This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

The Presidents of Valley National Bank of Arizona



D.W. Wickersham
D.W. Wickersham
 1899 to 1908

Charles E. Mills
Charles E. Mills
 1908 to 1929

Walter Bimson
Walter Reed Bimson 
1933 to 1953 (b. 1892 - d. 1980).

Carl Bimson, president of Valley National Bank in the 1950's and 60's
Carl A. Bimson 1953 to 1962
(b. 1900). He was the brother of Walter Bimson.

James Patrick
James E. Patrick 1962 to 1967

Earl Bimson
Earl L. Bimson 1967 to 1972
He was the son of Walter Bimson.

Gilbert F. Bradley, president of Valley National Bank in 1973
Gilbert F. Bradley 1973
(b. 5/17/1920 d. 4/11/2011). Known as both "Gil" and "Brad," he worked for Valley National Bank for more than 45 years, retiring as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board in October, 1982, and serving as a board member for another three years. Born on May 17, 1920, in Miami, Arizona, he started work for the Valley Bank in 1937 as a bookkeeper in the Miami Branch. On June 21, 1941, he married Marion Zelda Bebb at St. John's Episcopal Church in Globe, Arizona. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps and became a pilot. On February 25, 1944, Brad and his crew flying a mission in the Sophisticated Lady were shot down over Yugoslavia, in the territory of Marshall Tito's Partisans. The Partisans guided them to a rescue air strip, traveling over mountain tops, through dense forests and around German camps. On April 3rd, they were evacuated. Brad and his crew were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for this mission. Their story appeared as a comic strip in The American Air Forces magazine, misidentifying their plane as the Pistol Packin' Mama, the plane they had regularly flown until it was shot down manned by another crew. Years later, Brad and Marion wrote up the story for The Journal of Arizona History, Winter, 1995. On leaving the service in 1945, Brad returned to the Valley Bank in Globe as Assistant Bank Manager. From there he, in his own words, worked "through all phases of banking." He was based in Tucson for sixteen years, first as the manager of the downtown branch and then executive vice-president of the Southern Region. Tucson honored him as Man of the Year in 1963. He left Tucson for Phoenix in 1973 to become President of the Valley National Bank. In 1978 he was appointed to the Federal Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve System, and in 1979 he was named one of the top three chief executive officers in American banking by Financial World magazine. He retired fully in 1985. From his obituary.

Roger A. Lyon 1979 to 1982

Len Huck
Len Huck
 1982 to 1988 (1st quarter)

Howard McCrady 1987 to 1988

Richard J. Lehmann 1988 to 1989
(b. 1943) Rich Lehmann is the founding principal of the Biltmore Bank of Arizona. After 25 years of international banking experience with Citicorp, he came to Arizona in 1988 to run Valley National Bank before it was sold to Bank One. He stayed with Bank One until 1999 when he retired as Vice Chairman of the fifth largest bank in the United States. In his 20 years living in Arizona, Rich has been very active in the community. He was formerly on the board of trustees for the Phoenix Art Museum, head of the United Way of Phoenix, and a member of The Greater Phoenix Economic Council. He currently serves on the TGen Foundation Board, Board of Trustees of Thunderbird, The Garvin School of International Management, the Arizona Board of Nature Conservancy, Knight Transportation, and participates in additional civic activities. From The Biltmore Bank of Arizona

Robert Logan
Robert Logan
 - 1989 to 1992
Valley National Bank became Bank One in 1992, which is now Chase Bank.

Jamie Dimon
As of this writing, Jamie Dimon is the current chairman, president and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co.


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