Peoples Bank Makes True Connections in the Edmonds Community

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Members of the Peoples Bank Edmonds team, left to right: Commercial Banking Officer Erin Schlegel, District Branch Manager Vern Woods, Senior Mortgage Loan Officer Kerry Randall, Senior Customer Service Rep Nicki Buchanan, Retail Operations Manager Carlos Reyes, Retail Relationship Manager Jason Arnhill, and Senior Mortgage Loan Officer Steve Wilde. Photo courtesy: Peoples Bank

When a community can trust a bank, beautiful things will happen. Peoples Bank District Branch Manager Vern Woods leads a team of bankers dedicated to the company’s “People First” philosophy. Together, they provide financial services the community can trust.

Vern, a retail banker, helps customers access personal banking products and services such as checking accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts, Certificates of Deposit (CDs), and consumer loans.

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Peoples Bank helps sponsor several community events, like the annual 4th of July celebration. Photo courtesy: Peoples Bank

Vern’s first assignment at Peoples Bank was to open a brand-new branch in Edmonds. “When we opened the branch in July of 2016, we had zero dollars on deposit and were located in a temporary office location across the street from where we are now,” he says. Peoples Bank moved into its permanent location in 2019 and has since become one of the top banks in Edmonds.”

“We’re successful because we offer the resources of a larger bank, including sophisticated and secure online and mobile banking products, with an attitude that’s focused on addressing the banking needs of our customers,” says Vern. “Our growth is based on the same operating philosophy established more than 100 years ago by our founders: be responsible and dedicated to our clients and serve our local communities beyond what is expected to make a difference in the lives and businesses of our customers.”

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Peoples Bank Edmonds offers a conference room for use by local nonprofits and boards. Photo courtesy: Gaffney Construction

Meet the Edmonds Team

Erin Schlegel, Commercial Banking Officer

“Erin is my commercial lending partner,” Vern says. “He has over 20 years of experience, and we finish each other’s sentences. When we meet clients, we meet as a team. I represent any deposit needs a business might have, and Erin represents any credit needs. Erin helped me open this branch and is one of the reasons we’ve been as successful as we have been.”

Aside from his success as a commercial banking officer, Erin is an avid fisherman and enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter.

Kerry Randall, Senior Mortgage Loan Officer

“Kerry has been one of our real estate lenders since the Edmonds branch opened. She’s been with Peoples Bank for about 16 years and serves customers in Ballard as well as the Edmonds community,” says Vern. “I can’t count how many people she has helped either purchase or refinance a home.”

Kerry is a native Washingtonian who loves to spend time with her family and stay connected with the community.

Steve Wilde, Senior Loan Officer

“Steve and I have known each other for years, so I was thrilled when he joined Peoples Bank in January,” Vern says. “He’s newer to Peoples Bank but has spent his entire career in the banking industry, spanning over 40 years, and is well connected in the community.”

Steve loves spending time with his wife and children and is particularly focused on helping people achieve their goal of home ownership.

Jennifer Patterson, Marine Loan Manager

“Jennifer is our marine lender,” says Vern. “She’s been here since day one, and she’s the life of the party. She just lights up the place. If Jennifer is in the building, you know it — you hear her, you feel her, and she is just a joy to work with.”

A dedicated marine lender, it should come as no surprise that Jennifer is an avid recreational boater with her family.

Keith Hamilton, Peoples Investments – LPL Financial Advisor

“Keith is our investments expert,” Vern says. “He keeps us grounded and informed of what the markets are doing and helps customers build an investment portfolio based on their unique personal and business goals.”

Keith has nearly 20 years of experience providing clients with comprehensive financial guidance, including wealth and portfolio management, retirement, estate, and insurance planning.

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Peoples Bank sponsors the Edmonds Arts Festival Student Art Exhibit, a contest with a small monetary prize as a reward. Photo courtesy: Peoples Bank

Dedicated to Supporting the Community

Each branch of Peoples Bank supports the local community in various ways. The Edmonds branch brings its own unique contributions to the table.

“I was privileged to be a part of the design team for the new branch,” says Vern. “I knew meeting space was hard to find in Edmonds, so I convinced the architects to move our conference room from the middle of the branch to a location that could be accessed after hours so we could offer it to local boards and nonprofits. It’s a great space, and we’re proud to make it available free of charge to local organizations.”

The bank has also been a dedicated sponsor of the Edmonds Arts Festival for the last seven years and has supported the Student Art Exhibit, in particular. “The Festival receives thousands of student art entries, and a group of very dedicated teachers judge every year to pick about 25 winners,” Vern says. “Some of our sponsorship money goes towards a scholarship for each of the student winners.”

Peoples Bank is also a proud sponsor of the 4th of July celebration in Edmonds every year, specifically the Baby Brackett, a 1k fun run put on by the Edmonds Chamber, where most participants are either in strollers — or pushing them.

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Vern Woods kept a piece of the old post office to commemorate Edmonds’ history in the new Peoples Bank space. Photo courtesy: Peoples Bank

History Carried On

Vern is well-versed in the history of Edmonds. During the construction of the permanent branch, which is located on the site of the original Edmonds post office, Vern asked for a commemorative brick. Instead, a construction worker offered him one of the original post office windows.

“He brought out a window with gold foil lettering on it that says, ‘Welcome to the Edmonds Post Office,’” says Vern. “When you went into the lobby of the old building, there was a foyer, and to the right, there were double doors where you waited in line. This window was above the double doors. Now it’s hanging in my office.”

Preserving history is just one of the many ways Vern and Peoples Bank strive to support the tight-knit Edmonds community. Along with Vern and his team of experienced and talented banking officers, there’s little the Edmonds Branch of Peoples Bank can’t accomplish.

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