FIRST Southwest Bank, a locally owned, independent community bank, and one of two Community Development Financial Institution banks in Colorado, has announced the appointment of Manuel “Mark” Lobato as chief operations officer.

Lobato will be responsible for working with the CEO and executive management officers to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies that support the accomplishment of FSWB’s strategic plan. He also will provide information and recommendations that support the board’s policymaking and oversight role.

“I’m thrilled to join the FSWB team as chief operations officer,” said Lobato. “First Southwest Bank has established itself as Southern Colorado’s community bank and I look forward to working with the leadership team to set and implement strategic goals and manage operations to effectively ensure the long term success of the bank, foster a positive culture for employees and provide the best products and services for customers.”

For nearly 30 years, Lobato has been a leader in the banking industry in the Washington, DC, area. His leadership roles in private banking, business banking and legislative experience led him to his most recent role as service & solutions executive at Congressional Federal Credit Union on Capitol Hill.

Kent Curtis, FSWB’s president and CEO, said, “Mark is an exceptional bank leader with a proven track record of exceeding business goals. As chief operations officer, he will work with our leadership team on the execution of strategic goals and operational improvements that will increase the effectiveness of our business.”

Lobato grew up in Durango as the youngest of 10 children and graduated from Fort Lewis College in 1987 before heading to Washington, DC, to work for one of Colorado’s U.S. senators. He has served on boards related to cancer wellness, not-for-profit development and Hispanic scholarships. Additionally, he has a passion for coaching youth sports, especially football, baseball and boys’ lacrosse. Lobato is married with three boys and is thrilled to have returned to his roots in Durango.