Patti Rowlson, finalist for 2017 Professional Woman.

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Published on: October 7, 2018

This bio was originally published by Whatcom Women in Business in preparation for their Professional Women of the Year award banquet. Patti is one of six finalists who were recognized at a banquet in Bellingham on Oct. 24, 2017.

As Patti will tell you, she quickly went from being a girl working in her family’s bakery after school to a young woman working in a high rise in Seattle. Fast forward to today, Patti, owner of Bellingham PR and Communications, a company that provides marketing services to Whatcom County businesses, has continued to make that evolution a part of her life and her business. A strong work ethic and true passion of helping small businesses grow have made Bellingham PR and Communications one of the most trusted marketing firms in Whatcom County.

Patti’s dad was training her to decorate cakes in the family bakery, shown here in 1980

Her father taught Patti the importance of trust and what it means to have a strong work ethic. Her mother taught her the value of staying positive and adjusting to change. Those same values have been instrumental in her success today.

 “Being a mom is the best job I ever had.” -Patti Rowlson

At the age of 12, she began working after school in her family’s bakery in Sedro Woolley. Her career path, as she saw it at the time, was to be a cake decorator in her family’s business. And then in an instant, life changed. Patti’s father, who managed the baking operation, was diagnosed with cancer and passed away one month later. Patti was just 16 years old.

Going to college was not an option. The death of Patti’s father followed by a tragic accident that left her only sibling with a life-changing traumatic brain injury put her family in survival mode, so she did what she knew how to do — she put her head down and went to work. After going through a training program where she learned computer skills and medical terminology, Patti went to work at a large hospital. It was there that she had her first taste of marketing and promotion.

Transitioning to a property management company in Seattle, Patti furthered her marketing education by learning customer relations and company representation. With each new job, Patti used her strong work ethic to evolve and prepare for the next phase of her career. She continued to learn and build her knowledge in areas where she could make a difference.

 Patti operating her plant nursery in Everson, Farmhouse Flowers

During this time of professional growth, Patti started a family and for a time put her career on hold, opting instead for a family-first lifestyle. As her two children grew, Patti operated a seasonal plant nursery in Everson for 12 years. It was this adventure that launched her into the world of small-business marketing. She created a website and managed her first Facebook page. Then, in 2005, Patti reentered the traditional workforce.

Her career quickly evolved to include administrative work, management and operations, customer relations and marketing. It wasn’t long before a small business owner asked her for help with their business. As word spread, PR Consulting began in 2009 and the company has been growing and evolving ever since.

 Patti with client, Rover Stay Over, who received a recognition award of their own!

Through PR Consulting Inc., Patti specializes in working with organizations and businesses of all sizes that are at critical growth points. Owners and managers know that they cannot continue to do it all; having a professional company manage social media marketing or write blog articles for their websites can make a big difference. Some of the industries that Patti and her team have serviced include health care, real estate, construction, food service, property management, landscaping, promotional products, architecture, nonprofits and more. Her philosophy is to never stop learning!

When asked what resources have inspired her, Patti often refers to the book “Work the Pond,” authored by Darcy Rezac, Gayle Hallgren and Judy Thomson. This book speaks to her because of its approach toward positive networking and practicing kindness toward everyone you meet. This life philosophy has extended to Patti’s involvement in the community, where she served as a board member for Pass the Hat,(2016/17) helping families in our community by providing financial relief from tragic events, such as the tragic events that shaped Patti’s early years.

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