Monthly Archives: May 2015
One of the wonderful things about being part of a community bank is that we get to enjoy the personal gratification of helping small- and mid-sized businesses thrive. The relationship our president, Mike Hannley, has developed with DeMont Family Swim School is a perfect example.
The DeMont Family Swim School is Tucson’s premier indoor swimming facility, offering weekly, year-round, half-hour swim lessons for students aged six months and up. It was founded by Carrie DeMont and her husband, Rick DeMont, who is the University of Arizona swim coach and former World Champion Olympic swimmer. They share a philosophy that aquatic safety and skills are invaluable life lessons for everyone. The DeMont Family Swim School’s welcoming family atmosphere includes two heated indoor pools, state-of-the-art UV pool sanitation technology, fresh air ventilation systems and more. Students can expect to receive quality year-round instruction and achieve measurable results in a fun and developmentally appropriate learning environment.
When Carrie DeMont started developing her business plan for the DeMont Family Swim School back in 2003, she had decades of experience working with children. In 2006, Bank of Tucson agreed to provide a business loan for the swim school, which opened its doors in 2009. When Carrie’s friend and business partner left Tucson in 2010, she was faced with managing the business on her own, and so she sought advice on how to avoid some of the common pitfalls that business owners face when launching a new venture.
Carrie’s relationship with Bank of Tucson was further strengthened in 2010, when Mike worked with her to secure financing for an SBA loan. He was impressed by Carrie’s vision and commitment and offered to serve as a business mentor for her. For the past several years, they have met on a quarterly basis to discuss Carrie’s business-related concerns. Mike has helped her address such issues as when to expand, and he has provided her the guidance to grow the DeMont Family Swim School at a pace that is sustainable both for the business and for Carrie’s evolving management capacity.
This partnership has been beneficial to both parties. Mike has found it especially rewarding to watch as Carrie’s business has grown into an enormously successful swim school. Today the DeMont Family Swim School has 40 employees, and teaches 1,400 children a week in the greater Tucson community how to enjoy time in the water safely.
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