In preparation for an upcoming series on Moving Forward through Change, SOREDI’s Executive Committee was asked to share a few thoughts on change: professional and personal. Chris DuBose, SOREDI Board Vice President, and Market President of First Interstate Bank, contributed the following responses.
A couple of items stand out over the last 20-months. The most significant was the ability for a relatively small bank like First Interstate, to respond to the needs of our customers in the middle of the pandemic and successfully deliver PPP funds to the small businesses in our communities. The second item that stands out is the evolving COVID protocol for our team members (which is still changing). The majority of our employees in the market don’t have the ability to work remotely and have been in the office every day since the Pandemic began, so keeping them safe and healthy has been a top priority.
As a financial institution we watch the state of the economy very closely. While there is a lot going on across the county, our economy and the majority of the businesses in the community have remained very resilient- some doing better today than they were before the pandemic began! Interest rates, actions by the Fed, housing supply, and labor market are a few of the key metrics we track. Across the business spectrum, continued pressure on wages and cost of living are items that all businesses are struggling with and it is no different in the financial services industry.
Adapting to change hasn’t been something most of us have had the ability to choose or not. We’ve either been forced to change the way we do things or find ourselves doing a disservice to our team members. I’ve learned to embrace change but only after I can step back and understand the benefits of what the change will bring. Change for change’s sake isn’t easy to lead through, but change for benefit or opportunity can be exciting.
I’m proud of the work SOREDI has done and the steps put in place in order to keep the organization relevant for the next 40+years. Changes in staffing, technology, and forming new community partnerships have directly aligned the organization with the region it serves and helped to make its work very visible. The work SOREDI has done recently wouldn’t have been possible 5 years ago and sets the organization on a new path going forward. A path with a bigger vision, leveraging business partners from the community, funded by sustainable and diversified sources, all to help execute the vision of prosperity in Southern Oregon.
“If I would have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford (on designing the Model T)
“What got you here won’t get you there.” -Marshall Goldsmith
Thank you for sharing, Chris!
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