Visionary CEO Profiles
Mark Grescovich - Banner Bank
Mr. Grescovich joined the Bank in April 2010 and became Chief Executive Officer in August 2010 following an extensive banking career specializing in finance, credit administration and risk management. Prior to joining the Bank, Mr. Grescovich was the Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Banking Officer for Akron, Ohio-based FirstMerit Corporation and FirstMerit Bank N.A., a commercial bank with $14.5 billion in assets and over 200 branch offices in three states. He assumed the role and responsibility for FirstMerit’s commercial and regional line of business in 2007, having served since 1994 in various commercial and corporate banking positions, including that of Chief Credit Officer. Prior to joining FirstMerit, Mr. Grescovich was a Managing Partner in corporate finance with Sequoia Financial Group, Inc. of Akron, Ohio and a commercial and corporate lending officer and credit analyst with Society National Bank of Cleveland, Ohio.
Clare Capps - Capps Broadcast Group
Alan Coffey - Coffey Communications, Inc.
Les Teel - Columbia Rural Electric Association
Christina Lethlean - Gesa Credit Union
Christina Lethlean is President and Chief Executive Officer of Gesa Credit Union. Ms. Lethlean joined Gesa Credit Union in July of 2007 where she has overseen the growth of assets to more than $1.1 billion and the growth of membership to more than 105,000 members.
Since the start of her career, Ms. Lethlean has participated in many charitable and community organizations that align with her values. Currently these organizations include Junior Achievement of the Greater Tri-Cities, and Habitat for Humanity Tri-Cities. She serves as a Director on the Tri-Cities Development Council Board and is part of both the WSU Tri-Cities Advisory Council and Campaign Committee.
Ms. Lethlean is deeply involved in the credit union movement and participates in the Northwest Credit Union Association Washington Model Credit Union Act Sub-Committee, as well as the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) – GSE Reform Task Force. Most recently, Ms. Lethlean was appointed to serve on the Filene Research Council.
Ms. Lethlean earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from California State University.
Tom Hodgens - KUJ AM
Ramon Zamora, Jr. - Inland Cellular
Rob Blethen - Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Rob Blethen has been a member of the board of directors of the Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce since 2009.
Blethen is the publisher of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, an award-winning 12,000-circulation daily and 14,000-circulation Sunday newspaper at the foothills of the Blue Mountains in the beautiful southeastern corner of Washington. The Union-Bulletin is dedicated to providing high quality, community-service journalism for the people of the Walla Walla Valley. Blethen is involved in the community as a member of the board of directors of Walla Walla’s YMCA and United Way and is also a member of Rotary.
He is a member of the fifth generation of Blethens who have been majority owners of The Seattle Times Company since 1896 and owners of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin since 1971. The Seattle Times Company publishes three daily newspapers, several weekly newspapers and news web sites in Washington.
Blethen grew up in the Seattle area and graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He has worked in every major department — including as a reporter and editorial writer in the newsroom and in numerous management positions in advertising and circulation — during his 16-year newspaper career in Washington and Maine.
He and his wife, Catherine, have three children who are in the Walla Walla public school system. Catherine is a nurse who is currently staying home to care for the children.
In his personal time Blethen enjoys skiing, bad golf, Husky athletics and spending time with his family.
John Thorsnes - Wine Valley Golf Club
John Thorsnes is the Director of Golf and part owner of Wine Valley Golf Club. The course opened in April of 2009 and was recently named the 5th Best New Course in the Nation by both Golf and Golfweek magazines. Wine Valley is an 18-hole links style championship course that hosted both the inaugural Washington State Mid-Amateur Championship and the Northwest Open Championship the summer of 2010.
John is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University with a degree in Education and has spent the last 25 years in the golf business in the Northwest. Past club affiliations include Sahalee Country Club in Redmond, Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club outside of Portland and was the Director of Golf at Walla Walla Country Club for 10 years before starting Wine Valley.
He and his wife, Nanci, have two children, Erik and David, who both graduated from WaHi. Nanci is the Controller for L’Ecole #41 Winery. In their spare time Nanci and John enjoy traveling, skiing and some occasional golf.