President and CEO of the $519 Million-Asset Baker Boyer Bank in Walla Walla, Wash.
IB: Tell us about your community bank’s marketplace.
Clubb: We are headquartered in Walla Walla, in southeastern Washington. The Walla Walla valley is a highly productive farming area. It’s also home to three colleges. Tourism is a growing part of the economy here, and today we have more than 100 wineries in the valley. The area is a unique blend of small town, great culture and world-class wineries.
IB: You serve as a director for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Tell me about those responsibilities.
Clubb: Our main focus is to provide the Federal Reserve with real-time economic information from our local areas. Our job is to provide the best insight into the actions that consumers and business owners are going to take in the next three to six months, particularly regarding employment trends, consumer spending and business investment. Recent discussions have centered on the Federal Reserve’s mandates of stable pricing and full employment.
We are really working hard to figure out ways in which we can get the four-plus million unemployed Americans who lost their job in the Great Recession back to work. At the same time, this prolonged period of a flat and low yield curve is squeezing community bank net interest margins to the point of destabilizing the banking industry.
IB: Why is it important that community bankers serve on the Federal Reserve Bank boards?
Clubb: Community banks represent Main Street and small businesses, and the economic conditions for Main Street America are much different than the Fortune 500. Without the voice of a community banker, the voices of small-business owners wouldn’t be heard as loudly.
IB: What do you do in your free time?
Clubb: I’m really into paddle boarding at the moment. But I also enjoy downhill skiing, hiking and really anything outdoors. I also love spending time with my husband at our winery in the Walla Walla Valley, called L’Ecole No 41!