Brad Kirk joins Grandpoint Bank’s Specialty Deposits group

Brad Kirk GrandpointWe’re happy to welcome Brad Kirk to our Specialty Deposits group as Vice President/Relationship Manager. Brad will work from our Orange office and will be responsible for cultivating and maintaining specialty deposit client relationships. He will focus primarily on clients within the title insurance, independent escrow and property management industries.

Brad has extensive work experience with specialty deposit clients, which are those clients who act in a fiduciary capacity, holding funds for a period but not owning those funds. As a result, they have complex cash management requirements.

“Specialty deposit clients rely upon some of our more sophisticated treasury products like automated clearing house (ACH) bank transfer network, mobile banking, fraud prevention and wire transfers,” said Brad. “I’ve been working with title insurance firms since 2001, so I’m very familiar with the business and banking needs of these and similar firms.”

Brad previously worked in a similar capacity for City National Bank in Irvine, California and for MUFG Union Bank, also in Irvine, before that. He also worked as a Major Account Executive for Ellie Mae, a provider of enterprise level, on-demand, automated solutions for the residential mortgage industry.

“I’m looking forward to working with Brad to continue developing Grandpoint’s specialty deposits business,” said Scott Armstrong, Senior Vice President and Specialty Deposits Manager for Grandpoint Bank. “Brad is very involved with the industries he serves, and has a deep network of contacts in the title, escrow and property management industries.”

Brad is a member of Orange County Escrow Association, Los Angeles Escrow Association, Escrow Associates of San Gabriel Valley, California Land Title Association, American Land Title Association and California Escrow Association. He is also a member of Escrow Institute of California and serves on its event planning committee.

With over 700 independent escrow companies in California, primarily in Southern California, Brad has his work cut out for him. After 17 years working with this industry, however, he has the tools to succeed.

“One of the reasons I look forward to my work is that the people in the industries I work with are wonderful,” said Brad. “It can be tough to convince a company to move its deposits, but it all comes down to relationships. The people I interact with through industry events and meetings know I understand their business.”

Outside of work, you might spot Brad on the baseball field. He coaches Little League and serves on the Little League board as a Commissioner of a AA division. His motivation to coach comes partly from his kids. One of his sons plays Little League, while the other prefers flag football.

Brad also supports kids in our community through Keegan’s Kids, a charitable organization focused on pediatric melanoma. He’s helped the organization fundraise, market its message and generate ideas for how to fight melanoma.

Brad is the kind of consummate professional and community advocate we look for when we grow our team. If your business needs specialty deposit services, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Brad.



Grandpoint Bank’s Can-Do Approach to Construction Lending

El Segundo, California is on its way to having a beautiful new AC Marriott, and we’re very excited to be a part of it. Grandpoint Bank funded the construction loan for this beautiful, $33 million, 180-room project, which will have added bragging rights of providing El Segundo with its first rooftop entertainment space.

Earlier this month, we participated in the groundbreaking of the new hotel, now under construction at 2130 East Maple Avenue on a site adjacent to the L.A. Lakers’ training facility.


L to R: Amar Shokeen, Owner; Arjun Shokeen, Operations Manager; Rocky Laverty, President of Grandpoint Bank; John Nixon, Executive Vice President of Grandpoint Bank; Mo Helmy, Senior Vice President of Grandpoint Bank.

Welcome El Segundo, the force behind creating this AC Marriott hotel, is owned by Amar and Rita Shokeen. Their son, Arjun, serves as Operations Manager for their hospitality business. This dynamic family owns seven other hotel properties across the country and has the hospitality know-how to make this complex project happen.

One of the first hurdles the Shokeens faced with their development was the scarcity of parking in the area surrounding the hotel. To address the parking challenge, the City of El Segundo required that Welcome El Segundo first build a parking garage for the hotel that would also be available to the occupants of two nearby office buildings, a toy company and a business park.

Since Welcome El Segundo used cash for the parking structure development, we were able to obtain assignment rights and collateralize the parking lot for the hotel construction loan, and in doing so, helping Welcome El Segundo’s equity position and securing the loan.

Ahmad Shafique from Advantage CDC in Long Beach first connected us with the Shokeens. Through our outreach to many different economic development agencies, Ahmad knew about our lending capacity and community focus and hoped we could help. We hadn’t worked with the Shokeens before, but we were impressed by their financial and operational strength, so we moved forward with the construction loan process.

With help from our Senior Vice President Mo Helmy, Executive Vice President and Manager of our construction lending department Karen McGuire, Regional President John Nixon and President Rocky Laverty, we got the construction loan funded. The Shokeens quickly put R. D. Olson Construction to work building the hotel. Completion is expected for early summer of 2019.


Our sign posted at the construction site is generating a lot of interest from other business people who are building the places where we work, live, vacation and play. We are proud to provide services to entrepreneurs like the Shokeens and many more.

