September 8, 2006 - By MATTHEW SHERMAN
Staff Reporter, Lake Oswego Review

LAKE OSWEGO, OREGON. . .Some of the most important people in the country were in Lake Oswego for a brief visit last Tuesday. Not the United States, but the country of Botswana. High-ranking officials from the country’s police service, ministry of agriculture, attorney genera’s office and ministry of education, among other departments, stopped by the Bank of Oswego as part of a whirlwind two-week tour of businesses and organizations in Oregon.

Botswana is the wealthiest African nation and one that has made a commitment to be a productive, healthy and prosperous nation by the year 2016, its 50th year as an independent nation. The country is located in southern Africa, is roughly the size of Texas and is comprised of 1.5 million people and has had one of the highest economic growth rates in the world over the past 40 years.

The group’s trip was coordinated by The Performance Center, a Portland-based non-profit organization which specializes in exchanging leadership and organizational practices in a global community. The Botswanan officials visited Hewlett Packard, West Side Church and St. Charles Medical Center before their venture into Lake Oswego.

“The idea is to spend two weeks reflecting on leadership styles. The people we have seen are all leaders of something. They are all heads of different departments and the goal is for us to be exposed to ideas outside of our own,” said Dr. Athaliah Molokomme, Botswana’s Attorney General.

Bank of Oswego, which has been in existence since December of 2004, was selected by The Performance Center to be put on the tour after it received a very favorable evaluation recently by a large French banking organization. “These people basically control the country of Botswana. It was a very exciting day for us,” said Dan Heine, Bank of Oswego’s President and CEO.

During their time in Lake Oswego, the Botswanan officials were given a formal welcome by Mayor Judie Hammerstad and then listened to a talk from Heine where he detailed the bank’s history and his philosophy on leadership. “I was most impressed. They were very interesting, bright and caring,” Heine said.

The overall goal of the group’s two-week tour has been to observe how different organizations lead and to take some of their ideas back to Botswana to implement them. “It’s been a wonderful experience. The people here are very warm, friendly and welcoming. We’ve met a number of interesting people but it has been intense. It’s certainly not a holiday,” said Molokomme.

Throughout the course of the afternoon, Heine was very impressed with the individuals in attendance and with the questions they asked and their passion for their mission. “I commend them for wanting to improve the welfare of their people. I think my purpose is to foster peace, good will and understanding and this opportunity allowed me to do that in a small way,” Heine said. And it appears that the officials from Botswana were equally as impressed with Heine. After his presentation was finished, they made him an honorary citizen of their country.

The Bank of Oswego, a locally owned and managed full service bank, is located in Lake View Village, at the intersection of A and State in downtown Lake Oswego. Lobby banking hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at other times by appointment. Ample reserved parking is available in the Lake View Village parking garage. The Bank of Oswego serves businesses, individuals, entrepreneurs, women in business, and the mature market through: complete lending and deposit services; a mobile branch courier service; on-line banking; complimentary ATM usage; complimentary access to a “Community Room” for meetings; and an “At Your Service” concierge, who will provide expertise on local attractions, information about local events, and assistance with special arrangements.

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Dan Heine, President & CEO 503.445.3121