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President Obama Nominates ProAmerica Bank's Founding Executive Chairwoman Maria Contreras-Sweet as Administrator of the SBA

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 01/17/14 -- ProAmérica Bank (OTCQB: PMRA) congratulates its Founding Executive Chairwoman Maria Contreras-Sweet on her nomination by President Barack Obama to head the Small Business Administration (SBA). If confirmed by the Senate, Contreras-Sweet will become the 24th Administrator of the SBA and the second since President Obama elevated the position to cabinet-level in 2012.

A ProAmérica Bank founding organizer and Director, Edward P. Roski, Jr., President and Chairman of Majestic Realty Co., shared, "I was so encouraged that President Obama nominated Maria Contreras-Sweet, a seasoned and talented business leader and advocate who will serve our country remarkably as the SBA Administrator. In launching a financial institution to serve family businesses, her vision was to provide access to capital to underserved communities so that they too could achieve the American dream. She believes strongly in the entrepreneurial spirit, and embodies its potential. As the leader of the SBA, I'm confident she will bring to bear her executive leadership, government know-how and financial acumen to this critical position."

At the nomination announcement, President Obama's remarks focused on the importance of small businesses recognizing them as the "lifeblood of our economy." He shared his appreciation for the "hard work and the sacrifice" that small business owners make to launch and grow their businesses and create our country's new jobs. The President then proudly announced his nomination of Maria Contreras-Sweet as the new Administrator of the SBA. He shared with an audience of family, SBA staff, chamber and business leaders that "Maria knows how hard it is to get started on a business... She's the founder of ProAmérica Bank, the first Latino-owned business bank in California in over 30 years. Its focus is small and medium-sized businesses in Latino neighborhoods. So not only did she start small businesses, but those have also been her customers, and she understands all too often that the lack of access to capital means a lack of opportunity." He continued, "When she started her bank, she said she wanted the bank to be a place where families would come for help, because when family businesses thrive -- and I'm quoting -- the community thrives and the economy thrives." President Obama praised her accomplishments and pointed out the alignment of her private sector, public sector and entrepreneurial experience to lead the SBA. "She understands the needs of small business owners like herself. She knows how they can lift entire communities, and ultimately how they lift our country. Maria will be charged with looking for more ways to support small businesses to help them get that good idea off the ground, to expand, to hire, to sell their products and ideas not only in our domestic markets, but also overseas. And I'm absolutely confident that she is going to do an outstanding job as our Small Business Administrator."

As a SBA Preferred Lender, ProAmérica Bank has built strong relationships with the entrepreneurs who have benefited from this important government-backed loan program. ProAmérica Bank serves a diverse group of small business owners and its team of banking professionals works hard to ensure that clients have both a financial banking partner and the capital they require to succeed. The SBA program is a cornerstone of the Bank's offerings to small businesses. As a result, according to ProAmérica Bank President and CEO L. Bruce Mills, Jr., "Maria Contreras-Sweet has had hands-on experience with small businesses and knows their needs. At ProAmérica Bank, we offer consultative banking as it was the vision of our founders that clients would receive not only the financial resources, but also education, networking and access to help grow their businesses. Maria provided these opportunities as she knew they were critical success factors. She's a perfect fit to be the SBA Administrator."

About ProAmérica Bank

ProAmérica Bank provides a full range of financial services, including credit and deposit products, cash management, and internet banking for businesses and high net worth individuals from its headquarters office at 888 West Sixth Street, Second Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90017. Information on products and services may be obtained by calling (213) 613-5000 or visiting the Bank's website at www.proamericabank.com.


This news release contains statements that are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about ProAmérica Bank's business based, in part, on assumptions made by management. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements due to numerous factors, including those described above and the following: ProAmérica Bank's timely implementation of new products and services, technological changes, changes in consumer spending and savings habits and other risks discussed from time to time in ProAmérica Bank's reports and filings with banking regulatory agencies. In addition, such statements could be affected by general industry and market conditions and growth rates, and general domestic and international economic conditions. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and ProAmérica Bank does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release.

ProAmerica Bank
Maria Contreras-Sweet
Executive Chairwoman

L. Bruce Mills, Jr.
President & CEO

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