MIDWEST

First Financial Bancorp in Hamilton, Ohio, said James C. Hall will move up to the newly created job of executive vice president next month.

Mr. Hall is now president and chief operating officer of the $3.9 billion-asset company's Sand Ridge Bank in Highland, Ind. He will relinquish those jobs to the bank's chief lending officer, executive vice president David S. Harvey.

Mr. Hall has worked for First Financial and its subsidiaries since 1991. He has held his current jobs since 1999, when First Financial acquired Sand Ridge Financial Corp.

Before that he had been president and chief executive officer of First Financial's Fidelity Federal Savings Bank in Marion, Ind., for three years. Still earlier he had been an executive vice president at Home Federal Bank in Hamilton (now First National Bank of Southwestern Ohio), his employer for five years.

He started his banking career at a Bank One Corp. unit in Mansfield, Ohio.


SOUTHEASTFFLC Bancorp. in Leesburg, Fla., has elected Claron D. Wagner, who since 1998 had been vice chairman of the company and its First Federal Savings Bank of Lake County, as their chairman.

He succeeded Joseph J. Junod, who had been chairman for three years and will remain a member of both boards.

Mr. Wagner has been a member of First Federal's board since 1987 and FFLC's in 1993.


WESTMid-State Bank in Arroyo Grande, Calif., has hired Donna Owen as the corporate banking manager for California's South Coast region - Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

She was also named a senior vice president. She reports to James W. Lokey, president and chief executive officer of the $1.4 billion-asset unit of Mid-State Bancshares.

Ms. Owen was a senior vice president of Sanwa Bank California and its manager of commercial banking for Ventura County, the San Fernando Valley, and Santa Clarita. The Los Angeles bank is a unit of Sanwa Bank Ltd. of Osaka, Japan.

Before joining Sanwa she had been a vice president and a commercial loan team leader at Community Bank in Pasadena. Still earlier she had held the same posts at Mitsui Manufacturers Bank in Los Angeles (now Manufacturers Bank), a unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. in Osaka.

She began her banking career in 1979 at Los Angeles-based First Interstate Bank (which the old Wells Fargo & Co. bought in 1996). She later became a vice president and a commercial loan officer at Imperial Bank in Inglewood and worked for it for five years.

Mid-State Bank has also hired Donald R. Nielsen as the director of its newly created leasing department.

He was also named a vice president. He reports to chief credit officer Tom Reese, a senior vice president.

Mr. Nielsen was the chief operating officer for three years at LeaseHolding BV in Geneva. Before that he had been the vice president in charge of leasing operations at Cargill Leasing Corp. in Minneapolis, for which he had worked for 16 years.


Bay View Capital Corp. in San Mateo, Calif., has promoted executive vice president Richard E. Arnold to chief operating officer of its Bay View Bank.Mr. Arnold had been the director of retail banking at the $5.2 billion-asset bank since 1997. Before that he had been an executive vice president and an area manager at Los Angeles-based First Interstate Bank of California, which Wells Fargo & Co. bought in 1996.

Still earlier he had worked for 30 years at Security Pacific National Bank of Los Angeles, which the old BankAmerica Corp. bought in 1992.


SOUTHEASTGuaranty Financial Corp. in Charlottesville, Va., has hired William E. Doyle as president and chief executive officer.

Mr. Doyle was the senior vice president in charge of retail banking, mortgage banking, investment sales, and strategic planning for four years at Middleburg Bank of Middleburg, Va.

Before that he had been the director of corporate services, cash management, and consumer loan marketing at Crestar Bank in Vienna, Va. (SunTrust Banks Inc. of Atlanta bought Crestar last year.)

Guaranty Financial has $254 million of assets.

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