Tony Enquist is considered by many the face of Charter House. As longtime administrator of Mayo Clinic’s senior-living facility, he’s recognized for his smile and welcoming manner. He’s also distinguished for his careful selection of suits and, on any wintry day, his long, sweeping coat and fedora.
Planning to retire later this year, Enquist said he’s looking forward to spending time with his wife, Terri, and their grandchildren; training; and playing more tennis.
He also hopes to spend time with his daughter, Cassandra Narr, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Mayo; her husband, Anthony "Tony" Narr, a Mayo nurse manager; and his son, Evan Anthony Enquist, a clinical instructor and head wheelchair tennis coach at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.
Born and raised in Rochester, where he learned to play tennis, Enquist jokes that had he played on a college tennis team, he might not have met his wife.
They met at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, where he pursued an interest in hotel and restaurant management. After working with Hyatt Hotels Corporation in various locations, he returned to Rochester, working in personnel at Mayo — that was his pathway to Charter House.
How would you describe your style?
I think I’m very traditional and conservative. The exception might be that I like fun ties in bold colors.
Tell us about your affinity for fedoras.
My father wore a hat. Quite similar, not exact, but of the same vintage as mine. And I have always liked the look.
Where else do you draw inspiration?
Harrison Ford, especially in the Indiana Jones movie series. I have even dressed up as Indiana Jones for a couple Halloweens. I liked the hat he wore that I believe was a fedora.
Also, one of my residents has worn a hat that is similar. … I had my hat before I saw his. But the resident is a Mayo Clinic emeritus and remembers working with [Mayo founders] Will and Charlie — now that is vintage.
Is it hard to find fedoras?
You know, it has been quite a while since I purchased the hat I’m wearing now. I can’t remember where I bought it. That being said, you don’t see many in the retail outlets. My most recent hats were purchased online. Sad, but true.
Tell us about your long winter coat.
My dad got me my first long coat. And I have had long and sweeping since.
And the rest of your professional wardrobe?
There is nothing like a nice crisp, freshly pressed shirt. White and long sleeved. I have dabbled in color, but white is practical.
I have suits that I can wear year-round also. … I have them lined up in my closet so I can rotate them. I do this with my shirts and ties, too. This is for practicality. It’s a time-saver in the morning.
Where do you get your suits?
I have always gotten my suits at Knights Chamber. I have them tailored to fit well. The owner does the tailoring. Svaar Vinje — I learned that he opened the store back in 1990. Quite a long time ago for a retail store, and to remain successful.
I have cuffs, heel guards and suspender buttons on all of my suits. I get them added before I take the suit home. These are standard additions for my suits. The guard helps prevent the back of the trouser from wearing out. … I have worn suspenders for about 20 years. I shifted from belts. I have black and brown, but red for the holidays.
I do have cuff links if I dress up on occasion. I have a special pair my dad had made for me with diamonds from my mother’s earrings. … I have a ring my wife gave me for a special occasion. And I have a pinky ring with amethyst that my parents had made for me; I guess they thought I should have that as an only child.
I wore a watch for years, but now wear a FitBit.
I wear dark socks, but have colored for the holidays. I have enough to go from the first of December through Christmas. The residents love them.
Anything surprising in your wardrobe?
I am a bit "quirky" in that I have all my T-shirts sorted by color in descending order, from yellow, to orange, to red, green, blue, and finally black. But then, doesn’t everybody do this? Maybe not — and maybe I am a bit quirky about this.
In Rochester, the definition of "casual" has become more casual. Once it was a sport coat, and now that is sometimes considered more formal. But I am glad Mayo has retained its expectation of dressing professionally. This says what we do is important to us.