Metro Phoenix Bank is comprised of a dynamic team of established local business owners, executive officers, and experienced bankers. Our team's blend of expertise enables us to have a comprehensive understanding of the commercial and real estate market in the metro Phoenix area. This understanding, coupled with MPB's clear vision and commitment to serving the metro Phoenix area, is the driving force behind our success.
James R. Barrons has approximately 30 years of diversified financial management experience. Since 1985, Mr. Barrons has directed his own financial management and investment advisory firm, providing services to high net worth individuals and professional athletes.
An entrepreneur, Mr. Barrons also owns the majority interest in an outdoor billboard manufacturing company, an outdoor advertising company, and a diversified investment company. Mr. Barrons, together with his partners, has developed a number of hotel properties in Southern California and currently holds an ownership position in several residential communities, office buildings and has built several custom homes for resale in his developments. An active investor in land throughout Arizona, Mr. Barrons has participated in the entitlement and planning process of numerous residential, commercial, and mixed use developments throughout the community.
After graduating from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Mr. Barrons went on to become a certified public accountant while working for the international accounting firm of Touche Ross and Company. Mr. Barrons then went into corporate management as the Vice President of Columbia Pictures Communications that eventually was acquired by Coca Cola Company. Before establishing his firm, Mr. Barrons worked with a well-diversified investment company with interest in real estate and media properties.
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Steve Haggard has a successful and comprehensive commercial banking background, and has been involved in the executive management of several Phoenix area commercial banks. Most recently Mr. Haggard was involved at the “ground level” organization of De Novo institution, Arizona Bank & Trust, which began operations in 2003. Mr. Haggard was the Executive Vice President/Senior Loan Officer and was responsible for the development, implementation and risk management oversight of all lending functions of the bank. Mr. Haggard was heavily involved in all executive management decisions, which included: strategic planning, asset/liability management, regulatory compliance, deposit generation and human resource issues. Although not a member of the Board of Directors, Mr. Haggard was an attendee at all bank board, and director’s loan committee meetings.
Additionally, he was successful in the identification and employment of the majority of the commercial lending, loan processing and cash management staff of the bank, while maintaining overhead below budget.
As the catalyst behind much of the bank’s commercial loan and deposit growth, Mr. Haggard helped facilitate the rapid success of the De Novo institution. Within 18 months of operation, the bank exceeded $100MM in total assets and achieved month-to-month profitability, while maintaining a strong credit quality. Mr. Haggard was the “driver” behind much of the business development activity of the bank.
Prior to his tenure with Arizona Bank & Trust, Mr. Haggard was employed by Mesa Bank as a Vice President of commercial lending, beginning in 2001. Mesa Bank, a community bank located in Mesa, Arizona was an emerging commercial bank that saw improvement in its earnings during his tenure. Additionally, the credit quality was maintained at a very high level. Responsibilities included business development and commercial lending within the Phoenix Metropolitan area. As the business development and a senior commercial lending officer, he was responsible for the promotion, development and safety & soundness of the bank’s loan portfolio.
Between 1994 and 2001, Mr. Haggard was involved in senior management of Rocky Mountain Bank, a community bank located in Chandler, Arizona that was considered to be a “turn-around” project. Mr. Haggard had numerous responsibilities during his seven year employment with the bank, including the position of Chief Credit Officer. Under Mr. Haggard’s management of the loan department, the bank successfully grew the loan portfolio from $9MM to $93MM. His tenure with that Bank culminated with the management of seven commercial loan officers, five loan processors and nine branches and the highest CAMEL rating available. Administrative responsibilities included strategic planning & budgeting for that Bank, development and implementation of lending policies and procedures, the recruitment, training and supervision of the lending personnel, establishment of pricing guidelines for products and services offered, and the identification of new markets and products. Mr. Haggard was a regular attendee of the Board Meetings, acting as the spokesperson for all lending issues pertaining to the Bank. During different stages of his tenure with Rocky Mountain Bank, Mr. Haggard held positions that included Loan Review Officer, Compliance Officer, and CRA Officer. As the Compliance and CRA Officer, he was responsible for the Bank’s compliance with federal regulations and disseminated regulatory information throughout that Bank as it became published. As the Loan Review Officer, he was responsible for the integrity of loan ratings assigned to the credits.
Mr. Haggard has spent his entire professional career in the commercial banking industry. Initially employed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Division of Supervision, Steve spent his first two years as a bank examiner in Kansas City Region of the FDIC, subsequently transferring to Phoenix, Arizona in 1992. Participating in numerous safety & soundness, compliance, trust and EDP examinations, Steve achieved his “Commissioned Bank Examiner” status with the FDIC in 1993.
Mr. Haggard is a 1989 graduate from the University of Iowa, with a Bachelor of Business. Administration Degree. A Major and Minor were obtained in Finance and Economics respectively.
Mr. Haggard has demonstrated success in all of the prerequisite responsibilities and duties necessary to serve as the President & Chief Executive Officer of Metro Phoenix Bank. He is a results-oriented, decisive leader that has substantial direct executive management experience in driving sound growth in de novo, emerging, and “turn-around” community banks. He has 17 years of extensive experience as a “complete” commercial banker in the community banking industry, and has 14 years of intensive business development experience in the Phoenix marketplace.
