DuPONT - Patricia Graves, 48, has been named area executive for First Citizens Bank, charged with overseeing its commercial, business, retail banking and other operations in the state. She also gains the title of elected area vice president for the bank.
Graves was born and raised in Lakewood, graduated from Pierce College and has spent the past 28 years in the banking business, including 16 years at Venture Bank before it was closed by state and federal regulators and sold to First-Citizens Bank & Trust Co. of Raleigh, N.C., on Sept. 11.
Graves’ last position at Venture Bank was executive vice president of retail banking. Before Venture, she spent 12 years at North Pacific Bank, a Tacoma-based community bank that later was acquired by Heritage Bank, she said.
“Patty has the local experience and broad perspective to lead our bank in Washington,” First Citizens regional executive John Keller said in a statement.
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Since the sale to First Citizens, Graves has spent most of her time on transitional issues, helping executives in North Carolina to better understand the South Sound market and also to visit some of First Citizens’ 18 branches in Lewis, Thurston, Pierce and King counties, she said. On Friday, she was on her way to a former Venture Bank branch in Eatonville to answer employee questions.
“That has been a priority of mine, to answer those questions face to face,” she said. Venture Bank acquired the Eatonville branch in 1997, Graves said.
Upcoming for First Citizens are permanent signs that will replace the temporary banners that were draped over Venture Bank signs and logos after the bank closed. Prep work for the signs will begin at most locations next week and signs could go up as early as this month, she said.
In her new role, Graves directly oversees 120 to 130 people, although the total First Citizens staff here is closer to 200, she estimated. Graves acknowledged there have been a few layoffs, but added she wasn’t comfortable discussing it. The Olympian reported in September that the former Venture Bank had a staff of 240.
Graves also plans to be the public face of First Citizens in Washington.
“I’m already trying to get out more and be more visible,” she said. “It wasn’t a big part of my role before, but it is now.”
Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403