Chico Economics Graduate Careers - Banking

George Andrews

George Andrews, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 1987, is vice president and wholesale regional sales manager at New Penn Financial, LLC in San Francisco. After graduation George worked for United Savings Bank from 1991 to 1992 when he left to become area manager for GN Mortgage. Five years later George accepted a position as vice president and regional production manager for Homecomings Financial.

In 2006 George founded his own firm, Andrews Investment Company, a real estate investment company, where he served as president until 2008 when he moved on to Western Regional Production for NestWorth. A year later he joined Kinecta Federal Credit Union as regional production manager. In 2012 George accepted a position as regional vice president for Stearns Lending in Campbell, California. After 2 years George moved on to Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC as vice-president and wholesale regional manager. In 2015 he became vice-president of Bayview Loan Servicing LLC. and in 2016 he signed on with Michigan Mutual as regional sales manager. He has been with New Penn Financial since 2017. (Last Updated 5/27/18)


Brandon AyerBrandon Ayer

Brandon Ayer, who graduated with his BA in Economics in 2012, is a transaction services specialist at CoBank in Denver, Colorado. He has worked for a several banks in different roles. After graduation Brandon 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.” (Last Updated 5/27/18)


Matt BallMatt Ball

Matt Ball who graduated in 2003 with a BA in Economics at Chico State and later earned an MBA from Sacramento State in 2014. Matt is the Capital Planning and Stress Testing Manager for Golden 1 Credit Union in Sacramento. He was hired by Golden 1 in 2016 to develop a capital planning program and perform Dodd-Frank stress testing to ensure that the institution is sufficiently capitalized to withstand future economic recessions. Matt leads a team that conducts forward-looking analysis and utilizes various econometric models. 

Prior to accepting the position with Golden 1, Matt spent over ten years working for Umpqua Bank, focusing primarily in credit risk reporting and analytics and also stress testing. Matt began his career at Umpqua Bank as a financial analyst in the credit administration department and eventually transitioned into capital stress testing, being promoted to Vice President, Senior Stress Testing Analyst in 2015. 

“Studying economics at Chico State provided me with an excellent springboard as I dove into my career. Having a strong analytical skill set and a proven ability to perform economic and regional research were significant selling points for me when I entered the professional workforce. The practical economic research skills and foundational understanding of econometrics and economic forecasting that I gained while taking courses at Chico State are applicable to the projects that my team and I work on every day.”  (Last Updated 11/30/17)


Adam BialoskyAdam Bialosky

Adam Bialosky, who graduated with a BA in Economics with honors in 1983, is a lawyer for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).   After graduation he enrolled at Georgetown University Law Center where he earned his J.D. in 1987.  He was a lawyer with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for 21 years before joining the FDIC in 2008.  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."  (Last Updated 9/25/18)


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)


Howing CheungHowing Cheung

Howing Cheung, who graduated in 2008 with a BA in Economics and concentration in International Economics, is senior relationship manager at OCBC Bank in Hong Kong.  Before enrolling at Chico State Howing earned his AA degree in Business at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California.  He was on the soccer team at Chico State and at Foothill College. 

After graduation at Chico State Howing went to work as a personal financial representative for JPMorgan Chase in Sunnyvale, California.  A year and a half later he moved on to HSBC as general banking officer in Hong Kong.  In late 2010 he signed on with Citi in Hong Kong as international business development manager.  From there he moved to Fubon Bank in Hong Kong as offshore relationship manager in 2012.  A year later he moved back to Citi as international relationship manager in Hong Kong.  In July 2016 he joined OCBC where he is currently working as offshore senior relationship manager. 

“The economics major is actually useful for my career because I have to analyze data for my clients who are making investments under my management, Howing stated in a recent email.  “Based on what’s going on currently, such as the recent Sino-US trade battle, clients seek professional advice for their investments. The economic concepts I studied allow me to draft a professional analytical report to support my recommendations.”  Howing added “And the economic major did help me to get my job in banking.”  (Last Updated 10/14/18).


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.”


Austin FortuneAustin Fortune

Austin Fortune, who graduated with a BA in Economics and a concentration in International in 2008, is the facility services operations manager at Cintas in Chico, California.  Cintas supplies products and services to businesses in North America.   In 2010 Austin entered the management trainee program where he attended seminars and worked in various departments at Cintas in San Francisco, California.  He completed his training in 2012 and Cintas promoted him to facility services sales consultant in San Leandro and later in the year they promoted him to service manager in Sacramento.  In 2016 Austin moved from Cintas’ Sacramento office to their Chico office where he is currently employed.  (Last Updated 9/3/18)


Abdullah Al-FrayyanAbdullah Al-Furayyan

Abdullah Al-Frayyan, who graduated with a BA in Economics and a minor in Ethics, Justice and Policy in 2016, is relationship officer for government institutions at the Banque Saudi Fransi in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  After graduation Abdullah went to work for the Banque Saudi Fransi in Riyadh, where he completed the Banker Executive Associate Program one year later. He was promoted to relationship officer in 2017. 

“I am a relation officer for various government entities at Banque Saudi Fransi, Abdullah stated in a recent email.   “I am the point of contact for the client at the bank. Any banking products or services my clients need, i coordinate with the appropriate department at the bank to fulfill the request. I am also expected to attract new clients to the bank through networking and marketing our services.”

