Saturday, February 6, 2010
WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla bank executive Megan Clubb has been given a seat on the Portland branch board of directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
The president and chief executive officer for Walla Walla-based Baker Boyer Bank began her two-year term Jan. 1 in a role that will use the economic climate of Walla Walla and Southeastern Washington to help inform the Federal Reserve as it sets national monetary policies and regulations.
Clubb is one of seven members of the Portland subregional board. That group reports to the San Francisco district board, which then reports directly to Washington, D.C., where the Federal Reserve, chaired by Ben Bernanke, serves as the backbone of the American banking system.
Clubb said her appointment by the Federal Reserve branch offers an "amazing opportunity" to learn, as well as to represent Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon.
"It certainly is giving me an even bigger understanding of how quick the economy is going to recover and what the key drivers are going to be in that economic recovery," Clubb said. "I think it also allows me to be better educated in order to continue the success of the bank in the future."
Created in 1913 the Federal Reserve System is primarily charged with the formulation of the country's monetary policy. The seven members of the Fed make up the majority of the 12-member Federal Open Market Committee, which makes the key decisions that affect the cost and availability of money and credit in the economy.
Twelve federal reserve districts report to the board of governors. Washington and Oregon, among many other states, are included in the 12th district, represented by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Clubb said from the board of governors, through the 12 national districts, to the subregional boards, 281 board members span the country.
Clubb meets monthly with the Portland subregional board members. Board members present a report of findings from their geographic areas and industries.
"We talk about what we see, what are the important trends, are there differences that we see," Clubb explained. She said the Board of Governors also sends questions to the sub-boards.
Some of the information she's presented to her colleagues in Portland include reports on the climate for wheat farmers, retail trends and consumer psychology related to banking.
She said her appointment comes at an intriguing time as the Fed faces the tricky task of economic recovery.
"They've got a real balancing act," she said. "They've got to make sure that we stimulate the economy. We've got to focus on jobs and grow jobs because we've got to get people back to work. But we have to do it without creating high levels of inflation."
She said the "real-time" economic conditions of communities served by the subregional boards helps determine what direction to take.
Clubb said the Portland board is made up of two bank representatives - one from a community bank and one from a larger institution. The five other directors represent various industries.
The Portland Branch board of directors is chaired by James Rudd of Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc. Other members include David Chen of Equilibrium Capital Group LLC; Peggy Fowler of Portland General Electric; Roger Hinshaw of Bank of America; Judith Johansen of Marylhurst University; and Roderick Wendt of JELD-WEN Inc.