Tag Archives: national bank of arizona

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Are Arizona’s anti-deficiency statutes feeding the bubble?

Jack and Jill were living the American dream. They bought their dream house in 2006. Then, the economy spiraled downward. Jack lost his job. Housing values dropped, and the amount remaining on Jack and Jill’s mortgage exceeded the value of the property — commonly known as having a house that is “under water.”

Jack and Jill didn’t want to pay the mortgage any more, so they walked away, leaving the bank to clean up the mess from their financial misstep.

They were able to do that because of Arizona’s anti-deficiency statute, which says that if a person or corporation owns a residential property on 2.5 acres or less that is used as a dwelling, the owner is not responsible for any deficiency occurring after a foreclosure, according to Lynne B. Herndon, city president for BBVA Compass.

“The difference between the fair market value of the home — or the amount that the foreclosure sale brings — and the loan balance is known as a deficiency,” said Paul Hickman, president and CEO of the Arizona Bankers Association. “In Arizona, the bank suffers that loss, not the homeowner who walks away from the home.”

But it’s not only the homeowners — whom the statutes were intended to protect — who are catching the breaks.

“Unfortunately, the statute has been interpreted more broadly than originally intended such that properties used for investment are also covered,” Herndon said.

Arizona is one of only 12 states that has some form of anti-deficiency protection. Of the 12, Herndon said Arizona has the most liberal statute.

“This statute absolutely contributed to the housing bubble as investors both in this state and outside of the state knew they could buy residential real estate in Arizona and walk away if the investment became negative,” Herndon said. “Homeowners in this state have experienced larger declines in home value due to this statute allowing investors to speculate and walk away.”

The incidence of homeowners like Jack and Jill walking away from their home, avoiding hundreds of thousands of dollars of negative equity in their home, and legally sticking their lenders with a loss and became an all-too-common move during the Recession, experts said.

“In my view, the average borrower was not likely aware of the finer points of the anti-deficiency statutes when determining whether to purchase a home,” said Jennifer Hadley Dioguardi, a partner in Snell & Wilmer’s Phoenix office. “However, once the housing market crashed, the anti-deficiency statutes likely caused some homeowners who had the means to make their mortgage payments to decide to simply walk away from the residence given the fact that the lender had no recourse against them other than to foreclose upon the residence once the residence was under water. The borrower was not responsible for the deficiency. This likely contributed to some homeowners who could pay their mortgage simply walking away from the property and leaving the lender on the hook.”

Experts believe that homeowners and investors who seized the opportunity to take advantage of Arizona’s anti-deficiency statutes to protect their own financial futures, might be stifling the state’s chance at an economic recovery and exacerbating the economic collapse.

“The broadness of the deficiency statute has had an overall negative impact not just on the banking industry, but more importantly, Arizona’s long-term economy,” said Keith Maio, president and chief executive officer of National Bank of Arizona. “Arizona’s statute is the most liberally interpreted of the 12 non-recourse/deficiency states, the majority of which limit the protection to primary residences or some other means that limit its contribution to speculation. In Arizona, it allows investors to finance their speculation in housing, risk-free. If their investment does not work out, they don’t have to pay back the difference between what they sold the home for and what they owe. This statute was intended to protect homeowners, but what it has really done is hurt traditional homeowners by opening them up to large swings in housing values. I believe the impact, while negatively effecting banks earnings, is greater on the homeowners in the community at large.”

Despite the impact on the overall economy, it’s still been the banks who take the initial and biggest hit because they are often precluded from recovering the balance of the loan deficiency from the foreclosed borrower. While short sales are not protected by the Arizona’s anti-deficiency statutes, lenders have often been willing to agree to short sales and reduce or otherwise waive deficiency claims, because lenders know they could not otherwise recover loan deficiencies, should the borrower elect to foreclose.

“The deficiency statute has led to greater losses for residential lenders in Arizona because they cannot obtain a judgment against the borrower who may have the ability to repay the deficiency,” Kevin Sellers, executive vice president of First Fidelity Bank. “Lenders’ inability to pursue the borrower for the deficiency creates an environment that results in a higher incidence of strategic defaults.”

The biggest problem for lenders may be that it doesn’t appear that they will get any relief from lawmakers. Dioguardi said properties initially covered by the anti-deficiency statutes had to be two and one-half acres or less and utilized either for a single one-family or a single two-family dwelling. This language was interpreted by the Arizona Supreme Court to require that the dwelling be built and at least occasionally occupied.

“However, a recent decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals has extended the anti-deficiency protection to cover a residence that was not yet constructed and in which the borrowers had never resided,” Dioguardi said. “The Court found that even though the home was never utilized for a residence as required by the statute, because the borrowers intended to live in the single-family home upon its completion, they were subject to the protections of the anti-deficiency statute.”

The court decision, Dioguardi said, needs to be refined to protect both lenders and borrowers.

“Given that the Arizona Supreme Court declined the petition for review of the decision, the legislature should amend the statute to make it even clearer that the borrower must physically inhabit the property to claim the protection of the anti-deficiency statute,” she said. “The current risk to lenders created by the decision as it currently stands will likely drive up the cost of construction loans.”

Bank executives also believe that amending — not necessarily getting rid of — the state anti-deficiency statutes is what the banking industry needs to continue on the road to post-Recession economic recovery.

“A very reasonable solution proposed by the Arizona banking community is to simply require that a property protected from a deficiency judgment be the primary residence of you or a member of your family as already defined in Arizona’s property tax statues,” Maio said. “This will have the effect of limiting this protection for homeowners, which is what was intended. Those in our Arizona business community that oppose this type of change are motivated by their own special interests. Those whose real motivation is to profit on speculative investment or from the fees and commissions that come from buying and selling speculative homes for profit, you will oppose this type of change. But for the rest of us that want to protect Arizonans from future bubbles and encourage a long-term and sustainable economy, we should support this simple change, as it is in our best long-term interest.”

home.prices

Are Arizona’s anti-deficiency statutes feeding the bubble?

Jack and Jill were living the American dream. They bought their dream house in 2006. Then, the economy spiraled downward. Jack lost his job. Housing values dropped, and the amount remaining on Jack and Jill’s mortgage exceeded the value of the property — commonly known as having a house that is “under water.”

Jack and Jill didn’t want to pay the mortgage any more, so they walked away, leaving the bank to clean up the mess from their financial misstep.

They were able to do that because of Arizona’s anti-deficiency statute, which says that if a person or corporation owns a residential property on 2.5 acres or less that is used as a dwelling, the owner is not responsible for any deficiency occurring after a foreclosure, according to Lynne B. Herndon, city president for BBVA Compass.

“The difference between the fair market value of the home — or the amount that the foreclosure sale brings — and the loan balance is known as a deficiency,” said Paul Hickman, president and CEO of the Arizona Bankers Association. “In Arizona, the bank suffers that loss, not the homeowner who walks away from the home.”

But it’s not only the homeowners — whom the statutes were intended to protect — who are catching the breaks.

“Unfortunately, the statute has been interpreted more broadly than originally intended such that properties used for investment are also covered,” Herndon said.
Arizona is one of only 12 states that has some form of anti-deficiency protection. Of the 12, Herndon said Arizona has the most liberal statute.

“This statute absolutely contributed to the housing bubble as investors both in this state and outside of the state knew they could buy residential real estate in Arizona and walk away if the investment became negative,” Herndon said. “Homeowners in this state have experienced larger declines in home value due to this statute allowing investors to speculate and walk away.”

The incidence of homeowners like Jack and Jill walking away from their home, avoiding hundreds of thousands of dollars of negative equity in their home, and legally sticking their lenders with a loss and became an all-too-common move during the Recession, experts said.

“In my view, the average borrower was not likely aware of the finer points of the anti-deficiency statutes when determining whether to purchase a home,” said Jennifer Hadley Dioguardi, a partner in Snell & Wilmer’s Phoenix office. “However, once the housing market crashed, the anti-deficiency statutes likely caused some homeowners who had the means to make their mortgage payments to decide to simply walk away from the residence given the fact that the lender had no recourse against them other than to foreclose upon the residence once the residence was under water. The borrower was not responsible for the deficiency. This likely contributed to some homeowners who could pay their mortgage simply walking away from the property and leaving the lender on the hook.”

Experts believe that homeowners and investors who seized the opportunity to take advantage of Arizona’s anti-deficiency statutes to protect their own financial futures, might be stifling the state’s chance at an economic recovery and exacerbating the economic collapse.

