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Mountain View Bank of Commerce
Sunrise behind the mountains with lots of trees.

Team Bios

Read about the community-minded individuals who make up the Mountain View team and work directly with each and every client to help them find the banking services they need to be successful.

Andy Ellison, President and CEO

What kind of person opens a new bank in 2008 as the American economy was descending into the Great Recession?

Answer: A person not afraid of hard work, who believes deeply in the community and building a strong team; a leader with a vision to create more than a bank for clients and those who choose to be part of this new venture of Mountain View Bank of Commerce.

 So the story begins… Colorado native and CU-Boulder graduate, Andy Ellison – along with Stephen Faillaci-- teamed up in 2006 to embrace a dream in spite of many challenges raising $8-million dollars in initial capital to launch Mountain View Bank of Commerce.

 “I knew early on that we could serve our clients in many ways in addition to banking,” Andy says. “We’re able to give advice and direction on a number of topics, especially financial guidance. Mountain View is here to do more, to be more – that’s our responsibility as a community bank.” 

 With hard work and quality service has come reward; Mountain View grew through the Great Recession, doubled in size over the past five years, and looks to double again in the next five. To accommodate this growth, Mountain View moved to a  new home at 120th Avenue and Pecos in Westminster with more space in a great location to provide our individualized service to even more clients.

 Mountain View’s community service has also flourished over the years. Andy speaks with pride about the bank’s Make A Difference (MAD) days where the staff, divided into three teams, donates half-a-day, twice a year – while on the clock – to give back, “We’ve worked on behalf of kids, the elderly, animal causes – you name it, our people have lent a helping hand to non-profits region-wide.” 

 In 2018, An opportunity arose that  is especially close to Andy’s heart. “We worked with CU-Boulder and Realities for Children Boulder County to provide a full-ride scholarship for a young woman living in foster care who otherwise would not even be considering college. I’m so proud that the bank can help change the future for this young lady and her family for generations to come. I want to do more of that, where Mountain View can make a true difference in peoples’ lives.”

Andy and Mountain View have both grown in the last 10 years, and his current focus is how best to help his team members become better leaders. “I want to build something that will outlast me, that everyone can be proud of for decades to come. My passion is to develop team members’ leadership skills to provide the best service possible to our clients . . . to always be looking for ways to make real contributions.”

 Throughout this journey, Andy’s anchor is his family. He married his junior high school sweetheart over 20 years ago and has two teenage daughters. Andy is also  a workout enthusiast who enjoys the “endorphin rush.” It’s a rush that’s served the region well as Mountain View continues to grow its legacy of being more than a bank . . .


Deposits & Treasury Management Team

Suzanne Perkins, Vice President of Operations

Suzanne has lived both sides of the banking street in her 20-plus years in the industry. She began at a small bank, then went to another small bank that was bought out by a big bank, where she stayed for several years. Over time she realized it was important to get back to her professional roots.

“I felt that the big bank was losing its customer service focus -- that personal touch. It was time for a new challenge; a new opportunity to focus on my clients as people and not numbers.

She reached out to a former colleague who had joined Mountain View Bank of Commerce, who told Suzanne of its strong culture of excellent client experiences. “When I went to discuss a possible role with them, it felt like I belonged the moment I walked in the door.”

That visit proved life changing for Suzanne, who serves Mountain View as its Vice President of Operations. “While I work closely with the front office staff, I also spend a lot of time developing new commercial clients, forging personal relationships to ensure we’re meeting their business goals and making them feel appreciated.”

Her more than a banker philosophy is summed up concisely and simply – “we’re all about relationships that work for our clients; I’m confident in my ability to add value to that process as we achieve positive results together.”

In her off-hours, Suzanne can be found working out, jogging, and enjoying family-oriented activities


Brent Barstad, Assistant Vice President, Treasury Management

You see banks making promises all the time; the best this, the lowest that-–but what’s fact and what’s fiction? Who can you really trust as a banking partner for your business?

At Mountain View Bank of Commerce, it’s about truth and transparency and how the team works for you. Brent will show you a suite of banking services that will maximize your company’s cash management and save you time and money. “We shine in remote banking,” he says, “skip the trip to the bank and focus on your business. We have the best small business checking account around and pay more on deposits. We’re state champs with our money market rates, and because of the MoneyPass network, every ATM is your ATM. It’s a simple truth. We’re here to invest in you, to minimize your expenses, and to use technology to make it all easier.”

To those truths add this one–Mountain View Bank of Commerce ranks in the bottom 10% of banks in the amount of fees they charge their clients . . . a statistic clients love! That’s just one of many reasons why MVBoC is a Colorado Top 5 Small Bank of the Year from MultiFunding and

That’s an impressive opening act but it’s just the beginning; Brent is more than a banker. He’s a professional Cheer Dad for his two high school daughters, both accomplished athletes. He rocks the stage with his band friends and serves on Boards that help at-risk youth and develop the leaders of our community in the Metro North region. He cares about caring.

