Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Steven Bales Jr.
Steven Bales, Jr., Chairman, is a fifth-generation Arizonan and President of the Bales Hay Sales in Buckeye, Arizona. Bales farms alfalfa hay, cotton and small grains on approximately 1500 acres in the area of Buckeye and Rainbow Valley, including his original family homestead on Beloat Road, named for his great-great grandfather. A graduate of the University of Arizona (Agricultural Economics), Steven is the past president of the Maricopa County Farm Bureau. He is also past President of the Arizona Cotton Growers Association and services on the board of the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation. Mr. Bales has been extensively involved in organizations relating to agriculture. He has served as a community director of Farm Services Agency Board and is presently on the Board of Arizona Cotton Growers Association. A member of Way of Grace Church in Buckeye and serves as an Elder. Married to Sidney for 30 years and has 3 adult children.
Christopher J. Asterino
Christopher J. Asterino, is in his third decade of owning and operating medical billing and medical practice management companies that have consistently excelled in growth, customer service and earnings. He has extensive experience and expertise in the management of healthcare receivables. He has devoted his career to building an organization that develops and relies on relationships with both employees and clients.
William W. Drury, Jr.
William W. Drury, Jr., is a Shareholder with the Phoenix, Arizona ALFA law firm of Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA. He is a trial attorney who has practiced law in the State of Arizona for 34 years and focuses his practice on the areas of product liability, health care liability, commercial litigation, and transportation litigation. He has tried approximately 120 jury cases to verdict including three to four high dollar exposure cases annually. Mr. Drury is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (Products Liability Defense, Insurance Law, Commercial Litigation), 2009-2013 and is a sustaining member of Arizona's Finest Lawyers. Mr. Drury has served as Vice Chairman, Chairman, and Chairman Emeritus of ALFA International and is a co-founder of the Make A Wish Foundation of America. He is a member of the Drake University Board of Trustees.
Joseph L. Echeverria
Joseph L. Echeverria is a fifth-generation Arizonan born and raised in Buckeye, AZ. He completed his undergraduate degree in Economics at Arizona State University in 2000 and his law degree from the University of Arizona in 2003. After graduating from law school, Echeverria practiced law at a large law firm in Phoenix where he represented local and national developers in the acquisition, leasing, sales and financing of real estate. In 2006, Echeverria returned to the West Valley where he and his business partner Chad Odom currently farm approximately 11000 acres of cotton, corn, alfalfa, durum wheat, barley and sorghum.
a second-generation pediatric dentist and is the senior partner at West Valley Pediatric Dentistry, a multi-facility, multi-specialty group pediatric dental practice in the western suburbs of Phoenix, providing dental and orthodontic care for infants, toddlers, adolescents and adults with special healthcare needs. He is also a founding partner in Southwest Mobile Dental Anesthesiology, a mobile anesthesia group providing office-based care for patients in Phoenix, Los Angles and Las Vegas. Dr. Brownstein completed his dental school education at the Medical College of Virginia, his pediatric dental specialty training at the University of Florida, a fellowship in Cleft Palate & Craniofacial Anomalies in the Department of Pediatric Plastic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine/St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and his dental anesthesiology residency at the University of California at Los Angeles. He serves as a clinical instructor for several national oral and IV sedation courses, provides BLS, PALS and ACLS training, is on staff at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and is an adjunct professor in the dental schools at Midwestern University, University of California at Los Angeles and University of Nevada at Las Vegas. As a past president of the Arizona Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, he is completely dedicated to ensuring that every child in Arizona has access to quality dental care. Balancing out his professional life is his wife, Sheri, a general dentist and full-time professor at Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine. Sheri & Jeff have three children, Emma, Rogan and Landon who all enjoy an active lifestyle, which includes hiking, boating, and traveling.
Eric (Rick) Johnson brings 40+ years of business experience to West Valley Bancorp. Rick has extensive experience in business and sales management, strategic planning and marketing development for all sizes of businesses and organizations. A business career that spans both small business and major corporations, Rick has a unique blend of the entrepreneurial spirit, seasoned management and operations know-how. He has been President of a technical professional services company, worked as Senior Director at Lucent HQ, started his own consulting firm and managed operations for AT&T in New Mexico. His most recent major corporate position was as U.S. Sales Vice President responsible for over $1B in Avaya's annual sales. In 2004, Rick and his partner established EXECUTIVE FORUMS in the Phoenix area providing advisory board services for business owners and senior executives. They currently work with top executives and their teams for over 50 companies headquartered in the Valley representing nearly $1.5B in annual revenues and impacting over 6,000 employees. EXECUTIVE FORUMS has been selected a Business Partner of the Year twice in its brief history and became the largest Business Partner Internationally in 2010. In late 2011, they launched AZ Business Growth Advisors to expand their services to more broadly address the needs of businesses in the Valley in strategic thinking, execution planning & providing advisory boards. Rick has had extensive community and professional involvement and has served on over twenty business, professional and community Boards of Directors, both local and national in scope, holding numerous leadership positions.
