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Southern Oregon Diesel is fueled by PPP loan during pandemic

David Gregory’s father started Southern Oregon Diesel in 1954, and David and his brothers have been a part of the Roseburg company for 44 years. With decades of service behind them, they know how to keep customers satisfied. “Because we’ve been here so long, we have a very loyal customer base,” says David.

Despite the company’s long history, Southern Oregon Diesel faced a major challenge when the pandemic began earlier this year. “There was just a shock and awe point there, where nobody knew what was going to happen next,” he says.

Their biggest concern was keeping their highly trained employees on payroll. Their engine expertise is what makes the company a leader in their field. “You just can’t replace those people,” David says.

He reached out to the bank they had been with for more than a quarter century to learn more about the federal Paycheck Protection Program, but his bank was of little help. “Basically, I was in worse shape than when I started,” David says.

That’s when he decided it was time for a change. “I immediately called Charley up at Oregon Pacific Bank. He said, ‘No problem. We’ve got this, we’ve got this handled.”

Charley Thompson, Team Leader at our Roseburg branch, was glad to help. “Your banker should know your business,” he says. “When the chips are down or it’s really tough, that’s when it’s really important.”

David was convinced. “Switching our business to Oregon Pacific Bank was such a tremendous experience. We should have done it a long time ago.”

In all, Oregon Pacific Bank has loaned more than $125.2 million to 752 businesses and nonprofits in Lane, Coos, Douglas and Jackson counties, as part of the U.S. Paycheck Protection Program, retaining more than 15,000 local jobs. Part of the CARES Act, these forgivable loans provide a direct incentive for businesses and nonprofits to keep workers employed during the crisis.

David Gregory’s father started Southern Oregon Diesel in 1954, and David and his brothers have been a part of the Roseburg company for 44 years. With decades of service behind them, they know how to keep customers satisfied. “Because we’ve been here so long, we have a very loyal customer base,” says David.

Despite the company’s long history, Southern Oregon Diesel faced a major challenge when the pandemic began earlier this year. “There was just a shock and awe point there, where nobody knew what was going to happen next,” he says.

Their biggest concern was keeping their highly trained employees on payroll. Their engine expertise is what makes the company a leader in their field. “You just can’t replace those people,” David says.

He reached out to the bank they had been with for more than a quarter century to learn more about the federal Paycheck Protection Program, but his bank was of little help. “Basically, I was in worse shape than when I started,” David says.

That’s when he decided it was time for a change. “I immediately called Charley up at Oregon Pacific Bank. He said, ‘No problem. We’ve got this, we’ve got this handled.”

Charley Thompson, Team Leader at our Roseburg branch, was glad to help. “Your banker should know your business,” he says. “When the chips are down or it’s really tough, that’s when it’s really important.”

David was convinced. “Switching our business to Oregon Pacific Bank was such a tremendous experience. We should have done it a long time ago.”

In all, Oregon Pacific Bank has loaned more than $125.2 million to 752 businesses and nonprofits in Lane, Coos, Douglas and Jackson counties, as part of the U.S. Paycheck Protection Program, retaining more than 15,000 local jobs. Part of the CARES Act, these forgivable loans provide a direct incentive for businesses and nonprofits to keep workers employed during the crisis.

Banker Spotlight
Charley Thompson

Charley Thompson

SVP, Team Leader/Commercial Relationship Manager
Roseburg Branch
541-677-9454

“Our ability to deeply dive into a financial statement with a client is one of our strong suits.”

Charley Thompson has been making music for as long as he can remember. While growing up, the whole family, cousins and all, would gather for Sunday dinner, followed by an evening of strumming and singing.

“You had to play something,” he says. “It was expected.”

It ignited in him a love of music that has stayed with him all these years. He and his guitar are regular visitors at wineries in the Roseburg area, where he entertains visitors with songs by James Taylor, the Eagles, Gordon Lightfoot and more.

“Music has been my lifelong passion,” he says.

His uncle, a studio guitarist in Los Angeles, helped train him and, after serving in the U.S. Army, Charley studied classical guitar at Portland State. He went into banking as a profession and continued to carry his guitar with him to play various gigs on the weekends across the state. His 45-year banking career took him from eastern Oregon to Portland, then to the coast before he landed in beautiful southern Oregon.

Charley joined Oregon Pacific Bank in 2016. He’s now a Senior Vice President and Team Leader/Commercial Relationship Manager at our Roseburg branch.

“I’ve worked for really large banks and smaller banks,” he said. “I wanted to join a good, solid, community bank that’s really focused on the community.”

OPB offers a level of expertise that’s unique for its market, Charley says. Businesses can expect fully detailed insights during conversations with OPB professionals.

“Our ability to deeply dive into a financial statement with a client is one of our strong suits,” he says.

Charley is happy to be in Roseburg, a town that he’s long wanted to call home. He loves the climate, the size of the town, and residents’ commitment to the community.

He works to help those in need in Roseburg by serving as the current chair for Peace at Home, an organization that assists men, women and children who have been abused or find themselves in other difficult situations.

He’s also on the executive committee for the Umpqua Community College Foundation and volunteers his time as a member of the Compassionate Ministries Team for Redeemer’s, a Christian fellowship group.

In addition, Charley shares his love for music by serving on the committee for Music on the Half Shell, an organization that puts together free summer concerts in Roseburg’s Stewart Park.

Similar to the way music can bring people together, a bank can be much more than a financial institution – it can be an instrument for change in a community. When a bank can help a business or nonprofit grow and thrive, the community thrives.

Building relationships and helping clients achieve their goals is the secret to community banking.

“Businesses have somebody they can talk to,” Charley says. “It doesn’t matter how big and small they are. It’s important, as a community banker, that you spend time with them and learn about their challenges, successes and interests.”

Learn how we can help you and your nonprofit or business succeed by completing this form or giving us a call at 541-677-9454.

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