Tag Archives: Alliance Bank of Arizona

ED ZITO: “We feel like we are all owners,” said the president of Alliance Bank of Arizona. “We like to preach to our newest members of the team, ‘run it like you own it.’ If you have than mentality from the get-go, that is the hallmark that has made us the largest headquartered bank in Arizona.” Photo by Shavon Rose, AZ Big Media

Alliance Bank boosts Valley development, bottom line

Ed Zito began his financial career with the United States Treasure Department. As president of Alliance Bank of Arizona, a subsidiary of Western Alliance Bancorporation, Zito helped the financial institution cross the $10 billion mark in June, obtain a $2 billion market cap for its stock and grow into the 67th-largest publicly traded bank-holding company in the country. Az Business sat down with Zito after Alliance celebrated record earnings in the second quarter to talk about the state of the banking industry.

Az Business: What is Alliance doing right?
Ed Zito: We had a record second quarter and we are very proud of that. We are just a commercial bank, so we focus on commercial business lending, commercial real estate, public finance and nonprofit organizations. As the largest headquartered bank in Arizona, we work very hard pitch local first, buy local and bank local. It’s a lot more blood, sweat and tears since the marketplace is much more competitive now, but we’re hitting on just about all eight cylinders. We’ve had great deposit growth, which in turn funds our loan growth, which has been strong, albeit competitive.

AB: What sectors are driving your loan growth?
EZ: Everybody knows the Great Recession is over. The economy may not have recovered as strongly as everyone had liked, so there is some owner fatigue out there that is driving some merger and acquisition activity. Virtually all asset types or product types and our commercial real estate sector are all very strong. RED Development is one of our biggest clients and we are fortunate to be financing their Town & Country Shopping Center overhaul. Two other notable projects we are working on is we are financing Building 3 at SkySong and we are financing the acquisition of MetroCenter by the Carlisle Group out of New York City. We feel that economic development is truly within our DNA, so the kinds of projects we are seeing in our commercial real estate area fit within our organization’s makeup.

AB: Both of those projects are revitalizing neighborhoods. How important is that to Alliance?
EZ: That is huge. Western Alliance has more than $10 billion in total assets. We see the importance or reinvesting the deposit dollars we take it back into our local communities to spur job growth, re-employment and economic development. A multitude of our executive team are involved in organizations across the state promoting economic growth and development. We look at it as investing forward, as opposed to giving back. We feel very strongly in taking a leadership role in economic development because that underscores our role as the largest headquartered bank in Arizona, but we also feel that it’s just the right thing to do.

AB: How has the commercial real estate space changed over the last four years?
EZ: It’s dramatically different. Everybody who was in commercial real estate back in 2007 got a cold shower in 2008 and 2009. We saw dramatic unemployment, basically no construction and negative absorption. Slowly, but surely, that’s coming back. The beauty of the difference now is that it was a fairly narrow commercial real estate environment before the Recession. The environment now is much more broad based. It’s underscoring the point that everyone’s economic development efforts are starting to pay off because we have a much more diversified economy. So we are seeing a lot of activity in hospitality, healthcare, education, industrial development, land acquisition for future homebuilding and construction, and multi-family.

AB: Does your record quarter signify anything regarding the economic recovery?
EZ: The banking industry in general has enjoyed the better part of three years of gradual recovery. Banking profitability is nearly at an all-time high. Bank capital is setting record level almost on a quarter-by-quarter basis because profitability is good and earnings are being retained. Fundamentally, the cooperation with the regulatory community in building a more stable and sustainable banking environment has been successful. I do think we are seeing banks marching to the beat of the regulatory drum, but also realizing that the capital base that is needed given the risks and challenges that we face daily are important to be sound, stable, prudent, enabling, but also mindful of the risks that are involved. So there is a good balance being struck right now and the earnings are reflective of that.

AB: Will the increase in the use of mobile banking mean the end for brick-and-mortar banks?
EZ: Not really. As a commercial bank, it’s important to be close to our customers. I have a saying: When someone asks, “Where is your office?” I answer, “Wherever my customer or prospect needs it to be.” We just opened a new office at Loop 101 and Ray Road to serve the rapidly growing Southeast Valley and we are hoping to purchase a piece of land in Gilbert to build more offices. We are trying to go where the business community is growing. We already have a number of offices in Phoenix and Tucson and we will always go where our customers need us.

AB: What are your goals for Alliance over the next five years?
EZ: We are a growth-oriented and goal-oriented organization. Alliance Bank of Arizona opened in 2003 and will celebrate our 12th anniversary in February. Western Alliance, currently a $10 billion bank, will likely grow into a $15 billion or $20 billion bank over the next five years because of organic growth and acquisitions.

Land Advisors, WEB

Metro Phoenix Land and Housing Forecast examines ‘refined opportunity’

While the industry has experienced sub-par housing activity over the past 11 months, the anticipated pace of growth going forward depends on a few factors, not the least of which is credit and qualification conditions, household formation, employment growth, the cost of new construction and outsiders’ perceptions of the local market. What are the expectations for growth in the nation’s economy, real estate capital markets, and residential real estate? Will these perceptions of a “refined opportunity” in real estate change how you operate your business now and in the future?

On Wednesday, December 10, 2014 the Land Advisors Organization will bring together a distinguished group of industry experts including Tim Sullivan (Meyers LLC), Nick Taratsas (DMB), Joel Shine (Woodside Homes), Mike Orr (Arizona State University, W. P. Carey School of Business), Don Garner (Alliance Bank of Arizona) and Matt Cody (Cachet Homes), to provide their considerable insight. Greg Vogel, CEO of Land Advisors Organization will moderate the panel.

Event Information:
DATE:        Wednesday, December 10, 2014
TIME:        2:30 Registration, 3:00 Program, 5:00 Networking Reception
LOCATION:    Sheraton Downtown Phoenix
COST:        $100 per person; $75 for public agencies and officials ($25 increase after Dec. 3)
REGISTER:    www.landadvisorsevents.com

All net proceeds benefit New Pathways for Youth and Arizona State University Real Estate Programs.

Since 1989, New Pathways for Youth has transformed the lives of more than 2,600 at-risk youth through mentoring. Their programs are designed to build self-esteem and leadership skills, increase school attendance and performance, end gang activity and violence and decrease substance abuse.

The Division of Real Estate at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University provides the research and experience-based expertise necessary to address challenges in the contemporary real estate industry. Real estate faculty members bring real-world expertise into the classroom. Their collaboration and vision have contributed to an international real estate projects emphasizing ethical and responsible development that enhances community value and vibrancy and is sustainable and financially successful.

For companies interested in supporting this event and its chosen charity, they can review the sponsorship opportunities.

