Mission Bank said Thursday it will open an office in San Luis Obispo County that will expand the Bakersfield-based institution into the Central Coast just six months after it announced plans to begin operating in Stockton.

Led by new hire Mike Jefferis, a banker and senior manager with more than three decades of experience, the Central Coast office will mark the bank's 10th location. Mission also has offices in Bakersfield, Lancaster, Mojave, Ridgecrest and Ventura County.

A.J. Antongiovanni, president and CEO of the bank's parent company, Mission Bancorp, said in a news release the San Luis Obispo County office will offer commercial, Small Business Administration and agriculture loans.

"Central Coast businesses can expect to see the same level of integrity, commitment and service we are known for in our existing markets," he stated.

Jefferis' responsibilities include hiring staff, establishing new relationships with banking customers and growing Mission throughout San Luis Obispo County and the Central Coast. He will open a temporary facility in the county with more permanent offices to follow, the news release said.

"We plan to reach out to the community, become engaged and make the Central Coast a better place to bank," Jefferis said in the release.

Jefferis earned a bachelor's degree in finance at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and graduated from the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University.

John Cox can be reached at 661-395-7404. Follow him on Twitter: @TheThirdGraf. Sign up at Bakersfield.com for free newsletters about local business.

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