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RICHMOND, California, April 18, 2007—Patricia Cochran, chief financial officer of VSP (Vision Service Plan), the nation’s largest specialized health plan for vision care, and Richard Moran, a partner in Venrock Associates, one of the most established venture capital firms in the U.S., have been elected to Mechanics Bank’s Board of Directors. .

“Patricia and Richard are two extremely strong additions to our board,” said E. M. “Eddie” Downer, III, chairman of Mechanics Bank board. “They share our focus on community, employees, and customer service. We feel fortunate to have found such good matches for our bank’s culture.”

Cochran has been with VSP since 1978, and was part of the team that led the 52-year-old company’s expansion nationwide to all 50 states. Started by a small group of optometrists in Oakland as a not-for-profit vision benefits plan in 1955, VSP has grown to become the nation’s largest eyecare benefits provider, with 48 million patients covered by its plans, and with a network of 24,000 doctors. Despite its rapid growth, the company has maintained a strong customer-service reputation and was ranked “Highest in Member Satisfaction, National Vision Plans” three years in a row by J.D. Powers Associates. VSP also has made Fortune Magazine’s list of "100 Best Companies to Work For" eight consecutive years and ranked in the top 25 seven of those years.

“One of Mechanics Bank’s operating principles is that you can’t deliver great customer service without great employees,” said Cochran. “I couldn’t agree more, and I will be a strong advocate of policies that promote employee well-being and loyalty. I also admire their commitment to building stronger communities.”

Cochran is widely known in the Sacramento community where VSP is headquartered, and where she and her husband Bruce raised their five children. Her corporate duties include managing VSP’s charity care program, Sight for Students, which annually provides over 50,000 needy children nationwide with free eyecare. An active community volunteer, she is a member of the Rotary Club of Sacramento and serves on the Boards of Directors for Catholic Healthcare West’s Sacramento Community Hospitals, the Tierra Del Oro Girl Scouts and the Sacramento Region Community Foundation. Cochran also is a member of the Advisory Council for the College of Business Administration for California State University, Sacramento.

Professionally, she serves on the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ national Governing Council and chairs its Business and Industry Executive Committee. She has addressed the World Congress of Accountants, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and several AICPA national conferences on the topic of Enterprise Risk Management. She also addressed the California Governor’s Conference for Women on Employee Satisfaction.

In 2007, Cochran was named to the Business Hall of Fame by Junior Achievement. She earned the Distinguished Service Award from the Alumni Association of California State University, Sacramento in 2001 and the College of Business Administration named her alumnus of the year in 2005. She received the 2000 Executive Woman Award from the Sacramento Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Moran, a partner in the Menlo Park office of Venrock (founded as the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller family seven decades ago) is a noted workplace expert focusing on digital media and software investments and offering assistance to Venrock portfolio companies. His 25-year career in Silicon Valley has included positions at a veritable “Who’s Who” of consulting firms, including Accenture, Towers Perrin, Price Waterhouse, and Regis McKenna.

“As Mechanics Bank continues to grow, it will be important to increase the bank’s technological capabilities,” said Dianne Daiss “DD” Felton, Vice Chairman of the Board. “Rich brings an ideal mix of technological and organizational expertise to help guide us in this area.”

Before joining Venrock, Moran served as the Chair of Portal Software until their acquisition by Oracle in 2006. He currently serves on the Glumobile and Sutura boards, and is on the Advisory Board of New Vine Logistics. His consultancy includes News Corporation, Sega, Apple, SBC, Hewlett Packard, and Electronic Arts as clients.

An expert on organization change who has written five best-selling books (his latest is Nuts, Bolts and Jolts) Moran is a member of the Silicon Valley branch of the National Association of Corporate Directors. He has an AB from Rutgers College, an MS from Indiana University and a Ph.D. from Miami University.

In the community, Moran has applied his organizational expertise to serving as chairman of the board of Golden Gate University, the San Francisco Historical Society, and Project Open Hand. He currently serves on the board of the California Historical Society. He and his wife Carol divide their time between their home in San Francisco and a small winery, Moran Manor, in Calistoga.

“The opportunity to serve on Mechanics Bank board ties together many elements of my career,” Moran said. “While I admire their strong tradition, I definitely feel I can bring them fresh ideas and thoughts about advancing technologically.”

Mechanics Bank is headquartered in Richmond, California. The 102-year-old family-owned community bank is one of the largest independent banks in California, with more than $2.7 billion in assets.


Ms. Hatti Hamlin

Mr. David Louis