The Crew Crew

By By Bill Richards March 29, 2010


Crew has always been the ultimate team sport. Football has its star quarterbacks, basketball its Michael Jordans, but even the best athletes wont win at crew if they cant all row in synch. So its no surprise that when they graduate and move on to other pursuits, theres still a network of rowers connecting business, medicine, law and other occupations.

John Nordstrom

John Nordstrom (seated in bow) with the UWs coxless fours team during his University of Washington days. He graduated in 1958.

Crew tends to create the sort of friendships you dont 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.

Heres a list of Seattle rowersuntil the advent of Title IX, mostly menand 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 OByrne, 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”

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