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The Rio Linda News

Former President and CEO Honored as Distinguished Banker of the Year

Mar 19, 2024 03:28PM ● By First Northern Bank News Release

DIXON, CA (MPG) - First Northern Bank, the region’s #1 local small business lender, is pleased to announce that its former President & CEO, Louise Walker, has been honored with the Distinguished Banker of the Year Award by the prestigious California Bankers Association (CBA).

This esteemed recognition honors a banker who personifies what it is to be a distinguished California banker – a banker who is dedicated to the industry, a role model for future leaders, engaged in their community, and serves as a leader within the association. 

“We are proud of Louise and all the contributions she makes in the banking industry. She is a valuable resource and business advocate, who continues to make an impact in all the communities that surround her,” said Jeremiah Smith, President & CEO of First Northern Bank.

The CBA’s Bank Presidents Seminar, held in January, was attended by industry leaders and peers, celebrating Louise Walker’s outstanding achievements.

After a successful 43-year career at First Northern Bank, headquartered in Dixon, California, Louise retired at the end of 2022. She began working at the Bank at the age of 18 as a file clerk and held a variety of positions in Operations, Human Resources, Risk Management, Compliance, Accounting, and Finance, before retiring as President and CEO.

Louise has exemplified her passion for community banking, supporting local communities, and inspiring others to do the same. Her contributions to community banking are complemented by her abilities as a strong, charismatic, and approachable leader who has always been personally committed to and invested in the success of her team members, the Bank’s customers, and her peers in the community.

“It is humbling to be selected as the California Bankers Association’s Distinguished Banker of the Year,” Walker said. “Banking has been my passion for more than 40 years, and what a fulfilling career it has been on so many levels. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the communities within the Greater Sacramento and Solano County regions at the local level, as well as the overall banking community at the industry level. My journey in banking has always been about championing for the people side of our business, and the important role banks and their employees play not only as trusted advisors who provide financial products and services, but how critical they are for the vitality of the communities they serve through sponsorships, donations, grants, and volunteerism.”

Throughout her career, Louise’s leadership has served her well as a board member for many private and public organizations including CBA, American Bankers Association, the Pacific Coast Bankers Bank, a member of the Executive Committee of the Valley Vision Board of Directors, and First Northern Bank’s Board of Directors, to name a few.

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