A Message from David Triplitt

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February 9, 2024 | Article | 5 min | Business Insights

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These are dynamic times for businesses in Fresno and across California’s Central Valley. The region continues to expand, offering opportunities for new and established businesses.

Like the rest of the country, the region faces economic uncertainties.

Still David Triplitt, President and CEO of Premier Valley Bank, a division of HTLF Bank, is optimistic that market and financial indicators look good for halting or slowing inflation in 2024.

The Valley is “growing and it’s mainly based on affordability,” attracting newcomers from pricier metropolitan areas in northern and southern California, where populations are declining.

The bank’s clients are diverse — mostly owner-occupied real estate, commercial industrial customers, real estate investors and some agricultural clients, said Triplitt.

By participating actively in nonprofits and professional associations, the bank also understands what affects client livelihoods across industries. It enhances partnerships between the bank and their customers, each contributing to the other’s success.

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“We’re part of our community,” said Triplitt. “It’s really about relationship banking.”


People move to the area because buying a house is relatively more affordable than housing on the coasts, Triplitt said. Fresno saw an influx of Bay Area residents, from Google and other tech companies, who were able to work remotely during the pandemic and afterward.

Five of the eleven most expensive metropolitan areas in the nation are on California’s coast, according to Kiplinger.

These well-paid new residents stimulate the local economy.

“We have opportunity for customers growing their businesses,” he explained.

California’s always-temperate climate helps the area remain attractive. The Fresno area has plenty of open space for real estate development to help the supply of single-family homes keep up with the demand and buffer the rocketing prices observed elsewhere in California.


California’s well-known taxes and regulations are an ongoing challenge, Triplitt said.

“Red tape is still a big issue” for Central Valley enterprises in startups or expansion.

For example, both environmental constraints and complex compliance requirements on agriculture contributed to longtime farm families converting their acreage to real estate developments instead of farming, he said.

Recruiting and retaining talent also remains a problem here much like the rest of the nation. Many businesses struggle to accommodate the pay and flexibility that workers demand.

Fraudsters, attacking online and via phone, threaten companies as well. Triplitt regularly sees fake checks, phishing calls pretending to be the bank and other scams targeting customers.

Seniors are particularly vulnerable, though no one is immune. “New fraud issues come up every day.”

Triplitt got a call from his mother and discovered scammers had targeted her. His mother said a phone scammer told her Triplitt had rear ended a car with a pregnant woman and his mother needed to wire him $3,500. They even put someone on the phone pretending to be Triplitt, who she couldn’t understand well because the scammer said he had a broken nose.

“She’s 77. I told her Mom, you aren’t that old yet,” Triplitt recalled. “She didn’t wire the money, but she was close.”


Business owners should prepare for the next economic upswing: “Be ready to staff up and take advantage when it turns around,” Triplitt said.

Planning means confirming funding, mapping supply chains, controlling costs to stay profitable and having a bank that understands local operations and can react quickly to financial needs when the market returns.


Premier Valley Bank can help through guidance, optimizing cash flow and fighting fraud.

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The bank specializes in tailored solutions reflecting a business’s circumstances, not cookie-cutter products. The bank takes a personal, supportive interest in their customers’ longevity, Triplitt said.

“We differentiate ourselves by adding value,” he said of the bank’s approach. This includes guidance about business practices that can boost retention or technology adoption along with loans or retirement plan management.

A consultant/partner approach serves as “a gateway to other business services” with in-house experts specializing in agriculture, healthcare and more, he said.

Optimizing cash flow is very important.

For example, Triplitt has helped clients synchronize their payables and receivables cycles with the Commercial Card to maximize flexibility.

In one case, consolidating a customer’s various credit cards into a single card with $10 million in purchasing capacity saved them bookkeeping chores and the 1 percent rebate on the cards returned $300,000 to the company, he said.

Triplitt also recommends customers use Treasury Management to further maximize their cash cycle.

To help fight fraud, Positive Pay allows customers to review account numbers, check amounts and payee names before the bank pays the check. The Commercial Cards also add another layer of safety if customers carefully monitor charges and report fraud within the required window of time.

“Customers need to cut back on paper,” he said.

The bank also supports its customers by helping them make sound, prudent loans. According to Triplitt, “we don’t want to put someone in trouble by allowing unwise overextension.”

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