Category Archives: New Hires

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.



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.



Roller Coaster Enthusiast Jeff Hildebrandt Smooths the Ride for SBA and USDA Loan Applicants

Hildebrandt JeffWe’re pleased to announce that Jeff Hildebrandt has joined our Government Guaranteed Lending Department as Vice President and SBA/USDA Business Development Officer.

He is responsible for originating and developing Small Business Administration (SBA) 7a and 504 loans and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans for real estate transactions, commercial debt refinance, business purchases, working capital and franchises.

“Jeff has spent the last 10 years specializing in government guaranteed loans and even teaches SBA financing courses for banking and real estate professionals,” said Leticia Scearce, Senior Vice President and Government Guaranteed Lending Manager. “When we pledge to our clients to exceed their expectations, it’s because we have a high standard for the caliber of professionals we bring onto our team, and Jeff is a great example.”

Jeff most recently served as Vice President at Umpqua Bank in Los Angeles, where he was responsible for SBA business development. He is a member of Toastmasters International, Rotary International and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce (where he often conducts educational classes about government guaranteed financing).

“Government guaranteed loans are a great option, offering lower payments and longer terms than conventional loans,” says Jeff. “Many banks pursue large loans rather than focusing on the small business owner. Grandpoint really supports my efforts to help small and mid-sized businesses secure these loans – most businesses with net income under $5 million of net income can apply.”

Many people assume that securing a government guaranteed loan is an onerous process. “We make it easy,” Jeff says. “The application is simple – we need some basic facts and figures and financial information.”

Our government guaranteed lending department handles the rest of the process, from letter of intent stage to closing, and typically responds to clients within a few days of receiving enough preliminary information to see if we can finance the request.

“Part of what attracted me to Grandpoint Bank is that it’s a bank catering to business owners and entrepreneurs,” he said. “We are strong supporters of our communities and growing businesses.”

Jeff’s passion for finance has also inspired him to volunteer with Junior Achievement, where he has spent time teaching elementary students about starting and operating a business. With Grandpoint Bank’s well-established support of Junior Achievement, Jeff will find plenty of opportunities to continue his involvement with this great educational organization that focuses on entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy.

For fun, Jeff, his wife and two kids head to amusement parks, especially Six Flags Magic Mountain, where they like to let loose about once a month. “I’m a fan of the Full Throttle roller coaster,” Jeff said. “It clears your mind and is a great stress reliever.” The Hildebrandt family also enjoys swimming, tennis and music – especially singing, playing the guitar and piano.

We’re very pleased to add Jeff to our team and to offer our clients deep expertise in government guaranteed lending. We hope you’ll reach out to us if you’re interested in securing a SBA or USDA loan.




Scott Armstrong Joins Grandpoint Bank as Senior Vice President/Specialty Deposits Manager

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 5.52.06 PMAs a young child, Scott Armstrong started out with a disadvantage.  He was born severely hearing impaired. Tumors on the back of his tympanic membranes prevented him from making sense of spoken language. It wasn’t until he was 4 years old that a doctor identified the cause of his problem and arranged for surgery and subsequent speech therapy. Scott credits his early struggles with language and eventual mastery of the essential skill that eluded him as a gift—a gift that has made him a terrific listener and problem solver.

If his current title of Senior Vice President/Specialty Deposits Manager title wasn’t available, Senior Problem Solver might be a good one for Scott. By focusing on specialty banking clients and asking them about their cash management pain points, Scott has revolutionized operations for many specialty entities throughout Southern California. In case you’re not familiar with the term, specialty banking clients include third party escrow clients, attorneys and M&A firms, title and escrow companies, cities and municipalities, nonprofits, school districts, homeowner associations and property management companies, Real Estate Investment Entities (including tenants in common and Delaware Statutory Trusts), 1031/1035 trust accounts and more.

“Our specialty banking clients are organizations that deal with other organizations’ or individuals’ money,” said Scott. “They act in a fiduciary capacity, holding funds for a period but not owning those funds. It’s often a one-to-many relationship. These deposit-only clients therefore have more complex cash management requirements.”

Scott has always approached the complexities presented by these clients as opportunities.

“When Scott works with an organization, he helps them uncover any pressing challenges that they might be experiencing through the course of business and helps them co-create a plan utilizing a banking or cash management solution to address those challenges, even if that plan includes creating an entirely new Grandpoint Bank service,” said John Nixon, Executive Vice President and Regional Manager at Grandpoint Bank.

This discovery process, says Scott, is what powers his passion for banking.

Scott’s interest in banking started to bloom in high school when he enrolled in a regional occupation program (ROP) banking class. While choosing the class at the time had more to do with a cute girl than it did a career choice, that decision ultimately paved the way to discovering his knack for banking and securing a Bank of America training course and then part-time job during and through college.

He parlayed that experience to serve most recently as Senior Vice President/Specialty Deposits Group Director at Community Bank in Pasadena and as Senior Vice President/Specialty Banking Group Director at CommerceWest Bank in Irvine. Scott has managed loan portfolios worth hundreds of millions of dollars in his past, as well as sizable deposit portfolios.

