Category Archives: Clients

J&M Corporation – Part of our 20-Year History

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This year marks Bank of Tucson’s 20th anniversary. We cannot express enough our gratitude to all of our wonderful clients and staff who have helped Bank of Tucson thrive. We’re proud of how many of our staffers have been with our bank for a long time, but we’d like to give special recognition to the five people who have been with Bank of Tucson since the doors opened. They are: Pat Taylor, Cathy Friggle, Debbie Samaniego and Mike Hannley.

As one of Tucson’s oldest community banks, Bank of Tucson draws upon deep roots in the region, to serve a wide range of small- to mid-sized, owner-operated business clients. To celebrate our anniversary, we’d like to tell you more about one client that has been with us for all of the 20 years we’ve been in business: J&M Corporation.screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

In 1978, the number one provider of Bluetooth® motorcycle headsets in the world today got off to a roaring start. It began on the road, when motorcycle enthusiasts and then-spouses John Lazzeroni and Melinda Carevich wanted to communicate with each other while riding. They realized their vision and co-founded J&M Corporation, a company devoted to developing, manufacturing and marketing the finest quality motorcycle audio products. In 1985, before Bank of Tucson was founded, John and Melinda began banking with now-retired Chief Credit Officer David Foust, and President Mike Hannley.  They were among our very first customers when we opened our doors in 1996, and they haven’t missed a beat.

In order to stay on the cutting edge of innovation when it comes to market research and product development, John and Melinda needed to purchase and work with the latest motorcycles and equipment. Initially, Mike helped them secure a line of credit for this purpose, while also taking the time to talk with John and Melinda to learn about their business and goals. This created the foundation of a banking relationship that has stood the test of time.

Over the years, Bank of Tucson has provided J&M with much more than credit. Mike and Senior Vice President Pat Taylor have also served as personal points of contact for many of J&M’s banking needs. It’s an advisory relationship characterized by mutual understanding and trust that is more like a partnership. Every year, J&M’s customers expect them to provide new products that offer the latest innovation, and Bank of Tucson has been able to assist John and Melinda with the financing services to make this happen. The Bank of Tucson team has also provided J&M with financing for the purchase of their office and manufacturing facility in Tucson, along with the branded semi truck they use to transport their products to riding rallies and prominent industry trade shows in Florida, Nevada and South Dakota.

As J&M has grown, Pat and Mike have been on hand every step of the way, providing overall banking advice, referrals to trusted professionals and financial insights to help John and Melinda grow their business and achieve their long-term goals. Today, J&M helmet headsets are known all over the world for their unsurpassed performance, innovative features and legendary durability. The company has evolved its offerings from the original two-way radios to helmet headsets, Bluetooth helmet headsets, HJC and Nolan helmets with headsets custom installed, ROKKER series speakers and amplifiers for Harley Baggers, Bluetooth cell phone integration, and a range of accessories. J&M products are compatible with a wide variety of leading motorcycle brands, and are distributed by an extensive network of authorized dealers across the United States and internationally. John and Melinda continue to operate in Tucson, where the year-round mild climate and community ties to the Bank of Tucson enable them to test and innovate their products on the road.

“I can tell you without hesitation that J&M Corporation would not be here today, without the help of the Bank of Tucson,” said John. “When the economic crisis came upon us all in late 2008, the Bank of Tucson stayed with us and helped us navigate thru the many financial challenges of that period. To this day, their caring and personalized service is what separates them from all other banks.”

Our bank is an integral presence in Tucson, and we are proud of the continued growth that we enjoy here, based upon forming mutually rewarding, long-term partnerships with our clients. Here’s to the next 20 years!

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Bank of Tucson Provides Construction Loans for Downtown Tucson Hotel

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If you’ve driven through downtown Tucson lately, specifically around the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, you’ve probably seen a large hotel property under construction. It’s going to be a beautiful 136-room AC Hotels by Marriott with 5,000-square feet of ground floor retail space.

We’re excited about this project. Not only because it promises to be a tremendous asset to downtown Tucson, but also because we were able to help make it happen.

