Meet Cody Ellison, a champion in two arenas—housing and horses

Photo of Cody Ellison

Folks who know Cody Ellison would hardly be surprised to learn she studied basic sign language in order to converse with a deaf client. Doing so was simply another in a long string of kind endeavors that make the Mortgage Loan Officer such a valued member of our team and her Skagit-Whatcom Valley, Wash., community. While that client was “astounded,” Cody was impressed that the woman had been working three jobs in the hope of someday owning a home.

“Some of these people, they’re phenomenal,” Cody said of the clients she serves.

You see, Cody tackles the most challenging of home loans. She often works with multiple agencies to align down-payment assistance for a single client. Rather than shy away from the lengthy processes, paperwork and unique requirements involved with government and nonprofit assistance, Cody embraces the opportunity to help low-income families gain the stability homeownership provides.

“They’re not easy loans,” she acknowledged. “I take the time to get into the nitty-gritty details and requirements … because everybody deserves a home.”

Cody joined our team as a teller in 2012 and continued growing professionally, encouraged by leaders who saw her potential. She has since become a respected resource for other bankers and community members.

“It’s important for people to know you can advance in your career,” Cody said. “I have a high school diploma. I’ve done training and education offered through the Bank.”

Certified to provide first-time homebuyer education, Cody also teaches financial literacy and gives her time to housing organizations. She has served Habitat for Humanity as a volunteer and board member for several years. Sometimes her husband and two children volunteer with her at housing-related events.

In 2023 Cody was awarded Volunteer of the Year by the Burlington Chamber. But she first started volunteering in high school, using her Spanish fluency to help migrant families learn computer skills. Raised in a family that routinely took in foster kids who were medically fragile or faced other challenges, Cody had learned early on the importance of helping others.

“If you have the ability to help, you do it,” she said.

Cody’s passion for guiding people to homeownership is also fueled by her experience as a young single mom trying to find a house and learning “how hard it is to put a roof over your head.” Cody had the support of family, but knows many people don’t.

“Homeownership – it’s the number one thing. It’s the American dream,” she said. “It’s really special to be a part of that!”

Growing up riding horses and winning three Morgan Horse World Championship titles as a teenager, Cody still “loves anything to do with horses.” When time allows, she enjoys attending local riding events.