Left James C. Holly, Right Kevin McPhaill

Sierra Bancorp board of directors
finalizes CEO succession

April 03, 2015
Santa Paula News

The Board of Directors of Sierra Bancorp, the holding company for Bank of the Sierra, today announced that it has officially appointed Kevin McPhaill as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective April 1, 2015. On the same day, the founding bank President, James C. Holly, will officially enter retirement, but continue on the Board of Directors as Vice Chairman.

Locally born and raised, McPhaill grew up in Tulare County and attended Fresno Pacific University for his undergraduate degree, and earned his MBA with a concentration in Finance at Fresno State University. Additionally, McPhaill graduated from the Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University. McPhaill has been in the banking industry for 24 years, including 14 years with Bank of the Sierra, and in his most recent role at the bank, McPhaill held the position of President and Chief Operating Officer. McPhaill also holds a seat on the bank’s Board of Directors.

“I am privileged to have worked with Jim for the past several years and have come to admire his leadership, energy and drive,” stated McPhaill. “I congratulate him on an exceptional banking career that spans over 50 years, including nearly 38 years as CEO of Bank of the Sierra. I am honored to move into this role and I am committed to working with our team as we realize our full potential,” continued McPhaill. 

“As we transition to a new President, the Board of Directors and I have full confidence in Kevin and his abilities,” mentioned Holly. “Kevin has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and a true passion for customer service. With the top-level leadership we have in place, Bank of the Sierra is well positioned for future growth and high performance.” 

Early in his banking career, Holly was instrumental in starting the Porterville, California based bank in 1977, and maintained his role as the bank’s CEO for nearly 38 years. Holly has seen Bank of the Sierra flourish from a small, single office bank to a 28 branch multi-community bank. Through multiple recessions, and a corporate building fire in the early 90’s, Holly and his team have managed to generate a profit every year since 1982. Sierra Bancorp is the largest publicly-traded financial institution headquartered in Tulare County and is traded on NASDAQ (BSRR). Although Holly will retire as CEO, he will continue on as a director and will retain all current Board committee assignments. In addition, he was appointed Vice Chairman of the Board for both Sierra Bancorp and the Bank, with oversight for merger and acquisition activities, effective April 1, 2015.  

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