The New Crew: AZCREW

Vicki Williams is the senior vice president of commercial real estate at Alliance Bank of Arizona, where she has worked since 2004. She is the 2014 president of AZCREW, the Phoenix chapter of CREW Network, and former chair of AZCREW’s programs committee. Williams has been the vice president on the board of trustees for Childsplay, Inc., a professional theater company that produces plays for young audiences.

Vicki Williams AZCREW

Vicki Williams

What kind of movement toward leadership roles are you seeing among the phoenix chapter’s members? How does this compare to the industry when AZCREW was founded 30 years ago?

Having been a part of AZCREW in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I am honored to have witnessed firsthand the evolution of both the local commercial real estate industry and also AZCREW’s evolution into a highly professional and more mature organization. In the early years, our membership was dominated by women in the fields of title and lending. Today, AZCREW is a well-known and respected part of the metro Phoenix real estate scene. We now have many more members involved in brokerage, law, architecture, asset management, construction and development. Moreover, a good number of these women are in senior leadership positions, including some who have founded and currently own businesses. That was certainly not common 20 years ago.

The quality of both our programs and networking events is phenomenal. Attracted by our high caliber speakers and timely topics that include development case studies, industry updates, financial market panels, and other topics impacting commercial real estate in the Valley, non-members and guests are coming to our luncheons in larger numbers than ever before. When we ask respected members of our local real estate community to speak, we receive enthusiastic responses. They know who we are and support our mission. I find it gratifying that we are able to have more female speakers, which is indicative of women’s increased leadership within the industry. Incidentally, other industry groups are also including women on their panels, which is great to see.

Our monthly special events are also in high demand as they include mixers at popular venues, brown bag networking lunches and an annual golf tournament where a portion of the proceeds benefit a local charity.

How does AZCREW make an effort to affect gender inequality among leadership in the CRE industry?

We champion the advancement and success of women in commercial real estate industry through four key areas: leadership, professional relationships, education and excellence. CREW Network, our parent organization, funds research into women’s representation in the commercial real estate industry nationally, including representation in leadership and managerial positions. Paid for in part through our local dues, CREW Network produces highly respected white papers that are now being referenced by other commercial real estate industry groups who are also seeking more participation by women in their own organizations. AZCREW and CREW Network also raise funds to provide scholarships for young women looking for careers in commercial real estate. Specifically, we have an annual signature Black & White event in November to raise funds for local scholarships and for CREW Foundation, which is our parent’s arm that provides scholarships at a national level.

Clearly there are challenges in attracting a younger membership to get involved and also to help them advance their careers in real estate. We continue to strive to close the gender gap by leveraging the talented and successful women leadership in our own ranks.

What is the most important thing people need to understand about AZCREW?

What people need to know most is that AZCREW is part of a national and dynamic organization with more than 75 chapters and 9,000 members in the U.S. and Canada, whose resources and influence have a significant impact locally and nationally. For example, CREW Network’s annual national convention held each fall features five-star national speakers presenting important market trends and is a great platform for building relationships and sharing ideas with women from other metropolitan areas. Open to all CREW Network members, this convention is truly an inspiring experience even for those whose business is primarily local. Last year, there were close to 1,000 in attendance. Simply promoting the benefits of our parent network to both our members and prospective members is an opportunity to increase engagement.

What was a memorable mentoring experience?

I didn’t have a mentor in the field of commercial real estate, per se, but did have a formal mentor when I got my first banking job in Arizona, fresh from NYC. My mentor was president of the bank, who provided a great example by being professional, thoughtful and respectful in his dealings with everyone equally. I was fortunate to never have felt I was being treated differently or underestimated because of my gender at a time when there were certainly other male managers with less progressive attitudes toward women in business, much less real estate. He was very patient and encouraged me to ask questions and, so long as I had done my research, to make recommendations despite my lack of experience. I felt I could ask him the “dumb” questions as to why things worked a certain way. The best thing I learned was that big, critical decisions should not be made in a rush, no matter what pressure you may feel. Looking back, I wish I had followed that advice a little more often.

AZ Big Media honors Most Influential Women

azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-001
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-001
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-081
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-081
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-082
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-082
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-083
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-083
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-084
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-084
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-086
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-086
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-002
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-002
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-003
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-003
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-004
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-004
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-005
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-005
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-006
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-006
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-007
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-007
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-008
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-008
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-009
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-009
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-010
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-010
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-011
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-011
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-012
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-012
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-013
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-013
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-014
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-014
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-015
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-015
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-016
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-016
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-017
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-017
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-018
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-018
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-020
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-020
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-019
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-019
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-021
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-021
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-079
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-079
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-022
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-022
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-023
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-023
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-024
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-024
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-025
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-025
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-026
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-026
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-027
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-027
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-028
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-028
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-029
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-029
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-030
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-030
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-031
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-031
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-032
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-032
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-033
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-033
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-034
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-034
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-035
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-035
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-036
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-036
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-037
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-037
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-038
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-038
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-039
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-039
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-040
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-040
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-041
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-041
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-042
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-042
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-044
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-044
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-045
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-045
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-046
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-046
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-047
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-047
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-048
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-048
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-049
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-049
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-050
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-050
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-052
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-052
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-053
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-053
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-054
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-054
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-056
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-056
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-060
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-060
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-062
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-062
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-063
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-063
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-064
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-064
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-065
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-065
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-066
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-066
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-068
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-068
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-069
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-069
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-071
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-071
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-072
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-072
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-073
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-073
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-074
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-074
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-080
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-080
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-075
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-075
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-076
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-076
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-082
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-082
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-077
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-077
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-079
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-079
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-084
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-084
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-078
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-078
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-083
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-083
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-004
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-004
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-006
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-006
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-007
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-007
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-008
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-008
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-009
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-009
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-011
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-011
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-012
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-012
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-013
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-013
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-015
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-015
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-016
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-016
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-017
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-017
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-037
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-037
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-038
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-038
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-054
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-054
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-056
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-056
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-060
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-060
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-063
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-063
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-078
azbigmedia_mostinfluentialwomen_srp2014-078

They are the best business minds in Arizona. They are innovators, trailblazers and leaders of men.

They are Az Business magazine’s Most Influential Women in Arizona Business for 2014, as selected by the editorial team at Az Business magazine and a panel of industry experts. The Most Influential Women were honored Thursday at a reception at The Venue in Scottsdale.

“While their resumes and career paths may differ, the women we selected have all procured influence in their respective fields through hard-earned track records of profitability, business ethics and leadership,” said AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green. “Az Business magazine is proud to congratulate the women who earned the right to call themselves one of the Most Influential Women in Arizona Business. They are changing the face of Arizona business.”

