Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thanksgiving Note from Bess at Gresham Ford

Dear Neighbors:

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – not so much for the celebration itself, but for what it stands for. It is unique to the United States of America. It so speaks to our history, our gifts and our ability to work hard and celebrate our freedoms.  As the 2010 Thanksgiving Holiday passes, I have so many things to celebrate. To you my East County Neighbors – thank you all for making this community special. I encourage each of you to take the time to make a list of Thanks and send them to someone special, like your neighbor….

Thanks to all the military folks that serve so we can live our dreams.  Thanks to all our customers that make our company grow.  Thanks to Ford Motor Company for their ability to weather the financial storm.

Thanks to all who are making the “Fill the Bag” program stop hunger.  Thanks to all who shopped local this year.  You do make a difference.  Thanks to all the church communities that give to those in need.  Thanks to Brian for calling United Grocers and for their donations.

Thanks to Lions and Rotary and Dino Rochan for a special donation!  Thanks to our employees and their families who make sacrifices on our behalf.  Thanks to Riverview Community Bank for bringing the “Fill the Bag” program to Oregon.  Thanks to the Outlook for being the distributor of the bags. Look for yours in your paper next Saturday!  Thanks to Bob for just being there to support all our projects and making my life a wonderful journey!!!

I am so thankful you are my neighbor!

Thanksgiving to all,

Bess Wills

Gresham Ford

P.S. “Fill the Bag” is at 1,744 lbs. Only 98,256 lbs. to go. Remember to enter the $1,000 Shopping Spree at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Example Pricing Estimate of a Ford Escape Hybrid Four Wheel Drive

As of November 23rd 2010 this is an estimate of pricing for a Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD. 
For more information please contact Gresham Ford at 503-665-0101.  To view the Gresham Ford online Inventory ClickHere

IRS Section 179 and your bottom line

Let Gresham Ford help your bottom line with the IRS section 179.  Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows many business to deduct up to the FULL PURCHASE PRICE of qualifying equipment purchased or financed in the 2010 tax year.  That means that if you buy a piece of qualifying equipment you can deduct up to the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross taxable income in 2010.  Please note the information in this information is provided by Ford Motor Company as a public service to its customers.  It should not be construed as tax advice or as a promise of potential tax savings or reduced tax liability.  For more information about the Small Businss Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 or Section 179 expense write-off, contact your tax professional or visit the Internal Revenue Service

Which vehicles qualify for the greatest IRS tax Savings?
Trucks with a GVWR greater than 6,000lbs and a bed length over six feet qualify for a maximum FIRST YEAR depreciation deduction of up to $25,000 of the full purchase price plus up to 60% depreciation on any remaining balance.  (e.g. Ford F-150 SuperCrew with 5 1/2ft bed/Explorer/Expedition).  Trucks/Vans/SUVS less than 6,000 lbs GVWR such as the Ford Ranger and the all new 2010 Ford Transit Connect still qualify under noraml depreciation for up to $11,060 per vehicle in the FIRST_YEAR. 

If you are also looking at the all new Ford Fiesta or Ford Focus as a delivery vehicle for your Oregon small business you can also receive deductions.  Please see your tax professional for more information regarding section 179 and your specific tax strategy. 

To search for your Ford Comercial Incentives visit and enter your specific business information.

You can also Register to Win a New Ford F-150 XLT! It's the Ford Tough Truck Challenge.  Ford Commercial Trucks and Vans are ideal for hardworking businesses. These powerful, durable and versatile vehicles help get the job done and offer the level of interior luxury you deserve when using your vehicle as an office. Now, you can also win a chance at great prizes when you enter the Ford Tough Truck Challenge:

•GRAND PRIZE: A New 2011 Ford F-150 XLT

•FIRST PRIZE: $500 Mastercard® Gift Card (1 of 5)

•INSTANT WIN: $100 Home Depot® Gift Card (1 of 100)

Just submit your email address. By supplying your email address and completing the form on the next page you will be entered in the Tough Truck Sweepstakes and registered to receive information on Ford Commercial Trucks.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Small Business Saturday Event Locally in Gresham

This November 27th will be the first Small Business Saturday event sponsored by American Express.  This is a day to honor the businesses that give our neighborhoods character and boost our local economy.  Try Local First is also based on the simple concept of recirculating money locally to better the community at large.  In support of the day, American Express is helping to drive customers to small local businesses with a member incentive.  When card members will receive a $25 statement credit when they register and spend $25 or more at small businesses that accept American Express Cards

Try Local First is also collecting receipts for their holiday drawing.  Bring your holiday receipts to the Historic Downtown Gresham Tree Lighting and find the Try Local First booth in the Jazzy Bagels parking lot. 

