Category Archives: Employees

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

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



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.



Our 2017 Most Influential Woman in Arizona Business

Outcalt Desirae 2017 High Res croppedKnow who has a “hard-earned track record of professional excellence, leadership, innovation and community impact?” Our very own vice president and relationship manager, Desirae Outcalt, that’s who!

Desirae was recently selected to be part of a tremendously distinguished group of 41 women who make up AZBusiness Magazine’s Most Influential Women in Arizona Business Honorary Class of 2017.

Considered a lifetime honor, AZBusiness Magazine sorts through approximately 1000 candidates to select the most deserving influential women. While the public is invited to nominate women, the decisions and some of the nominations (including Desirae’s) are made by the magazine’s staff.

Other honorees this year include the Mayor of Gilbert, a CEO of an aerospace company, tribal leaders, an Olympic champion, a chief of police, a leader whose company took off after she appeared on “Shark Tank” and many other stand-outs. AZ Business Magazine is gradually posting profiles about each honoree on the AZ Big Media website.

When asked by AZBusiness Magazine about her best decision, Des said, “I realized early in my career that the best way to learn is never to say ‘no.’ It requires stepping outside your comfort zone, both in what you think you know and what you think you can do.”

The Most Influential Women in Arizona Business will be honored at a reception during the evening August 23 at Chateau Luxe.

Please join us in congratulating Desirae, and be sure to check out the full list of honorees in the July/August issue of AZBusiness Magazine to see whether other influential women you know have been spotlighted yet.


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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

“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.



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.



Government Guaranteed Loans and Helping Businesses Grow

leticia-scearce_biltmore-bankSecuring a business loan can be vital to a company’s growth or even survival. Senior Vice President Leticia Scearce, head of Grandpoint’s Government Guaranteed Lending division, shares some great loan options that are available through various government programs which can be facilitated by the Bank and its divisions, The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, Bank of Tucson and Regents Bank.

Q: What should people know about the government guaranteed lending programs that are available?

LS: Government guaranteed loans are there to help small- and medium-sized businesses, since these loans require less cash investment up front and offer longer loan terms. Government guaranteed loans can help bridge the gap for small- and medium-sized businesses that otherwise would not have access to capital.  Also, many businesses that could qualify for conventional loans opt for government guaranteed loans instead because they require less money down and have longer terms. When opting for guaranteed loans, clients usually pay two percent more in fees for 10 to 15 percent cash down versus the 30 percent down for conventional loans.

The most well-known government guaranteed loan programs are those offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.  These loan programs can include financing for owner-occupied real estate purchase or construction, refinance, equipment, business acquisition, exporting and short term working capital (revolving lines of credit).

Another very attractive loan program is available through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Eligible USDA loans can be for real estate and equipment (including renewable energy projects) in rural or farming areas and can have a loan term up to 30 years. In addition, there are a few subprograms under the USDA loan program umbrella that allow us to finance projects in urban areas that have a local foods component – food manufacturing, distribution, retail, etc. The USDA loan product is attractive because it offers the longest term of the government guaranteed loan programs; is more flexible in pricing and prepayment penalties; has less oversight with franchises and dealer agreements; and has less regulation overall. It needs to be mentioned that even though the program is offered under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the financing of eligible projects / properties under this program do not need to be agriculture related.  Rather, its availability is contingent on the current population levels of a specific census tract in which the business or property will be located.

Q: What is the current status of government guaranteed lending?

LS: We’re hitting record levels of government guaranteed lending as the economy is improving. One reason is that the banks’ lending standards for conventional loans haven’t changed much since the recession, which makes guaranteed loans more attainable and attractive.

Q: Have you seen any big changes in the government guaranteed lending programs that business owners should know about?

LS: We saw a big change recently in the SBA 504 program. This product offers low cash down and a 20-year fixed rate on the client’s second loan, which is financed by the SBA. The agency now allows the client to refinance existing loans on owner-occupied real estate and allows some cash out provisions, helping the small business owner access capital for long-term working capital.

Q: How do the members of the government guaranteed lending program for Grandpoint Bank and its divisions work together to assist clients?

LS: We are tasked with helping all our regions expand our government guaranteed lending, which is a combination of SBA loans, USDA loans and export loans. I’m based in Phoenix at The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, along with Debbie Lindsay, our loan administrator. My team’s loan specialist/underwriter, Marchette Wesley, and portfolio servicer, Hector Palomares, are in California, and I travel to our offices throughout Arizona, California and Washington to train our staff about our guaranteed loan platform.  We assist our relationship managers in deepening their knowledge base with the different loan products we have available. We also train our credit staff so they can recognize when a conventional loan isn’t suited for a client and a government guaranteed loan could offer a great alternative.

Mark Phillips, Grandpoint Capital’s chief credit officer, and David Ross, Grandpoint Bank’s chief credit officer, and our regional bank presidents have been very supportive of our division and expansion.

Q: How is Grandpoint Bank, and its divisions, differentiating itself in this type of lending?

