Customer-Centered Banking for the Banks: Inside Our Portland Branch

January 21, 2020

From boutique donuts to blues festivals, craft beers to a thriving food cart culture, Portland has an eclectic vibe and a bit of something for everyone. In a downtown office overlooking the Willamette River and Hawthorne Bridge, you’ll find our Portland branch.

We’re a small but mighty team in Portland: ten employees strong, each making essential contributions to the San Francisco Fed. Our work spans regional, business, and community development outreach, national incident response, and application development.

Customer support specialists at the San Francisco Fed’s Portland branch celebrate Employee Appreciation Day.

And we’re the San Francisco Fed’s ambassadors to the financial institution world, providing cash-related customer support for Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco account customers. When a new bank starts up, offers new services, merges, or closes, we make sure they meet all regulatory requirements.

I’m always impressed by what our modestly-sized team can do.

Luckily, we’re not in it alone.

Pulse of the Region

The large service footprint for our branch covers all of Oregon, southern and southeast Washington, and the panhandle of Idaho. A major responsibility of ours is listening to stakeholders throughout the region. That includes gathering perspectives from various people, industries, and businesses—as well as our Board of Directors—about economic issues and challenges facing our local economies.

The San Francisco Fed’s Portland team with Mary Daly at the Community Leaders Luncheon in Salem, Oregon.

Many iconic multinational companies like Nike, GE, Adidas North America, Tillamook, Columbia Sportswear, Harry & David, and Intel are here.

So, we hear from voices big and small (but no less important).

Surrounded by Natural Beauty

Oregon is a beautiful place to visit, and we’re lucky to have stunning geographic features like the Redwood Highway, Crater Lake, Columbia River Gorge, and the Oregon coast. You can see beautiful Mt. Hood from our window. It’s an inspiring sight for visiting employees from around the Federal Reserve System who gather for working sessions or who need a satellite office.

Portland Fed branch employees celebrate International Women’s Day.

Beyond the Day-to-Day

Portland branch employees tend to be an independent, self-directed bunch, but we make big efforts to connect with each other and our diverse Portland community. We held our first-ever Kids at the Fed Day in 2019 so we could connect with our families. We often volunteer together. For instance, we recently partnered with local services to put together and distribute care packs for people experiencing homelessness.

Portland Fed branch employees volunteer to put together care packages for people experiencing homelessness.

As a group, we pride ourselves on a job well done and working in the service of others—modestly and without a lot of fanfare. So, on that note, thank you to our wonderful San Francisco Fed family and diverse Portland community for your continued openness to helping us learn, develop, and grow, professionally and personally.

Lynn Jorgensen is Vice President of People Rewards & Operations and Portland Regional Executive at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the management of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.