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Business

Joanne Funari Joins Bank of Santa Barbara as COO, Executive Vice President

The Bank of Santa Barbara, locally known as The Bank, announces Joanne Funari as the newly appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer. Funari will also be serving on The Bank’s Board of Directors.

Joanne Funari
Joanne Funaria as La Presidenta of Old Spanish Days Fiesta.

Funari formerly served as the regional director and president of the Business First division of Heritage Oaks Bank. She also served on the executive management team of Heritage Oaks Bank, where she was instrumental in growing the bank to more than $1 billion in assets.

She brings a great deal of experience to The Bank where, among other roles, she will be responsible for executing The Bank’s expansion plans and ensuring its “customer-first” approach is consistent across all lines of business and offices.

For The Bank CEO Eloy Ortega, reuniting with Funari also brings back together a unique partnership as the two share a distinguished history of major business achievements and milestones. Starting in 2000, Funari and Ortega initiated the founding process and together opened Business First National Bank in 2001.

“Joanne’s appointment offers the deep satisfaction of getting a great team back together,” Ortega said. “In working with Joanne, I know she is tremendously committed to serving the Santa Barbara community. She is intrinsically motivated by the success of local businesses and the satisfaction of local customers. The Bank, being locally owned, is a perfect spot for her.”

Funari’s passion for Santa Barbara is evident in her community service outside of the workplace. A major advocate and champion of Old Spanish Days Fiesta, Funari recently served as La Presidenta of the well-respected community event. She is a past president of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce and is the incoming chairwoman of the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce.

Funari was appointed by Santa Barbara County First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal to serve on the Santa Barbara County Finance Corporation, and her impressive list of community organizations also includes the Foundation for Santa Barbara City College, the South Coast Business and Technology Awards, the Downtown Organization, the UCSB Economic Forecast Project, the Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and United Way.

“To me, this community is my home, my family, my friendships and my sense of fulfillment,” Funari said. “The Bank’s operating philosophy — from its personalized banking service to its marketing initiatives — puts local businesses and customers up front and center. That’s how I do business. I am thrilled to be rejoining Eloy and The Bank to build upon an amazing Santa Barbara success story.”

Funari moved to Santa Barbara with her husband, Carlos, and son, Ryan, 23 years ago. She is an avid supporter of local law enforcement and fire agencies and a big sports fan, favoring the Yankees and the UCLA Bruins.

For additional information about The Bank, click here or call 805.730.7860.

— Erinn Lynch is a publicist representing The Bank of Santa Barbara.

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