Please contact us if you have a business or project that needs a bank with a can-do attitude.



2018 Economic Forecast from Beacon Economics

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 2.24.22 PMRecently, our Los Angeles and South Bay offices hosted an annual economic forecast featuring guest speaker Dr. Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics.  He shared his 2018 economic forecast with more than 100 of our clients and guests, taking a look back at past trends and addressing the outlook for the global, national and California economic markets.

To review Beacon Economics’ assessment of the economic impacts of the first year of President Trump’s administration, the strong points and challenges of our current economy, useful employment and housing information and much more, you can browse Dr. Thornberg’s presentation  here:

Dr. Thornberg is widely considered to be one of the nation’s leading economists. An expert in economic forecasting, regional economics, labor markets, economic policy and real estate analysis, he was one of the earliest and most adamant predictors of the subprime mortgage market crash that began in 2007. Prior to launching Beacon Economics, Dr. Thornberg was a senior economist with UCLA’s Anderson Forecast and currently serves as Director of UC Riverside Center for Forecasting and Development.


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Corbin Dangerfield Joins Government Guaranteed Lending Department at Grandpoint Bank

corbinWe’re happy to announce that Corbin Dangerfield has joined Grandpoint Bank’s Government Guaranteed Lending Department as a business development officer. Corbin will be responsible for marketing and originating government guaranteed loan products for Grandpoint Bank.

Grandpoint offers a variety of government guaranteed loan products that provide alternatives if a traditional credit product is not well suited for a small or medium-sized business. These include loans through the SBA, USDA and Export-Import Bank of the U.S. These government-backed loans require less cash investment up front and offer longer loan terms than conventional loans.

“Government guaranteed loans can help bridge the gap for businesses that otherwise would not have access to capital,” said Leticia Scearce, Senior Vice President/Government Guaranteed Lending Manager. “Corbin has specific expertise in this type of lending, and we’re happy to have him join our team of professionals.”

Corbin served in the same capacity previously for Meadows Bank in Las Vegas. His experience also includes serving as a vice president and business development officer at Lehman Brothers and as a commercial real estate broker at NAI Commercial Real Estate.

“Many SBA loans are made in support of real estate investments,” said Corbin. “My experience as a real estate broker combined with my expertise in banking and finance is especially helpful to my clients, regardless of the type of government guaranteed loan that suits them best. In my new position, I’m excited to offer clients the full resources and capabilities of Grandpoint’s government guaranteed lending team.”

Another reason Corbin wanted to join Grandpoint’s SBA/Government Guaranteed Lending Department was to be part of a team that can fund qualifying loan applications at the pace business moves.

“I also appreciate that our team understands larger, more complex deals, and that we are able to offer the whole array of Government Guaranteed Lending programs, not just the 7a and 504 loans.”

When he’s not working, Corbin enjoys outdoor recreational activities, especially when it’s with his kids.

We’re glad to have him on board, and we hope Corbin may be of service to your business if you’re considering a government guaranteed loan.



A Brighter Holiday for Local Children

We’ve partnered up with two of our favorite nonprofit organizations again this year to raise some holiday cheer. Our Fairfax and Encino branches have had bins in their lobbies for our staff and clients to donate unwrapped toys and books for Child Care Resource Center (CCRC). We’ve already had to schedule three pickups to empty our bins!

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CCRC has a goal of passing out 10,000 books and toys to children 0 to 13 years old living below the federal poverty level in the area CCRC services. According to the nonprofit organization, “only one book is available to every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods.”

In Orange County, our office is once again partnering with Concept 7, a foster and adoption agency in Los Angeles providing a continuum of family-centered treatment and support-related programs, serving the needs of abused and neglected youth. Each year, the Grandpoint team fulfills holiday wishes of many Concept 7 foster children, who range in age from infants to teens.

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The Concept 7 staff provides us with a detailed account of several gift ideas for each child in need, accompanied by their favorite stores and colors, as well as their clothing and shoe sizes so that donors can select the perfect gift to light up their holiday.

Both CCRC and Concept 7 make an important difference in the lives of children in need, and they welcome additional help from the public. Tax-deductible donations are the lifeblood or nonprofits like these. At CCRC, for example, donations dollars can stretch to purchase a book for five dollars or four toys for $20. With over 330,000 children in CCRC’s service area currently living below the federal poverty level, the need is great.

The gifts children receive through these organizations may be the only presents some receive this holiday season. Please consider helping us create a special holiday season for the kids of CCRC and Concept 7.

For more information about CCRC or to make a donation, call 1-866-67-4KIDS or email communications(at)

For more information about Concept 7, call (323) 838-9566 or visit


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Patricia Parc: Financing an exciting new rental community

Simi Valley is on track to get 65 much-needed, new rental units, and we’re part of the team making it happen.

