Mr. Kavanaugh is the President and CEO of the Company and its wholly-owned banking subsidiary, First Foundation Bank (“FFB”). Mr. Kavanaugh has served as CEO of the Company since December 2009 and as President of the Company since December 2022. Previously, Mr. Kavanaugh served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company from June 2007 until December 2009. Mr. Kavanaugh has been the Vice-Chairman of the Company since June 2007, and the Chairman of FFB since September 2007. Mr. Kavanaugh was a founding stockholder and served as an Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer and a member of the board of directors of Commercial Capital Bancorp, Inc., the parent holding company of Commercial Capital Bank. During his tenure as an executive officer and director of Commercial Capital Bancorp, Inc. that company became a publicly traded company, listed on NASDAQ, and its total assets grew to more than $1.7 billion. From 1998 until 2003, Mr. Kavanaugh served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and a director of Commercial Capital Mortgage. From 1993 to 1998, Mr. Kavanaugh was a partner and head of trading for fixed income and equity securities at Great Pacific Securities, Inc., a west coast-based regional securities firm.
Mr. Kavanaugh earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Accounting at the University of Tennessee and a Masters of Business Administration (“MBA”) degree in Information Systems at North Texas State University. Mr. Kavanaugh is, and since 2008 has been, a member of the board of directors of Colorado Federal Savings Bank and its parent holding company, Silver Queen Financial Services, Inc. Since March 2015, Mr. Kavanaugh has served as director for Nexpoint Residential Trust Inc., a publicly traded real estate investment trust that is advised by NexPoint Real Estate Advisors, L.P., an affiliate of Highland Capital Management, L.P. Mr. Kavanaugh has also served as director for NexPoint Real Estate Finance since 2020 and as director for VineBrook Homes Trust, Inc. since 2018. Mr. Kavanaugh served as a member of the boards of directors of NexBank SSB and its parent holding company, NexBank Capital, Inc. from December 2013 until December 2015. From January 2000 until June 2012, Mr. Kavanaugh served as Independent Trustee and Chairman of the Audit Committee, and from June 2012 until December 2013 served as Chairman of the Highland Mutual Funds, a mutual fund group managed by Highland Capital Management, L.P. Mr. Kavanaugh is also a director on the Lanakila Pacific’s Foundation Board. The Board believes that Mr. Kavanaugh’s extensive experience as an executive officer of banks and other financial services organizations, combined with his experience as a director of both public and private companies, qualifies him to serve as a member of our Board. In addition, because Mr. Kavanaugh is the Company’s CEO, we believe that his participation as a member of the Board facilitates communication between the outside Board members and management.
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