Bita Ardalan
EVP, Union Bank

Bita Ardalan debuted on this list in 2012 when she was running Union Bank's national specialized lending group, which expanded beyond the California regional's branch footprint to build relationships in select industries. In just over two years, she grew the group from three sector-specific lending niches to seven, including healthcare, aerospace and environmental services.

Now Union is counting on her to spearhead a growth strategy closer to home. With designs on expanding its commercial business from Southern California to Washington state, and perhaps points beyond, Union in July announced it was putting Ardalan in charge of commercial banking for its western region.

The new post draws on her prior experience at Union as commercial banking chief in Los Angeles, and solidifies her status as a woman worth watching.

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