When Andrew Cunningham accepted a position as a groundskeeper, bus driver, and children’s church worker at SouthGate Church (then called 91st Psalm) in 1987, he never imagined he and the church would be where they are today. Since those humble beginnings, Pastor Cunningham has become the Senior Pastor and led SouthGate to become one of the largest ministries and Christian schools in the Southwest Valley — thanks, in part, to their partnership with Gateway Bank.
The school (still called 91st Psalm) that’s attached to the church has made the best of their limited space, but for decades, they have been bursting at the seams and in need of a gymnasium for sports practices and home games. That’s all about to change because SouthGate recently closed on a loan with Gateway Bank to fund the construction of a new building with a gym and two additional stories of classrooms.
Pastor Cunningham says Gateway was their first choice for a lending partner since they have had a relationship with the bank for years. “We were with two national banks before, and I was tired of having no relationship with them,” he explains. That’s when he met Gateway President James Christensen through an acquaintance. “I liked James from the get-go because he understood us,” the Pastor says. “He’s not just a banker. He’s a Christian man who sits on a church board and understands how churches operate differently than a business.”
After hitting it off with our team and moving the church’s banking relationship to Gateway, the Pastor talked to us about his vision for the new school building. He applied for a loan and was approved quickly.
James continued checking in with SouthGate as planning progressed. When cost estimates for the new gym came back higher than expected, Gateway was right there to work through it with them. “Some of the cost increases bumped up the amount we needed to borrow,” Pastor Cunningham says. “We talked to the bank, and they were awesome. They sat down with us, talked through the options, and ended up extending more funds to us.”
Pastor Cunningham is thankful to have found a local, flexible partner who shares the church’s deep desire to help people and who can help bring their vision to life. “Gateway doesn’t just say they want to help. They have set up their operations and team to actually do it,” he describes. “It has been our dream from the beginning to have a gym and more classroom space, but we were never able to get it done. Now we can with Gateway.”
Congratulations to the SouthGate Church and 91st Psalm team on this incredible addition. We’re looking forward to seeing what this new chapter has in store for you.
Veterinarian Dr. Garthe always had dreams of opening her own practice. Now, her dreams are becoming a reality with the help of Gateway Bank.
After working in other practices for over 35 years, Dr. Garthe decided to pursue starting her own. She wanted to launch as soon as possible, but it would take time and money to acquire a location, as well as construct and equip a new practice. Then, Dr. Garthe came up with a brilliant idea: She could provide mobile veterinary services to make house calls until her new office is ready.
This plan would all allow her to maximize her wait time and provide a convenient option for patients. Now she just needed the funds to make it happen. That’s where Gateway Bank came in.
Dr. Garthe met President James Christensen through a business broker, and she immediately noticed a difference. “I had talked with other lenders, but when I met with James, it was so much different,” Dr. Garthe explains. “He gave me the type of feeling I try to give my patients: that there’s a relationship and that they care.”
After talking with James, Dr. Garthe decided to proceed with Gateway on her small business loan. Since then, she has closed on her loan, signed a lease for her new office, and started construction.
Dr. Garthe has not only enjoyed partnering with Gateway to get financing, but also the experience after closing. “It’s been great working with a local bank that has amazing customer service and really cares,” she describes. “They put the extra time and effort into making sure you’ll succeed. You really become part of the family.”
We are grateful to play a small role in helping Dr. Garthe pursue her dreams and look forward to her practice, Paradise Point Animal Hospital, opening later this year near Tatum and Thunderbird! To learn more about her mobile clinic and future office, visit www.facebook.com/DrGartheOnTheGo.
Jack and Amanda Monti dreamed about acquiring a business in the Valley. With the help of Gateway Bank, they made that dream a reality.
Jack and Amanda came across an opportunity to acquire Kid Glove, a family-owned moving and storage company in Scottsdale, AZ. The business fit perfectly with their past experience and what they wanted to provide for their growing family of six.
Since the company was founded in 1992, the company has become known in the Valley for their furniture delivery and installation, residential and commercial relocation, and receiving and inspection services. They serve clients in many industries — designers, builders, realtors, home owners, and many more — and also provide 20,000 square feet of climate-controlled warehouse for receiving and storage.
