Experience Excellence

at California State University, Chico here.

Economics is a method rather than a doctrine, an apparatus of the mind, a technique of thinking which helps its possessor to draw correct conclusions.
John Maynard Keynes

Chico Economics Graduate Careers - Banking

Brandon AyerBrandon Ayer

Brandon Ayer, who graduated with his BA in Economics in 2012, has worked for a several banks in different roles. After graduation he worked for Wells Fargo as a teller for over a year. He left Wells Fargo to become an operation specialist for Silicon Valley Bank in Salt Lake City where they have an operations center for their international branches. Brandon helped to process both international wires and domestic wires, using both the Fed Wire system and the Swift system. In a recent email Brandon said that his banking experience “taught me a significant about sending money globally and foreign transactions.”

Since July 2015 Brandon has worked for CoBank ACB processing wires as well as other operations duties. “It is definitely interesting to see how much money moves through the Fed each day, and just how sophisticated the US banking system is. I tend to prefer processing international transactions as there is a lot more to them, US dollar wires doing domestically are our most common form of payments.”

"I think my degree has helped give me a fundamental understanding of the economy and banking. Knowing at a macro level how everything goes through the Fed allowed me to immediately start working. There are a lot of changes currently in the works, but the principle idea of what is happening is the same."


Adam BialoskyAdam Bialosky

Adam Bialosky graduated from Chico State with a B.A . in economics with honors in 1983 and he graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with a J.D. in 1987. He has been a lawyer for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for more than 5 years. Prior to that, he was a lawyer with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for 21 years. His duties in both jobs are very similar.

Adam brings enforcement actions against banks and bankers that violate federal laws and regulations or that engage in unsafe or unsound banking practices. He also provides legal advice to the FDIC, and legal interpretations to the banking industry, concerning federal laws and regulations governing banking. In addition, he provides legal review of corporate applications filed with the FDIC concerning expansion of banking activities, bank mergers and acquisitions, the addition of officers and/or directors at problem banks, expansion of banking locations, change in bank control, and other areas.

In a recent email, Adam stated that "My economics degree from Chico State prepared me for law school at Georgetown University and a subsequent legal career in bank regulation by providing me with a solid foundation in economics and finance, and enabling me to develop strong critical thinking skills through rigorous coursework."


Brent CardwellBrent Cardwell

Brent Cardwell, who graduated in 1981 with a BA in Economics, is the regional manager of investment and fiduciary services for Wells Fargo in Sacramento, California.  After graduation Brent attended California State University, San Jose, where he received his MA in Economics with a concentration in econometrics.  He worked for government, generating forecasting data, until 2001.  Since 2001 Brent has worked for Wells Fargo.  Brent is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

“Both the BA and MA provided the foundation for what is now my career in investments with Wells Fargo,” Brent stated in a recent email.


Portrait of Tyler CavanessTyler Cavaness

Tyler Cavaness, who graduated in 2008 with a BA in Economics and the Department’s Academic Achievement Award, is a bank examiner and resolutions specialist at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in Dallas, Texas.  While a student at Chico State Tyler helped support himself by working as a fabrication technology specialist for Advanced Building in Chico.  He was promoted to division manager for his last 3 years at Chico.  After graduation Tyler accepted a position as bank examiner and resolutions specialist with the FDIC in Dallas. In 2015 Tyler earned his graduate certificate in Finance from Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business.

“Economics has helped shape my career in many ways,” Tyler stated in a recent email.  “It is a theory-based study of trends and behaviors, and I believe understanding behaviors has allowed me to understand people.   Since we primarily work with people in our careers, it has helped me with political savvy, vision, and technical credibility.  Additionally, it has helped immensely in complex problem solving.  Being theory-based, its principles can be applied to many types of situations and because of this I am recognized as someone who can solve large problems.  I attribute much of this ability to my Economics degree from Chico State.” (Last Updated 7/6/17) 


Jeff FinckJeff Finck

Jeff Finck graduated from CSU Chico with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics in 1982. Since 2008, he has served as President and CEO for Cornerstone Community Bank in Red Bluff, California. Jeff is a past president of Chico State’s Alumni Board of Directors and served on the President’s Advisory Board under both President Esteban and President Zing. Jeff was the commencement speaker for CSUC’s Baccalaureate Graduates in 1999.

Jeff handles the day to day functions of running a community bank. He believes the economic education/training he received at Chico State has served him well in running a banking franchise, especially during the challenging times of the last several years. Jeff stated “I took the reins of a bank at the cusp of a great recession and realized we had no playbook for what my bank, or the banking industry was facing. A fascinating amount of what I learned at Chico’s Econ Department has been applied to my career in banking. My ability to tackle complex problems such as interest rate risk analysis, loan portfolio stress testing, investment duration risk (in a zero interest rate environment), and a myriad of other complexities has been greatly enhanced due to the study of economics. I remember Dr. Shockley saying the country needs more micro economists. The older I get, the more I believe this to be true.”


