Montecito Bank & Trust Chairman solidifies vision of the future of the bank

As a founder, and the current Chairman and sole owner of Montecito Bank & Trust, Michael Towbes has great trust and pride in the community bank and the team he has in place to lead it. He has been intentional in his vision of a successful community bank. More than 10 years ago, he hired Janet Garufis as President and CEO, and placed his confidence in her to hire and lead the team that has grown the bank to be the largest and locally owned community bank on the Central Coast. Montecito Bank & Trust is the oldest bank on the Central Coast, and it will remain independently owned now and in the future.

Michael Towbes has determined it is time to transition from his responsibilities as Chairman of the bank and implement his succession plan. As he likes to say, “I have had an amazing life!” and he wants to share that life with those closest to him.

At the April board of directors meeting, the board will consider action on the succession plan Michael Towbes has outlined. First and foremost, the bank will remain an independent bank. The bank will still be owned by a trust, overseen by trustees, and managed by Janet Garufis as CEO of Montecito Bank & Trust, and she will assume the role of Chairman and George Leis, currently Executive Vice President, Chief Operations Officer will become President of the bank.

Once these actions are approved by the board of directors, Garufis will continue to oversee the leadership of the bank, and manage the board of directors in their work. George Leis will continue to manage the operations of the bank, as he has done since he joined in June, 2016. “Michael Towbes is immensely proud of what everyone at Montecito Bank & Trust does to make our Bank the best community bank on the Central Coast and the communities we serve better places to live and work, said Garufis. He has built the right infrastructure, with the right leaders and in turn has trusted me and my leadership team and the bank associates to carry out our very important mission today and into the future. We are so grateful to Mr. Towbes for his thoughtful and diligent planning which will allow us to serve our communities for years to come.”

Montecito Bank & Trust, an S Corporation, is the oldest and largest locally owned community bank in the Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Founded in 1975, the bank celebrates its 42nd anniversary in 2017 and operates 10 branch offices in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, Montecito, Carpinteria, Ventura, Camarillo and Westlake Village. The bank offers a variety of competitive deposit and lending solutions for businesses and consumers, including business loans and lines of credit; commercial real estate finance; SBA loans; mortgage loans, consumer loans; credit cards; merchant services; and online services, including mobile banking and cash management. Its Wealth Management Division provides comprehensive trust services and full investment management for all branch office markets.

Montecito Bank & Trust was the only bank in the tri-counties to receive a 2015 Super Premier Performing Bank designation by The Findley Reports, an independent service which rates the annual performance of California banks. Montecito Bank & Trust has been designated as a Premier Performing or Super Premier Performing bank by The Findley Reports 30 times in its 41-year history. The bank was also awarded a 5-star, Superior Bauer rating based on its December 31, 2016 financial data.

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