909 SE Bay Boulevard
PO BOX 2280
Newport, OR 97365
Customer Service Team Reunited
For Immediate Release
Friday, May 27, 2002
Contact: Fred Postlewait
Oregon Coast Bank
Newport, OR – If the names and smiling faces look familiar, it’s for good reason. As a team, Lavonne Fritz and Nancy Johnson have been opening new bank accounts and providing friendly service to local customers for more than 10 years. But now the team will have a new home. Fritz and Johnson have both accepted offers to join the staff of Lincoln County’s newest financial institution, Oregon Coast Bank (in organization).
“Both of us prefer locally owned and operated banks,” commented Fritz. “The ability to make decisions on the spot definitely improves the level of customer service that we can provide,” explained Johnson. “We’ve each worked at community banks and at branches of chain banks,” added Fritz. “I’m convinced that we can serve our customers better at a bank with local ownership.”
Fritz and Johnson first teamed up more than 10 years ago at the Newport branch of National Security Bank. “We both had the philosophy that customers were more important than rules and regulations, so we worked well together,” remembers Johnson. Five years later, Fritz and Johnson became part of the team that opened Lincoln Security Bank, which became Lincoln County’s only locally owned and operated financial institution. When Lincoln Security Bank was acquired by Umpqua Bank, a regional chain, Fritz and Johnson both expressed an interest in returning to their community bank roots.
“All of us on the board wanted our new accounts desk to be staffed by experienced bankers that customers would be comfortable with,” explained Fred Postlewait, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oregon Coast Bank (in organization). “Obviously Lavonne and Nancy were our number one choices.”
A Toledo resident for more than 50 years, Fritz and her husband, Ron, have three grown children. Ron Fritz retired from Georgia Pacific eight years ago. The couple are members of the Toledo Southern Baptist Church. Nancy Johnson and her husband, Rodney, a commercial fisherman, have resided in Newport for 35 years. Active in the Newport First Baptist Church, the Johnsons have two daughters and seven grandchildren.
Although Oregon Coast Bank’s (in organization) targeted opening date is not until July 8th, Johnson is already pre-registering accounts for customers. “We can set up accounts and even order checks in advance, so when the bank opens our customers will be ready to use their accounts immediately,” explained Johnson. Customers interested in pre-registering for accounts can contact Johnson directly at 270-9005.