With 20-plus years of experience in all facets of the industry, Brent has chosen his leadership team. “I gave up an annuitized business to be part of this awesome banking family-–that’s how much I believe in what we do here.”

“There’s a special, authentic vibe you’ll feel when you come in to Mountain View Bank of Commerce,” he says. “We’ve got a great team of experts ready to go to work for you. And we’ll find that individualized solution that’s best for you and your business. Check us out and you’ll quickly see the difference we’ll make for you.”

The truth doesn’t get more real, or caring, than that.


Commercial Loans Team

Stephen Faillaci, Market President, Boulder 

As co-founder of Mountain View Bank of Commerce, Stephen knows all-too-well what complex, hard work is all about.

He embraced that challenge in 2006 when he and partner, Andy Ellison, made the decision to start a new community bank. It motivated him then and it’s the juice that drives him today to take care of clients.

Stephen’s specialty is the tough loans . . . the more complex the better.

“I really love putting the pieces of the loan puzzle together. Where I excel is when it’s hard. Let’s be unique and creative and find a solution that brings the puzzle together for a successful outcome. It may be tough, but together we’ll figure it out. That’s when it’s fun. That’s why clients come to me.”

Stephen runs MVBoC’s Boulder office. 95% of his business is on the commercial side but also does some residential and other consumer lending. He’s built his reputation “one relationship at a time,” a formula that’s worked well: “70% of my business comes from existing clients or their referrals.”

As part of a community bank without the big name or the big brand, Stephen knows that being more than a banker is much more than a value statement. “We go out and earn each relationship we have. We put the miles in; we take care of our clients. I’ll battle for them, and they know we’ll hit the closing date. So when we do the job well, they come back and also tell their friends.”

Making the complex come together for you. That’s the hard work that inspires Stephen and works for you.

When he’s not solving loan puzzles, Stephen spends his time with his wife, two children, and their two bulldogs. A graduate of the University of Northern Colorado with an MBA from the University of Denver, he’s into Crossfit and the mountains of Estes Park.


Benjamin Martin, Vice President, Senior Commercial Lender

Whether you’re just starting your business or it’s a multi-million dollar operation you’re looking to expand, you need money to get the job done. But more than money, you need a commercial lender who “gets you,” someone who understands your business opportunity. That someone is Ben Martin.

Ben helps your business get to the next level, whether that’s providing you with tools to help better manage your deposits or by growing your business with a new loan or line of credit. But your meeting with Ben won’t be just another bank meeting. Mountain View Bank of Commerce is not a “big box” bank and Ben is more than a banker which means he offers you a unique, customized approach to help meet your business goals.

“I’m not here to just be your banker,” Ben says, “but rather a trusted adviser to meet the ongoing needs of your business. For me, it’s about the why. We take a holistic approach at MVBoC; I get a 360-degree view of where you are with your business and serve as a consultant as we get to know one another. I ask questions as part of a thorough review of your situation, exploring the needs you have and the various ways we can help.”

It’s all part of building a relationship to best serve you, the client. With solid knowledge of where your business is–-and where you want it to go–Ben will put together a loan package to facilitate your success. “That’s the bottom line,” he says, “we want to help our clients succeed.”

A Colorado native, Ben, his wife, and young daughter are avid outdoor people. They enjoy backcountry skiing, biking, and hiking (Ben’s already climbed 21 fourteeners). He also enjoys music--you’ll find him at Telluride Bluegrass Festival every summer.

Your business is your livelihood. You want the best supporting cast you can get. As Ben says, “we’re here for you, working to help grow your business together.” It’s a team approach that lets your dollars make sense.

Cindy Grove, Senior V.P. Relationship Manager 

With 25 years of banking experience – in small and large banks - Cindy has seen a lot of change take place in the industry. In recent years, that change saw Mountain View Bank of Commerce come onto the scene, a company she’s watched closely since its inception.

“I’ve known Andy Ellison for ten years,” she says, “and have appreciated what’s been accomplished at MVBoC. When I got the opportunity to join this special team, I was excited.”

As Senior V.P. Relationship Manager, Cindy works with small-to-mid-size businesses and non-profits on “both sides of the house,” from lending to deposits, cash management, and treasury management. With those broad responsibilities, she’s much more than a banker.

“ It's a great feeling. I get to serve my clients as both an advisor and an advocate, working for them and the bank to ensure win-win outcomes for all.  And with the strong local relationships I've forged over 20-plus years, I'm very comfortable handling any challenges my clients may face.  It all comes together in what I call thoughtful leadership. 

