By David Pittman
PNC Bank’s recent acquisition of BBVA USA makes PNC one of the largest banking organizations in the nation with more than $560 billion in assets and a coast-to-coast presence in the 30 largest markets in the country.
On June 3, 2021, PNC named Mark Mistler, who headed BBVA locally for the last 22 years, as its Regional President for Tucson and Southern Arizona.
Mistler said he and his experienced banking team are pleased by PNC’s entrance into the region because it has the vast financial resources necessary to expand services and commitments within area communities. “We are eager to leverage the combination of strength and size PNC offers and are looking forward to the larger impact we can bring to Tucson and Southern Arizona as part of PNC,” he said.
Mistler cited several policies and programs implemented by PNC to justify his optimism:
– The 17-year-old “Grow Up Great Program,” which has committed $500 million to advance high-quality early childhood education with a mission of preparing young children for school and life.. The banking organization also provides all PNC employees with up to 40 hours of paid time off annually to volunteer at approved Grow Up Great partners, Racial and Social Justice volunteer organizations, or a mix of both.
– A recently introduced “Community Benefits Plan” to provide $88 billion in loans, investments and other financial support to communities it serves in order to create economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income individuals, communities of color and other underserved people.
– Utilization of a “Main Street Banking Model” similar to that of BBVA. “We were somewhat surprised a large bank like PNC would stress relationship-building with clients at a local level,” Mistler said. “But their business strategy fits perfectly with what BBVA has always done in Tucson.”
Mistler grew up in Tucson, where he was an outstanding all-around athlete at Sahuaro High School. He played basketball, ran track and was quarterback of the football team. Mistler was so accomplished on the gridiron that he was sought after by several major college football programs.
“I attended the University of Arkansas because I liked the people, the coaching staff, and I was extremely impressed with the head coach,” That coach happened to be the legendary Lou Holtz, Mistler said. “I couldn’t have been more fortunate. I played on some really good teams and it was a great experience. I was very blessed.”
Mistler learned life lessons from Holtz. He was set to back up the quarterback during his sophomore year, but Holtz needed another wide receiver and shifted Mistler to that position. Mistler was not only rewarded with a starting position, but he developed into an all-conference wide receiver and team captain for the Razorbacks.
“Coach Holtz was more than a phenomenal coach. He was the greatest motivator I’ve ever been around,” Mistler said. “He taught us about setting goals and he said before you could set goals you had to know your priorities. He said football should not be our highest priority in life.
“The greatest lesson he taught us was that if you have your priorities right, and you set goals and go after those goals, you’re going to do well,” he continued. “Coach Holtz taught us about what he called ‘servant leadership.’ He said if you are in a leadership position, you are there to serve others and help them be successful and not just be concerned about yourself.”
After earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1984 at Arkansas, Mistler attended Arizona State University, where he received an MBA in 1986.
Mistler began his banking career with Valley National Bank in Phoenix before moving back to Tucson in 1987. He worked in various positions with Valley National Bank/Bank One before joining Compass Bank in 1999.
Mistler has served on numerous nonprofit boards in the Tucson community. He is a member of the boards of directors for Sun Corridor Inc. and the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. He is a past chairman of the Tucson Metro Chamber board and served on the National Board of Advisors for the University of Arizona Eller College of Management.
Other board positions have included the Diocese of Tucson Catholic Foundation, Our Mother of Sorrows Parish Endowment Board, Tucson Parks Foundation, Junior Achievement of Southern Arizona and Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic School. He has given his time to a myriad of local charitable organizations.