A Financial Compass

In 2007 Compass Bank became a proud member of the BBVA Group. This elevated Compass to one of the top 25 financial institutions in the U.S. and part of one of the largest and most recognized financial institutions in the world. A recent example is that Goldman Sachs just named BBVA one of the top seven banking organizations in the world and one poised for growth during these difficult times in the financial services in-dustry.

Heidi Meeks and Jim Byrne

Clients are pleased with Compass. After a life in sales, Jim Byrne and his wife, Sandi, needed a change. With big ideas and a little money, the lure of self-employment motivated them to success. The couple started Packaging Alternatives Corporation 14 years ago. Their first office space? Their home garage.

“A lot has changed since then,” Jim says. “We now occupy about 43,000 square feet of space.”

As a company, Packaging Alternatives ships to the end-users, primarily dealing with corrugated shipping boxes, fillers, palette wraps, and steel or plastic bonding. They also offer custom-printed boxes and packaging materials.

L-R: Roy Hilgenfeldt, Heidi Meeks, and Wally Harriss

As a Compass Bank customer, Jim is exceptionally pleased with the level of service he and his employees receive from his relationship manager, Heidi Meeks, and the Compass team.

“They make it easy for us to do business with them, and they absolutely exceed our expectations,” he says. “There are a lot of fine banks in Ocala, but the people at Compass treat us like we belong to a local, hometown bank.”

Packaging Alternatives Corporation holds a variety of accounts with Compass including a company checking account and a merchant ac-count, among others.

Central Florida Heart Center

Accounting and Credit Management Specialist Beth Clapp manages the company’s merchant account.

“We receive a complete, itemized statement each month explaining all charges very specifically,” Beth says. “It’s a real plus for the cus-tomer. Not only is it complete, but the service is more affordable than what we were paying before.”

“Compass accommodated our needs,” Jim adds, “and was able to streamline the services we needed to make our business success-ful.”

One of the deciding factors for Jim in switching to Compass Bank was the fact that they are truly a full-service local bank.

“There are no corporate offices in Atlanta or Tampa,” Jim says. “Decisions can be made right here in Ocala. We get prompt attention from them and they treat us like they value our business. I look forward to a long and successful business relationship with Compass Bank.”

Michelle Hodges has been with the Central Florida Heart Center since it first opened in 1997 and agrees with Jim and Beth’s senti-ments. Today, the practice boasts state-of-the-art technologies to diagnose and treat ailments of the heart and circulatory system, including nu-clear stress testing, ultrasound imaging, a pacemaker clinic, a clinical laboratory, and a cardiac catheterization lab. With 42 employees, including six board-certified physicians, it can be a lot to manage.

As the practice administrator, Michelle looks for ways to streamline paperwork and increase productivity. Compass Bank is helping her do just that. After scrutinizing several banking options, Central Florida Heart Center chose Compass. They’ve been utilizing the services of Com-pass Bank, including the bank’s private banking services with Wally Harriss, and Michelle couldn’t be more pleased.

“Wally gave us the greatest cost savings versus the other banks, and I felt comfortable knowing he would be responsive to our doctors’ needs,” she says. “He hasn’t let us down.”

“In the beginning, Wally sat down with me several times to understand the day-to-day workings of our office,” Michelle adds. “His medical background was invaluable when determining which products and services would best work for our group—he understands doctors and how medical offices are run.”

For Michelle, one of the greatest assets Wally and the other professionals at Compass Bank are able to provide is the personalized service.

“It’s very convenient to know that Wally is just a phone call away,” Michelle says. “I can immediately complete transactions by phone and that has been a big help to the practice. I don’t hesitate to recommend Compass Bank to others.”

Tony Mendola and Roy Hilgenfeldt

As a subsidiary of BBVA, a global financial services company with over $740 billion in assets, and over 8,000 branches in more than 30 countries, Compass Bank has the ability to conduct banking on a global scale. But while its size places it among the world’s top financial institutions, the professionals at Compass Bank understand that customer service, above all, is key.

Longtime customer and a director on the Compass Bank advisory board, Tony Mendola agrees that attention to detail is what sets Compass apart.

“A bank is only as good as its customer service and face time with clients,” says Tony, who owns Bellwether Properties. “Historically Com-pass has been great at that. They’ve done things for me that have allowed me to enjoy great ease with banking, thus making me enthusiastic to refer them to others.”

“In addition to superior, personal customer service, we provide a full array of services that typically aren’t offered at smaller banks,” says Roy Hilgenfeldt, city president for Compass Bank in Marion County. “Many small financial institutions must rely on a third party to provide such services to their clients.”

As a global bank operating with a community bank mentality, it’s quite impressive that Compass Bank, with three Ocala branches, has the resources to provide both individual clients and large corporations with a complete range of services.

“If a client has a question or an issue, the concerns are brought up directly to Compass Bank,” says Roy, “thus ensuring that the qual-ity of service is consistently high.”

Our world is filled with choices—from what car to buy to where to eat dinner. Luckily for Ocalans, Compass Bank makes the decision of where to bank an easy one.

“We can cater to the needs of all clients, whether they are small business, individuals, medical professionals, or large commercial con-cerns,” says Roy. “We combine the strengths of a global banking organization with the more personalized feel of a neighborhood bank.”

Working with businesses here in Ocala, the professionals at Compass Bank take pride in getting to know their clients. Accounts are handled locally by experienced bankers who are able to draw on a number of key in-house specialists.

“We have a complete selection of financial solutions for individuals and businesses, including depository services, personal loans, cash management services, and business lending,” says Roy. “Our parent company’s strength allows us to compete and provide services for our cli-ents on a global level. As a client, you can’t outgrow us.”

For those looking for an even higher level of service, Compass Bank offers superior private banking services. Wally Harriss, vice president of private banking, says that Compass offers specialized products and services geared toward the busy professional—particularly those in the medical field.

“As a private banker, I spend quality time getting to know my clients, their needs, and their likes and dislikes,” says Wally, who has an ex-tensive medical background. “I keep up with the latest technology trends of the industry, allowing me to make a variety of recommendations and suggestions regarding business decisions.”

For Wally, as well as for the rest of the Compass staff, the most rewarding part of their job is the lasting relationships created with clients.

“We give people a level of comfort and trust they can’t get anywhere else,” Wally says. “I don’t want to let my friends down, and that’s what our clients are—our friends and neighbors.”

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