Chris Itule, principal of Itule Real Estate Group partnered with Norman Doerges and Randall Gustafson of Aurora Development Company and long-time Grandpoint Bank clients Adrian Stern and Larry Clumeck of Clumeck Stern Schenkelberg & Getzoff, to form 1196 Patricia Avenue Association.

Having earned approval to develop the property, the development team held a groundbreaking ceremony on November 1, where representatives from our bank were on hand to lend support and help celebrate this exciting milestone.

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(l to r) Larry Clumeck, Randy Gustafson, Simi Valley Mayor Bob Huber, Chris Itule and Adrian Stern

With help from our Construction Lending division, bankers in our Encino office were able to provide the construction loan for the project, known as Patricia Parc. The 24-month, interest only loan with a six-month extension option gives the developers time to complete the project before converting to a permanent phase at completion.

“It’s really exciting to work with developers from vision to finished product, literally seeing your work take form,” said Arlet Hur, Senior Vice President at Grandpoint Bank. “This development team really seems to know its target customer and understand the critical need for rental housing in Simi Valley.”

With Simi Valley’s median home prices ranging upwards of $600,000, many people, especially Millennials, face significant financial hurdles to home ownership. High quality rental properties are in great demand.

The three-story Patricia Parc community will offer one- and two-bedroom units and many amenities popular with Millennials. Those include electric vehicle charging stations, free Wi-Fi, bike lockers, a pool and gym, an outdoor kitchen, access to the Arroyo Simi Greenway and a dedicated rideshare drop-off and pickup area, among others. Patricia Parc is located less than one mile from Simi Valley Town Center and less than five miles from the Simi Valley Metrolink Center.

patricia 2

Five of the units will be designated as affordable for very-low-income tenants, and at least seven units will be handicapped accessible. Project completion is estimated for late fall or winter of 2018. 1196 Patricia Avenue Association has selected McCarthy Companies to construct Patricia Parc.

We’re eager to watch this exciting project take form and to help facilitate new housing options for members of our community.

For more information about construction lending through Grandpoint Bank, please visit the products and services page of our website at




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With crisp air and colors on the trees, we know another year is soon behind us. But first, we gather to celebrate, count our blessings and reflect. Thanksgiving is unlike any other holiday we celebrate. It’s a day to gather with those we love and the friends we hold dear; a day to share a meal and to share each other’s company.

Whether your Thanksgiving celebration is near or far, large or small, we at Grandpoint Bank wish you a wonderful day, filled with cheer and the warmth of the holiday season.



Grandpoint Bank donates $10,000 to U.S. Vets

U.S. Vets intranet

Members of our staff recently toured the Long Beach campus of U.S. Vets, an organization dedicated to helping veterans and their families make a successful transition to civilian life by providing housing, counseling, career development and comprehensive support. Our visit included the presentation of a $10,000 donation to the organization.

According to U.S. Vets, about 50,000 vets in our nation are homeless – men and women who have served valiantly for our country and now find themselves sleeping on the streets.

“Beyond the essentials, what I saw during our visit is that U.S. Vets is giving veterans back their self-respect,” says Darlene Esquerra, Senior Vice President & Community Development Office of Grandpoint Bank. “Everyone is treated with kindness by staff members and volunteers, who, in many cases, have had the same experiences as the veterans.”

U.S. Vets is the largest organization of its kind addressing the needs of homeless and at-risk veterans and their families in the U.S. Their Long Beach facility is located on 25 acres of former Naval housing and offers a variety of permanent and transitional housing – including a building for women veterans with up to two children and housing for homeless vets — dining facilities, community center, clinic, classrooms, recreational facilities and even an urban forest where residents can pick fruits and vegetables.

“Grandpoint Bank’s support of our programs across Southern California makes it possible for us to fill the gaps and really meet the unique needs of each one of the veterans we serve,” said Laney Kapgan, Vice President of Development and Communications for U.S. Vets. “With more service men and women coming home than ever before, this investment will help us continue to expand not only housing but also key employment and mental health programs for our veterans.”

Grandpoint was introduced to U.S. Vets through our Executive Vice President and CCO Mark Phillips, who struck up a conversation with U.S. Vets National Director of Programs, Larry Williams, on an airplane. Mark was so impressed with the program, he referred the information for consideration as a Grandpoint Bank Community Reinvestment Act-qualified donation. The rest, as they say, is history.

You can find more information about U.S. Vets on their website

We’re proud to salute U.S. Vets for helping so many vets and their families, and we thank all the members of our armed services, past and present, for their dedication and selflessness.



Moving Mountains for an Organization that Builds Bridges



When parents can find quality, affordable childcare, it can literally change their lives. No one knows that better in the Los Angeles and San Bernardino area than Child Care Resource Center (CCRC). The organization builds bridges between local families and the services they need.

