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Business

Simone Lagomarsino Named President, CEO of Heritage Oaks Bancorp

The financial services professional brings more than 20 years of top-level experience

Effective Saturday, Simone Lagomarsino, a financial services professional with more than 20 years of top-level experience, will become the president and chief executive officer of Heritage Oaks Bancorp, parent company of Heritage Oaks Bank and Business First.

Lagomarsino will serve as president and CEO of Heritage Oaks Bancorp, CEO of the Heritage Oaks Bank and as a member of the bank’s and the company’s boards of directors. Her appointment is subject to final regulatory approval, which is expected soon.

She succeeds Larry Ward, who is retiring after 18 years with the organization. Ward will continue as a member of the bank and the company’s boards of directors.

Lagomarsino comes to Heritage Oaks with a background that includes CEO, CFO or CAO positions at a variety of community and regional financial institutions ranging in size from $30 million to $60 billion in assets. She has distinguished herself as an innovative leader who develops successful new banking products and services, leads employees to improved performance and works closely with community organizations. Her focus on core initiatives has led to improved franchise and shareholder value for the companies she has served.

Lagomarsino’s past posts have included executive positions with Kinecta Federal Credit Union, Hawthorne Financial Corporation, Warner Center Bank, Ventura County National Bank, First Plus Bank and Imperial Financial Group.

Michael Morris, chairman of the board of Heritage Oaks Bancorp, said the new president and CEO brings impressive qualifications to the company and the bank.

“Heritage Oaks started as a small community bank and has grown into a major regional presence,” Morris said. “Simone is the right leader to take us to the next level of our development. We are ecstatic to
find a professional who has it all — impeccable experience, razor sharp knowledge and management skills, and dedication to the precepts of community banking.”

Morris said Ward helped grow the bank to assets of nearly $1 billion with locations from Paso Robles to Santa Barbara, and the company’s board of directors is eager to see that growth continue. Morris added that Heritage Oaks Bank COO Ron Oliveira will continue to serve as president of the bank.

Lagomarsino earned a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance from Claremont Graduate University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Claremont McKenna College. In 2003, the Los Angeles Business Journal named Lagomarsino Business Owner/CEO of the Year. She was described at the journal’s Women Making a Difference Awards reception as a woman who “leads by example, successfully blending effective business vision with a passionate commitment to positively ‘make a difference’ — both in the world of business and in the communities they serve.”

— Michael Morris is chairman of the board of Heritage Oaks Bancorp.

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