Lori Gates Announces Retirement from OPB
After 34 years, Lori Gates, Florence Branch Manager, has announced her retirement from Oregon Pacific Bank. Although her last day at the Bank is still to be determined, it will be sometime during the first half of 2023. This will allow ample time to find, train, and prepare Lori’s replacement to take on all duties and responsibilities.
When Lori started with OPB, company headquarters was a trailer in the Florence parking lot. As the Bank has grown over the years to have branch offices in five communities, Lori’s career has grown along with it.
She’s done a little of everything at the bank since she began in 1980. She started off as a teller, and immediately found she enjoyed building rapport and relationships with customers. “I didn’t want to do anything else. I loved my job,” she recalls.
Later, Lori made the move to Merchant Services and found she loved that job, too, for many of the same reasons. She enjoyed working with customers onsite and helping them get their businesses set up to handle financial transactions. “That was my passion,” Lori says. “I’ve gotten to know so many businesses and owners in the community.”
“Lori always brings a smile and positive attitude to work,” says Mike Webb, Commercial Relationship Manager, who’s collaborated with Lori in serving local businesses for over 24 years. “She never has anything negative to say about anyone. Lori is truly a pleasure to work with!”
Lori has enjoyed her current role as Florence Branch Manager immensely and makes herself available to answer any need or question that comes up. “I love helping people,” she says.
Kim Erickson, Florence Team Leader and Manager of Residential Lending, has worked with Lori since the start of her own career at OPB over 24 years ago. “What can you say about Lori that isn’t positive?” Kim says. “She is such an amazing person and clients come in specifically to see her, sometimes just to say, ‘Hi’, because she has developed so many friendships. Lori is someone our employees look up to because of her tenure and positive attitude, and we are going to miss her a great deal.”
Lori’s passion for helping her clients can be seen clearly through the impact she’s left on those who have worked closely with her.
“One thing I always enjoy is watching Lori interact with every client,” recounts Florence Operations Supervisor Al Rojas, who has worked closely with Lori for 9 years. “She treats everyone with respect, making them feel special no matter who they are. She is a local celebrity in town. Everywhere I go, Lori is well known and liked. Listening to clients talk about their experiences with Lori throughout the years reminds me of why I love working at OPB.”
Lori’s passion for growing friendships and helping others extends outside of her job at the Bank and into the local community as well.
“I have always envied Lori’s empathy and compassion for others,” says Chris Saltmarsh, OPB’s Information Technology Director and co-worker of Lori’s for 19 years. “It allows her to excel in customer service at OPB, but also directly impacts our community through her work with numerous charitable groups. She always puts others’ needs before her own and I feel blessed to have worked with her for almost 20 years.”
Lori currently serves on the board for the Florence Rotarians and is an advisor for the Interact youth club, which carries out multiple service projects every year to aid the community. Lori also served on the board for Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue for over 10 years. In addition, she helps teach financial literacy classes to high school students and seniors.
One organization close to Lori’s heart that she looks forward to pouring more time in to during her retirement is Siuslaw Outreach Services. She has served on the organization’s Board of Directors since March of 2011, helping to further their mission of providing compassionate, respectful, and confidential support to people in need.
Aside from staying busy with her community service work, Lori is looking forward to taking time to relax with her family at home.
“Lori has been the face of Oregon Pacific Bank for almost as long as the bank has been in existence”, says Ron Green, President and CEO of Oregon Pacific Bank. “Although we are all excited for Lori to begin her well-deserved retirement, her joy and passion for the Bank and our clients will be greatly missed. She has made an indelible mark on the Bank and her legacy will be everlasting.”
Oregon Pacific Bank plans to hold a retirement party for Lori Gates next year and looks forward to inviting the community to join us in wishing Lori all the best on her next adventure.