Deep into August, most of Portland is painted in shades of brown.
This summer, the city endured a 46-day stretch without measurable rain. The grass from Powell Butte to Beaverton is brittle and dry. The fire risk in Forest Park is so severe that city officials are tossing out drunken teenagers and homeless people—for fear they’ll burn it down.
In other parts of the state, it’s worse. Nineteen of the state’s 36 counties are officially in a drought emergency. Along Oregon’s border with California, rivers are running so low that most of the newly hatched salmon have died.
But let’s be clear: Portland is nowhere close to a drought. It hasn’t experienced one in many decades. It’s hard to exhaust the supply of H2O that collects in the Bull Run Reservoir each winter.
And some Portlanders just love soaking their lawns in that sweet Bull Run water.
They grow enormous conifer hedges, decorative trees and rhododendron gardens. They fill swimming pools. They feed face-shaped fountains that spit out water through marble mouths.
For the ninth time since 2001, WW has pulled the water usage records from two municipal departments—the Portland Water Bureau and the Palatine Hill Water District, which serves the high-end, unincorporated neighborhood of Dunthorpe—to find the 20 largest residential customers from June 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021.
We do so for a few reasons: First, the drought afflicting the southern reaches of our state is a reminder that Oregon’s natural bounty is not inexhaustible—and with the climate changing, an ethos of sustainability matters more than ever. Second, we like to think revealing these numbers may embarrass people into reducing their consumption (over the years, we’ve seen a steady reduction in the gallons guzzled at the high end of this list). And lastly, we’d be lying if we didn’t admit this is fun: Knowing which of your neighbors run the sprinklers all summer makes for a lively conversation around the (ahem) water cooler.
Interestingly, individual water usage in this city is decreasing—over the past two decades, it dropped nearly in half, from 75 gallons per person per day in 2000 to 48 gallons today, thanks to modern technology, like fancy toilets and more efficient showers and plumbing.
So in short, it’s harder to use more water now than it was 20 years ago.
But not many of the homeowners listed here have reduced their usage.
“The outliers are still roughly in the same [range],” says Edward Campbell, director of resource protection and planning for the Water Bureau. “They’re using at these rates that are similar to what they were in those early WW Hydro Hog articles.”
(By the way: If homeowners reported a leak to municipal water providers and had their bill reduced, we removed them from the list—the leak was the city’s responsibility, not theirs. In cases where property owners fixed the leak themselves, we’ve noted it—but they stay on the list.)
This year’s Hydro Hogs include titans of industry, a sushi king and some of Oregon’s biggest philanthropists. There’s a dentist, a former lawyer and even a sitting state senator.
What they all have in common is that they live on patches of green grass.
Craig Kiest has landscaped these types of grandiose gardens for decades and has worked on many of this year’s Hydro Hogs gardens. He says these properties are defined by their vastness, immaculate organization and seclusion. Kiest calls it “a place of hedges.”
“I don’t know if it’s for privacy,” he says, “or maybe for a sense of creating your own world.”
In the following pages, we take you inside the hedges. Pour yourself a glass of ice water, set out your camping chair on the brown patch of grass you still call a lawn, and enjoy.
Homeowner: Paul Brenneke
Water used: 1,129,558 gallons
Water bill: $12,769
Of all the Portlanders who spent the pandemic holed up in gated estates, Paul Brenneke probably made the most of his time.
His investment company, Sortis Holdings, spent 2020 investing in distressed companies—such as Rudy’s Barbershop and a camper company called Happier Camper—which he believes can turn profitable. Among his purchases: the company that owns Bamboo Sushi, the chain favored by Mayor Ted Wheeler and most of the starting lineup for the Portland Trail Blazers. Last November, he told Oregon Business he picked Bamboo because sushi is perfect for home delivery: “A lot of cuisines do not travel well,” he observed. “Sushi travels well because it is room temperature and it doesn’t get too cold. It is also something people don’t make at home.”
Brenneke started out in real estate and was part of a crew of ambitious developers in the early 2000s that started building high-rises downtown. Brenneke has no interest in discussing his water usage. He did not respond to requests for comment fielded by his investment company.
His 1.85-acre property on South Summerville Avenue, which he purchased in 2001, is cocooned by tall fir trees secluding him off from neighboring properties. It’s outfitted with a pool, multiple porches and a covered pool area with reclining chairs. The 10,400-square-foot house is impossibly white and surrounded by neat squares of grass and trimmed hedges. In 2015, when Brenneke made the list at #9, he told WW that the list was “vilifying people with big houses.”
