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Economic concepts

Arizona Poised to See Above-Average Growth

Thanks to strong improvement in housing prices and improved population in-flow, Arizona should expect above-average growth through the year, according to the bi-annual U.S. State Monitor Report from BMO Economics. Expected real GDP growth in the state is 3.2 percent, up from a 1.8 percent rate currently expected for 2013.

Nonfarm payrolls in Arizona were up 2 percent in 2013 – above the national average. The unemployment rate edged up through much of 2013, but moved lower late in the year to finish at 7.6 percent, the lowest since late 2008 and a significant improvement from the recession high of 10.8 percent.

“Although unemployment in Arizona is still higher than it should be, there has been solid progress made in generating good paying jobs that will bolster our overall economy,” said Steve Johnson, Regional President, Arizona, BMO Harris Bank. “In particular we’ve seen a boost in professional services and the tourism industry, which is great news for business owners in those sectors.”

Population growth has picked up to a 1.3 percent year-over-year pace driven by the improving economy. While that is still below the 3.3 percent rate experienced during the housing boom, positive momentum is expected to continue through the coming years.

Reduced home inventories are allowing for improved construction activity, which was at a near stand-still during the recession.

“Arizona’s housing market is experiencing a strong recovery, despite a recent soft patch. According to the S&P Case-Shiller Index, Phoenix prices have surged more than 40 percent from their lows,” said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets.

“While the increase in mortgage rates through the summer softened sales and home building activity, that should prove to be temporary. The foreclosure rate fell to 1.3 percent in the third quarter of last year, from its high of 6.3 percent. Additionally, surging home prices have reduced the number of home mortgages under water to less than 25 percent,” Mr. Kavcic added.

To view a full copy of the report, visit www.bmocm.com/economics.

Bevers cropped hi res 2

BMO Harris Bank Promotes Bevers

BMO Harris Bank announced that Jerry Bevers has been promoted to Director of Sales, Mortgage Banking. Bevers has been with BMO Harris Bank since 2012, and most recently managed the mortgage sales team for Arizona. In this new position, Bevers will oversee mortgage sales for Arizona, Missouri, Kansas, Florida, and Indiana.

“Jerry’s extensive knowledge in the mortgage industry will help us escalate sales in many of the markets we have identified as having strong growth potential,” commented Kevin Christopher, Head of U.S. Mortgage Sales, BMO Harris Bank. “In the relatively brief time Jerry has worked at BMO, he has proven himself to be a strong leader and manager. I have no doubt he will achieve the high goals and expectations we have for him.”

Bevers has 30 years of financial industry experience, and has held positions in retail bank management, marketing, branch operations, business banking and de novo acquisitions. He has held senior regional leadership positions with Chase Bank. At one point in his career, he had management responsibility for more than 2,300 employees.
He received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from The University of Texas, Arlington. A scratch golfer, he lives in Scottsdale with his wife.

Yarnell Hill Fire

BMO Harris Bank donates $20K to help fire victims

BMO Harris Bank today announced a $20,000 donation to support those affected by the wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona and surrounding areas. The funds will be split between the 100 Club of Arizona and the Yavapai County Community Foundation, two leading organizations whose work is critical during a tragedy like this.

“Words cannot express the sadness we feel for everyone impacted by this terrible loss of life and I’m certain our community will come together to do whatever it can to help those in need,” said BMO Harris Bank Arizona President, Steve Johnson. “We have a long history of supporting first responders because they’re the ones who often make the greatest sacrifices in protecting countless others.  Their acts of bravery will never be forgotten.”

The 100 Club of Arizona, whose mission is to provide immediate financial assistance to families of first responders and public safety officers who are seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, has established  a memorial fund specifically for the families of those killed in the Yarnell fire.

The Yavapai County Community Foundation has established a fund to aid in the long-term recovery efforts, including relief for displaced families and individuals, animal welfare, environmental needs, community clean-up, rebuilding and more.

BMO Harris Bank encourages other businesses and individuals to provide assistance with relief efforts. To donate, contact The 100 Club of Arizona at www.100club.org, or Yavapai County Community Foundation at azfoundation.org/yarnellfire.

 

BMO Harris Regional President Steve Johnson (left): “This year in particular, we understand the pressing need in our local communities to put roofs over peoples’ heads."

