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Western Mercantile Agency in Coos Bay turns to Oregon Pacific Bank in time of crisis

Western Mercantile Agency in Coos Bay has been in business for nearly 90 years. Never in that long history did the company experience a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like many other businesses, the collections firm was having difficulty meeting its expenses as business came to a halt, says Michelle Gallino, president of Western Mercantile. She turned to her bank at the time but wasn’t getting the answers she needed. Another business owner suggested she contact Deena Gisholt at Oregon Pacific Bank.

As a Senior Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager at OPB’s Coos Bay branch, Deena quickly got the ball rolling to secure a loan under the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which provided businesses the funds they needed to pay employees and keep their doors open.

“Within two days, she had my process completed from start to finish,” Michelle recalls. “Within an hour of filing it, it was approved.”

The loan made an immediate difference and helped save jobs at her company, Michelle says.

Deena says she was glad she could step in to fill a need and says OPB’s priority is relationship banking. She gets to know her clients and works with them to meet their goals.

“It’s a really good feeling when you can help someone,” she says. “We cater to small businesses and that’s really what we’re about.”

Michelle was so impressed with the service she received that she transferred all of her banking accounts to Oregon Pacific Bank. The personalized service makes it worth it, she says.

“When we walk into the bank, they know us. They know my employees, they know my husband, they know my family,” Michelle says. “They just go above and beyond what a normal bank does. I’ve never been so pleased with my bank.”

Western Mercantile Agency in Coos Bay has been in business for nearly 90 years. Never in that long history did the company experience a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like many other businesses, the collections firm was having difficulty meeting its expenses as business came to a halt, says Michelle Gallino, president of Western Mercantile. She turned to her bank at the time but wasn’t getting the answers she needed. Another business owner suggested she contact Deena Gisholt at Oregon Pacific Bank.

As a Senior Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager at OPB’s Coos Bay branch, Deena quickly got the ball rolling to secure a loan under the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which provided businesses the funds they needed to pay employees and keep their doors open.

“Within two days, she had my process completed from start to finish,” Michelle recalls. “Within an hour of filing it, it was approved.”

The loan made an immediate difference and helped save jobs at her company, Michelle says.

Deena says she was glad she could step in to fill a need and says OPB’s priority is relationship banking. She gets to know her clients and works with them to meet their goals.

“It’s a really good feeling when you can help someone,” she says. “We cater to small businesses and that’s really what we’re about.”

Michelle was so impressed with the service she received that she transferred all of her banking accounts to Oregon Pacific Bank. The personalized service makes it worth it, she says.

“When we walk into the bank, they know us. They know my employees, they know my husband, they know my family,” Michelle says. “They just go above and beyond what a normal bank does. I’ve never been so pleased with my bank.”

Banker Spotlight
Deena Gisholt

Deena Gisholt

SVP, Team Leader/Commercial Relationship Manager
Coos Bay Branch
541-269-7929

“When the community thrives, we thrive, and our clients thrive. It’s a win-win.”

If you’ve lived in the Coos Bay area for anytime at all, you’ve more than likely crossed paths with Deena Gisholt. When she’s not serving customers at Oregon Pacific Bank, she’s been active in numerous civic leadership roles, which led her to being named the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year for 2020.

Deena, a Senior Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager, has served customers at the Coos Bay branch for 18 years. She worked for another bank for 20 years prior. She joined OPB because of its community banking environment, where “you know everyone,” she says.

Deena enjoys her job because of the relationships she’s built with clients over the years. “That’s really what it’s all about,” she says. “Trying to learn what’s important to them, what their needs are, helping them to accomplish their goals.”

She’s spent her entire life in the South Coast area, growing up on a dairy farm in Norway, southeast of Coos Bay. Her family bonds and lifelong friends keep her rooted.

When her daughters were in school, Deena was involved in the PTA, served as a basketball coach, and helped in other supportive roles.

As for her civic involvement, she’s served for more than 20 years as a board member on the South Coast Development Council. She’s also served as president and board member of the United Way of Southwestern Oregon and as president of the Myrtle Point Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Deena was involved with the Myrtle Point, Coquille and Bay Area Rotary clubs and still supports their efforts as a Paul Harris Fellow.

Deena has since stepped back from some of those roles, focusing on her work as a board member for Kids Hope Center, an advocacy organization that helps support children who’ve experienced abuse. She says her “passion for children” is what drives her in what can be difficult but important work.

Deena says she’s grateful to work for a bank that encourages employees to be involved in volunteer and civic organizations.

“When the community thrives, we thrive, and our clients thrive,” Deena says. “It’s a win-win.”

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