Willamette – Atkinson School MBA


April 2005


As the academic year draws to a close here at Atkinson, we are beginning to wrap things up and are preparing to bid a fond farewell to our Class of 2005 graduates. We will congratulate our students who are graduating with honors at a special reception on May 12th and of course Atkinson’s Hooding & Commencement Ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 15th in Hudson Hall, Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center.

We are also gearing up for a busy and exciting next few months. Dean Goodrich and Associate Dean Debra Ringold will be attending the AACSB International Conference and Meeting in San Francisco later this month. They will have some important information to report to the community regarding Atkinson’s re-accreditation with the AACSB next month. Be sure to watch for this exciting news in next month’s issue of ATKINSONews and also look forward to a wonderful event to celebrate Atkinson’s 30 years of milestones, set to happen on June 9th. As you have been a major part of Atkinson’s past 30 years, we would like to ask you to relive your years at Atkinson and think back on all the memories. Please take a moment to jot down a few memories or stories and email them to aakimoff@willamette.edu. We look forward to hearing from you and are excited to have you be a part of such a momentous occasion!


Grayce Marie Jackson Paul jackson ’94 and Jane Jackson ’93, MBA’95 welcome the arrival of Grayce Marie Jackson on 1/5/05. She joins her brother and sister (Kenny and Emma) to their happy home in Beaverton, Oregon. Both Paul and Jane continue to be employed by Intel Corporation. When Jane returns from her Maternity Leave/Sabbatical she will begin a new position in Engineering Program Management, focused on the delivery of new products to the market.


John Hoekman MBA’93 and his wife, Kirsten, were blessed on March 22nd with a fashionably late second daughter, Madeline Rose Hoekman. “Everyone is healthy, albeit sleepless, and adjusting as well as could be expected to life with a newborn,” writes John.

Jennifer Lindgren-Kerr (Jones) ’97, MBA’98 and David Kerr ’97 welcomed Charlie Lindgren Kerr into their family on November 17, 2004 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Charlie also has an older brother, Reid, age 2.

Mat Hunnicutt ’02, MBA’03 was recently awarded “A Class Associate of the Year” for his work with AXA Advisors, LLC, Western Division. Mat is in his second year with AXA, working as a Financial Planner. He writes, “Believe it or not I actually have pulled out a few of my old text books from school to build my business and marketing plans for my practice. My business partner (a CLA grad) and our attorney, (a law grad), started Young Professionals of Portland at the beginning of the year to help young professionals in the Portland area get to know each other to be able to deliver better service to our client base in the way of professional referrals.”

Scott DeBo MBA’98 and Lisa Demmons JD’98 have opened a coffee shop in Salt Lake City. Two Creek Coffee House serves premium coffee drinks, pastries, and sandwiches and offers up an exceptional atmosphere in the eclectic Avenues neighborhood of Salt Lake City. Lisa is a practicing attorney and Scott is the President of Colmek Systems Engineering, a company that designs and builds electronic sensoring and display packages for military helicopters and submarines. The couple welcomed their first child (Greyson William DeBo) on February 19.

Jim Morrell MM’93 has been selected through a competitive process to participate with the Filene Research Insitute’s i3 Group. The Filene Research Insitute examines vital issues affecting the future of credit unions and consumer finance. The i3 Group is comprised of roughly 35 credit union executives, who are not yet CEO’s, to identify and develop innovations that address major problems and opportunities facing credit unions.

Tony De Alicante MBA/JD’88 is serving on active duty as the senior prosecutor in the Pacific Region for the Navy in Pearl Harbor Hawaii. He is currently deployed for 6 months serving as Deputy Counsel with the Joint Task Force in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba that is overseeing the detainees who are being held by U.S. Forces as part of the Global War on Terror. Tony writes, “We deal not only with detainee operation issues, but also with the numerous Habeas petitions and Military Commission cases regarding the enemy combatants who are our guests in this slice of the Caribbean.”

