Oregon City - October 13 - 17, 2014 is Community Bank Week here in Oregon. The designation by the State of Oregon is an honor for those of us who work to make community banks successful. It's also a good reason to pause and take stock.
I came to Lewis & Clark Bank from a career in education. It might seem an unlikely route for a teacher. Teachers serve the community directly, and I believe community bankers can do the same.
Which community am I speaking of? There's the larger group that can be defined by geography and municipal borders, and there are the niches within the community -- including the business community -- that all work together to create the vibrant towns and neighborhoods where we live and work.
I used to teach kids in the classroom. Now, for the most part I am fortunate in that I am the one learning every day. I learn from my colleagues, and from all the inspiring business owners we interface with. One thing I appreciate as Marketing Director is how we have a unique opportunity to serve the business community in innovative ways.
Some institutions are content to merely trumpet "the idea" of community by throwing the word "community" around, but such notes fall flat without real action on the ground. Community is people; it is not a commodity. It is our employees choosing collectively to support the Children's Center with their own dollars. It is the Bank believing in feeding hungry high school students by supporting the Pioneer Pantry. It is supporting families that have someone serving in the military through the Blue Star Mothers of Oregon.
And, there are other communities we serve that are aligned with the Bank’s mission.
What is our bank if not an exceptional resource to the business community? Delivering at this level is what leads us to invest time and energy in peer-to-peer groups, business forums and strategic lecture series with noted speakers. Our bank-sponsored events are clearly part of our branding strategy, and I believe that face-to-face is the ultimate community-banking app.
At Lewis & Clark Bank, all customer deposits are reinvested right here in Oregon -- in Oregon City, the Portland Metro Area, Bend and Klamath Falls. I think it's safe to say we also know what customers want in a locally headquartered bank. We believe you want a banking partner with the vision to provide businesses and individuals the tools and know-how to achieve success.
Your success is important to the local business community. Like a boomerang, the success comes back. When you succeed, you make a difference for your staff directly, and that ripples out into the cafes and stores near your workplace. Whether you bank at Lewis & Clark Bank or not, we’re banking on you.