Sommer Bowlin started working with us in October 2018 with a role on our housekeeping team. She’s a major part of the team keeping our lodging and gathering spaces clean, fresh, and inviting.
In addition to her work with the Whidbey Institute, Sommer loves spending time with family. She’s a homemaker with a six-year old stepson, Reece, and a partner, Jason. They have two dogs and a cat, and enjoy baking, cooking, board games, and movies. In addition to work and family time, she keeps life in balance with beach walks, art, and activism on behalf of our southern resident orcas, a critically endangered population.
Sommer and Reece share a fascination with the iconic marine mammals, and love being involved with the Orca Network. “Being on an island, we’re surrounded by the orca’s pathways,” she said. “My advice to others for how to help would be to see them by land! Keep boats away. They need to move through the waters freely.” Additionally, she added, opening the dams would be a key step to restoring the orca’s food source.
“I grew up in Holmes Harbor,” she said, “and one lucky day they came through that harbor. It’s very shallow. To see so much greatness, so close, really put me in my place—‘I’m in their water,’ I thought.” Sommer has never forgotten that day she encountered the orcas so close to home, and she’s committed to raising awareness about issues affecting the endangered animals.
When it comes to her work with the Whidbey Institute, Sommer is equally passionate and committed. “I really care about the work I do,” she said. “If can can make people as comfortable as possible when they engage with this environment, I can go home feeling good at the end of the day. I know I’m playing a part in supporting important work.” Sommer was selective during her job search, knowing she wanted to apply her mind, hands, and heart to work that she really believed in.
“When Jason told me about a job opening at the Whidbey Institute, it took me a while to figure out where it was. I knew this as Chinook,” she said. “Once I put it together, I knew I wanted to apply. I knew what kind of things took place here, and I knew it would be a beautiful place to do important work.”