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
-2 #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

Best Foot Forward

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE

Whether you're stepping out to work or onto the track, Pacific Northwest shoe companies have you covered.


Read more...

Reader Input: Fair Play

May 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Former Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation in February prompted some soul searching in this state about ethical behavior in industry and government.


Read more...

Staffing Challenge

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Greg Lambert, president of Mid Oregon Personnel Services.


Read more...

Apartment Mania

Guest Blog
Thursday, June 18, 2015
4805983977 11466ce1d6 zBY BRAD HOULE | CFA

While most categories of commercial real estate have performed well, one of the most robust has been apartment buildings.


Read more...

Department of Self-Promotion

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

061715-awards1Oregon Business wins journalism awards.


Read more...

Marijuana law ushers in new business age

The Latest
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
062315panelthumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.


Read more...

5 stats about Oregon fireworks

The Latest
Thursday, June 18, 2015
fireworksthumb001BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Fireworks are a booming industry, even if the pyrotechnics have turned July 4th into a day fire marshals, and many residents, love to hate.


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