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 $14,000,000 in start up capital raised locally.
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. In 2011, the Bank received regulatory approval to open a full service branch in Scottsdale. Currently WVNB has one of the highest capital ratios in the state and is dedicated to small business and the medical and dental communities.
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 2015, Wiest will celebrate her 22th anniversary as a Bank CEO. 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 grew to be a $125,000,000 high performance community bank.
In 2003 Wiest was elected a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and was elected for a second term in 2006. She is the first woman to be elected as a Class A Director in the Banks 100 year history. The 12th District is the largest Bank in the Federal Reserve and serves 20% of the US population. 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 believes that community commitment is the cornerstone of community banking. Currently she serves as a member and Director of Greater Phoenix Leadership, a Director and Secretary of Cancer Treatment Center of America at Western Regional Medical Center in Goodyear, a member of the Board of the Interstate 11 Commission, a Director of the Delta Dental of Arizona Board, a Director of the Arizona Bankers Association, a Director of the United Way of the Valley of the Sun and a Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of the Arizona Commerce Authority . She also represents Arizona on the ABA Government Relations Committee.
Past community involvement includes Chair of WESTMARC a regional public policy organization, 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, and the 2011 Chair of the Catholic Community Foundation Crozier Gala.
Public recognition in Arizona includes a commendation from Congressman Paul Gosar for economic development efforts and job creation, recognized in 2014, 2013, and 2012 as one of the AZ Biz Magazines Arizona Business Leaders. In 2013 Ms. Wiest was, an Athena Finalist. She was also named as one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Arizona by AzBusiness Magazine in July of 2012.
She received the WESTMARC Leadership Award in October of 2012, named as one of the 2011 “Most Admired CEOs by the Phoenix Business Journal, named as the 2010 West Valley Woman of the Year, a member of the West Valley 24, listed as a 2008 Arizona Business Magazine Center of Influence, one of the 2008 “People to Know in Commercial Real Estate”, and 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.