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Candace Hunter Wiest is the founding President, CEO of West Valley Bancorp, Inc, and West Valley National Bank. The Bank opened its doors on December 23rd 2006 and survived the Great Recession while many others in Arizona did not. The Bank serves small businesses, professionals, physicians and dentists with branches in Goodyear, Gila Bend and Scottsdale Arizona. Currently the Bank has a SBA Group in Orange County, California and is in the process of opening a LPO in Riverside, California.
Wiest’s career path has been unconventional. She married at 17, had three children by age 21 and when the youngest child was a few weeks old she became the family’s sole provider. After spending time in the hospitality and insurance industries, she joined her first Bank in 1986 as a loan clerk. In June of 2017, Wiest celebrated her 24th anniversary as a Bank CEO and her 31st anniversary as a banker. Formerly, Wiest was the President of Inland Empire National Bank in Riverside, California. Wiest became the 7th President in the Bank’s nine year history during the recession in 1993. After accomplishing a significant turn around in twelve months, the Bank continued to be a high performance community bank for the remainder of her tenure.
In her career she has experienced many firsts. In addition to being the first CEO of her bank, in 2003 Wiest was elected by community bankers in the Western District of the San Francisco Federal Reserve to become the first women to serve as a Class A Director in the Banks 100 year history. She was re-elected for a second term in 2006. Her term spanned both the Greenspan and Bernanke administration. While at the SFFRB, Wiest served as the Chair of the Public Affairs Committee, a member of the Audit Committee, and was one of four Directors appointed to the Search Committee that chose Janet Yellen as the CEO of the SFFRB. Wiest was also the first female Chairman of the California Independent Bankers.
Wiest believes that community commitment is the cornerstone of community banking. Currently she serves as a Director for the following organizations; Greater Phoenix Leadership, the Arizona Bankers Association, and the 100 Club. She serves other organization in the following leadership capacity. Chairman of Board Developer a Scottsdale based private company, the Secretary of Cancer Treatment Center of America at Western Regional Medical Center in Goodyear, and Vice Chair and Chair of the Audit Committee for Delta Dental of Arizona. Past community involvement includes Chair of WESTMARC, a founding Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of the Arizona Commerce Authority, a founding member of the Maricopa Association of Governments Economic Development Committee, a Director of GPEC, the Vice Chair of the Catholic Community Foundation, a past Chair of the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Campaign, the past Chair of the Project Pink event to benefit cancer patients and the 2011 Chair of the Catholic Community Foundation Crozier Gala.
Recent public recognition includes being named as one of 100 Women to Watch nationally by Biz Women a publication of the national Biz Journal, a 2017 Trendsetter by Trends Charities and Trends publications , Forbes Women Leaders of the West, a commendation from Congressman Paul Gosar for economic development efforts and job creation, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 as one of the AZ Biz Magazines Arizona Business Leaders, and a 2016 Outstanding Woman in Business from the Phoenix Business Journal. Past recognition included being named as one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Arizona by AZ Business Magazine, recipient of WESTMARC Leadership Award and Athena award , named as one of the “Most Admired CEOs by the Phoenix Business Journal, named as the West Valley Woman of the Year, and was awarded the Stevie Award recipient for Best Executive