Excellence in Banking Community Banks & Credit Unions

Banking: The Pillar of Community

“Banks are the single most important component of Arizona’s economy. Not only do they lend to Arizonans, but they employ nearly 50,000 Arizonans, reinvesting in their communities and providing financial and social stability in their markets. Bankers educate young adults on the importance of financial responsibility. Bankers donate significant time and money to charities. Banks are, in many ways, the lifeblood of our neighborhoods and communities,” says the Arizona Bankers Association

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Excellence in Banking Profiles

Mike Thorell

After graduating from the University of Arizona with degrees in finance and real estate, Mike Thorell began his career in banking in 1989 as a special assets officer at a small savings and loan in Scottsdale, Arizona. He never really dreamed of being a banker, but he needed a job after graduation! And to make things more challenging, he started his banking career in the middle of the savings

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Trish Stark

First Western Trust believes every client is unique. Since 2002, we’ve used a team approach to build a customized plan to clients’ banking, wealth management, lending and investment management goals. Through a branded network of private boutique offices, we deliver the sophistication of a large financial institution along with the personalization of a private bank to best serve our clients’ needs. Trish Stark is managing director for First Western

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Jeff Friesen

Jeff Friesen is the Southwest Region president for Enterprise Bank & Trust. In this expanded role, Friesen is responsible for Arizona; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Enterprise’s growing presence in Las Vegas. He is responsible for overseeing current clients’ business and personal banking needs and generating new commercial loan relationships. Friesen is also responsible for commercial and industrial and commercial real estate lending, as well as overseeing tax credit financing in

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Amber Welch

Metro Phoenix Bank (MPB) is celebrating its 14th anniversary serving the Phoenix business community and has, along the way, achieved several notable awards. According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, based on 2020 data, Metro Phoenix Bank ranked in the top 1% of community banks and thrifts under $3 billion in assets (ranking 30th among 4,287 banks nationwide). Based on Q1 2021 data, DepositAccounts.com ranked MPB 56th among 4,137 U.S.

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Ken Bauer

Ken Bauer is OneAZ Credit Union’s executive vice president and chief lending officer. Bauer is a veteran in the banking industry, with more than 20 years of experience working with banking institutions of all sizes. For the past six years, his depth of knowledge has been focused on the credit union movement. Two years ago, that shift toward credit unions brought him to Arizona and OneAZ.  Bauer oversees various

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Banking Matters to Business

In Business Magazine is proud to present the “Excellence in Banking” special section showcasing top bankers and bank executives in the Valley. These top professionals work day in and day out with business owners to assist in ways that can only be classified as a true asset to business. We sought out professionals at community banks and credit unions with a strong local presence and hand-picked the following as examples of the incredible work that our banking community does, and in a financial climate that is mired in regulation and change.

Thanks go out to all the banks in metropolitan Phoenix, who responded to our request for suggestions and assistance in compiling this section and for working with us throughout the years on various articles and editorial so that our readership is in the know when it comes to banking business. We also thank the Arizona Bankers Association and Paul Hickman for their leadership and steadfast support of the banking community here. With technology and government regulation, banks are quickly adapting to change, and business truly benefits from their incredible work.

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