The women selected to this prestigious list for 2014 are:

Nazneen Aziz, Ph.D, senior vice president and chief research officer, Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Trish Bear, president and CEO, I-ology
Dr. Amy Beiter, president and CEO, Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital and Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute
Janet G. Betts, member, Sherman & Howard
Kristin Bloomquist, executive vice president and general manager, Cramer-Krasselt
Delia Carlyle, councilwoman, Ak-Chin Indian Community
Luci Chen, partner, Arizona Center for Cancer Care
Mary Collum, senior vice president, National Bank of Arizona
Kathy Coover, co-founder, Isagenix International
Janna Day, managing partner, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Karen Dickinson, shareholder, Polsinelli
Michele Finney, CEO, Abrazo Health
Susan Frank, CEO, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union
Leah Freed, managing shareholder, Ogletree Deakins
Deborah Griffin, president of the board of directors, Gila River Casinos
Mary Ann Guerra, CEO, BioAccel
Deb Gullett, senior specialist, Gallagher & Kennedy
Diane Haller, partner, Quarles & Brady
Maria Harper-Marinick, executive vice chancellor and provost, Maricopa Community Colleges
Catherine Hayes, principal, hayes architecture/interiors inc.
Camille Hill, president, Merestone
Chevy Humphrey, president and CEO, Arizona Science Center
Heidi Jannenga, founder, WebPT
Kara Kalkbrenner, acting fire chief, City of Phoenix
Lynne King Smith, CEO, TicketForce
Joan Koerber Walker, CEO, Arizona Bioindustry Association
Karen Kravitz, president and head of conceptology, Commotion Promotions
Deb Krmpotic, CEO, Banner Estrella Medical Center
Jessica Langbaum, PhD, principal scientist, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute
Georgia Lord, mayor, City of Goodyear
Sherry Lund, founder, Celebration Stem Cell Centre
Teresa Mandelin, CEO, Southwestern Business Financing Corporation
Shirley Mays, dean, Arizona Summit Law School
Ann Meyers-Drysdale, vice president, Phoenix Mercury and Phoenix Suns
Marcia L. Mintz, president, John C. Lincoln Health Foundation
Martha C. Patrick, shareholder, Burch & Cracchiolo, P.A.
Stephanie J. Quincy, partner, Steptoe & Johnson
Barb Rechterman, chief marketing officer, GoDaddy
Marian Rhodes, senior vice president, Arizona Diamondbacks
Joyce Santis, chief operating officer, Sonora Quest Laboratories
Gena Sluga, partner, Christian Dichter & Sluga
Beth Soberg, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Arizona
Scarlett Spring, president, VisionGate
Patrice Strong-Register, managing partner, JatroBiofuels
Sarah A. Strunk, director, Fennemore Craig, P.C.
Marie Sullivan, president and CEO, Arizona Women’s Education & Employment
Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, director, UA’s Sarver Heart Center
Dana Vela, president, Sunrise Schools and Tots Unlimited
Alicia Wadas, COO, The Lavidge Company
Ginger Ward, CEO, Southwest Human Development

In addition to the Most Influential Women in Arizona Business, Az Business also selects five “Generation Next” women who are making an impact on Arizona, even though they are less than 40 years old. Those women selected for 2014 are:

Anca Bec, 36, business development officer, Alliance Bank of Arizona
Alison R. Christian, 32, shareholder, Christian Dichter & Sluga, P.C.
Jaime Daddona, 38, senior associate, Squire Patton Boggs
Nancy Kim, 36, owner, Spectrum Dermatology
Jami Reagan, 35, owner, Shine Factory Public Relations

To select the best and brightest women to recognize each year, the editor and publisher of Az Business magazine compile a list of almost 1,000 women from every facet of Arizona’s business landscape — banking, law, healthcare, bioscience, real estate, technology, manufacturing, retail, tourism, energy, accounting and nonprofits. Once that list is compiled, we vet the list, narrow it down to about 150 women who we feel are most deserving, and then submit the list to 20 of their peers — female leaders from a variety or industries — and ask them to vote. If they want to vote for someone whose name is not on the list of those submitted for consideration, voters are invited to write in the names of women who they think deserve to members of this exclusive club.

Az Business also does not allow a woman to appear on the list most than once.

Marina Heights is a development partnership between Ryan Companies and Sunbelt Holdings. Fellow Valley Partnership member Cushman & Wakefield was awarded the leasing assignment.

A valley of partners

Partner-to-partner transactions building up the valley
one project at a time

When Valley Partnership was founded 27 years ago, it was on the principles of responsible development. It has since grown to thousands of members throughout the commercial real estate community — from subcontractors to some of the largest developers in Arizona.

Eastmark includes a partnership between DMB Associates and Marham COntracting Co.

Eastmark includes a partnership between DMB Associates and Markham Contracting Co.

“In 2014 and beyond, Valley Partnership developer companies are the leaders of almost every major commercial real estate project announced, including Marina Heights, the numerous announcements of deals at Eastmark, and Liberty Center at Rio Salado,” says Valley Partnership President and CEO Richard Hubbard.

The members have rallied behind the idea of partnership, Hubbard says.

“These developers use Valley Partnership partners for all construction disciplines related to the project including planning, design, architecture, general contracting, engineering and even law and accounting,” Hubbard says. “Many of those ‘partner-to-partner’ transactions have come from long-standing relationships created through Valley Partnership. I would say that every level of partner in Valley Partnership, from board member to sole proprietor, is participating in the current commercial real estate building activity in the Valley.”

Some companies, such as Evergreen Devco, take the partner-to-partner very seriously.

Valley Partnership Chair of the Board Doug Leventhal is the principal and COO of Evergreen Devco. Though Evergreen has focused much of its recent work in Denver, the company finds exclusive value in partnership with fellow VP members for Arizona projects.

“I can say that for all our Arizona work, we tend to work exclusively with the companies that see the value in Valley Partnership and either are active members or active sponsors,” Leventhal says. “Our general contractors, for example, need to be members or sponsors almost as a prerequisite to getting our business. Our architects, engineers, attorneys and title companies need to be members of Valley Partnership — or have a good reason why they are not! It’s important to Evergreen that we collectively support Valley Partnership since we all benefit from its mission to promote responsible development in the Valley. We are all connected in this unique way.”

Liberty Center at Rio Salado is a partnership between Liberty Property Trust and Markham Contracting Co.

Liberty Center at Rio Salado is a partnership between Liberty Property Trust and Markham Contracting Co.

That unique connection, as DMB Associates President Charley Freericks sees it involves Valley Partnership’s advocacy role for developers as well as a genuine passion for making Arizona a great place to live.

“Valley Partnership understands that real estate isn’t the only driver of the economy,” says Freericks. “We are the beneficiaries of a strong and growing economy and it’s in our interest to make this a great place to live.”

Freericks, who has been a member for 10 years, served on the board of directors, was chairman in 2009, and has sat on multiple committees.

Most of DMB Associates’ partners at the developers’ 6,000-acre masterplanned community of Eastmark – and around the Valley – are Valley Partnership members, Freericks says.

“Over the years, we have worked with so many contractors, consultants and service providers who are members it would be hard to name them all,” he says. “In fact it might be difficult to find any that aren’t members.”

