Stearns Bank added John C. Sizer and Lea Márquez Peterson to its board of directors.
Sizer has audit, financial and commercial real estate experience from his 36-plus-year career at Deloitte, where he retired as a senior audit partner. Sizer led Deloitte’s Arizona audit practice for 17 years, where he was responsible for all aspects of the practice, including financial results, revenue growth strategies, client service, talent recruitment, development and retention. He advised large, multi-national, publicly-traded companies as well as privately-held businesses across a range of industries, including commercial real estate, manufacturing, higher education and consumer services.
Sizer serves on the board of directors for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Child Crisis Arizona and the AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute. He is an advisory board member for HomeSmart International and LaneTerralever/Experience Dynamic.
“Stearns Bank’s history of stellar financial performance and focus on prioritizing strong risk management practices aligns well with my belief and experience that the best performers are those who invest in strong financial, operational and audit controls,” Sizer said. “What’s most impressive is Stearns Bank’s commitment to identifying underserved communities and businesses, and they are investing and taking action to expand access and inclusion. These are unmet needs and priorities I share, and I am excited to bring my skills and commitment to contribute to help Stearns Bank expand its reach to help more people achieve their greatest ambitions — it’s their mission, and they live it.”
Márquez Peterson has decades of experience as an entrepreneur and in representing thousands of small businesses, assisting them with identifying new markets, government procurement and financing expansions and acquisitions. Márquez Peterson served as the president and CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Arizona from 2009 until November 2018. Márquez Peterson currently chairs the national advisory board for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s small business development centers, where she advises U.S. SBDCs and acts as a liaison to the SBA staff with suggestions on improving programming.
“I am inspired by the mission and values of Stearns Bank and their commitment to community building, increasing equity and access and entrepreneurial empowerment. With my background working closely with small businesses nationwide, I know first-hand that the fastest growing business sectors are minority- and women-owned businesses,” Márquez Peterson said. “They could grow more efficiently, retain more profits and build more wealth personally and in their communities if they had more access to capital and banking services, which is exactly what Stearns Bank is putting into action. At Stearns Bank, it’s not just talk. They are supporting entrepreneurial initiatives to build diversity in business and tailoring financing and banking services to expand access and inclusion, and I’m excited to bring my expertise and passion to join Stearns Bank in achieving these goals.”
Currently, Márquez Peterson serves as a commissioner on the board of the Arizona Corporation Commission, previously serving as chairwomen of the Arizona Corporation Commission from 2020 to 2022. As the state’s energy and water regulatory board, the Arizona Corporation Commission helps regulate electric, water, gas and wastewater industries, incorporates the businesses in the state of Arizona and tackles securities fraud. In her continuing role as a commissioner on the board, she is responsible for the financial impact on close to 400 privately-owned utilities.
“We are thrilled to have John and Lea join our board of directors,” Kelly Skalicky, president and CEO of Stearns Bank, said. “The depth of their diverse experience in finance, business and audit will guide our growth strategies, and their corporate leadership expertise will help us maximize our community impact and grow diversity in business across all sectors. We are grateful to be guided by such a strong, accomplished board, and we’re excited for the opportunity to work with Lea and John and benefit from their talents and expertise.”
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