by Anita Dharapuram
BBVA USA Tucson and Southern Arizona CEO Mark Mistler, alongside six of his local team members, have been working together in banking for more than 25 years. In today’s reality, few people stay at the same job for more than four years, but Mistler and his team have figured out the secret to success and are a refreshing enigma in the modern-day workplace. In Mistler’s case, a unique journey from the gridiron to his current state helped maintain this longevity.
After growing up in Tucson, Mistler attended the University of Arkansas where he was an All-Conference wide receiver and team captain for the Razorbacks, learning about teamwork from legendary college coach Lou Holtz. He has made a lifelong career in banking, starting post-college after getting some advice from a mentor.
After graduating from Arkansas and earning an MBA from ASU, Mark worked at Valley National Bank for 15 years. He joined what was then Compass Bank in 1999 and built a strong team that has been very successful at building long term customer relationships. This success has helped his team garner a large share of the commercial banking market in Southern Arizona. His time on the football field, learning humility, selflessness, and competitiveness, helped make Mark a successful leader and banker.
“So many of the lessons I learned playing football are directly transferable to the business world,” said Mistler. “I was very fortunate to play for Coach Holtz; he is the greatest motivator I have ever been around. He taught us more than just how to be successful on the football field - he taught us how to be successful in life.”
The values he obtained from Coach Holtz that Mark has used in the banking world are as follows:
- Care for your team and customers
- Have high expectations and be clear about them
- Be humble
- Be selfless
- Compete to win
- Live these values every day and treat ALL others with respect
Pictured from left to right: Elie Asunsolo, Sandi Acuna (20 years), Izaro Urreiztieta (20 years), Daniela Sterling, Christine Turner, Mark Mistler (20 years), Kelly Prudence (20 years), Scott Place (20 years), Marc Smith (20 years). Not pictured, but also celebrating 20 years of service is Vicki McCourt.
Mistler has created strong relationships throughout the Tucson community as well as on his team. Within a year of joining the bank, which is now BBVA, eight people followed him. Of those original nine, seven team members are still together after 20 years at BBVA. Mistler emphasizes that caring about each other and unselfishness are what kept everyone together and striving toward their goal of creating opportunities for others in Tucson.
In spite of multiple opportunities for promotion or roles at other banks, Mistler’s core team has chosen to stay together and have committed to the area’s growth. In fact, Tucson has seen the job market increase by more than 2% in the last year, according to Greg Hammond in the Economic Outlook Third Quarter 2019 report from the Economic and Business Research Center, Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. Mistler’s favorite thing about greater Tucson is that even though it has grown to more than a million people, it still feels like a small town with a very tight-knit business community.
Mistler’s team, even with decades of service to Southern Arizona, is still committed to formulating winning banking solutions for even more years to come.
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