Our Leadership

Max Poll
Chairman of the Board

Mr. Poll received his Bachelors of Business Administration from Western Michigan University and Masters of Hospital Administration from the University of Minnesota. His 35-year healthcare career included CEO positions at several hospital systems including Barnes Hospital in St Louis, MO., the primary teaching affiliate of Washington University School of Medicine and Scottsdale Healthcare System. Board positions have included the American Hospital Association, Association of American Medical Colleges and Voluntary Hospital of America, Inc., founding president of the International Genomics Consortium, a non-profit genomics research institute, Auxillio Inc., a healthcare image management company and the University Medical Center, Tucson, AZ. Mr. Poll was also a founding member of Goldwater Bank.

Nicholas Kissel
Vice Chairman of the Board

Mr. Kissel is a retired Certified Public Accountant and Ernst & Young Partner who spent thirty-seven years with that firm. He specialized in the financial services industry, auditing large multi-national bank holding companies and consulting on many facets of bank operations. Some of his clients included Bank of America, US Bancorp, ABN Amro and Huntington Bancshares. Upon retirement, he began working with the Ernst & Young Foundation developing and writing college courses on International Financial Reporting Standards and emerging accounting issues. He currently mentors MBA students at Arizona State University and lectures on emerging accounting issues. He resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife of forty-seven years, Lynda.

Kent Wiechert
Vice Chairman of the Board

Mr. Wiechert acquired Goldwater Bank and joined the Board of Directors in 2015. Mr. Wiechert also owns Weststar Mortgage Corporation, an independent mortgage banking, servicing, securitization and software firm which he founded in 1984. Kent has been responsible for establishing the business vision and strategy for both companies, resulting in consistent profitability and growth. He attended the University of New Mexico where he majored in finance and is a veteran of the US Navy. Kent’s extensive background in innovative technology solutions, private and agency loan servicing and mortgage loan origination provides the day-to-day leadership for the executive teams of both companies which in aggregate are constituted of over 50 different acquisitions which he’s conducted throughout his career in business.

Julie Merhege
Director, Bank President & Chief Operating Officer

Mrs. Merhege serves as President and Chief Operating Officer of Goldwater Bank, and as a Director since 2012. Mrs. Merhege also serves as the bank’s BSA/USA Patriot Act and Compliance Officer. As an original member of the management team, Mrs. Merhege began her tenure with the bank in 2007, its charter year, as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Mrs. Merhege continues to oversee and provide leadership in the management of the bank, including operations, audit and compliance, retail and regulatory reporting. Mrs. Merhege has over 30 years of experience in banking in Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas where she oversaw the operational and retail divisions, led the M&A efforts of two banks and numerous system conversions. Mrs. Merhege is a graduate of New Mexico State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Economics.

Matt Teskey
Director & Mortgage Division President

Matt Teskey is the President of Goldwater Bank’s Mortgage Division, a Director and has been with the company since 2015. Matt has been responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the retail mortgage business including sales, operations, secondary marketing, compliance, policy & procedure, public relations, information technology and legal. Matt is a graduate of Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Philosophy and has over 20 years of mortgage business experience spanning retail, wholesale and correspondent lending. For the four years prior to joining the bank, Matt served as the Chief Operating Officer of a mid-sized mortgage bank, Weststar Mortgage Corporation.

Jon Edwards
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Edwards has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Bank since January, 2010. Mr. Edwards has over 34 years of banking experience. Prior to joining Goldwater Bank, Mr. Edwards was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Community National Bank in Monmouth, Illinois. Mr. Edwards was also a member of the board of directors of Community National Bank. He is a graduate of William Penn College, with a Degree in Accounting and Economics, and the Graduate School of Banking from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Michael Ragsdale
Executive Vice President & Chief Risk Officer

Michael is the Executive Vice President, Chief Risk Officer for Goldwater Bank. Michael received his Bachelor of Business Administration with emphasis in Business Computer Systems and Bachelor of Accountancy from New Mexico State University and has been a CPA since 1996. After receiving his degrees, he worked with Arthur Andersen, LLP on audit and computer consulting engagements. For the following 10 years, Michael served as the CFO of a mid-sized, national community bank. Prior to joining Goldwater Bank, he served for four years as the CFO of a large credit union and a mid-sized mortgage bank, Weststar Mortgage Corporation.

Charles Owens
Senior Vice President & National Retail Mortgage Sales Executive

Charles Owens is a Senior Vice President at Goldwater Bank and the National Sales Manager for the Retail Mortgage Division. Charles is responsible for all retail mortgage origination activities as well as national branch acquisitions. Charles joined Goldwater Bank in early 2012 and has been a leader in the mortgage industry for more than 15 years.

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