Joyce Chapman is legendary at West Bank and in the Greater Des Moines Community. She has excelled in the male-dominated banking industry while making her mark on the Greater Des Moines community as a civic leader. She continues to actively give back to the community after retirement and has served as a mentor for many over the years.
Joyce Chapman’s hard work and steady advancement through the ranks has opened doors for other women bankers in a male-dominated industry.
In 2012, Chapman was honored by the Iowa Bankers Association with the 50 Year Banker Award which recognizes lifetime achievement in banking. The first woman Executive Vice President at West Bank, she has served as a Director of West Bank since 1975. She was the second woman to serve on the West Bank board, replacing a woman who was elected to serve after her board member husband died. This year marks her 43rd anniversary on West Bank’s board where she served as Chair of the Culture and Community Committee and member of the Audit Committee and IT Committee.
“I reach mandatory retirement age and will leave West Bank’s board on April 26, 2018” she said. “It has been my pleasure to represent West Bank since 1971.”
Not only has her guidance contributed to the success of West Bank, which is currently rated as one of the top 30 banks in the country, her influence has guided the culture of the company. Today, fully half of the officers of the company are women.
A life-long Iowan, Joyce Chapman began her career in banking directly after graduating from high school, taking an entry level position at Plaza State Bank in Des Moines and then working at a bank in Iowa City while her husband attended college. She started her career at West Bank as Auditor in 1971, continuing to advance until she retired as Executive Vice President in 2006. She completed courses with the American Institute of Banking and graduated from the Graduate School of Banking, University of Wisconsin at Madison, in 1976. Her natural curiosity and drive have more than made up for the lack of a formal college education. Her willingness to accept a new challenge contributed to her career advancement. As she tells it: “I only take on challenges that can teach me something new.”
Chapman’s love for her community shines in the depth, breadth, and variety of her involvement.
Throughout her 35 years as a West Banker, Chapman was the face of West Bank, serving as its unofficial goodwill ambassador at events throughout central Iowa. Her community service was far-reaching and continues even in her retirement years. Joyce is the first of only two female outside directors on the board of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company. She was President of Winefest Des Moines 2015, and served the maximum of two terms on the Attorney Grievance Commission of the Iowa Supreme Court.
“I recently worked on the $2 million piece of funding necessary to match the $8 million allocated by the legislature for the new Jester Park Nature Center to open in August, 2018. Thanks to West Bank for it’s donation,” said Chapman of her continuing community efforts. “And I’m a Tri-Chair for the Rotary’s Double Our Impact Campaign with solicitation of every member for a total goal of $625,000. I joined the board of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines in January, 2018.”
In all of her community roles, past and present, she has served as a tremendous role model and trailblazer for other successful women who wish to make an impact on their communities. Individuals seeking public office, of all political persuasions, as well as those seeking other meaningful ways to volunteer for the betterment of the Des Moines metropolitan area, frequently consult with Joyce about issues and challenges facing the community.
In 2004, Chapman was instrumental in the establishment of the West Bancorporation Foundation, which was formed by the Board of Directors of West Bank to provide charitable grants to community organizations in the markets West Bank serves which at the time included central Iowa and the Iowa City area. With its stated focus on charitable entities providing services in the areas of human services, arts and culture, and education, the Foundation has donated nearly $3 million since its inception. Serving as the Foundation’s first Executive Director, Joyce reached out to many community organizations, large and small, to encourage them to apply for funding and to lend personal support to their missions. Entities such as the Eddie Davis Community Center, Beacon of Life, Goodwill Industries, the Des Moines Art Center, the Science Center of Iowa, Chrysalis Foundation, the “Women Helping Women” program of the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, and countless others, benefited not only from the Foundation’s funding but from Chapman’s personal interest and involvement in their programming.
In 2002, Chapman helped establish the United Way of Central Iowa’s Women’s Leadership Connection which brings together central Iowa’s most generous and influential women to give their time, voice and resources to support quality early childhood education and provide opportunities for at-risk children in Des Moines’ poorest neighborhoods. Members of the Women’s Leadership Connection have raised over $12 million dollars for kindergarten readiness programs. As part of this group, Chapman reads every Tuesday afternoon with a first grader at Moulton Elementary School.
Chapman has been intimately involved with the management of her church home, Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Des Moines, a congregation of 3,000 members. From the welcoming duties of a deacon to the demands of Moderator of the Church Council (equal to Chief Executive Officer), she has followed Ecclesiastes 9:10: “Whatever thy hand finds to do, do it with all thy might.”
Chapman treasures her years on the Des Moines Symphony board where she served as Treasurer, gift solicitor for annual campaigns, capital campaigns, donor, and board member for many years, including a term as President in 2001. “I am very proud of the financial health of our beloved symphony which was formed over 75 years ago and continues to build its audiences when others in larger cities have failed,” Joyce says.
The Iowa Culinary Institute Friends of French Chef Committee at Des Moines Area Community College is another passion. The committee raises funds for sending eight top students annually to France to study under a French chef for a two-week practicum and also to pay expenses for French chefs to teach at the ICI each January. Recently, Chapman personally helped fund the building expansion for this program. This has been a thirty year involvement and has helped the culinary program expand to 250 students.
Chapman also served on the DMACC Foundation Presidential Selection Committee.
Some of her achievements are lesser known, but are none the less important.
Chapman has considerable experience as an event planner. She helped plan the state conference for the National Association of Bank Women and was co-chair of Rotary District 6000 Conference that took place in 2008.
In 2004, when the Roosevelt High School Marching Band’s trailer was stolen from the school campus, she managed a $50,000 community fundraising effort to replace the trailer.
She helped the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa by volunteering to review and update their bylaws.
Chapman participated in an all women house build while serving on the Capital Campaign Planning Committee for Habitat for Humanity. She quips, “I can now put ‘roofer’ on my resume.”
Inspiring Other Women to Achieve Success is in Her DNA.
Chapman thoroughly enjoys life and enthusiastically invites other women to come along for the ride. She has mentored many women not only in the banking industry, but in the community at large by being approachable and genuinely interested in their struggles. Her proudest moments are from her involvement in organizations that promote collaboration among women to achieve mutual success.
Chapman is a founding member and past president of the Nexus Executive Women’s Alliance, a breakfast club and reciprocity group of business women that has undertaken a project of promoting women on corporate boards. Furthering this mission, she spoke at a recent Iowa Women’s Leadership Conference on the topic.
Over the years, Chapman has seen countless women suddenly lost when the spouse they have relied on to manage the family finances is no longer there. She is an advocate for those women, speaking to groups on the value of financial literacy and the importance of preparing one’s personal financial statement each year so the surviving spouse knows what is owned, its value and where assets are held and invested.
The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center offers professional personal counseling to women on a sliding scale depending on need. Chapman has been a tireless supporter, serving on the building campaign council, as a gift solicitor, and as an annual sponsor for the Women Helping Women fundraising event.
Chapman also has been an inspirational force in the development of the Women’s Impact Network at West Bank, a program designed to mentor young women bankers and train them for leadership roles.
She may be retiring from the West Bank board of directors, but Joyce Chapman will remain the most influential woman banker in West Bank’s history for many years to come.
Major Accomplishments and Contributions include:
Honored with a Sages Over 70 Award in 2017
Elected to the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 2015
Appointed by the Iowa Supreme Court to its Attorney Grievance Commission where her financial expertise was important (served the maximum 2 terms)
Named a Woman of Influence by the Business Record in 2001.
Rotarian of the Year Award 2008-2009
First woman President of:
Second woman President of the Rotary Club of Des Moines
Member of the Boards of Directors of:
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