Valley Partnership has multiple avenues for paving those partnerships. There are 10 committees, including one for an annual golf tournament and a community building project. One of the most popular and frequent member events, is the Friday Morning Breakfasts — a monthly morning panel discussion about an industry trend featuring local experts.

Freericks reflected on a breakfast about the impact and trade partnership Arizona has with Canada as a particularly helpful one for his masterplanned communities of Eastmark and Victory at Verrado, which target Canadian homebuyers.

“Valley Partnership attracts important speakers and hosts debates of candidates for state and local offices which helps me make better informed decisions,” he says. “The Valley Partnership advocacy team was a huge help to the Fighter Country Partnership efforts to bring the F-35 mission to Luke. This will impact our economy for generations to come. Valley Partnership’s role as the champion for moderate regulation has impacted all of our properties over the years and will continue to do so.”

Heather Markham, vice president of Markham Contracting Co., says her company has been a member of Valley Partnership since 1992 and is also a Stewardship Sponsor. Markham has attended breakfasts for the last five years and is one of the students in Valley Partnership’s inaugural Young Advocates Program. As a co-chair of the Community Project Committee, Markham says she also appreciate’s Valley Partnership’s commitment to networking and giving back to the community.

“I believe this involvement in the community is critical personally as well as professionally for everyone,” she says.

Markham has been self performing grading, paving and wet utilities civil infrastructure in the Southwest since 1977. Though Valley Partnership has only been around since 1987, Markham says the company has worked with many current Valley Partnership companies for nearly four decades. Partners include DMB Associates (Verrado and Eastmark), Macerich (Sonoran Crossing), Sunbelt Holdings (Vistancia), APS, Grayhawk Development, Lennar, Vintage Partners, MT Builders, HilgartWilson, Pulte, Atwell, Dibble Engineering, Wood Patel & Associates, Hoskin & Ryan, Siteworks, Speedie & Associates, Trench Shore Rentals, Alliance Bank of Arizona and Cemex.

“Valley Partnership plays a very strong role in responsible development of the commercial real estate community and provides an excellent venue for all the stakeholders in the process to come together and discuss issues and concerns as well as success stories,” she says. “This promotes strong partnerships between cities, counties, towns, state, land owners, developers, contractors, architects, engineers and every trade partner involved in making Arizona a great place to live and work.”

Cocktails & Clothes

Cocktails & Clothes Restocks AWEE Boutique

Looking for a chance to give your “less than loved” clothes a new lease on life? Cocktails & Clothes is the chance to donate new or gently used clothing to the Arizona Women’s Education & Employment (AWEE) free Clothing Boutique for participants to have for job interviews or first week on the job.

Clothes can be dropped off at the annual event tomorrow, March 4, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the 19th Hole at the Adobe Golf Club at the Arizona Biltmore Resort, 2400 E. Missouri Ave. The event includes a raffle featuring custom-designed gift baskets each valued at $300 or more, a live auction, cocktails and hors d‚oeuvres.

Tickets are $65 each and can be purchased at the door or by contacting Susan Lagasse at susanlagasse@awee.org or by calling (602) 223-4333).

Each year, Cocktails & Clothes provides hundreds of new and gently used professional dresses, suits, slacks, blouses, shoes, briefcases and purses, and slacks, shirts, ties, shoes and sports jackets for women, men and young adults entering or re-entering the workforce.

Sperry Van Ness is the Diamond Sponsor. Sapphire Sponsors are Alliance Bank of Arizona and Avnet. Topaz Sponsor is AmTrust Bank. Emerald Sponsors are DMB and Dunlap & Magee.

The event is organized by the Friends of AWEE. Committee members are Phyllis Dumond, Judi Butterworth, Jami Savage, Kathy Jorgenson, Heather Moos, Nicole Ridberg, Carol Vernon, Sharon Contorno, Judy Jones, Arica Bec, Alison Harris, Roseann Marchett, Joe Hogan, Wendy Carlos, Victoria Benavidez and Shannon Ellermann.

For more information, visit www.awee.org.

bank loan

Alliance Breaks Ground on Flagstaff Banking Center

Alliance Bank of Arizona, the state’s largest locally owned and headquartered bank, broke ground Friday on a new multimillion-dollar Flagstaff banking center.  Alliance Bank of Arizona President Ed Zito hosted the groundbreaking event with Executive Vice President Sherri Slayton. The event was also attended by Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours and President and CEO of the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, Julie Pastrick.

“Since we opened our first branch in Flagstaff eight years ago, we have been committed to fueling our local economy,” said Sherri Slayton, EVP and Regional Manager of the bank’s Northern Arizona division. “As a long-time resident and banker in this area, I am especially excited to see Flagstaff businesses rebound and flourish. Our Flagstaff team, with experienced local bankers who know this region, is proud to serve the people who make Flagstaff the extraordinary community we call home.”

“Today’s groundbreaking is testimony to the strength of the Flagstaff Alliance Bank team,” said Julie Pastrick, President and CEO of the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce.  “Under the leadership of Sherri Slayton, they have consistently demonstrated a high level of financial acumen and community outreach that allows for this large investment in our local Flagstaff community.”

The 6,000-square-foot center marks the bank’s significant expansion in the area and the region. The facility is an extension of Alliance Bank’s growth in key business markets as home to a large number of commercial and industrial businesses, enabling the bank to better serve Flagstaff customers.  It is scheduled to open in the summer of 2014.

Alliance Bank, which started with a single office and 20 employees in 2003, is now the largest locally owned and headquartered bank in the state with $3.3 billion in assets. A leading business lender, it has built a reputation for its responsiveness, local expertise and reliability as a lending resource.

Alliance Bank of Arizona is a division of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bank.

A Guide to Applying for a Bank Loan

Alliance Bank Breaks Ground on Chandler Office

Alliance Bank of Arizona, the largest locally owned and headquartered bank in the state, announced groundbreaking this morning for its new Chandler office which will be located on Ray Road and the Loop 101 Price Freeway.  Victor Napolitano, Senior Vice President of Alliance Bank, hosted the event and introduced Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny and Jim Lundy, Alliance Bank CEO, for comments.

This will mark the 12th location for Alliance Bank, which was started just over a decade ago. The bank also broke ground for a new facility in Flagstaff today which will expand its existing Northern Arizona regional office space by three  times.

The Chandler facility is scheduled to open in the Summer 2014 and is an extension of Alliance Bank’s growth in key business markets, including Chandler, where it already banks a large number of commercial, industrial and professional businesses.   The new, two story 28,000 square foot office will house commercial and retail banking facilities as well as a number of support functions and will enable the bank to better serve its growing southeast valley customer base.