How much water did he use?
Enough to put out 56 houses engulfed in flames.
Prior Hog honors: 2015
Homeowner: John Inskeep
Water used: 1,082,431 gallons
Water bill: $12,389
Inskeep ignored multiple calls, voicemails and a handwritten note scribbled on a torn piece of paper left on the gate in front of his brick Dunthorpe estate.
Inskeep’s father helped found the state’s first mutual fund firm, and Inskeep now runs multiple investments and the IFC Foundation, which provides college scholarships. An environmental learning center at Clackamas Community College is named after Inskeep’s grandfather.
His property, situated along Southwest Iron Mountain Boulevard and now valued at $4.3 million, is dotted with bushes, leafy trees and climbing plants that snake up the side. Unlike many of his neighbors, who just have hedges surrounding their properties, Inskeep has double protection from onlookers: hedges and a fence, which, at only 4 feet tall, is unlikely to deter anyone who takes a running start.
How much water did he use?
Enough to fill 25,772 standard barrels.
Prior Hog honors: 2007
Homeowners: Kate Lieber and Monique Matheson
Water used: 988,925 gallons
Water bill: $5,339
Sen. Kate Lieber (D-Beaverton) was not jazzed to hear she was one of the city’s biggest residential users of water. “Well, that’s not great,” she said.
Lieber is the first-ever Hydro Hog who’s a sitting state senator. She and her wife, Monique Matheson, are a powerful couple: Matheson is the chief human resources officer at Nike’s World Headquarters on the opposite side of the Southwest Hills. Lieber was elected to the Oregon Senate last year after a career working as a prosecutor for the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office on child abuse cases. The couple met during law school in Indiana and have two kids together.
They bought the 1.8-acre property in 2013 in the Sylvan Highlands neighborhood, and it rests at the end of a long, gated driveway that’s lined with rhododendron bushes. The white house is surrounded by huge trees and lush ground cover and has a pool and tennis court.
Showing savvy political instincts, Lieber spoke with WW for 20 minutes about her family’s water usage—and graciously expressed her embarrassment. Lieber says when she told Matheson the news, she was embarrassed, too. “You think of Oregon as having a lot of water, but as a first year legislator, I really learned that’s not true. The drought is incredibly serious for all Oregonians. We all need to be concerned about water.” She added that they’ll be installing a whole new sprinkler system this winter.
How much water did they use?
Enough to run the dishwasher 329,641 times.
Homeowner: Ralph Shaw
Water used: 965,735 gallons
Water bill: $7,077
Shaw’s wife, Elba, who goes by Ellie, seemed tickled to receive a phone call explaining that she and Ralph, a retired venture capitalist and real estate developer, had made the list for a fifth time. Without hesitation, Ellie Shaw, an irreverent and wildly funny Puerto Rican woman who met Ralph in New York when she was 18, invited WW over to see the property.
The immaculately straight lawn lines are accented by shapely bushes, roses, rhododendrons, and two different water features. Perched above the artificial waterfall are two sculpture renderings of two of their children. The French Renaissance-style house, perched between the Southwest Hills and Council Crest with a view of Mount St. Helens, is grand and ornate (Ellie Shaw has a fondness for 18th century 2-foot-tall dolls). The Shaws’ chihuahua, Paquita la del Barrio, pranced down the paved paths wandering through the backyard and to the pool, outfitted with its own separate bathhouse. Ellie Shaw says her gardener uses the property to train apprentices.
As she guided WW through the backyard, this reporter mused aloud about how expensive the water bill must be. “No shit, Sherlock,” Ellie Shaw said.
Ralph Shaw, meanwhile, was eating toast with butter, watching TV and flipping through a business newspaper the entire time we were there. When this reporter sat down to chat with him, starting with small talk, he said, “OK, so what are the questions?” He did not seem particularly tickled, or bothered, by making the list again. He just wanted to eat his toast in peace.
How much water did he use?
Enough to fill Disneyland’s Splash Mountain flume ride.
Prior Hog honors:
The Shaws have made the list four other times: in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2015.
Homeowners: Paul Schneider and Lauren Eulau
Water used: 909,631 gallons
Water bill: $4,734
Paul Schneider responded to WW’s inquiry by text: “Ugh. Not good. When we received our quarterly water bill in July, we immediately made adjustments to our irrigation system to lower our consumption. We’re absolutely committed to responsible water usage.” When asked if he would be up for a brief interview, Schneider texted, “No thanks.”
