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General information

Associate Membership Information
Interested in Becoming an Associate Member?

Gain exposure to banks throughout the western United States.


Special Pricing

Attend WBA conferences at discounted membership rates, and receive preferred member rates for conference sponsorships and publication advertising. Associate members are also eligible to take advantage of members-only strategic partner discounts, from a number of WBA endorsed vendors.


WesternBanker Magazine

WesternBanker is a bi-monthly award-winning magazine dedicated to providing timely, relevant, and unique industry content. With a combined hardcopy and digital readership of over 30,000 professionals, WesternBanker represents a space to showcase subject matter expertise, writing aptitude, and insight into the issues affecting today’s banks.

All published writing is immediately nominated for the 2019 Excellence in Writing Award which recognizes outstanding coverage of bank or bank-related issues and is distinguished for its clarity of expression.

2019 Issues and Themes:

Jan/Feb: Deepening the Bench: Leadership & Diversity 
Mar/Apr: Tech Power: Transformation & Modernization
May/Jun: High Stakes: Compliance & Risk
July/Aug: Mid-Year Review: Industry’s Current Climate
Sept/Oct: The Numbers Game: Finance & Credit
Nov/Dec: The Year Ahead: 2020 Bank Trends & Forecasts

2018 Issues and Themes:

Jan/Feb: Leadership, Recruitment & Retention
Mar/Apr: Women in Banking
May/Jun: Mid-Year Review (industry’s current climate)
July/Aug: Technology & Fintech
Sept/Oct: Compliance & Risk
Nov/Dec: Looking Ahead: Community Banking, 2019

WBA is continually seeking articles written by its members. Submit here

WBA is fortunate to handle a high volume of query submissions. Articles not immediately accepted for publication in WesternBanker may be considered for future issues, release through the WBA Communities forum, or through high-traffic social media channels including LinkedIn.

To be considered for publication, please submit a query introducing the controlling idea for the article as well as key supporting points. The query should not exceed two paragraphs, and all proposed articles must be educational in nature; product pitches will not be considered. WBA does not accept previously published work, and all articles are subject to revision by WBA editors. If accepted for publication, WBA reserves the right to withhold publishing if content or deadline criteria is not satisfied.

Please note: articles are generally due four to six weeks before the release month; therefore queries must be submitted well in advance of the anticipated content deadline.



Beth Mills
Senior Vice President, Communications, Professional Development and Strategic Partners

As the senior vice president of communications, Beth Mills is responsible for all internal and external communications for WBA, and serves as the association’s spokesperson. Prior to joining the association in 2008, Beth was appointed by the governor and served as the assistant deputy director of public affairs in the California Department of General Services where she managed all media contacts and served as the department’s spokesperson on the key department issues.


Associate Members

In need of consultants, service partners or vendors to help your organization? WBA’s associate members provide valuable services to our industry. Click directory pod to the right to review our current list of associate members by category, or view the full listing below.



Kathie Sowa – Immediate Past Chair
Commercial Banking Market Executive and Market President, Greater Sacramento Region, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Kathie Sowa leads commercial banking teams serving clients in the Central Valley and Central Coast of California. Sowa is also the greater Sacramento market president serving the 1,200 employees in the 7 counties in the market. In this role, she drives employee engagement and collaboration across all lines of business and brands including Merrill Lynch and US Trust. Sowa also champions the company’s corporate social responsibility and philanthropic efforts in the market.


Maurine Padden
EVP & Chief Operating Officer

Maurine Padden serves as EVP and chief operating officer where she oversees WBA’s advocacy efforts in the legislative, regulatory and legal arenas on behalf of the association’s members in addition to providing operational support to the WBA team. As a member of WBA’s senior management, she contributes to the development and execution of the association’s strategic goals and initiatives. Maurine previously served as the associations’ director of state government affairs and lead lobbyist in the most active state legislature in the country.


Simone Lagomarsino
President and Chief Executive Officer

In April of 2017, Simone Lagomarsino became the president and CEO of the California Bankers Association (CBA). On January 1, 2018, the CBA and Western Independent Bankers (WIB) merged to form the Western Bankers Association (WBA), and Simone assumed the role as the president and CEO of the WBA. Prior to her current role, Simone served as CEO of Heritage Oaks Bank, and president and CEO of Heritage Oaks Bancorp, headquartered in Paso Robles, California.


Kevin Gould
Senior Vice President, Director of Government Relations

Kevin Gould joined the California Bankers Association (CBA) in 2004, bringing with him more than seven years of legislative experience. In his role as senior vice president and director of state government relations, he oversees the management and operation of CBA’s state and federal government relations department and also serves as one of CBA’s three registered lobbyists. Gould’s advocacy responsibilities and issues focus mainly in the areas of bank operations, commercial lending, residential property lending, and wealth and asset management issues.


Michael Doerr
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

As the chief financial officer of the California Bankers Association, Michael Doerr is responsible for providing financial direction and management over the investment, accounting, fixed assets, budgeting/business analysis, and reporting functions of the association. Doerr joined CBA in 2005, after having served as the chief financial officer for five years with the California Restaurant Association.


Linda Odell
Vice President, HR/Administration

Linda Odell joined the CBA in 2005, and oversees the human resources and administrative support functions of the office, and manages CBA’s Annual Compensation and Benefits Benchmark Survey. Linda has more than 15 years of human resources experience and more than 25 years of administrative experience. Prior to joining the CBA, Linda worked for the California Restaurant Association (CRA) where she managed human resources efforts, administered employee benefit programs and managed the accounts receivables.


Fill Out Our Form

We appreciate your interest in employment opportunities with the Western Bankers Association. WBA is always looking for qualified professionals. If you are interested in a career with WBA, please fill out the form below and upload your cover letter and resume.

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WBA News of Interest
From the Association and the Banking Industry

The Western Bankers Association’s communications staff works to provide members, news media and the public with the most up-to-date information relating to the association and the banking industry. Our communications efforts seek to emphasize the value of banks and their service to the community, as well as providing information on the many regulatory and legislative changes the industry is facing in this extraordinary climate.


ABA Training

ABA Training is a comprehensive source for training and education available through the American Bankers Association (ABA). 

ABA Training includes extensive online learning opportunities suited to specific job roles, in both facilitated and self-paced online formats. Online training delivers unmatched content that meet the needs of today’s learners and the changing demographics of the banking industry. Many courses meet the requirements of the Institute of Certified Bankers (ICB) for exams or continuing education credits.


Compensation and Benefits Benchmark Survey
Order your copy today!

The California Bankers Association (CBA) conducts an annual comprehensive survey of California’s commercial banks, industrial loan companies and savings institutions. The annual CBA Compensation and Benefits Benchmark Survey is a useful resource tool for human resources and executive management. It provides base salary, incentive and commission compensation data for 125 job classifications, as well as directors’ compensation information, human resources practices, comparative health care cost information and employee benefits summary statistics.