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Business briefs for Oct. 19

MBank founder steps down

Gresham-based MBank has announced that President and Chief Executive Officer Rex Brittle resigned his position and has named Jef Baker as interim president and chief executive officer.

Brittle, who founded MBank in 1995, retired in 2007, but returned to the institution in 2009 to help with the reduction of nonperforming assets and in raising capital. He has served as president of the Independent Community Banks of Oregon, on the board of the Oregon Bankers Association and as chairman of the Oregon Bank PAC, the state's banking industry's political action committee. Brittle is also an inductee to the Oregon Bankers Association Hall of Fame and has been a tireless supporter of community banks.

Baker will take on day-to-day operations of the bank and has served as executive vice-president and chief financial officer the last six years.

'We are extremely pleased to elevate Mr. Baker's role to continue the significant progress made toward returning MBank to financial stability,' said Stan Morris, chairman of the Board of Merchants Bancorp. 'Mr. Baker has demonstrated a high level of leadership and an unwavering focus on improving MBank.'

Local Lowe's staying open

The Lowe's store in Wood Village is not one of the 20 stores that the company is closing in 15 states, according to the store's website.

On Monday, Oct. 17, Lowe's Companies Inc. announced it is closing 20 'underperforming stores.' None of Oregon's 13 stores are affected. The closest store to be shuttered is in Tacoma, Wash.

Other states with stores closing are California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Ten stores closed Sunday, Oct. 16. The remaining 10 will close within a month. Approximately 1,950 employees will be affected.

In addition, the Mooresville, N.C.,-based company announced it has scaled back plans to open new stores. Lowe's now plant to open 10 to 15 stores a year in North America starting next year, instead of 30 stores a year. Lowes' remains on track to open approximately 25 stores this year as planned.

Lowe's operated 1,725 stores before Monday's announcement.

Hospital earns certification in cardiac care

Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center recently earned national certification for its cardiovascular rehabilitation program from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

The certification recognizes programs that have been rigorously reviewed by a national board and meet strict national standards and guidelines for patient safety and treatment protocols. Certified hospitals are considered leaders in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available.

In addition to the Gresham Legacy facility, Salmon Creek Medical Center in Vancouver, Wash., also received certification.

For more information on Legacy Mount Hood's cardio rehab program, call 503-674-1590.

Troutdale merchants invited to show

Jodi and Terry Smoke, owners of the Troutdale General Store, were chosen from retailer nominations nationwide, as this year's new attendees to The Gathering that took place Oct. 12-18 in Orlando, Fla.

The Gathering invites a select group of retailers from across the country that were nominated and juried for their excellence in sales, marketing, presentation, media recognition and ability to draw customers, both nationally and internationally. Typically, only one new member is selected to attend the prestigious trade show each year.

The Smokes, who are buyers at the event, met vendors presenting new products and attended seminars to discuss upcoming trends in the gift industry.

The Troutdale General Store is located at 289 E. Historic Columbia River Highway and can be reached by calling 503-492-7912.

Chamber calendar

Connect with Success AM Meeting, 7 to 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21, The Rock Wood Fired Pizza, 22401 N.E. Glisan St., Wood Village. Hosted by United Rentals and The Rock Wood Fired Pizza.

Medical lab center opens doors

Professional medical laboratory testing is now more convenient with the grand opening of Any Lab Test Now, at 2522 S.E. Burnside Road in Gresham.

The company specializes in a wide variety of drug and health and wellness screenings, including paternity, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV testing. Services are available to both businesses and individuals.

Founded in 1992 in Atlanta, GA., Any Lab Test Now believes in offering affordable medical laboratory testing to the general public. Appointments are not necessary, with costs ideal for those with no insurance or high deductibles.

The lab is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more information, call 503-489-4240.