Dr. Mark Lonquist
Mark Lonquist has been practicing medicine in Goodyear since 1995. He completed his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Victoria and then his medical training at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Lonquist is very active in the medical community. He has served as the Chairman of the Department of Medicine and was a long standing member of the Medical Executive Committee of West Valley Hospital. He continues to sit on the Credentialing Committee at West Valley Hospital. He currently sits as the Chairman for Family Practice for Integrated Medical Services (IMS), and also sits on the Board of Directors for IMS, an integrated medical group of over 150 providers in Arizona. He participated on various committees and served on the Board for Primecare Network. Dr Lonquist was also instrumental in the development of medical buildings in Goodyear and Avondale. He currently is the Medical Director for Estrella Mountain Medical Group, a family practice division of IMS, that has multiple practices in the West Valley. In his spare time, he is an active coach for girls competitive volleyball. Dr Lonquist is also the team Physician for the Cleveland Indians and helps coordinate care for players who are at the Goodyear Ball Park Facility.
Candace D. Wiest: President and CEO
Candace Hunter Wiest is the President, CEO of West Valley Bancorp, Inc, and West Valley National Bank, the West Valley's only locally owned and operated community Bank. Ms. Wiest was recruited to organize the Bank in March of 2006. By May of 2006, the Bank had filed a 104 pound application with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the FDIC. On September 22, 2006 the OCC issued a preliminary approval. The Bank opened its doors on December 22, 2006 with over $14,000,000 in start up capital raised locally. During 2007, the Bank raised additional capital and opened offices in Goodyear, Avondale and North Scottsdale. In the first quarter of 2008 the Bank opened the Buckeye branch becoming the only locally opened and operated community bank west of I 17. The Bank received regulatory approval to open a full service branch in Scottsdale in 2011. Currently WVNB is one of the most well capitalized banks in the state dedicated to small business and the medical and dental community.
Formerly, Wiest was the President of Inland Empire National Bank in Riverside, California a $125,000,000 high performance community bank. Wiest's career path has been unconventional. She married at 18, had three children by age 22 and when the youngest child was a few weeks old she became the family's sole provider. Her career in banking began when she associated with an agency owned by a bank holding company that had been perennially unprofitable. Wiest managed to turn a profit in ten months. That opportunity led to a lending position when the President left the Midwest to open a new Bank in Scottsdale. She moved to Riverside in 1988 for personal reasons and her career with IENB began. When she became President in mid 1993 the Bank had over 300% classified assets to capital and had experienced an operating loss of $2.7 million. Wiest managed to restore that Bank to profitability and achieved recognition as one of the high performance Banks in the country.
In 2003 Wiest was elected a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and was elected for a second term which began in 2006 and ended in December of 2008. She is the first woman to be elected as a Class A Director in the Banks 95 year history. The 12th District is the largest Bank in the Federal Reserve and serves 20% of the US population. Her term has spanned both the Greenspan and Bernanke administration. During her tenure, she served on the Banks Audit, Bank Performance and Public Affairs Committees and as one of a four member search Committee to recruit President Janet Yellen, the current Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and one of President Clintons Economic Advisors.
Wiest believes that community commitment is the cornerstone of community banking. Currently she serves as a director and member of Leadership Next, and the Innovation Council for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership, the immediate past Chair of Westmarc a regional public policy organization, a founding member of the Maricopa Association of Governments Economic Development Committee and the Vice Chairman of the Board of the Catholic Community Foundation. Ms Wiest is a Director and Secretary of Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Region Medical Center in Goodyear, the immediate past Chair of the American Heart Association Go Red For Women Campaign, and the 2011 Chair of the Catholic Community Foundation Crozier Gala. In 2011 Governor Brewer appointed Ms. Wiest to the Board of the Arizona Commerce Authority and the Chair of the Audit Committee for that group.
Public recognition in Arizona includes being named one of the "50 Most Influential Women in Arizona" by AzBusiness Magazine in July of 2012, one of the 2011 "Most Admired CEOs by the Phoenix Business Journal, the 2010 West Valley Woman of the Year, a member of the West Valley 24, a recipient of the 2008 Arizona Business Magazine Center of Influence, one of the 2008 "People to Know in Commercial Real Estate", one of the 2006 "Power Players in the Phoenix Metro Area" by the Phoenix Business Journal. In November of 2009 Wiest received international recognition as the Stevie Award recipient for Best Executive. In 2007 and 2008 WVNB was recognized with the Westmarc Best of the West award for a business with fewer than 50 employees. In 2009 WVNB received honorable mention from Best of the West. This award is presented to businesses who promote economic development and the image of the West Valley. Each year since 2007 WVNB has been named in the top ten list of banks in Ranking Arizona.
Past recognition in California includes the Chairman's Award from the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce for extraordinary service to education, the City and the Chamber, the Cal Baptist Universities Spirit of Excellence Award for Citizenship, the Arrowhead CEO of the Year award from Cal State San Bernardino, the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce Leadership Riverside's Distinguished Alumni award, 951 Magazines list of 50 people to watch in the Inland Empire, the Soroptomists Gold Key Award in recognition of twenty years of volunteerism , recipient of the Boy Scout's Distinguished Citizen Award (2002), and the recipient of the UCR A. Gary Anderson Management Leader of the Year.