“The broadness of the deficiency statute has had an overall negative impact not just on the banking industry, but more importantly, Arizona’s long-term economy,” said Keith Maio, president and chief executive officer of National Bank of Arizona. “Arizona’s statute is the most liberally interpreted of the 12 non-recourse/deficiency states, the majority of which limit the protection to primary residences or some other means that limit its contribution to speculation. In Arizona, it allows investors to finance their speculation in housing, risk-free. If their investment does not work out, they don’t have to pay back the difference between what they sold the home for and what they owe. This statute was intended to protect homeowners, but what it has really done is hurt traditional homeowners by opening them up to large swings in housing values. I believe the impact, while negatively effecting banks earnings, is greater on the homeowners in the community at large.”

Despite the impact on the overall economy, it’s still been the banks who take the initial and biggest hit because they are often precluded from recovering the balance of the loan deficiency from the foreclosed borrower. While short sales are not protected by the Arizona’s anti-deficiency statutes, lenders have often been willing to agree to short sales and reduce or otherwise waive deficiency claims, because lenders know they could not otherwise recover loan deficiencies, should the borrower elect to foreclose.

“The deficiency statute has led to greater losses for residential lenders in Arizona because they cannot obtain a judgment against the borrower who may have the ability to repay the deficiency,” Kevin Sellers, executive vice president of First Fidelity Bank. “Lenders’ inability to pursue the borrower for the deficiency creates an environment that results in a higher incidence of strategic defaults.”

The biggest problem for lenders may be that it doesn’t appear that they will get any relief from lawmakers. Dioguardi said properties initially covered by the anti-deficiency statutes had to be two and one-half acres or less and utilized either for a single one-family or a single two-family dwelling. This language was interpreted by the Arizona Supreme Court to require that the dwelling be built and at least occasionally occupied.

“However, a recent decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals has extended the anti-deficiency protection to cover a residence that was not yet constructed and in which the borrowers had never resided,” Dioguardi said. “The Court found that even though the home was never utilized for a residence as required by the statute, because the borrowers intended to live in the single-family home upon its completion, they were subject to the protections of the anti-deficiency statute.”

The court decision, Dioguardi said, needs to be refined to protect both lenders and borrowers.

“Given that the Arizona Supreme Court declined the petition for review of the decision, the legislature should amend the statute to make it even clearer that the borrower must physically inhabit the property to claim the protection of the anti-deficiency statute,” she said. “The current risk to lenders created by the decision as it currently stands will likely drive up the cost of construction loans.”

Bank executives also believe that amending — not necessarily getting rid of — the state anti-deficiency statutes is what the banking industry needs to continue on the road to post-Recession economic recovery.

“A very reasonable solution proposed by the Arizona banking community is to simply require that a property protected from a deficiency judgment be the primary residence of you or a member of your family as already defined in Arizona’s property tax statues,” Maio said. “This will have the effect of limiting this protection for homeowners, which is what was intended. Those in our Arizona business community that oppose this type of change are motivated by their own special interests. Those whose real motivation is to profit on speculative investment or from the fees and commissions that come from buying and selling speculative homes for profit, you will oppose this type of change. But for the rest of us that want to protect Arizonans from future bubbles and encourage a long-term and sustainable economy, we should support this simple change, as it is in our best long-term interest.”

Brossart Diane final 9314 5-29-12

Valley Forward Exands its horizon

Timing is everything, even when it comes to Mother Nature.

“In 2010, we got an $85,000 grant to look at some federal issues on sustainability,” says Diane Brossart, president and CEO of Valley Forward, which brings business and civic leaders together to improve the environment and livability of Valley communities. “We were asked to target Arizona’s Congressional delegation and get them up to speed in regards to understanding a sustainability agenda for Arizona and what that meant.”

What grew from that seed was an initiative that had actually been germinating for more than a decade, Brossart says: taking the successful Marocopa County-centric Valley Forward and giving is a statewide focus. In August, Valley Forward’s board voted unanimously to to move forward with a business plan that will transition Valley Forward into Arizona Forward in January.

Brossart says the state is facing some serious issues related to the environment and the livability and vitality of Arizona’s cities and towns will be impacted by upcoming decisions related to:
* Land use planning and open space,
* A balanced multi-modal transportation system,
* Improving and maintaining healthy air quality,
* Solar and renewable energy technology,
*  Managing our water resources, and
* Protecting wilderness, parks, national monuments and other natural areas for Arizona’s tourism economy.

“As Arizona and the country recover from the Great Recession, a statewide dialogue is more important than ever,” says William F. Allison, a shareholder at Gallagher & Kennedy. “The issues impacting us – water, energy, transportation, land use – involve the entire state rather than only the Valley. Arizona Forward will provide a forum to think outside the box and beyond the Valley.”

To get Arizona Forward to have its greatest statewide impact, Brossart and her staff connected with nine companies that had influence on communities along the Sun Corridor — the stretch of freeway that connects Tucson, Phoenix, Prescott and Flagstaff — to become charter members of Arizona Forward.

“The leaders of those companies have become our tour guides as we go into Pima County and Northern Arizona,” Brossart says. She points to Kurt Wadlington, employee-owner of Sundt Construction in Tucson, for opening doors for Arizona Forward to spread its wings into Southern Arizona.

“Southern Arizona already has a very strong environmental focus, but struggles with areas that are dependent on statewide engagement from both a funding and advocacy perspective,” Wadlington says. “(Valley Forward’s) shift (to a statewide focus) will provide Southern Arizona with added resources to coordinate its future growth in the larger context of the Sun Corridor.”

Experts agree that now is the perfect time for Valley Forward to shift to a statewide focus statewide because Arizona is at a turning point, economically and environmentally.

“There are major issues that affect the state like transportation; managing resources; and protecting the wilderness, parks, and national monuments,” says Alfie Gallegos, area sales manager for Republic Services. “These are not just environmental issues, but are issues that have an effect on Arizona’s economy statewide. I think Arizona is ready to start having more positive statewide conversations about finding ways to grow our economy in a manner that can be sustained and is environmentally friendly.”

Brossart says that while Arizona has had countless groups that have focused on making their communities better, Arizona Forward will be looking to help educate legislators become the glue that brings those regional organizations together in a spirit of cooperation and unity.

“So much of our goal is to drive a political agenda to the middle and bring folks on both sides of the aisle together,” Brossart says. “The issues that we focus on are sustainability and environmental. Everybody needs clean air, clean water, open space and parks. Those are the things that make a community viable, healthy and liveable. We all want that. Those aren’t political issues. But they do fall into a political arena that sometimes clouds the issues. But if we can be a reasoning voice of balance like we have been successfully in Maricopa County, if we can bring that statewide, it will be really good for Arizona — economically and environmentally.”

Valley Forward members expect the transition to Arizona Forward to foster additional collaboration and conversation on statewide issues, bring additional viewpoints on key issues and allow for a more global conversation.

“My hope is that we can, over time, have a collective vision that regardless of our own regional filters, we’re all in this together and need to find ways to move forward as one sustainable, economically successful state,” says Iain Hamp, community affairs representative, Wells Fargo Team Member Philanthropy Group.

Brossart says one of the biggest messages Arizona Forward will be trying to communicate is that making sound decisions about issues surrounding sustainability and the environment are good for business.

“If we make a case that shows the economic impact of parks and open space on the tourism industry, the business community will take notice and they are uniquely poised to deliver of that message and be heard,” Brossart says. “Parks groupies are great and they are important. But when the business community gets involved, people listen.”

Where Arizona Forward could have its biggest economic impact is on growth industries that rely on the state’s amazing natural resources.

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of solar energy, as the clean, renewable energy source is experiencing massive growth and helping the state and country achieve greater energy independence,” says Patricia Browne, director of marketing and communications for SOLON Corporation in Tucson. “And Arizona has been at the center of this growth. This has been made possible not only by the companies developing the solutions, but by the state and local officials, Arizona-based businesses and individual residents who recognize the importance that solar plays in a number of ways such as a cleaner environment, economic development, and energy price stability. However, there are still challenges in making the adoption viable on a large scale, and Arizona Forward helps bring together the right players to help make this happen on a state level.”

Richard Mayol, communications and government relations director for Grand Canyon Trust in Flagstaff, says Arizona Forward will give members in northern Arizona the opportunity to not only have a voice in discussions that affect the state today, but in decisions that impact what Arizona will be like 20 years from now.

