Category Archives: Promotions

Grandpoint Bank Promotes Karen McGuire to Executive Vice President

karen-mcguireCongratulations to Karen McGuire, manager of Grandpoint’s Construction Lending Department, who just earned a well-deserved promotion to Executive Vice President.

Karen is responsible for helping Grandpoint Bank and our divisions, Bank of Tucson, Regents Bank and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, expand our construction lending loan portfolio. She is based at Grandpoint’s Irvine office and oversees a seasoned and talented construction lending staff. Her duties include analyzing and underwriting all of the bank’s construction loan requests. This includes evaluating both standard and complex construction loan transactions, interfacing with clients, handling the construction loan disbursements once a loan is approved and visiting project sites.

According to Karen, currently, the demand for construction lending for multifamily properties is especially strong throughout the nation. In the markets that Grandpoint Bank and our divisions serve, Karen says the strongest demand is coming from Los Angeles and the Portland, Oregon/ Vancouver, Washington market. Karen’s team is also currently seeing a lot of lending activity and demand from the hospitality and single family real estate sectors in many of the bank’s existing markets.

Karen’s best advice for would-be loan applicants? If you’re looking for construction financing, start the loan application process sooner rather than later.  Assuming your loan application is complete, the approval process can be as short as 60 days, but compiling a complete loan application can take longer than many people anticipate due to the additional amounts of information and analysis required.

Your local relationship manager, along with Karen and her staff, will work with you to help you understand what is needed and what to include in your application. You’ll also benefit from the incredible depth of experience our loan underwriters have and can contribute to your construction project and process. You can depend on our team to bring a sophisticated understanding to your objectives and the business of construction.

“My team and I don’t consider our work done once a loan is approved,” says Karen. “Someone from our construction lending team will go to the building site once every two to three months so that we continue to understand not only the project but also our clients’ needs and achievements.”

Karen counts the AC Hotel Tucson by Marriott (currently under construction) as one of her most notable construction loans to date. Though it was a complex project, involving two different loans and some required environmental remediation, the loan was ultimately closed based in large part on the entire team’s “can-do” attitude. The 136-room hotel with 5,000-square-feet of ground floor retail will soon give new life to the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway in downtown Tucson.

“We are very fortunate to have Karen and her staff, all of whom have considerable previous experience in complex structured financing,” said Mark Phillips, Executive Vice President & Chief Credit Officer of Grandpoint Capital. “When Karen started with us, we had one construction loan on the books. Now we’re making construction loans in three states, with loans amounts up to $40 million and greater.”

For more information about construction loans, please contact your local banking office, your relationship manager or Karen McGuire at 949-483-8388.

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Our Senior Vice President Jan Marantz Celebrates 23 Years!

marantz_janWe are very excited to share that our Corporate Secretary Jan Marantz has just earned a promotion to senior vice president and is celebrating her 23rd anniversary with our bank. While Grandpoint was built from a number of predecessor banks, we have a remarkable number of people who have been part of our team throughout our evolution … for 20 years or more!

This kind of dedication and longevity deserves some attention. We’d like to let you know a bit about why we think Jan is such a valuable asset to Grandpoint Bank and its customers.

When Jan first came on board in 1993, it was as the administrative assistant to the president of First Commerce Bank (then Brentwood Bank of California).  She was referred by Debbie Marsten, with whom she had worked at a different bank in the 1980s.

In the beginning, it was challenging for Jan. She worked for two different presidents in short order before Jack Feldman, now a Grandpoint Bank director, joined as president and eventually brought in an experienced team that turned things around for the better.

“It was then that I knew I was here to stay,” Jan said. “I was motivated to learn as much as I could from this seasoned team of bankers.  From that point on, I’ve enjoyed coming to work every day.”

After Grandpoint acquired First Commerce Bank, Debbie, who co-founded Grandpoint and is COO, quickly recruited Jan for the position of Corporate Secretary of the Bank and the holding company, Grandpoint Capital, Inc.

“Debbie was just as I remembered her: authentic, intelligent and a great manager with the utmost integrity,” Jan said.

While she appreciates the opportunities to constantly expand her knowledge base, it’s interacting with her Grandpoint colleagues that Jan looks forward to the most each day.

“Our personalities are so diverse, but somehow it feels right,” she said. “We all work well together, respect each other and share a sense of humor.”

Jan’s job, in a nutshell, is to make sure our board of directors runs like clockwork. She manages the flow of corporate information between the board, shareholders and senior managers, advises on the board’s fiduciary duties and the mandatory procedures that ensure their regulatory compliance, and she is  responsible for managing the board’s timely review of all bank policies. She also participates in our strategic planning process, along with a host of other critical duties.

Over her long career in banking, she’s had the chance to advise and mentor others and was quick to sum up what’s worked for her in her journey up the ranks at Grandpoint Bank in hopes that it may help others.

  • Leave your ego at home. Do whatever assignment is asked of you — no job is too small.
  • Always do your best work.
  • Volunteer for special projects and offer to represent the bank outside of work.
  • Always find the time to help your colleagues.
  • Keep learning. Take work-related seminars and courses whenever you have the chance.

Jan really lives this advice and her work ethic has positioned her as an invaluable member of our team. We would say that we wish we could clone Jan, but someone already did. Fun fact about Jan: she has an identical twin sister.

While we’re glad we’ve been able to provide the kind of team and culture that earns the loyalty of super stars like Jan, her Grandpoint Bank career provided an extra perk you won’t find in our employee manual. Another fun fact: she met her husband while working at our Encino office. He had an office in the same building. We’re happy to report that they’re still going strong 14 years later.

Thank you for your dedication and incredible work, Jan. We’re fortunate to have you on the team.

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