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Western Independent Bankers Announce 2017 Community Bank and Banker of the Year Recipients

March 31 – Western Independent Bankers (WIB) has announced recipients of the 2017 Community Bank and Community Banker awards to Montecito Bank & Trust (MB&T) and Mark Francis, President and CEO of Golden Valley Bank, respectively. The announcement was made in front of hundreds of attendees at WIB’s Annual Conference for Bank Presidents, Senior Officers, and Directors. Award recipients were honored for their enduring impact on local communities, exceptional bank performance, and demonstrated industry innovation.

“Montecito Bank & Trust is the definition of corporate social responsibility and an amazing example of what community banking is all about,” said WIB President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Delucchi. “Mark Francis demonstrates a profound commitment to the community he serves and has developed an organizational culture of service and giving back. I could not be happier with this year’s award recipients as they embody everything that makes community bankers remarkable.”

Through their Community Dividends program, Montecito Bank & Trust awards over $1 million annually and contributes over 2,400 volunteer hours to nonprofit organizations within their communities. “We are so honored,” said Janet Garufis, President and CEO of Montecito Bank & Trust. “As a Community Bank, our primary role is to gather and safeguard local deposits and lend those dollars back out into the community to promote economic activity; but, the heart of our business practices includes large doses of Corporate philanthropy that shares not only our profits, but also our time and talent. Thank you to Western Independent Bankers for your leadership in helping all of us grow the next generation of Community Bankers who will continue the legacy of serving our customers with integrity and a deep sense of commitment to building vibrant communities.”

Likewise, Mark Francis continues the themes of community and innovation through the Golden Valley Bank Community Foundation with a focus on programs that impact the community in measurable and meaningful ways. “I am truly humbled,” said Mark Francis, President, CEO, and founder of Golden Valley Bank, “especially when considering the career and accomplishments of award finalist Michael Towbes, Chairman of Montecito Bank & Trust. He has created a community bank that all of us should aspire to be!”

Candidates are nominated and selected by bankers from across the West Coast. Finalists for the 2017 Banker of the Year are Steve Miller, President and CEO of Fresno First Bank and Michael Towbes, Chairman and Director of Montecito Bank & Trust. Finalists for the 2017 Bank of the Year are 1st Bank Yuma (Yuma, AZ) and Opportunity Bank of Montana (Helena, MT.)

About Western Independent Bankers and WIB Service Corporation

Established in 1937, Western Independent Bankers (WIB) is the premier banking trade association dedicated to achieving the highest standards of personal and organizational development through three channels of success: Informing, Educating, and Connecting bankers. With over 22,000 individual members across the Western United States, WIB focuses on serving the educational needs of the more than 550 independent community banks headquartered in the 13 Western state footprint. Western Independent Bankers Service Corporation (WIBSCO) is the wholly owned subsidiary of WIB. For more information, visit www.wib.org.

About Montecito Bank & Trust

Established in 1975, Montecito Bank & Trust (MB&T) is the largest local and privately owned community bank of California’s central coast. With assets over $1.3 billion, the bank operates ten branch offices in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. For more information, visit https://montecito.bank.

About Golden Valley Bank

Established in 2006, Golden Valley Bank is a locally owned and operated commercial bank serving the needs of individuals and businesses in northern California. With assets over $209 million, the bank has a full-service office in Chico, California and a Loan Production Office in Redding, California. For more information, visit www.goldenvalleybank.com.

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