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Willamette | MBA | Atkinson Graduate School of Management

April 2014
administrative news
Message from the Dean

Dear Willamette MBA Community,

Debra Ringold

We're heading into April and the finish line is in sight. Our MBA for Professionals program will conclude its spring semester on April 17. In just six weeks we'll celebrate the commencement of the Early Career and Career Change MBA class of 2014. More details on the ceremony and graduating class in the May edition of ATKINSONews.

As the semester draws to a close, students are actively seeking internship and career opportunities. Thank you in advance for your referrals and your time providing informational interviews, resume reviews, career coaching and other support. Our class is talented and diverse and has much to offer. Please feel welcome to contact our career management team anytime for more information.

We also invite you to join us for the annual Brownwater festivities, scheduled April 25-26, 2014. Our students have planned a weekend full of activities, culminating in the annual barbecue and Mill Stream float. Read on for more information.

Best wishes and Happy Spring.

Debra J. Ringold
Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise

alumni news
Nathan Isaacs MBA'09 married Dawn Sieracki on March 1, 2014 at the Lake Quinault Lodge in the Olympic National Park. Nathan is the sales and marketing manager at OpConnect, a Portland-based company making electric vehicle charging stations. He also runs his own business, Seven G Media, which specializes in business story telling with web video. Dawn teaches second grade at Portland's Catlin Gabel school.
Family Additions
Heather (Buxton) Roberts MBA'06 and husband, Chris Roberts, welcomed their fourth son February 12, 2014. Christopher Kacher Roberts arrived 2 weeks early at 7 pounds 10 ounces. Kacher joins brothers Carter (5), Coen (4) and Keaton (18 months) and is adored by all of them!
As of March 2014, Rebecca Pescador '93, JD/MBA'97 is no longer a solo practitioner. Whole Family Legal, LLC is a bustling firm, with 3 associates plus Rebecca, providing family and estate planning services in the Denver metro area.
Jim Morrell MM'93, President and CEO of Peninsula Credit Union, was asked to share his perspective in Anthem, the news source for The Northwest Credit Union Association, and the regional trade association for Washington and Oregon. Read the full article.

Jim also has had two new roles come his way in 2014:
1) An appointment by the Northwest Credit Union Association to the Washington Governmental Affairs Committee and the role of Co-Chair.
2) Election to the Board of Directors for The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound.

Linda Ward MBA'84 retired on March 31st after 30 years in the Federal Government, including 24 with DoD and 6 with Homeland Security. She is looking forward to starting her new career as an artist. "I currently sell some sculpture pieces in a gallery in Los Angeles and am putting together a portfolio for a show in Laguna Beach gallery," writes Linda.
Justin Hanseth MBA'12 recently began a new full time role as Business Development Lead of SUSTAIN. SUSTAIN is the newest brand at Pacific Market International. They manufacture and sell reusable food and beverage containers that enable businesses to divert waste streams and minimize environmental impact.
Under the auspices of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the U.S. Department of State, Jorge Ordonez MBA'05 traveled to Costa Rica last month as an expert in economic power dispatch. He completed a consulting project for the Regulatory Authority for Public Services (ARESEP), discussing international models of distributed generation and the cost of unserved energy. Jorge currently works for the Oregon Public Utility Commission as a Senior Financial Economist.
Tim Tanis MBA'07 joined the Safelite Group, a subsidiary of Belron, as the Director of Compensation & HR Analytics. In his new role, he will aid Safelite in the establishment of compensation strategy and human resource analytics.

atkinson news

The Willamette MBA Again Among Oregon's "100 Best Green Organizations"

For the second time in three years the Willamette MBA program made Oregon Business Magazine's list of the state's "Top 100 Green Organizations." The ranking follows the School’s distinction as one of Oregon's "Top 100 Non-Profit" organizations, released last October. On the non-profit list, the Willamette MBA was among the top 5 organizations in the "medium" category and among the top 10 organizations overall.

Read more here

MBA for Life Program – Summer Class Enrollment

As a Willamette University MBA alum you can now enroll in classes for free, for life. A number of alumni took advantage of the MBA for Life program during the spring 2014 semester. Many courses in the MBA for Professionals program (in Portland and Salem) and a few electives in the Early Career and Career Change MBA (full-time program in Salem) are available for the summer 2014 term. Review available courses online and register as soon as possible.

