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.

Funari formerly served as the regional director and president of the Business First division of Heritage Oaks Bank. Funari 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, amongst other roles, she will be responsible for executing The Bank’s expansion plans and ensuring the Bank’s “customer-first” approach is consistent across all lines of business and offices.

For The Bank’s 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,” says Ortega. “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 Chamber of Commerce and is the incoming chairperson of the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce. Funari was appointed by 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, South Coast Business and Technology Awards, the Downtown Organization, UCSB Economic Forecast Project, Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation, American Cancer Society, 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,” says Funari. “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 please visit or call 805-730-7860.


The Bank of Santa Barbara broke the trend of larger banks buying smaller ones as they purchased “The Bank” from a national holding company and made it a locally owned and managed hometown bank. The headquarters are located at 12 E. Figueroa Street. For more information call 805.730.7860, visit


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