Tell me about something youre really good at.
Im pretty good at negotiating, I guess. Ive negotiated quite a few contracts. I usually run a crew, so I guess Im good at those kind of interpersonal relationships; to get something done in small groups, like 12 or 15 people or less. Im goal-oriented, so typically, it would be a work group that has certain goals to reach in a certain amount of time.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife. We work so closely together that I think that if we werent truly in love we wouldnt be able to. We walk across to the office every morning together, and were together all day, working together. Shes a partner in all aspects a business partner, every aspect of my life shes partner to it. I just dont know what Id do without her.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I think Id have to say right where we are. I like the climate here. I like having projects to do all the time. I like some variety in the projects and this business has been really good for that, you know. I have science background and theres computer things to do. I studied business in college and theres enough bookkeeping. And theres always things going on in the community and involvement there. And with the [Ocean Park] Chamber, theres advertising, marketing and web design, and I find those things interesting. So, right where Im at and the things Im doing. I dont like it when a job becomes a routine and methodical.
If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would they be?
My father. When he was dying, he had a hard time speaking. So I guess if I could go back, I would go back and ask him if theres any way he could tell me what he was trying to say. I think it was mostly things he wanted to say about my mother, I know it bothered her not knowing.
What is the worst job youve had?
I used to be an operator in a pilot plant in Portland, so I guess it would be doing brick inspections inside of a reformer. You had to crawl into a small brick-lined pipe and it was probably over 120 or 130 degrees in there. You actually had to put your arms in front of you as you went and inch up with your toes and arms. If you were claustrophobic, it was not the job for you.
If you could edit your past, what would you change?
You know, I think Ive been a really, really lucky, and with the decisions Ive made, I dont know if Id change them. I dont know if I would because they probably led to something good. So Id have a hard time choosing what Id change. Like an old girlfriend breaking up with me if that wouldnt have happened, I would probably not have ended up with who Im married to.
You just won the lottery what are the first things youll do with the money?
Probably paying this business off would be first because the economic downtrend has been a real strain and stress. Then, its ironic I would dearly love to give my kids something, but Im a firm believer that in life Ive learned that people dont treasure things that are given to them, but they do treasure the things they earn. So Id give them the opportunity for education. I guess my wife has always wanted to take a cruise, so wed take a cruise. Im just not a thing person. I just dont have a big desire for that. And I suppose Id have to sit down with my wife we moved from North Carolina from her family, so the third thing would be whatever she wanted to do with her life. Because Ive taken her to Portland and then to here, so shes done whatever I wanted to do. So I guess it would be to do whatever she wants to do for a change.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
You know, Ive had to do startups in the desert and in the tropics and I did one in Montreal and in Germany in the winter, and I have found that when I dont have seasons, I really miss seasons. Id really have to be in an area with spring, fall, winter and summer. And in all the places Ive traveled all around the world, I dont think Ive found a place I like any better than here. And its nice because we do have some distinct seasons we have winter, we have spring, and we have summer sometimes. And each one has a kind of excitement to it.
The oldest of seven kids, Curt Stephens grew up in Lake Oswego, Ore., graduated from high school in Scappoose, Ore., and attended Portland State University. He once owned a bar and restaurant in Charlotte, N.C., and also worked for Shell Chemical, Midrex and Riedel Environmental Services. He and his wife, Karen, purchased Ocean Park Resort in the late 1980s. They have two children, Brad and Melissa.