News

March 31, 2009

Using Himself Up

Charley Rose ’58 learns, helps others in world travels

For Charley Rose ’58, one of the most fulfilling joys in his life is experiencing different cultures and meeting people from other countries. After retiring at age 55 from Scott Paper Company, where he was vice president and mill manager, Rose searched for overseas work.

He joined International Executive Service Corporation and found an opportunity to serve as a business consultant in Cairo, Egypt. Armed with several contacts, Rose began doing work with an Egyptian-owned chain of fast food restaurants and an Egyptian-owned textile company as an independent consultant in 1999. This fall, he will make his 25th trip to Cairo to help the companies implement effective business strategies.

“I know I have positively impacted people’s businesses and personal lives – a wonderful reward to me and the reason I continue to work to make a difference in others’ lives,” says Rose. “Over my years in Cairo, I’ve developed some wonderful friendships along with acquiring an in-depth understanding of the Arab culture.”

While he certainly has fun on the job, Rose has traveled extensively for recreational purposes. He celebrated his 50th birthday with a 14-day technical climbing Outward Bound trip to Antarctica. He also climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Elbrus, two of the world’s Seven Summits. His trip to Elbrus in 1991 coincided with the attempted overthrow of Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

“My climbing trip was followed by being in Moscow the days immediately after the coup and observing the many historical events surrounding the coup,” he recalls. “The day we summited was the day of the coup. We came off the mountain the next day to the very nice lodge we were staying at – it was a five-star facility used by Communist leaders. In the lodge was a huge TV viewing room and we were able to watch the live telecast of the happenings in the barricaded Parliament building in Moscow. Of all the thousands of pictures I have taken over the years, my favorite is the one I took of some of the climbers and hotel staff watching the live events – the expression on their faces speaks volumes!”

In other adventurous pursuits, Rose has climbed California’s Mt. Whitney, circumnavigated the Black Sea, sailed via small ship from Crete to Venus and through the North Sea, and taken barge trips in France and Loch Ness. With a couple he met on a 16-day North Pole expedition, he’ll take a 16-day river barge trip from Budapest to Amsterdam.

“Many years ago, I read the following by George Barnard Shaw, and it is something that drives me and all that I do,” Rose says. “It reads: ‘I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. Life is sort of a splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before I hand it off to future generations.’

“My reward is knowing I’m making a difference, and I’m convinced that is my purpose here in this universe. That is, right after being a caring and supportive father, grandfather, and friend to my two sons and their families.”

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