From fashion to banking: how one banker discovered her passion in an unexpected career

For Diane Bishofberger, relationship banking is what she was born to do. She began her banking career in her hometown of Napa, California, and has never looked back.

Diane Bishofberger

Bishofberger graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in fashion merchandising and design, working briefly in the fashion industry before moving to the east coast. It was upon her return to Napa that she took a chance on a new career path. She was hired as a part-time drive-up teller at a national bank and spent a few years in retail operations where she learned to do it all. It’s also where she discovered her natural knack for sales.

“This is what I do. This is who I am,” said the 41-year banking veteran who has a great sense of pride about her career, her customers, and her team.

In 1985, she attended a 6-week business banking school program which launched the trajectory of her commercial banking career. She’s held various roles throughout her career and credits every position for allowing her to learn the “soup to nuts” of the industry.  “Working every imaginable aspect of commercial banking has helped me understand the industry from the ground up,” said Bishofberger. “This has helped me become a better banker to my customers because it’s allowed me to be creative when structuring their needs.”

Bishofberger has not only gained a reputation for being a fierce advocate for her customers, but, in the process, has built a loyal customer base. “My customers are my family and they’re all treated as such,” she said. “Throughout my career, I have changed employers or have been part of acquisitions, and my customers have remained with me throughout my journey. I am honored to have customers who have entrusted me with their business for more than 30 years.”

She’s the first to tell you her career is more than providing financial solutions to businesses, it’s about helping strengthen her community. “I like to think my career has played a role in growth and wellbeing of my community,” said Bishofberger. “Through banking, I have supported small businesses that have—in turn—created jobs in our communities and brought much needed products and services to our neighborhoods.”