Executive Vice President of Cultural Enhancement
Umpqua Holdings Corporation
Barbara Baker is the executive vice president of Cultural Enhancement (human resources) for Umpqua Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: UMPQ). She oversees all culture, training and human resource functions for the financial services company and its subsidiaries, Umpqua Bank and Umpqua Investments.
Prior to joining Umpqua, Baker served as an Oregon site executive for IBM’s server division (formerly Sequent Computer Systems Inc.), where she managed all human resources services and programs as well as corporate communications and community relations. She also served as vice president of human resources for the Northwest region of First Interstate Bank (now Wells Fargo), where she managed a five-state employee relations team serving more than 8,000 employees. While with First Interstate Bank, Baker was instrumental in assisting with the bank’s two successful internal reorganizations and its 1996 acquisition by Wells Fargo.
In the past eleven years, Baker’s leadership has extended Umpqua’s renowned culture in a rapidly growing environment (during her tenure, Umpqua has grown from 350 to over 2,400 associates). Her team of 30 has infused Umpqua’s culture throughout all avenues of the bank, from training associates on culture to creating a positive and motivating work environment. Through their efforts, Umpqua’s culture has become consistent and self-propelling, and is now recognized regionally and nationally.
Regionally, the bank has appeared on Oregon Business Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list 14 times since 1995, including the number one rank in 2004. Nationally, FORTUNE magazine rated Umpqua among its “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2013 for the seventh year in a row. The last four years Umpqua was also recognized as one of only 40 companies in the nation to make “Companies That Care” honor roll and Training Magazine acknowledged Umpqua as having one of the “125 Best Training Departments in the US” 3 times. Baker was recognized among the nation’s top six human resource executives in HR Executives’ “2008 HR Honor Roll.” She also received the Orchid Award, given by the Portland Business Journal for Achievement for Women in Business in 2010. In 2011, Umpqua Bank’s Human Resources Department was recognized by Portland Business Journal as the Top Company for their HR Leadership Awards. Finally, in October 2011 she was awarded Outstanding Alumnus for demonstrating exceptional personal achievement by George Fox University.
In addition to her professional achievements, Baker serves on the board, executive committee and chairs the human resources committee for Portland Center Stage. She previously served on several other community boards, including the Portland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the Portland Rose Society (where she served as president from 1995-96), Fruit and Flower Day Care, and Tri-County Affirmative Action.
Baker earned a Bachelor of Arts in business management and organizational leadership from George Fox University. She also received a certificate of graduation from the human resources graduate program at the University of Colorado in association with the American Bankers Association.