Breakfast Forum Features Portland Icon

Gertrude Boyle, matriarch and chairwoman of the board of Columbia Sportswear, and Kerry Tymchuk, state director for U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, will share the microphone at the Thursday, Sept. 28, Willamette University Breakfast Forum at the Multnomah Athletic Club in downtown Portland beginning at 7 a.m.

Boyle has been hailed by Working Woman magazine as one of America's Top 50 Women Business Owners and named one of 1994's "Best Managers" by Business Week. Since she and her son, Tim, began managing the company, Columbia Sportswear Company has gone from near bankruptcy to become one of the world's largest outerwear manufacturers and the leading seller of skiwear in the United States. Columbia's sales have soared from $12.9 million in 1984 to $1.1 billion in 2004, and the company continues to forge ahead with product diversification and innovation.

Throughout her career, Boyle has been a leader in the Portland community. She has received many honors recognizing her business savvy and philanthropic endeavors, including Oregon's prestigious First Citizen Award in 2005.

Tymchuk, who graduated from Willamette University with an undergraduate degree in 1981, also graduated from Willamette's College of Law in 1984.

He has served as press secretary and legal counsel for former U.S. Congressman Denny Smith, and as director of speechwriting for Elizabeth Dole when she served as U.S. Secretary of Labor and later as president of the American Red Cross. Later he served as legal counsel and director of speechwriting for then Senate Republican Leader Bob Dole.

Tymchuk returned to Oregon in 1997 to work for Sen. Smith. Recently, he partnered with Boyle to co-write her autobiography, "One Tough Mother."

The Breakfast Forum begins with coffee at 7 a.m., breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and the program at 7:45 a.m. Tickets are $15 per person or $100 for a corporate table of eight. Reservations are required. Register online at, email or call 1-800-551-6794. The reservation deadline is Sept. 22.