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The Wave: Employee Spotlight - Shawn McKenna


Having worked at larger financial institutions, Shawn McKenna understands that as VP/Relationship Manager for Bank of Guam there are distinct advantages that he can provide to his customers.

“I ‘own’ my customers at Bank of Guam,” he says. “I’m here to solve their problems, to help make their businesses more successful. When you work at a larger bank you have a finite responsibility, and you pass off issues that don’t 'fit' to someone else to solve.”

At Bank of Guam, we understand “that you have a responsibility to own the problem and as a partner with your customer, you have a strong motivation to find a successful resolution."

He also cites the feeling of working with a team on behalf of his customers. “I can talk with senior leadership; I’ve had dinner with the CEO.” That goes a long way to make you feel valued and wanting to do an outstanding job for your customers. You have access and your accomplishments are recognized.”

One customer that Shawn likes to point to as one who has benefitted from his relationship with Bank of Guam during the past pandemic-altered year is the owner of multi-family housing assets, primarily in Berkeley.

“Most of his tenants were students and when the UC Berkeley campus shut down, the students returned home and stop paying rent,” he relates. “With the uncertainty at the time, the borrower was in need help for his mortgage obligations. After reviewing his situation in detail, I was able to find a workable solution for him and we provided him with a form of temporary payment relief. While his business has not entirely turned around, he has been able to keep his properties and he’s in a much better spot.”

At Bank of Guam, customers are not simply ‘transactions,’ they’re people and they’re business owners. That’s how we’re different.

Shawn, who lives with his wife and family in Danville, is realistic enough to know that sometimes he has to deliver bad news to a customer about a loan application. "That's where a relationship with the customer is often helpful in the discussion.

“I can honestly say that I don’t know the actual loan numbers of my customers,” he reflects, “but I know their businesses and I know their families. At Bank of Guam, customers are not simply ‘transactions,’ they’re people and they’re business owners. That’s how we’re different.”

He also points to the Bank’s advances in technology and its commitment to making systems and processes easily “usable” as points of distinction.

While the Bank has had a branch in San Francisco since 1984, Shawn admits that more than a few customer prospects want to know if it is a ‘new’ bank or even where it is located in the Bay Area. “We serve customers all over Northern California,” he says. “One of mine is located in Dixon. We understand how to work with customers who don’t have (or need) direct physical access to the branch.”

At the end of the day, what attracts customers to Bank of Guam and what keeps them is the relationships that staff like Shawn provide and their commitment to finding products and services to help them thrive.