Monthly Archives: January 2017

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

“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 or (602) 445-6511.