OPB today announced it has received a generous gift from the family of the late Gert Boyle, the Oregon businesswoman who broke through the glass ceiling of the sportswear industry in the 1970s as the president of Columbia Sportswear Company.
The family’s gift — made by The Roundhouse Foundation, the Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation and Tim and Mary Boyle — establishes a new studio in honor of Boyle at OPB’s newly renovated headquarters on South Macadam Avenue in Portland.
“Gert was a dedicated American and leading Oregon female entrepreneur, who fought diligently for accurate and enlightening information and news,” said Tim Boyle, Gert Boyle’s son and president and CEO of Columbia Sportswear. “OPB is the gold standard in reporting on topics of interest to Oregonians. Our family is thrilled to support OPB in her honor.”
Boyle’s life was stitched together with a wry sense of humor and infinite enthusiasm for helping others. Philanthropy was always woven into her career of more than 50 years.
Boyle focused many of her efforts on what she called “supporting people who couldn’t support themselves” through organizations like Court Appointed Special Advocates and Special Olympics. She was well known for her support of OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute and their work to eradicate cancer.
“We’re honored by this transformative gift that honors Gert Boyle, an iconic Oregonian and philanthropist,” said Steve Bass, president and CEO, OPB. “The gift will help drive forward trustworthy original journalism at a time when it’s more critical than ever before.”
“Mom had a set of rules she lived by. Gert’s Rule No. 7: Send thank-you notes. If someone gives you a gift or brightens your day, then a thank-you note is in order,” said Kathy Deggendorfer, Boyle’s daughter and founder and trustee of The Roundhouse Foundation. “I think of this gift as her thank-you note to Oregonians and to OPB.”
“I have based many decisions in my life from watching my mom navigate many twists and turns that life tossed her way,” said Sally Bany, Boyle’s daughter, board chair of the Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation. “She used to say, ‘Can’t let it ruin your life, there is always tomorrow to do better.’ These words help me navigate my own life, and I am so grateful that I had a strong, supportive mom to help guide me through.”
This gift is the result of multi-generational involvement of the Boyle family, including Rachael Sneddon and Erin Borla, who lead the Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation and The Roundhouse Foundation, respectively.
“As women, we are so grateful to have such strong female mentors, from our great grandmother, Marie Lamfrom, to our grandmother and mom,” said Sneddon and sister, Annie Bany. “All of these women have shown us the importance of kindness and philanthropy that we will carry on for generations to come.”
Boyle was a longtime OPB listener and appreciated the role educational programs and trustworthy journalism play in an informed and engaged civic life. She cared deeply about her state, its people, and the unique history, culture and vibrance of our region.
The gift from the Boyle family represents a major step forward for OPB’s Campaign 2022: “Connected, Empowered Communities,” a multi-year capital initiative to significantly expand OPB’s public service and original journalism to better inform people across the region.
In 2022, OPB will celebrate 100 years from its beginning as a small AM radio station at Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University). The campaign aims to transform OPB for its second century of service.
Donors joining the Boyle family in making gifts towards Campaign 2022 have supported a major facility renovation at OPB’s headquarters and growth in OPB’s news operation through the Impact Journalism Fund, aimed to serve the region with more insightful programming, breaking news, and in-depth stories of vital public interest. In the past several years, the fund has helped create new original reporting on government, science, breaking news, business and much more.
The Gert Boyle Studio joins several new named spaces at the OPB facility. Lead and challenge support for Campaign 2022 has come from The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, the Tykeson Family Foundation, Susan Hammer, and Christine and David Vernier. They join many hundreds of other generous donors from across the region and at every level of support.