Blog Archives

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

Jr Achievement

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

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-7-28-21-pm


screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am Linking to Non-Biltmore Bank Websites

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.

fbtwitterLinkedIngp

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.

desirae-website

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.

friedman_lisa_2017_website

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.

spatz-nathaniel-2017-cropped

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.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-7-28-21-pm

fbtwitterLinkedIngp

The Future is Bright – The Biltmore Bank of Arizona Team Mentors at Junior Achievement

20160413_083051

Approximately 400 Phoenix- and Tucson-area teens may have a leg up on their peers when it comes to job performance. That’s because a group of Biltmore bankers teamed up with Junior Achievement of Arizona↗ and other professionals from around town to put the students through their paces in real-world job skills and on-the-job problem solving.

Entitled You’re Hired!, the event, produced by Junior Achievement and held at the Phoenix Convention Center, gives students the chance to build professional networking, problem solving, team work and oratory skills that they can leverage in their future careers. With rounds of team and individual competition, the students take on a variety of challenges and receive feedback and advice from the business professional volunteers.

After receiving a briefing and some training from Junior Achievement staff, the adult volunteers take the students through their paces in three rounds of game playing.

  1. Networking Challenge – The students have the onus of approaching and engaging the volunteers in conversation to gather information about the volunteer. The volunteer then rates the student and provides feedback about what the student did well and where they can improve.
  2. Power Team Challenge – A volunteer oversees and times student teams while they assemble a project consisting of circuit boards and components.
  3. Thinking on Your Feet Challenge – Using a four-round bracket elimination system, the volunteers judge students as they solve workplace dilemmas posed to them on a card selected at random. The game challenges the students’ communication skills, critical thinking and ethics. The final three students move to the stage, where they each address one of the most difficult scenarios of the game, and one is declared the winner.

Junior Achievement of Arizona has been educating K-12 students about entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy since 1957. With offices in Tempe and Tucson, Junior Achievement of Arizona will engage over 90,000 students through its programs this year.

Seven team members from our bank (Bryan Ellisor, Todd Leveen, Paul Brodt, Nathaniel Spatz, Jeremy King, Desirae Outcalt and Darlene Esquerra) participated in the You’re Hired! event. Todd, Nathaniel and Desirae were quick to volunteer for a subsequent Junior Achievement session, held several weeks later.

“We all really enjoyed participating,” said Darlene, who coordinated the bank’s outreach with Junior Achievement. “You see some of the students shaking when they have to network with people they don’t know, because they’re not used to it. It’s great to be able to give them positive feedback and help them develop real-life skills.”

The sophomores, juniors and seniors, mostly from schools with high concentrations of low- to moderate-income communities, who participated in the event left with new skills and new ways of thinking about what they would do in the real-life work scenarios posed to them at You’re Hired!

“I know they’re going to remember this experience, and they’re going to put what they learned to work,” said Darlene.

For more information about how you can volunteer with Junior Achievement of Arizona, visit their website.↗

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-7-28-21-pm


↗ Linking to Non-Biltmore Bank Websites

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.

fbtwitterLinkedIngp

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.


↗ Linking to Non-Biltmore Bank Websites

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.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-7-28-21-pm

fbtwitterLinkedIngp