A.R. Ruiz has a deep understanding of Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loans. In his new role as the Texas Certified Development Company (TxCDC) consultant for the Dallas/Fort Worth area, A.R. will use the lessons he learned as a loan officer and banker to help small business owners grow their businesses.
His deep experience makes him uniquely qualified to assist his clients. “I pride myself on customer service,” A.R. said. “I have extensive experience on the sales side, but I also started off working on packaging and underwriting of SBA 504 loans. I can do the whole package from start to finish. That brings a lot of value to my clients and to my partners.”
Starting in the Family Business
His education on SBA 504 loans began at the family business. “I’m a second-generation SBA lender and I actually got into the SBA world by working in the family business as a packager and an underwriter,” A.R. said. During his early years working in the family business, A.R. assisted with $40 million in 504 loans through TxCDC.
Eventually, A.R. decided to spread his own wings in the business world. “In 1999, I had the opportunity to work with another CDC in Austin,” he said. “I did a bit of everything in that job. I began as a business analyst, then worked my way up to be a 504 loan officer.”
Bound for the Metroplex
In 2007, Ruiz moved to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to open a TxCDC office. “Since I had a previous history with Texas Certified, I was very familiar with their processes, the company and the people who worked there,” he said. “At the time, I didn’t have any family or any business contacts in Dallas, but I actually did really well. I had a three-year contract and during the third year, I helped TxCDC become the third most productive CDC in the DFW area.”
Eventually, the other CDC enticed Ruiz to change employers with the opportunity to serve as the director of lending while opening its Dallas office. In his new role, Ruiz managed a team of six loan officers who focused on microloans as well as SBA 504 loans. “I was there for a couple of years, during which I increased the portfolio by over a third,” Ruiz noted. “The CDC received a national award for greatest increase in portfolio size during my tenure.” Also to Ruiz’s credit, the CDC experienced a 35-percent increase in SBA 504 approvals over that time span.
Rounding Out His Experience
Since moving to Dallas, Ruiz nurtured a relationship with Regions Bank to help his small business clients obtain 504 loans. “Regions Bank was very familiar with my work and they knew that I knew about the SBA and they liked my work ethic,” Ruiz said, noting that he was offered a position as vice president-SBA relationship manager in 2012. “I had always wanted to work on the bank’s side of transactions. I thought that experience would round me out. I knew what the SBA does, but I wanted to better understand the banking side.” During his tenure, A.R. earned the top spot in customer service rating and loan production.
Returning to His Professional Roots
Yet, when TxCDC had an opening for a Dallas-area consultant, A.R. jumped at the chance to return to work with the company. “At the end of the day, it’s the people,” he said. “They’ve all been at TxCDC for years and some have been with the company for decades. The depth of knowledge at TxCDC allows us to navigate through eligibility issues and make the projects work. Now I have a team to support me and help me succeed.”
Ultimately, A.R. believes he has found a professional home. “When I look at my career moves, I was always asking myself, ‘Where was I most successful and where did I enjoy my time the most? Where was I happy?’’’ he said. “At the end of the day, I realized the answer was TxCDC.”
Contact A.R. to learn how he is Empowering Businesses Through Smart Lending for Fixed Assets in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex & North Texas areas. You can reach him by calling 214-300-5646 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org