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Community and Busines Leader Jeffery M. Thomas Joins the Board of Directors at Sunwest Bank

TUSTIN, Calif., (February 4, 2010) – Sunwest Bank, one of the strongest and healthiest banks in California, has announced that financial expert and former Tustin City Mayor, Jeffery M. Thomas, has joined its Board of Directors. Thomas is the Vice President and Western Regional Director of Sage Advisory Services, which provides discretionary investment management of fixed income for corporate plans, public funds, hospitals, insurance companies, unions, high net-worth individuals and non-profit organizations.

"Jeffery brings a unique skill set of extensive financial expertise to our Board, as well as a record of success as a dedicated and effective public servant and politician," notes Glenn E. Gray, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tustin, California-headquartered Sunwest Bank. "He is a respected public figure throughout the state of California and has been an integral part of Orange County's success and growth."

Prior to his work with Sage Advisory Services, Mr. Thomas worked for industry leaders such as Morgan Stanley and Affinity Investment Advisors, Inc. From 1992 to 2004, Mr. Thomas served the City of Tustin, California, as a City Councilman and Mayor.

During his tenure, Mr. Thomas is credited with several major political accomplishments, including successful negotiations for the District at Tustin Legacy, three million square feet of commercial property, 4,900 residential units and numerous public benefit conveyances.

According to Thomas, "As an investment management professional I support the smart banking practices employed by Sunwest as well as its commitment to community and client relationships. Sunwest Bank continues to grow and actively lend, supporting the future success of entrepreneurs and community leaders. I look forward to serving the Board to help Sunwest provide the very best financial services to its extensive client base."

Mr. Thomas' investment experience has led to many key public appointments including appointment to the County of Orange Treasurer's Advisory Committee by Orange County Treasurer John Moorlach, appointment to the County of Orange Treasure Oversight Committee by the Orange County Board of Supervisors, appointment to the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission by State Treasurer Matt Fong and appointment to the California Housing Partnership Corporation by Governor Pete Wilson. Mr. Thomas currently serves the Municipal Water District of Orange County Board of Directors as the Director of District 6, serving 2.3 million residents in 28 cities and water agencies.

Mr. Thomas holds a Juris Doctorate from Western State University College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from California State University Fullerton.

With nearly 40 years in business, Sunwest Bank, one of the strongest banks in California, partners with entrepreneurs to personally take their businesses to a new level of success. The bank's solid balance sheet includes significant liquidity, resulting in an ability to lend in an environment where many banks are unable or unwilling to do so. Sunwest Bank has branch offices in Tustin, Anaheim, Newport Beach, Laguna Hills, San Clemente, Encinitas California, in addition to three branches in Flagstaff and one in Cottonwood Arizona. The bank specializes in meeting the credit and cash management needs of small and mid-size businesses. Additional information can be found at www.sunwestbank.com.