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Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc. Acquires Grandpoint

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We are pleased to announce on July 1, 2018, The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, a division of Grandpoint Bank, officially became part of Pacific Premier Bank. President and CEO, Steve Garner, commented, “We are pleased to welcome the clients, employees and stockholders of Grandpoint. We believe our strategic combination creates one of the strongest commercial banks in California, with significant opportunities to provide a wider array of products and services to our clients while continuing to expand our market share.” Learn more at www.biltmorebankaz.com/974.htm.

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TECH SUPPORT FRAUD

Below is an important update from the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ cybercrime webpage detailing the problem of technical support fraud, suggestions for protection and how to report it:

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Based on new reporting, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is providing updated guidance regarding technical support fraud. Tech Support Fraud involves a criminal claiming to provide customer, security, or technical support in an effort to defraud unwitting individuals. This type of fraud continues to be a problematic and widespread scam.

In 2017, the IC3 received approximately 11,000 complaints related to tech support fraud. The claimed losses amounted to nearly $15 million, which represented an 86% increase in losses from 2016. While a majority of tech support fraud involves victims in the United States, IC3 has received complaints from victims in 85 different countries.

Criminals may pose as a security, customer, or technical support representative offering to resolve such issues as a compromised e-mail or bank account, a virus on a computer, or to assist with a software license renewal. Some recent complaints involve criminals posing as technical support representatives for GPS, printer, or cable companies, or support for virtual currency exchangers.

As this type of fraud has become more commonplace, criminals have started to pose as government agents, even offering to recover supposed losses related to tech support fraud schemes or to request financial assistance with “apprehending” criminals.

HOW THE FRAUD OCCURS

Initial contact with the victim typically occurs through the following methods:

Telephone: A victim receives an unsolicited telephone call from an individual claiming the victim’s device or computer is infected with a virus or is sending error messages to the caller. Callers are generally reported to have strong, foreign accents.

Search Engine Advertising: Individuals in need of tech support may use online search engines to find technical support companies. Criminals pay to have their fraudulent tech support company’s link show higher in search results hoping victims will choose one of the top links in search results.

Pop-up message: The victim receives an on-screen pop-up message claiming a virus has been found on their computer. In order to receive assistance, the message requests the victim call a phone number associated with the fraudulent tech support company.

Locked screen on a device: The victim’s device displays a frozen, locked screen with a phone number and instructions to contact a fraudulent tech support company. Some victims have reported being redirected to alternate Web sites before the locked screen occurs.

Pop-ups and Locked Screens

  • Often accompanied by a recorded, verbal message to contact a phone number for assistance.
  • Frequently programmed into links for advertisements or popular topics on social media.
  • Web addresses of popular Web sites (such as social media or financial Web sites) can be typo-squatted to result in a pop-up or locked screen if the victim incorrectly types the intended Web site address.

Phishing e-mail warning: The victim receives a phishing e-mail warning of a possible intrusion to their computer or an e-mail warning of a fraudulent account charge to their bank accounts or credit cards. The e-mail provides a phone number for the recipient to contact the fraudulent tech support.

Once the fraudulent tech support company representative makes verbal contact with the victim, the criminal tries to convince the victim to provide remote access to the victim’s device. If the device is a tablet or smart phone, the criminal often instructs the victim to connect the device to a computer. Once remotely connected, the criminal claims to find expired licenses, viruses, malware, or scareware. The criminal will inform the victim the issue can be removed for a fee. Criminals usually request payment through personal/electronic check, bank/wire transfer, debit/credit card, prepaid card, or virtual currency.

