SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Redwood Empire Bancorp hired James E. Beckwith as its chief financial officer.

The holding company in the last year has had trouble managing the merger of its bank and thrift subsidiaries. The previous finance chief, Dennis E. Kelley, was appointed president of Redwood Empire's National Bank of the Redwoods subsidiary last July.

"(Mr. Beckwith) has broad experience in the complex financial issues facing financial institutions today," said John H. Downey, chairman of Redwood Empire.

Mr. Beckwith was most recently chief financial officer of Sunrise Bancorp in Roseville, Calif. Before that, he was a senior manager and director of the financial institutions practice at Deloitte & Touche in Sacramento.

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