Eloise Grout Koehler

Eloise Grout, who joined 1000 Friends of Oregon's Board of Directors in 2018, comes from a family of Oregonians that goes back several generations and that has a distinguished history of active community involvement.

Consider her grandparents. One grandfather’s family, the Ladds, played a prominent role in Oregon's early banking industry, having founded Ladd Tilton Bank in 1897. Another grandfather, Alan “Punch” Green (known as Pops to his adoring grandkids) was a successful businessman who demonstrated his community values through profit-sharing with his employees. And it was the family of one of Eloise’s grandmothers that once owned Irwin-Lyons Lumber Company in Coos Bay. Out of this came the Irwin Foundation, which today supports programs for mental illness recovery and for activating community participation among the elderly throughout Oregon.

Eloise herself grew up in Portland. She has fond memories of summer treks to Elk Lake near Bend, and of backcountry skiing in the Cooper Spur area on Mt. Hood. For four years, she worked as a middle school science teacher, and later directed a STEM program to help children become creative thinkers and problem solvers. She recently completed an MBA in nonprofit management, and brings those skills to her role as a board member at 1000 Friends.

Over the years, Eloise has lived in a wide variety of places, including upstate New York, Georgia, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Spain. While away from Oregon, she regularly traveled home for holidays and family events, and never ceased to be impressed with how unique her home state is. But it wasn’t until she was at an Oregon wine country event with her father-in-law almost a decade ago that the reason for that uniqueness clicked. That day, he introduced her to 1000 Friends with the simple but inspiring idea that “Oregon is not an accident.”  And that was all it took. She immediately recognized that the Oregon we have today is a testament to the dedicated work and profound effectiveness of 1000 Friends and Oregon's land use planning program. From that day on, she was hooked. Today, Eloise will tell anyone and everyone that 1000 Friends is Oregon's leading organization for generating a lasting impact on the quality of our lives and the health of our environment.

Eloise’s three children—Corbett, Hattie, and Quinn—are seventh-generation Oregonians. Thinking of their future, she recently reflected:

“It was my grandparent’s generation that helped found 1000 Friends of Oregon. My parent’s generation worked tirelessly to sustain and grow the organization. And it is my generation that needs to step up and ensure that Oregon's land use planning program and organizations like 1000 Friends receive the time and resources needed to maintain Oregon's uniqueness for the benefit of our children.”

Thank you, Eloise, for being both a McCall Society member and Board Member of 1000 Friends of Oregon!