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Just what the family doctor ordered.

American Academy of Family Physicians | Leawood, Kansas
One of the largest medical associations in the U.S.

The American Academy of Family Physicians transformed its headquarters building into a working asset with refinancing support from Commerce.

Everyone wants their hard-earned dollars to stretch further. That includes the 129,000 family doctors who make up the American Academy of Family Physicians.

“Dues make up one-third of our operating budget,” explains Dale Culver, chief financial officer for the Academy, which supports family physicians with educational and advocacy services.

“We wanted to do more – without placing a bigger financial burden on our members,” he says. “So we began looking for an additional source of revenue.”

In 2016, Dale looked around the Academy’s six-story headquarters and found it.

“Right in front of us was a $30 million, member-owned asset,” he says. “The mortgage was paid. Why not turn it into a working asset?”

Dale later posed that same question to Commerce, which had become the Academy’s banking partner a year earlier. He described his plan to refinance the building and invest the loan proceeds. The income generated would help fund the Academy’s operating costs.

“I proposed the amount and loan terms I thought were fair, and Commerce came back with a solution that used an interest rate swap to get us an attractive, fixed-rate loan,” says Dale.

"What I like about Commerce is that they will accept any challenge I present them. Their bankers are bright people who have a phenomenal understanding of healthcare." - Dale Culver, Chief Financial Officer, American Academy of Family Physicians
“The extra income helps reduce the pressure of running a nonprofit, which is something Commerce understands,” adds Dale, who first worked with the bank on a construction bond issue at a previous employer and whose relationship with Kevin Barth, president of Commerce Bank in Kansas City, dates back 25 years to a chance meeting at the Kansas City Blues Festival. 

Commerce’s personal approach, in fact, was one reason he switched banks in the first place. “I had been here two years,” he recalls, “and in that time I never got a single call from our old bank,” says Dale. “After we decided to move to Commerce, and I needed to let our old bank know, it hit me: I had no idea who to call. We had no relationship.” 

But he has one now. Today, Commerce provides the Academy with everything from treasury services to investment management. Says Dale, “It couldn’t have worked better.”