Sunflower Bank Announces Expansion in Southern California with Hiring of Regional President James Canepa and Experienced Commercial Banking Teams

May 02, 2024

james canepaLos Angeles, CA – Sunflower Bank is pleased to announce that we have hired four experienced commercial banking teams in Southern California. Southern California’s commercial banking market will be our largest market and provides an opportunity to continue the expansion of our relationship banking model for middle market clients. James Canepa joined the bank in April 2024 to lead the new teams as Executive Vice President & Regional President. In this role, James is responsible for the strategy, management and growth of Sunflower Bank’s commercial banking, private banking and wealth management services in greater Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernadino, Orange and San Diego Counties. Sunflower Bank is a $7.8 billion bank with a model of delivering relationship-driven, local decision-making with large bank solutions to locations throughout Texas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Arizona.

“We are very excited to bring on this experienced team of commercial bankers and for the opportunity they provide to build new client and business relationships in Southern California. James Canepa and his leadership team spent their careers building their relationships in this region and they bring a client service passion that we love. We look forward to working with this team to make an impact in this region for Sunflower Bank,” said Neal Arnold, CEO and President of Sunflower Bank.  

James brings over 25 years of banking experience that includes commercial banking, private banking and wealth management. His most recent roles involved developing and overseeing California-wide banking teams for regional banks. The Sunflower Bank Southern California Region led by James is already operational and is comprised of commercial relationship managers, credit and portfolio managers, and commercial support associates.

“My team and I are thrilled to join Sunflower Bank together and bring our great teamwork and market intelligence to this stellar organization. We look forward to complementing our commitment to providing best-in-class relationship management with the robust commercial and private banking services that Sunflower Bank has to offer. The combination is a perfect fit for all our Southern California communities and we’ve already seen a great response from our networks,” added James.

Four commercial offices are being established in Southern California to support the following organizational structure with plans for future growth:

  • David Alterman is Senior Vice President & Managing Group Director leading the Greater Los Angeles market serving areas including LA City proper and the San Fernando Valley
  • Cathie Wachter is Senior Vice President & Managing Group Director leading the West Los Angeles market specializing in family offices and the entertainment industry
  • Ernesto Arredondo Jr. and Stephen Clark are both Senior Vice President & Co-Managing Group Directors jointly leading the Orange County and San Diego markets
  • Kenneth Hernandez is Senior Vice President & Managing Group Director leading the Inland Empire market covering San Bernadino and Riverside Counties
  • Keith Budoff is Senior Vice President & Regional Senior Credit Administrator for the Southern California Region responsible for implementing Sunflower Bank’s locally-driven decision-making credit model

Sunflower Bank has a regional structure that our Southern California Region can access to provide its clients with specialty lines of business including treasury management; asset-based lending; public finance; technology, media and telecommunications and other industry-specific financing; private banking and wealth management services, and mortgage capabilities in 43 states through Guardian Mortgage division.

Media Relations Contact

Jeanne Lipson

Director of Commercial & Specialty Marketing, Brand and Media Relations

915.881.6785 | [email protected]