Tag Archives: FirstBank

Arizona Green Jobs Increase

FirstBank increases Arizona deposits by more than 32%

FirstBank Holding Company, with 16 banking locations throughout Arizona, has announced its 2015 second quarter financial results for its Phoenix, East and West Valley markets.

As of June 30, the FirstBank branches in Arizona increased deposits by 32.8 percent from $228.4 million in 2014 to $303.4 million in 2015. The bank also saw significant growth in total loans, growing from $440.2 million to $587.9 million year-over-year, an increase of 33.6 percent. Additionally, FirstBank opened one new branch in Scottsdale on N. Scottsdale and E. Pinnacle Peak, growing the company’s Arizona footprint to 16 total branches.

“We’ve enjoyed tremendous success over the last several years in Arizona and look forward to building on this momentum in the second half of 2015,” said Kevin Classen, FirstBank Market President of the West Valley. “Our success generating double-digit lending and deposit growth has allowed us to open more locations to better serve Phoenix-area residents with a number of banking products and services.”

FirstBank offers a variety of checking and savings accounts, including its Anywhere Account with eSave, which automatically transfers 1 cent up to $99.99 to customers’ savings account each time they use a debit card, pay a bill electronically or transfer funds. FirstBank also offers mortgages, home equity loans and a full range of commercial loans and business accounts and services.

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How can you raise financially savvy children?

With school out for the summer, there’s no better time to teach children about money and finances, experts say.

“By teaching children the importance of opportunity costs at a young age, we can better prepare them to become confident and successful members of our community once they enter the real world,” says Jim Lundy, CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona.

No matter a child’s age, it’s never too early to prepare him or her for a successful future by building financial literacy skills today. Teachable money moments can happen with kids as young as 3 years old and the sooner parents begin to influence positive financial behaviors, the better the chance kids have to succeed in managing money.

“Kids learn a lot by watching what you do,” says Kelly Kaminskas, senior vice president at FirstBank. “I think a lot of parents make the mistake of sheltering kids from money conversations. It’s important to take them to the bank with you, show them how you save for long-term goals, or explain the difference between funding needs versus wants.  These learning opportunities can be extremely valuable as they get older.”

“With almost everything else, we teach our children by talking as we go about our day,” says Christina Burroughs, managing partner at Miller Russell Associates, “but or some reason, that’s not the case with money or financial issues.”

Burroughs says many people grew up in families where it was taboo to talk about money, others worry that children who know that come from well-off families will lose their motivation, while some parents are reticent talk about finances because they don’t want to burden their children with adult concerns.

“But there is a nice middle ground where parents can talk about concepts without burdening children,” Burroughs says. “It’s really helpful for families to talk about the idea behind economy — that people make things or provide services that other people want or need. Then, expand on the idea that when people buy things, it becomes economy and everyone has opportunity to grow and get better because of that. Parents will be thrilled to see how quickly kids become excited by these ideas.”

Burroughs says it’s safe for parents to start talking to children as early as 3 or 4, as long as the conversation is age appropriate.

“The best thing parents can do is simply talk to their kids about the importance of budgeting, saving, and managing credit,” says Joe Bleyle, senior vice president and director of commercial real estate for Enterprise Bank & Trust. “Specifically, kids can participate in developing the family’s budget and open a savings account with encouragement to save for larger purchases.”

With high-school age kids, experts say the conversations can expand into how to get a job, how to dress to impress in the professional world, how to build a business network and the basic principles of business and entrepreneurial thinking.

“The lessons children learn while they are young will shape how financially successful they will be as adults,” says Michael Lefever, senior vice president and business banking area manager for Wells Fargo. “Just as regular exercise and a good diet are essential for physical fitness, knowing the basics of saving, budgeting and planning are essential for financial fitness.”

In order to prepare children for financial success, Deborah Bateman, vice chairman of National Bank of Arizona, says it’s imperative to show them that money is just paper without a purpose or a goal.

“As parents, the most important lesson we can teach our kids is the value of money, and we can teach that lesson and help our kids create a healthy relationship with money by teaching them to give money ‘purpose,’” Bateman says. “We teach our kids to give money purpose  by teaching them to set goals. As soon as a child can articulate their goals, we should help them to monetize those goals. It is the purpose we give our money that makes it valuable and guides our kids to make confident money decisions.”

