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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Todd Leveen Appointed to Junior Achievement of Arizona Board

todd-leveenWe’re proud to share that Todd Leveen, senior vice president at The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, was recently appointed to the Junior Achievement of Arizonascreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am central district board of directors.

After volunteering for Junior Achievement’s signature JA BizTown program in the late 1980s, Todd has continued his involvement with the organization ever since. He has also helped develop financial literacy programs directly for some Arizona schools, leveraging his master’s degree in curriculum instruction and design.

“I have always thought that our educational system has short changed some students, because the curriculum isn’t thorough enough to prepare them for what happens when they hit the real world,” says Todd. “Schools just don’t have the time or budget to teach about how to take out a loan, pay a mortgage or remit bills. As I’ve worked with Junior Achievement, I’ve seen that they address those financial literacy issues and real world scenarios.”

As part of his duties on the Junior Achievement board, Todd serves on the JA Stock Market Challengescreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am committee, which organizes an interschool mock stock trading competition. He also helps with fundraising, board member and sponsor recruitment, and promoting Junior Achievement in the Phoenix community.

The JA Stock Market Challenge is especially enjoyable, says Todd, because not only do the student school teams get to execute mock trades for a $500,000 investment portfolio during the day, the adult volunteers, sponsors and local business leaders get to simulate the same challenge later that evening.

Biltmore Bank staffers Jeremy King, Nathaniel Spatz, Paul Brodt, Bryan Ellisore and Desirae Outcalt also volunteer with Junior Achievement of Arizona events, and Jeremy  also serves on Junior Achievement’s JA You’re Hiredscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am committee.

“Our entire organization, from the top down, has been extremely supportive of Junior Achievement of Arizona and of those of us taking time to help with and promote financial literacy programs for area youth,” says Todd.

Todd credits Darlene Esquerra, senior vice president and Community Development Officer, at our parent bank, Grandpoint Bank, for helping to support his work with Junior Achievement. Darlene coordinates many of the community outreach activities of Grandpoint Bank and its divisions.

“She’s been invaluable in helping to guide me, and she encouraged me to join the Junior Achievement board,” says Todd. “I couldn’t be happier with how responsive our organization is, especially our Biltmore Bank president, Rich Endicott, when one of our bank’s employees wants to contribute our support to the community. We’re all very driven to help people.”

Junior Achievement of Arizona has been educating K-12 students about financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship since 1957. Last year, Junior Achievement of Arizona served over 90,000 students in its programs. For upcoming events and more information about Junior Achievement of Arizona, visit www.jaaz.org.screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

“Human capital is very important to Junior Achievement,” says Todd. “They train you from the ground up, and the value you add to the students’ education is immeasurable. I would encourage anyone who is interested in volunteering, either directly or through your company, to contact Junior Achievement of Arizona.”

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Refinance Your Conventional Business Loan into a SBA 504 Loan

leticia-scearce_biltmore-bankThe SBA Debt Refinance Program is back! Does your small business have a maturing or high-cost conventional loan for real estate, buildings or equipment? The long-term, fixed rate financing available through the SBA Debt Refinance Program can help small businesses that face significant balloon payments, require financial flexibility or want to take cash out from appreciating assets for expansion.

Under the new program, small businesses that refinance into a SBA 504 loan can take advantage of lower rates, fixed for 20 years, to lighten their monthly debt payments, improve cash flow and stabilize operations.

These parameters can help determine whether this program might be a good fit for your business:

  • The debt to be refinanced must be at least two years old.
  • The debt to be refinanced must be current during the last 12 months.
  • Eligible small businesses can obtain up to 90 percent financing for secured debt and qualified business debt.
  • Eligible fixed assets include real estate and equipment.
  • Cash out for operating expenses, including debt consolidation, is limited to 75 percent loan-to-value.
  • Cash out can be used for eligible business expenses (salaries, rent, utilities, inventory).
  • Existing government guaranteed loans are not eligible to be refinanced.
  • The eligible debt being refinanced is for the outstanding principal balance.

Other conditions or qualification requirements may apply. 

For those considering applying for a new loan, we offer a variety of government guaranteed loan products that require less cash investment up front and offer longer loan terms, which can help bridge the gap for businesses that otherwise would not have access to capital.

  • SBA 7(a), 504 and 504 refinance
  • SBA Export Express Export Working Capital International Trade
  • USDA Business & Industry Loans Food Desert Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
  • Export Import Bank of U.S.