“One of the things that motivated me to join Grandpoint was the combination of their community bank size that allows for creative solutions and fast decisions along with their impressive financial strength and capacity,” Scott said. “I have always considered myself an outside the box, cutting-edge banker, and in Grandpoint I have found an organization that shares that passion for creativity and flexibility.”

In addition to his work at Grandpoint, Scott serves on the board for Kidsworks, a nonprofit organization serving the educational and life guidance needs of youth in low- to moderate-income areas. He is a member of several industry trade groups, including the Community Associations Institute, Escrow Institute of California, California Apartment Association, Federation of Exchange Accommodators and Building Industry Association of Southern California. Formerly, he served as treasurer for Inland Valley Recovery Services and as a board member for Upland YMCA.

Scott works from our Orange office and resides in Trabuco Canyon, just outside Rancho Santa Margarita, with his wife and five children. In his free time, Scott loves to do just about anything outdoors with his family, including sailing, fishing and camping.

Juggling five kids under 13-years old, board responsibilities and specialty banking clients throughout Southern California relying on him to weave his magic, Scott obviously likes to stay busy in a way that benefits everyone around him.

We are excited to have Scott on our team.



Grandpoint Bank Hires Duke Sheow as Senior Vice President/Information Security Officer

Sheow Duke Portrait-r 05_2017We’re happy to announce that Duke Sheow has joined our bank as Senior Vice President/ Information Security Officer. Duke works in our downtown Los Angeles office and manages information security, policies and compliance for Grandpoint and its divisions—Bank of Tucson, Regents Bank and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona.

Duke previously served as Chief Credit and Operations Officer at Green Dot Bank in Pasadena and as Senior Vice President/Credit Risk Officer at First Regional Bank in Century City. Notably, he also spent 14 years as an examiner at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in Los Angeles. His titles at the FDIC included senior information technology examiner and senior safety and soundness examiner.

Duke is focused on ways our bank and our clients can take steps to thwart hackers and criminals. Increased dependency on everything electronic has created a chain of virtual connections based on “trusted” relationships, and hackers will exploit each link until they find the weakest.

“Many businesses have alarms and cameras to protect their physical assets but have not invested in basic, low cost security measures for cyber-crime,” Duke said. According to the National Cybersecurity Alliance, about half of all cyberattacks target small businesses because they are soft and easy targets.

“The threat of viruses, malware, ransomware and social engineering extend beyond our clients, too, and onto our friends, families and social media connections,” Duke said.

Over the past two years, Duke has volunteered his time with the Federal Reserve Board’s faster payments and secure payments taskforces, which organize professionals in banking, retail and regulatory agencies to collectively identify and evaluate faster payment systems in the United States, while also examining the safety of those payment systems.

“Duke’s extensive background in safety and soundness, as well as information security risks, is a great fit for our bank and an advantage for our clients,” said Susan Wahba, executive vice president and chief risk officer at Grandpoint Bank. “We pursue many initiatives to fortify our information security systems and educate our clients about security topics important to their businesses. Hiring Duke further strengthens our leadership in these areas.”

We particularly like the number one reason Duke cited for wanting to join Grandpoint Bank. “What has impressed me the most is the passion I hear in my co-workers’ voices when they talk about the bank and what we do.”

Duke attended the University of California at Riverside and completed the four-year Examiner Commissioning Program. He resides in La Canada with his family.

When he’s not working, Duke shares a love of sports with his three sons. His passion for football, in particular, landed him an appearance on “The Today Show” last year, when an essay he wrote about the sport and family won him free tickets to the Super Bowl.

We’re glad Duke is playing for our team now, drawing from his experience with technology, information security, banking and risk management to oversee our information security program. Welcome, Duke!

For more information about cyber security and steps you can take, visit the security and fraud section of our website.

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Roger M. Laverty Named President of Grandpoint Bank

grandpoint_rocky_laverty_993_cropPlease join us in welcoming the new president of Grandpoint Bank, Roger M. “Rocky” Laverty. Rocky, a member of the Bank’s board of directors since its inception in 2010, has a distinguished business career, most recently serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Farmer Bros. Co. He is also the former President and CEO of Smart & Final, Inc. and Diedrich Coffee, Inc., and he was a founding member and Chairman and CEO of Prime Advantage, Inc.

“Rocky is a remarkable businessman, and we are fortunate to have his leadership in guiding our bank’s growth across all of our markets,” says Don M. Griffith, Chairman and CEO of Grandpoint Capital, Inc., and Grandpoint Bank. “I’ve known Rocky for years, and his business acumen, his ability to identify and cultivate strategic growth opportunities and his track record of building successful businesses will be a tremendous benefit to Grandpoint.”

Rocky will remain on the bank’s board of directors.

“I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the bank’s growth as a member of the board,” says Rocky. “It is now exciting to be on the frontlines, working with an exceptionally talented group of regional executives and their teams. I’m looking forward to contributing the experience I’ve garnered over the course of my career to support the bank’s internal growth and develop new product strategies.”

