Orion Associates

What do you get when you combine a commitment to social services with the desire to grow a successful business? Orion Associates, a Golden Valley management organization that provides management services to both related and unrelated for- and non-profit social service organizations. Orion Associates has approximately 5,000 employees (around 3,000 are in Minnesota) and is made up of 14 related businesses, including:

  1. Meridian Services, a for-profit company established in 1980 that offers case management and other services to the elderly and to people with mental health issues and developmental disabilities.
  2. Zenith Services, a non-profit company established in 1999 that develops vocational opportunities for that same population.
  3. Orion ISO, a 2001 for-profit spinoff that provides participant-directed support services to the elderly and people with disabilities, as well as their families.
  4. Morning Sun Financial Services, a national for-profit financial services company launched in 2006 to work with state, county, and local agencies, and other organizations to give persons with disabilities and older adults greater choice, flexibility, and control over how their services are delivered and their needs are met. The company operates in seven states.

In 2006, Orion Associates President and CEO Rebecca Hage Thomley reached out to North American Banking Company and Senior VP/Business Banking Brad Benesh as her organization began to quickly expand.

“I reached out to Brad as I had heard through other organizations that he was a banker that would look from a bankers’ standpoint creatively at new business opportunities,” says Rebecca. “We needed someone to work with that could not only share our vision but knew how to support it from a banking standpoint.”

It was clear from the outset that Brad was that banker. Now, 12 years later, he’s also one of Orion Associates’ most trusted advisors, helping Rebecca and her management team evaluate opportunities, secure creative financing, and leverage both short and long-term debt to serve the people and organizations that rely on the company’s services.

“We are a group of companies that has been growing continuously and at times very rapidly. We need a banker that takes the time to understand our business and is supportive of the organization as well as the business risks we may want to explore,” says Rebecca. She continued: “Brad is an active learner and is truly focused on helping your business succeed. In addition he is patient and kind and will help out in any type of situation personal or professional. I feel very lucky to have his backing and support.”

If you want to work with a supportive banker who has your back, reach out to Brad Benesh at 651.714.6421 or bbenesh@nabankco.com.

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