“Having an Econ background has helped me have a broader mindset in the finance sector. Keeping up with Monetary policy and economic indicators in order to gauge their effects on the market has helped me in making investment decisions for my clients and personally as well.”  (Last Updated 11/24/17)


Brandon GesterBrandon Gester

Brandon Gester, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2008, is a project engineer with Reconstruction Services in San Francisco, California.  Brandon enrolled at Chico Sate as an engineering major, but he switched to economics by the end of his first semester. 

“I am an economics major because I am lazy,” Brandon declared in a paper that he wrote in his capstone class (ECON 495) for the economics major.  “I like to do things with as little effort as possible.  When you know the most efficient solution to a problem, it takes less time, money, or effort, any of which makes it worthwhile to me.”

 Brandon served on the Executive Board of Phi Delta Theta fraternity at Chico State.  After graduation he worked as a sales supervisor at Best Buy where they awarded him Employee of the Year in 2010.   In 2012 Brandon signed on with Alamo Capital as a fixed income trading assistant and Salesforce.com administrator.   While working for Alamo, Brandon earned his Series 7 license.  Brandon has been working for Reconstruction Services since the end of 2015.  (Last Updated 8/27/18)


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)


Portrait on Don KrauseDon Krause

Don Krause, who graduated with a BA in Economics and a BS in Finance and Accounting in 1990, is branch manager and loan consultant with Caliber Home Loans in Chico, California.  While a student at Chico State Don participated in Rugby and the Finance Club.  “Like many people of Chico, I came to go to school, and never left,” he states on his LinkedIn page.

After graduation he began his career in real estate as owner and loan officer with Krause Real Estate Services where he worked until 2016 when he became branch manager for Caliber where he currently works.

“I was proud to be part of Covenant Mortgage from the start. We were a privately run mortgage broker office proudly serving thousands of borrowers. We formally changed our name to First Priority Financial Inc. in 2014,” he states on his LinkedIn page.  First Priority merged with Caliber Home Loans in 2016. 

In 2009 on signed on with First Priority Financial where he worked as branch manager and loan officer for almost 7 years.

 “The knowledge of Economics has definitely helped me throughout my career in finance and in doing loans,” Don stated in a recent email.”  “It has given me a better understanding of market trends, supply and demand, factors affecting the cost of money, etc. A general knowledge of Economics is beneficial in nearly all areas of business/management/marketing/finance.”  (Last Updated 1/12/18)


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)


Benjamin LeonardBenjamin Leonard

Benjamin Leonard, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2009, is director of secondary marketing at Commerce Home Mortgage in San Francisco, California.  His “day to day responsibilities include managing a loan scenario desk, product development/integration/ training, and lock desk manager,” according to his LinkedIn page

During part of his junior year at Chico State Benjamin worked as a rental service and ski technician at Northstar Tahoe Ski Resort.  He worked for Heavenly Ski Resort during part of his senior year.  Benjamin was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity and on the Dean’s List for BSS.  After graduation Benjamin accepted a position as director of secondary marketing for Commerce Home Mortgage where he is currently working. 

 “When I graduated in 2009, the ‘Great Recession’ was severely limiting job opportunities for new entrants to the workforce,” Benjamin stated in a recent email.  “Studying Economics at CSU Chico provided me with an in-depth understanding of Macroeconomics, Federal Reserve Policy, and Bond Market theory – all of which is essential for a career in mortgage finance. Given my newly acquired knowledge, I was able to quickly secure gainful employment working for a mortgage bank in the Secondary Marketing department. Secondary Market departments are responsible for managing large pipelines of floating interest rate commitments for home loans that are hedged using fixed income securities. Today, I’m the Director of Secondary Marketing for a mortgage company producing over a billion dollars annually in loan production. Earning my Economics degree from CSU Chico was undoubtedly the key to entering into, and succeeding within, the mortgage banking industry.”  (Last Updated 10/20/18)


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)


Joshua Josh Onstot Joshua Onstot

Joshua Josh Onstot, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2016, is an enhanced due diligence manager at Tri Counties Bank in Chico, California.  He began his career in banking before graduation in 2012 as a personal banker for Wells Fargo.  After over a year with Wells Fargo Joshua moved on to Chase where he worked as a relationship banker from 2013 – 2016 while attending Chico State. After graduation Joshua accepted his current position as enhanced due diligence manager for Tri Counties Bank.  He is a member of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists.  (Last Updated 6/22/18)


Dan Padden

Dan Padden, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2003, is an AVP commercial underwriter at Five Star Bank in Chico.  (Last Updated 2/22/18)


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 with a BA in Economics in 1984, is an examiner at the Federal reserve Bank of San Francisco (FRBSF).  Before joining the Federal Reserve, Kevin worked as a bank examiner, testing the safety and soundness of large banks for the California Department of Financial Institutions from 2000 to 2008.  In the middle of 2008 he took a position as examiner with the FRBSF where he is currently working.

“I use of economics directly in my job,” Kevin stated in a recent email.  “I recently worked on the Comprehensive Capital Assessment and Review (CCAR) of large banks, where I used the statistics and modeling that I first learned in economics courses.  Also, currently I am keeping close watch on the yield curve because the difference between the 2-yr and 10-yr treasury is only 25bps. If the yield curve inverts and a recession ensues, I get very busy at work.  More than anything though economics is the lens from which I view the world.  When reviewing the earnings of a bank or even a commercial loan in a bank’s loan portfolio, I rely on economic concepts like supply and demand, substitutions, and opportunity cost.  Many, if not most of my colleagues are economics majors.  It applies very well to bank regulation.”   (Last Updated 11/12/18)