Schneider and Eulau, now of retirement age, are the founders of Twist, a boutique jewelry and design store with storefronts in Portland and Seattle. Their story is the stuff of crunchy Portland romance: The two met at the University of Oregon where one was a potter and the other a weaver. Their home, outfitted with a pool and “breakfast garden,” was featured in Architectural Digest in 2010 for its design by a Seattle architect (their courtyard was designed by a world-renowned landscaper, and their garden was designed by another esteemed landscaper).
The lawn of this 1.3-acre property in the Sylvan Highlands neighborhood is a landscape of wide swaths of concrete, sparsely placed Lorax-like trees, six slightly different textured grasses on different levels of the garden, and odd art structures plopped seemingly at random.
How much water did they use? Enough to run a pressure washer for 1,895 hours straight.
Homeowners: Steven and Rachel Heller
Water used: 868,488 gallons
Water bill: $6,426
When we contacted Steve Heller, a retired investment banker, he said, “Oh, boy.” Heller told WW, “I’ve been on the side of the environment for forever, and this has been so embarrassing for me.”
Heller blames all that water use on years of rehabbing and planting the property after buying it in 2008, when it was completely overgrown with ivy and blackberries. He says they’ve been converting to drip watering where they can and “looking for and correcting any leaks we’ve had, and I think we’ve done that now. It’s too bad that we got caught up in it, because it’s not our intention to use more than our fair share. I really do care.”
His property borders Marshall Park. Heller is hoping his place on the list is a one-time stint now that the lawn and garden are established. He and his gardeners maintain mostly perennials: “The deer eat most of them.”
Heller made a second call to WW before publication, explaining that his latest quarterly water bill was down by a third.
How much water did they use? Enough for 14 Cokes for every Portlander.
Homeowners: Genevieve Haldeman and Byron Lee Burkhalter/Mike and Cynthia Warn
Water used: 846,794 gallons
Water bill: $9,601
Byron Burkhalter and Genevieve Haldeman own the Dunthorpe property—but they aren’t solely to blame for its water usage.
Property records confirm the family bought the house only last December—meaning six months of the year’s water usage we tracked belonged to the previous owners, Mark and Cynthia Warn. And the Warns showed proof that three separate leaks on the property last summer were fixed by a landscaping service.
Mike Warn is the manager of an airport hangar rental service in Aurora, Ore. (he comes from an auto parts manufacturing family).
The 6,800-square-foot house in Dunthorpe has two winding paths leading to a pool and clusters of colorful red, green and brown shrubbery. In the front of the house, bushes and trees are illuminated by ground lights.
The current owners, Burkhalter and Haldeman, recently arrived from San Francisco and run Out of Privilege, a company founded in 2018 that provides racism and privilege training to schools, companies and individuals. (Burkhalter, a former college professor, is Black, and Haldeman, a longtime communications director for various tech companies, is white.) “Out of Privilege helps people in individual and corporate settings do the hard work to recognize the privileges afforded them by the racism and white supremacy systemic in their everyday lives,” their website reads.
The couple says they’ll make changes. “We are learning the specifics of the property and actively making changes to make the property more sustainable, including reducing water usage. We are committed to minimizing our impact on the environment and being responsible members of the Portland community.” They did not respond to requests for further information.
How much water did they use? Enough for 58 cows to drink for an entire year.
Homeowners: Kristine and Josh Collins
Water used: 812,384 gallons
Water bill: $8,958
When Kristine Collins reached out to us, after WW wedged a note in the door and asked two window cleaners in bright pink shirts to pass the message along, she said she had prepared talking points.
“We have a nice home and yard and that’s what we choose to spend our money on. We’re in good standing with the water authority, we work hard and pay our taxes. We’re not in violation of any regulations,” Kristine Collins tells WW. She says when Gov. Kate Brown recommended Oregonians cut down their water usage last month, “we turned our sprinklers back to half, and our backyard is turning brown like everybody else’s.”
The Collinses purchased the Dunthorpe home from former Trail Blazer Rasheed Wallace in 2018. The property had been unoccupied for 14 years, so the Collinses spent time and money reviving the land. It shows: There’s a beautifully green front yard with trimmed bushes, trees and impossibly green grass, with eight sprinklers going on a weekday morning.