“Since we began over 10 years ago, we have been dedicated to being a strong lending resource for local businesses.  We are excited about the prospect of working with the rapidly growing number of commercial and industrial businesses that call Chandler home. We are committed to being a thoughtful and consistent financial resource to help businesses grow. That commitment allows both the bank and its customers to succeed and in turn give back to the community,” said Jim Lundy, CEO, Alliance Bank of Arizona.

Alliance Bank of Arizona’s focus is to deliver a broader product array and larger credit capacity than a traditional community bank, and to offer relationship-based, personalized service, and lending capabilities to meet the needs of virtually any Arizona business. It is a division of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bank.

Garner

Leadership spotlight: Don Garner

Don Garner
Executive vice president
Alliance Bank of Arizona
alliancebankofarizona.com

Garner is executive vice president and statewide real estate manager for Alliance Bank of Arizona’s commercial real estate group. Garner has more than 25 years of experience in commercial and residential lending in Arizona and has been with Alliance Bank since its inception in 2003. He  is an active member of both the Phoenix and Tucson communities. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association and Special Olympics Arizona. Prior to relocating to Phoenix in 2005, Garner resided in Tucson for 15 years. He is the Past President of the Tucson Conquistadores and former Chairman of La Paloma Family Services in Tucson.  He is also a member of the National Association of Industrial & Office Properties (NAIOP) and the Urban Land Institute.

Best advice received: “I’ve been lucky to have had some great mentors throughout my career who gave me a lot of great advice. But the one that comes to mind most is from my dad who said if your work is of great quality and quantity that deserves a promotion, you’ll never need to ask about it, it will come on its own.”

Surprising fact: “I used to race stock cars and I caddied on Tour.”

118315706

GPEC announces Board of Directors for FY 2014

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) today announced the appointment of its Board of Directors for the 2014 fiscal year, as approved by the Executive Committee.

Alliance Bank of Arizona CEO James Lundy will continue to lead the Board of Directors as chairman.

“As the economy continues to improve, GPEC’s team of results-driven board directors will work to ensure the region not only maintains its trajectory but also pushes toward a more diversified and sustainable economy that is less dependent on growth industries like real estate and construction,” Lundy said. “I’m honored to work with this talented group of professionals and look forward to a productive year.”

Rounding out the Board’s leadership is SCF Arizona President and CEO Don Smith and Empire Southwest Executive Vice President Chris Zaharis as vice chairs, APS Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Tammy McLeod as secretary and Bryan Cave, LLP Partner R. Neil Irwin as treasurer.

New Board Directors include: Steve Banta, CEO of Valley Metro; the Honorable Denny Barney, District 1 Supervisor for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors; Scott Bradley, Area Vice President for Waste Management; Mark Clatt, Area President for Republic Services; the Honorable Vincent Francia, Mayor of the Town of Cave Creek; Dr. Ann Weaver Hart, President of the University of Arizona; Bill Jabjiniak, Economic Development Director for the City of Mesa; the Honorable Michael LeVault, Mayor of the Town of Youngtown; Rich Marchant, Executive Vice President, Global Operations for Crescent Crown Distributing; Ryan Nouis, Co-Founder and President of Job Brokers; and Eric Orsborn, Councilmember for the Town of Buckeye.

“GPEC’s success is largely driven by its strong Board of Directors, all of whom reflect the region and state’s most accomplished professionals,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “Every single one of them truly cares about our market’s success and serves as a community thought leader when it comes to competitiveness.”

Mayors from GPEC’s member communities and the organization’s Nominating Committee are responsible for nominating and appointing Board Directors. The one-year terms are approved during GPEC’s Annual Board meeting.

GPEC FY 2014 Board of Directors:

James Lundy – Chairman
CEO
Alliance Bank of Arizona

Don Smith – Vice Chair
President and CEO
SCF Arizona

Chris Zaharis – Vice Chair
Executive Vice President
Empire Southwest

Tammy McLeod – Secretary
Vice President and Chief Customer Officer
Arizona Public Service Company

R. Neil Irwin – Treasurer
Partner
Bryan Cave, LLP

William Pepicello, Ph.D. – Immediate Past Chair
President
University of Phoenix

Barry Broome
President and CEO
Greater Phoenix Economic Council

Richard C. Adkerson
President and CEO
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold

Jason Bagley
Government Affairs Manager
Intel

Ron Butler
Managing Partner
Ernst & Young LLP

Brian Campbell
Attorney
Campbell & Mahoney, Chartered

Michael Crow, Ph.D.
President
Arizona State University

Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Midwestern University

Derrick Hall
President and CEO
Arizona Diamondbacks

Sharon Harper
President and CEO
The Plaza Companies

Ann Weaver Hart, Ph.D.
President
University of Arizona

Don Kile
President, Master Planned Communities
The Ellman Companies

Paul Luna
President and CEO
Helios Education Foundation

Rich Marchant
Executive Vice President, Global Operations
Crescent Crown Distributing

David Rousseau
President
Salt River Project

Joseph Stewart
Chairman and CEO
JPMorgan Chase Arizona

Hyman Sukiennik
Vice President
Cox Business

Karrin Kunasek Taylor
Executive Vice President and
Chief Entitlements Officer
DMB Associates, Inc.

Gerrit van Huisstede
Regional President Desert Mountain Region
Wells Fargo

Andy Warren
President
Maracay Homes

Richard B. West, III
President
Carefree Partners

John Zidich
Publisher & President
The Arizona Republic

Chuck Allen
Managing Director, Gov’t & Community Relations
US Airways

Steve Banta
CEO
Valley Metro

Denny Barney
County Supervisor-District 1
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

Jason Barney
Principal and Partner
Landmark Investments

The Honorable Robert Barrett
Mayor
City of Peoria

Timothy Bidwill
Vice President
Vermilion IDG

Scott Bradley
Area Vice President, Four Corners Area
Waste Management

Norman Butler
Market Executive
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Mark Clatt
Area President
Republic Services

Jeff Crockett
Shareholder
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Wyatt Decker, M.D.
CEO
Mayo Clinic Arizona

George Forristall
Director of Project Development
Mortenson Construction

The Honorable Vincent Francia
Mayor
Town of Cave Creek

Rufus Glasper, Ph.D.
Chancellor
Maricopa Community Colleges

Barry Halpern
Partner
Snell and Wilmer

G. Todd Hardy
Vice President of Assets
ASU Foundation

Lynne Herndon
Phoenix City President
BBVA Compass

Linda Hunt
Senior VP of Operations and President/CEO
Dignity Health Arizona

William Jabiiniak
Economic Development Director
City of Mesa

The Honorable Robert Jackson
Mayor
City of Casa Grande

The Honorable Linda Kavanagh
Mayor
Town of Fountain Hills

The Honorable Andy Kunasek
County Supervisor, District 3
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