The Montis were intrigued by the opportunity to acquire Kid Glove and needed financing for the purchase. Their attorney, James Kuzmich had worked with Gateway Bank for many years and referred them to us. EVP/Chief Credit Officer Don Thompson and Vice President Christie Boutain collaborated closely with Jack and Amanda on a creative financing structure. Don, Christie, and Anthony Bodnar worked with another lender that needed to be paid off and coordinated all of the key stakeholders, including the borrower, the seller, their respective attorneys, the title company, and the landlord’s agent and attorney.
With Gateway’s help, Jack and Amanda successfully closed on the acquisition in September 2018. Their goal was to make the process as smooth and easy as possible for themselves and Kid Glove’s team. The Montis are proud to have achieved that goal and retained all staff members through the transition.
“Thank you so much Christie, Anthony and Don,” Jack said. “Amanda and I are so impressed with Gateway Bank, and so happy to be working with you all. Thank you all so much.”
With the acquisition complete, Jack and Amanda are looking forward to continuing the company’s legacy and giving clients across the Valley the “kid-glove treatment”!
Gilbert has been the largest municipality in the U.S. without a cemetery— until now, thanks to Bunker Family Funerals and Cremation. This fourth-generation family business, which currently runs two funeral homes in Mesa, is working with Gateway Bank for their construction and permanent loan so they can build a new funeral home and the first cemetery in Gilbert, to be called Gilbert Memorial Park.
Located at Queen Creek Road and 158th Street, Gilbert Memorial Park is set to open in 2019. It will encompass 22 acres of manicured gardens, indoor and outdoor cremation memorialization options, private family estates, as well as a new facility for funerals, spiritual services, tributes, luncheons, and more.
Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels and Town Council members joined the Bunker family for the park’s groundbreaking over the summer.
“This is a remarkable way to provide a needed service to the community. … It’s going to be a beautiful place run by a very reputable company,” Daniels told KTAR News 92.3 FM for a recent feature story.
Gateway Bank is proud to be part of the Bunker family’s new venture. Bunker has been a Gateway customer since 2012 and chose to partner with us on the loan for this new project because of our longstanding relationship and creative solutions to complex challenges.
For example, due to the size of the project, Gateway needed a participant bank to help with financing. Fortunately, EVP/Chief Credit Officer Don Thompson had developed relationships with several other banks over the years and was able to engage them as partners for the loan.
This deal also required a unique approach to underwriting and coordination with many stakeholders, including the Town of Gilbert, Bunker’s attorneys, and the participant banks. Through collaboration, due diligence, and frequent communication, we were able to navigate these complexities and bring the financing to close.
President Bryce Bunker commended Don and his team for their patience and perseverance. “Just wanted you to know that we appreciate your hard work on this loan,” he said. “We have loved banking with Gateway. Thanks in advance for pushing hard to get this thing done in the coming days! We appreciate you!”
Blake Bunker added,”Thank you for working with us on getting this loan done. I know it was a lot of work on your end and we asked a lot of you. We look forward to a successful and long-standing relationship with Gateway.”
Our goal at Gateway Bank is to help our customers achieve their dreams. We’re proud to be part of making Bunker’s vision a reality and providing the Town of Gilbert with a top-class funeral home facility and cemetery. Congratulations to Bunker on starting the next chapter in their business, and thanks to Don Thompson, Christie Boutain, and the Gateway team for working their magic!
For more information on Gilbert Memorial Park and to see the facility come to life, follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/GilbertMemorialPark.
When Frank Rosenberg starts a business, he always looks to make a positive impact on his community. His latest venture, the LBW Training Center, fits right in with his mission to accomplish good. The training center is a healthcare education facility known for its unique style, and top-notch teachers. “We focus on providing high quality healthcare education and a fun learning environment,” said Frank.
In his first year of running the center, Frank and his team tripled the number of people taking courses, and maintained the center’s reputation for teaching the best courses in the valley. In addition to training approximately 3,000 professionals in the valley, Frank and his staff are very dedicated to giving back to our community. Of course, that’s where our two paths intersected.
Personal connections make running a business easier
Frank was introduced to Gateway bank through one of our employees, Scott Morris, at the Mesa West Rotary Club, where both men volunteer. Before banking with us, Frank was working with a large national bank. “Nobody there knew who I was. They just took my deposit and waved goodbye.” Now that he’s with Gateway, Frank says, “Things are more about relationships. The people at Gateway know who I am, and I know they’ll take care of me.”
