The following is a message from Bess Wills, General Manager of Gresham Ford:
“I hope you realize what a blessing it is to live here.
In 2003 I was managing 3 automotive dealerships in the Los Angeles area when I was asked to take over running Gresham Ford as well. At first I saw this as just a temporary assignment to get the
organization running smoothly and profitably without causing too much disruption to my life. But there were plans bigger than mine in the works.
I soon fell in love with the people who have built such a strong community. Everyone I met had a warmth and friendliness I hadn’t experienced anywhere else. I eventually learned to love the rain, but
I’m still not fond of the Gorge winds. It wasn’t long before I gave up the dealerships in Los Angeles, we sold our house and moved to Oregon to make this our home.
I felt the city had adopted me, and I wanted to return the blessing. When a customer mentioned in passing that there were, at the time, more than 4,000 people in our area going hungry, my staff and I took an afternoon and went door-to-door collecting food for SnoCap, the regional food bank. Later I learned a lady working for us had recently overcome homelessness through the help of Cathe Wiese and My Father’s House. I began to see how small organizations all over this community were truly making a difference in the lives of others. Helping then became my obsession. We met as a staff to discuss how we as a company could do more to help the community than just run an honest business. Our Parts Manager, Mike Amato, suggested starting a fund where everyone on staff could contribute a portion of their pay to help people as the needs arise. The employee fund has helped pay for things like medical bills for a family in the community whose child needed life saving surgery and to replacing a transmission in a van for another family that had just gotten off welfare.
A few years ago we decided to get our customers involved and started our “Contribute to the Community Program.” We donate $100 with the purchase of any new or used vehicle, and 10% of all service work, parts and labor, in the customer’s name to the charity of their choice. As a result, we have been able to help literally hundreds of different organizations, improve lives throughout the region and the nation.
We am honored and humbled to be a part of this wonderful community.
Thank you for allowing the Gresham Ford Family to serve you.