MEET OUR BOARD
Will Patton, Board President.
Will Patton is a native Oregonian, raised in and around the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. His passion for sports led him away from the theatrical pursuits of his parents to the playing field. Ultimately, sports led him to six years as the Marketing Director for the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA and twenty years in a variety of Marketing, Operations and Strategy positions for Nike, Inc. Currently, Will is a Marketing Director at Tillamook County Creamery Association, which makes sense because ice cream is a passion of his. Will is married to Sandhya Patton and between them, they have four great kids. Will and Sandhya reside in Newberg, Oregon.
A life-long friend of Cerimon House Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus, Randall Stuart, Will first heard Randall's vision in 2009 for what ultimately would become Cerimon House. Inspired by events he attended in the early years of Cerimon House, Will joined the board in 2014. Through his board service, Will hopes to pay homage to the contributions his parents, Bill and Shirley Patton, have made to the arts in Oregon. He's doing this by helping to provide a place for the arts to be presented and a warm, welcoming space for people to share their stories with others.
Billie Eidson, Board Secretary.
Billie is a native Oregonian who grew up in Bend when the population was less than 18K residents. (A looooong time ago as evidenced by their current population of roughly 80K residents). She left her hometown on a full ride athletic-academic scholarship to the University of Alaska where her volleyball team was nationally ranked NCAA Division II team for several years. After graduating with a BA in English and a B.Ed in Secondary Education and a minor in French, she taught High School English before deciding to attend law school in Syracuse, NY. She has been practicing law as a trial lawyer in Oregon since 2001.
Billie and her husband Rod live in wine country with their two furry children. Her hobbies include: teaching alpine skiing in the winter, fly fishing in the spring, summer and fall, meditating in her garden, creating in her kitchen, and participating in most all heart powered activities. Billie’s primary passion, however, is vocalizing jazz music and studying the Jazz greats.
Cheryl L. Balkenhol, Board Treasurer
Cheryl took her sweet time on her own “Oregon Trail” arriving in Portland in 2011 and now can’t imagine living anywhere else. Cheryl grew up in the shadow of the mighty Apollo Saturn V rocket in Cocoa Beach, Florida where her family worked for NASA. From Florida her trek led her to Los Angeles to attend UCLA, becoming a true Bruin for life. After graduation and spending a few years on the LA beaches, the Ivy League came calling and she packed up her life and headed east, landing at Yale University’s School of Management to earn her MBA and start a new career in the Big Apple. After a few years working in New York, her wanderlust got the best of her and it was off to Louisville, Kentucky, joining PepsiCo’s restaurant group Yum! Brands, where all her dining desires could be satisfied. During her time at Yum they kept her on the move with stops in Dallas, London and back to Louisville before leaving Yum and making the giant leap to Portland and new challenges. One of Cheryl’s greatest pleasures is Board service, bringing her insights and expertise to organizations helping them grow, whether they are for profit or non-profit. Her board service has included Henningsen Cold Storage, a family owned, Portland based, nationwide business. She has also served on the Norton Healthcare board, a large multi-hospital system in Kentucky, as well as, the Louisville Ballet as Board Treasurer and Board Chairman. She is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD).
Paul Ward, Board Member.
Paul is an advisor to business owners seeking to improve valuation and market share for growth or exit. He has helped build companies as an executive and advisor, with improvements in profitability primarily through competitive focus and positioning, as well as clarity in how back-end processes create more visible value for customers and stakeholder groups. He has worked in China, Russia, Emirates, France, Singapore, Hong Kong, Colombia, and the UK in marketing, customer management, and executive training. Paul has served on the board of The Smithsonian, as well as for a global music app startup based in Italy, and an investment group in Maryland. Clarety Global Investments and Clarety Flow have been involved helping develop new strategies in de-risking cancer drugs. His model for investment structures in European pharmaceutical finance has been deployed successfully in multimillion-dollar pharmaceutical development projects. His partners included executives who developed Power Africa for President Obama, introduced the majority of the most successful cancer drugs in the last 20 years, and turned around Danone in Central and South America to be the number one provider in its categories. Paul has taught at American University and The University of Maryland’s MBA program, and gives corporate trainings on strategic marketing and managing across generations.
Keith Pitt, Board Member.
BOARD MEMBER SINCE 2013
Keith Pitt has been a Board member for many years. Mr. Pitt is a partner at the Portland law firm of Slinde Nelson Stanford, where his practice focuses on general civil litigation and business transactions. Keith is licensed to practice law in Oregon, Washington, and California. He holds degrees from the University of Oregon (1992, B.A., English), and the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (1997, J.D.).
Keith is active in the community, recently completing three-terms (2007-2016) as the Presiding Officer (a volunteer position) for the City of Portland Civil Service Board. He also served on the Board of Directors for Third Rail Repertory Theatre (2005-2008). Keith resides in the Irvington Historic District of Portland, Oregon with his wife, Stephanie, and their daughter Stella. He recently completed the construction of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) at his residence, along with his mother, Sharon Nielson, and enjoys living at the property as a multi-generational family