Supporting our Community with Some Green…Golf Greens, That Is!

Golf-Des1Over the last couple of months, we were honored to participate in two golf tournaments that raised money to support good causes in our Phoenix community and throughout our state.

The Arizona Bar Foundation’s Drive Fore Justice Golf Tournament happened on May 20th at the Moon Valley Country Club. Our bank’s Rich Endicott and Doug Metzger as well as two of our clients, Court Rich and Bill Harter, golfed alongside nearly 100 judges and lawyers in the Bar Foundation’s third annual golf tournament to support the Foundation’s mission of “promoting access to justice for all Arizonans.” We also contributed by sponsoring one of the tournament holes.

The Bar Foundation’s many programs include:

  • Modest Means Project – in partnership with the State Bar of Arizona, providing a low-cost, one-hour meeting with an attorney for people who don’t qualify for free legal service but cannot afford full-price rates.
  • Military/Veteran’s Legal Assistance Project – in partnership with the State Bar of Arizona and with support from the Arizona Supreme Court, providing legal assistance to active military and veterans.
  • Online Pro Bono Project –legal services provided by answering questions over legal help websites org, lawforseniors.org and azlawhelp.org.
  • Wills For Heroes Arizona – in partnership with the State Bar of Arizona and in affiliation with the Wills For Heroes Foundation, providing free estate planning legal services to Arizona’s first responder personnel.
  • Law-Related Education Programs – various opportunities to teach children in grades K- 12 about the law.

This foundation does important work to bring legal rights to all Arizona citizens and offer plenty of volunteer opportunities.  Check out the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education website to learn more.

In late April, we also took part in the Arizona Petroleum Marketers Association Foundation’s (APMA) 2017 Scholarship Golf Tournament at McCormick Ranch Golf Club. Since 2007, the Foundation, for one of the largest trade associations of its kind, has awarded over 60 scholarships, valued at over $300,000. Scholarships are awarded to APMA member companies’ employees and their children. According to their website, “In 2016, nine students received scholarships with a total value of $44,000….”

The Foundation has a long track record of commitment to education and support for members’ families. According to the APMA website, its members “supply billions of gallons of fuel and tons of related products annually to Arizonans. These businesses provide fuel and lubricants to the vast majority of commercial end users, including farmers, construction firms, and local and state governments.”

The Biltmore Bank of Arizona works with many local energy companies, providing a full array of banking services, and is proud to support this important part of the Arizona economy.

We had a great time lending our support by golfing, as well! Our bank’s Rich Endicott, Todd Leveen and Doug Metzger, as well as our client Bill Harter, made up our fabulous foursome at the scholarship tournament, and Biltmore sponsored one of the tournament holes as well. Biltmore banker Desirae Outcalt was also on hand to lend her support.

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Our Day at Junior Achievement’s “JA You’re Hired!” Event

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Imagine that you’re about to graduate from high school, but you’ve learned very little about how to land a job, including how to network, compose a resume, dress for an interview and much more. Most of us probably once found ourselves facing this exact scenario.

Lucky for them, some students get the preparation they need by participating in Junior Achievement’s JA You’re Hired! program. And fortunately for us, some of our team members from The Biltmore Bank of Arizona got to help those students develop the work-readiness skills required to transition from school into the work world.

The You’re Hired! program includes a rigorous, 10-session classroom curriculum led over several weeks by Junior Achievement volunteers, and it culminates in a half-day JA You’re Hired Challenge. This year’s Challenge, where our staff members Jeremy King, Desirae Outcalt, Darlene Esquerra, Todd Leveen, Bryan Ellisor and Nathaniel Spatz helped out, included more than 500 students from Phoenix-area high schools, all of whom had completed at least five of the ten preparatory classes.

The day began with a few schools participating in an interview workshop sponsored by The Biltmore Bank of Arizona. We asked the students questions similar to what someone interviewing for a teller or personal banker position with our bank would be asked. Career coaches guided the students through interview skills, like showing up early, making eye contact, shaking hands, researching the company in advance and more. Students who participated in this workshop had a definite advantage during the interview challenge later in the day.