Summer school lessons for finances

Here are five money lessons that parents can teach their children at home this summer, according to financial experts at Alliance Bank of Arizona:

How to build a balanced budget: Vacation planning is the perfect time to teach kids about budgeting. Questions like, “Where will we go?”, “What will we do?” and “How much will we spend?” can guide children through the decision-making and conscious-spending process. First, start allocating funds to basics like hotel, food and gasoline. Then, discuss that fun activities and souvenirs can only be purchased if you budget the right amount of money.

How to make important buying decisions (wants vs. needs): Review your household budget or a sample budget with your kids. Help them understand what a balanced budget is and that the goal is to save more money than you spend. Explain that there are items we need like shelter and food. But, there are also things that we want, like new shoes, a cell phone and toys, which can wait until we have saved enough to purchase them.

The importance of interest: Say you’re in a store and your child points to a toy and says, “Can you buy that for me?” Instead of handing over the toy, offer to loan your child a small amount of money, provided that they pay you back the same amount within 30 days. Remind them often that if they can’t pay on time, you’ll add more money to what they owe until they pay the money back. One day past the deadline, add to the amount and explain why they owe more.

The correlation between learning and earning: Set up a sample budget based on what your kids want. Then, determine the average monthly income of a high school graduate, someone with post-secondary training, someone with a Bachelor’s degree, and someone with a Master’s degree. This shows how much money they need to earn to have the things they want and how that correlates with their level of education.

The importance of being a contributing member of their community: Chores that are tied to earning money are a great way to help kids learn about their role in a family unit and gives them a glimpse at what is required of community members. An effective tool is myjobchart.com which helps parents set up and track chores for their children, along with prompting discussions about saving, giving and spending.

FirstBank opened a new branch at the corner ofScottsdale Road and Pinnacle Peak on May 13th and will host aribbon cutting on May 28

FirstBank expands with North Scottsdale branch

FirstBank Holding Company, a holding company with multiple banking locations throughout Arizona, announced the opening of its newest branch in north Scottsdale at 23399 N. Scottsdale Rd., Ste. E101, Scottsdale, AZ 85255.  The major cross streets are Scottsdale Road and Pinnacle Peak.  The 4,000 square-foot location officially opened on May 13th and marks FirstBank’s 16th branch in Arizona.  The Colorado-based bank now has 123 branches nationwide. 

To celebrate its opening, the public is invited to attend a ribbon cutting on Thursday, May 28 at 5:30 pm.  Appetizers and beverages will be served, and there will be giveaways including a chance to win cash prizes.  The Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, of which FirstBank’s Metro Phoenix President Bryce Lloyd is currently the Board Chairman, will be part of the ribbon cutting event.  The Mayor and Scottsdale City Council members have also been invited to attend.

“FirstBank’s rapid growth throughout Phoenix has been very exciting and we’re proud to add another Scottsdale location and to play an active role and make a positive impact within our local community,” said Bryce Lloyd, President – Phoenix Market.  “Since we entered the Phoenix market eight years ago, we have worked hard to become a resource to individuals, families, businesses and non-profits across Arizona.  Adding this new branch in north Scottsdale helps us expand that footprint to become an even greater resource to our customers.”

In its short history in Arizona, FirstBank has repeatedly shown its commitment to community involvement.  The commitment has been again demonstrated in just the last few months by its recent donation as the presenting sponsor of Arizona Gives Day, which raised over $2 million for Arizona non-profits in one day.  In addition, FirstBank made a $1 Million community development investment with Trellis (formerly Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix), an organization dedicated to making financially stable homes, neighborhoods and communities possible in Maricopa County.

charitable trust

Arizona Gives Day supports nonprofits on April 7

Arizona Gives Day is a powerful 24-hour online giving experience that encourages individuals across the state of Arizona to donate to their favorite nonprofit cause on April 7, 2015.   Presented by FirstBank and hosted by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and the Arizona Grantmakers Forum, Arizona Gives Day is a day for individuals to come together and make giving back a priority.  In 2015, Arizona Gives Day is challenging Arizonans to collectively surpass the $1.5 million raised last year, which will have an immediate impact on our local communities.

April 7 is a critical fundraising time for nonprofits because it occurs after the traditional holiday giving season.  Once spring arrives, many nonprofit organizations find that resources are decreasing, so Arizona Gives Day provides a perfect platform for generating new donations that will directly impact members of our communities for months to come. 

“Charitable nonprofits have a $24 billion economic footprint every year in Arizona,” said Patrick McWhortor, president & CEO of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits.  “The state’s 20,000 nonprofits employ more than 150,000 paid staff, nearly one out of every 10 workers in Arizona.”

