James Wright Joins Mechanics Bank in St. Helena

Napa native adds another familiar face to Corporate banking staff

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ST. HELENA, CA, December 1, 2010 -- Mechanics Bank has added a familiar face to its Corporate Banking roster in St. Helena with the arrival of James L. Wright, a Napa native who has spent the past 25 years providing banking services in St. Helena. Mr. Wright has been appointed Vice President, Sr. Relationship Manager.

Before joining Mechanics Bank, Mr. Wright was Executive Vice President and Regional Manager for Charter Oak Bank in St. Helena, an office he opened and managed for three years. He is exceptionally well-known in the Napa banking community, having been among the early employees of Napa National Bank, which he joined in 1984. He opened and led that bank’s second branch office in the same location that Mechanics Bank’s St. Helena office now occupies, and went on to play a key role in its management and growth until it was acquired in 2002. Mr. Wright then joined The Vintage Bank, as Vice President and Area Manager, a post he held for five years prior to serving at Charter Oak Bank.

“Coming to Mechanics Bank feels like home to me,” Mr. Wright said. “I’m almost sitting in the same chair I occupied a quarter century ago, where I can continue to serve my long-time customers. It’s great to be able to offer them a strong, well-managed community bank that has been a mainstay of the communities where it operates for more than a century.”

“Obviously, we are delighted to have Jim on board,” said Scott McAdams, Senior Vice President, Corporate Banking at Mechanics Bank. “We know the importance of banking with people you trust, and Jim’s strong record of community service and impeccable banking credentials are a great fit for our organization.”

Mr. Wright’s banking career began in 1970 with Bank of America, but he didn’t return to his home turf in the Napa Valley until 1984. He has never looked back. He quickly became embedded in a variety of civic and nonprofit organizations. The list includes having served on the boards of the local Rotary Club, Boys and Girls Club, Napa Valley Economic Development Corporation and St. Helena Education Foundation. He has held officer positions in the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce, Napa Valley Museum Association, Napa Valley Wine Library Association and a former member of the St. Helena Affordable Housing Task Force.

A graduate of Napa High School, where he met his wife, Jane, Mr. Wright’s two adult children also are products of the local public schools and his daughter now teaches at St. Helena Elementary School. Mr. Wright and his wife have been very involved with the school system; he served as a Group Leader for St. Helena High School’s Accreditation and currently serves on the St. Helena Unified School District Budget Review Committee—giving him yet another of many strong and continuing ties to the local community.

A graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Mr. Wright earned a B.S. in Agricultural Business.

About Mechanics Bank

For more than a century, Mechanics Bank has been committed to helping people build prosperous communities as a trusted financial partner, forging lasting relationships through teamwork, respect and integrity. The $3 billion independent bank, headquartered in Richmond, California, offers personal banking, business banking, trust, brokerage and wealth management services through 33 offices across Northern California, including two in Napa Valley. For more information, please visit www.mechanicsbank.com.

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