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‘The Loan Ranger’ rides for Zonta

Posted: October 23, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: October 23, 2011 1:30 a.m.

Client services representative Nicole Lopez, left, and Hicken look over paperwork at the Bank of Santa Clarita in Valencia.

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Family lore recounts how Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid bought provisions from Jim Hicken's great-great-grandfather.

Hicken's distant relative owned a mercantile store near Rangely, Colo., that the famous outlaw duo frequented.

Cassidy, Hicken said, took a liking to Hicken's great-great grandmother. On one occasion, so the story goes, Cassidy and Sundance showed up at the store, put provisions in a wagon and told Hicken's great-great grandfather that the provisions were for Hicken's great-great grandmother.

"They told him that if he didn't treat my great-great grandmother right they'd be back to treat him differently," said Hicken.

Despite the colorful past of his distant relatives, Hicken, the president and CEO of Bank of Santa Clarita, projects the aura of a rock-solid, conservative banker.

However, Hicken, born and raised in North Hollywood, also has a sense of adventure. He was certified as a scuba diver in 1988. His son joined him underwater two years ago.

"I love scuba diving - the serenity and the beauty," he said. "It is an amazing experience. I never get tired of it."
Hicken has dived at many of the most beautiful diving spots in the word, including locations in Hawaii, the Caribbean and all along the coast of California.

"I'd love to go to the South Pacific and dive sites with WWII artifacts," he said.

On the wall in Hicken's office are two framed stock certificates. One certificate is a share of Bank of Santa Clarita stock that shows Jim Hicken as the owner and also signing the certificate as bank president.

Above the Bank of Santa Clarita stock is another framed certificate, from the Myton State Bank in Colorado.

"My sister found this certificate in my mother's things after she died," Hicken said.
The March 1910 certificate was made out to James Forrest Coltharp, Hicken's great-grandfather.

Coltharp was a shareholder and, just as Hicken had done as president of the Bank of Santa Clarita, Coltharp had signed the certificate as president of Myton State Bank.

You might say that banking is in Hicken's blood.

However, Hicken originally planned to be a Certified Public Accountant, he holds a degree in accounting from the University of Utah.

Hicken was on track to work for Arthur Anderson, a major accounting firm.

But fate intervened when Hicken married his wife Julia.

"She still had six months of school left, so we had to stay in Utah," Hicken said.

Instead of Arthur Anderson Hicken joined Walker Bank. His career track eventually took him to Union Bank, Metro Bank and then to Valencia National Bank.

A few years after the community bank was sold to Union Bank Hicken and other members of the SCV joined together to found Bank of Santa Clarita in 2004.

"Community banking is very personal," he said. "I believe it is the kind of banking that people want."

Hicken is honored to be the recipient of this year's Zonta Celebrity Tribute Dinner.

"The Zonta Club holds a soft spot in my heart," he said. "It is an organization that supports, nurtures and helps develop young women. I am a huge supporter of that because of my daughter. I am honored to be chosen by the Zonta Club."

Hicken and wife, Julia, are the parents two children, Melanie, 25 and Scott, 16.




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