Garufis began her banking career as a teller 45 years ago with Security Pacific Bank, now Bank of America. She rose through the ranks of retail banking and after completing the Security Pacific Management Training Program, successfully led retail banking, commercial banking and private banking organizations. She developed and organized Security Pacific’s Business Banking division where she developed and implemented a streamlined credit origination program to make capital accessible to small businesses and which ultimately became Bank of America’s business lending division.
She was born in Los Angeles and graduated from Marymount High School. She attended UCLA and holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from California State University Northridge and is a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington. She moved to Santa Barbara in 2002 to attend the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, UC Santa Barbara to earn a Ph.D in Composition and Rhetoric. Her educational pursuits were put on hold when she joined Montecito Bank & Trust in 2004 and became the bank’s President and Chief Executive Officer in September, 2006 and Chairman of the Board in April, 2017.
Garufis actively contributes her time and talent to industry associations as well as local non-profits. She is a past Chair of the Western Independent Bankers Association. She is also a Director of the Pacific Business Management Institute of Pacific Coast Banking School. In early 2014, Garufis was invited to join the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank’s 12th District (CDIAC) and was named the Chair of that council in February 2015. In that capacity, she also serves on the national CDIAC and was chosen as the National CDIAC President in 2017.
Garufis serves as the Chair of Sansum Clinic® Board of Trustees and is a director and a Past President of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara Board. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Music Academy of the West and she recently joined the Board of Directors of the Goleta Chamber of Commerce. She serves on the Advisory Board of Casa Pacifica and the Leadership Council for CASA. She also co-chaired the Santa Barbara Children’s Library Campaign and the CALM development campaign.
Garufis has served as a Trustee of the California State University Channel Islands Foundation (CSUCI). She served as a Director on the Board of the Santa Barbara Regional Chamber of Commerce, where she was the 2012 Board Chair. Garufis has served on the Strategic Planning Committee for the Santa Barbara Symphony, was the Co-Chair of the United Way Santa Barbara workplace campaign from 2009 – 2011, Chaired the Santa Barbara AHA Heart Walk event and served as the Chairperson of the Santa Barbara American Heart Association Go Red for Women Health Expo and Luncheon for both 2010 and 2011 and will do so again in 2018. She co-chaired the AHA Heart Ball in 2013. She has also served on the Board of the Santa Barbara Symphony and Women’s Economic Ventures, Santa Barbara Habitat for Humanity, Fielding Graduate University and Leading from Within.
Ms. Garufis continues to enjoy new challenges as an endurance athlete, completing her first sprint Triathlon in 2011 and her first Marathon in December 2012. She celebrated a milestone birthday by running the 2014 Paris Marathon and recently completed a 10 day hiking trip in the Dolomites as a fundraiser for CADA. She enjoys spending as much time as possible enjoying the Santa Barbara outdoors. And, she visits her granddaughters as often as she can. She enjoys gourmet cooking and baking for friends and family, tending to her organic vegetable garden, and playing with her two rescued terriers, Giacomo (Jack) and Isabella (Bella).
– American Banker – 25 Most Powerful Women to Watch – 2015, 2017
– Santa Barbara Foundation Woman of the Year 2017
– Pacific Coast Business Times – Top 50 Women in Biz 2007 -2017
– Association of Fundraising Professionals – Volunteer of the Year 2015
– American Heart Association – Lifestyle Change Award 2013
– Girls Inc. (Carpinteria) – Women of Inspiration Award March 2012
– Santa Barbara Chamber Businesswoman of the Year 2010
– Pierre Claeyssens Award for Distinguished Service 2010