Heritage Oaks Bancorp in Paso Robles, Calif., has named longtime California banking executive Simone Lagomarsino as its new president and chief executive officer and as CEO of its subsidiary, Heritage Oaks Bank.

Lagomarsino will take the helm Sept. 10, replacing Lawrence P. Ward, who announced his retirement earlier this year. Ward will remain on the boards of the bank and the holding company.

Lagomarsino has 20 years of executive experience at California banks and credit unions. She was most recently the CEO at the $3.5 billion-asset Kinecta Federal Credit Union in Manhattan Beach, which announced plans in June to merge with NuVision Federal Credit Union in Huntington Beach. Prior to that, Lagomarsino was the CEO at the $2.8 billion Hawthorne Financial Corp. in El Segundo and engineered its sale to Commercial Capital Corp. in 2004. (Commercial Capital was later sold to Washington Mutual Inc., which failed in 2008 and was taken over byJPMorgan Chase & Co.)

Heritage Oaks has $974 million of assets and more than a dozen branches along California's central coast. The company suffered steep losses after the real estate bust, but has rebounded with three straight profitable quarters. It earned $584,000 in the second quarter, compared to a loss of $9.6 million in the same period a year earlier.

In a news release, Heritage Oaks Chairman Michael J. Morris said Lagomarsino is the "right leader to take us to the next level of our development. We are ecstatic to find a professional who has it all — impeccable experience, razor sharp knowledge and management skills and dedication to the precepts of community banking."

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