 A Colorado resident since 1980, Cindy focuses personal time working with non-profits that serve children and the community.  She also works with several trade associations that provide unique programming for the industries they serve. In her spare time, she spends with her family and can also be found taking time for getaways with their favorite horses.


John Thai, Commercial Relationship Manager

John brings new meaning to the phrase going above and beyond for his commercial clients. In addition to underwriting commercial loans and the overall management of existing clients, his expertise goes well beyond the bank’s walls. 

“ Often there are "more than a banker" opportunities in which I can provide through my community network. I can help a client by finding a caterer or refer them to a trusted bookkeeper. ”

 It’s all part of John’s passion for helping businesses in the community. As John likes to say, “I got a guy.” His entrepreneurial spirit is aligned with the bank’s values and is driven by the success of the community. 

John has been in the Denver area over 25 years and spends his time off in the Colorado outdoors with family and friends. John considers himself a lover of all things food, sports, and business.

Andrew Knapp, Relationship Manager, Boulder 

Standing beside every successful business leader is at least one key, trusted colleague who’s critical in supporting a business thrive. That colleague in Mountain View Bank of Commerce’s Boulder office is Andrew Knapp, a financial veteran with nearly 20 years of diverse experience maximizing his clients’ loan needs. 

Andrew’s commercial loan duties cover the gamut, from credit administration and business development to portfolio management and commercial underwriting. In addition to experience working in various banking systems, Andrew was also a financial planner for several years so he is able to provide clients with a different perspective than what you’d get from the traditional commercial lender. And that’s not the only way he’s more than a banker . . .

 "Many bankers look for the square peg, square hole solution. We think beyond that limited approach and look for the round peg that fits the square hole. It’s that extra time we devote to our clients – closely exploring their commercial goals with them – that enable us to structure win/win loans that they can’t find anywhere else.” 

 When he’s not working with clients in-and-outside the banking box, Andrew enjoys family time with his children and their activities, family hiking and lake time, golfing and basketball.


Mortgage Loans Team

Donald Buti, Senior Vice President, Residential Mortgage

When Don joined the Mountain View Bank of Commerce team, his charge was to build the residential mortgage division “from the ground up.” His approach was simple and direct – hire the best people who are dedicated to each and every client they serve. Not just dedicated, but deeply dedicated. It’s a formula that’s paid strong dividends for all of Don’s clients.

“All banks tell their customers they have the best rates,” Don says, “but dig a bit deeper and that’s not always the case. An eighth-of-a-point savings on your interest rate is worth $10,000 over the life of a 30-year loan. Those seemingly small numbers add up quickly.”

Don’s mortgage division has flourished under his leadership. The keys to success, he says, are threefold. “I’ve never been beat on a mortgage interest rate... never.” Don and his team then keep your loan costs down by working with a wide range of investor companies whose costs to the bank are low, so “that minimizes the loan cost we pass along to our clients.”

Those multiple investor companies also allow Don and his team to offer a more diverse product base of loans than most other lenders. Don says it’s wonderful to be able to service a larger number of clients than the competition while working under the umbrella of a stable bank.

To that “best rate, lowest fees” equation, add Don’s underlying “More Than A Banker ...” mantra – a service-oriented mindset. “We work as long as it takes to get the job done to meet the closing date. We stay late and start early whenever needed. It’s that dedication to our clients that bonds everyone in this division. With that comes the personal satisfaction of knowing we’ve made a true difference in people’s lives.”

A California native, Don is married with four kids and says his biggest hobby is “being a Dad.” All his children are soccer players so he’s an active coach/adviser. He likes fly fishing and has a strong passion for cooking and wine – he and his wife spend a lot of quality kitchen time together creating new taste sensations.

Don’s kitchen habits and his office approach mirror one another . . . use the best ingredients available, fold in passion for what you’re doing, and each recipe will net a tasty, beneficial outcome for all to enjoy. Simple, direct, and successful.


Darren Hunstad, Mortgage Sales Manager

Buying a house can be intimidating if not downright scary. Once you’ve found the right home, next comes the big challenge–which lender will finance the property. The right mortgage loan is crucial, but equally vital is finding the right person to walk with you through each step of the loan process to ensure the successful outcome you envision–-that’s HUGE.

At Mountain View Bank of Commerce there’s more than a banker to accompany you on this important journey. Your personal mortgage navigator, Darren Hunstad, is a seasoned professional with the background, experience, and creative know-how to make your homeowner dreams come true.

Darren and his team work with several types of residential loans: conventional, government, USDA, FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and construction loans-–anything to do with a structure that has four living units or less under one roof.

