The Bottom Line
Small business is important to Central Oregon, and to Mid Oregon. Find tips and resources for business, and information about Mid Oregon’s commercial services and business members.
The Bend Municipal Airport is a very important part of the City of Bend’s economic vitality. When the opportunity came up a few years ago to help one of their major businesses, Leading Edge Aviation, we were excited to be able to help. It was a good fit for us, and they have been proven to be a good partner.
Expansion in 2015 to Redmond’s Roberts Field Municipal Airport
In 2015 Leading Edge expanded to Redmond’s Roberts Field Municipal Airport with their Leading Edge Jet Center. Included are passenger & pilot’s lounges, a flight planning room, conference room, and much more. This newly renovated FBO services facility provides fueling, hangar storage, aircraft maintenance, an avionics shop, aircraft detailing and cleaning, and many other supplemental aircraft and pilot services.
We recently spoke with Marti Fraley, Leading Edge Marketing Manager, who shared about how Mid Oregon helped them with their growth and expansion.
How did Mid Oregon solutions help your business?
Our relationship with Mid Oregon Credit Union has been crucial to our growth. In partnership with Mid Oregon, we were able to open a line of credit and secure financing that allowed us to acquire assets, like additional aircraft for our training facility.
What did you like best about working with Mid Oregon?
By looking at our business as a whole and truly investing in relationship with us, Mid Oregon has provided an extremely positive experience. They have consistently been willing to look at the big picture of what we do, what our values are, and the long term goals we are pursuing before proposing creative ideas of how can continue to grow as a company.
What would you tell a fellow business regarding your experience with Mid Oregon, if they were looking for a recommendation?
We are always recommending Mid Oregon to fellow businesses, community members, and even our own employees, with assurances that the people at Mid Oregon are attentive, knowledgeable, and great to work with. We have always found that Mid Oregon has our best interest at heart, shown by their willingness to spend the time to get to know our business. They always put in a great amount of effort to understand our needs, offering excellent advisement as we continue to move forward.
Brief description of the expansion:
We are currently working closely with the city of Bend, Connect Oregon, and the FAA to do a major expansion of the Northeast side of the Bend Municipal Airport. This expansion will significantly extend our facilities, improve our capabilities and give us more room to grow.
More About Leading Edge Aviation
In 2006, Leading Edge Aviation started helicopter flight training operations at Bend Municipal Airport. Flight volume has increased every year and now represents a large portion of Bend Airport activity. At the Flight School they also train fixed wing aircraft, or airplane, pilots. They offer a program through Central Oregon Community College for students pursuing a degree in Aviation, having a variety of aircraft available, in addition of 2 flight simulators owned by COCC.
Their centrally located FBO, at the Bend Municipal Airport, continues to provide domestic and international customers with quality fuel and services, delivering quick turnaround while maintaining high safety standards. Services include courtesy Cars, restrooms, kitchen, conference room and more. Other services they provide are fueling, aircraft maintenance, airplane, helicopter and part sales, leasing, and charters.
They have charter services available, and a great variety of Central Oregon helicopter tours. Specific tour options include Wine Tasting, Mt. Bachelor Winter Wonderland, Bend City & Lava Lands, Cascade Mt. Ring of Fire, and for this year, the “Helicopter Luxury Champagne Eclipse Basecamp 2017”.
Leading Edge Main Office and Flight Academy
Address: 63048 Powell Butte Highway, Bend, OR 97701
Phone: (541) 383-8825
Leading Edge Jet Center
Address: 1050 SE Sisters Ave, Redmond, OR 97756
Phone: (541) 504-3848
Since the middle of 2015, Drink Tanks has been a business member of Mid Oregon Credit Union. We are thankful that we have been able to support this relatively new Central Oregon company in its fast growth with some timely financing.
Nicholas Hill Revolutionized the Personal Beer Container Industry
In 2013, Nicholas Hill launched Drink Tanks to change how people drink beer. His vision of Drink Tanks was to craft beer containers using new creative initial fundraising methods while building the business and bringing jobs to Bend. From www.drinktanks.com:
“Nicholas Hill began developing the DrinkTanks growler…he noticed that, despite the burgeoning national craft beer scene, there wasn’t a container on the market that treated craft beer with the same care and respect that the brewers put into it. Despite incredible innovation occurring within the craft beer scene, the portable containers used to carry beer had stayed the same.
“With the help of his father, Dr. Tim Hill, he began developing a design that would revolutionize personal beer containers. Dr. Hill passed away in 2011, but Nicholas continued to develop the idea. In 2013, Engineer John Herrick joined the team and helped finalize the initial design. Eschewing traditional fundraising methods, Nicholas launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring the DrinkTanks Growler to market. The campaign was a wild success, launching DrinkTanks into the spotlight of a worldwide audience of craft beer enthusiasts.
