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Steven R. Gardner

Chairman, President & CEO

Steven R. Gardner serves as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: PPBI) and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of its primary operating subsidiary Pacific Premier Bank, a commercial bank with approximately $20 billion in assets headquartered in Irvine, California. Serving small, middle-market, and corporate businesses, Pacific Premier Bank operates throughout the Western US in major metropolitan markets in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Nevada.


Since assuming the role of President and CEO in 2000, Mr. Gardner has transitioned Pacific Premier Bank from a troubled savings and loan association to a full-service commercial bank. Under Mr. Gardner’s leadership, Pacific Premier has been recognized as one of the top performing banks in the United States by SNL Financial, Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P., U.S. Banker, Raymond James & Associates and the Independent Community Bankers of America.


Mr. Gardner has more than 30 years of experience as a commercial banking executive. He has extensive knowledge of all facets of financial institution management. Having completed 11 acquisitions of whole banks, specialty finance lines of business and FDIC failed banks; Mr. Gardner is an expert in all areas of mergers and acquisitions as well as capital market transactions. Prior to joining the Company, he was an executive officer of Hawthorne Financial Corporation since 1997, responsible for all credit administration and portfolio management. He has served in senior management positions at both commercial banks and thrift institutions.


Mr. Gardner has served in various high-level roles in trade associations and organizations that serve the banking industry. Mr. Gardner has served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco since January 2013. Mr. Gardner formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and was the Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. Mr. Gardner previously served as the Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council, as a director and a member of the Executive Committee of the Independent Community Bankers of America (“ICBA”), and as a director of ICBA Holding Company and ICBA Securities, a registered broker-dealer. Mr. Gardner holds a B.A. from California State University, Fullerton and attended graduate school at California State University, Long Beach.


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  • Chairman, President & CEO

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