January 17, 2023
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Coast National snatches former Mission CEO


Anita Robinson, the former CEO of Mission Community Bank, has moved to San Luis Obispo-based Coast Bancorp, parent of Coast National Bank.

Her move comes two months after Mission announced that Robinson, the founding CEO of that bank, would be reassigned to head up its community development subsidiary.

Coast is a four-branch bank with $135.6 million in assets as of September. It is the 11th largest bank based in the Tri-Counties.

Robinson will be named CEO and a director of both the bank and its holding company, Coast said in a statement on Jan. 20. Her appointments are still subject to regulatory approval. Robinson will succeed former Coast CEO Jack Wauchope, who resigned.

Coast also announced that company director Gene D. Mintz was named chairman of the board of both the bank and its holding company. In commenting on Robinson, Mintz said in a statement, “Coast is extremely fortunate to be able to obtain the services of such a qualified executive. She has served as chief executive officer of two community banks in San Luis Obispo and is well known in the marketplace.”

Robinson was the president of Mission Community Bancorp, the parent of Mission Community Bank, from 2000 until November 2011. She was the founding CEO of the bank, starting her tenure there in 1996 and holding it until November.

Robinson’s term with the bank she founded started to wane when private equity firm Carpenter Fund Manager poured $25 million into the bank starting in 2009, buying the right to assign several directors to the board. In 2010, the Carpenter fund brought longtime banking veteran Jim Lokey out of retirement to become chairman of Mission Community Bancorp. Lokey had helped turn Mid-State Bank & Trust, sold to Rabobank in 2007 for $870 million, into a regional banking powerhouse.

Lokey and the Carpenter fund have since been aggressively pursuing acquisitions along the Central Coast to build what Lokey once described to the Business Times as a “super community bank for the Central Coast.” Mission acquired struggling Santa Lucia Bancorp in October 2011, a deal that doubled Mission’s assets to $450 million.

In November 2011, Mission said that Robinson had been reassigned to head up its community development subsidiary, a position in which she managed about 25 percent of the bank’s assets. Tom Dobyns, formerly with Newport Beach-based American Security Bank, was brought in as Mission’s new CEO.