Steven Romero: Oysterville’s ‘Renaissance Man’ speaks April 14

Last fall, Steven Romero displayed the chanterelles he and his wife had gathered in the woods near their Oysterville home. They were soon incorporated into a “meal fit for kings” according to his wife Martie, “and cooked, of course, by Steve.”

OYSTERVILLE — On Thursday, April 14, Oysterville resident Steven Romero will talk at the village schoolhouse about technology, the discipline upon which he has built his career.

Romero is a widely recognized expert in computer technology. He began as a software engineer for Tektronix, Inc., in the 1980s, then was co-founder and CEO of Critical Path Software for almost 20 years before becoming the vice president of mobile strategy and engineer at eBay. According to LinkedIn, the professional networking social media site, his skills set includes such things as software development, e-commerce, mobile devices, mobile applications and much more.

“I love talking technology with Steve,” enthuses Oysterville neighbor Sydney Stevens. “But I have to confess, I sometimes feel I only understand bits and pieces. And speaking of ‘bits’ — he once told me he had procured a bitcoin for me but apologized because he couldn’t find it to give to me. I never could wrap my head around losing (or even finding) something that only exists virtually, much less how you use it in the real world.”

Children, on the other hand, seem to be on Steven’s same wave-length, according to Diane Buttrell. “He spent a class session working with the fourth graders at the Oysterville Academy last summer. They thought he was a genius! And so do I!” Buttrell, who is founder of the academy as well as organizer of the Schoolhouse Talks, felt that Romero would also find a receptive audience among the adults who typically attend the Oysterville lectures.

“We have so many residents on the Peninsula who are curious about our fast-changing world. I am delighted that Steven is willing to share his knowledge with our Thursday morning audience,” says Buttrell.

In addition to his proficiency in the field of technology, Romero has many other enthusiasms. During the rainy winter, for instance, he and his wife, Martie Kilmer, converted their garage to a pottery studio complete with two potter’s wheels (“Dueling wheels!” he laughs), a kiln, and shelves and shelves of clay and glazes. Then, by looking at ‘how-to videos’ on YouTube, they taught themselves the intricacies of making hand-built ceramics.

“You should see the incredible coil pots Steven has made using his clay extruder,” says Martie.

Romero also enjoys cooking and especially loves to create meals from fish he’s caught, clams he’s dug, or chanterelles he’s found in the nearby woods. Recently, too, he learned to macramé and then designed and made the curtains for his office. And… the list goes on. “Truly, a Renaissance man!” says Buttrell. “But, it’s his insight into the world of technology that will blow you away!”

Steven and Martie divide their time between Portland and Oysterville where they own the historic Captain Stream House and the Oysterville Guest House. His Schoolhouse Talk begins at 10 a.m. The public is invited and the event is free.

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