Candace Hunter Wiest


Candace Hunter Wiest
President & CEO
West Valley National Bank

12725 W. Indian School Road, Suite C-108, Avondale, AZ 85323
P 623 536-9862   


Candace Hunter Wiest is the President, CEO of West Valley National Bank (proposed). Formerly, Wiest was the President of Inland Empire National Bank in Riverside, California a $110,000,000 high performance community bank. Wiest was appointed president in June of 1993 and has been with the Bank since 1988, previously serving as a lender, branch manager, and the Bank’s Credit Administrator.

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. She worked in the restaurant business before all of the children started school. To have more time with the family, she applied for a clerical support position with an independent insurance agency. She was promoted to bookkeeper, office manager, and onto a licensed agent. 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. Today the Bank has less than 1% classified assets to capital and is in the top 10% of its national peer group in profitability. For the past five years, Findley and Associates, a California firm specializing in analyzing the performance of Banks chartered in the state of California named the Bank a Super Premier Performing Bank. Bauer Financial Inc. also recognized the Bank for twenty consecutive quarters as a Bauer 4 star bank. In their press release, Bauer recognized IENB as one of the best banks in the country.

Wiest believes that community commitment is the cornerstone of community banking. In 2005, community activities include, member of the Monday Morning Group, Immediate Past Chair of the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce, a member of the A Gary Anderson School of Management Advisory Board, a member of the YWCA Professional Women’s Council, advisory council member of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for Women Entrepreneurship and the Center for Family Owned Businesses as well as the School for Business, Chair of the 2001 through 2005 Athena Events, Board of Visitors Cal Baptist University, trustee of the La Sierra University Foundation, and a member of the Dean’s Executive Advisory Board.

In 2003 Wiest was elected a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and is the Chair of the Bank’s Public Information Committee and a member of the Bank Performance Committee. She is the first woman to be elected as a Class A Director in the Banks 90 year history. The 12th District is the largest Bank in the Federal Reserve and serves 20% of the US population.

In 2006, Wiest received the Chairmans Award given by the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce for extraordinary service to education, the City and the Chamber. In May, Ms. Wiest received Cal Baptist Universities Spirit of Excellence Award for Citizenship. Recognition in 2005 included the Arrowhead CEO of the Year award from Cal State San Bernardino, the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce Leadership Riverside’s Distinguished Alumni award, and 951 Magazines list of 50 people to watch in the Inland Empire.

Past recognition includes: the Soroptomists Gold Key Award in recognition of twenty years of volunteerism (2004), The National Republican Congressional Committee Businessperson of the year (2002, 2003 and 2004), the Duke Financial Group award for the Bank President who best exemplifies the core values of the company as determined by the other Bank Presidents and holding company management (2002, and 2003), recipient of the Boy Scout’s Distinguished Citizen Award (2002), and the Silver Beaver Award which is the highest recognition awarded by a local Council for distinguished service in 2003.

Past achievements and activities include: President of the Raincross Club (2004), Chair of the Boy Scouts Distinguished Citizen Dinner (2002 and 2004), Member of the Development Committee for the City of Riverside (2004), Member of the FRBSF Executive Search Committee (2004 and 2005), Director and Treasurer of the Inland Empire Council of Boys Scouts, director of the Riverside Regional Medical Foundation (2000 to 2004), trustee of the UCR Foundation (2001 to 2004), director Moreno Valley Hospital Foundation (2000 to 2002); member of the Lincoln Club of Riverside County (2000 to 2002); director of Parkview Community Hospital (2002 to 2003), director of the Mission Inn Foundation (1997 to 2004)director of the Hispanic Chamber (2002 to 2003); director of the Community Foundation (2000 to 2004), Elected as one of the first non realtor directors of the Inland Valley Association of Realtors (2002 to 2003); First runner up for the Business Press “Leaders of Distinction” (2002); First runner up for the Business Press “Top Companies to Work For” (2002); Recipient of the A. Gary Anderson Management Leader of the Year 2001; Director of the County of Riverside Asset Leasing Board (CORAL) the entity that owns all of the county’s real property (2001 to 2003); Featured on the cover of the national trade publication “Independent Banker” (1997); Named as “One of Twelve Women Who Make A Difference” by Inland Empire Magazine (1998), a Business Press “Woman of Distinction” in 1998 and “who’s Who of Professionals in 2000; Finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year (2000); the first female President of California Independent Bankers (1999); Controller for the Committee that organized the Medal of Honor Convention (1999); Recognized for her advertising campaign promoting IENB officers in the national trade publication “Financial Advertising Report” (1999); Vice Chair of the Bank Education Committee, Chair of the Marketing Committee, and member of the Leadership and Strategic Planning Committees for the national trade association Independent Community Bankers of America (1995 to 1998; named to the County of Riverside Investment Policy Oversight Committee following the Orange County financial crisis in 1997; Director California Bankers Association (1996 to 1999); Chairman of the Board and Campaign co Chair for United Way of the Inland Valleys (1996 – 1997); named an Athena recipient and a YWCA Woman of Achievement (1995); Chairman of Community Hospital’s Executive 2000 (1995); founding President and director of the Inland Empire Lenders Community Development Corporation, a consortium of Inland Empire financial institutions (1994) ; founding director of the Inland Empire Chapter of Make a Wish (1994), graduate Leadership Riverside (1994); and a director Alternatives to Domestic Violence (1993).

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