As many of you know, Rhoni Wiswall passed away from pancreatic cancer last October. Please join our Purple Stride Portland running team to help raise money to fight this disease and in loving memory of Rhoni.
Here are some words on Rhoni below. She absolutely loved running. In March, five months after her diagnosis, she ran in Portland's Shamrock Run, not walking once and sprinting to the finish line. It was times like those that show us how no task is too large or challenging.
Through her tireless energy, kindness and commitment to helping others, Rhoni made a profound impact on all who were fortunate enough to know her. Rhoni served on numerous boards, including Bridge Meadows, the American Cancer Society (Great West Region,) Jesuit High School, the Oregon Food Bank, St. Andrew's Nativity School, the Metro Leadership Council for the Oregon Community Foundation, Meals on Wheels and the President's Advisory Council at Portland Community Foundation. She has been honored with the Bridge Builder Award (Bridge Meadows), the Al Riley Award (Blanchet House), and the St. Peter Canisius, SJ Award (Jesuit High School.)
Rhoni was also a tireless supporter of St. Clare School, Blanchet House, the Child Abuse Prevention Center, De La Salle North Catholic High School, Dress for Success and the Union Gospel Mission. In addtion to her public advocacy, Rhoni was the anonymous angel behind hundreds of good deeds. No need was too small to escape Rhoni's notice, nor was she easily overwhelmed; her response was always personal, direct and without fanfare. Rhoni continued to inspire others after her diagnosis of stage IV pancreatic cancer, which she received while training for a half-marathon. Rhoni created and led "Team Hope" in Portland's Shamrock Run. Her 5K run and sprint to the finish while undergoing chemotherapy inspires us all to believe that truly anything is possible. Even while gravely ill, she traveled to Washington, D.C. to advocate for increased funding for the deadliest cancers, coached men at Blanchet House on life skills and mentored middle school girls at St. Andrew's Nativity School (recently renamed "Miss Rhoni's Girls.")
In addition, she continued to travel relentlessly and actively while ill, showing everyone that cancer had no chance of slowing her down. In the past year, she traveled to Lourdes, France with her family to visit Our Lady of Lourdes and Rio de Janiero to visit Christo Redeemer, both lifelong dreams. Since 2014, Rhoni was a managing director at Neuberger Berman, a private investment firm. Before that, she worked at Crestline Investors as head of consultant relations and at INVESCO, as global partner and managing director of the western region. Rhoni was appointed by the Governor as a member of the Oregon PERS board in 2012. Rhoni received a B.A. from George Fox University in 1991. She worked her way through college over 10 years, taking classes at night and working multiple jobs. Of her many accomplishments, Rhoni was most proud to be "momma" to her loving children, Matthew and Carly. She was a devoted wife to her husband, Michael and a caring step-mother to Leo, Stella and Sadie.