MEDFORD, OR – With 100 dealerships in 12 states, Lithia Auto Stores could have located its national headquarters anywhere, but chose to build a LEED silver certified facility in Medford, Oregon.
“We made a conscious decision to locate our new headquarters here,” says Tom Dobry, vice president of marketing. “Here we have the best of all worlds—an affordable and outstanding quality of life and location on the I-5 corridor between two of the most dynamic cities in the country. We can be just as competitive here as anywhere, and we don’t lose time to a long commute.”
Mark DeBoer, Lithia’s vice president for corporate development and real estate, travels a lot, but he’s always glad to come home to Southern Oregon. “Every few days, it seems like I’m somewhere else, but Medford is unique,” he says. “It’s not just the climate—you can go through the whole list. We have four seasons, smart and friendly people, a great community and the proximity of skiing, mountain lakes and the coast. It’s like a little piece of heaven.”
That little piece of heaven is home to 800 of Lithia’s workforce of 5,800 nationwide. “The Rogue Valley provides us with an edge in recruiting. We have world-class companies and world-class recreational opportunities here,” notes Chris Holzshu, senior vice president and chief financial officer.
“What we found is if you network with what’s available to you here, doors will open. SOREDI (Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc.) has been able to provide a lot for businesses that are looking to come in to this area through low interest loans, Enterprise Zone and Electronic Commerce Zone tax incentives,” Mark says.
Lithia’s executive also noted several other extremely helpful business organizations in Southern Oregon including the following: Southern Oregon Angel Investment Network, Oregon Entrepreneur Network, Small Business Development Centers, Sustainable Valley Technology Group, Oregon Economic and Community Development Department and The Jefferson Grapevine. Bryan DeBoer, president and CEO, agrees. “Southern Oregon has a very collaborative business environment. All of the companies here feel a special spirit to help each other and share their best ideas, which have benefitted our company greatly.”
“Moving or starting a business here ranks high on the opportunity scale,” Tom says. “Compared to many big cities, the barriers to entry are low. You can be a bigger fish in a smaller pond—and that’s a good thing. You can make an impact here as a person too, by getting involved in the community, joining the school board or running for public office. Along with your business, you and your family can thrive here.”
Lithia Auto Stores
150 N. Bartlett
Medford, OR 97501
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