Executive of the Year

Janet Garufis

Award Sponsor: Cox Communications

A native of Los Angeles, Janet began her banking career as a teller 45 years ago at Security Pacific Bank, now Bank of America. She rapidly rose through the ranks and went on to organize Security Pacific’s Business Banking division, developing a streamlined credit origination program to make capital accessible to small businesses, which ultimately became Bank of America’s business lending division.

Janet joined Montecito Bank & Trust in 2004 and was named president and CEO two years later. She succeeded Michael Towbes as chairman in 2017. Under her leadership, Montecito Bank & Trust has enjoyed steady, robust growth. Last year total assets grew $56.5 million to $1.4 billion, and the bank posted loan and deposit growth of 5 and 4.7 percent, respectively.

A past chair of the Western Independent Bankers Association, Janet serves as a director of the Pacific Business Management Institute of Pacific Coast Banking School. In 2014, she was invited to join the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank’s 12th District, and was named chair of that council in February 2015. She was named National CDIAC President in 2017.

Janet’s numerous awards and accolades include being named to American Banker’s 25 Most Powerful Women to Watch list twice. She has been named Woman of the Year by the Santa Barbara Foundation and Businesswoman of the Year by the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, and has received the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Volunteer of the Year Award and Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s Women of Inspiration Award. She recently received the Pacific Coast Business Times’ inaugural Distinguished Achievement Award during the publication’s annual Top Women in Business reception.

Janet is the proud mother of two sons, and doting grandmother to three baby girls.