Josh Collins was the longtime CEO of Blount International, a saw chain manufacturer, and before that served as a U.S. Marine. He’s now a partner in a private equity investment company. Kristine, once a lawyer, is now a stay-at-home mom for their three children. Josh Collins tells WW there’s an element of public shaming to the issue, and says reading the comments last time the Collins made the list—in a different home, in 2015—was hurtful. (In that instance, the Palatine Hill Water District confirmed a leak shortly before publication.)
How much water did they use? Enough to make 4,275 bottles of wine.
Prior Hog honors: 2015 (kind of)
Homeowners: Timothy and Mary Boyle
Water used: 770,493 gallons
Water bill: $5,653
For a guy valued at $2.7 billion, Tim Boyle’s house in the West Hills seems fairly modest. Boyle is CEO of Columbia Sportswear—one of the largest private employers in the state. He and his wife are among the state’s biggest philanthropists, and Boyle has taken a particular interest in funding services for the homeless.
Boyle believes much of his water goes to keep alive the rhododendron plants that surround his 2.1-acre property. “If we wanted the gardens to go away,” he adds, “we could certainly not water them.” Boyle says almost his entire property is a garden of sorts, filled with roses, blueberry bushes, daffodils, “rhodies” and other cut flowers. On a dry August afternoon when WW visited, the ground on his property was damp from hydration.
How much water did they use? Enough for 124 Portlanders to take an eight-minute shower every day for a year.
Homeowner: Henry Hillman Jr.
Water used: 760,020 gallons
Water bill: $8,244
When WW reached out to Hillman about coming in 10th on the list this year, he said it was “better than #1”(which was where he landed in 2015).
The heir of a Pittsburgh industrialist and a venture capitalist, Hillman, who owns a robotics company, dabbles in the finer things, like glass sculpture.
His property, situated in Dunthorpe on South Military Place and purchased for $6.5 million, spans 4.2 acres of bushes, trees, flowers and a private tennis court, where Hillman and his wife, Amber, were playing behind a thick hedge surrounding the property when WW visited.
“Ah, beautiful!” Hillman said to Amber, who, clad in all white, had just made a fine shot. WW asked a bearded man on the property if he was their gardener. He winked and snipped his garden scissors in reply.
How much water did he use? Enough for 19,000 moderately sized ice sculptures at your next dinner party.
Prior Hog honors: We have to credit Hillman. Since 2015, when he took the top spot, Hillman has halved his water usage from 1.5 million gallons.
Homeowner: Barry Cain
Water used: 736,831 gallons
Water bill: $3,820
Cain, who owns a development company, owns a 2.4-acre property bordering Tryon Creek State Natural Area. The house has an Italian marble entry, a workshop, a private tennis court with overhead lights for nighttime play, and a pool and hot tub.
His development company, Gramor, builds shopping centers on the outskirts of Portland and Vancouver. The newly revamped Vancouver waterfront, a decadelong project, was developed by Cain’s company. He also owns Five Spice Seafood and Wine Bar in Lake Oswego, where the petit filet and lobster tail dinner runs $58.50.
After WW tried to contact him by phone, Cain emailed WW to ask what the story was about, then ghosted us after hearing the news.
How much water did he use? Enough to celebrate 73,683 Super Bowl wins by dumping the team cooler of Gatorade on the coach’s head.
Prior Hog honors: 2013
Homeowner: Hadi Nouredine
Water used: 735,335 gallons
Water bill: $3,808
Nouredine fled Lebanon as a teenager to escape political violence. He now owns a handful of dental practices around town and is president of the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon.
His wife, Raina Nouredine, tells WW she met Hadi when she was a patient of his; now they have three kids together. His house, on 2 acres of riverfront property along the Willamette, is valued at $5.5 million. The driveway leading up to the house is bordered by a stone wall with two lion statues perched on top. Pruned vines and climbing plants cover thick columns at the front. The light pink stucco house includes a four-car garage with a Range Rover in front, a cobblestone driveway, and a marble walkway to the entrance. Identical water features frame the massive wooden front door.
Hadi Nouredine did not return WW’s calls, nor did he respond after we visited his Dunthorpe home and Raina said he would reach out.
Raina Nouredine seemed unsurprised and unbothered when WW explained the reason for the visit. When complimented on the beautiful house, she said, “Oh, you’re too sweet,” and stepped outside to pick up a package left on the doorstep.
How much water did they use? Enough to give 349 half-liter bottles of drinking water to every homeless person in Multnomah County during an outrageously hot summer.
Homeowners:Jillian and Ronald Cain
Water used: 709,153 gallons
Water bill: $7,632
Upon hearing he’d made the Hydro Hogs list, Ronald Cain went silent for 10 seconds. “Are you there?” WW asked. “Yes,” said. When we asked if he’d like to comment, he said, “No comment,” and hung up.
