Fidel Lee Gutierrez fought a short courageous battle with cancer and passed away. His life began on November 3, 1962 and ended on November 3, 2013.
The son of Elie S. Gutierrez and Grace J. Gutierrez, Fidel acquired distinct personality and character traits from both his parents. Fidel’s strong work ethic, public service, mental toughness, athletic ability, importance of family, financial accountability and ability to synthesize and analyze information are attributed to his father. From his mother, Fidel acquired his sense of humor, graciousness, social charm, sense of community service and kindness. Both claimed responsibility for his intelligence and so be it! Nevertheless, the high expectations set for Fidel (and his sisters and brothers) were established early on in Fidel’s life by his parents and he didn’t disappoint.
Fidel aspired to be a banker at a young age and began his banking career in 1982. While attending college, he worked in various teller positions in Redondo Beach, California and Las Cruces, New Mexico. One of Fidel’s most memorable experiences as a teller was when he was robbed at gunpoint. Fidel often attributed the armed robbery for preparing him for any and all challenging banking experiences. After graduation, employed in Albuquerque, he worked as an internal bank auditor and traveled to banks throughout New Mexico. As a teller and an internal auditor, Fidel’s philosophical foundation for customer service, bank security, and employee supervision in banking began to evolve and prepared him for a bigger and better future.
He began working for Los Alamos National Bank in 1987. In 1996 Fidel was promoted from Manager of Bank Operations to Senior Vice President. He lived in Los Alamos for several years, but as a true home town guy he moved to Santa Fe continuing to implement progressive banking practices. In 1999, Fidel was chosen to “head up” the new Los Alamos National Bank office and market expansion in Santa Fe. In 2000, Los Alamos National Bank was a recipient of the prestigious Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award for quality and performance excellence in business. Los Alamos National Bank currently has three offices in Santa Fe. In just over 10 years, Los Alamos National Bank became and continues to be the deposit market share leader in Santa Fe County. Fidel provided key leadership in directing and implementing the bank’s market expansion efforts.
Fidel’s professional accomplishments, community service achievements and acts of generosity were numerous. He was often referred to as “Mr. Santa Fe” by business associates and community members. In 1997-1998, Fidel served as president of the Los Alamos Rotary Club. In 2003 Fidel participated in the New Mexico Bankers Association Golf Tournament at Twin Warriors Golf Club and placed first. Fidel was recognized as the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce
Board Member of the Year for 2008-2009, served as Chairman of the Board in 2010-2011, recognized for Outstanding Contributions and Service as a Board member from 2007-2013 and Volunteer of the Year on Public Policy in 2012. He also served on the boards for Girl’s Inc., Santa Fe Children’s Museum, Lensic Performing Arts Center, Life Center Foundation, Tierra Contenta Corp. and First Tee of New Mexico.