Tag Archives: Jim Lundy


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.

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.


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.”

From left: Steven Murray, president of Direct Energy; Jim Lundy, chairman of GPEC; Kevin Sullivan and Matt George of the Arizona Commerce Authority. Photo by Huan Vo/Az Business

Direct Energy bringing 500 jobs to Valley

Wednesday marked the official announcement of the expansion into Arizona of Direct Energy, a multibillion-dollar energy company which promises to create about 500 new jobs by the end of this year.

Based in Houston and specializing in upstream production and downstream delivery, Direct Energy is one of North America’s largest energy services providers with approximately 6,000 employees.

The company worked with the Arizona Commerce Authority and Greater Phoenix Economic Council to open a new call center in Tempe, which is expected to bring $7 million of capital investment to the region and create 250 to 300 new jobs when it’s open.

“I can’t tell you how easy they have made it for us to expand and invest in Arizona,” said Steven Murray, president of Direct Energy. “It’s an easy, pleasant experience.”

Expected to be fully functional by the end of the first quarter year of 2013, the new call center will be tasked with call taking for the residential energy business, which will enable Direct Energy to “offer a wide range of products and services in one location,” according to the company’s news release.

Working with the ACA and GPEC gave Direct Energy an understanding of and access to a quality workforce that attracted Direct Energy in the first place, Murray said.

“Beyond the ease, I mean the quality workforce, you can have an entirely educated, motivated, hardworking people, and it really makes it easy,” he said.

“I think this commitment just illustrates that we do have a quality workforce in addition to the quality, smart economics policies that GPEC and ACA, the governor’s office, the state Legislature have been working behind the scenes just to get this economy going again,” said Jim Lundy, chairman of GPEC’s board of directors and CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona.

Direct Energy is on a mission to make a difference to its customers through the provision of choice, which will help families with tight budgets.

“In a world of constraint household economics, people on tight budgets need to have products that meet their needs and give them control of how they are actually consuming and spending money,” Murray said.

Murray said Direct Energy has grown quickly over the years, and with each step in growth, the company is doing its best to invest and create jobs in communities where it started.

Direct Energy is accepting job applications online at www.directyourenergy.com, and at the Nation Career Fair at Phoenix Airport Marriott, 1101 N. 44thSt., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on January 21.