We are proud to be an integral part of CCRC’s recent purchase of a building in the Antelope Valley. We attended the ribbon cutting on September 27th and celebrated CCRC’s purchase of 250 Grand Cypress Avenue in Palmdale with the CCRC staff and other community supporters. CCRC was already leasing the building to house some of its administrative functions, and watching them transition to owning the building was tremendously rewarding.

Using Municipal Bond financing, CCRC secured a loan through Grandpoint Bank to buy the building and ensure that more than 70 members of its staff could remain at that location. This seamless transition in location means nothing will interrupt their good work to provide child care financial assistance, training, technical assistance and other workforce development opportunities. The CCRC staff at this location also work with the Palmdale School District to offer Head Start preschool and wraparound services.

By using this unique loan structure and transitioning to mortgage payments rather than lease payments, CCRC will reduce its costs. Any boost to the bottom line means an already phenomenal agency can provide even more help to tens of thousands of families each month, such as securing childcare referrals, sending parents back to work, reducing childhood obesity and generally supporting the welfare of children throughout Northern Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

“CCRC had some special loan requirements, so we all moved mountains to make sure the organization could rely on Grandpoint to support the type of loan that would best suit the long-term sustainability of the organization and to provide the banking services it needed,” said Arlet Hur, Senior Vice President at Grandpoint Bank.

Grandpoint and its divisions work with many non-profit organizations throughout Southern California, Arizona and Western Washington.

“We genuinely love working with non-profit organizations, and we’ve tailored a lot of our services specifically to them, including our non-profit money market account,” Arlet added.

Founded in 1976, CCRC services a 22,500-square-mile area and provides tens of thousands of child care referrals each year. The organization maintains a book/toy/resource lending library; offers programs for combatting obesity; provides preschool education, meals and medical and vision exams for kids; offers training to help childcare providers, other non-profits and families; promotes literacy through various programs; and even provides gifts for kids who may not otherwise receive any.

To learn more about how you can support CCRC and its wonderful programs, visit its website at


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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Grandpoint Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Grandpoint Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Grandpoint Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.


Building a packaging industry leader around an out-of-the-box idea


Working in banking provides a unique opportunity to learn about many, diverse businesses that help power regional and even national economies. Our client U.S. Merchants Financial Group and Diversified Repackaging (USM), which operates from a corporate office located in Beverly Hills, Calif., and five manufacturing, packaging and distribution facilities throughout North America, is a great example.

USM creates something almost everyone has seen but which most of us take for granted since it has become such a ubiquitous part of the warehouse club and “big box” shopping experience. Think Costco®, Sam’s Club®, B.J.’s® Wholesale Clubs, Walmart® and Target®.

USM pioneered and patented the Pallet Program system in which popular consumer products are packaged and presented for sale on stacked pallets. The store simply removes the exterior wrap, and the product is ready to be merchandised. Beyond the ingenuity of creating this streamlined packaging model, USM’s success was forged in part because the company offers customers a turnkey solution that includes everything from package and graphic design to manufacturing and distribution. This enables them to offer clients a consistently superior level of quality and service, and to remove the worry of managing a multi-company supply chain. Over the years, the company has built strong relationships with retail buyers and executives, who rely upon USM owners Jeff and Marie Green not only for services, but also for advice about nearly every aspect of retailing, packaging and distribution. The Greens also consider manufacturers and warehouse club members as important stakeholders in the success of their business.

In addition to its Pallet Program, the company also manufactures a popular line of plastic consumer storage containers under the Greenmade™ brand name that are sold at major retailers across the United States.

When Jeff and Marie founded USM in 1983, they built the business upon strong customer relationships and exacting standards of quality and integrity. It’s an approach shared by Grandpoint Bank and Jocelyn Pastore, Regional President, who oversees the bank’s Los Angeles region.

The Greens began banking with Grandpoint in 2010. Grandpoint has provided financing for the Greens and their business ever since. The flexible financing offered by Jocelyn and the Grandpoint team has helped the Greens advance their personal and business goals and propagate the “Jeff Green Standard” — a high standard of design, manufacturing and delivery of products to USM’s retail customers. Facilities are immaculate, with meticulous attention to quality and detail that fuels a thriving and expanding operation. The Greens apply this high standard to all that they do, including the management of their personal and business real estate assets.

As successful, self-made business owners, Jeff and Marie are committed to their employees. When it was time to expand their Ontario, Calif. operations, they chose to remain in the community in order to retain the employees who work at that location. In late 2015, Grandpoint provided the financing for the plant expansion at USM’s Ontario location, helping them to add to their 270,000 square-foot operations by purchasing a second, 182,000-square-foot building.

We’re proud to work with the Greens and so many other local business people who are providing products, resources and employment opportunities to our communities.