LS: Our Southern California and Vancouver, Washington markets do a lot of export business, so with our large geographic footprint and sizable lending capacity, we can target more middle market customers.   In Arizona, we have more rural opportunities, and thus the USDA programs are a great fit. We are already one of the top lenders in the state for USDA loans.  We are looking forward to expanding our footprint in USDA lending in all of our markets.   Seventy to 90 percent of government guaranteed loans don’t count against a bank’s legal lending limits, so we have more capacity to service larger companies as well.

Q: How did your career lead you to becoming the head of the government guaranteed lending division?

LS: I was drawn to SBA lending in 2007 when I was working in commercial lending at a community bank here in Scottsdale. I further progressed into this niche lending sector during the recession when the credit markets froze and guaranteed loans became even more essential. When I joined The Biltmore Bank of Arizona in 2011, I helped established the SBA department, and a year later I pushed for expansion into other government guaranteed loan programs such as USDA loans and export financing.  A diverse, more inclusive platform was important to our brand and to our customer base, and I was fortunate that key management at Biltmore trusted and supported my recommendations. In 2012, Biltmore Bank was acquired by Grandpoint Bank, and with the backing of a larger bank, it allowed us to expand our lending efforts even further.  Personally, Grandpoint gave me access to a larger platform with great management resources to help expand and develop this lending niche. Prior to the acquisition, our government guaranteed lending activity was small, but many of the banks acquired by Grandpoint around the same time had SBA loan portfolios, so my servicing and liquidation role increased. Soon thereafter, our senior management team decided to expand this niche of lending for the whole family of banks. I’m pleased to have a very amazing team. We all have to stay up to date on policies and procedures for all of these programs. This type of lending makes you a better banker, because it requires a complex level of understanding and mastery of detail; it makes you sharper.

Q: Are you involved in any civic work?

LS: I serve on the City of Phoenix Investment Advisory Board, which advises the city on its entire investment portfolio.

Q: What do you like to do for fun?

LS: My husband and I are into cycling, and I love to hike. I also enjoy cooking and baking, and I’m a wine connoisseur. We have visited more than 100 wineries, and I’d love to become a sommelier someday. More immediately, I’d like to look at growth and loan opportunities in the wine industries throughout the various regions we serve. I also enjoy reading, gardening, and I am a big tennis fan!



Nathaniel Spatz

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.29.04 PMWe’re always on the lookout for top banking talent, and our new underwriter, Nathaniel Spatz, certainly fits the bill.

Nathaniel has always been a hard worker. In high school, he was part of a team that won the state tennis championship. He was also part of the honor society, snagged a chance to perform at Carnegie Hall with his school’s chorale group and was in a band that won a spot to open on the Fender Stage for Fender Guitar’s 60th Anniversary celebration at the Tempe Music Festival.

He kept that momentum going in college. Nathaniel worked toward earning his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the same time, 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.

Now, as an underwriter for The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, Nathaniel is responsible for assessing and underwriting credit applications, working closely with our chief credit officer and our relationship managers. Nathaniel likes learning about different kinds of businesses by reviewing the credit applications.

“As an underwriter, I have the chance to go beyond just the numbers and also consider the story of the company when we’re reviewing a credit application,” he said.

Prior to joining our team, Nathaniel worked as a senior credit analyst at First Scottsdale Bank, an accounting specialist at Western Alliance Bancorporation and a finance intern at Torrey Pines Bank.

He earned his Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Point Loma Nazarene University and his Masters of Divinity degree in theology from Southern California Seminary. 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 (of course!) and hitting the gym. While he spent his college years in San Diego, Nathaniel grew up in Scottsdale and has no plans to leave the Phoenix area again, especially since he has so much family in the area. The great weather and relative lack of natural disasters helps too, he says.

We’re glad to hear it, Nathaniel. Welcome to the team.

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Meet Desirae Outcalt, The Biltmore Bank of Arizona’s “Who’s Who” in Business

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Did Arizona Republic’s Who’s Who in Business profile “Bulldog in Heels,” catch your attention? We are proud to say that “bulldog” is our very own Desirae Outcalt!

In case you missed it, check out The Arizona Republic website for the full story↗ about our very accomplished vice president and client relations officer.

We’ve pulled out a few highlights to entice you:

  • Des worked her way up in the banking industry, starting as a part-time teller.
  • Des stands at 5’10” and loves to wear high heels. Having this leg (and heel) up helped her feel more confident that no one was talking down to her when she was starting her career.
  • She loves to plan and execute weddings, helping with everything from making dresses to catering. As if her duties at our bank didn’t keep her busy enough, she’s also launching a bridal bouquet business, making the bouquets with antique broaches.
  • Des and her husband met when she was 14 years old.
  • Growing up with a single, drug-addicted parent may doom some children to follow in those same footsteps, but not Des. She’s parlayed her determination to create a better life for herself into a happy marriage and successful career.
  • As quoted by The Arizona Republic, “As long as I carry myself with respect and dignity and am confident with what I have to say, obstacles are easy to overcome,” she says. “I’m a bulldog. I don’t let stuff bother me and I go after it.”

You can learn more about Des on The Arizona Republic’s website, or you may prefer to chat with her in person. She’s not hard to find. You might be able to track her down at her desk, but she’s more likely out meeting with Phoenix-area businesses or attending business association events in our community. Look for the tall, determined woman in heels!

We’re glad to have this dynamic business woman on our Biltmore Bank of Arizona leadership team.


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