Joanne Funari has joined the Bank of Santa Barbara as executive vice president and COO, reuniting her with CEO Eloy Ortega to focus on community banking, it was announced Nov. 1.
Ms. Funari, who will also be serving on the board of directors, was formerly a regional director and president of the Business First division of Heritage Oaks Bank, where she helped grow the bank to more than $1 billion in assets, according to a news release.
Ms. Funari and Mr. Ortega opened Business First National Bank together in 2001.
"Joanne's appointment offers the deep satisfaction of getting a great team back together," Mr. Ortega said in a statement. He added that Ms. Funari "is intrinsically motivated by the success of local businesses and the satisfaction of local customers."
He added that the The Bank, as the Bank of Santa Barbara is known, "is a perfect spot" for Ms. Funari because it is locally owned.
"To me, this community is my home, my family, my friendships and my sense of fulfillment," Ms. Funari said. "The Bank's operating philosophy . . . puts local businesses and customers up front and center. That's how I do business."
A past president of the Goleta Chamber of Commerce and incoming chair of the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Funari moved to Santa Barbara with her husband, Carlos, and son, Ryan, 23 years ago.
Ms. Funari's service outside of the workplace includes a recent stint as La Presidenta of Santa Barbara's popular Old Spanish Days Fiesta.
Community organizations she has worked with include the Foundation for Santa Barbara City College, South Coast Business and Technology Awards, the Downtown Organization and United Way.
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