The Crew Crew


Crew has always been the ultimate team sport. Football has its star quarterbacks, basketball its Michael Jordans, but even the best athletes won’t win at crew if they can’t all row in synch. So it’s no surprise that when they graduate and move on to other pursuits, there’s still a network of rowers connecting business, medicine, law and other occupations.

John Nordstrom

John Nordstrom (seated in bow) with the UW’s “coxless fours” team during his University of Washington days. He graduated in 1958. 

“Crew tends to create the sort of friendships you don’t get in other sports, and that spills over after graduation into social and business relationships,” says John Wilcox, a retired executive compensation specialist who rowed for the University of Washington from 1958 to 1961 and now chairs its board of rowing stewards. Washington has always been a hive of rowers and ex-rowers. It is hard to do business here without bumping into a former Husky rower, Wilcox says. In Seattle, he says, “crew is an absolute door opener.”

“Of all the many things I did to prepare for a career as a physician and administrator, rowing has been a principal contributor,” says Dr. Paul Ramsey of UW Medicine, who rowed for Harvard from 1967 to 1971 and still gets out on his single at 5 a.m. daily. “In rowing, you quickly learn that success depends on everyone doing their role.”

Here’s a list of Seattle rowers—until the advent of Title IX, mostly men—and where they are now.

Carl Lovsted, UW ’52, retired owner Lovsted-Worthington, local insurance brokerage (1952 Olympic bronze medalist)

Chuck Alm, UW ’58, retired senior executive, Olympic Stain

Lou Gellermann, UW ’58, retired “Voice of the Dawgs” announcer

John Nordstrom, UW ’58, retired senior executive, Nordstrom

Lex Gamble, UW ’59, New York investment banker, former managing director of Smith Barney, Morgan Grenfell, and Kidder Peabody & Co.

Michael O’Byrne, UW ’61, retired executive, Paccar

John Wilcox, UW ‘61, retired executive compensation specialist

Ron Wolfkill, UW ’61, retired owner, Wolfkill Feed & Fertilizer, Monroe

George Akers, UW ’62, partner, Montgomery Purdue Blankinship & Austin

John Magnuson, UW ’62, founder, Magnuson Management Co., residential real estate management company

C. Kent Carlson, UW ‘64, partner, K&L Gates

Jon Runstad, UW ’64, founder, Wright Runstad

Dr. Paul Ramsey, Harvard ’71, CEO, UW Medicine, and dean, UW School of Medicine

Jesse Franklin, UW ’77, partner, K&L Gates

Mike Hess, UW ’78, partner, First Western Development, commercial real estate development

Ginny Gilder, Yale ‘79, co-owner, Seattle Storm (1984 Olympic silver medalist)

Tom Hull, Dartmouth ’79, telecom executive (1980 Olympic team)

Dr. Douglas Wood, Harvard ’79, chief of general thoracic surgery, UW Medical Center

Charles Clapp, UW ’81, investment banker, Boston (1982 World Championship gold medalist, 1984 Olympic silver medalist)

Jim Pugel, UW ’81, Assistant Chief of Police, city of Seattle

John Zevenbergen, UW ’81, investor (1981 World Championship bronze medalist)

Blake Nordstrom, UW ‘82, president, Nordstrom

Betsy Beard, UW ‘84, MD, pharmacist, Swedish (1984 Olympic silver medalist)

Kyle Enger, UW ’92, principal, BBI Financial

Trevor Vernon, UW ’92, owner, Vernon Publications

John Kueber, UW ’93, associate publisher, Tiger Oak Publications

Phil Henry, UW ’94, sales manager, Guidant Financial (World Championships 1997, ‘99 gold and ‘98 bronze medalist, 1999 Pan Am Games gold medalist, 2000 Olympic team alternate)

Main story: "A Shell Game"

Related Content

The Ferndale company, with affiliate Flowbuilt Manufacturing, say they stand ready to assist even more medical facilities in the Pacific Northwest

The Tukwila-based manufacturer has a pole position in the new space era's satellite race

The Sedro-Woolley-based company makes and sells some 15,000 baseball bats a year

The demand for cardboard skyrockets as online shopping continues to grow in popularity