E.M. Downer, III
E.M. “Eddie” Downer III is Chairman Emeritus of the Mechanics Bank Board of Directors, continuing to serve the bank through his extensive community activities. He served as Chairman of the Board of Mechanics Bank from 1981 until May, 2010, the third generation of his family to have led the bank and the first family member who worked at the bank as a child. He has also served as president of the bank from 1971 to 1981.
Mr. Downer graduated from San Rafael Military Academy, Stanford University, attended Pacific Coast Banking School, and served as a member of the U.S. Naval Air Reserve for eight years.
His extensive professional and civic affiliations include serving as chairman of Opportunity West, a nonprofit organization promoting financial literacy; as a board member of the Contra Costa Economic Partnership; and on the boards of the Richmond Museum Endowment Fund and the Richmond Art Center Endowment Fund. He also is a board member of the Bay Area Tumor Institute and Northgate Cottages – Silverado, and Trustee of the Captain John Spencer Scholarship Fund.
In the past he has served on the Board of Regents of John F. Kennedy University, on the advisory board of the St. Mary’s School of Economics and Business Administration, as board member and president of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, as a committee member of the Contra Costa Business Leaders Alliance and as a board member and chairman of the Western States Bankcard Association. He also is a former member of the Center for Ethics and Social Policy, Pacific School of Religion.
Other organizations he has supported include the Richmond Boys Club, the East Bay Region of the United Way of the Bay Area, the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation, the Memorial Youth Center, the International Institute of the East Bay and the East Bay Community Foundation. He also has been an active supporter and fundraiser for the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.