Virginia Varela | Keynote & Featured Speakers | Small Business Banking

Virginia Varela


Golden Pacific Bank and Bancorp

Virginia Varela joined Golden Pacific Bank as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors for both the Bank and Golden Pacific Bancorp in 2013.  Golden Pacific Bank is the co-founder of SmartBiz, the nationwide automated, online SBA lending platform for loans from $5,000 to $150,000.  With SmartBiz, Golden Pacific Bank has become the nation’s leading lender for SBA Non-Express loans of $25,000 or less.  Now commanding 20 percent of the market, SmartBiz processed over $23 million in applications in April.

Before joining Golden Pacific Bank, Ms. Varela held various posts both as a community bank executive and as a former regulator, and brings with her more than 28 years of community banking experience.  Most recently, Ms. Varela served as EVP/Chief Operating Officer of Bank of the Orient, a large community bank headquartered in San Francisco and was responsible for managing ten branches, including three in Hawaii and one in China.  Ms. Varela also successfully served as CEO/President of Bank of Rio Vista in the California Delta region, where she transformed the Bank to profitability.  Ms. Varela was also President and Director of San Luis Trust Bank in San Luis Obispo, California.

Previously, Ms. Varela held various positions of authority with regulatory agencies including the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Treasury Department, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.  Her specialty area is that of community bank regulations and supervision.

Ms. Varela has consulted with financial institutions and government agencies both on a national and global scale.  She has succeeded in overseas missions with the Financial Services Volunteer Corporation assisting developing and transition countries.  She also served as a member of the Interagency Hurricane Katrina Task Force “Banks Helping Banks,” and was an active Consultant to the national “Elder Financial Protection Network.”

Ms. Varela is a member of the California Bankers Association Board of Directors.  Ms. Varela’s contributions were recognized through a “Woman of Distinction” Award in the San Francisco Bay area, as well as other honors and certifications over the years.