“We hope it will help create an economy that provides the opportunity for prosperity without sacrificing the environment,” he says, “and makes northern Arizona an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

And that is what Arizona Forward’s mission is all about: bringing business and civic leaders together in order to convene thoughtful public dialogue on statewide issues and to improve the environment and sustainability of Arizona.

“All areas of the state will benefit, from urban to rural and suburban areas in between due to a coordinated and planned strategy for such essential elements as affordable energy, water, transportation, affordable housing, and a wide band of employment opportunities,” says Janice Cervelli, dean of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona. “All geographic, economic, and environmental sectors of the state will increasingly become part of a larger, interdependent, connected system.”

GOALS OF ARIZONA FORWARD

* Establish cooperative relationships with like-minded Arizona conservation organizations and facilitate collaboration on sustainability initiatives.
* Bring business and civic leaders together to convene thoughtful public dialogue on regional issues and to improve the environment and sustainability of Arizona.
* Increase awareness of and interest in environmental issues initially in the Sun Corridor and then beyond, statewide, building on an agenda of land use and open space planning, transportation, air quality, water, and energy.
* Support efforts to promote the Sun Corridor as an economic development area incorporating sustainability and smart growth principles.
* Serve as a technical resource on environmental issues through Arizona Forward’s and Valley Forward’s diverse membership of large corporations, small businesses, municipal governments, state agencies, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.

ARIZONA FORWARD CHARTER MEMBERS
Arizona Community Foundation
First Solar
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold
National Bank of Arizona
SOLON Corporation
Sundt Construction
The Nature Conservancy
Total Transit
Wells Fargo

FOUNDING MEMBERS: Access Geographic, LLC; Adolfson & Peterson Construction Company; APS; Arizona Conservation Partnership; Arizona Department of Transportation; Arizona Heritage Alliance; Arizona Investment Council; Arizona State Parks Foundation; Arizona State University, Global Institute of Sustainability; Aubudon Arizona; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona; Breckenridge Group Architects/Planners; Caliber Group; City of Tucson; Environmental Fund of Arizona; Fennemore Craig; Gabor Lorant Architects; Gammage & Burnham; Godec Randall & Associates; Grand Canyon Trust; Guided Therapy Systems; Haley & Aldrich; Intellectual Energy, LLC; John Douglas Architects; Jones Studio; Kinney Construction Services, Inc.; Lewis and Roca LLP; Logan Halperin Landscape Architecture; Pima County; RSP Architects; Southwest Gas Corporation; SRP; University of Phoenix; TEP / UNS Energy Corp.; The Greenleaf Group

woman

National Bank of Arizona seeks Woman of the Year

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announces its fourth annual Women’s Financial Group (WFG) Woman of the Year Award, which is designed to honor outstanding professional women throughout metropolitan Phoenix. Nominations are being accepted now through January 31, 2013.

The Woman of the Year Award recognizes professional women who have successfully made a positive impact in their community, both through business and philanthropy.

“At NB|AZ we take great pride in supporting local professional women who are dedicated to improving their communities,” said Deborah Bateman, executive vice president, director of wealth strategies of National Bank of Arizona. “We look forward to reviewing the applications and honoring the winner with this prestigious award.”

All nominations for the award will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of industry leaders and the National Bank of Arizona Women’s Financial Group Advisory Council. The selection committee will determine the finalists and the winner. Nominees must either be headquartered in Maricopa County or do business in Maricopa County on a regular basis to be eligible for the award.

The winner will be announced at an award ceremony, for which details will be announced in 2013.

The award nomination packet is available on the NB|AZ website, www.nbarizona.com. Nominations should be submitted to Stephanie Poure via e-mail at stephanie.poure@nbarizona.com or by mail to 6001 N. 24th St., Phoenix, AZ, 85016, postmarked by January 31, 2013.

Gregory Cross

Zions opening Corporate Trust Services office in Phoenix

Zions Bank announced that Gregory G. Cross will open and manage a new Corporate Trust Services office in Phoenix.

Cross will lead a team of seasoned professionals providing an array of custom financial services to debt-issuing authorities including municipalities, government agencies and corporations. The new office is located at 6001 No. 24th St., Building B, and may be reached at (602) 212-5403.

“We’re putting together a team of industry savvy Corporate Trust professionals who have the expertise to effectively serve bond issuers and corporate clients here in Arizona,” said Cross. “We have a unique opportunity to meet the needs in this market, and to meet them at the highest level.”

A graduate of Brigham Young University, Cross earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Finance and has 27 years of banking experience.

Zions Bank and National Bank of Arizona are wholly owned subsidiaries of Zions Bancorporation.

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National Bank of Arizona Hires New Business Banking Manager

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced the hire of new business banking manager, Ward Hickey. Hickey has more than 25 years of experience in the Arizona banking industry, specializing in entrepreneurship, business development and small business administration (SBA) lending.

“I am thrilled to join the NB|AZ team,” Hickey said. “I’m looking forward to expanding the small business products group and developing mutually beneficial partnerships for the bank and the companies we serve.”

In his new role as business banking manager, Hickey will focus on growing deposit and lending products in the SBA department, reinforcing the strong commitment NB|AZ has to fueling the entrepreneurial spirit of Arizona. He will work directly under Brent Cannon, executive vice president and director of community banking, managing a small team of bankers at the NB|AZ Corporate Headquarters at the Biltmore.

“We are extremely pleased that Ward has joined the team at NB|AZ,” Cannon said. “His specialty in the small business segment, and specifically SBA guaranteed loans, will add considerable value to our organization. Under Ward’s leadership, NB|AZ will continue and improve our products and services to small businesses throughout Arizona.”

Prior to joining NB|AZ, Hickey held several executive positions and shared his expertise with various local and national banks, including Heritage Bank, Wells Fargo and Alerus Bank and Trust, among others. Over the course of his career, Hickey has procured and funded more than $500 million in SBA and commercial loan volume.

Hickey has been recognized with many awards for his exemplary work, including the 2006 SBA Financial Services National Champion of the Year, 2000-2003 SBA Arizona Small Business Banker, and the 2000 Southwestern Business Financing Corporation Banker of the Year.

In addition to his professional success, Hickey dedicates a significant portion of his time to giving back to the community through board positions with the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Phoenix and the Arizona State University Dean’s Council.

137593586

Ecova Takes Energy Savings to the Bank with National Bank of Arizona

Ecova, a total energy and sustainability management company, announced that National Bank of Arizona – a premier bank in Arizona with more than 70 branches – has successfully implemented a complete energy management program. National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) can now accurately and efficiently track energy consumption and cost data monthly and leverage that data to develop a comprehensive and proactive energy management strategy.

For years, NB|AZ tracked utility expenses as a single expense for each site, making it difficult to identify anomalies and track specific expenditures month-to-month or year-over-year to streamline budget forecasting and identify savings opportunities. NB|AZ recognized that it needed a way to access its data to understand its energy use in order to drive strategic energy savings and performance improvement.

NB|AZ engaged Ecova and implemented its Utility Expense and Data Management solution. This solution gathers usage and expenditure data from across the bank’s entire portfolio, turning that data into specific, strategic insight to help the bank increase opera­tional efficiency, reduce costs, and set sustainability performance standards.

“National Bank of Arizona faced a challenge that many companies are facing today – how can we improve our energy costs and increase our sustainability efforts? The simple answer is that you can’t improve what you don’t measure,” said Seth Nesbitt, VP and Chief Marketing Officer, Ecova. “Implementing a system to aggregate all energy consumption and expense information is the first step toward making a real impact on a company’s bottom line and sustainability efforts.”

Ecova started by gathering the prior years’ utility invoices for each loca­tion to create a baseline from which it could begin measuring performance. Ecova’s simple-to-navigate reporting interface allows the NB|AZ team to compare year-over-year data, providing visibility into consumption trends down to the specific meter level.

“Energy manage­ment has become more complex, and with that complexity comes opportunity. My ability to control rates might be limited, but I have unlimited opportunity to forecast, budget, and manage consumption thanks to the data that Ecova empowers us with,” said Dennis Calik, National Bank of Arizona, SVP and Corporate Properties Manager.

Ecova’s Utility Expense and Data Management solution has enabled NB|AZ to make wise energy savings and sustainability decisions. For example, when the bank was approached with an opportunity to install solar power panels at its corporate headquarters, analysis enabled by Ecova was a key to making the right deci­sion. NB|AZ says that with Ecova’s help, the team was able to identify how much energy the $1.5 million solar initiative would produce and determine how much of the cost would be covered by government rebate funding and tax credits.