Kevin Henry, a senior vice president at our bank, has known and worked with the project’s co-developer, Scott Stiteler, for many years. If you think you recognize Scott’s name, it’s because he’s redeveloped a significant portion of downtown Tucson, including restaurants, apartments, creative office space and retail projects. Some of his notable projects include the One North Fifth Apartments, HUB Restaurant & Creamery, Connect Coworking at The Rialto Theatre and Pizzaria Bianco.

For this AC Hotels by Marriott project, Scott teamed up with developer Rudy Dabdoub from Nogales. Rudy and his family own and operate six flagged hotels in Arizona and Northern Mexico. They have also developed three million-square-feet of industrial warehouse space, as well as commercial shopping plazas, residential communities and office projects.

img_1910This dynamic duo and their hotel development site attracted the attention of AC Hotels by Marriott, a hotel chain in the Marriott family that focuses on contemporary urban design with state-of-the-art technology and European flair. AC Hotels by Marriott hotels have an outdoor swimming pool and deck, fitness center, business center, lounge, bar, breakfast area, poolside bar, 1,500-square feet of meeting space, free WiFi and guest laundry facilities.

Scott and Kevin started talking in May 2014 about a construction loan for the project. Kevin recruited our bank’s chief credit officers, Mark Phillips and David Ross, and they all met to see the site and discuss the project.

Ultimately, with help from Karen McGuire, manager of our construction lending department, we were able to provide the entire construction loan for this project. We also stepped in to provide a bridge loan when Scott and Rudy needed to acquire an adjacent property and demolish a structure in order to have additional property needed for the hotel construction. Uncovering an underground storage container required some unexpected remediation work, but the team forged ahead and we secured the loans Scott and Rudy needed.

With construction progressing well, Tucson will soon have a high-quality AC Hotels by Marriott hotel in close proximity to the Congress entertainment district, the recently-completed Sun Link public transportation system, the Tucson Convention Center and The University of Arizona.

We can’t wait for the grand opening!

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The Regency Senior Club: Tucson Seniors Can Soon Access a Vibrant Social Gathering Place

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Some of you may have seen our wonderful client, The Regency Senior Club,↗ profiled↗ in the Arizona Daily Star several months back. We’re proud to be providing the financing for the club’s new adult day healthcare center, currently under construction at Campbell Plaza, on the site of a former preschool.

Currently, only three centers offer care for seniors by the hour or by the day, leaving the market substantially underserved. The Regency Senior Club is well positioned to become the crown jewel of all such centers.

Regency is geared toward seniors who need individualized care. Clients will range from age 60 and up with dementia or other health issues.

The option to customize the amount of time a client spends at Regency is tremendously valuable to the seniors and their caregivers. Patrons can buy a membership or pay hourly, though members will have priority. Catered meals will be available, as will pampering, hygiene and some medical services.

The Regency Senior Club is the brainchild of Elaine Wozniak, a board-certified geriatric nurse practitioner who has had a house calls practice for 10 years and has worked in geriatrics for 20 years. She has also served as an associate professor at the University of Arizona’s College of Nursing. She first conceived of The Regency Senior Club when she visited her father at a similar facility in New Jersey.

“Besides having dementia, my father is remarkably healthy,” said Elaine, noting that he has no reason to give up an active lifestyle. “He’s a widower, and when he started going to his local adult daycare center, I saw an immediate and positive difference in his health.”

Citing research that has proven that certain activities can slow the progress of dementia, Elaine says activities at The Regency Senior Club will vary from games to arts and crafts to outings and even fine dining experiences (she has contracted with a caterer).

“Our clients who spend a full day with us will be treated to full, three-course plated meals with fine china and linens,” she explained. She also plans to encourage clients to change up their seat from meal to meal so that they’re sure to socialize with a range of different people.

She will stay abreast of the latest technology available to enhance the Regency Senior Club experience. Immediately upon opening, clients will have access to Beam,↗ a computer program installed in the ceiling that projects visual and mental games onto the floor or a table. Widely used in applications for children, Beam is treating The Regency Senior Club as a “beta site” to demonstrate its application for seniors as well. Attendees at The Regency Senior Club’s grand opening on August 1 will have a chance to try it out, too.

Full-time care for seniors will run $13.50 per hour and include a gourmet meal. For those attending five hours or less, the cost is $85 per day.