Details and registration available here


Upcoming Events

An Annual Tradition: Brownwater

Join us for this year's festivities:

Thursday, April 24

TNO (Location TBD)
9:00 PM (no RSVP Required)


Friday, April 25

Brownwater Golf Tournament
10:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Salem Golf Club
2025 Golf Course Rd S
Salem, Oregon

Casino Night: Themed evening with Dinner, Music, Casino Games and prizes
6:30  PM – 11:00 PM
Reed Opera House Trinity Ballroom
189 Liberty St NE
Salem, Oregon

Saturday, April 26

Soccer Game
10:30 AM
Sparks Field
Willamette University Campus
Salem, Oregon

Brownwater Potluck Barbecue and Mill Stream Float
12:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Atkinson Mudd Building Patio
Willamette University Campus
Salem, Oregon

For more information or to RSVP for events, visit: http://willamette.edu/mba/events/rsvp/2014/brownwater/

Annual Commencement Exercises

View the full schedule here

Thursday, May 8
Atkinson Honors and Awards Ceremony
Rogers Rehearsal Hall in the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center

5:30 pm Reception
6:00 pm Awards Ceremony
Friday, May 9
  Commencement Rehearsal and End-of-Year Barbeque
4-5:15 p.m. AGSM Commencement Rehearsal
5:30–7:00 pm Barbeque, AGSM patio and student lounge
Sunday, May 11
9–10:30 am

Atkinson Graduate School Hooding & Commencement Ceremony
Willamette University Quad
View the live stream

10:30–11:30 am Atkinson Graduate School Brunch, Goudy Commons
Apr 11
Final PACE Presentations (Consulting for Not-for-Profit & Government Organizations)
Apr 18
Final PACE Presentations (Developing an Enteprenueurial Venture)
Apr 24
Brownwater TNO
Apr 25
Brownwater Golf Tournament and Casino Night
Apr 26
Brownwater Soccer Game, Barbecue and Mill Stream Float
May 1
Early Career and Career Change MBA: Dean's Meet and Greet
May 8
Honors Ceremony
May 9
Commencement Rehearsal and End-of-Year Barbecue
May 11
Hooding & Commencement Ceremony
Jun 20
Summer Gathering & Barbecue (Salem)
Aug 8
Portland Summer Gathering
alumni events calendar
atkinson events calendar

career management
Update from Director of Career Management: Beth Ursin
Daimler Trucks North America drew a packed house with their Employer Spotlight on March 5. Willamette alum and Daimler's Talent Acquisition Supervisor, Kara Johnson, shared about the unique culture of this German-owned company and gave

specific tips to MBA candidates on resume writing and interviewing. Atkinson alum and, now, Daimler's Project Management Office Associate, Joe Penkala MBA'11 also shared his own career path and encouraged MBA candidates to utilize their Willamette network in their own job search.

Willamette's MBA Career Management Team continues to expand employer relations and bring new organizations to campus to connect with students.  On March 19, Bookbyte made its first visit to campus for an Employer Spotlight to share about their business that provides college students an inexpensive way to buy, sell, and rent used textbooks. Bryan Hockett, Director of Product Management, and Diego Lugli, HR Manager, shared about this Salem-based company that believes that "happy employees make a profitable company."  Many MBA students were excited about the opportunities and have since applied and interviewed for full-time positions at Bookbyte.

Several Atkinson Student Associations have actively created opportunities for students to network with industry professionals, as well as learn about functional fields of business.

Net Impact invited Brian Christiansen to share with students about the Nike Foundation, while the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA) hosted a panel of Executive Women Across Sectors at the Portland Center.  Both events drew a crowd of interested students and allowed for networking with these professionals.  Atkinson's student chapter of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) hosted an information session with the Columbia Willamette Compensation Group, who shared about networking opportunities within the compensation and benefits field, as well as a scholarship opportunity for students. Meanwhile, the Finance Association held an educational (and fun!) movie night and discussion with Finance Professor, Michael Dothan, about a vicious company buyout.

Second-year Peer Career Advisors (PCAs) continue to help their first-year and second-year peers in their internship and job search. PCAs lead a weekly job search group, "FISH" (Friends In Support of Hiring), dedicated to provide support through the application process and to hold each other accountable for their weekly action items. Other PCAs hold "drop-in hours" for students seeking help and feedback on their career management progress. Finally, as the saying goes, "practice makes perfect," and same goes for interviewing. The Career Management Team and PCAs held Spring Mock Interviews on March 14 for any student who wanted additional practice. For many students, the panel interview style was a first; however, students were well prepared for the tough questions and were grateful for the constructive feedback and are ready for their next real interview!

A team of 14 students, Professor Gary Knight and Director of Career Management Beth Ursin ventured across the Pacific Ocean to visit Shanghai and Beijing in China. China, one of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) is a developing nation focused on large scale growth and lots of ties to Northwest businesses.

International Trip

China has seven cities more populated than New York (New York population – 8.3 million, Shanghai population - 27 million). According to a September 13, 2013 Wall Street Journal report, the number of millionaire's in China increased by 14.6%. The business professionals we met with last week expect that the total number of millionaires in China will surpass the USA this year and they indicated that it's these high net worth individuals that are driving growth and desire for top end clothing labels, cars and other luxuries in addition to better infrastructure and business practices.

