Our Mission

California Southern remains committed to assisting small and mid-size businesses get the financial assistance they need to become productive and successful and contributing partners in their communities.


Through longstanding and trusted relationships with more than 40 banks and lending institutions, California Southern helps secure financing for small businesses that have great potential, but lack credit strength and may be unable to qualify for a conventional loan on their own. California Southern does this by assuming a portion of the financial risk. The program places emphasis on assisting small businesses, particularly minority and women-owned businesses who cannot qualify for a bank loan without a guarantee.


For nearly 30 years, California Southern has been recognized as a valued business partner within the communities it serves, having helped create more than 4,000 new jobs in a variety of industry sectors including construction, hospitality, ancillary medical services, service industry and craft brewing.

Board of Directors

The California Southern Board of Directors includes dedicated business professionals with many years of financial and business experience as well as broad and varied community support and involvement.

Michel Anderson has served on the California Southern board since its inception in 1989. He has over 30 years of experience as a business and land use consultant specializing in governmental relations, project management, development processing, and public affairs and is currently the Principal at Michel Anderson Associates. Michel has served on the Board of Directors of numerous community based non-profit organizations. He presently serves as Chairman of both the the SANCAL Board of Directors and the CASAS Board of Directors.

Dale Wineteer serves as President of RoadOne West, Inc. and A to Z Enterprises, Inc. in San Diego. He is the past President of Evolution Insurance Company in addition to serving on a variety of non-profit boards, including as past President of Pioneer Hook and Ladder (the San Diego Firehouse Museum). Dale has served on the California Southern Board of Directors in various leadership roles throughout his tenure.

Barry J. Schultz is a Partner with the law firm of Devaney Pate Morris and Cameron. With over 25 years of combined legal, planning, and community development experience, his law practice focuses on real estate and land use law, community development, affordable housing, infill development, and sustainable community development. Barry has been a guest lecturer at UCSD and has taught courses on Urban Design and Economics. As an active member of the community, Barry serves on the Boards of the McAlister Institute, and the Carmel Valley Planning Board.

With more than 25 years’ experience in commercial banking, Paul Rodeno, is the Executive Vice President, Chief Credit and Risk Officer for Community Bank. Community is a Pasadena CA based 17 branch $3.8 billion community business bank serving Southern California. Prior to joining Community Bank, Paul was the principal Founder, CEO, and President of Security Business Bank of San Diego. Security Business was a boutique business bank focused on privately-held and family-owned small businesses in San Diego County. Paul was a founding member of CONNECT Sport Innovators, served on the University of San Diego School of Business Board of Advisors, and was an active Member of the San Diego Regional EDC.

John R. Cooper, CPA/ABV, CVA, is a Shareholder with Cooper & Associates, APC, a professional firm providing business valuation, litigation support, taxation and business consulting services. John also works as an adjunct professor at San Diego State University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in tax planning for individuals, forensic accounting, corporate taxation, and reporting for accountants. He has written articles and lectured on business valuation and tax matters. John is a Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts, and the Institute of Business Appraisers.

Since 1991, Jeffery Hester has worked as a Senior Vice President/Credit Risk Officer at Rabobank, focusing in small business, commercial real estate, and agricultural production loans. Active in his community, Jeffrey has served on a variety of boards and as a volunteer, including as a Board Member of the School Advisory Board, Catholic Charities.

Rebecca Humphries is Senior Vice President/Senior Loan Officer for Neighborhood National Bank. Her nearly 30-year career in the financial industry has been in community banking. Rebecca has worked in a variety of capacities within the industry including operations/branch management with an emphasis on lending, including loan origination, underwriting, processing, special assets, and credit administration. An active member in her community, in addition to her involvement on the California Southern Board, she is a volunteer with a number of youth oriented organizations.

During her more than 35 years in the commercial banking industry, Lea served in various positions, including Commercial Underwriter, Relationship Banker, Regional Vice President, Senior Vice President-Portfolio Risk Manager and Commercial Branch Manager before retiring this year as 1st Vice President at California Bank & Trust. Lea is a past recipient of the YWCA “TWIN” award (Tribute to Women in Industry), and has been a volunteer for many worthy causes in San Diego over the years. She currently serves on the Boards of The Home of Guiding Hands, the San Diego Risk Management Association, San Diego Habitat for Humanity, the California Southern SBDC and also serves as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), helping foster youth through “Voices for Children.”

Our Staff

Our staff is dedicated to helping you get the answers and financial assistance you need to start or expand, your business. The California Southern team looks forward to working with you to make your business ownership dreams a reality.

Kurt Chilcott


A nationally recognized leader in economic and community development and small business finance, Kurt has served as the president of California Southern since 2013. He also serves as President/CEO of CDC Small Business Finance, which through his leadership has grown to include offices throughout California, Arizona and Nevada, maintaining its rank as the top-volume CDC in the nation. Kurt is a Director for Neighborhood Bancorp, the holding company of Neighborhood National Bank, which provides capital to underserved communities. For over 25 years, he has developed and led innovative and successful organizations and programs in the public and not-for-profit sectors. Kurt’s leadership and accomplishments have been recognized by his peers and industry leaders. He is both a Fellow Member and Honorary Life Member of the International Economic Development Council, and he has received both the Golden Bear Award – California’s Highest Accolade for Economic Development Leadership – and the Arthur Goodman Memorial Award for commitment to underserved populations and areas.

Robert Villarreal

Executive Vice President

Robert Villarreal has over 19 years of experience in community development and non-profit management. In addition to his role with California Southern, he is Executive Vice President of Economic Development for CDC Small Business Finance. In his capacity, he oversees the CDC’s community development initiatives, including business advisory services, capital development strategic partnerships and government relations. He is currently a Board Member of the California Reinvestment Coalition and Policy Committee Member for Opportunity Finance Network.

Juan Carlos Hernandez

Senior Vice President/Chief Credit Officer

Juan Carlos Hernandez joined California Southern SBDC in May of 2018 as Chief Credit Officer / Senior Vice President. Prior to joining, Juan Carlos was Chief Credit Officer of ACCION San Diego from 2014. Hernandez received a B.A. in Sociology, with an emphasis in Work Force Studies from University of Illinois at Chicago. He is originally from Mexico City, moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1977 and has resided in San Diego since 2012. Hernandez has over 25 years of experience in banking, primarily in business and commercial real estate lending. Prior employment includes working with US Bank, Metropolitan Bank Group, La Salle Bank & Trust and The First National Bank of Chicago. He has been featured in various newspaper articles including The Wall Street Journal. Juan Carlos has served on the Board of Borderview YMCA and San Diego Youth Services since living in San Diego. He currently serves as Chairman and CEO for The San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Lisa Davis

Loan Officer

Lisa Davis is a Loan Officer with California Southern. Lisa's previous employment was with Union Bank where she managed both high net worth clients and small businesses varying in revenue size of $2.5 million - $15 million. In her 35 years with the bank she held various positions and titles in lending and brings a wealth of knowledge in small business and commercial lending as well as business development and compliance. Lisa is a member of MANA de San Diego. She also volunteers at Family Health Center's Spirit of the Barrio Luncheon.

Tom Xitco

Accounting Manager

Shirley Mora

Loan Portfolio Manager