News & Events
Spotlight on Customer DWL Architects
Creating "People Places" that Connect Design with the Environment
To know what you want to do with your life and have the ability, determination and confidence to successfully pursue that goal is quite an accomplishment. For Peter Pascu, his dream of becoming an architect started at age 17 and never wavered.
"I've always had the ability to think three dimensionally, and that in many ways led to my interest in architecture," said Pascu, executive vice president of DWL Architects, a firm that has successfully weathered the economic ups and downs for nearly 70 years. Joining the firm in 1985, Pascu has been part of the firm's successful evolution.
It's Not About Us
"We learned that it's not about us, and it never should be about us," said Pascu in reference to the firm's long-standing success. "It's about the client and the services we provide them." He also points to the firm's ability to be diversified yet somewhat specialized. "Having more than one specialty has helped bridge the gap during some of the low spots in the economy."
In Pascu's view, there are three core principles that have remained strong throughout the firm's success:
- Relationships. DWL's foundation is built on relationships, according to Pascu. "About 85% of our business is made up of repeat clients," said Pascu. "I think that's a strong indication that we're doing something right. We are excited to continue the relationships we have established with many industries across the Valley, as well as develop new relationships with different clients throughout Arizona and beyond."
- Collaboration. The firm sees its role more as a partner and advisor to clients, focusing on a collaborative design approach. "With any new project, we get our team together to discuss the program needs and gather ideas on how to accomplish our objective," Pascu explains. "This always leads to a more comprehensive approach and unique solutions."
- High-Performance Design. With a tradition of creating people places in the community, including landmark locations like Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport Terminals and the Mesa Arts Center, DWL Architects has helped shaped the region's urban fabric by connecting design with its environment. "Every project needs a strong balance between the design side and the technical side," which is where DWL is known to excel, said Pascu.
Raising the Bar When it Comes to Banking
When it comes to their bank, DWL Architects believes it should be about them … which is what ultimately led the firm to Republic Bank of Arizona. "We realize that any bank can perform routine banking transactions, but that is not the only thing we're looking for when it comes to choosing a bank," explained Pascu. "The most important thing to us is having a banking partner that understands our business, tailors their services to meet our business needs, and conducts their business on a one-to-one basis.
"Our former bank kept changing our account representatives at a rapid rate. When it got to the point that our account representatives no longer understood the nature of our business, did not understand our business needs, and we became just another account number for them, we knew we needed to make a change. So we did. Switching to Republic Bank of Arizona proved to be just the partner we were looking for."
Republic Bank of Arizona certainly understands the importance of a personal, one-on-one relationship Pascu values. "DWL Architects and Republic Bank of Arizona share many similarities in their core values," explains Ralph Tapscott, Republic Bank of Arizona CEO. "We too believe strongly in building relationships and truly understanding our customers' needs so we can do what's right for them. We are proud to have earned DWL's business and strive to continue serving the firm's financial needs for years to come."
Cultivating a Caring Culture
While serving in the US Navy, Republic Bank of Arizona Banker Phil Meeks gained experiences both positive and negative. One of the things he values most was the opportunity to make a difference in people's lives through community outreach programs.
After leaving the Navy, he found he still wanted to participate in some form of community engagement and discovered that opportunity with the Big Brother and Big Sisters organization.
"I was matched with my 'Little Brother' Jay in 2009 when he was 10 years old and I have had the remarkable opportunity to watch him grow to be a respectful, bright and kind young man," said Meeks.
At the Bank's last shareholders meeting, Meeks met Anne Lorimer and learned about the nonprofit she founded called the Challenge Youth Fund, an organization dedicated to helping underprivileged children and teens receive education and mentoring.
"At the time of our discussion she was hoping to find another applicant for a scholarship to attend a weeklong entrepreneur's workshop and conference for teens in Orlando," said Meeks. "We talked about her foundation, and my involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters and she encouraged me to discuss the program with Jay.
"My little brother was interested but hesitant to believe that he could receive such a scholarship, but still he wrote a terrific application letter to the foundation and was given a spot to attend the conference."
The group of four teenagers and two adults recently made the trip to Orlando, and upon his return Jay couldn't stop telling Meeks how great the experience was. "I can't begin to explain what this experience means to him," said Meeks. "It taught him some basic finance skills and how to network, but more than that it showed him that he is worthy of sponsorship, that opportunities can open up for him. That's huge.