“We were able to demonstrate to senior management that the majority of the cost would be mitigated by credits, tax breaks, and rebates,” says Calik. “Ecova’s data provided business intelligence to secure approval by demonstrating that the end-of-the-day price tag for the project would quickly pay for itself.”

Additional solar energy projects, lighting retrofits and upgrades to HVAC sys­tems followed quickly. Calik and team credit the Ecova reporting platform with providing the data to support these decisions, laying the foundation for what will become a comprehensive sustainability initiative.

78425243

National Bank of Arizona adds medical banking services

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announces the addition of premium, specialized banking services specifically for physicians, to accommodate the bank’s growing niche of medical banking clients. This specialty and expansion will be led by seasoned NB|AZ banker, Suzy Powell, and recent hire, Paula Wichterman.

The new specialty provides an opportunity for local medical professionals to access banking services and benefits, offered exclusively at NB|AZ. The elite program includes premium pricing on interest-bearing accounts, convenient one-on-one personalized service at home or at the office, expedited responses to all banking and loan requests, and a unique home financing program.

“At National Bank of Arizona, we believe that our specialized loan program for physicians is a great opportunity for doctors to purchase or refinance their primary residence and take advantage of these record low interest rates,” said Paula Wichterman, vice president of National Bank of Arizona’s Medical Private Banking Division. “An added benefit is that NB|AZ provides physicians with concierge style banking by a dedicated relationship manager who can work around their busy schedules to ensure their loan and banking needs are met.”

As a vice president in the private banking sector, Wichterman is responsible for increasing NB|AZ’s focus on the physician banking market, in addition to contributing to NB|AZ’s overall strategy, growth and performance. With the goal of generating awareness of the bank’s new offering, NB|AZ has made an effort to partner with local medical associations and groups in several philanthropic endeavors. Prior to joining NB|AZ, Paula spent nine years in various advisor roles for two national banks.

“The medical professionals in our state are tasked with the important job of keeping our friends and families healthy, and shouldn’t be burdened with the strain of navigating financial services that are not tailored to their individual needs,” said Suzy Powell, vice president of National Bank of Arizona’s Medical Executive Banking Division. “We have specialized the integrated, personal approach to banking at NB|AZ to fit with the unique needs of these clients. We’re proud to support their long-term wealth management goals, guiding financial success from behind the scenes.”

First Press Fine Wine Auction

First Press Fine Wine Auction Benefits KJZZ Youth Media Project

The 10th Annual First Press Fine Wine Auction will benefit the KJZZ Youth Media Project. All proceeds from the auction go to the youth media program that allows KJZZ reporters to mentor high school students in the areas of journalism and reporting.

The 10th Annual First Press Fine Wine Auction

First Press Fine Wine AuctionThe 10th Annual First Press Fine Wine Auction, presented by Molina Jewelers, will take place on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012.

More than 30 wineries are scheduled to participate, including the Robert Craig Winery from Napa Valley. President Robert Craig will serve as this year’s honorary chair, and Peter Sagal, the voice of the popular NPR game show “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!,” will be the evening’s host presented by National Bank of Arizona.

The evening will have live entertainment by Alice Tatum and the Alice Tatum Band, a gourmet five-course meal and a high-end live auction of rare vintages, culinary experiences and vacation packages.

But the most important part of the evening will be about the fundraising. Funds raised from the auction will benefit Friends of Public Radio of Arizona and the KJZZ Youth Media Project. Last year, the First Press Fine Wine Auction raised more than $170,000 for their benefiting organizations.

The KJZZ Youth Media Project

The KJZZ Youth Media Project is an educational outreach program designed to mentor “at risk” youths in the areas of broadcast journalism and digital media production. The program was started in 2007 and initially worked with 14 students from South Mountain High School. This year the program is expanding to approximately 20 students from all high schools who qualify.

The students complete an application and go through a verbal interview process to see if they can fit the six-month core curriculum into their time frame. The projects curriculum consists of elements developed by the Radio Television National Association.

“[The] kids will work in all aspects of digital media,” says Louis Stanley, the executive director of Friends of Public Radio Arizona. “Then they will specialize and continue to work on content development, while also helping to mentor new kids starting the program.”

The ultimate success of the students is what the program is all about. Stanley shares a success story from Ann Miles, an employee at the South Mountain High School Communications department.

“Ann Miles said, ‘Many of my students who a participate in the KJZZ Mentorship program at South Mountain have gone on to college to study journalism. They return to tell me how much the experience with KJZZ not only prepared them for college journalism classes, but they also feel that they are ahead of their peers,’ ” Stanley says.

KJZZ’s Youth Media Project

[stextbox id="info" caption="What To Know If You Go:"]
The 10th Annual First Press Wine Auction
When: Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 at 6 p.m.
Where: Westin Kierland Resort and Spa
Tickets: $250 per person or $2,500 for a table of 10. Guests seeking guaranteed table seating with a vintner and marketing exposure can purchase a table sponsorship starting at $5,000.
[/stextbox]

 

Business Lending - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Now Is The Right Time For Business Lending, Financial Banking

Now is the Right Time for Business Lending, Financial Banking

Now might be the right time for businesses looking for financial backing to reach out to banks to help with plans for expansion and growth.

“When small businesses are given the tools to grow, that means growth for the economy,” says Craig P. Doyle, Arizona regional president of Comerica Bank. “We have the ability to provide capital to those businesses that can grow.”

The status of business lending in Arizona has been in question during a tough economy, but the reaction from Arizona banking representatives has been similar across the board: banks are lending, and the number of loans issued has increased over the past year.

Most banks in Arizona have weathered the economic crisis fairly well, and have had the ability to continue to make loans.

Dean Rennell, a regional president at Wells Fargo Bank says he has seen a steady improvement in business lending over the past year.

During that period Wells Fargo extended approximately $14.9 billion in loans to small businesses nationwide, a 13 percent increase over the year before.

In Arizona alone, Rennell says he has seen Wells Fargo’s lending increase 15 percent over the past year.

“Borrowers are showing improved financial performance,” Rennell says. “That means they’ve adjusted to what people are calling the ‘new normal,’ and they’ve diversified and become more efficient.”

Rennell is seeing a significant amount of loans from small businesses looking to buy competitors or real estate, or expand the company.

Companies that had cut back on expenses are now starting to invest in new equipment and technology that they had refrained from purchasing in the past.

“We’re seeing expansion requests and some businesses are taking advantage of the opportunities they see in the marketplace,” Rennell says.

Arizona banks have been able to lend during the recession because Arizona has a large number of companies that are well managed and credit-worthy, experts say.

“Most banks in Arizona are capitalized and have enough liquidity and capacity to make loans,” says Curt Hansen, executive vice president of the National Bank of Arizona. “There are a lot of well-run large and small banks, and Arizona is a good market long-term.”

When looking at possible loans, banks still desire the same qualifications they have in the past, such as a good track record, a strong management team and an ability to weather tough times.

The biggest difference now is that banks are paying more attention to the actual documents required for the loan.

“Bankers are looking at borrower’s ability to withstand short-term shocks and the borrower’s ability to repay the loans requesting,” Hansen says.

Lynne Herndon, city president at BBVA Compass, has seen an increasing number of loan requests coming from the small business segment.

“Almost 70 percent of business owners in Arizona belong to the smaller business segment, and that’s the segment where we’re seeing growth,” Herndon says. “Those entrepreneurs and business owners were cautious before and are beginning to venture out more.”

Most businesses large or small have some form of lending, whether it is a line of credit, equipment loan or real estate loan. Lines of credit are necessary for companies to continue to operate, and many companies are renewing the lines of credit they already have.

BBVA Compass Phoenix saw double-digit loan growth in 2010 of about 12 percent, and has seen about a 15 percent increase in 2011.

The only area where Herndon says he doesn’t see as many loans being issued is in real estate lending.

According to Herndon, the uncertainty in the Arizona housing market plays a huge role in the decline of real estate lending. People are still wondering if values have hit bottom.

“The economy is still a concern, and the political climate,” Herndon says. “Most of the companies and businesses here need a banking relationship in order to maintain and grow their company. The demand for loans is definitely increasing and I’m hopeful this trend will continue to improve.”

