Longtime Southern Tillamook County banker Rose Wharton, who is credited with bringing the highly popular Oregon Coast Bank branch to Pacific City, will retire on Jan. 15 after a 47-year career in local banking. Greg Macias, a Western Oregon University graduate who started as an Oregon Coast Bank intern and worked his way up through a variety of positions, has been appointed Wharton’s successor as Branch Manager.
An “Open House” in Wharton’s honor will be held at the Oregon Coast Bank Pacific City office on Jan. 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cake, cupcakes and coffee will be provided. All Oregon Coast Bank customers and friends of Wharton are invited.
Founded in Newport in 2002 as a locally owned and operated financial institution, Oregon Coast Bank was considering expansion during the fall of 2003. Frank Brawner, who had retired as president of the Oregon Bankers’ Association and was serving on the Oregon Coast Bank Board of Directors, suggested that Pacific City was in need of a bank. Brawner was confident that the branch would be a success because he knew of an ideal candidate to lead the expansion.
That person was Wharton, an area native who had worked for more than 30 years at the Cloverdale U.S. Bank branch and was its longtime manager. Wharton felt that a new community bank that offered local decision-making was the key to economic prosperity in South Tillamook County.
Brawner introduced Wharton to Oregon Coast Bank President Fred Postlewait, who soon realized that Wharton’s goals were completely in line with those of the bank. He quickly recommended to his board of directors that if Wharton would agree to manage the new branch, then Oregon Coast Bank should expand to Pacific City. The directors agreed, and by the spring of 2003 the new branch was open with Wharton at the helm.
An immediate success, the Oregon Coast Bank Pacific City office attracted more than a million dollars in new deposits per month during its initial year. Under Wharton’s leadership, the branch has continued to grow steadily since its inception providing a wide variety of traditional and cutting edge banking services to the many local families and businesses it serves.
Known for her community involvement, genuine concern and optimistic outlook, Wharton has been a tireless advocate for her customers and will be greatly missed at the bank. She has been responsible for providing more than a hundred million dollars of financing for Tillamook County families and businesses.
Wharton and her husband, Randy, a retired local school principal, recently built their dream house next to their daughter’s home on the Little Nestucca River. Wharton’s retirement plans include travel, volunteering in the community and plenty of time spent with her family and friends.
It was Wharton who first encouraged Macias, a Tillamook native, to become a banker. After interning at Oregon Coast Bank and graduating from Western Oregon University with a degree in Business Administration, Macias was offered a full-time position at the bank’s Tillamook office. Starting in customer service, Macias was soon promoted to head teller and later served as operations supervisor before beginning training as a lending officer. Last April he was transferred to Oregon Coast Bank’s Pacific City office so that he could work side by side with Wharton and develop a rapport with the branch’s customers.
Macias and his wife, Brianna, reside in Tillamook with their two young daughters and have extensive family in the area. In his words: “taking over as manager of our Pacific City branch is quite a responsibility, but I couldn’t have had a better mentor than Rose. She’s everything a community banker should be.”
“Without a doubt, Rose will be greatly missed,” commented Joe Postlewait, President of Oregon Coast Bank. “Her leadership in the bank and the community has been exceptional. Our entire staff and customer base count her as a friend and wish her continued success in retirement. Greg certainly has big shoes to fill as our new Pacific City manager, but our executive team and board of directors feel he’s up to the task.”