2018 Statesman of the Year: Kerry Tymchuk

Published Thursday, July 26, 2018

Oregon Business & Industry (OBI) has selected Oregon Historical Society Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk as the 2018 Statesman of the Year. The award has been presented since 2001 and recognizes an Oregon leader for extraordinary achievements in public service, consensus building, and forging collaborative solutions to critical issues facing the state. Past recipients include Phil and Penny Knight, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield, Portland Mayor Vera Katz, and Columbia Sportswear Chairman of the Board Gert Boyle.

A native of Reedsport, Tymchuk is a fifth-generation Oregonian. He is a 1981 graduate of Willamette University and a 1984 graduate of Willamette University College of Law. His career includes service as a Marion County deputy district attorney, director of speechwriting to the U.S. Secretary of Labor Elizabeth Dole, director of speechwriting and legal counsel to U.S. Senator Bob Dole, and state director to U.S. Senator Gordon Smith. He has served since 2011 as the executive director of the Oregon Historical Society, where he was recognized by the Portland Business Journal as the Most Admired Non-Profit Executive in Portland.

Ginny Lang, Interim President and CEO of OBI, said, “Whether in or out of the political arena, Kerry has earned a statewide reputation for effectiveness, bi-partisanship, civility, and good humor. Both Democrat and Republican elected officials have called on Kerry for his counsel and are proud to call him their friend. And so am I.”

Along with his expansive contributions to Oregon’s civic discourse, Tymchuk has co-authored eight books—four with Bob and Elizabeth Dole and four with Oregon business icons: Columbia Sportswear Chairman Gert Boyle, former Louisiana-Pacific CEO Harry Merlo, late Chairman and CEO of Reser’s Fine Foods Al Reser, and founder of A-dec Ken Austin.

Tymchuk is an active community leader, serving on the board of trustees of Willamette University, AAA Oregon-Idaho, the Tournament Golf Foundation, and Special Olympics Oregon. He served three years as Chair of the Oregon Lottery Commission and is currently serving as a member of the Oregon State Fair Council.

His greatest accomplishment, according to many, may be his four-time championship on the popular television game show Jeopardy.

Kerry and his wife, Becky, who serves as chair of the Beaverton School Board, live in Beaverton and are the parents of a 30-year-old daughter and a 20-year-old son.

The award will be presented September 13 at The Statesman Dinner, Oregon’s largest political and business event. Click here to register.