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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.