"For me, it has been refreshing to see the kind of culture that is reflected not only by the officers and employees of Republic Bank of Arizona, but also by the board members and shareholders I've had the pleasure to meet over the last year – like Anne Lorimor."
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona is always in need of more male mentors. Please contact Jessica Whitney to apply today! firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.bbbsaz.org.
Is Equity Financing Right for You
By Amy Blunt, Chief Credit Officer, Republic Bank of Arizona
Equity financing provided by an angel investor or venture capital fund (think "Shark Tank") carries no scheduled monthly payments, and provides extra working capital that can be used to grow and market your business. An advantage is that the investor takes the risk – if your company fails, there is no obligation to repay.
However, to offset that risk, you will be granting your potential investor an ownership interest in your company, and a voice in the decision-making process. Profits will be shared, and, should you want to disengage, buying out an investor can be expensive, typically costing a great deal more than the original investment.
Equity financing is a mixed bag of benefit and cost. If you choose the right investor, they could provide expertise in running the company, establish business connections and offer valuable advice; however, the loss of control over the operation, the duty to inform investors of significant events, and sharing business profits can prove costly in the long run.
A final thought
Remember, the equity you have in your company is not only your initial investment, but also includes retained earnings from profitable years of operations. You could potentially create additional equity and free up funds for growth internally, through expense reduction and by minimizing the level of owner distributions to simply cover the income tax obligation. That level of discipline could quickly bolster the capitalization of your company, providing the foundation for growth, either type of financing, and ultimately reward you many times over!
Cyber Attack Safety: Diligence is Key to Stopping Many Problems
By Joel Gallon, CFO, Republic Bank of Arizona
Last year, you most likely heard widespread news coverage of a number of cyber attacks that wreaked havoc on companies around the world. One in particular, called WannaCry was exceptionally vicious as it infected over 200,000 computers worldwide and locked many organizations out of their data.
This attack was a type of malware called Ransomware, which meant that once it infected your computer it encrypted all your files, locking you out of your data. The only way you could recover your data was from backups or by paying the attacker a $300 ransom to decrypt all of your data.
Perhaps the most shocking part of this attack, is that it never should have happened and could have easily been prevented. Here are simple steps you can take to make sure attacks like WannaCry never infect your computers.
Patching (AKA Installing Updates)
First and foremost, make sure your computers, mobile devices, apps, and anything else connected to the Internet are up-to-date. By dutifully installing updates released by software companies on your computers and mobile devices, you make it much harder for someone to hack you.
Take WannaCry for example: The May 2017 WannaCry outbreak would have largely been benign had organizations applied a March 14, 2017 patch for all current supported Operating systems. Those running operating systems that were no longer supported by the manufacturers were particularly at risk.
To ensure your devices stay current, enable automatic updating whenever possible to almost any technology connected to a network. This includes your computers and mobile devices, Internet-connected TVs, home routers, gaming consoles and automated home appliances. If your operating systems or devices are so old that they are no longer supported with security updates, as is the case with Windows XP, replace them with new ones that are supported.
According to cyber-security experts at HP, patching is one of the simple cardinal rules. If you have software, update it. If you don't patch, you are at risk of cyber attacks.
Installing Anti-Virus Software
Another common step to protecting yourself against malware is to install anti-virus/anti-malware software from trusted vendors. These programs are designed to detect and stop malware. However, anti-virus/anti-malware cannot block or remove all malicious programs.
Cyber criminals are constantly innovating new and more sophisticated malware that can evade detection. In turn, anti-virus/anti-malware vendors are constantly updating their products with new capabilities to detect malware, which leads us back to the importance of keeping all your programs updated.
Helping you stay informed and up-to-date is one way Republic Bank of Arizona can help you protect yourself from cyber attacks. Watch for more information on cyber security coming your way soon. Another way to keep awareness front of mind is to subscribe to one of the many free security newsletters available. Google search "OUCH! Newsletter" for my personal favorite.
Important Information About Opening A Legal Entity Account
Effective May 11, 2018, new rules under the Bank Secrecy Act will aid the government in the fight against crimes to evade financial measures designed to combat terrorism and other national security threats.
EACH time an account is opened for a covered Legal Entity, we are required to ask you for identifying information (name, address, date of birth, social security number as well as identification documents) for:
- Each individual that has beneficial ownership (25% or more); and,
- One individual that has significant managerial control, of the Legal Entity.
If you are opening an account on behalf of a Legal Entity, you will be required to provide the appropriate documentation and to certify that this information is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge.
We proudly support all efforts to protect and maintain the security of our customers and our country.