As Darren says, a successful loan process is about much more than nuts, bolts, and numbers.

“Our culture here is different . . . the way we best serve you is by establishing a personal relationship. We ask questions, we listen closely, we treat you like you’re a member of the family because you are. From that relationship comes trust; the core principle that we will perform to our utmost to earn your respect, secure your home loan, and earn your future business. It’s a natural approach that fits me well personally and one that MVBoC is very proud of because it works for you and for us.”

A California native who graduated from CU-Boulder, Darren enjoys playing sports and coaching sports for his four children. While a relative newcomer to the Mountain View team, Darren’s success has been impressive. “We’ve got a strong division and we’re growing. I love being part of this family because we give it our all to achieve our clients’ goals. Our success on their behalf allows us to achieve the bank’s goals.”

 Now that’s a navigator with a plan. That’s more than a banker who will get you home safe and sound.


Ashley Fusco, Mortgage Operations Manager

Quality client service – that true caring experience - is the gold standard we all seek when interacting with any business. You’ll find that gold with Ashley Fusco in Mountain View Bank’s mortgage division. 

Experienced in residential and commercial banking in Alabama, Ashley was ready for a change of scenery three years ago. With family in Colorado, she checked job boards here and found a Mountain View Bank opening that was appealing. She pursued and landed the job, which began a very special chapter in her professional life.

“It’s a very different environment here from other banks. It’s all about taking care of our clients - whatever it takes. It’s exciting, touching, and heartwarming to work with clients to ensure we get them into that new home. We’re truly here for them – it’s a simple, honest, and uniquely successful formula that we embrace every day.”

Ashley is more than a banker for you through the product diversity she offers. “We work with many different, top notch investment companies to ensure you get the best mortgage package possible. And we’re licensed to write home loans in 46 states, so we’re here for you in Colorado and across the nation. We’re growing with you.”

In her free time Ashley’s a fan of hiking the Rockies with her husband, playing with her two dogs, enjoys playing volleyball, and always cheers for the Alabama football team. Roll Tide!


Laurie LaRusso, Mortgage Loan Processor

Laurie cuts right to the chase. “The mortgage transaction is one of the most important, and most stressful, transactions in a person’s life.”

 It’s a serious, big-time process that can go smoothly or go sideways, depending upon who’s helping you work through the maze of paperwork. Laurie’s answer to that paper chase is simple and to the point – “I work hard to take the stress out of the home buying equation by knowing my business. With my strong track record of success, I really look after my clients, digging to find them the best deals available.”

 Laurie works with new mortgage loans, loan refinancing, and reverse mortgages, and her years of experience have brought a lot of smiles to homeowners.

 One of the keys to Laurie’s loan success and client comfort is her organizational skill set. “I collect as much information as possible during the process of the loan. I know what we need to put the packet together and I make sure we get that documentation early on. That way I’m not going back to the client every couple of days for this and that. We’ve done the work up front so the rest of the process can be as easy as possible.”

 A recent addition to the Mountain View Bank of Commerce team, Laurie’s a solid fit with their “More Than A Banker . . .” culture. “We’re all about customer service first,” she says, “which makes this a fabulous place to work as we help make dreams come true. I’m excited to join this family; I see a lot of great opportunities ahead, for our clients and for the bank.”

 A California native, Laurie’s married with three children and is a big hockey and football fan. Her teams are the L.A. Kings (she’ll watch the Avs when the Kings are in town) and the NFL’s L.A. Rams and Minnesota Vikings.

 Laurie’s there for her sports teams and there for you on the home front . . . a winning combination that works!


Loan Administration

Paula Valdez, Loan Operations Manager

In every successful operation there are the behind-the-scenes team members instrumental in making the magic happen. Paula is one of those magicians at Mountain View Bank of Commerce where she does “everything from start-to-finish once your commercial loan is approved.”

While you may not see Paula on the front-end of your loan process, she prepares the many documents that ensure you get to closing in a timely manner. “I’ll give the client the initial checklist of documentation we need, gather that information, and prepare the loan package so there’s no delay in meeting the client’s timeline.”

You may see Paula at the loan closing when she becomes the client point person to make your more than a banker post-loan experience as smooth and seamless as possible. 

“At closing, I begin my formal relationship with the client, answering questions, processing payments, mailing out information notices – maintaining the loan file until it’s paid off. The loan cycle can be a stressful one . . . I help make sure the road ahead has the fewest bumps possible.

Paula’s life also revolves around her “baseball family.” She’s got a teenage son who’s “heavy into baseball” - she was a team coach for several years when he was younger. She and her husband are now “super fans,” supporting their son in all school-related activities. Paula’s also a big Rockies fan and is a gardener with an impressive green thumb.