ILWACO - This month ShoreBank Pacific will celebrate its 10th year in business, with the involvement of three 1991 Ilwaco High School graduates demonstrating just how local this cutting-edge bank has become.
Since the summer of 1997, ShoreBank Pacific has served as a commercial bank while upholding their dedication to the environment and the community. Through its formation of ShoreBank Enterprise Pacific in 1995 and its eventual merger with Seattle's Cascadia Revolving Fund in 2006, ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia now shares the sustainable, energy efficient ShoreBank building. Often a typical business day at ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia includes business consulting, vehicle guarantees, offering tax credit programs and providing loans for an extensive list of projects from around the Pacific Northwest.
Further adding to their community-minded atmosphere, ShoreBank has made it a point to hire local individuals when the opportunity arises.
One of a few employees that will be celebrating his 10th year at ShoreBank is 1991 Ilwaco High School graduate Dustin Mead. After receiving his bachelor's and master's degrees through finance studies at Washington State University and Portland State University, Mead was first hired for an administration position at the Portland office and later transferred to Ilwaco. He now works as a commercial loan officer and says he has enjoyed his return to the Peninsula, where he can partake in a variety of outdoor recreation activities.
In June 2003, ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia hired Jonathan Miller - a University of Portland grad who grew up in Brownsmead, Ore., and was ranked second in the Knappa High School Class of 1993.
In December 2006, Mead and his colleagues at ShoreBank Pacific welcomed credit analyst Guy Glenn Jr., also a 1991 IHS graduate. An alumnus of Colorado State University, Glenn says he happily returned to the Peninsula to be close to his family. For five years before, he worked at Raymond Federal Bank in Long Beach.
In June, a third IHS grad, Elaine (Weber) McMillan, joined the ShoreBank team as an associate loan officer for ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia. After studying accounting at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., McMillan became a licensed CPA in several states and worked as an acting operations manager. She eventually moved back to the Peninsula, where she taught part-time at Clatsop Community College.
According to ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia President and Chief Executive Officer John Berdes, the coincidence doesn't end there - all three 1991 IHS alumni were ranked among the top three in their graduating class and McMillan and Mead even went to the prom together.
Mead says he encourages his company to hire locals who have finished with school elsewhere and are having a difficult time finding a job to allow them to move back to the coast.
"We really like to give them an opportunity to come back and make a living here. We like to keep as many local people jobs here as possible. ... It has been great to employ them - to have people here that I've known and been friends with for years."
"It definitely adds to the comfort level," agrees McMillan.
A good friend of Mead for years, Glenn says he has learned a lot from working with Mead.
"I basically love everything about being here," says Miller, who started as a credit analyst and now considers himself a jack-of-all-trades. "I have got the opportunity to be part of the revitalization of Astoria and it's all really exciting for me. ... I also tend to run into a lot of my old teachers here, like John Sporseen and Bob Walters!"