We visited ten organizations including Yanjing Beer and Bao Steel (Chinese government owned), US Consulate Commercial Services Department (US government), FYSE and DKT International (Not-for-profits operating in China), Lenovo (Chinese company) and Amazon, Intel, Ashland Partners and Nike (Northwest Companies) and a Chinese run pharmaceutical factory owned by US Based BD Biosciences. The Expats and Chinese Nationals shared with us their strategies in China and their communications techniques with partners, suppliers and customers in both China and the US. In addition to the rigorous business visit schedule, we also visited the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, where locals asked to pose with us for photos. This one week trip is part of a series of academic one-credit courses focused on International Business. Previous trips have been to Brazil and Chile. Next academic year we plan to visit India and Japan. We encourage alumni to consider taking the course as part of our MBA for Life program (travel expenses apply). For more information, contact Beth Ursin or Aimee Akimoff at mbaglobaltrip@willamette.edu.


executive development center
Leadership and Management for Attorneys in Business – Enrollment Closes Soon

The Executive Development Center, in partnership with Stoel Rives, LLP, is pleased to offer a special program developed for attorneys who work with business clients or serve as in-house counsel. The Leadership and Management for Attorneys in Business program provides the tools, resources and concepts to increase the value and productivity of any attorney working within a company.

Session Dates: May 4-8, 2014 – Willamette University Portland Center (905 NW 12th Avenue, Suite 110, Portland, Oregon)

Learn more on the program website

Prepare to Become a Certified Management Consultant

The Certificate Program in Management Consulting provides an in-depth study and practical application of management consulting. Program participants will earn a Willamette University Certificate in Management Consulting and the knowledge and skills to become a high-impact external or internal consultant. The program also serves as a foundation for earning the Certified Management Consultant® (CMC®) designation awarded by the Institute of Management Consultants USA (IMC USA).

Join the Willamette Executive Development Center for this program, offered May 19-23 in Portland.

Learn more about the program online

faculty news

Congratulations to the faculty who have been awarded a Hewlett grant for the following projects for the 2014-15 academic year:

Discovering the Drivers of High-Performing School Systems 
Henry Bi, Associate Professor of Operations Management and Information Systems


License to use the People Express management flight simulator for GSM 6222 - Business Dynamics
Kawika Pierson, Assistant Professor of Accounting and Quantitative Methods


Professor Elliot Maltz received a grant from the Center For Asian Studies to travel to India to continue his work on Transformative Entrepreneurship in Subsistence Markets.


Professor Lisbeth Claus delivered the keynote address entitled, "Duty of care: Mission(im)possible for international NGOs," at a two-day conference organized by InsideNGO in Washington DC (March 12-13). Her research (published as a 2009 white paper and a 2012 Global Benchmarking Study) was featured prominently in a recent article by Steven Bates entitled, "Many firms fail to protect workers traveling, living abroad."


student news
International Dinner a Success!

The Annual International Dinner, sponsored by the International Graduate Student Association (IGSA), was a reminder of the uniquely global community that is Atkinson. The dinner was held on March 16th and featured a large number of home cooked dishes from around the globe, as well as a mosaic of special presentations and musical and dance performances. Students proudly wore traditional dress from their home country making for a beautifully colorful fashion show. View more pictures from the event here.

International Dinner

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Maya Angelou

This email newsletter was sent to members of the Willamette/Atkinson community and subscribers from the Atkinson Graduate School. If you wish to unsubscribe to ATKINSONews, simply reply or email aakimoff@willamette.edu with your request.

ATKINSONews is a monthly newsletter from the Atkinson Graduate School of Management of Willamette University, Salem, Oregon. It is distributed to the current Atkinson community, subscribed alumni and University administrators via email each month during the academic year.

Mission: As an effort to foster one of Atkinson's significant purposes - to establish a close community - the mission of ATKINSONews is to provide an accurate and timely forum for disseminating current news and events involving the school and its current and former community members.

Acknowledgements: I thank the following contributors for this month's issue: Russell Yost, Beth Ursin, Nathan Isaacs, Heather Roberts, Rebecca Pescador, Jim Morrell, Linda Ward, Justin Hanseth, Jorge Ordonez, Tim Tanis, Desiree Vorhees, Elliot Maltz, and Lisbeth Claus.

Subscriptions: Recipients wishing to unsubscribe - excluding current community members - must do so by submitting your request to unsubscribe. Current Atkinson community members (faculty, staff and students) cannot unsubscribe but can instruct their email software to purge or block the newsletter via Message Filters (Netscape) or Message Rules (Microsoft) applications. And last, please update your email address with us when your email address changes.

Comments/Corrections/Suggestions: I encourage and appreciate that you send your thoughts, comments, criticisms, corrections or suggestions about ATKINSONews to aakimoff@willamette.edu. Corrections will be addressed in the following issue and all your comments or suggestions will be thoughtfully considered.

Submissions: You may submit any news item pertaining to your academic life or significant personal milestones including (but not limited to) promotions, awards, accolades, engagements, marriages and babies. Also, if you know of a near future event you think might be of interest to the Atkinson community, submit that item as well. I will try to include all appropriate submissions as time and space allow. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday noon, two weeks before publication. Please send your submissions electronically to ATKINSONews.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of the Atkinson Graduate School Administration or Willamette University.

Newsletter Archives: Past editions of ATKINSONews are located online.

Thanks for reading. Aimee Akimoff, Compiler/Editor

Willamette UniversityWillamette MBA (Atkinson School)