20190107-bc-valleyrepublicbank

Relations Specialist Mariana Lozano works at her desk at the California Avenue office of Valley Republic Bank, which opened 10 years ago.

Denver-based Crimson Midstream LLC has agreed to buy Shell Pipeline Co. LP's 600-mile California oil pipeline system, which includes a key, state-regulated conduit — the San Pablo Bay Pipeline — linking oilfields in western Kern with Bay Area refineries.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close later this year.

Since 2005, Crimson has grown quickly in California by buying pipelines and other oil infrastructure from Chevron-Texaco, ExxonMobil, Conoco Phillips and others.

Physicians Automated Laboratory, a blood-testing company with three offices in Bakersfield, is now part of WestPac Labs after joining in January with two similar organizations outside the area.

PAL’s new sister companies are West Pacific Medical Laboratories, headquartered in Santa Fe Springs, and Central Coast Pathology Laboratory, based in San Luis Obispo.

WestPac is itself part of Austin, Texas-based Sonic Healthcare USA. WestPac’s corporate manager in Bakersfield did not return a request for comment.

The Bakersfield parent company of Valley Republic Bank posted record earnings for the 12 months ended Dec. 31.

Valley Republic Bancorp's net income increased 71 percent during the year to reach $8.95 million. Its net loans, deposits and total assets all rose by 17 percent in 2018.

President and CEO Bruce Jay said in a news release the bank is now in the top 20 percent of approximately 5,600 banks in the United States, as measured by asset size.

"As one of the newest banks in the country," he stated, "we are proud of what Valley Republic Bank has achieved in both growth and performance in just 10 years."

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce named its new board of directors and the recipients of its annual awards.

Bakersfield College's dean of instruction, Cornelio "Corny" Rodriguez, won the Business Man of the Year award. Raji Brar, Countryside Corp.'s COO, was named Business Woman of the Year. Centro 18 took the Small Business of the Year award and Varner Bros. was honored as Large Business of the Year.

Chevron was named Corporation of the Year, Bakersfield Police Activities League won Non-Profit Organization of the Year and Michael Bowers was given the chamber's annual Community Service Award.

Advance Beverage's Ken Ouellette was selected to be the group's chairman, Realtor Blodgie Rodriguez was named chair-elect and David Alanis of America's Job Center of California was appointed vice-chair. Kaiser Permanente's Eva Ramirez is now treasurer, Bakersfield College's Olivia Garcia is secretary and Adam Alvidrez of Chevron is past-chair.

Other board members are Russell Bilbrey of Knights Pumping & Portable Services Inc.; Sal Brito of State Farm; Denise Castaneda-Ornelas of La Bonita Tortilla; Claudia Catota of Cal State Bakersfield; Gloria Garcia of California Resources Corp.; Donna Hermann of the American Cancer Society; Edward J. Herrera of Edward J. Herrera Insurance; and R.L. Hutchinson of H.A. Sala, a Professional Corp.

Also on the board this year: Brandon Ivie of Strata Credit Union; Chris Lowe of AltaOne Federal Credit Union; Robin Mangarin-Scott of Dignity Health — Mercy and Memorial Hospitals; Julie Pensinger of Pensingers Oilfield Trailer; Melissa Poole of The Wonderful Co.; Zachary Rabanal of Walker-Lewis Rents; Sal Saavedra of Daniells, Phillips, Vaughan & Bock; Dr. William Stuart Tatsuno of Lifetime Chiropractic; Ed Taylor of The Petroleum Club; and business consultant Ricardo Villarreal.

Strata Credit Union is marking its name change from Kern Federal Credit Union with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday at its downtown branch, 1717 Truxtun Ave.

The event will begin a year-long 70th-anniversary celebration during which the financial institution plans to grant 70 wishes for individuals or organizations in need.

Beverages, refreshments, prize-giveaways and live performances will be part of the ribbon-cutting.

Strata has said it changed its name to avoid confusion with another Bakersfield institution, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union.

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