We’re thrilled to announce that Gateway Bank President James Christensen has been named Mesa Citizen of the Year for 2022. See excerpts from The Mesa Tribune‘s featured article on James below and pictures from the banquet on our Facebook page.

James Christensen Man of the Year2 long-time volunteers are Mesa’s Citizens of 2022

See the full article here. 

Two long-time volunteers with involvement across a broad range of civic and charitable endeavors have been named the 2022 Mesa Citizens of the Year…

Gateway Commercial Bank President/CEO James Christensen, who has held leadership positions in a slew of financial and charitable organizations, is the 2022 Man of the Year.

Both were selected by the Mesa Citizen of the Year Association, which comprises others who have held the titles of Man and Woman of the Year in years past.

That association – and the annual awards it bestows – are among the oldest in Arizona.

Founded in 1935, the organization annually selects two individuals in the community who have dedicated a significant amount of time to volunteer activities. The many awardees have exemplified a long-standing commitment to volunteer activities and leadership.

The group also promotes volunteerism in Mesa, citing its positive impact on Mesa’s residents and neighborhoods.

More recently, it has also recognized Mesa Public Schools graduating seniors who have provided exemplary volunteer service in their school and the community….

Christensen moved to Mesa with his family in 1998 and almost immediately began making an impact in banking and other circles.

A successful community banker in the Kansas City, Missouri area, he became the founding president and CEO of Gateway Commercial Bank in Mesa in 2007.

“Since joining the Mesa business community, James has served as a highly engaged board member on a number of area nonprofit boards of directors including leadership positions for the Mesa United Way, the Mesa Chamber of Commerce, United Food Bank and Local First Arizona,” Hutchinson said.

Christensen is an active Rotarian and served two terms on the City Economic Development Advisory Board.

“He is a highly respected member of the Arizona Banking community and has been appointed to several prestigious national financial advisory committees,” Hutchinson added, noting:

“James leads by example and his team at Gateway Commercial Bank have also participated actively in community entities and activities.”

One nominator said, “James is a man of humility, and this makes it difficult to know all the individuals and businesses that he has touched in a very positive way. Not a man to just sit on a board or write a check, he gets directly involved and works shoulder to shoulder with others to solve problems and improve the lives of others.”

Married for 36 years to Anita Christensen, he and his wife are graduates of Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas, and have two daughters.

Both Leflen and Christensen will be honored at a banquet Feb. 27 at the Double Tree Hilton Phoenix/Mesa.

For tickets: mesacitizenoftheyear.org or contact Debby Elliot at 480-969-2731.