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For more information about business lending and financial backing, visit:

comerica.com
wellsfargo.com

nbarizona.com

bbvacompass.com

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Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

Arizona Bankers Association, Bankers Give Back - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Arizona Bankers Association Impacts State’s Economy, Communities

Arizona Bankers Association Impacts State’s Economy, Communities

Ryan Suchala, Bank of Arizona, Arizona Bankers AssociationBank of Arizona President Ryan Suchala recognizes the importance of community.

“This is where we live, work and play and in many cases the city where we are shaping our families,” Suchala says. “As a father of three I give my time to better our community because this is where my boys will become men. Last year, Bank of Arizona employees spent close to 450 hours working in our community and I personally became a board member at Arizona Women Education and Employment.”

To show the Arizona banking industry’s impact on its communities, the Arizona Bankers Association (AzBA) produced a brochure titled “Arizona Banks Give Back.” The report provides a picture of the economic and charitable support the banking industry gives back to the communities it serves, and shows the influence banks have on Arizona’s economy.

Arizona Bankers Association is an organization with more than 70 members that works to create a unified voice and engage members in issues that affect the banking industry.

Lynne Herndon, city president at BBVA Compass“It’s clear the banking industry has been under a microscope the last few years,” says Lynne Herndon, city president of BBVA Compass. “We wanted to pull our information and be treated collectively as an industry to say we are looking to work with companies to help them with their financial needs.”

Arizona Bankers Association created the “Arizona Banks Give Back” survey in November 2010 to collect a variety of data from Arizona banks. The results were released in February 2011. The 12-page brochure includes statistical data that shows how banks provide financial and social stability in Arizona.

The banks that chose to participate in the survey felt that it provided a good opportunity to change the way people currently view banks. The biggest surprise to Paul Hickman, president and CEO of Arizona Bankers Association, was how high bank lending was in Arizona in 2010.

According to the survey results, Arizona banks lent $5.9 billion in new and renewed commercial loans, and more than $11 billion in new and renewed consumer loans in 2010.

“A lot of the feedback we’ve been getting is ‘Wow, I didn’t realize the volume of lending was that great in this economy,’” Hickman says.

The number is likely higher as only 35 AzBA-member institutions responded to the survey, which only represents 63 percent of the organization’s membership, and does not include information from non-member banks.

In today’s economy, banks are more cautious about lending, but the data proves that Arizona banks are continuing to lend to commercial businesses and consumers.

“We keep hearing banks won’t lend,” Hickman says. “But banks don’t make money if they don’t lend.”

Banks want to lend so they can pump money into Arizona’s economy.

Arizona banks provide direct loans to help the state government finance public improvements by improving water, sewer and public health facilities and by helping build schools.

Banks pay income tax to help support local communities as opposed to credit unions, which don’t pay federal income tax.

Arizona banks are also putting money into the economy by being a leading employer of local residents. Banks bring high-wage jobs to the local community, and employ more than 42,000 Arizonans.

Wells Fargo Bank was the fifth largest employer of Arizonans in 2010, and the average salary for an employee working at a bank was around $66,625 in 2010.

By providing jobs, banks provide a ripple effect in the community, because employees pay state taxes and are also consumers that put money back into local businesses.

Arizona banks are also doing more than just putting money into the economy. Members of Arizona banks are striving to aid their community through service.

According to the results from the Arizona Banks Give Back survey, bank employees donated 211,615 volunteer hours to community service in 2010, and donated $15.5 million to charitable and cultural organizations.

“Actions speak louder than words,” says Craig P. Doyle, Arizona regional president of Comerica Bank. “We get out and are active in making a difference in our communities. It’s better than just handing money out.”

To show their commitment to the communities they serve, Comerica employees work with nonprofits like Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Homeward Bound, Junior Achievement, Sojourner Women’s Shelter, United Food Bank, Central AZ Shelter Services and many others.

An effort from Suchala and the Bank of Arizona helped improve literacy across the Valley.

“Last year, we hosted our annual Caring for Kids Book Drive and collected over 14,000 books for children and adults in our community,” Suchala says. “We educate with multiple employees teaching Junior Achievement programs and with educational programs to local school children. Our employees have worked together this past year sorting school supplies at the annual Salvation Army Pack to School Drive, serving food alongside Alice Cooper for the Cooperstown Christmas for Kids event and pounded nails at two Habitat for Humanity events.”

“These are good members of the community,” Hickman says. “These are people that are donating their money and time at philanthropies around the state and they’re trying hard to impart their discipline.”

Arizona banks participate in programs such as neighborhood revitalization, financial education and assistance for the underprivileged.

In 2008, Mohave State Bank created a program called “Junior Bankers.” Three years later, Mohave State bankers are still training children at Jamaica Elementary School in Lake Havasu about balancing accounts, taking deposits and bank rules. Volunteers meet each week with students before school. The program has expanded to three other elementary schools.

In 2010, the National Bank of Arizona donated one of its foreclosed homes in Glendale to Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona. The bank partnered with the organization to help renovate the property, and 118 people worked to build walls, paint and landscape the property.

Arizona banks are committed to helping the community both financially and through service, Hickman says.
“This industry is like the cardiovascular system of our economy and it needs to be robust and healthy,” Hickman says. “We don’t grow or recover without this industry.”

For more information about the Arizona Bankers Association, visit azbankers.org.

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Arizona Gives Back: By the Numbers

  • More than $5.9 billion distributed in commercial loans (new and renewed) in 2010
  • More than $11 billion distributed in consumer loans (new and renewed) in 2010
  • More than 1,300 banking center locations in Arizona
  • More than 42,000 people work for Arizona banks
  • $66,625 is the average bank employee salary

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Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

Women in Construction AZ - AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

Women in Construction AZ Provides A Women-Only Environment To Network

Women in Construction AZ provides a women-only environment to congregate, relate concerns and network

The blueprint for success in the construction industry is no longer signed with ink and set in stone. It’s going through a few revisions, redrafting from a predominately male world to a more level, coed playing field.

Women are throwing on their hard hats and utilizing their unique strengths, too, to gain opportunity and improve the business aspect of the industry.

However, with their unique strengths come unique problems and concerns, and Nate Sachs, founder of Blueprints for Tomorrow, is recognizing such.

In fact, Sachs is digging into his own wallet and providing an environment and outlet strictly for women owners within the construction world to congregate — Women in Construction AZ.

Women in Construction AZ is an organization that provides free monthly luncheons where women can share ideas, listen to keynote speakers and network. The idea was inspired from a Wall Street Journal article Sachs read that stated a high percentage of construction companies are either being owned by women or run by women. This got Sachs thinking.

“Women are very different,” Sachs says. “They’re very nurturing; they’re caring, and those aren’t actually conducive traits to running a company in the construction industry. Their needs are very different; there really wasn’t a forum that was catering to those needs.”

Women run business differently, according to Sachs, by thinking as a tradesman, a businessman — unlike many of their male counterparts.
“The women come in a different angle,” Sachs says. “They were never on the job site for the most part. They look at it as a business, and they run it as a business. They’re more business oriented.”

Thus, Women in Construction AZ was formed, and each month the event attracts about 200 attendees.

The first Women in Construction AZ luncheon held in October last year featured the senior vice president of National Bank of Arizona, Deborah Bateman, as the keynote speaker. All speakers are women as well.

“There are different organizations in the Valley that are specific to your trade, but this is the only one specific to women,” says Colleen Hammond, co-owner of Creative Environments. “With some of the issues we deal with, we’re provided good information, and it’s very apropos for this time.”

Since the first luncheon, attendance continues to increase, from 63 to more than 200 attendees every month.

While the speakers and their respective topics — ranging from HR issues, social networking, and how to evaluate your business properly, to insurances and exit strategies — are relevant and a hit with the attendees, it’s the networking aspect that has proven to not only help the women find business and gain exposure, but bond with one another as well.

“They talk about what’s happening in their world, and I see a lot of business cards exchanged,” Sachs says. “A lot of people are receiving work from one another. They’re meeting people they didn’t know were in the industry, so it has become a real camaraderie.”

Carla Brandt, CEO and founder of Cobra Stucco, agrees and says Women in Construction AZ provides a forum where women can collaborate on the challenges they face in business and their personal lives.

“Women tend to be very competent with communication and, typically, strive to be correctly understood,” Brandt says. “It doesn’t always feel like a wise thing for women in construction to share their fears and perceived foibles with men because of some of the lingering prejudices that still exist in the industry.”