BMO Harris Bank Prepares Homes For Chronically Homeless

During the month of January, more than 100 local volunteers with BMO Harris Bank readied 54 new apartment homes for individuals to move into – a key step in ending their long-term, or chronic, experience with homelessness.

As a permanent supportive housing facility, Encanto Pointe in Phoenix will provide residents with the support they need to overcome complex issues related to long-term homelessness. BMO Harris Bank employees volunteered three weekends, in addition to their $50,000 gift in support of Valley of the Sun United Way’s efforts to end homelessness.

The Encanto Pointe facility is operated and developed by Native American Connections and is the latest permanent supportive housing facility that is a part of United Way’s commitment to end homelessness in Maricopa County.

“Since we opened our doors to become part of the Arizona community more than 45 years ago, our employees and our company have supported the important work provided by the Valley of the Sun United Way,” said regional president Steve Johnson, who helped with the effort.

“This year in particular, we understand the pressing need in our local communities to put roofs over peoples’ heads. There are thousands of people in our community who are without a place to call home and we recognize there is a pressing need to provide housing. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Valley of the Sun United Way and Native American Connections to help put roofs over peoples’ heads, in such a cost-effective manner.”

Taking a step toward providing a safe home to individuals who have suffered chronic homelessness helps the community and economy in tangible ways:

>> Opens up emergency services to support individuals who may be suffering in this economy and facing homelessness.

>> Cost-effective in providing stable services as opposed to routine and costly emergency services to individuals who are living in unsafe conditions

“The more than 100 employees who gave up their Saturday to prepare homes for residents who have not had a safe place to sleep in years, are not only impacting those individual lives, but are truly improving our entire community,” said Amy Schwabenlender, vice president of community impact for Valley of the Sun United Way.

“BMO Harris Bank and its employees are advancing our work to end homelessness in Maricopa County.”

 

roosevelt row arts district

Nominations announced for Governor’s Arts Awards

Sixty-two nominations from 18 Arizona communities were submitted in six categories for the 32nd annual Governor’s Arts Awards for individuals and businesses who have made substantial and outstanding contributions to arts and culture statewide.

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 6, at The Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe.  The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented by Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts in partnership with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor.

Since 1981, 152 artists, individuals, arts and cultural organizations, educators and businesses have received Governor’s Arts Awards

Nominees, by category, and their hometowns are:

Artist: Lee Berger, Phoenix; Charles Bruffy, Phoenix; Daniel Buckely, Tucson; Michael Christie, Phoenix; Bobb Cooper, Phoenix; Barbara Dahlstedt, Glendale;  Maria Isabel Delgado, Chandler; Shawn Franks, Phoenix; Deb Gessner, Mayer; Kristine Kollasch, Phoenix; Bruce Marion, Chandler; Fredric Myers, Apache Junction; Monica Saldana, Goodyear; Mike Vax, Dewey; Jim Waid, Tucson.

Arts in Education – Individual: Annica Benning, Scottsdale; Kathryn Blake, Phoenix; Dennis Bourret, Tucson; Simon Donovan, Tucson; Patti Hannon, Phoenix; Marion Kirk Jones, Phoenix; Sherry Koopot, Paradise Valley; Barbara Nueske Perez, Gilbert; Charles St. Clair, Glendale; Joshua Thye, Phoenix.

Arts In Education – Organization: Arizona Dance Education Organization, Phoenix; Copperstar Repertory Company, Chandler; The Glendale Arts Council, Glendale; Lovena Ohl Foundation, Scottsdale; Marshall Magnet Elementary School, Flagstaff; OpendanceAZ, Phoenix; Phoenix Conservatory of Music, Phoenix; The Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix; Sonoran Glass School, Tucson; UAPresents, Tucson; West Valley Conservatory of Ballet, Surprise.

Business: BMO Harris Bank, Phoenix; LDVinci Art Studio, Chandler; Southwest Ambulance, Mesa.

Community: Alwun House Foundation, Phoenix; Contemporary Forum, Phoenix; Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, Wickenburg; Flagstaff Cultural Partners, Flagstaff;
James E. Garcia, Phoenix; KXCI Community Radio, Tucson; Mesa Arts Center, Mesa; Release the Fear, Phoenix; Scottsdale International Film Festival, Scottsdale; Virginia G. Piper Charitable Foundation, Phoenix; Warehouse Arts Management Organization, Tucson; Young Arts Arizona Ltd., Phoenix.