The Honorable Michael LeVault
Mayor
Town of Youngtown

The Honorable John Lewis
Mayor
Town of Gilbert

The Honorable Marie Lopez Rogers
Mayor
City of Avondale

The Honorable Georgia Lord
Mayor
City of Goodyear

Jeff Lowe
President
MidFirst Bank

Paul Magallanez
Economic Development Director
City of Tolleson

Kate Maracas
Vice President
Abengoa

The Honorable Mark Mitchell
Mayor
City of Tempe

Ryan Nouis
Co-Founder & President
Job Brokers

Ed Novak
Managing Partner
Polsinelli Shughart

Eric Osborn
Councilmember
Town of Buckeye

Rui Pereira
General Manager
Rancho de Los Caballeros

The Honorable Christian Price
Mayor
City of Maricopa

Craig Robb
Managing Director
Zions Energy Link

The Honorable Jeff Serdy
Councilmember
City of Apache Junction

Steven M. Shope, Ph.D.
President
Sandia Research Corporation

James T. Swanson
President and CEO
Kitchell Corporation

Richard J. Thompson
President and CEO
Power-One

Jay Tibshraeny
Mayor
City of Chandler

John Welch
Managing Partner
Squire Sanders

Dan Withers
President
D.L. Withers Construction

The Honorable Sharon Wolcott
Mayor
City of Surprise

GENERAL COUNSEL
Bryant Barber
Attorney at Law
Lewis and Roca

Arizona School Choice Trust

Boys Hope Girls Hope Elects New Board Members

John Eldean, Senior Vice President of Commercial Real Estate at Alliance Bank of Arizona, Sentari Minor, Arizona Humane Society Development Officer, and Paul Mulligan, CEO of Catholic Education Arizona, have been elected to three-year terms on the Boys Hope Girls Hope Board of Directors.

Boys Hope Girls Hope helps academically capable and motivated children-in-need to meet their full potential by providing value-centered, family-like homes, opportunities and education through college.  Since 1991, 100 percent of Boys Hope Girls Hope graduates have gone on to post-secondary education and have maintained a college-retention rate between 89 and 94 percent.  The national average is 66 percent.

Eldean has ten years experience in commercial real estate banking with Alliance Bank and JP Morgan Chase. He also served a two-year term on the Kingman City Council, a community where he also coached youth hockey and soccer teams.

Sentari oversees fund development initiatives and programs at the Arizona Humane Society.  Previously, he was a program specialist at the Rodel Foundation of Arizona.  He currently serves on the boards of Social Venture Partners, the Welcome to America Project, Phoenix Collegiate Academy, Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and handles communications and marketing for Seattle-based nonprofit Community Arts Create.

Mulligan, a Phoenix native and Brophy Prep alum, earned a Master’s in Theological Studies from John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C.  Since 2007, he has directed Catholic Education Arizona, the state’s largest school tuition organization.  Since its inception, Catholic Education Arizona has provided more than $110 million in needs-based funding to low-income families at 40 Diocese of Phoenix Catholic schools and to Boys Hope Girls Hope scholars.

For more information about Boys Hope Girls Hope, visit www.bhghaz.org.

AZRE-newsmakers-featured-MichaelTheile

Michael Theile Joins Alliance Bank As Senior VP, Commercial Lending

 

Alliance Bank of Arizona announced that Michael Theile has been hired as Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending.

Theile will be working in the bank’s new North Scottsdale Office in the Scottsdale Airpark.

Theile has more than 15 years of local lending experience, including senior lending management positions.

“We are delighted to have Mike join our team in our new North Scottsdale office,” said Jim Lundy, CEO, Alliance Bank of Arizona. “Mike has a high level of experience in our local market, and has earned a reputation for his knowledge and strong relationships in the business community.”

Theile earned a B.A. from Northern Arizona University and an MBA degree from Grand Canyon University. He is also a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School.

Active in the local community, Theile is a member of the Arizona Chapter of the Risk Management Association (RMA), has served as an advisory board member for Arizona State University (ASU) West College of Teacher Education & Leadership, and is a volunteer coach for the City of Peoria sports programs, Sidewinder Little League, and CCV STARS Football program.

Prepare loan package, secure loan

Small businesses get loans in record numbers

A common complaint since the financial crisis began was that some of the Wall Street banks that were being bailed out by the federal government weren’t doing enough to help the mom-and-pop shops on Main Street.

“In 2008 when the recession hit, the impact on small business lending was pretty catastrophic,” said Greg Lehmann, managing director of Biltmore Bank of Arizona. “Not only did you have small businesses struggling with lost revenue and weakening balance sheets, but all the banks were retrenching and looking inward.  The unique element about the Recession was that it hit every business sector; small business, large businesses, banks, etc. Nobody was immune to its impact.”

In 2013, small business owners and entrepreneurs have a little more reason for optimism. So far this year, big banks are approving small business loans at the highest rate in more than two years, according to Biz2Credit, which calculates its monthly Small Business Lending Index using 1,000 loan applications made over its online lending platform.

“With an improving economy, Wells Fargo is growing new lending commitments, providing more dollars to help small businesses stay competitive today and for the long term,” said Jennifer Anderson, business banking manager for Wells Fargo Arizona. “The business owners who see increased demand for their products and services are investing in their businesses now. As business owners become more confident and find more opportunities to grow and improve their businesses, we expect to do more business.”

Wells Fargo literally puts its money where its mouth is. According to SNL Financial, the bank was the nation’s largest lender to small business in 2012, lending $32.8 billion to small businesses.

But Wells Fargo isn’t alone. If you look at recent reports, small business lending is up across the board:

* Biz2Credit found that big banks — those with more than $10 billion in assets — approved 15.9 percent of the small business loan applications in February 2013, up from 11.7 percent in February 2012. Small bank approval rates have also ticked up — 50.3 percent in February, up from 47.6 percent in February 2012.
* Government-guaranteed loans have increased 6 percent year-over-year in fiscal 2013. That represents $9.2 billion, an 18 percent increase over the dollars approved during the same period a year ago. Approvals in the last two years have set Small Business Administration records.

Despite the positive reports, the general belief is that small businesses aren’t getting loans, which isn’t true, said Dee H. Burton, executive vice president of Alliance Bank of Arizona.

“Yes, small businesses can get loans now,” Burton said. “At Alliance Bank, we have always been actively engaged in lending to small business — and we never stopped lending even through the toughest times of the Recession.”

What about the perception that lending standards have changed or tightened? That’s another misperception, bankers said.

“General underwriting guidelines have not really changed over the years,” Burton said. “Unfortunately, the Recession has made it more challenging for businesses to qualify. For most businesses, a reduction in revenue may have resulted in a negative impact on cash flow or resulted in a more leveraged balance sheet. Further, the value of assets which banks often look to take as collateral — equipment, real estate, accounts receivable, etc. — are not at the levels they were pre-Recession. All-in-all, these factors have impacted small businesses’ ability to meet the typical standards under which banks underwrite business loans.”