Recently Paul McClain MBA’81 has reclaimed a long held passion, which is Bicycle riding. Paul writes, “Currently I bike commute every work day, which is getting me in shape, saving money on fuel, and helping the environment. The story is that I have joined a Bicycle Team Called Lemmings on Wheels. We are a team that rides in the Oregon MS 150, which is a tour that last 2 days. The purpose of the Tour is to raise as much money as possible and for the fight against Multiple Sclerosis. I figure that I should use my bicycle riding for a good purpose.” Paul would like ask Atkinson alumni for your support in his cause by making a sponsorship pledge, or by encouraging your business to sponsor the Lemmings Team. “We are looking for sponsors and people that want to help us in the fight against MS. What is not commonly known is that almost 400,000 Americans suffer from MS. MS usually strikes people that are young and women emcompass the majority of those suffering from MS. I have a personal reason for riding in this tour. My mother died from Lou Gehrigs 15 years ago. So I think it is appropriate for me to do something for people with neurological conditions.” If you are interested in this opportunity, please email Paul at: pwtmcclain@bpa.gov.

Bill Lucas ’90, MM’92 recently passed the Academy for Healthcare Management exam. He now has a Professional, Academy for HealthCare Management (PAHE) designation. This is part of the requirements to complete the AHIP MMDP Fellowship program. Bill will complete the final items in June 2005 and will attend his graduation to be held in Las Vegas.

Rick Owen MBA’96 has accepted a new position as the Director of Network Development for Dental Economics PPO network. The new position will require a relocation from Birmingham, AL to Houston, TX. Rick will start the new position on April 1st. Rumor has it that Rick and family are looking forward to returning to Texas after 5 years in Alabama.


The Atkinson AMA Chapter participated in a site visit to Tri-Met, the public transportation agency in Portland on Friday, April 8th. They heard presentations by the director of marketing, Drew Blevins, and senior marketing staff members who talked about the Tri-Met Brand Repositioning Strategy and Marketing ROI: a Tri-Met Case Study.

The visit featured two detailed presentations. One was a summary of the identity project undertaken by TM in 2002, in which it upgraded its 30 year old brand. The second topic detailed the return on investment of a campaign aimed at increasing off-peak ridership, now nearing its second year.

They also learned about Tri-Met’s plan to put light rail tracks from PSU to Union Station through the downtown bus mall, and all of the planned outreach mitigation of construction issues.

The Tri-Met visit was held in the theater at Pioneer Courthouse Square located in the Portland Visitor Information Center.

Five Trends Changing HR

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 7:00 AM - 8:45 AM
Willamette University
Presented By: Student Chapter - Willamette University/AGSM

Presentation will cover five major trends impacting today’s workforce and how these trends are impacting HR activities. Presenters Include Current Atkinson Students:

Debra Turner
Debra is currently in her last year of the JD/MBA joint-degree program at Willamette University. Her focus has been in employment law and human resources. Debra has served in the SHRM chapter as the Merit Award Vice President from 2003 to 2004 and then President from 2004 to 2005. Besides SHRM, Debra has also held the position of Editor for Willamette Law Online s Supreme Court News for the past two years. While attending Willamette University, Debra has served legal internships with Cascade Employers Association and Whitford Law Offices LLC, both focused in employment and labor law. Following graduation this May, Debra plans to take the Utah Bar Exam and seek a career in employment law.

Alycia Huskins
Alycia is currently in her third year of the JD/MBA joint-degree program at Willamette University. Her primary focus has been in employment law and human resources. Alycia is active in the student SHRM chapter, recently serving as Vice President from 2004 to 2005. Alycia will continue with the student chapter SHRM Board this upcoming year. Alycia is also active in the Joint Degree Association. Following graduation, Alycia plans to become a mediator focusing on employment and labor issues.

Alin Hutanu
Alin is currently in his first year at Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University. His focus is in Human Resources. Alin is currently a graduate research assistant at Atkinson, assisting Prof. Lisbeth Claus with various HR related research projects. Originally from Romania, Alin plans to pursue a career as an HR Generalist in the United States.