Simon HermannSimon Hermann

Simon Hermann, who graduated in 2012, works as a Financial Institution Specialist (FIS) for the FDIC. He often travels around Northern California as an examiner working with teams that analyze banks’ Capital, Assets, Management, Earnings, Liquidity, and Sensitivity to market risk (CAMELS). The job requires considerable flexibility, since he needs to constantly change roles and responsibilities from bank to bank either weekly or monthly, depending on assignments.

In a recent email, Simon said, “My economics major has helped me in two ways in this job:

First, the most direct way my econ major helped me is in the review of banks' sensitivity to market risk. This review includes reviewing the assumptions and outputs of statistical models and simulations. How non-maturity deposit accounts react to changing interest rates is a large part of most model assumptions and is often measured through some form of regression analysis. Professor Sargsyan and Eckalbar spent a lot of time helping me understand this topic! Second, I also need to understand the economy that our banks operate in. My econ degree has also given me some additional insight into this as well.”


Troy KiddTroy Kidd

Troy Kidd, who graduated in 1995 with a BA in Economics, is vice president of U.S. Bank in Chico, California.  After graduation Troy started his career with U.S. Bank in Colorado.  Troy is a member of Rotary, the Elks Club and he is on the Governing Board for Boy’s and Girl’s Club.  (Last Updated 1/10/2017)


Emily KrugerEmily Kruger

Emily Kruger, who graduated with a BA in economics in 2010, is a commercial loan underwriter for a community bank, the Bank of San Francisco. As a loan underwriter she analyzes financial statements, tax returns, and credit reports to determine if a loan applicant's historic cash flow is adequate to cover payments on the proposed loan, as well as existing debt obligations.

"I utilize my background in economics within my job on a daily basis. I forecast what will likely happen to a company's financial performance in the future based on historic events. I analyze both micro and macro economic factors pertaining to the industry in which a loan applicant operates its business. I utilize skills acquired from Professor Shockley's Economic Literature class when I write loan presentations which summarize important financial data, explain trends, discuss a business' background, and compare the business' performance to similar businesses in its industry."


corey lamerdinCorey Lamerdin

Corey Lamerdin, who graduated in 2015 with a BA in Economics and a minor in Entrepreneurship, is a bank examiner for the California Department of Business Oversight in Sacramento, California. 

While a student at Chico State Corey worked as a sales associate for Eddie Bauer and as a sales intern for Worldwise Inc. in San Rafael, California.  He also found time to participate in Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE) as a

Volunteer entertaining residents of elderly homes biweekly during his senior year.  He was a member of the Economics Club and the Chico Entrepreneurial Association.

“Economics helped me grasp the complexities of the banking industry” Cory stated in a recent email.  “As an examiner, we need to be able to read a bank's economic instruments to ensure that they are making sound decisions. Without the foundation I received during several courses in the curriculum, I could not have learned how a bank's portfolio interacts with the economy in any depth for a long time. Because of both the macro and micro courses, I was able to contribute to my team early by quickly learning aspects of the job that require more than just financial and accounting knowledge.”  (Last Updated 1/23/17)


Dennis MacDonneilDennis MacDonneil

Dennis MacDonneil completed his BA in economics with a minor in German at Chico State in 1964.  Between his junior and senior year at Chico he spent a year at the University of Vienna with the IES Study Abroad program.  He finished his master’s degree in monetary economics and banking in 1968 at Southern Illinois University.  Dr. MacDonneil taught at New England College for two years followed by two years doing PhD work in monetary economics at UC Riverside.   He spent the Summer of 1969 doing a research project at the Federal Reserve Bank’s Banking Studies Group based on concepts discussed in his Master’s Thesis that he later presented at a conference in Vancouver, Canada while he was in the PhD program at UC Riverside.  Dr. MacDonneil returned to Bank of America where he had worked at the bank’s Osaka, Japan and Taipei, Taiwan branches from 1965 to 1967.  From 1972 to 1976 he was the head of the World Banking Division’s Training and Development Group, and later he became the division’s Global Communications Officer.  In 1979, he joined the California Division’s as a vice president and manager of Bank of America’s San Francisco Main Office Commercial Real Estate Group.  Since 1985, Dr. MacDonneil has been president and CEO of Telesis Financial and Development, Inc., in Novato, California.  In 1996 he also became vice president of finance and development for Lok Group of Companies, a hospitality development and management company, and he added even more responsibilities in 2004 when he became president and CEO of Lok Hospitality, Finance, and Acquisition Inc.


Ian MacmillanIan Macmillan

Ian Macmillan, who graduated in 2015 with a BA in Economics, is a personal banker at Tri Counties Bank in Chico.  On his LinkedIn page Ian says, “As a personal banker I am the primary point of contact for clients I have developed a relationship with. As that point of contact I provide both financial recommendations and advice in meeting financial goals in both the short and long term. My duties also include account opening, maintenance, client referrals, credit card applications and home equity lines of credit as well as business and consumer loans.” 