Another widespread issue is “the fake refund.” In this scheme, the criminal contacts the victim offering a refund for tech support services previously rendered. The criminal requests access to the victim’s device and instructs the victim to login to their online bank account to process a refund. As a result, the criminal gains control of the victim’s device and bank account. With this access, the criminal makes it appear as if too much money was refunded to the victim’s account and requests the victim return the difference back to the criminal’s company via a wire transfer or prepaid cards. In reality, there was no refund at all. Instead, the criminal transferred funds among the victim’s own accounts (checking, savings, retirement, etc.) to make it appear as though funds were deposited. The victim “returns” their own money to the criminal. The “refund and return” process can occur multiple times, resulting in the victim potentially losing thousands of dollars.

VARIATIONS AND TRENDS

Tech support fraud was originally an attempt by criminals to gain access to devices to extort payment for fraudulent services. However, criminals are creating new techniques and versions of the scheme to advance and perpetuate the fraud.

Re-targeting previous victims and contacts

  • Criminals pose as government officials or law enforcement. The criminal offers assistance in recovering losses from a previous tech support fraud incident. The criminal either requests funds from the victim to assist with the investigation or to cover fees associated with returning the lost funds.
  • Criminals pose as collection services claiming the victim did not pay for prior tech support services. The victim is often threatened with legal action if the victim does not pay a settlement fee.

Virtual currency

Virtual currency is increasingly targeted by tech support criminals, with individual victim losses often in the thousands of dollars.

  • Criminals pose as virtual currency support. Victims contact fraudulent virtual currency support numbers usually located via open source searches. The fraudulent support asks for access to the victim’s virtual currency wallet and transfers the victim’s virtual currency to another wallet for temporary holding during maintenance. The virtual currency is never returned to the victim, and the criminal ceases all communication.
  • Criminals who have access to a victim’s electronic device use the victim’s personal information and credit card to purchase and transfer virtual currency to an account controlled by the criminal.

Increasing use of victim’s personal information and accounts to conduct additional fraud

  • Criminals use the victim’s personal information to request bank transfers or open new accounts to accept and process unauthorized payments.
  • Criminals send phishing e-mails to the victim’s personal contacts from the victim’s computer.
  • Criminals download personal files containing financial accounts, passwords, and personal data (health records, social security numbers, tax information, etc.).

Additionally, IC3 complaints report:

  • Criminals who took control of victims’ devices and/or accounts and did not release control unless a ransom was paid.
  • Viruses, key logging software, and malware were installed on victims’ devices.
  • Criminals have become more belligerent, hostile, and abusive if challenged by victims.

SUGGESTIONS FOR PROTECTION

  • Remember that legitimate customer, security, or tech support companies will not initiate unsolicited contact with individuals.
  • Install ad-blocking software that eliminates or reduces pop-ups and malvertising (online advertising to spread malware).
  • Be cautious of customer support numbers obtained via open source searching. Phone numbers listed in a “sponsored” results section are likely boosted as a result of Search Engine Advertising.
  • Recognize fraudulent attempts and cease all communication with the criminal.
  • Resist the pressure to act quickly. Criminals will urge the victim to act fast to protect their device. The criminals create a sense of urgency to produce fear and lure the victim into immediate action.
  • Do not give unknown, unverified persons remote access to devices or accounts.
  • Ensure all computer anti-virus, security, and malware protection is up to date. Some victims report their anti-virus software provided warnings prior to attempt.

IF YOU ARE A VICTIM

  • Individuals who receive a pop-up or locked screen, should shut down the device immediately. Ignore any pop-ups instructing to not power off or restart the computer. Victims who reported shutting down the device and waiting a short time to restart usually find the pop-up or screen lock has disappeared.
  • Do not re-contact fraudulent tech scam companies. Expect additional fraudulent calls as these companies often share their customer database information.
  • Should a criminal gain access to a device or an account, individuals should take precautions to protect their identity. Immediately contact financial institutions to place protection on accounts as well as change passwords and actively monitor accounts and personal information for suspicious activity.

FILE A COMPLAINT

Individuals who believe they may be a victim of an online scam (regardless of dollar amount) should file a complaint with the IC3 at www.ic3.gov. The more often fraud and scams are reported, the better equipped law enforcement can be to address the issues.

