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Debbie Skinner: Newly Named Chair of the Western Bankers Association

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With roots that run deep in the Lodi community, Farmers & Merchants Bank of Central California, or F&M Bank, has proudly provided banking services for individuals, families and businesses for over a century. Locally owned and operated, F&M Bank strives to meet the needs of customers by offering the latest technology and convenient services that include mobile banking, online banking and bill pay, treasury management solutions and more. 

Providing both business and personal banking needs, F&M Bank’s mission is to deliver a complete range of products and services that help bring growth and prosperity to the communities they serve. With over $3 billion in assets, F&M Bank is recognized as one of the nation’s safest banks by national bank rating firms and serves Northern California customers via nearly 30 branches throughout the Central Valley, East Bay and Napa. 

Dedicated to Customer Service
Executive vice president and chief administrative officer Debbie Skinner has been with F&M Bank for close to 18 years. With a 30 year-career in the banking industry, Debbie is honored to uphold the mission of F&M Bank through her work and commitment to customers and the community. “The best part of my job is collaborating with others to problem solve and to provide excellent customer service both inside and outside the bank,” shared Debbie. “I also enjoy being involved in a variety of areas within the bank. Some days I problem solve for production issues, and other days I tackle new compliance requirements, as well as assisting with marketing and branch design initiatives. However, this is all accomplished through teamwork, and we really have a great team at the bank.” 

Her position includes overseeing various behind-the-scenes banking operations including information technology, item processing, loan and deposit operations, electronic banking, compliance, fraud, treasury management operations and more. “F&M Bank is a terrific supporter of the community and an exceptional place to work. There have been so many opportunities here for me, and for other women within the industry who want to succeed,” she affirmed. As her role centers around collaboration and commitment, she enjoys working in an environment that encourages success. 

New Commitment
In March, Debbie was announced as the newly elected chair of the Western Bankers Association, or WBA. Formerly called the California Bankers Association, or CBA, earlier this year the CBA and Western Independent Bankers merged to form the WBA. Debbie has served on the board of directors since May 2014, becoming an executive committee member in 2016.

This new role with the WBA will allow her to have a larger impact on the overall banking initiatives. “I’m looking forward to becoming more involved with helping to shape the decisions and direction of the organization as we work together with member banks to help further the goals and initiatives of the banking industry,” shared Debbie. The WBA is one of the largest banking trade associations and regional educational associations in the United States, and provides leading services and support to their members. Its goal is to educate and connect bankers through conferences, training seminars and webinars. The latest initiative through the WBA for 2018 centers around a social impact awareness campaign named #wemakeanimpact. 

Investing in the local business owners and individuals within the Lodi community and beyond is the cornerstone of community banking. That’s because customers are more than just customers; they are also friends, neighbors, shareholders and employees. #wemakeanimpact is one of the major programs that Debbie is excited to continue working on during her time as WBA chair. The mission of the WBA is to support the communities they serve by highlighting the positive impact banks have on society. 

For example, last year F&M Bank donated more than $80,000 to the United Way of San Joaquin County and employees collectively volunteered more than 300 hours of their time. “F&M Bank and the employees here have donated their time to local charities and have led innovative projects such as assisting a local organization purchase property to help expand their services. These contributions to the community are just another reason I truly enjoy working at F&M Bank,” Debbie asserted. “F&M Bank provides a challenging and fun place to work and does a great job of supporting the community, employees and shareholders; this encompasses what I think community banking is all about.” 

Personal Commitment
Debbie and her husband live in Acampo. “We enjoy riding our horses, running, sampling the many delicious Lodi wines, and spending time with friends and family,” she shared. “I have been involved with the horse industry for most of my life and have enjoyed raising and racing thoroughbreds; I currently show horses in jumper competitions.”

“My personal and work philosophies are the same. Working hard, but smart, leads to satisfaction and the reward of a job well done,” Debbie affirmed. “I try to lead by example; I have high expectations of myself and my team and I am delighted when team members rise to the challenge. Living by this philosophy, I have never felt a glass ceiling during my long career. I expect to be judged on the merit of my work product and the value I bring to every project I am part of. Integrity, honesty and reliability are imperative.”

For more information about F&M Bank, visit