Rocky is a member of the Board of Trustees for Children’s Bureauscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am and for the Jean Perkins Scholarship Foundation,screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am which provides college scholarships to children of LA County Sheriff Deputies. He also serves on the board of the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation,screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am which provides ocean therapy to wounded warriors and veterans as well as at-risk youth.

Rocky attended Stanford University and Stanford Law School.


screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-amLinking to Non-Grandpoint Bank Websites
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.


Accomplished LA Banker Ryan Parry Likes Our Team’s Longevity!

GPB Parry headshotRyan Parry has joined Grandpoint Bank as Senior Vice President & Senior Relationship Manager in our Farmers Market office, located on Fairfax Avenue.

Ryan has more than 10 years of banking experience in Southern California. Recently he served as Vice President at First Citizens Bank in Encino. He earned his degree in marketing with honors from University of Glamorgan in Dublin, Ireland.

“Part of what attracted me to Grandpoint Bank was the breadth and scope of the lending I could offer to my clients, but what really stood out was the length of time so many of the Grandpoint staff have worked together,” Ryan said. “That was an indicator for me that people like working here.”

Ryan will be responsible for building and expanding client relationships as well as promoting the bank’s visibility within the community.  He will be providing a broad range of commercial banking services, including facilitating owner-occupied, investor, construction and equipment loans.

“Ryan is the caliber of banker we look for at Grandpoint,” said Jocelyn Pastore, Executive Vice President and Los Angeles Region Manager. “He has honed a broad range of skills in many sectors of banking and truly understands the concerns of our clients.”

Ryan resides in Granada hills with his wife and two (soon-to-be three) children. When he’s not busy helping our clients, he enjoys working in his vegetable garden and traveling, though as any parent could guess, he and his wife prefer shorter trips right now. For the time being, he says, trips back to his homeland of Ireland will have to be relatively infrequent.



Grandpoint Bank Hires Two Accomplished Southern California Bankers

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 11.48.33 AM

Donald (Don) Solsby and Moheb (Mo) Helmy have joined Grandpoint Bank. Both will serve as Senior Vice President & Senior Relationship Manager in the bank’s Orange office, located on Katella Avenue.

Don has approximately 40 years of banking experience in Southern California. Recently he served as Senior Vice President, Director of Business Banking at Independence Bank in Newport Beach. He earned his degree in real estate finance from San Diego State University.

Don is a member of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club and is treasurer and board member of the Cystinosis Research Foundation.↗

Mo has over 17 years of banking experience in the Southern California market and most recently served as Vice President of Community Bank in Irvine. He studied at Santa Monica College and completed Omega Loan and Sales training as well as California Independent Bankers’ Financial Analysis Training.

Recently, Mo spent three years on the board of Olive Crest↗ and remains involved with the organization. He is also active with his church, serving on the board for its annual festival.

Both bankers will be responsible for building and expanding client relationships and providing a broad range of commercial banking services, as well as promoting the bank’s visibility within the community.

“We are pleased to welcome these distinguished bankers to Grandpoint,” said John Nixon, Executive Vice President and Regional Manager. “Both of these gentlemen have a deep understanding of the local market and have demonstrated the exceptional customer service we value at Grandpoint Bank.”


↗ Linking to Non-Grandpoint Bank Websites
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.



Duane King Joins Grandpoint Bank

If you see a new face at Grandpoint Bank, or at the many area-business meetings he’s sure to attend, there’s a good chance that’s Duane King, who recently joined Grandpoint as senior vice president and senior relationship manager. A Los Angeles native, Duane works at our Brentwood office, providing commercial banking services to existing clients and developing new banking relationships.

In addition to his more than 20 years of banking experience centered in Southern California, Duane was an equity partner in Welton Becket & Associates’ development of Colorado Place, a one million-square-foot, low rise, office and retail complex in Santa Monica, and the development of a 200-unit apartment / retail complex that was built on an entire block in downtown Los Angeles (between 3rd and 4th Streets and Los Angeles & Main Streets). Though he’s been part of some very major projects, Duane says, it’s often the smaller deals that give him a greater feeling of success, as they can be more difficult to close and require working closely with his clients.

Duane holds a real estate brokerage license (he was an industrial real estate broker in Los Angeles for 10 years), a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser’s license and a law degree from Loyola University. He likes to joke that the law degree helps him stay out of trouble.

Duane doesn’t have too much time to get into trouble, though. When this Malibu resident isn’t working, you might find him surfing or mountain biking off the beaten track in north Malibu. Duane also enjoys flying and skiing and holds a private pilot’s license.

Going the extra mile in all things has helped differentiate Duane in his banking career. Whether it’s sending a helpful news article to a client or providing tailored advice, Duane uses what he learns about his clients to help them succeed in their respective businesses.

His commitment to the community is strong too. Duane enjoys volunteering with his wife at the First Methodist Children’s Pre-School in Pacific Palisades and participating in projects with the Mortgage Bankers Association.

We are pleased to welcome such an accomplished and dynamic person to our Grandpoint family, and we hope you get the chance to meet Duane soon…perhaps at a beach “board” meeting?