When Susan Lyle first moved to Fremont Bank from Washington Mutual some five years ago, one of the first things she did was get out her smoking oven and crank it up. "Everyone loves food," she says with a laugh, "so I smoked up some meat and brought it in for everyone at the branch."

It was the start of a long courtship aimed at building a team approach with the branch's mortgage bankers, commercial bankers and relationship managers.

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