Small businesses are the corner stone of the Oregon economy.  Without the small businesses unemployment will increase even more.  For instance making the decision to purchase a new Ford F-150 in Portland or Vancouver is very detrimental to East County.  When you frequent and do business with Gresham Ford you are supporting over 60 families that depend upon the dealership for support.  And when you spend money outside East County and in Portland that money doesn't return to our community is goes away forever.  When you choose to get your vehicle maintenance at Gresham Ford that helps support the 60+ employees as well as the small business that supplies the free coffee in the Gresham Service waiting room for all makes and all models.  Your purchase also helps to support Smiddy's carpet cleaning because a busy Gresham Service Center means a lot of dirt.  Since Gresham Ford provides maintenance on All Makes and All Models anyone can help to support the community via their tithe program.  10% of your parts or service incIf you are a small business you can get involved in three ways.  Display one of the down loadable fliers as point of purchase materials.  Or you can take advantage of free Facebook advertising.  Get $100 of customizable Facebook advertising while supplies last.  Just visit   And yet another way to support the Small Business Saturday and Tr Local First is to visit American Express website again and download the available digital promotional tools and utilize them in your website and social networking environment. 

If you choose to purchase locally you are also recirculating dollars within Gresham, Fairview, Troutdale, Boring and Sandy Oregon.  Gresham Ford chooses to utilize local vendors who pay taxes that support the community that we live.  This support helps our schools, police and fire forces.  So remember when you spend your money locally you are also supporting the people and the services you depend on.  Please join the movement and help to make this Small Business Saturday the first of many to come. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

SnowCap Community Charities: Food relief and more

At Leonard and Shirley Storm's apartment in east Multnomah County, Leonard comes to the door to greet visitors but is soon upstaged by Penelope, the couple's fluffy-haired cat.

"We got her for the nice sum of five dollars," Leonard says, as Penelope rubs against his leg.

The Storms are used to looking for bargains. So the monthly delivery of a food box from SnowCap Community Charities is a ritual they welcome.

"They bring staples," Shirley says. "Canned foods and cereal." She cooks from scratch and has plenty of experience stretching supplies. "I make mock ground beef from beans and oats and rice."

"I happen to be married to an awfully good cook," Leonard says.

The food box is an example of SnowCap at work. The agency, which has served east Multnomah County for 43 years, delivers food boxes to more than 500 seniors each month.

SnowCap also stocks a food pantry and provides other services to low-income people who live east of 82nd Avenue within Multnomah County. At its location in Gresham's Rockwood neighborhood, SnowCap is surrounded by some of the metro area's lowest-income residents.

"We're having over 6,000 people come through the pantry in a month," says Judy Alley, SnowCap executive director. "I can tell you that in 20 years we have never seen this many people needing food assistance. Our floors are wearing down."  Alley says that about two years ago, the agency saw about 4,000 people a month.

SnowCap was created in the 1960s through a joint effort by area churches. "We don't get government money," says Alley, who was made director in 1991. The agency relies on donations from churches, businesses and service clubs, and grants for its $583,000 budget. It has five full-time and five part-time staffers and about 600 volunteers each year it could use more volunteer drivers and food-pantry shelf stockers.

The Storms, Alley says, are the kind of people who need help from SnowCap. Leonard worked for 23 years at Franz Bakery until he suffered a brain aneurysm, which forced him to retire early at age 51.

Now Leonard, 71, and Shirley, 78, survive on his pension and their Social Security benefits. They have no car, and shop at discount groceries and a nearby bakery thrift store.

Costs from health problems have added to the financial strain. If the Storms didn't get the SnowCap food box, Shirley says, "it would be a hardship."

"Toward the end of the month, it sure comes in handy," Leonard says.

-- Kristi Turnquist

Leonard and Shirley Storm say that playing rummy is one of the exercises they do for their brains, plus its fun, says Shirley. Leonard worked for Franz Bakery for 23 years before a brain aneurysm made him unable to work. His wife Shirley was a stay-at-home mom and not well equipped to enter the work force. They're retired and try to live on his small pension and Social Security. They have no car, live in a modest apartment and rely on a monthly food box delivery from SnowCap Community Charities. Jamie Francis/The Oregonian

Gresham Ford Boeing and Riverview Community Bank have partnered together in hopes of raising 100,000 lbs of food this holiday season.  You can help by visiting Gresham Ford and receiving a grocery bag especially for the drive and return it with canned goods, vegetables, baby food, etc.  The wish list items are canned fruits and vegetables. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Community Based Work Experience Brings Sucessful Employment Outcomes