While Brandt says women are still under-represented in the industry, Hammond says their presence is becoming more widely accepted, with more women playing a primary role. Because it’s such a niche market, meeting other women in construction has proven to be beneficial to improve business.

“It helps to share some of the problems we struggle with as well as some of the successes we and they have had and point each other in the right direction,” Hammond says. “It has also definitely helped to make contacts with certain vendors.”

With the industry beginning to turn around with more available jobs and projects, according to Sachs, women want to help one another and show their support. The luncheons provide such an outlet. Not only that, but more jobs means more opportunities for the construction industry becoming more female friendly, expanding the talent pool from which to draw, according to Brandt.

“As women continue to enter the construction field with good results, attitudes begin to change,” Brandt says, “and more and more women continue to enter the arena, bringing fresh talent, new ideas and, oftentimes, better ways to do things.”

[stextbox id="grey"]For more information about Women in Construction AZ, call (480) 596-1525.[/stextbox]

Arizona Business Magazine September/October 2011

National Bank of Arizona Video Contest, YouTube

National Bank Of Arizona Holds Contest For Business To Win $10,000 Prize

The National Bank of Arizona is holding a contest for all Arizona businesses – with the winner taking home a cool $10,000.

The contest is titled “Arizona’s Next Great Business,” and any Arizona business can submit a video application to prove how it has made an impact on the Arizona community.

National Bank of Arizona

To enter, a business must upload a 90-second video to YouTube that explains how it has made a difference in Arizona – by creating civic pride, impacting the quality of life for Arizonans, redefining technology, or establishing energy efficiency.

The business must also explain how it plans on utilizing the grand prize.

“The biggest challenge of a business is to get the word out about them,” says Alycia Perry, vice president of National Bank of Arizona’s Internet and Interactive Channels.

Perry adds that other challenges include the need to redefine, reinvent and “how to keep innovating as you move forward.”

With the $10,000, a business will have the opportunity to make improvements – by purchasing supplies, establishing a budget for a new employee, or investing in new technology.

Perry says that the contest is a way for both National Bank of Arizona and Arizona businesses to put themselves into the social media world and public eye.

“Looking at what is going on with the economy, there’s been such negative press and a gloomy outlook,” she says. “We looked at this as an opportunity to promote businesses facing challenges.”

By having the contest entry be a video submission versus a written application, Perry says National Bank of Arizona believes that it is a better outlet for businesses to break into social media.

National Bank of Arizona’s social media campaign has grown immensely this year. Its goal is to raise awareness about the company by reaching out to customers and letting them know that National Bank of Arizona is a full-service bank.

The social media campaign has included sweepstakes, giveaways on Facebook and other contests that drive customers into a National Bank of Arizona branch to claim their prize.

Submissions for “Arizona’s Next Great Business” will be accepted through Oct. 30. More information on entering the contest can be found on National Bank of Arizona’s Facebook page.

Online viewers can vote for their favorite company’s video Nov. 2 – Nov. 16, with an official announcement of the winner on Nov. 23.

 

 

Arizona Forward, State Park Issues

Arizona Forward Enhances Awareness of Arizona’s Park Issues

Arizona Forward Enhances Awareness of Arizona’s Park Issues

Arizonans value their parks and open space, consistently ranking them as key quality of life indicators. A recent survey conducted of residents statewide shows that 87 percent visit a park or recreation area at least once a year, with 23 percent doing so on a weekly basis. In addition, parks and open spaces create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue.

Multiple land ownerships and funding mechanisms have produced parks and open space issues that are complex, confusing and sometimes controversial. In fact, the telephone survey conducted by WestGroup Research further revealed that most residents (80 percent) rate their knowledge of how state and local parks are funded as very low or in the middle range. Meanwhile, a depressed economy and recession has impacted parks negatively at every jurisdictional level from federal and state to county and municipal governments.

Recognizing the need for public education on the subject of parks and open space issues, Arizona Forward, a new statewide environmental/business coalition launched by Valley Forward earlier this year, developed a comprehensive report to provide unbiased facts, background information and answers to frequently asked questions about state and federal lands as well as county and municipal parks.

Designed to enhance awareness of and interest in solving Arizona’s parks issues, the primer is among Arizona Forward’s first projects towards its mission to promote cooperative efforts to improve the livability, sustainability and economic vitality of cities and towns across Arizona. Readers can sort out how much open space is available in the state, who is responsible for it and the challenges facing various jurisdictions of government. The user-friendly reference guide is described as ‘parks and open space 101’ and can be downloaded at arizonaforward.org.

While the primer doesn’t take a formal position on how to solve funding issues relating to parks, it communicates the economic impact of recreational and open space amenities and why Arizonans should care about these natural resources.

Charter members of Arizona Forward include: Arizona Community Foundation, First Solar, Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold, National Bank of Arizona, Solon Corporation, Sundt Construction, The Nature Conservancy, Total Transit and Wells Fargo.

For more information about Arizona Forward, visit arizonaforward.org.

National Bank of Arizona, APS Energy Efficiency Partnership

APS Home Performance Program Provides Loans For Homeowners Energy Efficient Improvements

National Bank of Arizona has partnered with APS to provide an affordable financial incentive for APS customers to renovate their homes with energy efficient improvements. It’s called the APS Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program.

The program was started more than a year ago and at the time was only available to schools and small businesses. But now, the partnership has  opened up so all APS residential customers have the ability to benefit not only the environment, but their wallet as well.

“We’re pleased to continue our partnership with a company like APS that views environmental sustainability as a top priority for our community,” says Craig Robb, executive vice president of National Bank of Arizona. “Our business energy financing program has been incredibly successful and, we’ve recognized the need to offer the same initiatives in the residential sector, as well.”

Photo: photos.com

The APS Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program allows homeowners to receive loan amounts ranging with a standard rate of financing, from $1,000-$15,000 for qualifying energy efficiency improvements. Loans that include improvements for solar water heaters are available up to $20,000. The energy efficient improvements included in the partnership program range from duct sealing and shade screens to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) replacements, solar water heaters and more.

To get started, customers need to schedule their $99 (regularly $400) APS Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Checkup with a participating contractor. Customers can locate a contractor by calling (877) 850-8358 or visiting www.aps.com.

Learn more about the APS Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program and financing details by visiting any one of National Bank of Arizona’s 76 branches statewide or calling (866) 277-5605 for more information. Customers can also log on to www.nbarizona.com or www.aps.com/financing.

Arizona Business Financing

Arizona Business Financing on the Rise

Arizona Business Financing: Even as the economic recovery seems stuck in neutral, Arizona business financing is increasing for both large and small firms.

“At Arizona Business Bank, we have noticed a resurgent, but cautious, interest from commercial clients in fortifying their working capital lines of credit and discussing owner-occupied real estate plans,” said Toby Day, president of Arizona Business Bank, which is part of CoBiz Financial, a $2.4 billion financial holding company based in Denver.

Of the bankers asked, all pointed to the bargains available in the commercial real estate industry, particularly the office market, as an impetus for businesses requesting financing.

“This year, the primary requests for financing are coming from businesses that have decided to take advantage of the market to buy buildings or, given their equity position, to refinance their building to take advantage of the low interest rate environment, including some who are taking advantage of the (Small Business Administration’s) new refinance program,” says Dee Burton, senior vice president, regional manager for Alliance Bank of Arizona.

According to a Phoenix Metro report from the brokerage firm of Cassidy Turley BRE, the vacancy rate for the office market stood at 28.3 percent during the first quarter of this year, up from 28 percent at the end of 2010. With vacancy rates still rising in the office market, business owners are finding prices that were unseen during the building boom.

“Current low rates seem to favor leasing, however, decreases in real estate values suggest opportunities to purchase the building at less than historic replacement costs,” Day says. “These factors, coupled with a low fixed-rate environment and increased bank willingness to lend have created a favorable financing arena.”

Depreciation changes included in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act, and the Small Business Jobs Act also are spurring businesses to pursue loans. According to Deloitte, under the two laws all qualified property acquired between Jan. 1, 2008 and Sept. 8, 2010 has 50 percent bonus depreciation; the bonus depreciation for qualified property acquired and placed in service between Sept. 9, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2011 is 100 percent; and for qualified property acquired and in service between Jan. 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2012, the bonus depreciation is 50 percent.

“With the bonus depreciation incentives coming from the Small Business Jobs Act, we’re starting to see more requests for equipment financing particularly in health care, such as MRIs, and dental and optical equipment,” Burton says.

