MetroCorp Bancshares Inc. of Houston has hired Cary Ching as chief executive officer of its California unit, Metro United Bank.

Ching had been president and CEO of Omni Bank in Alhambra, Calif., since 2002. Before that he had been the president and CEO of Grand National Bank since 1991. He began his banking career in Taipei, Taiwan.

MetroCorp has $1.6 billion of assets.


American River Bankshares of Sacramento has promoted Kevin B. Bender to chief operating officer.

Bender had been an executive vice president of the $552 million-asset company since 2005 and the chief information officer since 1999. Before that he had been a vice president and the credit administration manager since 1993. He joined American River in 1986 as a note clerk.

Citizens Bank of Northern California in Nevada City promoted Michael Behn and Phillip Campbell to executive vice president.

Both were senior vice presidents.

Behn is to remain the $380 million-asset bank's senior credit administrator and chief information officer. He joined Citizens in 2003 as a senior vice president and the CIO.

Campbell joined the bank this year as general counsel and chief risk officer, titles he will retain. Before that he was chief counsel for the small-business capital division at Wachovia Corp.

Sterling Financial Corp. in Spokane has named J. Gregory Seibly acting president and chief executive and Ezra A. Eckhardt acting chief operating officer.

The company also named executive vice president Donn C. Costa acting president of its Golf Savings Bank subsidiary.

Seibly will also be the acting CEO of the $12 billion-asset Sterling Savings Bank and Golf Savings Bank. He had been president of Sterling Savings Bank since January. He joined Sterling Financial in 2007 as an executive vice president and the chief production officer.

Eckhardt will also be the acting president of Sterling Savings. He became an executive vice president and its chief operating officer in January.

Before that he was the chief administration officer. He joined Sterling in 2004.

Costa had been executive vice president of Golf Savings Bank since 2006, when Sterling Financial bought it from Lynnwood Financial Corp., where he was president.

The three succeed Howard B. Gilkey and Heidi B. Stanley in their roles. Gilkey co-founded Sterling in 1983 and was its board chairman, president and CEO. Stanley, the bank unit's CEO since January 2008, was also its president until last January, when she was elected chairman.

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