Security Bank of California CEO named 2012 CSUSB Arrowhead Distinguished Executive Officer


James A. Robinson, one of the founders of Security Bank of California and a leading banker in the Inland Empire for 50 years, has been named Cal State San Bernardino’s College of Business and Public Administration’s Arrowhead Distinguished Executive Officer for 2012.

James A. Robinson

James A. Robinson

Robinson, who is chairman and chief executive officer of Security Bank of California, is the 21st individual to be named the Arrowhead Distinguished Executive Officer. He will be honored at a luncheon on Friday, April 20, at the Obershaw Dining Room at the CSUSB Upper Commons. Registration is at 11:30 a.m. and the luncheon will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $70 or $560 for a table of eight.

Cal State San Bernardino’s College of Business and Public Administration has been honoring executives since 1990 for their leadership, civic service and commitment to education. Each recipient has an exemplary record of service to philanthropic organizations and educational institutions.

“James Robinson continues to make a difference within the community served by Security Bank,” said Lawrence Rose, dean of the CSUSB College of Business and Public Administration. “His career path is one which we would encourage our students to follow – personally and professionally.”

Robinson, who was adopted and raised in San Bernardino, was the first in his family to attend college – Cal State Los Angeles – making the long commute to Los Angeles each day. Awarded a degree in accounting, Robinson started his banking career immediately after graduation in 1961 at a Security First National Bank branch in San Bernardino.

Security First National Bank later became Security Pacific National Bank and was acquired by Bank of America in 1992. During his 31-year tenure there, Robinson worked his way up the executive ranks. In 1992, he joined Riverside National Bank as president and chief executive officer, where he continued his service to the community.

In 2005, he led a group of investors to establish Security National Bank of California as a community bank, where he serves as the bank’s chairman and chief executive officer. As of December 2011, the bank has grown to 60+ employees at five locations.

Security National Bank of California, which has a 5-star Bauer rating, is the 105th largest bank in the state of California and is also the 1,824th largest bank in the nation.

Despite its relatively small size, Security National Bank of California has made a difference in the Inland Empire. The bank has been a donor to CSUSB and its business college – primarily through the college’s Business Alliance. James Robinson made a pledge to establish a scholarship endowment for business and public administration students in 2008.

The founders of Security National Bank of California include many names familiar to CSUSB, including Nicholas J. Coussoulis and Martin A. Matich. The firm’s board also includes several CSUSB supporters, such as 2004 Distinguished Arrowhead Executive Officer Bruce Varner, who continue to provide leadership and support for the university.

Banking is in Robinson’s family. His wife, Barbara, was an executive with Bank of America for more than 35 years, and was executive vice president in charge of branches for 6 western states from Texas to California. She is now executive vice president of Security National Bank of California.  The Robinsons have two grown children.

James Robinson and Barbara Robinson were both honored as fellows by the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management at UC Riverside and at that time Robinson was noted for exhibiting the highest standards of leadership, management skill and integrity – and as the most entrepreneurial banker to ever work in the community. He served on the UCR Foundation Board of Trustees and was a member of the Anderson Graduate School of Management Advisory Council.

He has also served on the boards of the Riverside Community Hospital foundation, Riverside County Philharmonic, Riverside Ballet board, United Way of Fontana, Lusk School of Real Estate at USC, Executive Bulls – California Agricultural Group and Monday Morning Group.

Proceeds from the luncheon will increase funding for the James Robinson Scholarship fund established in 2008, and giving scholarship support to students enrolled in CSUSB’s College of Business and Public Administration. Registration for the awards luncheon can be found online at the college’s event Web page.

The Arrowhead Distinguished Executive Officer event has become the premier award recognition for executives in the region, attracting business and governmental leaders from throughout Southern California. Past honorees are Jack H. Brown, Ralph and Goldy Lewis, Martin Matich, Nicholas Coussoulis, Glenda Bayless, Neal Baker, Evlyn Wilcox, Larry Sharp, William Leonard, D. Linn Wiley, Bob Kain, Donald Driftmier, Bruce Varner, Candace Hunter Wiest, George H. Schnarre, Don Baker, Dr. Dev A. GnanaDev, John Husing and Noel L. Massie.

For information about attending or sponsoring the event, or contributing to the scholarship, contact Cal State San Bernardino’s College of Business and Public Administration at (909) 537-5771.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit