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Community banker Maria Contreras-Sweet tapped to head SBA

Maria Contreras-Sweet

Maria Contreras-Sweet

Maria Contreras-Sweet, the founder of Latino-owned ProAmerica Bank in Los Angeles and a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America, was recently nominated to head the Small Business Administration.

President Obama announced the nomination last Wednesday, pointing to her experience in working with the Latino community.

“So as we work to keep our economy growing, 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,” Obama said. “And I’m absolutely confident that she is going to do an outstanding job as our Small Business Administrator.”

Founded in 2006, ProAmerica Bank provides bilingual services and specializes in small and medium-sized businesses. Contreras-Sweet, in addition to founding the bank, previously served as the secretary of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, where she supervised 40,000 state employees and oversaw a $12 billion budget.

“ICBA congratulates Maria Contreras-Sweet on her nomination for SBA administrator,” ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine said. “Like thousands of community bankers across the nation, Ms. Contreras-Sweet has dedicated her career to helping small businesses, consumers and local economies thrive. As a passionate supporter of small businesses, she would be an excellent SBA administrator.”

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