John Ikard, President and CEO of FirstBank Holding Company, Colorado’s largest locally-owned bank, was named one of 14 category winners in the Denver Business Journal’s Power Book, taking top honors in the banking category. The Power Book annually acknowledges some of the Denver metro area’s top C-level executive newsmakers, as well as their accomplishments during the past year, venerating 10 business leaders in each of the14 various business categories. Ikard was recognized during an awards luncheon held Thursday, October 30, 2008 at the Marriott City Center in Denver.
Ikard began his career with FirstBank in 1981 and in 1999 was elected President and CEO of FirstBank Holding Company. Under Ikard’s management, FirstBank has grown to become Colorado’s largest locally owned bank, currently posting record financial performance and successfully persevering during one of our nation’s most devastating financial crises. FirstBank recently increased its total assets to $9.2 billion as of September 30, 2008, compared to $8.6 billion at the end of 2007; partially due to avoiding subprime mortgage loans. In addition, Ikard contributed to the growth of FirstBank’s commercial loan portfolio, which went from $719 million at the end of 2005 to $1.887 billion as of October 30, 2008.
Furthermore, Ikard’s team led an expansion of FirstBank into two new markets – Arizona and California – adding four locations in Arizona, one in California and six additional branches in Colorado. During this past year, Ikard also has devoted resources towards developing innovative online banking services, including mobile marketing which allows customers to receive account balance inquiries, transfer funds and pay bills all from the convenience of their mobile phones.
“FirstBank’s success can be widely attributed to John’s leadership, his business savvy, innovative thinking and the long-term strategic vision he has instilled in our company,” said David Baker, FirstBank Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “FirstBank has an incredible employee culture which fosters the kind of team work and commitment that leads to strong performance and loyal, satisfied customers.”
Ikard was recently appointed to the American Bankers Association (ABA) National Board of Directors. He is also running unopposed for election to the Kansas City Federal Reserve Board of Governors. His first official meeting will be in December 2008.
Ikard also is active in the Denver community, volunteering with many organizations and serving on nonprofit boards including the Archdiocese of Denver, Boy Scouts of America, Children’s Hospital Foundation, Colorado Concern, Colorado State University Foundation, Colorado Uplift, Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce and The Wildlife Experience.
FirstBank also has a policy of matching any contribution made by an officer or employee to a Colorado college or university, up to $5,000 per calendar year. These matches are made for funds directed specifically to the educational needs of the institution.
As 2007-2008 Chairman of the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce (DMCC), Ikard helped resurrect Coloradoans for Responsible Reform (CRR) in response to helping facilitate a compromise between business and labor interests. The DMCC was also active in supporting the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) and Denver Host Committee.
FirstBank is the largest locally owned banking organization in Colorado, serving more than 600,000 customers. The company is unique in that a majority of its stock is owned by management and employees.