In business, it often takes great partners to make great things happen. American River Bank has been that partner for countless companies throughout the greater Sacramento area for more than three decades. Founded in Fair Oaks in 1983, ARB is a community bank meeting the needs of local businesses.
One of ARB’s longest client relationships is with Sunrise Manufacturing.
“We started our banking relationship with Jim Sewell, founder of Sunrise Manufacturing, and now work with the second generation of this family business, Jim’s son Matt,” says Erica Fernandez, SVP of commercial banking. Matt Sewell is the current president of Sunrise Manufacturing.
Established in 1981, Sunrise manufactures various products — most patented — using corrugated paper honeycomb. Finished products block and brace shipping loads in rail cars, trucks and containers. The company now has manufacturing and warehouse locations in five states, including their Rancho Cordova headquarters in California.
“The custom-made equipment we’ve financed through ARB has enabled us to transition from a manual manufacturing process to an automated process. It’s also allowed us to transition clients from our older product to this newer product with better performance characteristics, so a better product at a better price.”Paul Turner, CFO, Sunrise Manufacturing
“Manufacturing companies have not only depository needs, like checking accounts, but also lending service needs,” Fernandez says. “We can help on both fronts. For Sunrise Manufacturing, we provide personal-level banking on the deposit services side, and also equipment financing on the commercial side.”
That equipment financing from ARB’s commercial loan department has helped Sunrise in multiple ways, says Paul Turner, Sunrise’s CFO. “The custom-made equipment we’ve financed through ARB has enabled us to transition from a manual manufacturing process to an automated process,” he notes. “It’s also allowed us to transition clients from our older product to this newer product with better performance characteristics, so a better product at a better price.”
Turner says the equipment also allows them to sell a wider variety of products to existing customers, so they can consolidate vendors and buy more from Sunrise. “Furthermore, it enables us to get into new markets, such as interior packaging, and sell to manufacturers in addition to shippers,” he says. “Our equipment will be standardized across all our sites, and help create more of a national footprint by being able to offer the same product from all of our plants.”
Sewell began personal banking services more than 30 years ago when Bill Young was ARB’s president. “Bill was my banker and became my friend,” Sewell says. “ARB was founded just two years after Sunrise opened, so we shared in each other’s growing pains and successes as new businesses.”
As Sunrise has begun to use the commercial loan department, he says, they’ve been very pleased with all the bank’s services. “ARB has always been a very friendly, approachable, and helpful bank, starting at the teller window and up to the president, now David Taber, and other officers,” Sewell says.
Today, ARB has 10 branch locations — two in Sonoma County, three in Amador County and five in the greater Sacramento area. ARB has acquired several other banks since inception, but also grows organically by bringing in new clients.
“We differentiate ourselves from competitors by providing an extraordinary client experience, being responsive to clients’ needs in creative ways, and finding solutions to their problems,” Fernandez says. “We also have a very flat organization, so our executive team is very accessible to clients. All clients, including the Sewells, know they can contact us with anything they need, and we’ll find an answer.”