Employee Spotlight with Ben Storey

The OnPoint Spotlight is an ongoing blog series that highlights our employees and celebrates the drive and personality of individuals on our team. It’s one way we show appreciation for their hard work and achievements while helping our community get to know the people who make things happen here at OnPoint.

This week’s employee spotlight is on Ben Storey, Member Relationship Officer at the 67th & Glisan Branch. Ben grew up in Portland, which makes him the rare Portlander (though he grew up thinking he was a Portlandian like the statue. It must’ve been copyrighted). Working near the neighborhood he grew up in is fun; you open accounts for old teachers, see childhood friends’ parents, and miss Moshe, the pig. Ben went to college at the University of Oregon, lived on the East Coast for a few years, and tried out other cities, but nothing felt like home until he came back. The sun not setting over the ocean is not okay… it’s just not.

Here’s what Ben had to share about his life and time at OnPoint:

What were you doing before joining OnPoint or taking on your current role?

Funny story: I had moved back to Portland from Eugene, where I sold cruises over the phone. I was looking for a new gig when I ran straight into the pandemic, like face-first with no mask. It was not pretty. I got a job doing security overnight in an empty building to keep working and to keep myself safely distanced. Then they moved my sight location, and I became the security guard at the Gresham Branch. I made new friends thanks to a well-timed snowstorm and balding tires. I stood a lot and observed these OnPoint employees listen and meet peoples’ needs, lessening worries and cracking a well-timed joke. I liked it so much at OnPoint that I decided to apply, and the branch managers talked me up and supported me. Jen Schmitz took a chance and made me a teller at the Woodstock Branch, and three years later, I am still at OnPoint. Now I have a desk and can sit down and settle people’s worries. Life is pretty good.

Ben-in-a-suitI love my team here at the 67th & Glisan Branch. Some of us play trivia together after work, some dance to 80s and 90s music, some tease each other, there is a never-ending game of tag, and surprisingly, most of us know all the words to Britney Spears’ “Sometimes”. Most importantly, we all respect each other and expect the same level of service for our members. It is a small branch inside a Freddies; a smaller branch means you wear all the hats. It also means you have more time to get to know your regulars, dig a little deeper with people applying for loans, and ensure you meet everyone’s needs. You have the time. That is a gift.

Who inspires you?

I should be writing about Henry Cavill and his abs, come on, but honestly, the most inspiring person to me is my dad. He is the middle child in a family of seven kids. He went from being a shy kid with a good sense of humor and a natural ability to play baseball to a man who spent his life fighting for and shaping the lives of children. He was a second-grade teacher, president of his union, and the first man to take paternity leave in the Gresham Barlow School District. He took me to teddy bear parades and Muppet retrospectives, built balsa wood race cars with me in Cub Scouts, and came to my third-grade class and taught us to make perpetual motion machines. Later in life, he moved from being my dad to being my buddy, and he was there for me when I came out of the closet in college. He’s my dad; he shaped my sense of humor and my love for family. He’s my hero.

If you have pets, what kinds and what are their names?

I have a best friend named Mae West. She came from the Oregon Humane Society in July and has been my shadow ever since. She loves her toys, even all the fake mice she batted under the couch, and steals the remote if I am watching too much TV and not giving her the pets and attention she wants and deserves. She checks on me if I am sick in bed and reminds me that she is there if I ever want to get up and play with the wand toy.

What’s the longest book you’ve ever read?

I have a degree in English, so I’ve read my fair share of long novels, especially the Russian ones. The longest book I read was The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert Cairo. It won the Pulitzer prize in 1974, and it was required reading for Intro to Urban Politics, one of the first college courses I took at U of O. It taught me a lot about how one person can change the shape of the community around them, in Robert Moses’ case it was the physical shape of neighborhoods as he put in the highways that surround New York City. It taught me a lot about what makes a community and what it means to be a part of the whole and only took 1,344 pages to do.

What is the most incredible view you’ve ever seen?

Ben-in-ScotlandI like to travel. It is how I unwind and reset from my job. If I can take a trip somewhere in the world, everything is worth it. My favorite view was out of a cave in Northern Ireland, where I saw the coastline dotted with green fields, tiny sheep, stone buildings, and clouds billowing in the distance over the ocean. On the other hand, getting completely lost in the overcrowded streets of New York and stumbling around the corner to an empty Lincoln Center is something I will never forget. Concrete and glass work together like an open smile or the wave of a princess in the Jr Rose Festival parade.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

I travel. I get out of the country once a year. Last year was Scotland and Ireland. This year is going to be Spain. This gives me a goal to focus on for the year, to make sure I can afford the trip one, but more importantly, to give me something to dream about, from speakeasies with Hemingway themes to underground caves where witches lived, from piles of freshly sauced pasta to Scotch so peaty it will make you give up smoking. Because getting out of the office and challenging yourself, makes you more well-rounded for the office.

Are you interested in joining our team? Learn more about a career with OnPoint.


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