Leadership training for associates at Montecito Bank & Trust receives a high priority and profile.

“We invest in leadership development for multiple levels of managers and other selected associates as it is vitally important that our prescribed leadership values and vocabulary be embraced by all associates and permanently infused into the bank’s culture,“ said Janet Garufis, the bank’s president and chief executive officer. “Today, 30 of our associates are receiving our Leadership Challenge Training, but with a double surprise that will put huge smiles on the faces of some kids from Goleta.”

Daren Blonski, vice president of Sonoma Leadership Systems; Wayne Bennett, owner and president of TeamWorx, a nationwide corporate team building company; and Judy Guillermo-Newton, senior vice president and director of organizational development and human resources for Montecito Bank & Trust, are co-facilitating the training event.

Sonoma Leadership Systems is the authorized training provider of The Leadership Challenge® Workshop, based on the award-winning book The Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes, chairman and chairman emeritus of Tom Peters Co., and Barry Posner, Ph.D., associate dean of the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University.

The “Learning to Lead” special team-building activity surprised the bank’s participating associates as they built six bicycles while learning valuable lessons about the importance of Kouzes and Posner’s Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership. A bike mechanic from TeamWorx will be on hand to provide proper assembly instructions and ensuring safety and soundness of the finished new bicycles.

Six lucky children from the United Boys & Girls Club of Goleta will be the recipients of these shiny new bicycles.

The second surprise for the leadership participants came at the end of the day in meeting the six excited kids taking ownership of their new bikes. Seeing the faces on these children was an unexpected special and unforgettable treat.

“Not only is the journey most rewarding for both the bank leadership participants and our youth members who have been selected, but the destination culminating in surprise and fulfillment from all participants is worth every penny,” said Michael Rattray, CEO of the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County. “Thank you Montecito Bank & Trust for sharing this experience with the Goleta Boys & Girls Club.”

Montecito Bank & Trust has branch offices in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, Montecito, Carpinteria, Ventura and Westlake Village.

— Carolyn Tulloh is director of marketing for Montecito Bank & Trust.