Formerly Columbia, Umpqua holds strong with Best Bank win

Best of Federal Way 2024 winner.

When Umpqua Bank merged with Columbia Bank in March 2023, they also absorbed Columbia Bank’s five Best of Federal Way wins as Best Bank in the contest’s Living Category.

A year later, the combined Umpqua Bank is going strong with two locations in Federal Way.

Manny Maldonado is the local VP Community Manager. He manages one branch in Federal Way and helps “provide support and guidance and just lend my experience” to the north branch, managed by Rhonda Hargraves.

One of Maldonado’s favorite parts of his role is getting to support small businesses in Federal Way.

“I sit down with people that are just starting out in their small business, and they’re really not sure where they want to go, or how to get started, what needs to be filed,” he said. “I get to have those discussions, we get to flush out ideas and create some direction.”

On its website, Umpqua reports it is an organization that “believes that we can build economic vitality together. We do that by putting our priority on people and the communities they live in. That’s true if Umpqua is your personal bank, business bank, or private bank.”

This has been Maldonado’s experience, especially in the way he gets to be an “advocate for my customer.” That can look like having “direct lines with underwriters” and “direct lines with partners in business,” all to be able to “really explain what’s going on in my customer’s life.”

This is a contrast from larger banks, where in his experience, “it can get so big…you end up referring things out, or you’re dealing with underwriters that are not even located in your own backyard and are in a state 1,000 miles away. They just look at your client as the next application versus, like, a person.”

He should know — he has worked in banking for 20 years, with eight of those spent in Federal Way at multiple banks.

“At Umpqua I’m empowered to do what’s right for our clients. I’m also given the opportunity to see most things through,” Maldonado said. “I get to be involved in the whole process.”

While he has a passion for small business, he and his team also have “in-depth conversations with businesses of all sizes and shapes.”

Maldonado said he appreciates the depth of experience on his teams that they have earned through a combined half century of time in the industry. “We just have people that are very capable and know how to help our clients,” he said.

Umpqua is the largest bank headquartered in the Northwest and a leading western U.S. financial institution, with over $50 billion in assets and more than 300 locations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. In addition to retail banking, Umpqua also offers comprehensive business banking and commercial finance services. Umpqua Bank has two locations in Federal Way: one at 33515 9th Avenue South, Federal Way, WA 98003, and the other at 1900 South 320th Street, Federal Way, WA 98003.