Oak Valley Community Bank announces new commercial loan officer

Rob Gildea

Oak Valley Community Bank announced that Rob Gildea has joined the bank as Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer. He is based out of the Stockton –Brookside Branch.
Gildea has over 30 years of experience in the banking industry, including 15 years as a commercial relationship manager. In his new role, he will be responsible for commercial lending, business development, and relationship management in the greater Stockton area.
“I’m excited to be joining such a strong and flourishing community bank and am looking forward to delivering the first-class customer service that is synonymous with Oak Valley’s team,” said Gildea.
“Rob has an impressiveresume of commercial lending and retail banking experience in San Joaquin County,” said Gary Stephens, EVP Commercial Banking Group. “We look forward to the contributions he will make to the growth and success of our business clients and the bank.”
Gildea received a Degree in Business Administration from Chico State University. He is a former board member of Junior Achievement of Northern California and Lincoln High School Athletic Boosters. He is currently a member of the Quail Lakes Baptist Church Youth Ministries and the Uplift All Foundation. Gildea resides in Stockton with his wife, Lisa. He enjoys sports and spending time with his four adult children.

American AgCredit selects new President and Chief Executive Officer

Curt Hudnutt

American AgCredit as hired Curt Hudnutt as the new President and Chief Executive Officer. His position took effect Oct. 19.
“I’m very excited to join American AgCredit,” said Hudnutt. “With the company’s unwavering commitment to agriculture, we have a strong foundation in place to continue to improve the lives of farmers and ranchers so critical to the American economy. I look forward to building on the company’s long history of success.”
After 37 years with the Farm Credit System, and seven successful years as President and CEO of American AgCredit, Byron Enix will serve in a consultative role alongside Curt until his retirement January 31, 2021.
“I want to extend a warm welcome to Curt as he joins our organization,” said Enix. “Curt’s vision, experience, and strong leadership will help us find new ways to be successful in serving our mission and our customers.”
Hudnutt’s career in agriculture spans 18 years and includes positions leading operations, business development, underwriting, and risk management. Most recently, Curt served as Head of Rural Banking for North America at Rabo Agrifinance.
Hudnutt graduated with honors from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in Finance and Spanish. He earned a Master of Business Administration in Management, graduating with honors in 2008. He is also an alumnus of the Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program, having completed the General Management Program in 2015.
A third-generation farmer and landowner, Hudnutt operates a 400-acre corn and soybean operation in Iowa. He has been married to his wife Nikki for 15 years and together they have three children: Austin, Jacob and Mia. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, reading, spending time on the farm, watching sports and relaxing on the lake.

Soroptimist International of Oakdale receives top awards

Soroptimist International of Oakdale was recently recognized as the recipients of Soroptimist’s Sierra Pacific Region “Soroptimists Celebrating Success” Awards. The awards were received for entries for projects completed during the 2018-2019 club year representing the four Soroptimist Pillars: Program, Membership, Fundraising, and Public Awareness. The Oakdale club was selected for the awards among 32 clubs in the Region.
Their entry for Program highlighted its Dream It, Be It Career Support for Girls conference and an added panel of professional women speaking about their education and careers. The Membership entry highlighted a program meeting on SOLT (Soroptimist Orientation and Leadership Training) designed to educate its members about the Soroptimist organization including its history, purpose, vision, mission, core values, and programs designed to help women and girls. The Fundraising entry highlighted the success of its Holiday Luncheon and Silent Auction fundraiser that featured an added fashion show resulting in higher ticket sales and fundraising dollars. The Public Awareness entry highlighted the club’s efforts to raise awareness about the Soroptimist organization through public service announcements, presentations at City Council meetings and other agencies, and creation of brochures designed to highlight the Oakdale club and Soroptimist organization.
In addition, the club also recently learned that it had been selected as the winner among all Soroptimist International of the Americas federation clubs in the Public Awareness category. The federation has 1,300 clubs in 21 countries and territories consisting of North, South, and Central America, as well as Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan.
President Charlotte Metcalfe said of the awards, “We as a club were beyond ecstatic to say the least! To be the recipient of all four Region Awards was truly an honor and then to be chosen as a Federation Finalist from Soroptimist International of the Americas was icing on the cake! I am beyond proud of the hard work and dedication to excellence our local club displays for our community. Our members are very dedicated volunteers. We truly do make a difference in the lives of women and girls and I am proud to call myself a Soroptimist!”

Cooper Receives Veteran Of The Year Honor

Oakdale resident, and American Veterans First founder Duke Cooper was honored with a Veteran of the Year award by California State Assembly member Heath Flora. On Oct. 1 Flora presented Cooper with a Certificate of Recognition for his selection as Veteran of the Year 2020.
“Every year each Assembly members chooses a Veteran of the Year for their respective district,” said Flora. “This year I was proud to have selected Duke Cooper as Assembly District 12 Veteran of the Year.”
Cooper served in the United States Marine Corps from 1968 to 1974 and was an infantry rifleman. He enlisted after his best friend was killed in Vietnam which fueled his fire to fight for this country. Although he has been out for many years Cooper will tell you “once a Marine always a Marine.”
“I am honored that I would even be considered for that,” stated Cooper. “It set me back because I figured that there are a lot of people out there that are more deserving than I.”
In 2016 Cooper opened American Veterans First on Patterson Road in Riverbank. His efforts to assist the veteran community grew along with acquiring a 501(c)(3) designation in 2018 for the organization. Since the beginning of AVF there have been changes to the board of directors, program changes, and a variety of volunteers, but the one thing that has always been consistent is his passion for helping veterans. With programs like the coat and blanket drive, Pets 4 Vets, Sail for Recovery, and the hygiene pack giveaway, the ideas and efforts continue for the organization and the Central Valley.