September 6, 2019
Customer Spotlight: YMCA Salem
YMCA of Salem plays an invaluable role in our community. From after-school programs, to swim lessons, to youth sports, to health and fitness, it gives families the resources to live safe and healthy lives.
“This organization has been serving Marion and Polk Counties for over 100 years with compassion and creativity,” said Chris Ray of Willamette Community Bank. “Organizations like this make such a tremendous impact in our community.”
Add to that, YMCA serves everyone, regardless of income. “We turn no one away for their financial ability,” said CEO Sam Carroll. “That’s what makes us unique.”
Not all banks have the skill set to do this. Many large financial institutions shy away from the challenges that nonprofit organizations face and won’t deliver the custom solutions they need. That’s not an issue at Willamette Community Bank; many of us volunteer on nonprofit boards, and we understand how they work behind the scenes. Most importantly, we value what they stand for.
“The people working at the bank, they’re part of our community,” Sam Carroll said. “They understand the challenges we face and the value we bring.”
So when YMCA needed a line of credit to accommodate their seasonal cash flow, we listened. The lender they were working with at the time wasn’t focused on meeting this need, which was not a simple one to address. “But given their mission, it was important to the community,” Chris Ray said. “So we went out and provided the level of care, consulting, and out-of-the-box thinking to meet their needs, because we believe in where they’re going.”
That’s been born out especially as YMCA has been preparing for new construction. Their current facility, 125 years old, will be replaced by a new 51,000 square foot facility opening in March 2021, and Willamette Community Bank has been a key financial partner in that process.
“Willamette Community Bank has the head and the heart,” Sam Carroll said. “They understand the importance of YMCA in our community. They have a true belief in what we do, and they take a true interest in our business — not just the financial side, but the impact we’re having, the people we serve. It makes for a great partnership.”
That’s why the organization followed up by moving all their business accounts to Willamette Community Bank. It’s also why we actively support them, not just behind the scenes, but in person: attending fundraisers and events to advocate for the good they do in the community.
“I appreciate the privilege of being their banker, because it gives me an opportunity to participate in their mission,” Chris Ray said. “There are few things that give me greater joy than seeing one of my customers do something great in the community and being able to say, ‘I was a part of that.’”