If you would like more information on the SBA 504 Refinance Program or any of our government-guaranteed loan products, please contact Leticia Scearce, Senior Vice President/Government Guaranteed Lending Manager, at lscearce@biltmorebankaz.com or (602) 445-6511.

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Happy 2017!

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This New Year, thank the ancient Babylonians. The idea of observing a special day as the New Year was theirs, as many as 4,000 years ago, and it is considered the oldest of all holidays. Observing the New Year on January 1 is somewhat arbitrary, but the Roman senate first declared this date as the New Year in 153 BC.

The Babylonians were also the first to come up with the idea of New Year’s resolutions. These days, cultures throughout the world have their own New Year’s traditions (and observance dates). While watching the 1,200-pound Waterford Crystal ball drop in New York City is a common tradition in the U.S., the Spanish eat 12 grapes at midnight to encourage 12 happy months in the coming year.

In Britain, when the clock strikes midnight, everyone sings the Scottish song ‘Auld Lang Syne,” which means ‘times gone by’ and was written by Robert Burns in the 1700s. In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring good luck.

In Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico, families may stuff a large doll, called Mr. Old Year, with memories and clothes from the past year. At midnight, they light him on fire to burn away the bad memories. (May we suggest checking local regulations before you burn an effigy in your yard?)

The Japanese hold Bonenkai or “forget-the-year parties” throughout December to bid farewell to the problems and concerns of the past year and prepare for a new beginning.

Some parts of the Middle East and Asia celebrate Nowruz (or New Day), albeit in spring. Celebrations often include bonfires and egg dying.

If you find yourself celebrating the New Year by using noisemakers and setting off fireworks (again, check the regulations, folks) to celebrate the New Year, you have that in common with people in ancient times, who believed that loud noises would scare off evil spirits and bring good luck.

No matter how you celebrate the New Year, all of us at The Biltmore Bank of Arizona wish you peace, prosperity and happiness for 2017.

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Grandpoint Bank Promotes Karen McGuire to Executive Vice President

karen-mcguireCongratulations to Karen McGuire, manager of Grandpoint Bank’s Construction Lending Department, who just earned a well-deserved promotion to Executive Vice President.

Karen is responsible for helping Grandpoint Bank and our divisions, The Biltmore Bank of ArizonaBank of Tucson and Regents Bank, expand our construction lending loan portfolio. She is based at Grandpoint’s Irvine office and oversees a seasoned and talented construction lending staff. Her duties include analyzing and underwriting all of the bank’s construction loan requests. This includes evaluating both standard and complex construction loan transactions, interfacing with clients, handling the construction loan disbursements once a loan is approved and visiting project sites.

According to Karen, currently, the demand for construction lending for multifamily properties is especially strong throughout the nation. In the markets that Grandpoint Bank and our divisions serve, Karen says the strongest demand is coming from Los Angeles and the Portland, Oregon/ Vancouver, Washington market. Karen’s team is also currently seeing a lot of lending activity and demand from the hospitality and single family real estate sectors in many of the bank’s existing markets.

Karen’s best advice for would-be loan applicants? If you’re looking for construction financing, start the loan application process sooner rather than later.  Assuming your loan application is complete, the approval process can be as short as 60 days, but compiling a complete loan application can take longer than many people anticipate due to the additional amounts of information and analysis required.

Your local relationship manager, along with Karen and her staff, will work with you to help you understand what is needed and what to include in your application. You’ll also benefit from the incredible depth of experience our loan underwriters have and can contribute to your construction project and process. You can depend on our team to bring a sophisticated understanding to your objectives and the business of construction.

“My team and I don’t consider our work done once a loan is approved,” says Karen. “Someone from our construction lending team will go to the building site once every two to three months so that we continue to understand not only the project but also our clients’ needs and achievements.”

Karen counts the AC Hotel Tucson by Marriott (currently under construction) as one of her most notable construction loans to date. Though it was a complex project, involving two different loans and some required environmental remediation, the loan was ultimately closed based in large part on the entire team’s “can-do” attitude. The 136-room hotel with 5,000-square-feet of ground floor retail will soon give new life to the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway in downtown Tucson.

“We are very fortunate to have Karen and her staff, all of whom have considerable previous experience in complex structured financing,” said Mark Phillips, Executive Vice President & Chief Credit Officer of Grandpoint Capital. “When Karen started with us, we had one construction loan on the books. Now we’re making construction loans in three states, with loans amounts up to $40 million and greater.”

For more information about construction loans, please contact your local banking office, your relationship manager or Karen McGuire at 949-483-8388.

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