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.
The California Bankers Association, a division of the Western Bankers Association, is seeking a Vice President of Government Relations. This position will be a legislative advocate representing the California banking industry who will manage banking related subject matters impacting financial institutions. Lobbying experience a must. Please send your cover letter, resume and salary requirements to: WBAHR@westernbankers.com
As the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Michael Peterson oversees the association’s partner strategy to ensure value is being created for member banks and strategic partners. Prior to joining the Western Bankers Association in July 2018, Michael spent 10 years leading teams in sales, brand management and business development. Through that time, Michael partnered closely with multiple state banking associations and banks throughout the country.
James Beckwith is the president and chief executive officer of Five Star Bank and its holding company, Five Star Bancorp. With more than 20 years of experience, Beckwith joined Five Star Bank in 2003 after serving as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at National Bank of the Redwoods, in Santa Rosa, California. He graduated from San Francisco State University where he earned a bachelor of science in business administration with a concentration in accounting. He is also a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington.
Since 2011, Dave Joves has served at the Bank of Guam as the senior vice president of the California region, a $350 million asset commercial banking business focused on serving small business and commercial real estate operators throughout the state.
He has more than 20 years experience working in community banking. Prior joining the Bank of Guam, he served as the CEO and CFO of Mission National Bank.
Kenton Thompson – Chairman-Elect
President, Charles Schwab Signature Bank
Senior Vice President, Charles Schwab Bank
Kenton Thompson joined Charles Schwab in the fall of 2012. During his first four years at Schwab, Thompson served as senior vice president of bank products and distribution. In this role he oversaw all functions related to bank lending product development, sales, community development and diverse markets strategy.
In 2017, Thompson expanded his leadership responsibilities and was named the president of Charles Schwab Signature Bank. He and his teams are committed to doing business by the guiding principle: always look through the client’s eyes.
Diedra Porche- Vice Chairman at Large
Senior Vice President, Manager for the Government & Not-for-Profit Business Banking Division, JPMorgan Chase
Diedra Porche is the senior vice president, manager for the government and not-for-profit business banking division covering the Western region for JPMorgan Chase. She oversees the line of business that handles the banking and finance needs of municipal and not-for-profit clients.
Steve Andrews is the president & CEO of the Western Bankers Association and manages the affairs and day to day operational aspects of the association and all its divisions. In his role as CEO he is one of the foremost advocates of the banking industry and the important role banks play in our communities and economy.
Eric Ellingsen has served as president and chief operating officer of California Bank & Trust since January 2016. Within CB&T, Ellingsen oversees the business and branch banking, which makes up more than 80 branches throughout the state, SBA lending, private banking, corporate services, and the bank’s finance and planning functions. Prior to his current role, Ellingsen was CB&T’s chief financial officer from 2012 to 2015 and was responsible for the overall financial management of the company.
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.
Debbie Skinner has served as Farmers & Merchants Bank of Central California’s (F&M Bank) EVP and chief administrative officer since joining the Bank in December 2000. As CAO, she oversees information technology, loan and deposit operations, call center, electronic banking, compliance, BSA/fraud, and treasury management support. Additionally, Skinner served as board secretary for several years, is the board appointed corporate compliance officer, and serves as a member of the following board appointed committees: executive management, compliance, and EDP steering.
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.
George Leis is the EVP, president and chief operating officer for Montecito Bank & Trust. George joined the bank in July, 2016. Montecito Bank & Trust is a $1.3 billion in assets community bank with over 240 employees serving the Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Santa Ynez communities.
George Cook began his career with El Dorado Savings Bank in 1974, serving as a real estate appraiser. In 1983 he transitioned from the appraisal department to the loan department where he acted as the Senior Loan Officer. In 1987 he was promoted to President, Chief Loan Officer and Chief Operating Officer and served in that capacity through 2013. In January of 2014 he was named to the CEO position.
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 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.
In 2018, two recognized, trusted associations, the California Bankers Association (CBA) and Western Independent Bankers (WIB) merged to form a strong new foundation, the Western Bankers Association (WBA).
With more than 200 years of combined experience serving banks, the WBA is one of the largest banking trade associations and regional educational organizations in the United States.
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.
Marty Opich joined WBA in March of 2018 after having represented financial institutions for the bulk of her career. Most recently, she was a partner in the boutique law firm Kraft Opich, LLP, with a practice devoted exclusively to representation of commercial lenders. She has also served as in-house counsel to two financial institutions — U.S.
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.
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.
Martin Plourd was named a director and president/chief executive officer of Community West Bank and vice president of Community West Bancshares on November 2, 2011. Plourd has been in banking for 30 years and a bank executive for 20 years. Since July 2009, he has worked as a consultant on engagements with bank strategic planning, acquisitions and compliance. From July 2005 to July 2009, Plourd served first as chief operating officer and then president and director of Temecula Valley Bank, in Temecula, California.
Since 2013, A.J. Antongiovanni has served as the president and chief executive officer of Mission Bank, a $490 million asset commercial bank focusing on business customers in Kern and Los Angeles counties.
Antongiovanni also serves as a director of Mission Bank, Mission Bancorp and President of Mission Bank 1031 Exchange.