Employee Spotlight - Natalie Bates
Read below to hear from Natalie Bates, Accounting Clerk with Lewis since 2019, and how she stays busy outside of work on a local Search and Rescue Team.

What is your role at Lewis and what do you do?

Natalie: I am an accounting clerk in the residential accounting team, supporting the teams at our residential properties. I just hit my 5 year anniversary with Lewis!

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Natalie: My favorite part of this role is my team. They are a cool group of humans to spend the day with!
A woman in an orange shirt and hat

What were you doing before Lewis?

Natalie: Prior to working at Lewis I did accounting work at a small family-owned shipping supply distributor.

How do you stay busy outside of work?

Natalie: Outside of work I love to travel and spend as much time outdoors as possible! Hiking, camping, kayaking… all sorts of outdoors adventures! Almost two years ago I decided to join one of the local Search and Rescue teams so I could use my love of the outdoors to help out in the community. I’m on the San Bernardino Mountains team (there are different teams throughout the county assigned to different regions, though we frequently help out in other regions too). Different teams have different skill sets too- my team is a technical ropes team, so we are certified to do steep terrain that is unsafe without using ropes/harnesses/climbing skills. A lot of people don’t realize that Search and Rescue is 100% volunteers- we even buy all our own gear! And we spend a ton of time training and improving our skills so we’re always ready to go whenever we’re needed. It’s an expensive hobby but very rewarding. It’s cool being able to help people when they are hurt/lost/missing/scared and help them get back home to their families. It’s also interesting being able to assist the police/coroner with searches in treacherous terrain or help out in emergencies (like during the snow storms and hurricane in 2023). We also do events in the community to help spread outdoors safety awareness.
A cheerful group of people in orange shirts smiling and posing together for a memorable photo.

What do you love most about the job?

Natalie: An unexpected perk of being in SAR is getting free helicopter rides! Getting to fly to the top of Mount Baldy in a helicopter and being dropped off at the summit is a totally cool experience. Another interesting fact about SAR is that we are actually sworn in through the Sheriff’s department and have to go through all the background checks like police do since we often deal with sensitive information and help out with investigations. So we are also trained in handling evidence. We also have to carry “24 hour packs”- backpacks full of things to help us survive 24 hours out in the wilderness regardless of the terrain or weather conditions, backcountry navigation tools, ropes/technical gear, medical kits… most bags vary between 30-60 lbs!
A group of people in orange jackets standing on snow, enjoying the winter wonderland together

To learn more, visit San Bernardino Mountain Search and Rescue (Home) or email Natalie directly at natalie.bates@lewismc.com.