Beginning at midnight on April 7 and continuing until 11:59 p.m., Arizonans can go online at www.azgives.org and pledge their financial support to the nonprofit of their choice.  Donors will select the recipient of their online donation and the donation will go directly to their chosen organization.   

This year a variety of cash prize incentives will take place throughout the day to encourage additional giving.  Bonuses will go to the nonprofits that raise the most money in rural, small, mid-size and large nonprofit categories.  In addition, prizes will be awarded to organizations that raise the most during specific hours along with the most overall donations throughout the day.  In total, FirstBank will donate $150,000 toward the bonus program. 

“Local nonprofit organizations play a critical role in making our communities stronger,” said Bryce Lloyd, FirstBank president – Phoenix Metro.  “FirstBank’s success is built on serving local customers and communities, and we’re proud to support Arizona Gives Day for the third consecutive year. We encourage all Arizonans to participate on April 7 to demonstrate our collective appreciation for these important organizations and their tireless efforts to enrich the state we all call home.”

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FirstBank fund helps qualified homebuyers buy new homes

FirstBank Holding Company, a holding company with 15 banking locations throughout Arizona, announced a $1 million community development investment with Trellis (formerly Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix), an organization dedicated to making financially stable homes, neighborhoods and communities possible in Maricopa County. FirstBank’s contribution will provide qualified homebuyers up to $25,000 to be used as a down payment toward the purchase of a new home.

Trellis was founded in 1975 with the help of the City of Phoenix and Neighborhood Works America, a national nonprofit organization that provides financial support, technical assistance and training for community-based revitalization efforts. The organization focuses on lending, learning and building by offering mortgages with little to no down payment, providing financial literacy classes and acquiring and renovating distressed properties, respectively.

“We made this contribution to Trellis because we believe in helping people who are pursuing the American Dream of home ownership,” said Angelo Chin Foo, banking officer at FirstBank and Trellis board member. “Trellis is a multi-service organization that has made a significant impact on the community over its 40-year history. With this investment, we hope to play a small role in helping Trellis deliver its mission of providing more affordable housing to Arizonians.”

Structured as an “equivalent equity investment,” FirstBank’s $1 million contribution allows qualified homebuyers to borrow up to $25,000 towards the purchase of a new home. Homebuyers repay the loan to Trellis over a 15-year period, and Trellis will use the repaid funds to provide assistance to homebuyers across Maricopa County, in perpetuity.

“Access to affordable housing benefits everyone. Individuals and families become stable and more economically secure, neighborhoods become more active and cities gain jobs and tax revenues,” said Patricia Garcia-Duarte, president and CEO of Trellis. “We rely on generous partners like FirstBank to help us strengthen our local communities and empower homebuyers, and we couldn’t be more grateful for this generous support.”

FirstBank opened its first location in Arizona in 2007 and has since expanded to 15 locations. All Arizona branches offer a full range of services, including Free Checking, Free Business Checking, mortgages, home equity loans and commercial loans. The bank is the main sponsor of Arizona Give Day, a 24-hour online giving initiative aimed at increasing individual giving throughout the state.

For more information, visit TrellisAZ.org.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

FirstBank tackles ‘Deflate-Gate’ with billboard

A local bank is using a little humor around a recent incident to promote their expanding home loan business in Arizona.

Yesterday, FirstBank, which operates 15 branches in the Glendale/Phoenix/Scottsdale metro area, put up a billboard within a mile of University of Phoenix Stadium — where the New England Patriots will play the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Sunday — with the following message:

“Deflate mortgages, not footballs.”

FirstBank has a history of jumping on news-making events — like “Deflate-Gate” — and has used it as a successful marketing strategy.

The NFL says it is continuing to look into allegations that New England had 11 of its 12 allotted game footballs under-inflated in the victory.

According to ESPN, the footballs used by the Patriots were under-inflated by two pounds per square inch. Footballs, which are weighed before the game, must be inflated to no less than 12.5 pounds per square inch.

The minimum disciplinary action for tampering of a football is a fine of $25,000, according to the NFL’s game operations manual.

The controversy around “deflate-gate” has taken attention away from the Super Bowl, which will feature the Patriots playing against the Seattle Seahawks.

The "Class of 2014" advocates visit DMB Associates' masterplanned community Eastmark.

It takes two

Valley principals host young professionals in inaugural advocates program

A look around the room at a Valley Partnership Friday Morning Breakfast (FMB) reveals a who’s who of Arizona’s commercial real estate industry. You’ll see seasoned professionals sitting next to up-and-comers, and though these are an effective networking tool, Valley Partnership took the concept to the next level.

