Chairman and CEO, Summit Bank
Shirley Nelson created and leads one of the most consistently highly ranked and highly praised independent banks in California. In 1982, Ms. Nelson and a group of investors created Summit Bank headquartered in Oakland, California. Summit Bank now has “four” branches (Oakland, Emeryville, Walnut Creek and Hayward, California) and Ms. Nelson serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Summit Bank and Summit Bancshares, Inc., the holding company for Summit Bank.
Her one-on-one approach with her clientele, the special attention she pays to her employees, and the resulting financial successes enjoyed by Summit Bank have earned her extensive recognition. The Bank is in its 25th year of operation with 24 consecutive years of profitability and will celebrate its 25th anniversary in July 2007. Summit Bank has been voted by its peers for five consecutive annual awards as Northern California’s Best Managed Independent Bank.
Ms. Nelson’s long list of honors include receiving the Anti-Defamation League’s Civic Commitment Award and San Francisco Business Times’ Women in Leadership Award in 1998. She has been named “One of the 50 Most Influential Businesswomen in the Bay Area” since 1997 and was named Financial Woman of the Year by the Financial Women’s Leadership Association in 1997. Ms. Nelson was bestowed with the American Jewish Congress’ Community Service Award in 1993; the Heart Lung Institute’s “Lady with a Heart” Award in 1992; the Leading Women Entrepreneur’s Global Award in 1997 and the Girl’s Inc. Strong, Smart and Bold Award in 2006. She holds an honorary doctorate from John F. Kennedy University.
Shirley Nelson’s philosophy about civic commitment is exemplified by Summit Bank’s policy that every senior Summit Bank officer is required to serve on the board of at least one civic organization. She created the Summit Bank Foundation in 1998 and currently serves as the Foundation’s Chairman.
Ms. Nelson resides in Alamo, California and has one son, Steven Nelson, Jr. who serves as an Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Summit Bank.