The McCulloch Foundation has a dedicated, passionate team with a wide range of experience, expertise and specializations. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would be interested in joining one of our advisory boards. We make things happen!
John McCulloch – Founder and Chairman of the Board
Robert May – Vice Chair & Treasurer of the Board
Eric Ballinger – Secretary of the Board
Monica McQueen – Executive Director
With over 20 years of experience remodeling exquisite homes in historic neighborhoods all around Portland and a building crew who can do anything, we are going to prove that we CAN do it all – preserve Portland’s most amazing and beautiful historic neighborhoods, culture and livability while building interesting and affordable structures to provide higher-density affordable housing and fight homelessness.
After college, John worked as an educator at university, high school, and K-8 levels, teaching literature, writing, psychology, Spanish, law, history, and art, and coaching cross country, track and weight training. John’s energies went into teaching by day and remodeling houses around work, during sabbaticals and on vacations, often working 18 hour days, seven day per week. He rebuilt houses continuously since shortly after completing his undergraduate in literature, building expertise and an appreciation for old homes at the same time. He started training other people in high-quality remodeling, and eventually built up a strong team.
His practice as an architectural designer and remodeler grew, and eventually John left teaching to devote his time to a remodeling business, McCulloch Construction, so that he could help elevate people’s lives through timeless design, through philanthropy and by providing jobs.
The philanthropy grew continuously. By his first year in his current home, an important historic home which he helped to rebuild from near total ruin, some 5,000 people used it for fundraising. John has helped to raise tens of millions of dollars for worthy causes. He offered a simple combination of local history lectures and hospitality. He resides in Irvington, where he is a fifth generation Oregonian, and the fourth John McCulloch in a row to live within blocks of his current home.
In 2016 little McCulloch Construction, in concert with thousands of concerned citizens had stopped 15 ill-considered infill projects, helping to save Laurelhurst’s Historic Markham House, the Historic Emma Austin House, the Ocobock Mansion, and others. John says, “Our little company had contributed a total of ten times as much as any other historic preservation organization in Oregon, over a one year period. We have had a permanent positive effect on Portland.”
After years of assisting 40+ charities and non-profits, John focused his efforts, melding his design, remodeling, building and amateur history interest into the McCulloch Foundation.
John says, “Homelessness, the thoughtless demolition of our cultural heritage, the underutilization of our public buildings and land. Many key problems and opportunities of our society can be addressed through the thoughtful stewardship of the built environment. We have to see not what is, but what can be. With your help we can maximize our legacy of leaving a better place for the next generation!”
John grew up in the shadow of Deepwood, a Victorian Mansion and its estate, Bush Park. From this came a love of great houses and a belief that architectural grace was a part of success. He spent nearly every day of his childhood playing in the amazing park with his friends and siblings as if it were his own back yard, and gradually filled bedroom, attic and basement with models of period homes, villages and castles.
Raised on adventure and history, and a reverence for his parents’ achievements in preservation, the arts, park and trail building, and civic mindedness, he aspired to make a difference.
As a fifth generation Oregonian, and the fourth John McCulloch in a row to live in Irvington, John takes community seriously. He is committed to improving Portland through leaving a legacy of historically significant buildings which have been remodeled and restored, and through his work with charitable organizations and nonprofits. Because the last three generations of John McCullochs before him contributed greatly to the community, he wants to carry that baton forward. He is also working on the event he founded, the annual charitable Faces Event, and now on this non-profit foundation to continue his work when he is no longer able to serve the community
Rob May, an attorney at Kilmer Voorhees & Laurick, P.C., lives with his wife and son in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood of Portland. He acquired his interest in the preservation of historic homes from his wife, who grew up in an 1820’s farmhouse in upstate New York.
Rob and his wife spent two years in Houston, Texas, where Rob was an attorney in the entertainment industry. Their time in Houston was formative, observing first-hand the strain unbridled development had on the local infrastructure. With each economic boom, new neighborhoods were built further away from the city, creating the need for more roads, schools and utilities while stripping the city of tax revenue desperately needed to maintain the roads, schools and public services left behind.
Historic Houston neighborhoods also fell victim to the “tear-down” epidemic, where older homes were demolished to make way for enormous “track mansions.” Compelled to bring a bit of Portland’s respect for the preservation of historic homes, Rob and Nadine purchased a 19th Century farmhouse in Houston’s Heights District, and lived in the adjacent carriage house while restoring the main house.
Portland has avoided many of the problems now seen in other cities through a rich tradition of managing long-term growth and forward-thinking urban development. We enjoy a city with a vibrant downtown and beautiful, historic neighborhoods, easily accessible by a well-funded public transit system. Portland’s city parks and green spaces make it a uniquely livable community. With these benefits come problems created by limited affordable housing. The city struggles to find long-term solutions for Portland’s homeless and underserved.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to work on issues I care about through the McCulloch Foundation.”
Monica recently returned to Oregon after living for 13 years in Europe, most recently in Switzerland, working as an information professional in international schools. With a Masters in Library and Information Science, a passion for building and design and a background in research, program management, outreach, advocacy, event planning and fundraising for international school libraries, she is excited to be a part of the Foundation.Before moving to Europe, she and her husband renovated a 1907 Craftsman style home in the Overlook Neighborhood in North Portland. They and other expat friends moving back to Oregon were disappointed to find that it would be very difficult to afford a house in Portland anymore, and affordable housing has become of central importance to them. Monica brings an interesting European perspective on historic preservation, housing rights and homelessness to the Foundation and is looking forward to collaborating with other people and organizations to find creative solutions to the problems of housing affordability and preservation.
Eric is a 4th generation Oregonian with roots in Southern Oregon and the Columbia Gorge. He spent many of his early years in orchards, gardens, building sites, and piles of sawdust in his grandfather’s carpentry shop. Through these experiences, he learned to appreciate the history and stories of Oregon and the people within it. He developed a sense of the rich cultural heritage within the region, and the importance of preserving that heritage. His perspective was shaped not only by growing up in timber country, but also by growing up Japanese-American.
His Japanese-American family in the Columbia Gorge was interned during WWII, losing all of their personal property including a new home and business. Entire neighborhoods were uprooted, farms lost, businesses closed, the landscape changed. After the war, his family had no home or neighborhood to return to, and had to rebuild everything. Based on his family’s experience, Eric understands how critical it is to have a place to call home.
Eric has lived and worked in Bend, Oregon for the past 21 years, after spending time in Eugene, Portland, Forest Grove and Corvallis. He is dedicated to serving his community in his career as a Physical Therapist specializing in neuromuscular rehabilitation, and as a board member of Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS). He also volunteers for the ALS Association and has been a speaker on the topic of Japanese-American internment. Eric is passionate about honoring the rich culture he grew up with in Oregon. Along with his wife and daughter, he tends a small orchard of fruit trees, has an annual cider pressing using an antique press and continues to wander the woods for matsutake mushrooms.
As a life-long resident of Oregon, Eric has witnessed the impact that dramatic growth has had on the communities of this state, particularly the lack of affordable and accessible housing. As more people arrive in Oregon, Eric is motivated to preserve, honor, and protect the history of this region, while undertaking thoughtful development of our neighborhoods and communities.
“I am humbled and honored to be on the Board of the McCulloch Foundation.”