Business of the Year: The Satern Agency – Country Financial

July 2021 Posted in Community, News

By Brenna Wiegand

Employees of The Satern Agency – Country Financial include, from left, Nikka Martushev, Ale Pena, Debbie Satern and Brent Satern. The insurance and financial planning business was recently named Silverton Business of the Year for 2020 by the Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce. BRENNA WIEGAND.

The Satern Agency – Country Financial was recently named Business of the Year by the Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Owner Brent Satern grew up with a love and respect for Silverton. As he got older, he wanted to find a career in Silverton in which he could serve people and be his own boss with the freedom to always put his family first.

Satern joined Country Financial, an insurance and financial planning company, in 2008, fresh out of George Fox University where he played basketball and majored in business management with a minor in youth ministry.

He married his high school sweetheart, Kelly Milliron, and they now have three little ones: Avery, 8; Jack, 6; and Cam, 2.

“My goal from day 1 was to get to a point where I could start my own branch, take care of our clients and serve our community,” Satern said.

The pieces all fell into place and in 2013 he opened his own branch on West Main Street.

“Until last year it was just me and my mom Debbie,” he said. “She has worked in the insurance world for years, and thankfully when I started my business she came aboard. She has been a godsend.”

Satern now has two full-time and two part-time employees.

Early on, they started looking for ways to show appreciation for their clients, such as renting out the Palace Theatre and having free movie nights.

The last couple of years he has looked for ways to serve the community at large.

“It started with little things for teachers,” he said. “My wife was a teacher and I know a lot of teachers and I just wanted to make sure they knew how appreciated they were.

“When COVID hit, we tried to step things up because people and businesses were going through really hard times.”

Their Facebook page was the vehicle for announcing the special events, which, in addition to teachers, soon came to include district support staff and office personnel, healthcare workers, first responders – fire, police, EMTs – military personnel, veterans and Silverton citizens at large.

After the ice storm Country Financial offered free meals for all the families of local PGE workers, who in some cases were away from their families for weeks at a time.

Whether providing days where teachers could show their ID badges for free coffee at shops around town, free drinks at Silver Falls Brewery or discounts at Loco Ono Barbecue, the events served the dual purpose of bolstering local businesses, many of whom were struggling through the pandemic.

“During COVID our business was still running normally but a lot of people and businesses were hurting, and I think the responsibility that we have as a local business is to serve where we can,”
he said. 

“Ultimately, any good that we’ve been able to do in this community is all thanks to our clients,” Satern said. “Our business has grown and continues to grow because so many people in this community want to work with someone locally and put their trust in us to take care of their needs. The least we can do is give back to the community that continually supports us and makes our business possible.

“We’re humbled by the recognition which, if anything, just makes us want to do more for the town,” Satern said.

“Brent and his office have been the epitome of community supporter and partner for years,” one nominator wrote. “His efforts to support local businesses by purchasing services and goods is such a powerful statement as to his love of Silverton and his desire to maintain
and support the businesses that call Silverton home.”

A nominator also wrote: “Whether offering coffee or a cold brew to local educators, feeding healthcare workers, offering ice cream to locals during the summer months or contributing to the fire department to help purchase new air monitors, Brent’s contributions did more than advertise his business.

“His contributions actually helped local businesses that were struggling to adapt and survive during the trying times of COVID and recognized those in our community who were doing their part to maintain and support the health and well-being of others.”

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