The extended AmericanWest bank family and its customers helped welcome Gregory Franklin to the Sunnyside branch last Thursday night with a reception.
Finger foods with punch and wine were served to make the evening more festive.
Franklin has been at the branch for four weeks now and he brings the number of employees at AmericanWest Bank in Sunnyside up to 10.
Sandy Purcell, manager of both the Sunnyside and Mabton branches of AmericanWest Bank, said Franklin was hired to handle commercial loans, a position the bank has been without for the past three months.
Franklin, who hails from Montana, said he has been a commercial loan officer most of his life. He has four years of experience in the Tri-Cities, 10 years of experience in Othello and more than a year in Spokane.
He specializes in ag lending and ag businesses.
That was the reason he chose to come to work at AmericanWest Bank.
"They emphasize ag lending," he said. "I was raised in Montana and being an ag banker in the Tri-Cities, Othello and Spokane, I thought this was a good fit.
"The community here is similar to Othello."
Franklin said his goals are to continue to service the current client base at AmericanWest Bank and eventually increase the quality of lending to future customers.