Once all 500-plus students had arrived and convened in the large ballroom, they were tasked with a networking challenge. “A lot of the kids were quiet and shy coming off the buses, but they were running all over the room to meet people by the end of this challenge,” said Jeremy.

The students had one hour to meet as many of the 200 businesspeople volunteers as possible. Each had a bingo card with squares to fill in once they had met someone who met the criteria on the square – anything from someone who owns their own business to someone who speaks another language. The students were required to conduct themselves in a business-like fashion, so they had to introduce themselves and initiate conversation to find out the answers for their bingo cards.

Jeremy, who was volunteering for his second year at JA You’re Hired!, this time as an organizer as well as volunteer, was impressed by the number of kids who were already planning the trajectory of their future careers. “We even told a few of the kids that they were welcome to call us to interview for a job in the future,” he said.

After the networking challenge, where Desirae, Todd, Bryan, Nathaniel, Darlene and Jeremy all volunteered, the students participated in a creative marketing challenge, where they had to construct a product from loose materials in a box and develop an ad campaign; a STEM challenge, where they were tasked with figuring out math problems and puzzles; an interview challenge to test and hone their skills; and a thinking-on-your-feet challenge with real-life dilemmas to solve. The final challenge, called dress for success, caught the students off guard when they learned that select spies had been assessing their business attire at the networking event with the goal of presenting awards to the best-dressed school as well as best dressed boy and girl.

It was a tremendous day for these students, who learned very practical career skills, and for the volunteers who had a chance to give so many Phoenix-area kids a leg up in the business world.

We’d like to extend a special thank you to Todd, who serves on the Junior Achievement of Arizona board of directors and to Jeremy for working more than half a year on the JA You’re Hired! planning committee.

While we may not always think of ourselves as role models, it’s clear that you instantly become one when you volunteer at a Junior Achievement event. The business skills we come to take for granted can make all the difference in the world when you teach them to a young person. To find out more about how you can volunteer with Junior Achievement, visit their website here.screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

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Biltmore Bank Bringing Value to the Self-Storage Industry

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(l to r) Ben Price, Devin Jackson, Desirae Outcalt and Todd Leveen work The Biltmore Bank of Arizona booth at the National Self Storage Association convention in Las Vegas.

At The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, we aim to be a resource for business owners, trade organizations and investors who are seeking information on financing options in the self-storage industry. For construction, purchase or refinancing, we have conventional and SBA options.

As members of the Arizona Self Storage Association and the nationwide Self Storage Association, we stay up-to-date on the latest trends, laws and other concerns affecting the industry. More importantly, we listen to our self-storage clients to ensure that we understand their biggest challenges so that we can deliver the right combination of banking services and advice to help them achieve their goals.

Whether you’re new to the industry, growing your business, renovating your property or considering entering the market for the first time, we’ve compiled a few tips you may find useful when considering the investment.

Acquisitions- Bring your banker, accountant and perhaps your attorney into the transaction early in the process.

  • Your banker can help you evaluate the financial performance of the property and/or business and help define the size of the loan the property will support through the cash flows it generates.
  • Your accountant can help assess tax considerations.
  • Your attorney will help you prepare and review the purchase contracts.

Construction- Finding a good general contractor is key to any successful new build or renovation. Most bankers who understand the market can help you find a number of qualified contractors. Finding contractors that have experience building self-storage projects is a good first step in preparing your budget. Your banker can help you figure out how much bank debt the project will support.

Self-storage Tiffany, Devin, Nathaniel, Ryan

Although this information may seem obvious, don’t forget to consider the security and safety features of your self-storage property, as well as other factors that may affect your project’s financial projections, including the property’s ingress/egress configuration and whether any of the storage units are climate controlled.

Above all, start working with your bank professional early in the process. Please feel free to reach out to a Biltmore Bank representative. We have the expertise to assist you with your self-storage industry questions. Warm regards from all of us at the Biltmore, and we will see you at the next self-storage convention.

