Banker works toward success of others
REBECCA GO, The Daily Transcript
Banker Jason Severson plays a number of roles in the community, but they all eventually boil down to one thing: helping people meet or exceed their potential.
As California Bank & Trust vice president, the 37-year-old oversees operations at the bank's Del Mar branch, working with both businesses and bank employees to help them achieve their goals.
"Jason does a terrific job and has everything you want in a relationship banker and branch manager," said CB&T regional manager Pam Campbell. "My job is to support him and help him be successful, and frankly, it's quite easy."
Severson says he enjoys building long-term relationships with his entrepreneurial clients and being part of their success. For the Oceanside native, it's not about being influential: It's about taking care of people, being honest, showing integrity and following through -- values have served him well over his 14-year banking career.
His own foray into business has aided him in better understanding his clients. In 2006, Severson and his wife, Diane, founded wedding registry Go Honeymooning, which allows couples to register for a dream honeymoon rather than -- or in addition to -- the usual roster of kitchen appliances.
Starting a business "gives you a whole new perspective and respect for what an entrepreneur has to do," Severson said. "It's a great learning experience."
Those who know Severson well use a similar set of adjectives, describing him as a caring, genuine, attentive and reliable person and a dedicated father of two.
Severson has sat on the American Heart Association's local board of directors for the last seven years and has been instrumental in planning and securing sponsorships for the annual gala, which this year featured a casual beach theme.
"He has an uncanny ability to be honest in an unthreatening manner," said American Heart Association executive director Melissa Wilimas, who added that Severson's candid feedback has been crucial in shaping the event. "He's really helped us transform our gala."
Severson's other involvements outside of finance touch the lives of children in the community. He volunteers with Pro Kids Golf Academy, which seeks to engage underserved youth through golf while encouraging them to pursue their education.
The avid golfer also helps organize and raise funds for the March of Dimes annual golf tournament. A colleague suggested Severson get involved with the infant health organization several years ago, which, in hindsight, seems fated: Severson's aunt had a premature baby three years ago, while a friend is father to triplets who were between one-and-a-half to two pounds at birth. Also, Severson's two-year-old daughter, Sadie, was born with a deformed hand.
Severson, whose second child, Colby, was born two months ago, credits his parents for his outlook on life and his success in his banking career. He described his mother, a dedicated philanthropist, and his father, the former president of Grossmont Bank (now CB&T), as "incredible people" and supportive parents.
The two taught him to critically evaluate his own strengths and weaknesses and to be open to criticism and change, Severson said -- a legacy that he will likely pass on to his own children.