Meet Cleo Wilson

Prior to accepting the position of Executive Director at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in 2006, Cleo Wilson served for 25 years as the Executive Director of the Playboy Foundation, a corporate giving program of Playboy Enterprises, Inc. She was a founding board member of Intuit and served as its president from 2002-2006.  She retired from Intuit in June 2012.


What do you know? 

One thing I know for sure is that if you don’t die young, you’ll get old. I celebrated my 70th birthday in May. That joke goes, “if I knew I’d live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” No shit.

What is your favorite place to travel to? 

My favorite place to travel is to Italy. It’s so beautiful, so old. I love the sculpture, the museums, the fountains, the streets, the ruins, and of course the food. It was where I had my first taste of wild boar. It was braised in tomato sauce and served with large flat noodles. Delicious. I’ve been to Italy twice. My first visit to Italy was to Rome.  The second time was with my daughter and we went to Florence, Tuscany, Venice and Rome. We were there for two glorious weeks. I like travel especially to a place with antiquities.

What don’t most people know about you? 

The thing that only close friends know about me is that I am the eldest of nine children. Although eight of us were born in Chicago, I am the only one that continues to live here. My parents didn’t stay either. My daughter moved to New York as soon as I would let her go. As a result, few people have ever met my family members.

What do you hate? 

I hate ratatouille—not the movie, I loved it—the dish. I don’t like squash, tomatoes and onions cooked together. I love each of them separately, but not together.  I also hate most Republicans and all right wing politicians. I also have a hard time being civil to fundamentalist Christians. I hate Mitch McConnell.

What do you geek out about? 

I geek out about Apple Mac computers. I have a Cube that even though it doesn’t work, I refuse to throw away. It’s a thing of beauty. I am bilingual; I use both PCs and Macs. But the computer I buy for my personal use has always been a Mac.

Want more? Tweet with Cleo: @C1eo