In 2006 Ian accepted a position as an outside consultant with Triple R Ventures where he worked until he graduated from Chico State in 2015.  “As an outside sales consultant I visit each of the six owned and operated businesses of Triple R Ventures and grade them in inventory allotment as well as overall customer service. My forms are then used to determine policy changes and employee pay scale, according to his LinkedIn page.  During his junior year at Chico State Ian also worked as a bartender for Edwards Premium Spirits in Chico.


Eric S. Miller

Eric S. Miller, who graduated in 1995 with a BA in Economics, is a regulatory reporting production manager for Union Bank in San Francisco, California.  After graduation Eric got a position as a bank examiner for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.  In his role with the Federal Reserve Eric “assessed the financial condition of banks and bank holding companies” according to his LinkedIn page

After more than seven years with the Fed Eric moved on to a position with Stone and Youngberg in fixed income sales to institutional investors.  About 2 years later in 2005 he accepted a position as senior risk management analyst for E-Loan.  In 2006 he moved to E.M. Financial  as president and broker for the real estate brokerage firm.  In late 2008 he became portfolio manager for the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.  In 2012 after 4 years with the Federal Home Loan Bank Eric accepted employment as a financial analyst for Bankquant.com, a firm in San Francisco that produces banking analytics. 

In 2015 he moved on to Union Bank as senior financial analyst and they quickly promoted Eric to regulatory reporting production manager.  In this role he manages a team of 3 analysts responsible for producing approximately 90 regulatory reports per month according to his LinkedIn page.


Takahiro Nakao

Takahiro Nakao, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2003, is a credit analyst for Wells Fargo in Denver, Colorado.  After graduation Takahiro, or Tom as he is known among his friends, became an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Army serving in Fort Polk, Louisiana.  “An understanding of incentives provided insight into likely actions and reactions of organizations and individuals acting at odds with his unit’s objectives,” he explained in a recent email. As an intelligence analyst Tom conducted research for the squadron commander and staff.  He also trained incoming troops in intelligence and security procedures.   

In 2009 he left active duty to pursue master’s degrees in economics and finance at the University of Colorado Denver.  He continued serving in the Reserves, as well as the Department of Veteran’s Affairs on a part-time basis until he graduated. He left Army Intelligence in 2010 to work in Veterans Affairs in Denver, Colorado.  Tom has been a credit analyst for Wells Fargo since 2013. 

“Studying economics, and specifically econometrics, has taught me to better appreciate that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.  Bad news can be obscured in the financial statements I examine.  Businesses may have extra incentive to deceive the bank since the applied interest rate on their loans is sometimes determined by a financial ratio.  World events can have an impact on the performance of our loans.  Recently, OPEC agreed to reduce production, which may have a positive impact on our customers in the energy field.  Knowledge of these events and their impacts help us determine possible exogenous shocks, and help us determine sector and individual entity prospects.”  (Last updated 10/7/16)


David QuirkDavid Quirk

David Quirk received his BA in Economics in 1982. He is employed at Bank of America in their mortgage lending division. David works as a senior loan underwriter and had assisted with training new hires within their department. Mortgage underwriters are responsible for rendering residential loan credit decisions according to all relevant information within adherence lender and regulatory guidelines. He has over twenty-five years is this field as an employee and contractor.

"My degree and the Economic classes from Chico have been vital in this occupation. The theory of efficiency and effectiveness is a cornerstone for analysis and used every day. My coursework provided a strategic method to make decisions and consider the “macro” implications working toward process improvements. I was fortunate to have a variety of great professors where each was able to provide designed solution skills and real-world knowledge which is necessary in today’s dynamic business environment."


Kevin WolfeKevin Wolfe

Kevin Wolfe, who graduated in 1984, is a bank examiner in the Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Their mission is to promote safety and soundness of the banking system. In a recent email Kevin stated, "As we are taught in our economics courses, the banking system during the great depression saw many banks fail and great financial instability in the industry. In order to re-establish trust in banks, the federal government began insuring deposits in banks in 1934 through the FDIC. By receiving the government guarantee on deposits, bankers are incentivized to take greater risks. If a bank takes higher risks, the higher reward goes to the bank; while the losses go to the government, if the bank is unsuccessful. This is one of the primary justifications for regulation of banks."

"My small part of trying to protect the deposit insurance fund and maintaining stability in the financial system involves performing various regulatory tasks during examinations of banks. Assignments can be to look at the bank’s capital adequacy, evaluate asset quality, assess management ability and risk management practices, analyze earnings performance, measure the bank’s liquidity and sensitivity to market risk, and several other areas related to banking. Much emphasis is put on evaluating the bank’s asset quality. The loan portfolio is the most often the greatest risk in the bank. If a bank fails, the usual reason is because the bank made bad loans. Thus, a great deal of my work relates to some form of asset quality analysis."

"My economics degree has given me an understanding of our banking system that I use every working day. More importantly, economics gave me a foundation to work in any area of business or finance. Further, studying economics is rigorous, and cultivates critical thinking."

Supervision and Regulation explained -- http://www.federalreserve.gov/pf/pdf/pf_5.pdf