Nevada County, Calif June 15, 2017 – The Nevada County Economic Resource Council (ERC) announced today that Executive Director Jon Gregory, who led the organization for the past 3 and ½ years, is leaving to become Vice President and Venture Banking Manager at Five Star Bank. Five Star Bank was founded in 1999 in Sacramento by a group of local entrepreneurs (including entrepreneur and commercial development icon Buzz Oates). The Independent Community Bankers Association ranks Five Star Bank among the top 25 independent banks in the nation among its peer group ($500 million to $1 billion asset size), coming in at #18 in the nation. Five Star Bank has 6 offices ranging from Elk Grove in the South to Redding in the North. Gregory will be working across the full region, including the Sierra Foothills.

ERC Chairman of the Board, Mary Owens, stated, “We believe this is a win for all. NCERC is on solid footing financially, and we’ve put a strong foundation in place for executing on our recently completed 3-year strategic plan through the Task Force and Committee structure we’ve established. A search is already underway for a new executive director who is a certified economic developer.” And, she went on, “in his new role as Manager of Venture Banking at Five Star Bank Gregory can more effectively add value to our efforts by bringing new sources of capital, expertise and connections to Nevada County’s entrepreneurial and tech-based businesses.”

According to Gregory, “Five Star Bank has been very proactive about being entrepreneur, venture, and tech-business friendly, and intends to expand its efforts in this regard. We have aspirations to be like Silicon Valley Bank is in the Bay Area, which became the banking partner for thousands of tech businesses.” He continued, “I’ve known CEO James Beckwith and SVP/Chief Banking Officer Mike Rizzo for over 10 years and together we strongly believe there is a growing opportunity for entrepreneurs and tech companies to start, grow or relocate in Northern California outside of the Bay Area. We want to help them flourish.”

Gregory expressed positive sentiments about his time at the helm of the ERC, stating “I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to lead the ERC and assist the board of directors, volunteer stakeholders and staff in bringing forward a number of initiatives, renewing a strategic focus on tech and growth companies, and combining it with a recognition of the importance of the unique cultural arts and outdoor amenities that make Nevada County such a special place.” Gregory plans to actively volunteer on ERC Task Forces relevant to his new role at Five Star Bank, and he will continue to serve as a General Partner of the Virtual Reality Accelerator Fund.