Albina Community Bank CEO and Southeast Portland neighbor Cheryl Cebula will be stepping down on March 31 after nearly 14 years building economic opportunity and promoting community development for businesses, families and nonprofits in our neighborhoods.
A 30-year banking veteran and former kindergarten teacher, Cebula joined Albina in 2003 and returned the bank to strength and stability after the turbulent financial crisis of 2007.
“I think I’ll miss the people most of all,” said Cebula, who is exploring opportunities to again work with children or in education. “We have a wonderful group of employees at Albina who work hard to make a difference in our communities. I’m proud of the work we’ve done together to revitalize our neighborhoods and to support our small businesses. Albina’s work in helping business owners to succeed has been truly rewarding for me. I’m amazed at the creativity of Portland’s small business owners. I’ve enjoyed working with the folks at Our 42nd Avenue and I’m very proud of our work in the Cully and Kenton neighborhoods – and throughout our city.”
Kat Taylor and Dan Skaff of Beneficial State Bank will assume Cebula’s leadership responsibilities at the bank. Beneficial became a majority investor in the recapitalization of Albina in 2013, and the two organizations share a history of mission-driven community banking, both as Community Development Financial Institutions and as certified B Corporations.
“Cheryl and her team have restored Albina’s health, enabling its continued pursuit of community banking at its deepest level, while laying the foundation for our two organizations to work even more closely together for greater impact,” said Taylor. “We have every intention of nurturing the longstanding Albina mission as we embrace new opportunities to harness our collective strength and potential for change.”
Beneficial is based in Oakland, California and was founded as a social enterprise bank in 2007, with a focus on social justice, environmental resilience and economic sustainability. They entered the Portland marketplace in 2010 with the acquisition of ShoreBank Pacific and completed a stock purchase transaction for 90 percent of Albina in 2013. Today, Beneficial and Albina have a combined $830 million in assets and 18 locations in California, Oregon and Washington.
Albina will continue operating as a separately chartered institution under the Albina name and as an affiliate of Beneficial State. Cebula, Taylor and Skaff are working together to preserve and expand on Albina’s solid 21-year track record of community banking in North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods and throughout the metro area.
“Our fine history of commitment to community banking will carry on with increased organizational capacity,” said Cebula. “We’re extremely proud of our partnerships with groups like Portland Housing Center, Home Forward and MESO – and that work will continue.”
The two banks will be integrating key functions to tap into strengths and bolster mission alignment. Albina leaders Sue Campo and Linda Merrill will take on expanded roles for both Albina and Beneficial. Campo will become president and chief financial officer, and Merrill will become senior vice president and head of retail banking. Randell Leach, president of commercial banking at Beneficial, is now the chief credit officer for Albina.
The transition comes at a time of strength for the bank. Loans have increased by 47.1 percent to $118 million and deposits have grown 29.4 percent to $151 million since Beneficial’s 2013 investment. Mission-related and community-development loans to nonprofits, start-ups and minority- and women-owned businesses now account for 88 percent of the bank’s loans, and its 45 employees have volunteered more than 4,000 hours since 2013 to support local nonprofits.
“Albina has a proud history of community banking in North and Northeast Portland and a track record of real impact for businesses, individuals and nonprofits here,” said Taylor. “Albina and Beneficial will remain separate institutions. However, with help from Cheryl and her team, we have identified ways the two banks can work together to be an even stronger force for positive change in local communities. Working together we can do more to increase economic opportunity, promote community development and build prosperity for all stakeholders.”