John Fitzgibbon and Associates,
John Fitzgibbon began his career as a teacher. Although he went on to be a banker and business leader, he never stopped teaching and we are the better for it.
Born in 1922, Fitzgibbon grew up on a farm in Tobias, Nebraska. He received his bachelor’s degree in both agriculture and education from the University of Nebraska in 1943, then immediately joined the U.S. Army.
After four years in the army he began teaching vocational agriculture at high schools in Scribner and Hastings, NE in 1947. His success as a teacher caught the attention of the folks at Hastings National Bank who offered Fitzgibbon a junior officer position, which he accepted. He did well at his new job, using the relationships he’d built teaching to create a strong client base for the bank. In 1954 he moved to the First National Bank of Winona (Minnesota) as vice-president, but within a few months he was named bank president.
Fitzgibbon moved again in 1960, coming to Des Moines to become vice president and cashier at Iowa-Des Moines National Bank. He was named president in 1969, a position he held until he retired in 1980. During his tenure the bank became recognized globally for being the first in the industry with a computerized system. He proved to be a tremendous mentor for his staff during his twenty years at the bank, with many going on to leadership roles in financial institutions and corporations. Fitzgibbon also provided strong leadership to the Des Moines community in the development of the skywalk, the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, the Botanical Center and Nollen Plaza.
After leaving the bank Fitzgibbon took a few years off before returning to the fray. He lent his leadership to a number of business efforts as well as to the Iowa Board of Regents and the Des Moines International Airport’s Board of Directors.