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Geraud Smith Appointed President & CEO

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., February 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Valley Republic Bancorp (the "Company") (VLLX), the parent company of Valley Republic Bank (the "Bank"), announced today that Senior Executive Vice President Geraud Smith has been appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and the Bank, effective March 1, 2019.  Smith will replace Bruce Jay, who is retiring effective March 31, 2019.  Jay was the lead organizer of Valley Republic Bank and has served as President/CEO since the Bank's inception in February, 2009.  Jay will provide transition advisory services, as needed, for the remainder of 2019 and will continue to serve as a director for both the Company and the Bank.

Smith joined Valley Republic in July, 2018, as part of a deliberate succession plan. Smith is an accomplished banker with over 20 years of commercial banking experience with a focus on real estate, oil and gas, and agriculture.  Smith worked for one of the major banks for the past 20 years, working in Fresno for 12 years and the past 8 years in Bakersfield.  Most recently, he was the regional manager for the Middle Market Banking group with coverage over the South San Joaquin Valley and parts of the Central Coast and Southern California. Smith stated, "It's been an honor to spend the past several months integrating into a community banking environment that's focused on relationships and service.  Having competed with Valley Republic Bank over the past eight years, I knew they had an exceptional Board of Directors and terrific staff talent.  Now having been here for the past 8 months, I'm even more impressed with the culture and uncommon service Valley Republic provides to clients every day.  I'm humbled, yet very excited to have an opportunity to lead this terrific organization into the future."

Chairman of the Board Eugene Voiland said, "We've been very pleased with Smith's integration into our culture and we're confident in his ability to successfully lead the Company and the Bank for many years.   We credit Jay's vision, experience and leadership as playing a vital role in our success to date.  Ten years of record growth in earnings and assets has been achieved with Jay at the helm. As one of the country's newest banks, we're proud to have earned a place in the top 20% of all banks in the USA based on asset size.  Jay is not leaving Valley Republic; just taking on more responsibilities as one of our directors."

About Valley Republic Bancorp and Valley Republic Bank

Valley Republic Bancorp is a bank holding company formed in 2016. Valley Republic Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Valley Republic Bancorp, headquartered in Bakersfield, California. The Company is subject to the regulatory oversight of the Federal Reserve Bank and the Bank is subject to the regulatory oversight of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the California Department of Business Oversight. Valley Republic Bank is an FDIC-insured, state-chartered, commercial bank in its tenth year of operation, having been established in 2009. Valley Republic Bank is a full-service, community bank with three full-service banking offices in Bakersfield and one full-service banking office in Delano. Valley Republic Bank emphasizes professional, high quality banking services provided to a wide range of businesses and professionals. The Bank also provides a full complement of banking services that are available to individuals and non-profit organizations.



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