Lynne and Ron Saxton are very busy people with their ample work and community responsibilities. Ron in particular is always on the go, traveling on behalf of his employer, Jeld-Wen, to the company’s offices in North America, Europe and Australia. He would have been well justified in telling Kitzhaber that he didn’t have the time to join his education team.
“If it was just another committee that wanted to talk about these things with no prospect of success, well, I’ve got way too many things going on,” he says.
But the thrilling prospect of working with a dedicated group to solve a big problem in the state was irresistible, says Lynne. “We both grew up in the Packwood, Paulus, Atiyeh, McCall era where, if someone calls you and asks you to help, it doesn’t matter what their party is, in Oregon you help. That’s the tradition.”
And then along came a governor who happened to be a Democrat, but also happened to feel confident that given the right team, he could make his daring vision a reality.
“The key to my willingness to do this isn’t just that he has good ideas,” says Ron. “It’s that he intends to execute them. And if I didn’t believe he intended to execute them, I wouldn’t be helping him.”