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Douglas Metzger Joins The Biltmore Bank of Arizona

Metzger Douglas cropped 300x300 03_2017We’re always looking for top achievers to provide the best service to our clients. We’re happy to have found one in Douglas Metzger, who has just joined The Biltmore Bank of Arizona as Senior Vice President/Senior Relationship Manager. He is responsible for supporting and expanding client relationships and providing our clients resources and products they need to support their businesses.

Previously, Doug worked for M&I Bank/BMO Harris Bank in Phoenix as a relationship manager and team lead and for First Interstate Bank/Wells Fargo Bank, also in Phoenix, before that. He has extensive experience working with machining and construction companies but has also worked with a wide range of industries represented in the Phoenix market.

“Our bankers have a deep understanding of Phoenix business,” said Rich Endicott, president of The Biltmore Bank of Arizona. “Doug’s history banking local businesses and his community ties further strengthen our bank.”

Doug spent 10 years as chairman of Friendship Retirement Corporation’s foundation, an organization that provides a broad continuum of high quality senior services. He is a graduate of the banking management program at Pacific Coast Banking School in Seattle, Washington and currently resides in Glendale.

“I’m looking forward to leveraging my deep banking experience in the Phoenix market to help grow The Biltmore Bank of Arizona and spread the word about its services,” said Doug.

Some of you may know Doug from his years of membership in Glendale Chamber of Commerce or the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. If you like to hit the links, you might spot him there, too, though this golf fan says his favorite courses are in Montana, where he loves to visit and play with his dad. Also a fisherman, Doug recommends the fishing spots along Mogollon Rim in Arizona, where he says the lakes and trout streams are remarkable.

We think we’ve made a great catch in adding Doug to our team, and we hope you have a chance to meet him soon.

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March Madness at The Biltmore Bank of Arizona

March Madness

It was madness at The Biltmore Bank of Arizona again…March Madness, that is! We hosted our 4th annual March Madness event on March 17, spending a fun, basketball-filled day at The Golf Tankscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am to kick off the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament with 300 clients and colleagues.

This marked our third year at The Golf Tank, which features eight big-screen televisions, shuffle board, billiards, foosball, ping pong, putting greens, darts, poker and a state-of-the-art golf simulator. We also rounded up food trucks from The Maine Lobster Lady, Mustache Pretzels, Frosted Frenzy, Flyin Hawaiian, Rock-a-Belly and Luncha Libre for a remarkable spread of delicious lunch and snacks.

BB Swag bagThroughout the event, we raffled off nine different prizes, including Biltmore Bank Titleist Golf Balls, Phoenix Suns tickets and a leather wine tote, complete with a bottle of wine, of course! One of our event sponsors, Old Republic Title,screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am hosted a “Closest to the Hole,” game and the winner chose between an Apple Watch or Android Watch. Rose Law Groupscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am and People’s Mortgage Companyscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am also sponsored our March Madness event.

This fun, casual event was a great way to make professional connections, compare brackets and get to know each other in a laid-back environment. Thanks to everyone who participated.

As usual, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament had its upsets, its triumphs and no shortage of hard work. Sounds a bit like business, doesn’t it? We’re always grateful to our clients for letting us be part of their remarkable teams.

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We’re celebrating 15 consecutive 5-Star ratings from BauerFinancial

march bauerIndependent rating and research firm BauerFinancialscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am has released its March 2017 bank ratings, giving Grandpoint Bank and its divisions, The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, Bank of Tucson and Regents Bank, a fifteenth consecutive quarterly 5-Star rating for strength, stability and soundness.

Based on December 31, 2016 financial data filed with the government, only banks BauerFinancial considers to be the strongest in the nation earn the 5-Star rating. Four- and five-star banks appear on BauerFinancial’s Recommended Report.

BauerFinancial has rated banks since 1983 and is regarded as “the nation’s bank rating service.” Banks cannot pay to be rated nor opt out of being rated.

