From Barbara Baker, Umpqua's executive vice president of Cultural Enhancement:
When the news came in that Umpqua had been named to FORTUNE Magazine's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, it caused a real buzz around here, and the fact that it's our sixth year in a row hasn't diminished the excitement one bit. If anything, it's even stronger.
Our placement is partially based on the most extensive employee survey in corporate America, collecting Umpqua associates' attitudes about management, camaraderie, benefits, hiring, communication and diversity.
Really, they're asking about our culture. And at Umpqua our culture is our lifeblood, driving force and competitive advantage. We work hard to infuse our culture into everything we do and our associates bring it to life.
This is the same culture that creates the signature experience you enjoy as a customer, neighbor or community partner of Umpqua. You see it in the way your store associate, home loan officer or commercial lender gets to know you personally and is empowered to make decisions on your behalf. You feel it in the way we aim to surprise and delight.
You also see it in programs like our Connect Volunteer Network, which offers associates 40 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer in the communities they serve. FORTUNE specifically singled out Connect, and 2011 was a record year for the program.
I want to thank all our associates for their hard work and thank our customers for believing in our culture with us. Making the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For list is more than an award: It's a recommitment to the way we approach banking, finance and community.