To report tech support fraud, please be as descriptive as possible in the complaint including:

  1. Identifying information of the criminal and company. Include Web sites, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses used by the criminal and company or any numbers you may have called.
  2. Account names and numbers and financial institutions receiving any funds (e.g., bank accounts, wire transfers, prepaid card payments, virtual currency wallets) even if the funds were not actually lost.
  3. Description of interaction with the criminal.
  4. The e-mail, Web site, or link that caused a pop-up or locked screen.

Complainants are also encouraged to keep all original documentation, e-mails, faxes, and logs of all communications.

Because scams and fraudulent Web sites appear very quickly, individuals are encouraged to report possible Internet scams and fraudulent Web sites by filing a complaint with the IC3 at www.ic3.gov. To view previously released PSAs and Scam Alerts, visit the IC3 Press Room at www.ic3.gov/media/default.aspx.

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Biltmore Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Biltmore Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Biltmore Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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Get to KNOW Desirae Outcalt

Our very own Vice President and Relationship Manager Desirae Outcalt not only got included in the pages of KNOW — an annual publication featuring more than 100 dynamic, Phoenix-area women from virtually every industry — but her image was even flashed across the screen during a Good Morning Arizona televised segment about the publication.

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KNOW features entrepreneurs, writers, philanthropists, realtors, bankers and many more of our area’s most creative and productive women. This year’s issue features women who range in age from 24 to 70.

“The objective of KNOW is really well aligned with my work at The Biltmore Bank of Arizona,” says Desirae. “As Biltmore bankers, we’re always asking ourselves how we can help our clients and our colleagues. Success in business is founded on successful relationships. Celebrating collaboration is a great way to create a business culture that people really want to be part of.”

Sarah Benken, publisher of KNOW, characterizes the publication and the series of networking and socializing events associated with it, as “collaboration over competition,” focusing on inspirational, powerful women helping each other – an influential, well-vetted group she calls the Know Tribe.

“Our mission for KNOW is to align with women who care about empowerment and are intentional about lending a hand whenever called,” the KNOW website says. “It is about connecting with women making impacts in their community and strides in their industry. KNOW women are authentic.”

More than 10,000 copies of KNOW have been distributed across the valley. To nominate yourself or someone you know for the next edition, visit the KNOW website at theknowtribe.com.

Our heartfelt congratulations go out to Desirae. We’re proud to know and work with her.

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Celebrating March Madness at The Biltmore Bank of Arizona

While we couldn’t nab Sister Jean for our party, we had plenty of avid basketball fans at our 5th annual March Madness event this year. Three hundred clients and colleagues joined us to spend a fun, basketball-filled day at Combine Performance to kick off the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

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This marked our fourth year celebrating March Madness at Combine Performance, formerly The Golf Tank, a full-service golf company that provides coaching, club fitting and building, fitness, nutrition, mindset and lifestyle. We also rounded up food trucks, including Boca Taco Truck, BuzzNBeez American Poutine, Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers, Frosted Frenzy, Sweet Magnolia and The Maine Lobster Lady for a remarkable spread of delicious lunch and snacks.

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Throughout the event, we raffled off prizes, including $50 gift cards, tickets to Odysea Aquarium, tickets to the ballet and Biltmore Bank swag. Some folks even demonstrated their golfing prowess at Combine Performance’s golf simulator.

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

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Great sports teams and successful businesses have something in common — disciplined teamwork helps both rise to the top. Like the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, owning and operating a business has its triumphs and heartbreaks and takes incredible discipline. Thank you to all our clients for allowing us to be part of your teams.

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Corbin Dangerfield Joins Government Guaranteed Lending Department at Grandpoint Bank

corbinWe’re happy to announce that Corbin Dangerfield has joined Grandpoint Bank’s Government Guaranteed Lending Department as a business development officer. Corbin will be responsible for marketing and originating government guaranteed loan products for Grandpoint Bank.