Cain is president of Cain Petroleum, which has been in the family since its founding in 1937. He owns 30 Chevron gas stations and 11 Chevron convenience stores. In 2002, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality slapped the company with a $1.4 million fine for what the agency said was a failure to properly clean up fuel leaks (Cain appealed and settled with DEQ).
When WW visited the Dunthorpe property, three gardeners were trimming hedges behind two gates. An American flag was flying. Three older women walked a dog by the property, and one said, “Someday we’ll come to this house and they won’t be working.” One of the gardeners declined to talk to WW.
Homeowner: Kirk Day
Water used: 689,704 gallons
Water bill: $7,865
Kirk Day is an artist who paints everything from nude, buxom women to abstract renderings of his dad’s Army pilot days, and makes fused glass sculptures. The 70-year-old artist, who sits on the board of trustees for the Portland Art Museum, also uses a lot of water, something he tells WW he’s been trying to cut down on for years now.
Why? Because it’s expensive. “Believe me, for the last four years, I’ve been trying to rethink my water usage. It’s extremely expensive. I’d love to put more water on, but the monthly bills are shocking,” says Day. When told he was on this year’s list of top water users, he said, “Well, that’s a dubious honor.”
The property comprises 2.6 acres bordering Lewis & Clark College. About three-quarters of an acre is watered by an automatic sprinkler system. Photos posted of the house in recent years show a life-sized female figure in a light dress, seemingly floating above an impossibly green round of grass, at the entrance of the house. Above the door was the word “Tranquility.” Day says those features are no longer there.
Day declined to share more about himself because he said he was “out of time right now” but added: “Hopefully, we can use less water.”
How much water did he use? Enough to water a 40-by-40-foot lawn for 530 years.
Homeowner: Daniel Crainic
Water used: 688,207 gallons
Water bill: $5,073
Crainic is the youngest Hydro Hog this year at only 33. He’s CEO of Time Auto Group, a company that’s quickly acquiring car dealerships around the state, including one that sells luxury European cars. He graduated from Cleveland High School and has four young children with his wife, Domnika, and a dog named George.
He did not respond to multiple calls and voicemails from WW. His sister answered the phone at one point. When WW said the story was about excessive water use, she asked, “Is this about the boats?” (We’re still not sure which boats she was talking about.) When WW reached out to the auto dealership where Crainic works, an employee named Andrew called back to “screen the request” and said Crainic was at a car show in Monterey, Calif.
WW later visited Crainic’s Georgian-influenced Colonial in Dunthorpe, outfitted with a wine cellar. It’s surrounded by perfectly shaped bushes and green lawn, and behind the house is a pool and a stepping-stone water feature.
At his home, a woman who identified herself as a friend said Crainic was in a meeting downstairs and couldn’t talk. She said she would deliver the message. Crainic never got back to WW.
How much water did they use? Enough to keep 50 George-sized dogs hydrated for 75 years.
Homeowners:Walter “Skip” and Judith Grodahl
Water used: 670,254 gallons
Water bill: $4,963
Skip Grodahl is CEO of a real estate development company specializing in mostly affordable housing complexes in Portland and New Mexico, but also complexes in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Texas.
Judith Grodahl was surprised, mortified and a little distracted when she learned she and her husband had made the list: “Oh my gosh. We spent so much money, we don’t know what’s wrong. They’ve been looking for a leak underground. We were worried we were going to make this list. We don’t use that much water. There’s something wrong.” She said a leak detector company was coming out shortly to inspect.
Grodahl was in California at the time for her son’s wedding and, when she came back, shared documentation with WW that their landscaper had fixed a leak back in April, costing the Grodahls over $900: “We’re honestly trying to do everything we can to fix it.” The property, hidden behind 10-foot hedges, covers half an acre south of the Oregon Zoo.
How much water did they use? Enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool, plus a hot tub on the side.
Homeowners: Steve and Jean Roth
Water used: 638,836 gallons
Water bill: $7,028
Steve Roth is president of an investment adviser firm, and he and Jean are considerable donors to a myriad of charities, including $16,000 to the Nature Conservancy in 2018. That’s just over double the amount of their annual water bill.
Fifteen-foot hedges surround their 1.3-acre Dunthorpe property on the east side of Tryon Creek State Natural Area. A mix of tall, bushy and thin trees, squat bushes and flowers adorn the perimeter of the white house.
