Business First Bank Welcomes Phil Morreale - 12/09/09

For Immediate Release
8:00A.M. PT, December 9th, 2009
Mitch Massey, SVP

(Santa Barbara, CA) – Business First Bank is pleased to announce Phil Morreale has joined the team as a Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending Group Manager for the Santa Barbara region. Phil brings extensive banking, risk management, and leadership experience to the organization.

“Being part of and active in the community in which I live has been a focal point for me for the last 25 years,” says Phil Morreale. “When considering a career change, Business First Bank was a top choice for me given their excellent reputation and commitment within the communities they serve. The combination of business professionalism and the high level of employee involvement within our communities proved to be an excellent fit for me,” adds Morreale.

We are thrilled that Phil Morreale has joined the Business First banking team as Senior Vice President and the Santa Barbara Commercial Lending Group Manager. We are very fortunate to have someone like Phil who has such broad knowledge and experience in all facets of banking as well as his long-time contribution and service to the Santa Barbara community. He is a GREAT addition to the Business First team,” says Joanne E. Funari, EVP/President of the Business First Bank Division.

In his new position, Phil will be responsible for coordinating and supervising all commercial lending activities in the Santa Barbara area. He will also be responsible for growing and managing a loan portfolio and will oversee all business unit functions relative to profitability, minimizing credit risk, and improving efficiency in line the bank's strategic objectives. Phil will be headquartered at Business First Bank in the State Street office.

Prior to joining Business First Bank, Phil spent over 24 years working as a Commercial Banker in Santa Barbara. He has an excellent background in both major and community banks - holding key credit, lending, and management positions. Most recently, he spent the last 17 years at Santa Barbara Bank & Trust (a subsidiary of Pacific Capital Bancorp) as their Senior Commercial Lender / Team Leader in the Santa Barbara commercial banking group.

Phil graduated from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Business / Finance. He currently serves as the President of the Board of the Children's Creative Project, a non-profit entity that provides arts education programs to over 60,000 elementary school children each year in Santa Barbara County Throughout the year, Phil also serves on various fundraising committees for other non-profit organizations.

Phil is an avid surfer, runner, and kayaker. One of his most memorable accomplishments occurred in 2007, when he joined a group of five kayakers who formed "Paddle For Dreams,” which raised over $17,000 for the Rehabilitation Institute of Santa Barbara. Rallying around a good friend that suffered a stroke at the age of 49, who at the time had paddled the entire California coast with the exception of the 100+ miles between the Oregon Border and Humboldt Bay, the group decided to dedicate the paddle of this final stretch of coastline to the Rehabilitation Institute of Santa Barbara. While recovering from his stroke and undergoing treatment from the Rehabilitation Institute, their friend was able to accompany them on the final leg of this 1,100 mile, 10 year kayak journey.