Our History


Denali State Bank was founded by a local banker, Gary Roth, who sought to create a bank that excelled in customer service. Despite the tumultuous times of the mid-1980s when many banks were shutting down, several investors and bankers believed in establishing a bank that was community-minded and outclassed in customer service.  They left their present jobs and teamed up together to start a bank with the mission of ALWAYS putting the customer first.

Nearly 50 investors pooled their financial resources together to found Denali State Bank. All of the stockholders were from the Interior and understood both the Fairbanks community and interior Alaska.

The vacant St. Joseph’s Hospital building, centrally located downtown on the Chena River, was selected as the Main Office.  This historic building holds a special place in the hearts of residents and customers alike.  The “old St. Joseph’s Hospital” is still remembered as the birthplace of many Fairbanks’ residents.

On February 3, 1986, Denali State Bank opened its doors for business for the first time at 10:00 a.m., with 11 employees and a newly renovated facility.

Jyotsna "Jo" Heckman succeeded Gary upon his retirement in 2003 as the bank president, enjoying the distinction of being the first female bank president in Alaska's history.  

Our current president and CEO, Steve Lundgren 
has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, including 28 years as a community banker in the Fairbanks area.  Since 2008 he has served the bank as Executive Vice President.

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