Power Couple — Jeffrey Stevens and Wendy Lane Stevens

We chat with Portland couple Jeffrey Stevens and Wendy Lane Stevens about married life, jazz and dancing tango.

Jeffrey Stevens
Emeritus associate professor, 
Oregon Health & Science University; 

born: Newark, New Jersey

Wendy Lane Stevens
President and founder of Lane, managing partner 
at Finn Partners;

born: Portland

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How we met
Online dating site eharmony

J.S.: We denied it for a long time, but we met online. I was a happy bachelor but spending a lot of time at work. My other activities didn’t involve women — golf, tennis, sitting at home playing the piano. My son did the profile.
W.L.S.: Jacob put up a profile picture of his dad in a tuxedo. I’ve got to tell you: The tuxedo did it. (Laughs).

First impressions

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W.L.S.: We were going out for our first dinner date. He walked into my house and sat down at my grand piano and played jazz. That did it for me. He still plays for me every night as I make dinner. It is wonderful.

Nuptials
Chapel at Beth Israel, Portland, September 5, 2008;
St. Mary’s Cathedral, Portland, September 6, 2008;
reception: Portland Art Museum

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W.L.S.: We got married twice. Jeff is Jewish and I am Catholic. Rabbi Rose married us before sundown on Friday night. And Saturday night we had a Catholic wedding at the cathedral. It was a big weekend. At this age, we both had friends from all over the world attend. It was great fun to bring everyone together.

Honeymoon
Greece and Turkey
W.L.S.: It was 2008, the year of the financial crisis. Lehman Brothers fell. My daughter, who was working in finance in London, called me and said, “Mother, you have got to come home. The financial world is falling apart.” I said, “No! We are staying in Greece.”

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Jeff and Wendy in Machu Pichu, June 2018

Marital dynamic
J.S.: We have a very harmonious relationship. Some of the things Wendy does are just so we can be together. I was a golfer; she took it up. [Laughs] I have been trying to get her to sing with me, which she will not do.
W.L.S.: We enjoy being together. That is the most important thing for me. I really enjoyed learning golf through Jeff. We’ll go out on a Saturday morning to play, just the two of us. It is a beautiful way to relax and spend time together.

Children

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Jeffrey’s son, Jacob, 40, third from right, and family

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Wendy’s children from left to right: Alison, 39; Ted, 32; Christina, 41

Interests
J.S.: Music is a big one for me. I put myself through school as a musician performing jazz. I had a weekly show on KSJS, San Jose State University’s radio station 50 years ago.  I recently started singing. [Laughs] It is really a cover. I don’t play like I used to; each distracts attention from the other. It seems to work.

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W.L.S.: I love to read. I like to work out and feel good and healthy. We started dancing tango because Jeff’s son and daughter-in-law are professional tango teachers. I like it. I love music and dance.

What I’m reading
J.S.: I am a nonfiction guy. I spend most of my time reading about radiology and nuclear medicine. But I am wading through Robert Caro’s Lyndon Johnson biographies.
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W.L.S.: I just finished One Kick by Chelsea Cain. Chelsea used to work for me. She left me in 2003 because she got a million-dollar book deal. I almost couldn’t put it down. The dialogue is really compelling.
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Ambitions
J.S.: Recording my “songbook” for posterity. And sticking around long enough to watch my grandchildren get older.
W.L.S.: Continue to keep growing as a company and to take great stories out to the world. I am still here full time at least for the next three to four years, and then maybe I’ll go part time. Who knows.

Kim Moore

Kim Moore is the editor for Oregon Business magazine.

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