Notes from the CEO

Marvin L. “Buzz” Oates, Founding Director of Five Star Bank

Marvin L. “Buzz” Oates, Founding Director of Five Star Bank

1923 – 2013

Five Star Bank has lost a creative genius and the Sacramento community has lost a pioneer of the Greater Central Valley’s commercial real estate industry.  Those of us who were fortunate to know and work with Buzz grieve the loss of our trusted partner and friend.  A visionary and quiet philanthropist, Buzz’s legacy continues in the companies he built and the charitable foundation bearing his name.

Buzz was the driving force behind the formation of Five Star Bank.  The Directors of the Board, bank staff and leadership will continue his legacy.

“Buzz Oates had an incredible spirit, he was always smiling,” said James Beckwith, Five Star Bank President & CEO. “He loved people, he had an amazing work ethic, and always found a way to get things done. He will be greatly missed. We at Five Star Bank look forward to honoring his memory through our continued commitment to this community.”



Brief Biography

Early Life
Buzz graduated from Sacramento High School in 1941 and the United States Air Force Bombardier School in 1944 as a second lieutenant.  A war hero, Buzz earned the Distinguished Flying Cross with a Cluster and Air Medal for completing 30 combat missions.

His entrepreneurial spirit unscathed by WWII, Buzz took $2,000 saved in the military and opened A&A Key Shop in an 8 x 11 foot space in Oak Park.  Buzz’s business acumen soon led to his creation of A&A Key Builders Supply, a retail establishment.  He then moved to real estate, establishing Buzz Oates Enterprises and employing over 200 people internally and thousands more through sub-trade work.

Buzz Oates Enterprises soon grew into what is now known as The Buzz Oates Group of Companies, a fully integrated commercial real estate services organization that has developed, constructed and managed in excess of 80 million square feet of buildings in the Western United States, valued in excess of $1 billion.

Buzz made an indelible mark on the Central Valley and Northern California landscape by developing industrial distribution buildings, offices, business parks and retail centers, while also partnering in the renovation and redevelopment of landmark properties including the Senator Hotel and The Citizen Hotel in Sacramento and the Fashion Center in San Francisco.

After six decades of business, Buzz was known as Sacramento’s most prolific developer, a visionary and a magnet for creating jobs in our region.  He was known for his integrity, honesty, innovation and mathematical genius.  In addition to forming more than 200 business partnerships during his lifetime, Buzz was founding Director of Five Star Bank and American River Bank.

It was only recently that Buzz received accolades for his far-reaching philanthropic efforts.  Through The Marvin L. “Buzz” Oates Charitable Foundation, he focused on faith-based charities and children’s causes with a specific desire to give young people the education and opportunity they needed to succeed.  In this way, Buzz made a significant and lasting impact on hundreds of organizations, large and small, ranging from education, student leadership foundations, elementary schools, high schools and universities to the advancement of medical research with significant gifts to UC San Diego Health Sciences Foundation, UC Davis, the UC Regents and the M.I.N.D. Institute.    Recently, in 2009, Buzz extensively supported Mercy Ministries of America by helping to fund a home in Lincoln, California, providing troubled girls with sanctuary and support in the form of housing and counseling all free of charge.   Buzz was widely known for his support of churches through gifts of real estate, especially Capital Christian Center in Sacramento and Destiny Church in Rocklin.

South Placer

6810 Five Star Blvd.
Suite 100
Rocklin, CA 95677

Rancho Cordova

3100 Zinfandel Drive
Suite 100
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670


2400 Del Paso Road
Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95834

Elk Grove

9355 E. Stockton Blvd.
Suite 160
Elk Grove, CA 95624

North Valley

358 Hartnell Avenue
Suite B
Redding, CA 96002


1370 E. Lassen Avenue
Suite 100
Chico, CA 95973