Leadership from Flying Leap vineyards posing for a photo among the grapevines in the vineyard

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Vision Matters

“We consulted our business coach for recommendations of banks in our area with agricultural lending experience. Great Western was at the top of the list.”

Flying Leap Vineyards

Flying Leap Vineyards was founded in 2010 by three best friends who first met during their freshman year as cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the late 1980s. Following commissioning and after years of military service, they reunited in Arizona and founded Flying Leap Vineyards. Originally envisioned as a small-scale wine grape farming business venture, Flying Leap has grown dramatically in the last nine years. The business is now comprised of several matured, producing vineyards, winemaking, distilling and cellaring operations, as well as a wide network of retail locations with an ongoing expansion of building a wholesale program and establishing regional self-distribution of their broad product portfolio.

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Marc Moeller, Vice President and Co-founder, and Mark Beres, President and CEO and Co-founder, got to know Great Western Bank and Business Banker Richard Mullen in 2010. The partnership between bank and business quickly solidified as Flying Leap presented their assessments of their achievements and a realistic path to profitability.

“When we started our business, we quickly realized we needed to develop a relationship with a bank. We consulted our business coach for recommendations of banks in our area with agricultural lending experience. Great Western was at the top of the list,” said Beres.

“We started with short-term lending. Great Western was also well versed in USDA-backed financing,” continued Moeller. “We now utilize long-term financing for our fixed assets, vineyards and real estate as well as their business checking and savings products.”

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“I appreciate that I can be responsive to their needs,” said Mullen. “Great Western Bank has the staff experience and the banking products to meet Flying Leap Vineyards financial needs. It’s been great watching their growth and knowing that we were able to help them achieve it.”

“The wine business is notoriously difficult for one reason: capital,” continued Beres. “Without capital, you can’t grow a farm winery business beyond a certain level. If you want to expand to the next level, which is a wholesale program, you need capital to keep up with expansion and production. Having a great relationship – like we do with Great Western Bank – is a critical piece of a successful growth plan.”

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