Business

Mission Community Bank to get new president

Anita M. Robinson, who founded Mission Community Bank, will no longer serve as its CEO or as president of Mission Community Bancorp, the bank’s holding company.

The board of directors for Mission Community Bancorp has reassigned Robinson as president and CEO of the Mission Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the bank that focuses on community redevelopment and lending.

James Lokey, chairman of the board and CEO of Mission Community Bancorp, said the reassignment was a “business decision,” and that Robinson’s extensive local ties are best employed in community lending.

“She was wearing a lot of hats, so we have asked her to focus. I can’t think of anyone better for that new role,” Lokey said, adding that a new president and CEO for Mission Community Bancorp would be announced next week.

As leader of the Mission Community Development Corporation, Robinson will oversee less than 25 percent of the bank’s lending. Currently, most of the bank’s lending consists of commercial real estate, and the bank is also hoping to grow agricultural lending and financing for small and medium businesses under the new president and CEO.

Robinson, who founded Mission Community Bank in 1997, did not return a call for comment.

The change comes as Mission poises itself for expansion into Ventura and Monterey counties, as well as into Fresno and the Central Valley in what Lokey hopes will become a “super-community bank.”

In June, Mission announced the acquisition of the financially troubled Santa Lucia Bancorp of Atascadero with the help of the Carpenter Fund, an Irvine-based private equity firm that owns an approximate 90 percent share of Mission. The acquisition was completed in October, and the banks are in the process of integrating.

Through the integration, Mission has retained about 90 percent of Santa Lucia Bancorp’s employees, with most of the cuts coming from Santa Lucia’s leadership.

Mission Community Bank, with headquarters in San Luis Obispo, also has locations in Atascadero, Paso Robles, Arroyo Grande, Santa Maria and Oxnard. As the integration with Santa Lucia Bank continues, Mission will move its offices in Paso Robles and Santa Maria into the former Santa Lucia locations in those cities. All other Santa Lucia and Mission branches will stay open as Mission Community Bank.

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