Individual: Marco Albaran, Tempe; James K. Ballinger, Phoenix; Richard A. Bowers, Phoenix; Ted G. Decker, Phoenix; Faith Hibbs-Clark, Phoenix; Kaitlyn Mackay, Glendale;
Constance W. McMillin, Sun City; Nichole Newman-Colter, Litchfield; Hope Ozer, Paradise Valley; Rebecca Taylor, Yuma.

Honorees will be selected by an independent panel of judges.

The eighth annual Shelley Award also will be presented to an Arizona individual who has advanced the arts through strategic and innovative work in creating or supporting public policy beneficial to the arts in Arizona.  The award is named for Shelley Cohn, who spent more than 25 years as executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Ticket prices are $135 for members of Arizona Citizens for the Arts and $150 for nonmembers.  Sponsorships are available.
For information and to make reservations go to www.governorsartsawards.org.

roosevelt row arts district

Nominations announced for Governor's Arts Awards

Sixty-two nominations from 18 Arizona communities were submitted in six categories for the 32nd annual Governor’s Arts Awards for individuals and businesses who have made substantial and outstanding contributions to arts and culture statewide.

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 6, at The Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe.  The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented by Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts in partnership with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor.

Since 1981, 152 artists, individuals, arts and cultural organizations, educators and businesses have received Governor’s Arts Awards

Nominees, by category, and their hometowns are:

Artist: Lee Berger, Phoenix; Charles Bruffy, Phoenix; Daniel Buckely, Tucson; Michael Christie, Phoenix; Bobb Cooper, Phoenix; Barbara Dahlstedt, Glendale;  Maria Isabel Delgado, Chandler; Shawn Franks, Phoenix; Deb Gessner, Mayer; Kristine Kollasch, Phoenix; Bruce Marion, Chandler; Fredric Myers, Apache Junction; Monica Saldana, Goodyear; Mike Vax, Dewey; Jim Waid, Tucson.

Arts in Education – Individual: Annica Benning, Scottsdale; Kathryn Blake, Phoenix; Dennis Bourret, Tucson; Simon Donovan, Tucson; Patti Hannon, Phoenix; Marion Kirk Jones, Phoenix; Sherry Koopot, Paradise Valley; Barbara Nueske Perez, Gilbert; Charles St. Clair, Glendale; Joshua Thye, Phoenix.

Arts In Education – Organization: Arizona Dance Education Organization, Phoenix; Copperstar Repertory Company, Chandler; The Glendale Arts Council, Glendale; Lovena Ohl Foundation, Scottsdale; Marshall Magnet Elementary School, Flagstaff; OpendanceAZ, Phoenix; Phoenix Conservatory of Music, Phoenix; The Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix; Sonoran Glass School, Tucson; UAPresents, Tucson; West Valley Conservatory of Ballet, Surprise.

Business: BMO Harris Bank, Phoenix; LDVinci Art Studio, Chandler; Southwest Ambulance, Mesa.

Community: Alwun House Foundation, Phoenix; Contemporary Forum, Phoenix; Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, Wickenburg; Flagstaff Cultural Partners, Flagstaff;
James E. Garcia, Phoenix; KXCI Community Radio, Tucson; Mesa Arts Center, Mesa; Release the Fear, Phoenix; Scottsdale International Film Festival, Scottsdale; Virginia G. Piper Charitable Foundation, Phoenix; Warehouse Arts Management Organization, Tucson; Young Arts Arizona Ltd., Phoenix.

Individual: Marco Albaran, Tempe; James K. Ballinger, Phoenix; Richard A. Bowers, Phoenix; Ted G. Decker, Phoenix; Faith Hibbs-Clark, Phoenix; Kaitlyn Mackay, Glendale;
Constance W. McMillin, Sun City; Nichole Newman-Colter, Litchfield; Hope Ozer, Paradise Valley; Rebecca Taylor, Yuma.

Honorees will be selected by an independent panel of judges.

The eighth annual Shelley Award also will be presented to an Arizona individual who has advanced the arts through strategic and innovative work in creating or supporting public policy beneficial to the arts in Arizona.  The award is named for Shelley Cohn, who spent more than 25 years as executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Ticket prices are $135 for members of Arizona Citizens for the Arts and $150 for nonmembers.  Sponsorships are available.
For information and to make reservations go to www.governorsartsawards.org.