Communities First Financial Corporation announces the

FRESNO, Calif., April 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Communities First Financial Corporation (the “Company”) (OTCQX: CFST), Fresno First Bank’s parent company (the “Bank”), today announced that Steve Canfield will step down as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective January 3, 2023. The Board of Directors has retained of the executive search firm Chrisman and Society to help him in the process of identifying his successor. Canfield will participate in the recruitment process and is committed to remaining with the company until a replacement is found to ensure a smooth transition from this critical role.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and the management team, we are extremely grateful for Steve’s leadership, strategic influence, courageous decision-making and contribution over the past fifteen years,” said said Steve Miller, President and Chief Financial Officer. “Steve’s dedicated leadership and direction of the Company and the Bank during his tenure has been exceptional. He helped the Bank emerge from de novo status, guided us through the financial crisis and, more recently, through the pandemic. At the same time, the Bank has achieved significant growth and unparalleled shareholder returns through Steve’s focus on quality earnings, effective capital planning and efficiency ratios. Steve has been the architect of much of our success, but more importantly he is a great teammate and friend to many at the Bank. We wish Steve the best in his well-deserved retirement and greatly appreciate that he remains to help identify his successor and facilitate a successful change of direction.

“We have built an exceptional team of professionals and continue to invest in our people to ensure the long-term success of our franchise,” Canfield said. “It was a privilege to work with the entire Communities First banking team. I am confident that Communities First will continue to be a vibrant and growing part of our community and deliver continued strong financial performance to our shareholders.

About Communities First Financial Corporation

Communities First Financial Corporation, a bank holding company established in 2014, is the parent company of Fresno First Bank, founded in 2005 in Fresno, California. Fresno First Bank is a leading SBA lender in California’s Central Valley and has expanded into Southern California. The Bank is also a direct acquiring bank with VISA and MasterCard and processes payments for merchants across the country directly and through partners. Communities First Financial Corp. ranked third in the country against its peers in the category of best community banks (less than $5 billion in assets) and third in the best growth strategy selected among the top 50 banks in the study, reported by Bank Director. In March 2022, S&P Global ranked the Bank as the 10th best performing community bank with less than $3 billion in assets for 2021 and #1 in California. Named to the 2019 OTCQX Best 50 and ranked among the top performing OTCQX companies in the nation, based on total return and average daily dollar volume growth for 2018. The Bank was named to the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing list Companies in 2017 and Forbes Best 25 Small Businesses in America for 2016. Additional information is available on the Company’s website at www.fresnofirstbank.com or by calling 559-439-0200.

Forward-looking statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements provide current expectations or forecasts of future events and are not guarantees of future performance, nor should they be taken to represent the opinions of management as of any future date. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements. Risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, the actual payment performance of our borrowers upon expiration of loan deferrals related to the COVID-19 pandemic, changes in laws, regulations or regulatory policies or practices as a result of, or in response to COVID-19, including the potential adverse impact of loan modifications and payment deferrals implemented in accordance with recent regulatory guidance, the ability the Company to effectively execute its business plans; changes in general economic and financial market conditions; changes in interest rates; changes in the competitive environment; further consolidation in the financial services sector; new disputes or changes to existing disputes; losses, customer bankruptcy, claims and appraisals; changes in banking regulations or other regulatory or legislative requirements affecting the Company’s business; international developments; and changes in accounting policies or procedures that may be required by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or other regulatory bodies. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the results of any revisions to the forward-looking statements included herein to reflect events or circumstances after today, or to reflect the occurrence of unforeseen events. The Company claims safe harbor protection for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Contact: Steve Miller – President and CEO
Steve Canfield – Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
(559) 439-0200

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