Born and raised in the East Bay, he attended local public schools and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. After service as an officer in the U.S. Navy, he earned an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1965, then returned home to resume his banking career ultimately serving as President, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Security National Bank in Walnut Creek. In 1983, he founded CivicBank of Commerce in Oakland to serve the East Bay's independent business and professional communities. He is now Managing Director for Navigant Consulting, Inc., an international management consulting firm, and the Director of Summit Medical Center in Oakland. He also served as Director for HEALS and QualMed Plans for Health, two Bay Area health services companies. Claude and his wife, Sue, a former elementary school teacher, have been married 37 years. They have three grown children -- Scott, Kelly and Kacy -- and a new granddaughter, Alexandra.