Skip to main content

Camaraderie and Community - Continuing the Tradition of Ski to Sea

August 17, 2017

For more than a decade, Peoples Bank has been a corporate sponsor of Ski to Sea — Whatcom County’s biggest annual event. In addition to returning as title sponsor of the race in 2017, Peoples Bank fielded a team comprised almost entirely of employees. Team “FDICyou@theFinish” was led by Jim Ostendorff, vice president and Cybersecurity Officer at Peoples Bank. Now a four-time veteran of the Ski to Sea relay, Jim sees the event as much more than a race. “We’re all out here working as a team, supporting each other, and accomplishing something together,” says Jim. “It’s a really powerful way for us to demonstrate Peoples Bank’s 96-year commitment to serving the local community beyond the business of banking.”

In addition to raising tens of thousands of dollars each year for local non-profits, the Ski to Sea relay draws crowds of competitors and spectators to Whatcom County from all over the world. Beginning with cross-country skiing at the Mt. Baker Ski Area, the relay finishes with sea kayakers in Bellingham Bay and includes a total of seven different sports. In anticipation of this year’s event, a massive Ski to Sea window wrap covered an entire side of the Peoples Bank Barkley Financial Center headquarters building, and the excitement was palpable across town. For those who couldn’t make it to the race in person, Peoples Bank hosted a live video feed from the finish line.

“There’s a lot of pride associated with representing the race’s title sponsor,” said Jim. “It was important that our team embody the very best of what Ski to Sea, and Peoples Bank, represents in the community. We’re a fiercely competitive group, but our main mission was to go out there and have fun. We did our best to make ourselves and Peoples Bank proud.”

“Racers tell us their favorite parts of Ski to Sea are camaraderie and community,” says Anna Rankin, Race Director for Ski to Sea. “It’s a highlight of the year for so many people, and we would simply not have the Ski to Sea race without Peoples Bank.”