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Community Portrait

Her life a billboard for hometown involvement

By: Michael Kirby
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Community is important for Michelle Strange. A local product, Strange was raised in Auburn and attended local schools: E.V. Cain, Placer High School and Sierra College. While still in college Strange started a career in banking, taking a job as a teller at Placer Savings and Loan. Next, she spent a couple of years with Heart Federal Savings and Loan and then 15 years at U.S. Bank working in all levels of that industry. Currently, Strange is branch manager of Citizens Bank in Downtown Auburn, a position she has held since Citizens Bank opened a local branch two years ago. Lured back to a local community bank, Strange loves the one-on-one personal attention she is able to give her customers. “I just love it here at Citizens Bank and I have lots of support from management to be involved in community organizations,” Strange said. “The community groups I am involved with can be time-consuming, and my employers support me in my efforts, and involvement in our community is encouraged. What’s the point of being a community bank if you’re not out and community involved?” Strange serves on the Downtown Business Association board of directors, she is a board member with the Placer Junior Hillmen Youth Football program, a member of Downtown Rotary, an Ambassador with the Auburn Chamber of Commerce and was a 2007 Leadership Auburn graduate. While she enjoys all her community involvement, closest to her heart is her work with the Placer Junior Hillmen program. Her 12-year-old son Logan is currently the quarterback for his junior midget team and is in his fifth year playing pee wee football. Strange volunteers as a member of the executive board and her job with the league mostly consists of working behind the scenes, making sure all league paperwork is done and in order. One of her duties is the registration of players at the beginning of the season. “We have a nice-sized board. I’m in charge of player registrations, getting them done, set-up, and processed, payment for their uniforms, which each player gets, release of liabilities, and all the paperwork that goes with it,” Strange said. Each Placer Junior Hillmen player gets two uniforms to use for the season, all the protective pads, a gear bag and of course a helmet, all included with their registration. The season starts in August and the first game is in September and the league runs into October. “I like the fact that I can be involved helping the league grow and expand, and also support my son and his activities. I think it’s a good example to show him,” Strange said. “In my other involvements with work he doesn’t really get to see too much.” The Junior Hillmen program is a feeder system for the high school with many of the players looking for their turn to wear the Placer High School green and gold football uniform. Through a Citizens Bank advertising program Strange found a giant image of herself along with two other bank officers on a billboard along Highway 49 that draws a lot of comments from customers and friends. Strange lives in Auburn with her husband, Vince, and her quarterback son, Logan.