While Lehmann said banks were more willing to bend on some of the fundamentals prior to the Recession, he said banks always look to cash flow, collateral, and capital levels to make a credit decision.

At Wells Fargo, Anderson said lending standards have remained consistent. Before the bank extends credit, it looks for a business to show:

* Steady cash flow. Cash flow is a key indicator of a business’ financial health and its future prospects. When it can show reliable cash flow, we can see it has the resources to repay new loans.
* Debt load is manageable. Banks want to make sure a business has the ability to take on additional debt and is in a strong financial position to manage its debt payments.
* Good payment history. Payment history provides an important record of its ability to responsibly pay down debt.

As for lines of credit for small businesses, Ward Hickey, business banking manager for National Bank of Arizona, said, “Small business lines of credit are based on  business cash flow and collateral values. As both of these improve for small businesses in Arizona, the underwriting standards will ease and more small business lines of credit will be available.”

As the economy in Arizona continues to strengthen, bankers see a better environment for small business.

“We can point to a number of positive signs in small business lending,” Anderson said. “There is more small business activity in our stores, more small businesses are applying for credit, and loan delinquencies continue to decline.”

As businesses shift from survival mode to growth mode, the outlook for lending to small and medium-sized businesses — which Lehmann called “the life blood of the Arizona economy” — continues to be positive, which will help small businesses grow and add workers.

“Arizona will continue to be a growth state and businesses that have survived this Recession will be able to grow as the state continues to grow,” Burton said. “We see businesses are now investing in items such as new equipment and new expansion, which had been put on hold during the Recession. Businesses are also taking advantage of the current interest rate environment to fund their expansion.”

Lehmann agreed.

“As the economy continues to heal and grow,” he said, “so will the small businesses of Arizona.”

118315706

Youngtown becomes GPEC’s 21st member community

The Town of Youngtown recently joined the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) as its 21st member community. Youngtown is located at the Agua Fria River between Peoria, Sun City and El Mirage, and has a current population of approximately 6,200.

“We’re thrilled to have the Town of Youngtown on board at GPEC,” said GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome. “Youngtown is a unique, up-and-coming community with tremendous potential for economic growth. We’re excited to assist with their plans to move forward as a community.”

“The 21st GPEC community for the 21st Century — we’re proud to take a seat at the GPEC table,” Youngtown Mayor Michael LeVault said. “Youngtown is well positioned to be a vibrant and vital player in the region’s bright economic future.”

Youngtown was originally designed as a retirement community but has since evolved to accommodate young people and families. The community’s “village” feel sets the town apart from the rest of the region. The Town’s general plan for 2025 has a robust focus on economic development, targeting community revitalization, public relations and marketing, and business enhancement, attraction and diversification.

“Youngtown’s addition to GPEC’s family of communities speaks volumes about the depth and breadth of services available to its member communities and companies,” said Jim Lundy, GPEC’s board chairman and CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona. “Whether an established business or startup, an older community or one just starting to rev up its economic engine, like Youngtown, GPEC offers expert economic development advice, marketing, research and prospect leads.”

radio

KJZZ Announces Board of Directors

KJZZ is pleased to announce the appointment of 2013 officers and members to serve on the Board of Directors for Friends of Public Radio Arizona (FPRAZ).  Mark Dioguardi, Co-founder and Partner at Dioguardi Flynn, LLP, Todd Sanders, President and CEO of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Steve Curley, Senior Vice President at Alliance Bank of Arizona and Laura Martin, Director of Science Interpretation at the Arizona Science Center were recently selected to return for another term as officers for 2013.

Mark Dioguardi, will return as Chairman, Todd Sanders as Vice Chairman, Steve Curley as Treasurer and Laura Martin as Secretary.  Other board members chosen to serve a second term include Luis Ramirez as Chair of Tequilazona Committee, Jennifer Hadley Dioguardi as Chair of First Press, Larry Ashkin as Chair of Community Engagement Outreach and Laura Martin as Secretary.

The Friends of Public Radio Arizona Board of Directors is comprised of community leaders who truly appreciate the value of public radio.  These individuals are committed to improving the accessibility and quality of public radio throughout Arizona for all residents.

The FPRAZ 20-member board of community leaders was founded in 2001 to assure the vitality and future excellence of central Arizona’s public radio stations, KJZZ 91.5 and KBAQ 89.5, through stewarding all membership revenue and charitable contributions made to these stations.

Test

Q&A with Lynne Herndon

Lynne Herndon, city president for BBVA Compass, will serve as the 2012-2013 chairman of the board of directors for the Arizona Bankers Association (AzBA).  Herndon succeeds James Lundy, president and CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona, as chairman of the association.

“I am excited to step into the chairman role and work with the other board and association members,” said Herndon.  “These last few years have required steadfast legislative attention and advocacy at all levels.  We have also had to respond to heightened regulatory attention and pressures.  Acting with a single voice has made a larger impact.  I look forward to continuing to strengthen the unified voice of the bankers within the state.”
Herndon sat down with Az Business magazine for a far-reaching Q&A.

AB: Why did you choose banking as a career?
Lynne Herndon: I chose banking because it allowed me to utilize both my interpersonal and analytical skills. I enjoy meeting with customers and I enjoy analyzing a business situation and offering a solution. Bankers help companies accomplish their goals of growth and expansion.  It’s a perfect fit.

AB: Tell us one thing about you that would surprise most people?
LH: My two favorite things are college football, namely Alabama football, and rock ’n’ roll music.  My husband and I go to at least 20 concerts a year, both in and out of state.

AB: What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the banking industry since you started?
LH: Regulation.  Banks are held to a much higher standard in areas of underwriting, appraisals, and compliance. Our required level of due diligence is therefore deeper.

AB: What has been your biggest challenge in the banking industry?
LH: Winning business in a highly competitive market. Arizona has many, many banks. And many banks are chasing the same deals.

AB: What has been your greatest accomplishment in banking?
LH: Lending when times are good is easy. Lending when economic times are tough is hard. I’m proud of the fact that BBVA Compass was able to lend money during 2009 and 2010, two very difficult years.

AB: The Valley is home to many female banking leaders. Why have so many more women risen to the top of the industry here in Arizona compared with other parts of the country?
LH: There are more women in banking today because more women are seeking and aspiring to senior management positions in this industry. In particular, more women are pursuing positions in commercial banking.

AB: What do you hope to accomplish as chairwoman of the Arizona Bankers Association?
LH: Our marquee issue is amending Arizona’s anti-deficiency statute.

AB: The banking industry has been beaten up a bit over the last few years thanks in part to Wall Street, what does the industry need to do to begin to mend its public perception?
LH: Bankers need to proactively speak to clients about what we are doing.  We are in business to make loans and we are looking for ways to loan money to individuals and businesses.  Our workforce is also very active in our communities giving both time and treasure.  We need to tell our story.

