Carmel Magazine

Spring/Summer 2020

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48 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 2 0 Photo: Kelli Uldall any—if not most—bankers are retiring types who spend their careers in relative anonymity, running their institutions quietly behind the scenes. Charles T. Chrietzberg, Jr. is not in that group. You know his face. As president of Monterey County Bank since 1985, Chrietzberg's smiling, mustachioed visage has appeared on television, in print ads, on billboards, on the side of buses. often in costumed poses, always with a dollop of tongue-in-cheek humor. He's a household name around here and has helped make his bank a top player in the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program for local businesses. A Mineola, Texas, native, Chrietzberg first set eyes on the Monterey Peninsula when Uncle Sam called him to Fort Ord for basic training. "I fell in love with the area right then and there," he says, in his soft Texas drawl. While living in Houston and running a firm he founded, Sam Houston Mortgage Corporation, Chrietzberg and his wife Sandra began coming to the Peninsula as tourists in 1975, eventually buying a Carmel vacation home. "I sold my company in 1982, and we moved here full time," he says. But retirement was not in this gregarious, dynamic man's playbook. "I wanted to invest my talents here, and looking around, it occurred to me that the small business commu- nity was being underserved," he shares. "No one was help- ing new businesspeople to get a leg up." Chrietzberg joined the board of Monterey County Bank in 1985, was elected chairman a year later and assumed the CEO mantle in 1987—titles he still holds. To date, the bank has made nearly 1,000 SBA loans averaging $250,000 and totaling $200 million. "SBA allows us to make loans that traditional banks shy away from because they consider them too risky," he says. It's this thinking that has made the banker and his institu- tion the go-to bank for entrepreneurs trying to get a leg up in business. "Most banks look at collateral, we look at experience," Chrietzberg says. "We rely on the person, not the numbers." —Michael Chatfield M icon Charles Chrietzberg Chief Executive Officer at Monterey County Bank

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