March 23, 2013

Announcing a new trustee

This week we did something that has only happened five times since the doors of the Meyer Memorial Trust opened 31 years ago. We selected a new trustee.

We are thrilled to announce that Charles Wilhoite joins George Puentes, Orcilia Zúñiga Forbes, Debbie Craig and John Emrick on our Board of Trustees. Charles replaces Gerry Pratt, who retired as an active trustee at the end of March. (He continues to serve our foundation as trustee emeritus.)

Charles, a CPA with several special certifications, has lived in Portland since 1980 and is managing director at Willamette Management Associates, a firm specializing in financial consulting, economic analysis and business valuation services. In addition, he heads up the firm's national tax-exempt entity and health care services practice.

In addition to his financial acumen, Charles' broad and deep community service made him an attractive candidate for trustee. We were particularly impressed with his demonstrated commitment to and leadership within Oregon. He presently serves on a number of nonprofit boards of directors, including chair of Oregon Health and Science University, chair emeritus of the Portland Business Alliance, treasurer of the Urban League of Portland and chair of Oregon's Children's Foundation that operates the statewide SMART program. He is also a board member of a number of other community, state and national organizations. He plans to transition off boards of organizations that are potential applicants to Meyer Memorial Trust.

Fred Meyer, whose will established the Meyer Memorial Trust from his estate, wrote that "the usefulness and strength of a board of trustees should depend, above all, on a variety of points of view it can fairly represent."

Charles' rural upbringing, growing up in Navajo Nation, will bring a valuable perspective to our board. We actively seek out trustees who can bring new experiences and viewpoints to help us contribute to a flourishing and equitable Oregon.

Charles was named one of the Fifty Most Influential Portlanders by Portland Monthly in January 2012: "Admirers cite his money skills, fundraising connections, and passion for health and education, among other issues. (Some also hint that within this public-spirited persona lurks a wicked sense of humor.)"

We also discovered Charles has a history of collaborative, effective and creative problem solving and consensus building, something that will serve him well as a trustee.

Trustees of Meyer Memorial Trust have fiduciary responsibilities over all legal, fiscal investing, grantmaking and policy-making aspects for the trust. In addition to deciding which grant proposals get funding, they actively oversee investment of our corpus, presently at $722 million. Meyer paid out more than $35 million to tax-exempt organizations in Oregon and Clark County, Washington, in the most recent fiscal year, which ended March 31, 2013.

Our foundation's bylaws were recently amended by the trustees to establish an initial seven-year term, with the potential to serve an additional five years. Previously, trustee appointments were for life.

Please join us in welcoming Charles to the Meyer Memorial Trust team!

— Doug