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Live, work, play: Charles Wilhoite

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Articles - June 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012


0612 LiveWorkPlay CharlesWilhoite
Charles Wilhoite, managing director of Willamette Management Associates.
// Photo by Alexandra Shyshkina

Charles Wilhoite, 48, joined Willamette Management Associates in 1990 as a senior associate analyst. Today he is the firm’s managing director and the national director of its health care practice. Before joining the Portland financial advisory company, Wilhoite was a senior auditor for KPMG Peat Marwick, an international accounting and consulting firm. He serves on numerous nonprofit boards, including Oregon Health & Science University, the Urban League and SMART. Wilhoite lives in the Forest Heights neighborhood with his wife, Tammy, 11-year old son, Dorsey, and 14-year old daughter, Hadley. He also has a 23-year old son, DeVaughn.


“I hope my wife would say I’m responsible, loving, caring and supportive. We’ve been together 20 years; we’re very coordinated, and she’s the only reason I’ve been able to do the things I do. My kids would say ‘Daddy is fun. Daddy works.’ I would say I’m lighthearted and fun. Sandy McDonough at the Portland Business Alliance, where I was board chair, would say I’m not funny at all.”


“I was raised, officially, in Winslow, Ariz., famous for the Eagles version of Take It Easy. Yes, I spent more than just a few hours ‘standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Ariz.,’ but I can’t recall a girl in a flatbed Ford ever slowing down to take a look at me. We were the African-American Brady Bunch: three brothers, three sisters, one sister named Marcia and another named Jan.”


“We have workout Sundays at the Multnomah Athletic Club. My wife works out while I play basketball with the kids. Then we have a family game. We think of it as a vacation; we don’t think about work, we don’t bring phones. I read a lot of financial books because of what I do for a living. The last book I read was Henry Paulson’s On the Brink about the 2008 economic crisis.”


“A few friends and I go fly fishing once a year for three days. When you float down the Deschutes, when you’ve been away from civilization, then you appreciate your life and work that much more when you come home. Next summer we’re going to Montana. I don’t have a lot of experience. My goal is to look like I can cast a line. If you can do that, you can fool people.”


“I’ve been managing director here for 12 years and worked here for 22. There is no place for me to go in the firm except to own it. I’d really like to help kids at the right age develop the value of education. My mom was a teacher and my dad was a principal and I got on track early on. I’m not wonderful but I had decent parents and some luck and good things happened to me.”


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