Grandpoint offers a variety of government guaranteed loan products that provide alternatives if a traditional credit product is not well suited for a small or medium-sized business. These include loans through the SBA, USDA and Export-Import Bank of the U.S. These government-backed loans require less cash investment up front and offer longer loan terms than conventional loans.

“Government guaranteed loans can help bridge the gap for businesses that otherwise would not have access to capital,” said Leticia Scearce, Senior Vice President/Government Guaranteed Lending Manager. “Corbin has specific expertise in this type of lending, and we’re happy to have him join our team of professionals.”

Corbin served in the same capacity previously for Meadows Bank in Las Vegas. His experience also includes serving as a vice president and business development officer at Lehman Brothers and as a commercial real estate broker at NAI Commercial Real Estate.

“Many SBA loans are made in support of real estate investments,” said Corbin. “My experience as a real estate broker combined with my expertise in banking and finance is especially helpful to my clients, regardless of the type of government guaranteed loan that suits them best. In my new position, I’m excited to offer clients the full resources and capabilities of Grandpoint’s government guaranteed lending team.”

Another reason Corbin wanted to join Grandpoint’s SBA/Government Guaranteed Lending Department was to be part of a team that can fund qualifying loan applications at the pace business moves.

“I also appreciate that our team understands larger, more complex deals, and that we are able to offer the whole array of Government Guaranteed Lending programs, not just the 7a and 504 loans.”

When he’s not working, Corbin enjoys outdoor recreational activities, especially when it’s with his kids.

We’re glad to have him on board, and we hope Corbin may be of service to your business if you’re considering a government guaranteed loan.

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Our Day at Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge

Two of our staffers, Todd Leveen and Desirae Outcalt, had the honor of serving on the planning committee for Junior Achievement of Arizona’s recent Stock Market Challenge. Todd, who serves on JA of Arizona’s board of directors, also served as emcee for the Challenge and sponsored the participants from Hamilton High School. Desirae along with Nathaniel Spatz, Lisa Friedman and Jeremy King also volunteered at the Challenge. The Biltmore Bank of Arizona supported the event with a sponsorship.

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Approximately 400 high school students from various schools throughout the state worked in teams to compete. Their objective was to accumulate the highest possible net worth in their simulated investment portfolio. Junior Achievement designed the Stock Market Challenge to teach kids across broad range of income levels “what it’s like to build a portfolio, manage risk, and experience its performance in a compressed period of time.”

Over the course of a morning, students become traders. Every 90 seconds represents a trading day for a total of 60 days of trading. The winning team has the greatest percentage of growth in its portfolio.

During the morning, Nathaniel ran stock tips on the floor, while Todd introduced people, monitored the activities, tallied the scores, interviewed the kids and provided ongoing commentary. The room felt like an actual trading floor, with a constant stream of company news coming at the teams and people yelling trade orders back and forth.

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Real world company names were changed, but the company profiles and corresponding breaking news were intact. A simulator ran a randomized algorithm that processed information inputted and then moved stock prices accordingly. Breaking news and trading volume affected the stock market performance.

JA Stock Market Challenge provides real world investment experience kids don’t often receive in school. Before the challenge day, the students participated in JA Take Stock in Your Future, where they “learned about individual equities, the impact of the economy, geo-political events, and market sentiment.” From this experience, they learned about the fundamentals behind the stock market and the concept of trading to prepare them for the day of the Challenge.

“On the day of the challenge, some of the kids got heavily tied to certain companies, so you could hear groans when bad news got released,” said Todd. “I enjoyed seeing them get emotionally involved and having some tell me, ‘I had no idea….’ I know they were acquiring real life skills they can use forever.”

