WaFd Bank Arizona announced the opening of its first-ever Southern Arizona Commercial Banking Center, located in Greater Tucson at 8001 N. Oracle Road, Suite 151, in Oro Valley. The 2,400-square-foot office, which is in addition to WaFd Bank’s eight branch locations across Pima County and over a dozen branches within the southern Arizona territory, will serve as the regional headquarters for the bank’s recently launched Southern Arizona Business Banking Initiative as well as for all Southern Arizona business and commercial banking executives, including Kim Dees, senior vice president and southern Arizona division manager; Jill Malick and Steve Ponzo, both vice presidents and senior relationship managers for southern Arizona commercial banking; Georgia Velarde, a senior commercial loan officer who has been with the bank since 1976; and Wayne Chandler, a veteran community banker. The goal of the center is to increase lending across Southern Arizona and support economic development in the region. 

“We are 10th best capitalized bank of the 100 largest in the country and recently named among the top 25 banks in the county by Forbes Magazine,” says Mike Brown, WaFd Bank Arizona president. “WaFd Bank has been around for 103 years, and longevity like that doesn’t just happen by accident. We are big enough to matter, yet small enough to care. We are nimble. We are strong. We are poised for growth.  And we are poised to help southern Arizona businesses grow in this new decade.” 

The WaFd Bank Southern Arizona Commercial Center offers:

• Business Lines of Credit

• Business Term Loans

• Commercial Real Estate

• Acquisition Financing

• Treasury Management 

“Of particular note is our new Treasury Management Platform – called Treasury Prime – which we launched last year,” says Brown.  “An enhanced service to commercial customers, Treasury Prime is a new online banking platform. It includes a user-friendly dashboard summarizing the client’s activity and account relationship as well as additional features and tools to enhance the online banking experience such as real-time integration with all accounts; secure messaging; secure file transmission portal; report customization and delivery tools; and the ability to approve and release ACH and wire payments from a mobile device.” 

The concept of a hyper-local Business Banking Initiative was first launched in Phoenix in 2015. Successful projects as a result included:

$13 million in financing to a technology focused university, which allowed them to expand their campus and build dormitories on-site

$10 million in financing a family of local farms to help them finance reginal operations

$9 million in financing to a national staffing company that allowed them to assist with medical staffing needs across several states 

“When we looked at how to best support economic development in southern Arizona, it quickly became clear to us we wanted the effort to be a wholly local one, which meant making an investment in Pima County and with Pima County banking specialists directly,” says Brown, noting the Southern Arizona team will still provide the exceptional level of service and support from its local branches as well. 

The center formally opened its doors on Feb. 12 with a community-wide celebration and ribbon-cutting attended by both the Tucson and Oro Valley mayors, both chambers of commerce and business leaders from across the region.