April Featured Alumnus:

Dan Fineberg ’77, mba’81

Dan joined the PC Revolution in 1981 and worked for a series of entrepreneurial start-ups in Silicon Valley and in Oregon until 1989. For the past 15 years, he has worked in a variety of marketing and business development positions for Intel in Hillsboro. Below, Dan recounts his experiences at Atkinson and his career path since his graduation.

* * * *

I started my graduate work at Atkinson in 1979, and I decided to use the opportunity to make big changes in my life. I bought-in to the “establishment” and set out to adopt the attitudes, behaviors, language and lifestyle of a business person. My main motivation was to successfully raise a family – I was married the year before, and my wife and I wanted to have kids (today, I am the proud father of three sons who are 22, 19 and 13 years old).

With the exception of Theatre Management, I had never taken business courses before studying at Atkinson. That first-year core curriculum was quite challenging, especially because the faculty overwhelmed us with far more work than we could do on our own. But management is all about getting things done through others, and we had to figure that out for ourselves. Most of us who made it through the first year did so by forming study groups. We found others who had complementary skills, and we helped each other out. We also learned to practice the “80-20 Rule” which says, “If you stop spending 80% of your time polishing the last 20% of each project, you can get 5 times more projects done.” Teamwork and the 80-20 Rule were the two big things I learned that first year, along with net-present value.

As a college actor and young English teacher, I’d always focused on stories and words. But at Atkinson, I really got into numbers and using the computer: I learned to program in BASIC and COBOL, and I used computer applications for statistics, time series analysis, and I even wrote my master’s thesis using the line editor on the school’s minicomputer.

In addition to discovering computers at Atkinson, I also discovered marketing. Our advertising class was given an opportunity to compete with MBA schools around the country to propose a corporate advertising campaign to ARCO. We won! Our concept was used in ARCO’s nation-wide campaign, and we each got a $50 award. After that, I was sure I wanted a career in advertising.

The Oregon economy was in terrible shape when I graduated in 1981, so I moved back to San Francisco to look for a job. It took about 6 months, but I finally landed a job as a Public Relations Account Manager as a small Silicon Valley PR firm. Thanks to my Atkinson experience, I felt ready to take on the challenges of working as a young marketing professional in the computer industry. I found that by asking a lot of questions and reading a lot of trade journals, I could come up to speed fairly quickly on a range of topics in software, networking, personal computing, etc.

After working with more than a dozen high-tech client firms, one of them offered me a job as their marketing communications manager in 1983. Micro Focus liked the PR work I had done for them, and the COBOL software company especially appreciated the fact that I’d done some COBOL programming in grad school, too. My Atkinson experience with study groups also paid off at Micro Focus. I teamed up with our ad agency which had a great idea for our company’s first big ad. Although I knew just enough about advertising to be dangerous, I recognized the experience and skill of our agency principals, so I supported their creative concept, and I contributed the product-specific copy. It worked out great: our ad was recognized that year by AD WEEK as one of the year’s Top 10 across all industries, and it helped Micro Focus double our revenues from $6 million to $12 million that year!

In 1985, my wife, 2-year-old son and I moved back to Oregon where I joined Graphic Software Systems, Inc. Within a year I was Director of Marketing at the 55-person company. I helped launch a series of new products, and I helped build the reputation of GSS as a leading computer graphics technology company. But in 1989, the company’s investors decided to put GSS up for sale. That’s when I decided it was time to look for another job. I got a call from an Intel recruiter that summer, and by October 1989, I was an Intel employee.

Intel had 20,000 employees and $3 billion in annual revenues (today Intel has nearly 100,000 employees and makes more than $30 billion/year). But despite its size, the company felt as chaotic and unstable as any entrepreneurial start-up where I’d worked. The difference was that all that energy and uncertainty bounced off of many more people, business units and strategic industry relationships. The resulting complexity was almost overwhelming, but my Atkinson education helped me cope. My first year at Intel reminded me of my first year at Atkinson: it was like drinking from a fire hose. At Atkinson, I learned to maintain focus and confidence in the face of ambiguity, and I learned to speak with data. Those skills have helped me run many successful programs at Intel.