As part of our sponsorship, we invited some of our clients and friends to partake in the adult Stock Market Challenge. After the event for the high schoolers concluded, the volunteers and other guests got to try their hand managing stock portfolios using the same simulation program. Key sponsors even had their companies included in the stock trade simulation. Desirae, Lisa and Jeremy joined our gang for this portion of the event, and Desirae had recruited sponsors and silent auction items for the adult Challenge.

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Through sponsorships from many committed companies, Junior Achievement of Arizona was able to raise $149,000 for Stock Market Challenge. Low- to moderate-income students rely on the money raised by Junior Achievement to pay for their participation in the contest.

“I’m so proud that we have great support from our company for Junior Achievement,” said Todd. “Our president, Rich Endicott, as well as Darlene Esquerra and everyone else at our parent bank, Grandpoint Bank, have made their enthusiasm for this nonprofit organization very clear.”

Our bank, as well as Grandpoint Bank and its other divisions, has volunteered and sponsored Stock Market Challenge as well as other Junior Achievement financial literacy events like You’re Hired and BizTown.

“The students served by Junior Achievement are the people who will take care of us in the next 15 years,” said Todd. “We’ll be placing our retirement in their hands. Junior Achievement takes away the entitlement and teaches students what they can earn if they work hard.”

To find out more about how you can volunteer with Junior Achievement, visit their website at
jaaz.org.↗ 

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Thanksgiving

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With cooler days and falling leaves, we know another year is soon behind us. But first, we gather to celebrate, count our blessings and reflect. Thanksgiving is unlike any other holiday we celebrate. It’s a day to gather with those we love and the friends we hold dear; a day to share a meal and to share each other’s company.

Whether your Thanksgiving celebration is near or far, large or small, we at Biltmore Bank wish you a wonderful day, filled with cheer and the warmth of the holiday season.

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Biltmore Bank of Arizona bankers make it rain at the 10th Annual Paul’s Pay It Forward Car Wash

Did you get a chance to have your Biltmore banker wash your car? Last month, Todd Leveen, Nathaniel Spatz, Lisa Friedman, Bryan Ellisor and Desirae Outcalt traded in their business attire for some casual duds and suds.

It was all for a good cause when we volunteered for the second time at the Annual Paul’s Pay It Forward Car Wash to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona (BBBSCA). After volunteering, our team presented a $2,500 check to BBBSCA from The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, live on air with KPHO news.

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Now in its tenth year, the event, which ran for five days in October, raised well over $300,000. The funds help BBBSCA take more kids off its waiting list and match them with caring volunteer mentors in the Valley. Over 300 boys and girls are currently waiting to be matched with a big brother or big sister, and some will wait up to three years.

Besides having a great time for a fantastic cause, this event was personal for Desirae Outcalt, Vice President and Relationship Manager at The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, who was paired with a “Big Sister” when she was young.

“I grew up very poor with a single mom,” said Desirae. “My Big Sister, Shawn, was an accountant at a car dealership. The two years I spent with her were very educational, and she helped shaped me into who I am today.”

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Desirae and the rest of our staff who participated in the car wash were fortunate to witness the largest personal cash donation ever made at the event. The majority of donations come from businesses, but one individual felt passionate enough about BBBSCA to donate $1,000. In addition, the Big Brothers Big Sisters Donation Center was on site to collect donations of clothing and household items. All donated items are sold through thrift stores, with the proceeds supporting operations at BBBSCA.

Our staff got a big kick out of washing not one but two Ural-4320s, a vehicle originally designed for the Russian Army for transporting cargo, people and trailers on all types of roads and terrain.

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Paul’s Pay It Forward Car Wash is over (until next year), but you can still make a difference for BBBSCA by donating clothes, time and/or money. To learn more, visit bbbsaz.org.

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Biltmore Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Biltmore Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Biltmore Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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Grandpoint Bank donates $10,000 to U.S. Vets

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Members of our Grandpoint Bank family, which includes the Biltmore Bank of Arizona, recently toured the Long Beach campus of U.S. Vets, an organization dedicated to helping veterans and their families make a successful transition to civilian life by providing housing, counseling, career development and comprehensive support. Our visit included the presentation of a $10,000 donation to the organization.