Criteria for earning the 5-Star rating include the strength of the institution’s capital ratios, profitability/loss trends, the level of delinquent loans and repossessed assets, the market versus book value of the investment portfolio, regulatory supervisory agreements, the community reinvestment rating (CRA) and liquidity.

Thank you to all our wonderful clients for your business and your trust. We’re a 5-Star bank because we work with 5-Star clients.

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You Made Us #1!

Ranking AZVotes from the general public (you!) have once again made us number one! For the past 20 years, AZ Big Media has solicited votes through its websitescreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am for Ranking Arizona: The Best of Arizona Business. Results were just announced, and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona was named the number one bank to do business with in Arizona for 2017. We’ve held the number one spot now for ten years in a row, and we are very grateful to everyone who voted for us.

“We treat our customers and our employees with great respect,” says our president, Rich Endicott. “We’ve created a culture of going above and beyond at The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, and we’re very pleased that the people of Arizona recognize the efforts we make to provide top-notch service to our community.”

We are humbled by your continuing support. We remain committed to bringing the best of community-focused banking to businesses throughout our state. Thank you, Arizona!

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Promotions for Desirae Outcalt, Lisa Friedman and Nathaniel Spatz

We’d like to extend our congratulations and tell you a bit more about some of our top performers who just earned promotions.

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Des Outcalt

Desirae Outcalt now adds Relationship Manager to her Vice President title; we promoted Lisa Friedman to Client Relations Officer/Treasury Management Sales; and Nathaniel Spatz has worked his way up to Client Relationship Officer.

Desirae, or “Des,” as she’s known, is a familiar face to many around town. She’s been with our bank since 2006 and has taken on increasingly important roles. She’s responsible for developing and expanding client relationships, supporting our clients with a full suite of banking services and products and promoting our bank in the community.

Des is also a founding member of Suns Charities 88. In addition to offering members the opportunity to network and grow as professionals, Suns Charities 88 raises funds for Phoenix Suns Charities, which has granted more than $17 million to Arizona children’s programs since 1988. Des is also a past recipient of Arizona Business Magazine’s 40 Young Business Leaders Under 40, and she has become known in wedding circles for producing stunning bouquets made of brooches.

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Lisa Friedman

Lisa Friedman started with our bank in 2013 as a personal banker and then moved to financial service representative, before her recent promotion. In her new role as Client Relations Officer/Treasury Management Sales, she will assist relationship managers by making sure our clients have easy access to our online banking platform and treasury management services.

Before she joined the Biltmore team, Lisa worked for a few big banks. The experience gave her a great foundation, but community banking offers a unique opportunity she values greatly: customer service. “I am able to help build strong client relationships and really make sure they’re successful using our treasury products with our banking platform.”

Outside of work, Lisa stays busy with her two young sons and her family’s shared passion for sports. They enjoy watching football and baseball, and Lisa says that spring training is something she looks forward to all year.

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Nathaniel Spatz

Nathaniel Spatz joined our bank in 2015 as an underwriter. In his new role, he will assist management to research and develop new customer relationships, not just for The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, but for Grandpoint Bank and its other division banks as well.

Always a hard worker, Nathaniel earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees simultaneously, while also working as the assistant to the CFO of a community bank. Once he started his full-time banking career, he was given a senior title by age 28. Nathaniel is a member of the Risk Management Association, and he spends one night a week giving a Bible study lecture through Community Bible Study. His other interests include reading political thrillers, playing tennis and hitting the gym.

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Caljet – A Leader in Phoenix’s Vibrant Energy Sector

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(l to r) Bill Aust, The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, Dave Alexander, Caljet LLC, Rich Endicott, the Biltmore Bank of Arizona

One of the most exciting aspects of being a banker is getting to know and learn about a wide variety of industries and businesses. Ever wondered what it takes to create an enormous petroleum storage tank? Through our work with Caljet, we’re able to share this fascinating time-lapse video with you of their work to construct a very large tank.

