Home Back Issues January 2013 Oregon's first lady Cylvia Hayes balances life, work and play

Oregon's first lady Cylvia Hayes balances life, work and play

| Print |  Email
Articles - January 2013
Monday, December 10, 2012

 

BY ROBIN DOUSSARD

0113 LiveWorkPlay CylviaHayes
First Lady Cylvia Hayes is a passionate advocate for solving poverty and hunger issues.
// Photo courtesy State of Oregon

Cylvia Hayes was raised a “serious farm kid,” driving trucks and running chain saws by the time she was 10. She went on to get her master’s degree in environmental studies from Evergreen State College in Washington. She currently is working on a paid fellowship from the Clean Economy Development Center, based in Washington, D.C., and is policy adviser to Gov. John Kitzhaber on clean energy and economic development. She is also his longtime companion, and as First Lady, she has made poverty and hunger her key issues. She’s a huge football fan (Seattle Seahawks, Ducks and Beavers), and if she could have just one superpower, it would be teleporting. “Because [being First Lady] is a bit too much travel.”

BEING FIRST LADY

“It was a really hard entry for me. The thing I didn’t see coming was the expectation of the role. The institution hasn’t really caught up to accepting a modern, professional, politically engaged person. I came in expecting not to take the title of First Lady, because [we aren’t married]. But it was impossible not to take it. Most people just started calling me that, and it was too difficult to stop people.”

THEY SAY I’M …

“[Laughing] It depends on who ‘they’ are. My friends would say I’m hardworking and passionate. My critics would say I’m overly intense and ambitious. John would say I’m a beautiful person inside and out. He just said that the other day.
He tells me that all
the time.”

OFF HOURS

“I don’t take a lot of actual downtime. But I am very disciplined with my exercise. I look forward to it. It mentally refreshes me. I run, I lift weights. I had knee surgery six weeks ago and have had to tone down the running. At least once a year, John and I have done a big Rogue River trip. I really try a couple times a month to have a no-car weekend. I meditate daily, 20 minutes to an hour.”

SECRET VICE

“I really dig reality TV. That’s my dirty little secret. I rarely watch shows you have to pay attention to. I like The Voice and Dancing with the Stars. I love The Biggest Loser. It’s people who are struggling with such a really difficult issue. That show probably has more substance.”

MY HEROES

“They’re people who have tried to make the world a better place: Martin Luther King Jr., Oprah, Jane Goodall and [Oregonian] Donna Beagle, who overcame abject poverty and is one of my key folks. I hope this doesn’t sound too cheesy, but I also have to put John in that category. What I respect most about him is how hard he works. No one will ever really know how much he has put into it.”

 

Comments   

 
Guest
-1 #1 AuthenticGuest 2013-01-08 07:37:24
I am so inspired by Cylvia Hayes--that she is using her position as Oregon's First Lady as an opportunity to address the issues that our legislators don't always get to or agree on--poverty, hunger and protecting our environmental. I am even more inspired by her ability to be herself in the process. Ocean acidification isn't a typical issue for First Ladies! I appreciate that she's approaching what could be a restrictive role in a fresh and independent way. She strikes me as an unusually authentic, smart and competent person. I'm looking forward to seeing what she does next!
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Guest
+1 #2 Tony TGuest 2014-10-11 10:31:29
You refer to her as the First Lady...I am not sure she is married to the Governor. I am not sure you should recognize her as such until she is actually married to him. I know she was married twice before once to a fellow named Abraham Abraham for Ethiopia!
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Political Clout

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

Businesses spend billions of dollars each year trying to influence political decision makers by piling money into campaigns.


Read more...

OB Poll: Wineries and groceries

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

24-winethumbA majority of respondents agreed: Local vineyards should remain Oregon-owned and quality is the most important factor when determining where to eat or buy groceries.


Read more...

Measure 91: What Oregon Businesses Need to Know

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
91 thumbBY DIANE BUISMAN

Some common misconceptions employers have about marijuana.


Read more...

The 100 Best Companies survey is open

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1How does your workplace stack up against competitors? How can you improve workplace practices to help recruit and retain employees? Find out by taking our 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey!


Read more...

Water World

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

Fred Ziari aims to feed the global population.


Read more...

A Complex Portrait: Immigration, Jobs and the Economy

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE & KIM MOORE

Oregon Business reports on the visa squeeze, the skills gap and foreign-born residents who are revitalizing rural Oregon.


Read more...

Gone Girl

News
Monday, September 29, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Wehby disappears, Kitzhaber fails to disclose and Seattle gets bike share before Portland.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS