E. James Trimarchi was the longtime leader of First Commonwealth Bank and its predecessor, National Bank of the Commonwealth, and was an influential figure for many years in the Democratic Party in Indiana County.
Jim Trimarchi was born July 4, 1922, in Indiana, graduated from Indiana High School and earned a degree at Penn State in 1943. He went on to attend Midshipman School at Notre Dame, was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy, was promoted to lieutenant junior grade, and served more than three years in the South Pacific during and after World War II.
Mr. Trimarchi was named chairman of the Indiana County Democratic Party in 1948 at age 26, and led the county committee for 18 years. The party grew in voter registration in a then-Republican stronghold, and its candidates were upset winners for county commissioner and other offices under his leadership. Trimarchi was a delegate to the Democratic presidential nominating conventions in 1952 and 1956, and coordinated Democratic candidate John Kennedy’s campaign visit to Indiana County in 1960.
His state government service included a term as vice chairman of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission from 1957 to 1961, and as secretary of the commonwealth under Gov. David Lawrence from 1961 to 1963. Trimarchi’s political sway helped to bring the state transportation department’s District 10 office to Indiana and to complete the restoration of John Sutton Hall at IUP. The Indiana County Redevelopment Authority rebuilt the flood-ravaged town of Robindale under his watch.
In his storied career in banking in Indiana County, Trimarchi and his associates formed Conemaugh Valley Bank in Blairsville in 1963. Conemaugh Valley Bank merged with First National Bank in Indiana four years later to form National Bank of the Commonwealth. As NBOC grew, it gave rise to the bank holding company First Commonwealth Financial Corporation. Trimarchi was named the first president and CEO of the holding company in 1983 and was appointed chairman in 1990. Trimarchi also oversaw NBOC’s transition to First Commonwealth Bank in 2002, and the corporation’s growth from a $31 million bank to a $6 billion financial services firm with operations in 15 central- and western-Pennsylvania counties.
Jim was married 58 years to his wife, Clara, when he died at age 83 in 2006. They had two daughters, Nell Staub and Julia Cuccaro. Mr. Trimarchi left a legacy not only in the finance industry but in community service. He was chairman of a fund drive for construction of the new St. Bernard of Clairvaux Church in the late 1970s and was active in the parish evangelization committee. He served on the council of trustees at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the board of directors at Indiana Hospital and Indiana HealthCare Corporation, the trustees of St. Francis University in Loretto, and as president of the Indiana County Redevelopment Authority.