This Pride Month, Peoples Bank Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager Rachel Reim-Ledbetter celebrates her family and the welcoming community they found at her local theatre.
The question of where to get married came with an obvious answer for Peoples Bank Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager Rachel Reim-Ledbetter. She was born in Mount Vernon and her parents owned a wonderful property there. And so, after two years together in 2006, Rachel and her fiancé Tammy were married in her hometown.
A Return to Her Roots
Both retail bankers, the couple settled in Bonney Lake, but the pull for Rachel to settle back home remained strong. Her grandparents and extended family all lived in Skagit County. When her father’s job as a radiology technician moved her family to Bellingham when Rachel was four, her mother continued to teach in the Sedro Woolley School District. For years, she commuted between Bellingham and Sedro Woolley, keeping those community ties alive for Rachel.
The decision to return to her roots finally came in 2012, when Rachel and Tammy purchased Rachel’s parents’ home to help care for their large five-acre property. “It’s a beautiful place, and we wanted to keep it in our family,” says Rachel.
While the family part of the decision was obvious, there were other aspects of the move that were much less certain. Would the married same-sex couple be welcomed and accepted in the community? Growing up in the 1980s, it hadn’t seemed possible. In fact, after graduating college, Rachel settled in Seattle because she “wanted to live somewhere where I could just be myself and not worry about that piece of my life.”
That’s when her mom introduced her to the Lincoln Theatre.
A Home for All at the Lincoln Theatre
The historic theatre in downtown Mount Vernon was built in 1926, opening as a silent movie house and expanding to vaudeville soon thereafter. Today, the restored venue hosts a variety of performances and live entertainment, including films, concerts, and plays. The Lincoln Theatre also serves as a home to celebrate the rich and diverse experiences across the community.
“From the moment we arrived in Skagit County, the Lincoln Theatre and all the people attached to this remarkable historic place have been open-hearted, loving, and supportive for all people from all walks of life,” shares Rachel. The Lincoln was the first place in the region to bring independent and major films, documentaries, and live entertainment that represent the entire community. It is a place that not only educates but also advocates in support of organizations and performances that deal with difficult topics like coming out and suicide.
When Rachel moved back to Mount Vernon, the Lincoln Theatre is where she started building her community. Family movie nights led way to conversations and then new friendships. The ongoing efforts of the entire organization to inform and grow understanding have led to the type of changes that Rachel says, “continue to support me, my wife, my family, our community, and beyond.”
In other words, the Lincoln Theatre helped Rachel realize she truly had a home in Skagit County.
A Community Beyond the Curtains
Rachel joined Peoples Bank in January 2022, where she manages the Mount Vernon Office at Haggen Foods. With more than 20 years of experience in banking and ready for a change, Rachel knew the job at Peoples Bank was meant to be when an opening in Mount Vernon popped up on her computer screen one evening.
“I feel like I’m at home here,” shares Rachel. “The branch is alive and buzzing and just a fun environment. I’m busy talking to people and seeing so many different faces every day.”
Rachel appreciates what a wonderful place her home in Skagit County has become. Whether in the community or at work, she feels valued and secure in talking about who she is and who she’s married to. While she’s always been incredibly proud to be from Skagit County, she’s also “proud to be part of a community with a theater like the Lincoln that is a place of love, bravery, and support for everyone.”
This Pride Month, Rachel certainly appreciates her own family, especially as she approaches her 16th wedding anniversary. However, she also celebrates the Lincoln Theatre and the loving community of support that welcomed her and continues to welcome others. It’s where she realized that her hometown is truly a place she can call home.
Peoples Bank is committed to celebrating the diversity of its employees and communities. We believe each person’s unique background and personal experiences make us stronger as a whole. In honor of Rachel’s story, Peoples Bank is donating $5,000 to the Lincoln Theatre’s scholarship program for their Skagit Theatre Camp.