On January 15, 1964, Jim began his banking career at Consolidated State Bank in Hill City, KS. He was hired as a “cow counter” at an annual salary of $6,000. Prior to this, he spent five years farming and ranching with his father in Kansas after graduating with a degree in Business and Economics from Ottawa University. After about a year with Consolidated, a simple phone call to former Ottawa University classmates Bill Culbertson ‘56 and Jim (James D) Asher ’52 started a chain of events that led to Jim becoming president of the four-employee First National Bank in Otis, CO, in September 1965. In 1970, Jim and his two partners began the process of opening a new bank in Brighton, CO. After initially being denied by the Colorado Division of Banking, the Bank’s charter was finally granted by the courts, and on September 13, 1971, Platte Valley Bank opened for business. The Bank continued to grow in the 70s and into the early 2000s. Today, Valley Bank & Trust has eight Colorado branches, serving Brighton, Carbon Valley, Commerce City, Denver, Hudson, Strasburg, and Westminster. In 2000, Jim passed the presidential torch to his daughter, Donna Petrocco (pictured), who is a 1982 graduate of Ottawa University. Jim still presides as Chairman of the Board at Valley Bank & Trust, allowing him to celebrate 50 years in banking in 2014.