It created the Valley Partnership Advocates Program for young professionals. The program is a nine-month-long course for a “class” of 20 people under the age of 35 to meet with a new industry leader every month.

The inaugural program began last August and has included sessions hosted by prominent figures from DMB Associates, Inc., Vestar, Arizona State Land Department, Ryan Companies, Sunbelt Holdings, Evergreen Development, ASU and Macerich/WDP Partners. Many of the sessions were hosted by board members, including one held during a board meeting. “I did not understand the power of Valley Partnership and the people behind it until I attended that board meeting,” says advocate Nicole Mass, 35, Kitchell’s director of marketing.

The feeling is mutual. Bruce Pomeroy, founding principal at Evergreen Devco, has worked in the industry for 40 years. During that time, he has trained many young hires and has taught classes for the International Council of Shopping Centers. Pomeroy says of the session he hosted at Centerpointe in Goodyear that “the ‘students’ were very engaged and asked good questions.”

“I believe the most important issue was that the advocates wanted to spend more time with the developers during each monthly event,” says Vice President and General Counsel to Maven Universal Brett Hopper, who helped design the program. “We want to provide the advocates a greater opportunity to interact with senior executives and create long-lasting relationships.”

Stephanie Stephens, 27, marketing and project coordinator at Buesing, says the mentors emphasized the importance of getting involved in the real estate community. That typically starts with something as simple as the monthly Valley Partnership breakfasts, where Stephens heard about the program. Easton Mullen, 37, started his general contracting company Mullen Construction and Development in 2006 and has since built capital with the goal of becoming a developer. The advocates program, he says, created a foundation of contacts to use while his company evolves. “You can’t call these people up on the phone,” he says, “but if you’re part of the program, you can.”

The mentors encouraged community involvement and engagement within Valley Partnership’s committees and leadership roles. CBRE Sales Assistant Chris Marchildon, 28, was approached by board members at the suggestion of CBRE Executive Vice President Barry Gabel, about joining Valley Partnership’s Advocates Program.

sidebar“One of the first things I was told in this business was to ‘be a sponge,’” he says. “The second was to develop as many good relationships as you can along the way. Through the program, I was certainly provided the opportunity to learn success stories from the ground up as well as the chance to ‘soak up’ as much information as I could.”

Recent Denver transplant Kelly Kaminskas, 34, senior vice president at FirstBank, used the advocates program as an introduction to the industry. “It would have taken me years to piece together the information I received by being part of this group,” she says.

Tuition is $150. Applications are available on Valley Partnership’s website through July.

charitable trust

Arizona Gives Day Raises Amost $1.4 million

The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and Arizona Grantmakers Forum, along with presenting sponsor FirstBank, announced that the 2014 Arizona Gives Day, a 24-hour online initiative encouraging Arizona residents to recognize and financially support the efforts of various nonprofits, raised $1,392,292 (up from $1,019,650 last year) for the nearly 1,000 registered organizations statewide, a 36% increase. In total, 13,856 unique donors took the time to make 18,080 total donations in support of this statewide initiative.

“Our state rallied again this year and demonstrated what tremendous power individual donors can have for our state’s nonprofit community,” said Patrick McWhortor, president and CEO of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. “Whether they had a favorite cause or not, Arizonans rose up and explored the many missions of our participating nonprofits and helped show our state’s generosity to the world.”

Thanks to a financial commitment FirstBank and other incentive-prize sponsors, Arizona Gives Day encouraged competitions throughout the course of the day that allowed nonprofits, who reached certain milestones – to receive additional funding. Those winning these incentive contests will be gifted prizes from $1,000 to $18,000 in additional funds, which will be verified within the next 60 days.

Arizona Gives Day received additional financial and in-kind support from a variety of organizations throughout the state including:

Arizona Community Foundation
Arizona Republic/AZCentral/12News
AZ Family
BHHS Legacy Foundation
Clear Channel Media Entertainment
Community Foundation for Southern Arizona
CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company
Cox Communications
Eight – KAET PBS
FirstBank
Flinn Foundation
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation
HAPI
Hickey Family Foundation
HMA Public Relations
Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust
St. Luke’s Health Initiatives
The Thunderbirds
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

According to Marissa Theisen, president and CEO of the Arizona Grantmakers Forum, “Gives Day initiatives across the country continue to see success and provide much-needed financial support to countless nonprofit organizations. Arizonans have much to be proud of in our second year.”