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Jack W. Hilton has been a professional real estate investor since 1980. He is currently the President/Owner of Hilton Financial Corporation (HFC), and is the General Partner of the Hilton Equity Group. These two entities, which are real estate investment companies, comprise the majority of Jack Hilton's net worth.
Hilton Financial Corporation (HFC) is an Arizona Corporation, which has funded private money "bridge" loans since 1990. HFC is a licensed mortgage lender, specializing in originating private money real estate loans. HFC provides timely bridge real estate loans for the acquisition of real estate, and for the construction/development of real estate projects. These projects will primarily be located in Arizona, Hawaii, Utah, and on a case-by-case basis in other locations in the United States. HFC places these loans, once funded, with private investors who want to earn an above market interest rate on a well-secured deed of trust. By providing quick response funding at reasonable prices to borrowers, and well-secured deeds of trust to private investors, HFC has earned a reputation for exemplary performance.
Jack Hilton is a former Director/Chairman of Rocky Mountain Bank (AZ), which was sold on January 31, 2001.
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Matthew S. Keene, MD is a physician, entrepreneur, and business leader. Dr. Keene attended Georgetown University School of Medicine on a full military scholarship and graduated with multiple honors. He received his residency training at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Upon completing his residency, Dr. Keene served as a Major in the United States Air Force.
After serving his country, Dr. Keene Co-founded the Scottsdale Center for the Advancement of Neuroscience (S.C.A.N.), an internationally recognized "Center of Neuroscience Excellence." The success of S.C.A.N. caught the attention of several Fortune 500 healthcare companies, including Medco Health Solutions (NYSE: MHS). He joined Medco and served as Vice President in order to create and direct their Neuroscience Therapeutic Resource Center, developing programs that brought value to the company while improving the lives of 10 million patients.
In addition to his work as a physician and leader in professional education/clinical program development, Dr. Keene's corporate experiences and entrepreneurial spirit have afforded him the opportunity manage and invest in several real estate/business developments. He owns/manages multiple investments nationwide, encompassing farming, fuel storage, healthcare, and multifamily projects.
Dr. Keene is the author of the award-winning book Chocolate is My Kryptonite: Feeding Your Feelings / How to Survive the Forces of Food. He served as a consultant to The Oprah Winfrey Show, America Talks Health, Wall Street, and several national periodicals. He currently serves as a consultant to the United States Air Force, Medco Health Solutions, and the Arizona Medical Board
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Lori R. Jones is a member of management with the Salt River Project (SRP) and is currently responsible for managing design and construction efforts for SRP Commercial and Residential new construction projects. Her career profile with SRP has included construction management, facilities management, sales management and customer service. She previously managed SRP's distribution system expansions and cable replacement projects and, prior to that, was responsible for SRP’s relationships with the top 500 mining, manufacturing and electronics customers for the company. Mrs. Jones was selected by SRP to represent the company as an “executive on loan” to Fresh Start Women's Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the empowerment of women and for women who are facing transitional needs in their lives. Mrs. Jones led and facilitated design, construction, & building facilitation; writing requests for proposals and securing contracts for the Jewell McFarland Lewis Fresh Start Women's Resource Center, which opened in October 2002. This was the first comprehensive, self-help facility for women in the country.
In addition to her position with SRP, Mrs. Jones and her husband co-founded CDC Pools, Inc., one of Arizona's largest pool renovation companies. This company has been in operation since the early 1990s and has established itself as an industry leader in integrity, quality, and volume.
Mrs. Jones graduated Arizona State University with her Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Architecture, and recently earned her MBA in Management. In addition to her continued involvement with Fresh Start Women's Foundation, Mrs. Jones has been very active in other community organizations. She served as a board member for the Arizona Association of Industries; served as a board volunteer for the Red Mountain National Little League; participates in the SRP Volunteer and Booster programs; is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America; is a member of the Association of Energy Engineers; and was a previous member of the Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA).
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Michael R. Stephenson is the owner of Stephenson Capital Resources, a private investment company that primarily provides venture capital and private money loans to businesses and real estate developers in Arizona. Although a large portion of Stephenson Capital's portfolio is now real estate related, Michael Stephenson brings over 43 years of ownership and managerial experience in business and industry. Stephenson's business fundamentals and disciplines were developed over a span of 18 years, while working in upper management of major appliance companies such as Raytheon and McGraw Edison. Mr. Stephenson was directly responsible for sales and marketing activities for each of the companies.
Thereafter, Stephenson took the position of Division President for Wickes Companies, Inc. Under Mr. Stephenson's tenure, the kitchen cabinet division of Wickes grew to the 5th largest kitchen cabinet manufacturer in the nation. Over the past twenty years, Mr. Stephenson has been an active entrepreneur, starting and successfully selling five manufacturing companies in the plastic, foam, vinyl, and store fixture industries. The largest company, which sold store fixtures to Walgreens and JC Penny, generated sales volume in excess of $60 million. In addition to the five companies noted above, Mr. Stephenson was also an active business consultant and investor in a number of other start-up, turnaround, and acquisition business ventures.