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MIKE POPOVICH JOINS MECHANICS BANK AS CORPORATE LENDING REGION MANAGER


RICHMOND CA, April 26, 2007—Michael S. Popovich has joined Mechanics Bank as Senior Vice President and Region Manager of the Corporate Banking Division. Popovich was previously a Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Marin County/North Bay for Vineyard Bank, a Southern California-based commercial bank.

“Mike will help us assemble and lead a team of experienced corporate bankers here in the San Francisco marketplace,” said Cort O’Haver, Executive Vice President and head of the Corporate Banking Division. “We see unprecedented opportunities being created due to the spate of mergers and acquisitions of established regional and community banks—leaving their former corporate customers looking for stable, long term relationships with new financial partners. Mike’s experience makes him an ideal choice to help expand this area of our bank.”

"Mechanics Bank has an outstanding reputation in the banking community as well as solid leadership and ownership,” said Popovich. “The new strategic plan clearly demonstrates their desire to support the mission and values of the organization as they continue down their path of excellence. After meeting key personnel and learning more about the culture and their plans for the future, I knew I had to be a part of it."

With 28 years of experience in the financial services industry, Popovich brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership skills in the areas of sales and marketing, relationship management, business development and strategic planning.

At Vineyard Bank, he led private and commercial banking in the region, including deposit and lending services. Before that, he was Vice President of Product & Business Development at Bridger Commercial Funding in Mill Valley, CA., directing new product and business development efforts to broaden Bridger’s product lines and customer base and to develop strategic partnerships with banks and other financial institutions.

From 2002 to 2004, he played a key role as Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Tamalpais Bank, based in San Rafael, CA., helping the small community bank triple its size in two years. He also served as community liaison, coordinator for community outreach programs and represented Tamalpais Bank as a member of the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

He also spent 18 years with Transamerica Commercial Finance Corporation. Popovich’s other posts include a five year stint as Vice President of Sales at Ampent, a national high-tech startup that provided financial “supply chain management in the online equipment leasing market, and serving as Director of Sales for Newcourt Credit’s U.S. Retail Group, one of the world’s largest non-bank financial institutions

Popovich is a lifelong resident of Kentfield in Marin County and even attended the College of Marin there. He and his wife, Nancy (also a banker who currently serves as President and CEO of Western Independent Bankers) enjoy family-centered activities such as cooking, hiking Mt. Tam, and the athletic activities of their son, Tony.

Mechanics Bank is headquartered in Richmond, California. The century-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
925.872.4328
HattiHamlin@aol.com

Mr. David Louis
510.741.3328
David_Louis@mechbank.com