy and triumph.
Yes, we had conflict. No, it wasn’t always perfect. Yes, as we were growing it was getting harder. No, I didn’t always love my job. Yes, the stress could be immense. No, we didn’t back down or cave to it. Yes, we believed in The PCB Way. 100%.
Today around 30 of us will leave our desks for the last time with a few more leaving over the next few weeks. Debbie, one of my longtime coworkers and a truly amazing, strong woman, summed it up in a Facebook post, “I’m walking across that finish line with pride.” That says is all. We built an amazing institution; we were part of something unique; we were a successful bank and Columbia paid a premium to get us. We will walk out with our heads held high. Even knowing we were losing our jobs we did whatever it took to hand over the best bank possible.
The PCB Way.