Business Notes for Sept. 21

Solstice Pizza nears move to Hood River

Solstice Pizza is under construction in its new home in the 501 Building on Portway Avenue in Hood River across from Hood River Waterfront Park.

Owners Aaron Baumhackl and Suzanne Wright-Baumhackl will close the Bingen location on Oct. 27 and plan a “soft” opening at the new space over Thanksgiving. They opened Solstice in December 2006.

The new restaurant will seat about 50 people inside and another 40-50 outside, and will feature two bars, one for alcohol and the other for food.

Gorge Networks buys Johnson Networks

Gorge Networks announces its recent purchase of Johnson Networks, an Internet service provider based out of The Dalles.

Johnson Networks provides wireless broadband to businesses and residents throughout Southern Wasco County including the communities of Pine Hollow, Maupin, Tygh Valley, Juniper Flats, Pine Grove, Dufur and Sportsman’s Park. The purchase will allow Gorge Networks to expand its service area to nearly all of Wasco County.

Gorge Networks plans to continue to serve the company’s existing customers as well as expand and improve upon the existing network of wireless towers it has acquired.

“We’re excited to become a part of these communities. Providing quality service in areas that often get overlooked by other service providers brings us back to the roots of the company. We know rural and we know customer service and we look forward to sharing these strengths with our new customers,” says Dan Bubb, CEO.

Founded in 1995, Gorge Networks has become one of the largest regional wireless service providers in the Northwest.

Jason Dyke hired at Hood River Distillers

Jason Dyke, senior director of marketing, joins Hood River Distillers with more than 10 years of experience in strategic brand marketing and management for top names in the spirits industry. Taking on a vital leadership role within the core marketing team, Dyke will drive strategic, long-term brand marketing initiatives on behalf of Hood River Distillers’ full portfolio of premium and value brands.

Ronald Dodge, Hood River Distillers president and CEO, said, “We are experiencing a period of positive growth and momentum across the board, and we look forward to the talent, expertise and strategic thinking Jason Dyke will add to our team.”

Community Bank opens in The Dalles

Community Bank has opened a new loan production office to service the Columbia River Gorge area, in The Dalles at 320 E. Fourth St.

Britt Thomas, a veteran Gorge area banker, is senior vice president and regional manager for the area. He is joined by Vice President John Gass, commercial loan officer; as well as by Holly Wells, loan assistant.

“We are very excited to expand into this market,” said Tom Moran, president and chief executive officer from his office in College Place, Wash. “This new location will allow us to deliver our relationship-focused business banking model into the Gorge area. Britt and his team will provide all facets of lending, primarily focused on the commercial and agricultural arenas.”

Prior to this new role, Thomas was most recently the chief credit officer at Centerpointe Community Bank in Hood River. Gass and Wells were previously employed by Centerpointe Community Bank, as well. The Dalles office, 541 296-0779, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

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