According to U.S. Vets, about 50,000 vets in our nation are homeless – men and women who have served valiantly for our country and now find themselves sleeping on the streets.

“Beyond the essentials, what I saw during our visit is that U.S. Vets is giving veterans back their self-respect,” says Darlene Esquerra, Senior Vice President & Community Development Office of Grandpoint Bank. “Everyone is treated with kindness by staff members and volunteers, who, in many cases, have had the same experiences as the veterans.”

U.S. Vets is the largest organization of its kind addressing the needs of homeless and at-risk veterans and their families in the U.S. Their Long Beach facility is located on 25 acres of former Naval housing and offers a variety of permanent and transitional housing – including a building for women veterans with up to two children and housing for homeless vets — dining facilities, community center, clinic, classrooms, recreational facilities and even an urban forest where residents can pick fruits and vegetables.

“Grandpoint Bank’s support of our programs across Southern California makes it possible for us to fill the gaps and really meet the unique needs of each one of the veterans we serve,” said Laney Kapgan, Vice President of Development and Communications for U.S. Vets. “With more service men and women coming home than ever before, this investment will help us continue to expand not only housing but also key employment and mental health programs for our veterans.”

Grandpoint was introduced to U.S. Vets through our Executive Vice President and CCO Mark Phillips, who struck up a conversation with U.S. Vets National Director of Programs, Larry Williams, on an airplane. Mark was so impressed with the program, he referred the information for consideration as a Grandpoint Bank Community Reinvestment Act-qualified donation. The rest, as they say, is history.

You can find more information about U.S. Vets on their website usvetsinc.org.

As we observe Veteran’s Day this year, we’re proud to salute U.S. Vets for helping so many vets and their families, and we thank all the members of our armed services, past and present, for their dedication and selflessness.

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2017 Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits Annual Conference

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Last month, we immersed ourselves in the 2017 Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits Annual Conference at the Desert Willow Conference Center. The Alliance is a membership organization founded in 2004 and comprised of 1000 nonprofit organizations and entities that support them, all across Arizona.

The organization aims to strengthen Arizona’s nonprofit community, “while also providing services and programs that directly help individual organizations succeed. By working with government to advocate for nonprofits, providing resources to help nonprofits save money, and creating opportunities for nonprofits to connect and grow, the Alliance strives to promote healthy, vibrant communities.”

At the conference, our staff was on the exhibit floor to answer questions about the services we have tailored to the nonprofit sector. Arizona has the largest nonprofits per capita of any state and we have found many ways to assist them, such as offering a high yield money market account to help nonprofits make more money on their deposits. Our banking relationships with nonprofits, as well as our service on many nonprofit boards, provides us with a sophisticated understanding of the growth, cyclical activity and cash flow issues common to these organizations. That enables us to help them assess their financing needs and to customize solutions.

The Alliance’s annual conference is a fantastic example of a program that helps nonprofit organizations succeed. We were in good company on the exhibit floor, with many other groups providing valuable information. The day also featured enlightening speakers and top-notch educational seminars.

“We were energized by mingling with so many dedicated professionals who are providing valuable resources and services to our communities and to our citizens,” said Desirae Outcalt, vice president and relationship manager at The Biltmore Bank of Arizona. “Our commitment to nonprofit organizations goes way past business; it’s about humanity and doing what’s right.”

This year’s keynote speakers were Jeff Moore, chief strategy officer of Independent Sector, who specializes in building partnerships and alliances; and Eva Nico, senior director of nonprofit programs for GuideStar, who advocates for better use of data and transparency by nonprofits.

Breakout educational sessions focused on such topics as board recruitment and management, engaging the community, advocacy, financial management, branding and more.

To learn more about Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, visit arizonanonprofits.site-ym.com.

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Biltmore Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Biltmore Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Biltmore Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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