The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles

Columbia Bank has new manager


October 30, 2019


WELCOME TO GOLDENDALE: Diane Boles is the new branch manager at Columbia Bank in Goldendale. The "construction" signs behind her are decorations for the bank's big annual Halloween display.

Diane Boles' office at Columbia Bank in Goldendale already feels cozy, even though a large picture leans against a wall still awaiting a place to hang. It's a sparse space, but Boles says she likes being at Columbia, in Goldendale, and working with an inherited staff she calls really good people.

Boles took over just about a month ago as a vice president and branch manager at the Goldendale office of Columbia Bank. She got here via Ellensburg, most recently, where she was a branch manager at Umpqua Bank. She's an émigré from Montana, having lived there 15 years, and she sees a lot to like around Goldendale.

"My family lives in the Portland area," Boles says, "and we'd drive past Goldendale going back and forth from Ellensburg. So were driving through one day, about eight months ago, and I just told my husband, 'We should drive through town. Just look at it. It's really cute and it's pretty around here. And so we did. And we were just like, 'Wow. I didn't even know all this was here.'"

She and her husband began looking at property around Goldendale and found a couple of places they liked. They started thinking this was maybe a good place to build and eventually retire. "And then I happened to look online and there was a job with Columbia Bank," Boles recalls. Her background was a perfect match, given her position at Umpqua in Ellensburg and before that at Interstate Bank in Montana.

So now she and her husband have 40 acres nearby, and she's got the Columbia Bank gig. "My husband's from Washington, so he kind of wanted to be back in Washington, and so we basically, when we found the property, everything just kind of fell together at once," she recalls.

Boles would like to lure her son to Goldendale, too. "He's a chef," she states proudly, and we're not talking garden-variety chef here. He's worked in some well-known eateries, and he's thought about creating a special place of his own. "He likes Goldendale," Boles says, "so I'm trying to talk him into coming here."

So what does she think of Goldendale now that she's landed here? "I really like it," she says. "The people are really nice. Everybody's been super helpful and very friendly. It's small, but it's quaint, and you feel safe walking around town."

Does Boles see sweeping changes coming to Columbia Bank? Nothing pops up on any immediate horizon for her, and she thinks highly of the staff in place. "Everybody here has been amazing," she says. "They're really good people, and they know all their clients. They're very outgoing, and they are very personable."

That they are. Boles stops to allow a picture of herself standing behind the counter at the bank. In the picture background are signs of construction work, but it's not because the bank is undergoing renovation. It's just the crew there setting up their annual Halloween theme decorations. Last year it was 1950s diner. This year it's construction workers.

"My husband's the safety director for Central Washington University," Boles says. "I'm sure I can borrow some of his things for Halloween."


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