Humble Roots and Bold Intentions

Oregon Pacific Bank’s Amber White, Ron Green, Ellen Huntingdon and  Kate Salyers. Kaplan Oregon Pacific Bank’s Amber White, Ron Green, Ellen Huntingdon and Kate Salyers.

With a recently expanded office in Eugene, Oregon Pacific Bank marches confidently towards a bigger future while keeping community at its core.

Ron Green, President of Oregon Pacific Bank, operates a little differently than most community bank presidents.
 
Green joined Oregon Pacific Bank in 2007 as Chief Credit Officer. In 2013, he was asked to take over as President and CEO. Two years later, Oregon Pacific Bank expanded by opening a new office in Eugene with two main goals—to help local businesses grow with the unique services a community bank provides, and to build upon the talent Eugene has to offer.

“We have a very forward-thinking viewpoint of where we’d like to go. We don’t want to remain stagnant,” said Green. “I want us to move toward the future.”

“[Our priority with] our Eugene expansion is to attract local talent and build around those key leaders,” Green continued. “My job is to hire the most talented people possible—those with a forward-looking vision and who are willing to provide the best banking experience for our clients.”

Amber White, the Bank’s new Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, is a recent hire who Green reached out to directly. White is not your typical bank CFO, and brings a new level of energy and ingenuity to the financial industry. “Often in banking there is this stereotype of ‘The Old Boys Club’,” White said, “and for women in the financial industry, this can be a real struggle to overcome.” After researching the team and hearing Green’s vision, she was excited to come on board. “I saw that this is a progressive bank—they are looking for the best talent and for people who can truly make an impact.”

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Making a local impact is the core function of a community bank. Their business model is founded on their ability to help local companies grow. Formed in 1979, five people from Florence operating out of a single-wide mobile home developed a mission to serve small businesses and rural communities by doing things bigger banks couldn’t. Thirty-nine years later, Oregon Pacific Bank is the longest-serving community bank in Lane County, and has opened offices in Roseburg, Coos Bay, Medford and now Eugene.

The bank’s success can be linked directly to the level of commitment from employees and decision makers. All of their employees live in the communities they serve and one of the bank’s founders still sits on the Board in the position of Chairman. When lenders help a business grow or donate to a local cause, the community at large benefits, and those benefits reach into the personal lives of those who depend on the bank for their livelihood.

“Our objective is to reinvest deposits down the street,” said Green. This leads to a “say yes” philosophy, where bank lenders constantly seek innovative ways to provide opportunity to their borrowers. Personal connections to community projects create a culture of trust that supports investment without taking excessive risk.

Flexibility is a principal advantage of working with a community bank—with less bureaucracy comes a shorter line to resolution. Loans can be structured to meet specific needs and borrowers can get feedback more efficiently. Oregon Pacific Bank employees are encouraged to act autonomously, and base their decisions on what best serves both the bank and the customer.

“Oregon Pacific Bank benefits from a strong culture of horizontal leadership, which makes creative solutions attainable,” says Kate Salyers, a lifelong resident of Eugene who was recently hired as Senior Vice President and Credit Administrator. “No one wants to be a roadblock. When we are empowered to take care of our clients, that makes our jobs a whole lot easier.”

Customers seem to appreciate the bank’s flexibility and efficiency, too. It’s not unusual to find clients who have been with Oregon Pacific Bank for over 20 years. One local business owner recently transferred his accounts from a national bank with one specific reason: he appreciates knowing he is always one phone call away from a decision maker.

IMG 0646Kate Salyers, Ron Green, Ellen Huntingdon and Amber White meet in the bank’s newly expanded Eugene office.

Personal relationships are central to why Oregon Pacific Bank retains such long-lasting clients. As Green acknowledges, it starts with hiring and mentoring the right people. With plans to continue expansion, attracting exceptional staff is a priority.

Oregon Pacific Bank supports the community in each of their neighborhoods. Bank employees logged an estimated 4,500 volunteer hours last year, and contributed towards Oregon’s statewide total of $4.9 million in community bank donations to non-profits and sponsorships.

“People are essential to everything we do, and we want to continue to seek out and hire the best people we can, specifically in the Eugene market,” said Green. “We’re looking for people who want to have a voice at the table, and who can make a difference in the community.”

Learn more about Oregon Pacific Bank by following their Facebook page, checking out www.opbc.com, or visiting one of their local branches. Oregon Pacific Bank is an equal housing lender and member of the FDIC.



Brand stories are paid content articles that allow Oregon Business advertisers to share news about their organizations and engage with readers on business and public policy issues.  The stories are produced in house by the Oregon Business marketing department. For more information, contact associate publisher Courtney Kutzman.

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