Depreciation laws notwithstanding, a number of companies are seeking financing to replace equipment — purchases that have been deferred in some cases since 2008.

“Demand for equipment financing is also increasing in many sectors due to economic conditions moderating and slightly improving and companies being unable to defer capital expenditures for improved efficiencies, replacement needs and near-term projected growth,” says Scott Schaefer, president of Meridian Bank.

Fattening up lean inventories is proving to be another incentive for companies to seek new sources of financing.

“During the downturn, (businesses) were able to generate cash by shrinking inventories and collecting accounts receivable,” says Dean Rennell, Wells Fargo regional president, Arizona Business Banking. “That cycle is reversing now, creating a need for financing.”

Despite signs of improvement, Brent Cannon, executive vice president and director of Metro Banking at National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ), says loan demand remains tepid due to economic uncertainty and the “weakened state or quality of loan applicants.” He added that the bank forecasts loan demand will “remain somewhat soft in 2011” until the economy shows more significant recovery and unemployment numbers drop.

While the slow economic recovery is causing many businesses to shy away from asking for loans, Day at Arizona Business Bank says banks also have some soul-searching to do.

“Industry wide, banks have been somewhat introspective and the calling efforts (planned sales calls) on clients diminished,” he says. “According to industry trade groups, the number of calls to clients over the past three years has been the lowest since the late 1980s. Increased calling efforts by Arizona banks will be mirrored by decreasing loan problems for the banks — both of which will drive renewed growth in our market. We are optimistic for the mid- and long-term future for our state.”

For more information on Arizona Business Financing, please visit: www.sba.gov

Arizona Business Magazine July/August 2011

Photo: borman818, Flickr

NBAZ Invests $300,000 In Energy Conservation, Reduces Consumption By 25 Percent

Today, energy conservation seems to be the latest trend with businesses both large and small. Over the past several years, National Bank of America (NB|AZ) has made energy efficiency a top priority, with just recently investing $300,000 in energy conservation to their Phoenix headquarters in late May.

The completed upgrades to NB|AZ’s corporate headquarters and adjoining branch are expected to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption by an estimated 25 percent, in just the first year.

Investments to the bank’s campuses include installation of smart controls and occupancy sensors, lighting retrofits and de-lamping, as well as giving building personnel access to remotely monitor and control space temperature settings in the three campuses from the installation of a building energy management system.

The renovation allows building engineers to pre-cool air handlers, building chillers, cooling towers and pumps, and the initiatives taken will ultimately provide huge savings in preventative maintenance costs.

With these upgrades, NB|AZ plans to reduce energy expenses by 20 percent, as well as reduce their carbon footprint by 230,000 pounds over a lifetime in the 127,000-square-foot building.

According to Curt Hansen, executive vice president of NB|AZ, it is important to continually seek solutions to reduce one’s carbon footprint and remain cognizant of energy consumption.

NB|AZ has been praised for its sustainable business practices over the last few years. In May 2009, the bank installed one of the state’s largest commercial solar systems on its Phoenix headquarters. The company has also provided $25 million to help finance Solar Phoenix, the largest residential solar leasing program in the nation.

The initiatives taken support environmental responsibility in our community, and is a sound investment for our organization, Hansen says.

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About NB|AZ:

Founded in Tucson, Ariz., in 1984, NB|AZ is Arizona’s fourth-largest bank with more than $4.5 billion in assets. NB|AZ is a full-service community bank that offers award-winning service and innovative solutions. For more information, visit www.nbarizona.com.

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Ranking Arizona presents Best of the Best Awards 2011

2011 Best of the Best Awards Photo Gallery

Ranking Arizona hosted it’s special awards reception, recognizing the companies that Arizona’s public ranks as their favorites with which to do business.

Some of the Companies recognized this year include Donovan’s Steak & Chop House, St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center, National Bank of Arizona, The Go Daddy Group Inc., Rossmar & Graham, Scottsdale Fashion Square, CB Richard Ellis, Phoenix Convention Center, KPNX-TV – Channel 12 and  Wist Office Products.


Check out the full Gallery on Flickr…


Cheryl Green AZ Big Media Publisher









http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5177/5579193345_217308ab32_z.jpg

[slickr-flickr tag="Best of the Best 2011" items="106" type="galleria" use_key="y"]

2010 Best of the Best Awards

2011 Best of the Best Winners

On March 31st, the 2011 Best of the Best Awards reception and dinner was held at Camelback Inn where Ranking Arizona recognized the companies that Arizona’s public ranked as their favorites to do business with.

During this special night of networking and celebrations, Ranking Arizona presented awards to its 2010 B.O.B. winners, 2010 and 2011 Platinum Hall of Fame honorees and the 2011 B.O.B. winners.

View photos of the event on Flickr.


Video by Nick Cervi

Congratulations to the 2011 Best of the Best Winners!

Advertising, Marketing & Media

Winner
KPNX-TV Channel 12

Finalists
News Talk 92.3 KTAR

The Lavidge Company

Business Services

Winner
Wist Office Products

Finalists
O’Neil Printing
Jani-King Southwest

Entertainment

Winner
Donovan’s Steak & Chop House

Finalists
T. Cook’s at Royal Palms
Vincent’s on Camelback

Finance & Professional

Winner
National Bank of Arizona

Finalists
Arizona State Credit Union

Farmers Insurance Co.

Health Care

Winner
St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center

Finalists
Chandler Regional Medical Center
Delta Dental of Arizona

Manufacturing & Technology

Winner
The Go Daddy Group Inc.

Finalists
Ping
The Boeing Company

Real Estate Commercial

Winner
CB Richard Ellis

Finalists
Ryan Companies US Inc.
Adolfson & Peterson Construction

Real Estate Residential

Winner
Rossmar & Graham

Finalists
Fireside at Norterra by Del Webb
Legacy Design Build Remodeling

Retail

Winner
Scottsdale Fashion Square

Finalists
Molina Fine Jewelers
Camelback VOLKSWAGEN Subaru Mazda

Tourism

Winner
Phoenix Convention Center

Finalists
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

2009 Best of the Best Winners


Best of the Best Awards 2011, AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011

Best of the Best Awards 2011: Finance & Professional

Winner: National Bank of Arizona

National Bank of Arizona, AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011 Opening its doors on Nov. 26, 1984, National Bank of Arizona was founded on a mission of building local relationships and providing exceptional customer service. More than 25 years later, its approach hasn’t changed. NB|AZ still prides itself on local expertise and delivering award-winning service. It’s grown from a single branch in Tucson to more than 76 branches in 56 communities throughout the state. Part of the Zions Bancorporation family, NB|AZ provides a suite of products and services tailored for its clients’ personal lives, businesses, specialty markets and wealth management. This comprehensive approach to banking enables National Bank of Arizona to be the only bank you need. Member FDIC.
Year Est: 1984
Principal(s): John J. Gisi, Keith D. Maio
Assets: $4.8B
National Bank of Arizona Logo, AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011 6001 N. 24th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85016
602-235-6000 www.nbarizona.com



Finalist: Arizona State Credit Union

Arizona State Credit Union, AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011 Since 1951, Arizona State Credit Union has provided financial services and support to communities across Arizona. The $1.3 billion not-for-profit financial cooperative provides a full range of services to more than 130,000 current members online and through 21 branches statewide. Arizona State Credit Union offers competitive auto and home loan rates, high-yield savings accounts, affordable checking accounts, convenient online access and more. Local businesses have a wide variety of loan opportunities, working capital lines of credit and premium business checking accounts without premium fees. Arizona State Credit Union is headquartered in Phoenix.
Year Est: 1951
Principal(s): David E. Doss
Assets: $1.3B
Arizona State Credit Union Logo, AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011, Finance & Professional 2355 W. Pinnacle Peak Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85027
800-671-1098
www.azstcu.org



Finalist: Farmers Insurance Co.

Farmers Insurance, AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011 Farmers Insurance attributes its success to its outstanding agency force and top-notch claims team. With more than 700 agents and 600 employees in the state, Farmers is an organization that believes in the future of Arizona. Farmers agents are available to provide sound personal advice to meet the individual client’s needs for auto, homeowners, life, financial services and business insurance. Farmers agents are leaders in their communities, investing in program development for local teachers and supporting family friendly initiatives. Farmers is the second-largest insurance provider in Arizona, protecting the autos, homes, businesses and lives of over 500,000 Arizona customers.
Year Est: 1928
AZ Agents: 700
Principal(s): Frank Soldano
Farmers Insurance Logo, AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011 18444 N. 25th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85023
602-588-3443
www.farmersinsurance.com


Arizona Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011

The annual Taste of Biltmore - Seasons 52 had just the right treat. A unique twist on traditional desserts, the restaurant was offering little shot glasses filled with sweet treats such as old-fashioned carrot cake and rocky road.