The Roths did not respond to multiple phone calls, but WW left a note on their gate. (Their golden retriever, carrying a purple toy, stuck his nose through the gate.) Steve Roth emailed the following response: “We have over 350 trees and 300 shrubs on our property. Trees and shrubs store carbon and play an important role in reducing the effects of man-made climate change. These trees and shrubs need to be watered and cared for.”
How much water did they use? Enough to fill 4,259 water beds for a giant sleepover with your friends.
Homeowner: CCXL LLC
Water used: 637,340 gallons
Water bill: $7,801
This property presents a mystery. Unlike others on the list, it’s in shambles—and it’s unclear if someone lives there permanently. No one was at the Dunthorpe house both times WW visited, and no one responded to a letter left in the door. The roof is dotted with moss, twigs and branches. A covered pool with a diving board sits fallow, the cover sagging in the middle because of rainfall turned to a murky puddle. The grass, unlike every other property on the list, is mostly brown. The windows are opaque with dust and grime.
In 2007, this same property made the list and at the time was owned by now-deceased Robert Noyes Jr., a publisher. There’s been no registered voter associated with the address since Noyes’ death in 2010.
The 4.4-acre property was purchased in 2014, according to public records. Neighbors and associates think the owner of the property is Arthur Berg, who could not be reached through his company, First Commerce of America. In a lawsuit filed against CCXL in 2017 over a boundary dispute, Berg’s son John lived at the property. A former in-law of Berg’s told WW that the property sprang a major leak last summer and had been fixed. No evidence of the repair was provided by deadline.
How much water did the property use? Enough to drink the recommended amount of water daily for 3,492 years.
Homeowners: Greg Goodman and Susan Dee Schnitzer
Water used: 629,859 gallons
Water bill: $4,619
Greg Goodman and his wife, Susan Dee Schnitzer—owners of significant chunks of downtown Portland—were on their way to the beach when WW called to announced their place on the list. “Oh, great,” Goodman said sarcastically to Schnitzer standing nearby. “We’re Hydro Hogs.”
When Schnitzer seemed alarmed, Goodman told her: “They get it from the city. We can’t debate it.” They said they had reported a leak to their gardener, but not to the city. “My wife is emailing him or texting him right now,” Goodman told WW.
Before deadline, they provided documentation of a leak fixed in late July by a gardening company—and showed proof that their most recent quarterly water bill had tripled since the one prior.
The house in the West Hills, while vast, doesn’t have the accoutrements we saw at many of the other properties on the list. No pool, no tennis court, no ornate features.
Goodman is co-president of the Downtown Development Group, a family business that owns real estate in every crevice of the city, and many properties in the heart of downtown. Goodman says for five months of the past year they weren’t even at their house; they were staying at the beach. “But I guess I’m a water hog so I’m not going to deny it, but it must be because of a leak, because I’ve lived in the same house for 35 years and have never before been on the list, with the same lawn and everything.”
How much water did they use? Enough for a water balloon fight with 12,597,180 medium-sized water balloons.
Homeowner: Patrick Donnelly
Water used: 629,112
Water bill: $7,140
Donnelly, a 45-year-old soft-spoken senior vice president of finance for Intuit and a former Nike chief financial officer, seemed surprised to make the list this year when WW knocked on his door. He was in a Zoom meeting at the time and knew the property had been on the list in 2015 for a leak. He says he suspects it’s a leak again: “Now I’m very nervous, because I did see that the water bill was high. It was a real shocker on this one.”
Donnelly has been CFO for big-name companies in prior years, including eBay and Nike, and he spent 10 years working for General Electric.
The property has a long gravel driveway lined by tall hedges leading up to the house, which has immaculately trimmed bushes and green lawn and is outfitted with signifiers of children: a trampoline and a basketball hoop. Plants climb the brick exterior of the home, and hydrangeas line the property. As WW was leaving and stopped to peer through a gap in the hedges at a neighboring property, Donnelly’s wife and dog were coming up the driveway from a run. “Hi, are you looking for something?” she said, somewhat curtly. This reporter briefly explained she had spoken to Patrick, and his wife did not seem particularly pleased.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Paul Brenneke worked for Guardian Real Estate prior to starting his own real estate business, which is his brother’s company. Brenneke never worked for Guardian Real Estate. WW regrets the error.
Correction: In a previous version of this story WW said that Kirk Day’s home currently has a female statue out front and the word “tranquility” above the door. Day says those features are no longer there. WW regrets the error.