It's Your Oregon: Ann Wheeler
While Ann Wheeler may not think of herself as someone who “can wax eloquent” about Oregon, you only need to spend a little time talking with her to see that she clearly loves the place.
While Ann Wheeler may not think of herself as someone who “can wax eloquent” about Oregon, you only need to spend a little time talking with her to see that she clearly loves the place. Whether it’s the wildflowers on Iron Mountain, the pristine lakes of the Cascades, or the unique beauty of the Oregon Coast, Ann loves living in a place like Oregon where “people can live their values.”
Ann and her husband Geoff have lived in Bend for the past 25 years. They enjoy the fact that they can bike or walk to just about every appointment or errand they may need to run. “We have access to everything we need in this community,” Ann said.
Ann first heard about OEC in the early 1980s as a law school student at Lewis & Clark College. While her introduction to OEC was through a friend of a friend, she quickly became engaged in OEC’s work. She interned with the organization and, upon graduation, contracted with OEC to write briefs on several of the state’s most pressing issues, including hazardous waste disposal, clean air and forestry issues.
After working with OEC for several years, Ann shifted her involvement: she joined the board, and she and Geoff began contributing money to OEC.
The shift to becoming a volunteer board member of OEC came naturally to Ann. She had witnessed the good work of OEC for several years and wanted to continue to support the broad, effective efforts of the organization.
In the mid ‘90s, Ann and Geoff had an opportunity to make a significant, long-term gift to OEC that would also serve their personal financial needs. At the suggestion of a friend, they looked into establishing a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT). When selling property on the Oregon Coast, Ann and Geoff created a CRT into which they transferred the property. The trust then sold the property and invested the earnings. Instead of paying capital gains tax, Ann and Geoff were able to use the money to support two non-profits they believed were doing critical work — OEC and the Central Oregon Environmental Center (COEC).
“Geoff and I were delighted to establish the CRT and leave a lasting gift. Creating a trust gave us an opportunity to manage our own financial needs and make a commitment to support OEC and COEC at a much more significant level than we would normally have been able to give,” Ann said.
'“What I’ve always appreciated about OEC is that it has a broad vision for Oregon. OEC is about more than trees, high lakes, rivers and oceanfront. OEC is deeply committed to the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land on which we grow our food, and the health of our children. The organization’s program areas are interconnected, and it has worked for years on issues that directly impact our quality of life."