On February 6, 2024, our Salem Emerging Leaders hosted its monthly Lunch with Leaders series, welcoming longtime Salem philanthropist and faith leader Gayle Withnell.

To some in the Salem community, Gayle has been known as the “silent partner” of spouse and Salem business icon Dick Withnell (who provides an introduction to Gayle in this presentation), but here, Gayle shares her powerful voice and tells her leadership story to our group of Emerging Leaders and business professionals.

With the theme of perseverance at the center, Gayle discusses her upbringing, her time as an educator, how she met Dick (with whom she has been married for 60 years), and the early challenges the Withnell family took on in starting and growing the now renowned Withnell Motor Company. She also delves into her more recent battle with cancer during the height of COVID, which she beat, an inspiring feat that she credits to her unwavering Christian faith.

A Bible study leader, generous philanthropist to numerous local non-profits, and Salem resident for more than 50 years, Gayle lends some incredible insights to our audience about how to sustain a long, successful, and happy life. Some of her words of wisdom include making sure we “count our blessings” and show gratitude, that we “mend our relationships” and take the high road, and that we simply “can’t live life alone.”

We’d like to thank the Withnell family and Gayle for sharing this presentation, and Allied Video Productions for filming it.

A special thanks also goes to Chemeketa Community College for sponsoring the Lunch with Leaders series.

Join us for the next event in the Lunch with Leaders series on March 14 as we welcome The Sassy Onion Owner Kevin Boyles and Marion County Commissioner Kevin Cameron to talk about “Leadership Development Through Mentorship.”


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