Business News for Bellevue and the Eastside of Lake Washington

Sunwest Bank Continues Expansion with Addition of Four New Executives

Sunwest Bank logoSunwest Bank, a community bank with 9 regional branches across the western United States, today announces the hiring of four new executives in its Seattle, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake City area locations. The strategic appointment of these hires marks the continued expansion of the community bank by further growing its Washington presence and creating a new Los Angeles office, as well as the first Utah location in Sandy. Steve Smith joins Sunwest Bank as the new Washington Market Area President. The Bank appointed David Schwartz to manage its Los Angeles market as Senior Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager. In addition, the Bank named Chad Canter as the Utah Market Area President and Russell S. Taft as Senior Vice President, Senior Relationship Manager. Both will be based in the Salt Lake City market area.

“Adding Steve, David, Chad and Russell to our growing team emphasizes our commitment to growing our Washington and California markets, as well as expanding the Bank’s reach into new regions,“ said Chris Walsh, president and CEO of Sunwest Bank. “Their extensive knowledge of finding profitable niches in the commercial banking sphere will allow us to grow our client base, as well as our loans and deposits, as we continue to develop our business across the western United States.“

As the Washington Market Area President, Steve Smith is responsible for building the Bank’s presence and directing a new team in the greater Seattle area. His tasks will also include advising businesses on a variety of matters including optimal financing solutions for working capital, international trade, equipment, and real estate as well as cash management and commercial credit cards. Previously, Mr. Smith was Vice President, Senior Relationship Manager at East West Bank and Vice President, Relationship Manager at Washington Trust Bank. He graduated from the University of Washington with a Master’s in Business Administration.

David Schwartz joins Sunwest Bank as Senior Vice President and Relationship Manager for the Los Angeles market, and brings a background in commercial banking. Mr. Schwartz will support the bank’s regional initiatives and overall business and community development efforts in the area. As a single point of contact for his clients, he will be responsible for maintaining and growing their loan and deposit portfolios. Prior to joining Sunwest Bank, Mr. Schwartz was Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager at Torrey Pines Bank and Vice President of Commercial Banking at Boston Private Bank and Trust. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics.

As the Utah Market Area President, Chad Canter will lead the organization’s economic and community development efforts and oversee the full range of Sunwest Bank’s financial services throughout the state. Mr. Canter will also focus on continuously improving the client experience and leveraging market opportunities. Previously, he served as Vice President and Principal Relationship Manager at Wells Fargo, where he managed banking relationships for small- to mid-size businesses. He attended the University of Utah, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications.

The Bank also appointed Russell Taft as Senior Relationship Manager of the greater Salt Lake City area. Mr. Taft will focus on expanding the Sunwest Bank brand and product suite into the Utah market, primarily through new commercial loans, deposits and treasury management products. A 30-year banking veteran, he has experience in internal loan audit, credit administration, credit management, and managing various lending group functions. Mr. Taft comes to Sunwest Bank after spending 17 years at Zions First National Bank as Senior Vice President of the Commercial Lending Division. A graduate of the University of Utah, he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management before earning his Master’s of Business Administration at the American Graduate School of International Management’s Thunderbird program. He is also a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School.

“Our regional teams play a critical role in overseeing and coordinating company resources to ensure we are making meaningful contributions to our local communities,” said Chris Walsh. “Expanding our reach into Los Angeles and Utah are exciting milestones for us. We are confident that bringing in team members with strong expertise will provide a solid foundation in the Los Angeles and Utah markets and we are looking forward to helping new clients in those areas to grow their businesses.”

About Sunwest Bank

An established community bank, Sunwest Bank has offices in California, Arizona, Washington, Utah and Idaho. Sunwest Bank offers a wide range of financial products to individuals, professionals, homeowner associations, and small- to mid-sized businesses.

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