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Business

Montecito Bank & Trust Has Reasons to Celebrate with Goleta Branch Reception

Branch manager Heidi Cougoule, for one, says she feels right at home at the bank's Calle Real location

Heidi Cougoule had been looking for an opportunity to move to Santa Barbara, and she found one with Montecito Bank & Trust.

“It was a perfect opportunity for the way it all worked out. It couldn’t have worked out better,” said Cougoule, the vice president and branch manager of Montecito Bank & Trust’s Calle Real branch in Goleta. “I worked to get here and I got here.”

Cougoule was working and living in Oakland at a community bank when she met Tony Cougoule, assistant coach of the Westmont College baseball team.

“The sell wasn’t too hard from Oakland to Santa Barbara,” Tony Cougoule told Noozhawk during Wednesday night’s Goleta Branch Reception.

Heidi Cougoule said she settled on Montecito Bank & Trust because of its active community participation.

“I researched for months and I looked at all the banks, and I chose this one because they are super community-driven and very relationship-driven with their clients,” she said. “Also because of their strength, they’ve proven themselves, they make smart decisions, they are doing really well, and I know they will be here for a long time.”

President and CEO Janet Garufis said the bank is excited about the opportunities in Goleta, and it has the right staff to serve it well.

“Heidi is a very good manager and really knows the business and what it takes,” she said.

Montecito Bank & Trust also wants to improve its relationship with UCSB, Garufis said.

“We have a long relationship with the UCSB student body, and we recently expanded our relationship with the athletic association,” she said. “We would like to make a stronger connection with the academic environment at UCSB. We thought being out there at the pathway to the university and all the industrial activity out there that the area needed a bank of and for the community.”

The bank’s second Goleta branch at 6900 Hollister Ave. will celebrate its grand opening on Feb. 28. The 6,018-square-foot branch replaced a vacant gas station and will include a drive-through ATM and teller station, a walk-up ATM and a night depository vault. While it got built in about four months, Garufis said the most difficult part was the permitting process.

“It took a long time to get permits approved, especially with the drive-up permit,” she said.

Heidi Cougoule said the community has received her well and that she hopes she can reciprocate the hospitality.

“I couldn’t have been more excited to be a part of this community,” she said.

Noozhawk business writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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