“Rather than outsourcing the majority of the labor put into the product, Nicholas opted to move as much of it in-house as possible. He set up a manufacturing facility where all of the powder coating, custom engraving and assembly for every DrinkTanks product are currently done. By retaining the labor in-house, DrinkTanks is able to bring jobs to Nicholas’ hometown of Bend, Oregon, as well as ensure that the quality of the overall product is far superior to any other growler on the market.”
How Mid Oregon Helped Drink Tanks
Maureen Parco, Drink Tanks Controller, shared with us last month about how Mid Oregon has been as a commercial partner:
“Drink Tanks Corporation sells beer growlers and accessories here in Bend, Oregon. Founded in 2013, I don’t believe our company would have been as successful as it is today without the help of Mid Oregon Credit Union (MOCU).
“MOCU (Mid Oregon Credit Union) believed in the potential of Drink Tanks Corporation, which empowered our executives to reach even higher levels.
“For the past several years, MOCU has been helpful in this success by providing financing in several areas. They partnered with the Small Business Administration to provide an inventory and working capital loan which enabled us to grow and deliver products on time. They financed equipment purchases we utilized to modernize our plant. They were instrumental in helping acquire a suitable 18,000 sq. ft. facility. We recently completed the financing of a vehicle to travel to various events in Oregon and elsewhere, which boosts sales. MOCU has been central to providing that stepping stone to move from ‘small’ to ‘medium’ to ‘large’.
“MOCU has not only provided financing, but they have been a great help with advice and information about what may be available for Drink Tanks. An example is the Energy Program which we pursued, saving not only money, but helping the environment.
“We look forward to many years of a strong bond and partnership between the Drink Tanks Corporation and Mid Oregon Credit Union. Without this resource, I don’t believe we would be where we are today.”
More About Drink Tanks
- Quality and Continual Improvement
- Local Responsibility
- Environmental Responsibility
Earlier this year, Mid Oregon Credit Union Commercial Services provided Preston Thompson Guitars of Sisters with financing to help them expand their business. We appreciated Preston Thompson and his team coming to us, especially in light of our new Sisters branch opening later this year.
Preston Thompson, Master Guitar Luthier
Thompson, who has built guitars since the 1970’s, is a “master guitar luthier”, and has worked with some of the greats in his field. From pktguitars.com:
“Discovered by bluegrass virtuosos Charles Sawtelle and Peter Rowan in the 1980s, Preston has built a reputation for handmade, original vintage guitars. He got his start building guitars under Charles Fox at the School of the Guitar Research & Design Center in Vermont, the first school for guitar makers in North America.
“During the 1970s, he honed his guitar-making skills at the legendary Randy Wood’s Old Time Pickin’ Parlor, the center of Nashville’s bluegrass music jam scene. In the 1980s, Preston’s custom acoustic guitars attracted the attention of the top flatpicking and fingerstyle guitarists in the world.” Read more about Preston Thompson…
Recently we caught up with Preston Thompson Guitars’ Christine Funk, who offered these thoughts on how Mid Oregon has helped their company:
How did this loan impact your business?
Christine: This loan was critical for Thompson Guitars to expand and continue to grow their business. Having a line of credit to count on for cash flow ups and downs gave us a sense of security as we moved quickly forward with purchasing inventory and creating a larger brand presence in the marketplace. Also the small equipment loan helped speed up our processes with new and improved jigs, fixtures and larger pieces of equipment to fill guitar orders in a more timely manner so that we can accommodate more orders. We also were able to replace a high interest short term loan with a longer lower interest loan from Mid Oregon Credit which helped out our monthly expense total.
Any comments about Mid Oregon?
Christine: Mid Oregon Credit has been helpful every step of the way from the loan process, providing a list of items they needed to complete the loan and making it a quick the turn around for both the credit line and equipment loan to keep our company growing. We have a great team at Mid Oregon Credit that we can ask questions to and feel they are a part of our business helping us to be successful. They provide a very personal touch with coming out to visit our shop to check on progress even after the loans were put into place.
More about Preston Thompson Guitars:
Preston Thompson Guitars
Address: 352 E Main Ave, Sisters, OR 97759
Mailing Address: PO BOX 250, Sisters, OR 97759
Phone: (541) 588-6211
From their workshop in the music-loving town of Sisters, they build custom guitars and standard models based on the best American made guitars from the 1930’s. The choice of Grammy-winning flatpick and fingerstyle guitarists alike, Preston Thompson Guitars are among the best acoustic guitars available anywhere, renowned for superior tone, craftsmanship and materials. Read more about Preston Thompson Guitars…