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BizHawk: Montecito Bank & Trust Expands Reach into Ventura County

ShelterBox hires former Direct Relief executive, Salty Girl Seafood wins prize and SurfMedia promotes four employees

Montecito Bank & Trust has opened a Camarillo branch, making it the largest locally owned community bank in Ventura County. The local bank hosted a grand opening last week.
Montecito Bank & Trust has opened a Camarillo branch, making it the largest locally owned community bank in Ventura County. The local bank hosted a grand opening last week. (Clint Weisman / Montecito Bank & Trust)

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Montecito Bank & Trust solidified its place as the largest locally owned community bank operating in Ventura County with the recent opening of a branch in Camarillo.

The community bank founded locally 40 years ago celebrated the grand opening of its location at 770 Paseo Camarillo, Suite 120 last week, with more than 100 attendees.

Camarillo is Montecito Bank & Trust’s 10th branch and the third in Ventura County.

The bank opened a Westlake Village location 10 years ago, expanding into Ventura before realizing the market’s full potential.

“Ventura County’s banking landscape has changed significantly since we entered the market,” President and CEO Janet Garufis said.

“Over the last few years, 15 banks have exited the market through acquisition or failure. The market is now dominated by the four ‘systemic risk’ banks. While they offer the convenience of many locations, they cannot offer the local decision-making and flexibility that a community bank does.  

“We believe expanding to serve the needs of Ventura county businesses and individuals is more important now than ever. We offer Ventura County customers the choice to bank locally and in doing so, contribute to the vitality of the local economy. Our employees live and work in the neighborhood, they are part of the communities they serve.”

Montecito Bank & Trust, which was founded locally in 1975, is the oldest and largest locally owned community bank in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, with other branches in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, Montecito and Carpinteria.

ShelterBox Hires Kerri Murray

Global humanitarian aid organization ShelterBox USA has hired a new president in Kerri Murray, who was serving as Goleta-based Direct Relief’s vice president of marketing, communications and development.

Murray, a veteran nonprofit and corporate executive who has specialized in global health initiatives, brings nearly two decades of experience to the organization. She had been working at Direct Relief since 2010.

Florida-based ShelterBox is currently responding to the refugee crisis in Syria, Iraq and Greece. Other responses include the earthquakes and landslides in Nepal as well as conflict in Cameroon and Niger.

Salty Girl Seafood Gets Award

Salty Girl Seafood, a Santa Barbara seafood startup developing sustainable, traceable, ready-to-cook, seafood products, won the Strongest Market Opportunity prize at the Fish 2.0 International Seafood Competition Finals at Stanford University.

Of 170 company applicants, Salty Girl Seafood was one of six firms to receive top scores in categories from investor-judges at Fish 2.0, an organization building the knowledge and connections needed to increase investment in the sustainable seafood sector.

“We are honored and excited to be recognized by the industry,” co-founder and COO Laura Johnson said in a statement.

“Connecting people more closely to the ocean and its resources is key to improving the sustainability of our global fisheries. The competition really helped us expand our reach.”

Salty Girl Seafood is sold in stores throughout Santa Barbara County and select stores in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Consumers can also purchase seafood items directly through their website. 

SurfMedia Makes Promotions

Santa Barbara’s SurfMedia Communications recently promoted four employees.

Meighann A. Helene was promoted to the position of Digital Marketing Manager, where she will manage the agency’s growing digital marketing and social media team and services.

Angel Pacheco was promoted to public relations director, although he will continue to lead public relations and marketing efforts as an account executive. In his new post, he will serve as a primary liaison for regional news and community media organizations.

Flannery Hill, who joined SurfMedia in 2013, will take over as senior account executive.

Amy Bernstein was promoted to public relations and marketing associate. She joined the team in May 2014 and leads media relations and marketing campaigns including media sponsorship and advertising coordination.

Carpinteria Hosts Entrepreneur Event

Entrepreneurs in the Carpinteria area are invited for a “Join Joyce” entrepreneurship event on Tuesday, Dec. 8 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Island Brewing Company.

Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO and president Joyce Donaldson invites entrepreneurs, home-based businesses, start-ups, creative minds and other go-getters to chat with her and each other while enjoying beer and talking with like-minded professionals at 5049 Sixth St. in Carpinteria.

“Join Joyce” programs are hosted on a quarterly basis at alternating member businesses to familiarize prospective/existing members with member benefits, special opportunities, and industry-specific Chamber programs. 

RSVP is required. To reserve a seat at the table, call Joyce at call 805.684.5479 or email via [email protected]

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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