Elaine plans to provide support for caregivers too. “Caregiver burnout is huge,” she said, adding that she’s planning a caregiver support group led by herself and a social worker as well as outings and luncheons just for caregivers.

To house all of these wonderful activities, Elaine secured a 6,000-square-foot former daycare facility for The Regency Senior Club that is entirely fenced and secure. She is taking the interior down to the studs to reinvent the space. The Club will have seven activity rooms and a dedicated dining room. Seniors who are cognitively impaired will occupy separate areas of the club from seniors who are not.

We’re honored at Bank of Tucson to have provided the loan for the building renovation.

“Thank goodness for Bank of Tucson, because no one else wanted to fund a small business like mine,” Elaine said. “My first meeting with Mike Hannley lasted for two-and-a-half hours. When I left his office, he was a believer who recognized the enormous need for a club like mine. He’s been a strong financial and business supporter ever since and even started mentoring me.”

In addition to the activities and dining, seniors at The Regency Senior Club will also have access to a physical therapist assistant, and Elaine hopes to bring on a physical therapist soon. “I’ve had the great fortune of hand-picking my staff,” said Elaine. “The combination of the exposure The Regency Senior Club has had thus far, my longevity in the field of geriatric care and the regular business hours we’ll offer have allowed me to pick the cream of the crop for my staff.”

“We can’t wait for Elaine’s grand opening,” said Mike Hannley, president of Bank of Tucson. “Tucson is blessed to have a vibrant senior community, and we expect that The Regency Senior Club will provide a rich social experience for many of its members, as well as an invaluable resource for many caregivers.”

For Elaine, her journey toward opening The Regency Senior Club isn’t a job, it’s a passion fueled by her longtime affinity for working with seniors. It is also fueled by having seen how underserved seniors can be affected.

“People are living behind closed doors,” said Elaine. “We need to respect the elderly again; to give them something to look forward to.”

She likes to reference a quote she once saw: ‘broken crayons still color.’ We know that Elaine is the perfect person to release the rainbow that awaits clients of The Regency Senior Club. Keep your ears open for her grand opening and follow the club on Facebook↗ or Elaine on LinkedIn.↗

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DeMont Family Swim School

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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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Bank of Tucson Provides Financing for Hacienda Del Sol Expansion

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When Mike Hannley, President of Bank of Tucson, saw an opportunity to provide financing for the expansion of the historic Hacienda del Sol, he did not hesitate. “Playing a part in Tucson’s history as a community bank is rewarding in itself, but when you can be a part of the Murphy Family legacy and the rebirth of this resort, it was an extraordinary opportunity for Bank of Tucson.”

Most recently, the owners of Hacienda del Sol expanded the historic jewel to include 32 additional guest rooms, a second pool, a new parking lot and entrance, as well as the soon-to-open Terraza Garden Patio and Lounge casual dining venue. Bank of Tucson is proud to provide financing to support this expansion.

While many Tucsonians know Hacienda del Sol↗ as a beautiful, iconic resort property, it actually started as a “home away from home” ranch school for girls, which opened in 1929. The school was started by John and Helen Murphey, and it attracted girls from some of our country’s most prestigious families, including Vanderbilt, Pillsbury and Westinghouse, among others.

Not long after the property was converted to a guest ranch in 1948, Silver Screen stars starting flocking there. Notables like Clark Gable and John Wayne surely gave the resort an added panache, and legend has it that Hacienda’s Casita Grande was the favorite hideaway of Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn.

The property has been renovated over time, but maintained its beauty, charm and historical roots while still offering ample amenities for guests. Hacienda del Sol is included in the National Registry of Historic Places in Arizona and is a member of Historic Hotels of America.

Hacienda del Sol is also notable for its gorgeous on-property gardens. Scattered across the resort’s 34-acres, Hacienda’s multiple gardens range in variety from native and international arid plants to herbs, vegetables, fruits and flowers.

Hacienda Del Sol will celebrate various project completions between now and the end of this summer. We’d like to share our congratulations with everyone who is helping to complete this wonderful project. May Hacienda Del Sol continue to be part of the historic fabric of Tucson for many decades to come.

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