118315706

GPEC announces new Board of Directors

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) announced the appointment of its Board of Directors for the 2013 fiscal year.

Alliance Bank of Arizona CEO James Lundy will lead the Board of Directors as chairman. He previously served as vice chair on GPEC’s Board.

“As the economy starts to rebound, we face new challenges but also many opportunities – making it an exciting time for Greater Phoenix,” Lundy said.  “I look forward to working with my fellow board directors to seize these opportunities to improve the region’s business environment, and most importantly, spur the creation of sustainable, high-wage jobs.”

Rounding out the Board’s leadership is SCF Arizona President and CEO Don Smith as vice chair, APS Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Tammy McLeod as secretary and Bryan Cave, LLP’s R. Neil Irwin as treasurer.

New Board Directors include: David Cavazos, city manager for the City of Phoenix; Hyman Sukiennik, vice president at Cox Communications; Duane Woods, senior vice president at Waste Management; Timothy Bidwill, vice president at Vermilion IDG; George Forristall, director of project development at Mortenson Construction; Dan Henderson, economic development director for the Town of Gilbert; Debra Callicutt, partner at Henry and Horne; the Honorable Linda Kavanagh, mayor of the Town of Fountain Hills; the Honorable Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor of the City of Avondale; Vicki Martin, vice president at AT&T; the Honorable Mark Mitchell, mayor of the City of Tempe; the Honorable Max Wilson, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors; Tim Powell, area president, Republic Services; Linda Hunt, senior vice president of operations CEO of Dignity Health Arizona; John Zidich, publisher and president, The Arizona Republic; Ed Novak, managing partner at Polsinelli Shughart; Kal Patel, senior vice president at Walmart; the Honorable Christian Price, mayor of the City of Maricopa; John Welch, managing partner at Squire Sanders; and the Honorable Sharon Wolcott, mayor of the City of Surprise.

“GPEC’s Board of Directors plays an important role in our operations and strong leadership is critical,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “I’m confident that this year’s board, led by Jim Lundy, will play a key role in helping us meet our goals with their talent, leadership and support. I look forward to working with them.”

Mayors from GPEC’s member communities and the organization’s Nominating Committee are responsible for nominating and appointing Board Directors. The one-year terms are approved annually during GPEC’s September Board meeting.

GPEC FY 2013 Board of Directors:
* Bold Print Denotes Executive Committee Member

James Lundy – Chairman
CEO
Alliance Bank of Arizona

Don Smith – Vice Chair
President and CEO
SCF Arizona

Tammy McLeod – Secretary
Vice President and Chief Customer Officer
Arizona Public Service Company

R. Neil Irwin – Treasurer
Partner
Bryan Cave, LLP

William Pepicello, Ph.D. – Immediate Past Chair
President
University of Phoenix

Barry Broome
President and CEO
Greater Phoenix Economic Council

Richard C. Adkerson
President andCEO
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold

Jason Bagley
Government Affairs Manager
Intel

Steve Betts
Former Chief Executive Officer
SunCor Development Company

Ron Butler
Managing Partner
Ernst & Young LLP

Don Budinger
Chairman and Founding Director
Rodel Foundation

David Cavazos
City Manager
City of Phoenix

Brian Campbell
Attorney
Campbell & Mahoney, Chartered

Michael Crow, Ph.D.
President
Arizona State University

Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Midwestern University

Derrick Hall
President and CEO
Arizona Diamondbacks

Sharon Harper
President and CEO
The Plaza Companies

Don Kile
President, Master Planned Communities
The Ellman Companies

Paul Luna
President and CEO
Helios Education Foundation

David Rousseau
President
Salt River Project

Joseph Stewart
Chairman and CEO
JPMorgan Chase Arizona

Hyman Sukiennik
Vice President
Cox Communications

Gerrit van Huisstede
Regional President Desert Mountain Region
Wells Fargo

Andy Warren
President
Maracay Homes

Richard B. West, III
President
Carefree Partners

Duane Woods
Senior Vice President
Waste Management

Chris Zaharis
Executive Vice President
Empire Southwest

John Zidich
Publisher & President
The Arizona Republic

Chuck Allen
Managing Director, Gov’t & Community Relations
US Airways

Jason Barney
Principal and Partner
Landmark Investments

The Honorable Robert Barrett
Mayor
City of Peoria

Timothy Bidwill
Vice President
Vermilion IDG

Norman Butler
Market Executive
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Debra Callicutt
Partner
Henry and Horne

Jeff Crockett
Shareholder
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Wyatt Decker, M.D.
CEO
Mayo Clinic Arizona

George Forristall
Director of Project Development
Mortenson Construction

Rufus Glasper, Ph.D.
Chancellor
Maricopa Community Colleges

Barry Halpern
Partner
Snell and Wilmer

G. Todd Hardy
Associate Vice President, Corporate Engagement
Arizona State University

Dan Henderson
Economic Development Director
Town of Gilbert

Lynne Herndon
Phoenix City President
BBVA Compass

Linda Hunt
Senior VP of Operations and President/CEO
Dignity Health Arizona

The Honorable Robert Jackson
Mayor
City of Casa Grande

The Honorable Linda Kavanagh
Mayor
Town of Fountain Hills

The Honorable Andy Kunasek
County Supervisor, District 3
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

The Honorable John Lewis
Mayor
Town of Gilbert

The Honorable Marie Lopez Rogers
Mayor
City of Avondale

The Honorable Georgia Lord
Mayor
City of Goodyear

Jeff Lowe
President
MidFirst Bank

Paul Magallanez
Economic Development Director
City of Tolleson

Kate Maracas
Vice President
Abengoa

Vicki Martin
Vice President
AT&T

The Honorable Brian McAchran
Vice Mayor
Town of Buckeye

The Honorable Mark Mitchell
Mayor
City of Tempe

Ed Novak
Managing Partner
Polsinelli Shughart

Kal Patel
Senior Vice President
Walmart

Rui Pereira
General Manager
Rancho de Los Caballeros

Tim Powell
Area President
Republic Services

The Honorable Christian Price
Mayor
City of Maricopa

Craig Robb
Managing Director
Zions Energy Link

The Honorable Jeff Serdy
Councilmember
City of Apache Junction

Steven M. Shope, Ph.D.
President
Sandia Research Corporation

James T. Swanson
President and CEO
Kitchell Corporation

Karrin Kunasek Taylor
Executive Vice President and Chief Entitlements Officer
DMB Associates, Inc.

Richard J. Thompson
President and CEO
Power-One

John Welch
Managing Partner
Squire Sanders

The Honorable Jeff Weninger
Vice Mayor
City of Chandler

The Honorable Max Wilson
County Supervisor, District 4
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

Dan Withers
President
D.L. Withers Construction

The Honorable Sharon Wolcott
Mayor
City of Surprise

GENERAL COUNSEL
Bryant Barber
Attorney at Law
Lewis and Roca