Why we love our staff
“The people at Gateway are the best professionals in the area. I no longer feel stressed out about anything related to banking. They gave us a business line of credit when most banks weren’t offering that. They just have less hoops to jump through.” In addition to all that, Frank says what he really likes about us is our people. “The people at Gateway are really the best part about banking there.”
Thanks, Frank. We appreciate your support and the opportunity to tell your story. We can’t wait to see what you do next. Whatever it is, we know our community will be grateful for it.
Sharing a small space with six other practices may seem like a tough proposition for a small business, but Melissa Riensche from Desert Veterinary Medical Specialists knew that she could make it work. In fact, not only would it work, but it would be an advantage for her patients and their owners. Now, everyone who brought their animal to her could get total care in one convenient spot. No more driving all over town to get different treatments, just a group of amazing businesses working together to make life more convenient.
Trying to get a big bank loan turned out to be a big headache
The problem was, Melissa couldn’t find anyone that was willing to give her a loan to get her practice started. Many of the big banks were unwilling to even consider lending to her because of the open concept of the building, or wanted her to use her home as collateral. After meeting with several larger banks and getting the same result, Melissa scheduled a meeting with the loan team here at Gateway.
The personalized approach got them approval
After getting to know more about Melissa, her business, and her needs, we were able to help her with a loan that everybody felt comfortable with. Melissa noted a big difference between dealing with the larger banks, and dealing with Gateway.
“We are amazed that the president of the bank would take the time to come and meet with us, help us obtain a loan for our business, and continue to watch over us and provide positive support for our business. Everyone there really cares about us and it shows whenever we have a question, it is answered right away. We feel like part of the family at Gateway, not just another account.”
Flourishing with the right financing
Since receiving their loan, Melissa and her partners have found that being small business owners is incredibly rewarding. Melissa says, “We really enjoy getting to lead discussions and make decisions that positively affect our employees, give back to the community, and grow our business.”
In fact, they’ve experienced growth each year since receiving the loan that allowed them to purchase the business, which has allowed them to make generous donations to organizations such as the Phoenix Zoo and the American College of Veterinary Internal medicine Foundation Memorial Program.
More than just banking, it’s building stronger communities
We couldn’t be more happier for Melissa and Desert Veterinary Medical Specialists. And we are very proud to be their banking partner. Helping small businesses become successful is one of the best parts about being a local bank, because each time it happens, our community becomes stronger.
5 – Star Gateway Commercial Bank
Recognized as One of the Strongest Banks in the Nations
December 2016: BAUERFINANCIAL, the Nation’s Premier Bank Rating Firm congratulates Gateway Commercial Bank, Mesa, Arizona for ringing-in 2017 with its highest 5-star Superior rating. Gateway Commercial Bank is no newcomer to Bauer’s 5-Star Rating. In fact, Gateway Commercial Bank has earned this top honor for 26 consecutive quarters.
Karen L. Dorway, president of BauerFinancial, commends Gateway Commercial Bank for maintaining a strong capital position while fulfilling its commitment to solving the financial needs of the local communities. “Community banks aren’t pushing products or services on you that you don’t need or want”, says Dorway. “There are there to provide a service and fill a need, which Gateway Commercial Bank has been able to do seamlessly all while maintaining its pristine health.”
Gateway Commercial Bank was established in 2007 and has been providing quality banking service to its neighbors and friends ever since. Today, after 9 years, it operates through a conveniently located office on East Warner Road in Mesa and on the web at www.gcbaz.com.
Gateway Commercial Bank: “Banking the way it should be.”
Member of the FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.
BauerFinancial, Inc., Coral Gables, Florida, the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm, has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983. No institution can pay for or opt out of a BauerFinancial rating. Star-ratings are all available for free at www.bauerfinancial.com.
BauerFinancial, Inc. P.O. Box 143520, Coral Gables, FL 33114.
The I Luv My Community Bank campaign is for consumers and small businesses to proclaim their bragging rights on how choosing a community bank gives them distinct advantages. Post comments, upload photos and deliver video testimonials via the one-of-a-kind interactive website, www.iluvmycommunitybank.com on why you LUV Gateway Bank?
A Mind for Detail’s work isn’t glamorous, but their story is.
Scott Stone originally started the business over 20 years ago as a car detailing company to make some extra income so his wife, Cheryl, could stay home with their family. After learning that the detailing business wasn’t for him, he worked various jobs in the trucking industry while doing pressure washing on the side.