I’ve moved across numerous Intel business units and positions over the past 15 years. I’ve discovered that cross-group communication, influence and relationships are critical to success in this environment. You have to believe in what you want to accomplish, and you have to inspire people with your vision – even if those people don’t work for you.

No school can completely prepare students for an entirely new career, but Atkinson gave me the confidence and the tools to meet the challenge. I’m glad I did, because teaching high school wasn’t for me, and neither was selling health foods. The changes I made 25 years ago helped me move into a rewarding high-tech marketing career and a better life. I’ll never forget the people and ideas I encountered at Atkinson that helped me to that.

* * * *

Mini-MBA Program: Developing New Business Ideas The MiniMBA program concluded in March with a luncheon sponsored by Cascade Employers Association. After the success of this inaugural program, Cascade decided to offer it again beginning in October, the first three Friday mornings of each month for six months. Modules cover the basics of identifying and selling new ideas, managing projects, leading change, creating a strategy, budgeting, and negotiating. For additional information, go to www.cascadeemployers.com, or contact the EDC for custom delivery of one or more of the modules on-site at your organization.

The Transit and Community Transit Management Certificate program kicks off on May 16 at the Region 1 Headquarters in Portland of the Oregon Department of Transportation. Addressed to people in any branch of the transit industry in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska and Northern California, the ten-day program over two weeks in May and June draws upon a variety of executives in the field to deliver industry-specific management tools. For details, go to www.willamette.edu/agsm/transit.

State Senator Jason Atkinson MBA’97 hosted a breakfast on April 5 for alumni of the Certificate in Public Management program, alumni of Atkinson who work for the State, and his colleagues in the House and Senate. Recruiting is underway for Cohort VI of the Certificate in Public Management Program. Program Director Mike Stafford accompanied Professor Ken Smith to the spring meeting of the Oregon Municipal Finance Officers Association in Bend. Mike staffed a booth and met finance officers and their staffs from around the State. Ken gave a presentation to conference participants about implementing performance measurement in municipal government. For information about the CPM program, go to www.willamette.edu/cpm.

Business Women’s Forum

Business Women's Forum The Business Women’s Forum (BWF) had another successful event on March 8th. BWF had two very impressive and dynamic speakers, Judy Clark and Linda Weston who spoke about women in entrepreneurship. Thank you to those that attended and supported us! Our next event will involve a BBQ, Networking, and Music (we are trying to get a band for the event), on Saturday, April 23, 2005 in the afternoon. Prof. Lisbeth Claus will host the event at her ranch. The entire Atkinson community is welcome to attend. More details coming soon. Contact Amanda at ahemmert@willamette.edu or (503) 569-9842 for more information.

Brownwater 2005
Brownwater Thursday, April 28, 2005 - Saturday, April 30, 2005
A long standing tradition, Brownwater is a great excuse to get together with current students, faculty and other alumni to celebrate Atkinson! For photos from last year’s event, go to www.willamette.edu/agsm/brownwater.


Brownwater Schedule of Events:
Thursday, April 28, 2005

6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.: Choate Retirement Party - The Oasis Restaurant

Friday, April 29, 2005
12:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Wine Tasting - Atkinson Graduate School
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Golf Tournament - Salem Golf Club
7:00 p.m.: Casino Night - Mission Mill

Saturday, April 30, 2005
10:00 a.m.: 10k Run - Bush Park
Following Run: Mill Stream Float and BBQ - Atkinson Graduate School

To RSVP for any of the above events or to see more details, please visit the website: www.willamettealumni.com. Click on Atkinson Alumni on the left-hand side of the page.

Beta Gamma Sigma & Pi Alpha Alpha Alums!
You are cordially invited to the Atkinson Honors Reception:
Thursday, May 12th, 5:00 p.m.
Hatfield Room, 2nd Floor of the Hatfield Library
RSVP to Sharon White at swhite@willamette.edu or Janet Jobes at jjobes@willamette.edu

Save The Date: Atkinson Celebration
Join us to celebrate Atkinson’s 30 years of milestones! Food, drinks and live music on June 9th at the Crystal Ballroom at 7:00 p.m.


