Napa, California, July 31, 2006—Ruth D. Edwards has joined Mechanics Bank as Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager for the Napa Corporate Banking Office. Her responsibilities will include commercial lending and real estate transactions for businesses in the region.

The 34-year-old banker is a long-time resident of California’s wine country, and grew up in Santa Rosa. Before joining Mechanics Bank, she was with the Santa Rosa office of Wells Fargo’s Regional Commercial Banking Office.

“Ruth has deep personal and business roots in our area,” said Shirley Hooks, Senior Vice President and Napa Valley Corporate Lending Group Regional Manager. “She is well-versed in the needs and issues faced by businesses and developers here, and will be a strong addition to Mechanics Bank team.”

Edwards brings a strong focus on relationship-building to her job. "As a banker, I have the opportunity to work with customers over many years to help bring their visions to reality,” said Edwards. “Mechanics Bank is well-known for sharing that focus on keeping long-term customer relationships—sometimes spanning several generations—so I’m delighted to be a part of their organization.”

Edwards and her husband Gary reside in the town of Sonoma, where she is a member of the board of directors of the Valley of the Moon Boys and Girls Club. She also has been active in the Sonoma-Lake-Mendocino United Way. She is a graduate of the University of California at Davis, and also received her MBA there.

Edwards’ office is located in Mechanics Bank’s Napa Office at 433 Soscol Avenue. She serves clients throughout the Valley, as well as in Sonoma and Mendocino.

Mechanics Bank is headquartered in Richmond, California. The 100-year-old family-owned community bank is one of the largest independent banks headquartered in Northern California, with more than $2.7 billion in assets.

Press contacts:
Ms. Hatti Hamlin

Mr. David Louis