Helping businesses part of the job for new bank president

Julie Hash
Julie Hash

Phil Castle, The Business Times

 Julie Hash considers it a big part of her job to help businesses solve problems. And Hash loves her job.

“It’s fun to find the solutions for each customer’s problem or need,” said Hash, the new Grand Valley market president for Vectra Bank Colorado.

Hash has worked in the industry for most of her career, but said she still finds banking challenging and rewarding. When banks and businesses work together as partners, she said, the results are mutually beneficial.

In her new role, Hash leads retail and commercial operations at two Vectra Bank locations in Grand Junction and one in Montrose. She oversees a combined staff of about 20 employees and also represents the bank in the area. “I’m the face of Vectra in our community here.”

Before her promotion, Hash served as a senior vice president in charge of commercial lending in the Grand Valley. Prior to that, she worked as a commercial lender in the Vectra Bank location in Farmington, N.M.

Hash said she’s worked in the banking industry since 1983 and grew up in the industry as the daughter of a banker who still works in Kansas. “Banking is in my blood.”

Hash also has some familiarity with managing businesses, though. She worked for seven years as office manager for Desert Turbine Service, a division of Mesa Airlines in Farmington that handled aircraft maintenance and repairs. Hash said she was responsible for everything from inventory control and staffing to job cost accounting and sales.

While Hash said she draws on her experiences in the banking industry and business management, she also relies on what she considers two important attributes: her ability to listen and her creativity. “I’ve learned to listen more than I talk.” And since no two customers or their situations are the same, it sometimes takes a creative combination of products and services to meet their needs, she added.

Vectra Bank offers a range of products and services, she said, including not only traditional deposit and lending services, but also treasury management.

Vectra Bank is well-positioned to serve small and middle-market business clients with the resources of a large institution, but a community banking approach, Hash said. “We’re big enough to count, but small enough to care.”

A part of the Zions Bancorporation, Vectra Bank has assets of $2.7 billion and operates 40 locations in Colorado and one location in Farmington. At the same time, though, customers are treated like members of an extended family, Hash said. “I know my clients. They’re part of our Vectra family.”

While regulatory challenges persist in the aftermath of the Great Recession, the banking industry has rebounded along with the national economy, Hash said.

Borrowers might face more documentation these days, but Vectra Bank continues to lend money as well as help clients with the additional paperwork, she added.

In the Grand Valley, Hash said her conversations with business owners reflect improving conditions, but also a guarded outlook. Business owners enjoy more sales, but remain reluctant to expand, she said.

In addition to her work at Vectra Bank, Hash serves on a committee of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership that identifies and evaluates land and buildings that could meet the development needs of prospective businesses.

Hash said further economic recovery depends on continued investment in local businesses.

As it turns out, that’s one of the roles of Vectra Bank as well as her new job, she said. And Hash loves her job.