Plenty Of Food And Fun At The Taste Of Biltmore Culinary Event

At the annual Taste of Biltmore held Oct. 7th 2010 on the front lawn of the National Bank of Arizona headquarters in Phoenix, guests gathered to sample cuisine from 14 premier Biltmore-area restaurants.

Created in 2007, the 4th annual block party brought together residents to try local food favorites while enjoying the sounds of jazz vocalist Laura Fial & Friends. There was plenty of food and fun to go around with dishes ranging from some old school favorites: grilled cheese and tomato soup from Frank & Albert’s to refreshing yogurt desserts courtesy of Mojo Yogurt. With such an eclectic mix there was truly something for everyone.

Other notable dishes included the smoked salmon on crispy bruschetta from Houston’s; shrimp ceviche over cucumber panna cotta from the Wrigley Mansion; and the delicious seared black Ahi tuna on a bed of wakame salad and fried wonton with wasabi cream sauce from McCormick & Schmicks. The tasty combinations were endless.

For those with a sweet tooth but trying to curb their calorie intake, Seasons 52 had just the right treat. A unique twist on traditional desserts, the restaurant was offering little shot glasses filled with sweet treats such as old-fashioned carrot cake and rocky road. The catch? It’s all under 475 calories, as is everything that is served in this restaurant. Definitely worth checking out for the health-conscious foodie. All the mini-dishes presented by the restaurant were palate-pleasing and allowed guests to sample just enough to leave them wanting more.

Featured restaurants included Aiello’s, Donovan’s Steakhouse, Hava Java, Houston’s, McCormick & Schmicks, Omaha Steakhouse, Ruth’s Chris, Mojo Yogurt, Seasons 52, Frank & Albert’s, The  Wrigley Mansion, Bluewater Grill, The Melting Pot and Adobe Restaurant.

The intimate event also served as the debut for We Are The Valley, a joint-fundraising program benefitting 11 local charities. Attendees had the opportunity to purchase special edition GivingBands, featuring the logo of a participating charity, made from recycled pewter and assembled by Arizona residents with disabilities.

The evening was a great success, promoting the delicious cuisine local restaurants have to offer and supporting a great cause.

Most Admired Companies - AZ Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

2010 Most Admired Companies Award Winners

Arizona Business Magazine and BestCompaniesAZ are honored to unveil the winners of our inaugural Arizona’s Most Admired Companies Awards.

With 43 winners, we think you’ll agree the awards selection committee has done an outstanding job in determining some of the most admired companies in our state.  Our primary goal in developing this program was to find those organizations that excel in four key areas: workplace culture, leadership excellence, social responsibility and customer opinion.  This list features the most prestigious companies in our state, providing us the opportunity to learn from the best.

Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Year Est.: 1991
No. of Employees in AZ: 69
Recent Award: AIA Kemper Goodwin Award – 2009
WEB: www.a-p.com

AlliedBarton Security Services
Headquarters: Conshohocken, Penn.
Year Est.: 1957
No. of Employees in AZ: 1,047
Recent Award: Brandon Hall Research Award for Best Integration of Learning and Talent Management – 2009
WEB: www.alliedbarton.com
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American Express
Headquarters: New York
Year Est.: 1850
No. of Employees in AZ: 7,219
Recent Award: Fortune Magazine’s Most Admired Companies – 2010
WEB: www.americanexpress.com
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Arizona Charter Academy
Headquarters: Surprise
Year Est.: 2001
No. of Employees in AZ: 61
Recent Award: Elks Lodge Community Partner of the Year – 2010
WEB: www.azcharteracademy.com
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Banner Health
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year Est.: 1999
No. of Employees in AZ: 27,528
Recent Award: Gallup Great Workplace Award – 2009
WEB: www.bannerhealth.com
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BeachFleischman PC
Headquarters: Tucson
Year Est.: 1991
No. of Employees in AZ: 104
Recent Award: Accounting Today’s Best Accounting Firms to Work For – 2009
WEB: www.beachfleischman.com

To buy a print version of the 2010 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies
go to MagCloud.com

Arizona's Most Admired Companies November-December 2010

2010 Best of the Best Awards

2010 BOB Awards: Finance & Professional

The following companies won the Gold, Silver and Bronze rankings in the Finance & Professional category of the 2010 BOB Awards.

2010 Best Of The Best Awards: Finance & Professional


2010 Best of the Best AwardsNational Bank of Arizona
Banks: $1B or more in AZ assets

Year Est.: 1984
Branches: 79
Principal(s): John J. Gisi, Keith D. Maio
Assets: $4.8B
nbarizona.com

2010 BOB AwardsWith 25 years of strength, stability and profitability, National Bank of Arizona is one of the state’s premier financial institutions. Since its inception, National Bank of Arizona has been there for its customers, continually searching for new ways to help them meet their financial goals. As a community focused and locally managed bank, we deliver industry-leading product solutions, award-winning service and innovative technology. Through our team of more than 1,100 employees, National Bank of Arizona reaches 55 diverse communities throughout Arizona.


2010 Best of the Best AwardsDeloitte & Touche LLP

Account Firms: 26 CPAs or more

2010 BOB Awards

Year Est.: 1961
CPAs: 88
Managing Partners: Michelle Kerrick
deloitte.com/us

2010 BOB AwardsSnell & Wilmer L.L.P

Law Firms: 65 Attorneys or more

2010 BOB AwardsYear Est.: 1938
AZ Attorneys: 223
Principal(s): John J. Bouma
swlaw.com

2010 Best of the Best Hall of Fame

 

National Bank of Arizona - Best of the Best Awards 2009 presented by Ranking Arizona

Best of the Best Awards 2009: Finance & Professional

Finance & Professional Honoree: Banks: $900M or more in AZ assets

National Bank of Arizona

National Bank of Arizona - Best of the Best Awards 2009 presented by Ranking Arizona

Photograph by Duane Darling

With 25 years of strength, stability and profitability, National Bank of Arizona is one of the state’s premier financial institutions. Since its inception, National Bank of Arizona has been there for its customers, continually searching for new ways to help Arizonans meet their financial goals. As a community focused and locally managed bank with the resources of a major financial institution, we deliver industry-leading product solutions, award-winning service and innovative technology. Through our team of more than 1,100 employees, National Bank of Arizona reaches 55 diverse communities throughout Arizona. With this staff of experienced local bankers, we are able to respond to the needs of our customers with flexibility and custom solutions.

The effort, commitment and passion put forth by our bankers to deliver the very best customer service adds new honors to a bank that has been achieving firsts and bests since 1984.

6001 N. 24th St., Phoenix
602-235-6000
www.nbarizona.com

Year Est: 1984 Branches: 76
Principal(s): John J. Gisi,
Keith D. Maio
Assets: $4.8B


Finance & Professional Finalist: Accounting Firms: 26 CPAs or more

Deloitte & Touche LLP

Deloitte & Touche LLP’s goal today remains the same as it was since it began serving Arizona businesses more than 45 years ago. Deloitte & Touche is dedicated to helping its clients and people excel. Deloitte’s growing and thriving practice — the largest in the state — is the only company that provides Arizona businesses with a comprehensive range of professional services, including assurance, tax, enterprise risk management, management and information systems consulting, financial advisory services, employee benefits and human capital. Deloitte & Touche strives for the highest levels of integrity and public trust, every day, for every client.

2901 N. Central Ave., #1200, Phoenix
602-234-5100
www.deloitte.com/us


Finance & Professional Finalist: Law Firms: 65 Attorneys or more

Greenberg Traurig LLP

Greenberg Traurig offers an international platform built to meet the legal needs of today’s businesses. With 1,800 attorneys and governmental affairs professionals in 30 offices, our combination of wide-ranging experience and onthe- ground resources enables us to provide local insights and legal services in markets across the U.S. and around the world. Our Phoenix attorneys offer clients decades of local experience, complemented by the global reach of the GT network. GT helps clients take on the legal challenges they face today — and prepare for those they may face tomorrow.

2375 E. Camelback Road, #700, Phoenix
602-445-8000
www.gtlaw.com


Best of the Best Awards 2009 presented by Ranking Arizona