Community based work experience (CWE) is one tool that assists unemployed adults with vision loss return to work.  Oregon Commission for the Blind business relations coordinator reaches out to and partners with
Oregon businesses to develop community work experiences for adult job seekers.  The partnership agreement includes 16-20 hours of work each week at a designated location within the company.  One example of of a successful CWE is Gresham Ford. When Lynda first approached Bess Wells to introduce the CWE concept, and to ask if she would be interested in hosting a young women at her company, Bess was a little surprised as to what a blind person could do in the auto industry.  After explaining Tracy’s skill sets and work history, her use of assertive technology to do the work, Lynda arranged an interview between the two.  The rest is history as we say. Tracy is now competitively employed as a Customer Service Manager with Gresham Ford. A few of our other community business partners are; Providence Health & Services, Dollar Tree, Safeway, Burgerville, Fred Meyer, and New Seasons. 
Returning to the work force is never an easy task for a legally blind individual but when you have experienced significant vision loss that task becomes even more difficult. However,
 with the help of Lynda Van Doran and the Oregon Commission for the Blind what appears to be an unattainable goal becomes achievable. I participated in an internship program that OCB facilitated with Gresham Ford which resulted in a part-time position that allows me the opportunity to remain a full time parent in addition to building my marketable office skills.  Gresham Ford is a wonderful company filled
with fantastic people both to work for as well as with one can not help to feel that they are part of a family. Since working at Gresham Ford, I have been motivated to be more conscious of the effects of trying local businesses first; whether that is for services or for products the impact can make or break the community in which you live in. I have also been inspired to get involved whenever the occasion emerges; all thanks to the infectious, efficacious Bess Wills.

You don’t have to see to listen and that is what a great customer service person does is LISTEN TO THE CUSTOMER. Tracy McGee of Gresham Ford is an exceptional Customer Service Manager. When the Commission for the Blind approached me about employment for some of their clients I was at best a little apprehensive - blind and test drives do not usually fit in the same sentence. However, in short order we were impressed with Tracy’s phone and computer skills and she is now doing all of our Customer Service
calls in addition to other duties.  There is not a week that goes by when one of our customers does not mention how delightful or how pleasant that young lady was that gave them a call from our Dealership. In addition to her Customer Service skills she has increased our bottom line by following up with customers and encouraging customers to schedule needed service appointments. She and her sidekick, guide dog “Fazio” are great members of the Gresham Ford, “Dealer With a Heart” team. We are thankful to Lynda Van Doran and the Commission for the Blind for connecting us.

Shaun Stickel’s Success Story

written by counselor, Dennis Crepeaux
“In February of 2003, the Oregon Commission for the Blind received an email from a Mom in Portland requesting help with her deaf/blind son's education program. He was a senior at Central Catholic High School, and had just been accepted at Oregon State University. Four days later we met to discuss how the Commission for the Blind could assist her son in achieving his goal of working in the field of computers. 
Shaun was a highly motivated young person that was eager to get going on his college career, but had never addressed his vision and hearing issues while in school. Together we recognized that he needed a pre-college experience in order to give him an opportunity to experience a university setting and to identify needed accommodations, equipment, software, and specific training that hadn't been looked at through his high school program.  The Commission for the Blind sent Shaun to the Bridge Program offered through Washington Services for the Blind at Eastern Washington University.  There he experienced frustration in his lack of skills in mobility, note-taking and overall being ill-prepared to go directly into a major four year university. He had been accepted to OSU for the fall but he decided he needed further training to deal with his vision issues. He made the decision to seek out additional training through the NFB Training Program in Louisiana.  In November of 2003, instead of going to Oregon State University, Shaun was headed to Ruston, Louisiana. There in Ruston he worked on Orientation and Mobility - cane travel, introduced to Braille, computer literacy, JAWS, home economics and daily living skills, industrial arts, and social Interactions.  I had the pleasure of visiting Shaun and the NFB Center in Ruston and met with a completely different Shaun Stickel than when we met prior to this experience. He showed me around and was particularly proud of his clock he made in their Industrial Arts program. His instructors noted that he
was a hard worker and would never complain about his assignments and the regiments that he went through. Shaun completed his program in seven months returning a new person and ready to tackle a university program.  Shaun came home and started at Portland State University in pre-engineering with the focus on computers. The following year he transferred to Oregon State University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. As he was about to graduate, the e-mail he sent me to me by the Commission for the Blind has proved vital while at Oregon State, having been used in the completion of many major projects and assignments and having been a vital component in my senior project. This assistance provided by the Commission for the Blind has been greatly appreciated.  I have enclosed an update on my progress here at Oregon State in the form of a transcript in an effort to help show the progress of the Commission for the Blind's investment in my pursuit of a bachelor’s degree, Shaun Stickel, Undergraduate, EE, Oregon State University.”  In August of 2009 Shaun started his first job at TriMike Creations in Albany, Oregon as a Computer Systems Engineer. He started out earning $12 an hour. The agency helped him with the purchase of a new hearing aid. After a few months at TriMike Creations, Shaun moved to Boise, Idaho where he is now working for Micron Technology, Inc. as a Computer Project Engineer, earning a salary of $63,500 per year with benefits.  Shaun is a remarkable young person, who has achieved so much in such a relatively short time. He was someone that recognized early the need for training to address the barriers to achieve his goals. Because of his drive to be successful and his openness to conquer the obstacles that were in front of him, we were able to work together in planning an Individual Plan for Employment that would encompass a step by step process, using his attributes and interests, towards building his skills to best prepare him in taking advantage of the training he received through Oregon State University.” 

Oregon Commission for the Blind November 2010 Newsletter