Bess Wills General Manager of Gresham Ford

The Gresham Ford Philosophy

Owner and General Manager, Bess Wills is not your typical Car Dealer.

Our Story

Every business has a beginning, and this is where you talk about yours. People want to know what opportunity you saw or how your passion led to the creation of something new. Talk about your roots–people wanna know you have some.  When Bess Wills took over operations at Gresham  Ford in 2003, she was amazed at the warmth of the  people and the eagerness with which the local  community accepted an “outsider” from  California.

Bess fell in love with the people of the city and  began a crusade to help improve lives in her new  home. She soon realized the needs were much  greater than one person could impact so she started  Contribute to the Community as a catalyst to  inspire others to get involved.

Bess began devoting entire weeks of radio and print advertising to  champion specific charities she recognized as being particularly  effective at meeting basic human needs. By soliciting contributions in  her ads and offering to make a donation in the customer’s name to the  charity of their choice ($100 for each new or used vehicle sold, and  10% on all service work, parts and labor), more than a million dollars  has been raised for hundreds of charities!

The employees of Gresham Ford banded together and started  donating a portion of their pay to a fund to help individuals and  organizations the employees choose. The employee fund has helped  pay for such things as medical expenses for children with cancer and  vehicle repairs for a family struggling to make a fresh start after being  homeless.

Other business owners in the city saw the impact she was having and  started offering similar donation programs.

Charities Helped by the Contribute to the Community Program

Abundant Grace Fellowship

Abundant Life  Church

Adventist Medical Foundation

American Cancer Society

Arthur Academy

Ascension Lutheran Church

American Diabetes Association

American Legion Post #150

Association of Northwest Steelheaders

Barlow Equestrian Team

Bethany House Inc

Bethany Baptist

Beyond the Reef

Camas Church of the Nazarene

Cascade Locks Community Church

Cascade Pacific Council Boy Scouts

Celebrate Recovery

Grace Community  Church

Christian Lutheran International

Christ the Vine Lutheran Church

Clinton Street Bible Chapel

Columbia Christian School

Conservative Christian Fellowship

Covenant Hood River

Cross Creek Bible Church

Crossroads Christian School

Crossroads Community Church

Damascus Community Church

DFW New Beginnings

Doernbecher Children’s Hospital

East County Church of Christ

East Hill Church

Filipino Outreach International, Inc

Every week Gresham Ford is actively involved in events such as  collecting cell phones so soldiers overseas can talk with their families,  concerts to raise funds for mammogram screenings for women who  can’t afford them, and a recent food drive that raised more than 700,000  pounds of food to feed families recently unemployed.

Annually, Gresham Ford contributes around 3,000 man-hours helping  people.

Learn More About Gresham Ford