Caljet is one of the dominant fuel terminal companies in Arizona, with $50 million in annual revenues, over 1,100,000 barrels of tankage and state-of-the-art loading and blending capabilities. The company provides storage space to petroleum companies for their products. Refined products and biofuels are brought in through a series of pipelines, rail cars and trucks to a large tank operation in west Phoenix. Tanker trucks fill up daily at Caljet’s facilities, and then go on to distribute fuel throughout Arizona.

Caljet was founded in 1982 by Managing Member Dave Alexander, who started the business with a $1,000 credit card loan. When The Biltmore Bank of Arizona opened in 2003, Dave approached recently retired Senior Relationship Manager Bill Aust for a loan to construct a new petroleum storage tank that would enable him to expand the scope of his operations. Not only was Dave Biltmore’s first customer — he was also the bank’s first customer in the petroleum industry.

As a veteran relationship manager, Bill took the time to learn about many of the complexities Dave faced, so that he could provide the banking services to meet Caljet’s needs. As part of this process, Dave introduced Bill to the Arizona Petroleum Marketers Association (APMA). For the last nine years, both Dave and Bill served on the APMA and APMA Scholarship Foundation Boards of Directors, and both men received awards from the APMA for their work. Over the years, Dave and Bill developed a close, personal friendship.

The company’s growth over the years has been no small achievement. Caljet began with tankage space of 135,000 barrels, and the enterprise now operates from an expanded facility that supports in excess of 46 million gallons of storage, servicing 30 percent of the fuel needs in Arizona.

Since forming our relationship with Caljet and through Bill’s involvement in the APMA, we have been fortunate to work with dozens of clients in the fuel industry and offer a sophisticated level of understanding for their unique businesses.

We have applied this specialized market strategy to a number of different industry niches, such as solar and self-storage. As the Biltmore team continues to develop expertise in these specialty markets, we are retaining our focus on serving our core commercial and industrial clients through the financing of owner-occupied real estate, commercial investment real estate, and manufacturing and distribution operating companies in the greater Maricopa County area of Arizona.

Congratulations to the Caljet team on their continued growth and success. We appreciate the opportunity to learn so much about their industry, as well as others. At Biltmore Bank, we find great fulfillment in spending time with our clients to understand their goals and then open doors to help them achieve these goals.

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Roger M. Laverty Named President of Grandpoint Bank

grandpoint_rocky_laverty_993_cropPlease join us in welcoming the new president of Grandpoint Bank, (of which The Biltmore Bank of Arizona is a division) Roger M. “Rocky” Laverty. Rocky, a member of the Bank’s board of directors since its inception in 2010, has a distinguished business career, most recently serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Farmer Bros. Co. He is also the former President and CEO of Smart & Final, Inc. and Diedrich Coffee, Inc., and he was a founding member and Chairman and CEO of Prime Advantage, Inc.

“Rocky is a remarkable businessman, and we are fortunate to have his leadership in guiding our bank’s growth across all of our markets,” says Don M. Griffith, Chairman and CEO of Grandpoint Capital, Inc., and Grandpoint Bank. “I’ve known Rocky for years, and his business acumen, his ability to identify and cultivate strategic growth opportunities and his track record of building successful businesses will be a tremendous benefit to Grandpoint.”

Rocky will remain on the bank’s board of directors.

“I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the bank’s growth as a member of the board,” says Rocky. “It is now exciting to be on the frontlines, working with an exceptionally talented group of regional executives and their teams. I’m looking forward to contributing the experience I’ve garnered over the course of my career to support the bank’s internal growth and develop new product strategies.”

Rocky is a member of the Board of Trustees for Children’s Bureauscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am and for the Jean Perkins Scholarship Foundation,screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am which provides college scholarships to children of LA County Sheriff Deputies. He also serves on the board of the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation,screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am which provides ocean therapy to wounded warriors and veterans as well as at-risk youth.

Rocky attended Stanford University and Stanford Law School.

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