Brandon Nelson will never forget the 2017 Ski to Sea race. The first-place finisher in the Whatcom County Women’s division carried his firm’s name. “Team Brandon Nelson Partners” raced their hearts out through all seven legs of the race before crossing the finish line.
Brandon’s wife, Heather, races on the team. He and their children watched with pride as she and her teammates’ training and hard work paid off, awarding them a first-place finish. Brandon says the example those women set is something his company is always happy to support. Just like Heather and her racing partners, Brandon Nelson Partners hopes to set an example of their own – how to be connected to and involved in the local community.
“Community is caring,” Brandon says. “Caring about people, about quality of life and about the abundance of opportunities that make Whatcom County such a rich place to live.”
He and his team call it the “Northwest Way of Life” and are blessed to help cultivate it via community involvement, sponsorships and donations. In addition to sponsoring Heather’s 11-time champion Ski to Sea team, the firm is a major sponsor of the Lake Padden Paddle-for-Food relay.
Sponsorship isn’t the only way Brandon and his team make a difference in Whatcom County; they are major donors to a handful of different organizations. Throughout the year the firm donates to Whatcom Hills Waldorf School, Bellingham Bay Canoe and Kayak Sprint Team, Whatcom Family YMCA, Lydia Place, Bellingham Traverse and the Lake Samish Salmon Roe, among others.
Many of the events Brandon Nelson Partners sponsor are volunteer-driven and not-for-profit. The outdoor-oriented events are all about having fun, supporting participants and getting out in the wonderful wilds of Whatcom County.
“It’s so rewarding to be involved in outdoor events that bring people together to try something new, push themselves to a new discovery, get their heart rate up, see a new trail or paddle a new body of water in our backyard,” Brandon says.
A 15-year Ski to Sea veteran himself, Brandon has always loved racing and pushing himself. But it wasn’t until he got involved in an organizing role that he fully realized how much work it takes to create and sustain these kind of events.
After signing on as a presenting sponsor for the Lake Whatcom Triathlon, Brandon and his team knew they wanted to do more than just provide funding. From the beginning, they performed a variety of tasks, such as stuffing race packets, setting up transition areas, setting course markers, trailering loads to and from the Parks Department storage areas and providing meals to the volunteer staff and refreshments to the racers as they crossed the finish line.
“We were there from start to finish and also had a relay team in the race,” Brandon says. “Even my kids, Hayden and Jazzy, were there on race day at 3:30 a.m., helping set up. It wasn’t only a team effort, but family effort, and we loved every minute of it!”
Outdoor activities are a passion for Brandon Nelson Partners and his family as well. Brandon, Heather and their kids take full advantage of the miles of trails, countless parks, amazing lakes, bays, beaches and islands Whatcom County has to offer year-round. They couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world.
It makes sense that someone with this much love for the natural world would use his assets to make it more enjoyable for everyone. “We want our actions of support to simply demonstrate that we care deeply about the quality of life here and the wellness of every individual,” Brandon says. “No one business or one person can create that on their own, it takes a collective effort and we are committed to being a strong part of that collective.”
Brandon Nelson Partners encourage individuals and businesses alike to support local organizations that put time, energy and funding into creating events. According to Brandon, it’s very rewarding and a win-win relationship. Through supporting community, he and the team at Brandon Nelson Partners have created partnerships they will continue to enjoy for many years to come.