|October 13, 2006 - REPRINT
By Lee van der Voo
City Reporter, Lake Oswego Review
LAKE OSWEGO, OREGON. . .The Bank of Oswego is opening a second branch this fall, less than two years after the fledgling bank opened its doors for the first time in Lake View Village. The new building, roughly 2,000-square-feet, will be located at Mercantile Village in Lake Grove. It is scheduled to open November 2006.
Dan Heine, President and CEO of the bank, said the move is in response to the bank’s growing customer base and aims to serve Lake Grove and Kruse Way patrons with greater efficiency. The Bank of Oswego capitalized in December 2004 with $14 million. Today, the bank has $40 million in assets and $30 million in total loans, Heine said. The bank’s staff, initially 12, will grow to 18 when the Lake Grove branch opens its doors.
Heine said the bank’s rapid growth shows that local people support its mission. "The community of Lake Oswego really values a successful local bank and our early success is indicative of that local attitude," Heine said. Contributions to organizations like the Lakewood Center for the Arts and the Janus Youth Programs keep the bank in good standing as a corporate citizen.
Through networking and outreach, The Bank of Oswego has targeted a 12-mile trade territory centered in Lake Oswego. Since its opening in 2004, the bank has steadily enticed customers with its elegant atmosphere, crisp-looking staff and personalized touch. Rivaling national and regional chains, The Bank of Oswego counts one-on-one attention to clients as its major selling point. "We don’t look at our products and services as a commodity," Heine said. "We’re more of a relationship-driven operation."
The bank is now building an advertising campaign based on client testimonials about its special touch. In one recent incident, Heine said a concierge at the bank offered lunch to a hungry customer following a catered staff meeting. Rushed and without lunch, the woman gladly accepted an unplanned plate of salad and rolls. "The moral of the story is that I did not tell Mallory to do that. She did it on her own," Heine said. Seeking "motivated, competent employees who truly care" is an ingredient he believes has spelled success for The Bank of Oswego.
The relationship-driven approach appears to be working for employees as well. The bank recently made Oregon Business Magazine’s list of the top 100 companies to work for. For customers in Lake Oswego, the benefit of a contented, professional staff is more than just free lunch. Heine said the bank works closely with a number of specialized professionals here, many who run unique businesses out of their homes.
"We like to listen and tailor our products and services to their unique special needs. We try to think outside the box, try to focus on solutions, more of a can-do attitude," he said. The Bank of Oswego began planning for its second branch six months ago. Early success for the company made the move possible but an opening in Mercantile Village prompted Heine to act quickly.
An opening date and lobby hours will be announced for the new location — at 3970 S.W. Mercantile Drive, Suite 105 — in October.
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Dan Heine, President & CEO 503.445.3121 email@example.com