PATRICK CONNOR Professor Patrick Connor’s paper, “A Cross-National Comparative Study of Public-Sector Managerial Values: United States, Canada, and Japan” (with Boris W. Becker, Oregon State University, Larry F. Moore, University of British Columbia, and Yoshiju Okubo, Aomori Public College), was presented by Professor Becker to the 34th annual meeting of the Western Decision Sciences Institute, Vancouver, B.C.: March 2005.


FRED THOMPSON Michael Barzelay of the Interdisciplinary Institute of Management at the London School of Economics and Professor FRED THOMPSON recently published a chapter entitled “Case Teaching and Intellectual Performances in Management,” in Thinking Like A Policy Analyst, edited by Iris Geva-May (New York & London: Palgrave, 2005): 83-108).



Current student Melissa Lopeman has announced her engagement to Irfan Tahir, her boyfriend of seven years. He proposed on March 12th, while they were in Seattle for the weekend. The wedding will take place in Portland on September 17th.

In partnership with Salem Hospital, 10 Atkinson students participated in the annual JIFFY (Job Interview Fair for Youth) on March 16 at Sprague High School in Salem. The Atkinson students (Heather Buxton, Jim Caldwell, Jared Engstrom, Shaun Hansen, Alycia Huskins, Alin Hutanu, Anna Maria Pinto, Courtney Ranstrom, David Tercek, and Ryan Banks) joined professor Lisbeth Claus in conducting mock interviews of high school students and providing on-the-spot coaching. This is the second year that the Atkinson School participated in this community event attended by over 90 Salem employers.


Cookin' the Book$: Say Pasta la Vista to Corporate Accounting Tricks and Fraud This section is dedicated to sharing the recommended reading lists of Atkinson faculty members. In each issue, faculty members recommend one or two books that they believe you will benefit from and enjoy reading.

This month’s book recommendation provided to you by Assistant Professor of Accounting Ken Smith:

I would like to recommend a short book called Cookin’ the Book$: Say Pasta la Vista to Corporate Accounting Tricks and Fraud by Don Silver. The basic “recipes” for making preparing incorrect financial statements are illustrated in a daylong conversation between a son heading to college and his father - the Master Chef. The book is non-technical, but should be useful for managers involved in financial or non-financial careers. If you are wondering HOW organizations make the books look rosier than reality - this will be worth your time.

Students in the 2nd year Financial Reporting class offer the following additional comments: “very quick and easy to read - about 3 hours total” “cute stories – and they repeat the details so you can understand” “I think I see the method used in the recent scandal we discussed in class”




Professor Bruce Gates’ Birthday


Young Professionals of Portland Meet


Atkinson Advisory Board Meetings


Brownwater Events



Last Day of Classes


Faculty Assistant Jeanne Hobson’s Birthday


Finals Week




Associate Director of Admission Anita Hughes’ Birthday


Memorial Day: University Closed


Young Professionals of Portland Meet



Assistant Dean Dan Mahoney’s Birthday


Director of Admission Judy O’Neill’s Birthday


Professor Ken Murphy’s Birthday


Professor Michael Dothan’s Birthday

View the current events calendar at: http://www.willamette.edu/~schiapel/master_calendar/ and other information for alumni at: http://www.willamettealumni.com/.

Be nice to people on your way up because you meet them on your way down.

– Jimmy Durante

Acknowledgements: I thank the following contributors for this month’s issue: Jim Goodrich, Denise Crawford, Jane Jackson, John Hoekman, Jennifer Lindgren-Kerr, Mat Hunnicutt, Scott DeBo, Tony De Alicante, Paul McClain, Bill Lucas, Rick Owen, Jim Morrell, Lyndsey Eisenbarth, Steve Maser, Elliott Dale, Chris Hanson, Kim Chhuon, Patrick Connor, Fred Thompson, Melissa Lopeman, Lisbeth Claus, Janet Jobes, Ken Smith for this month’s Recommended Reading and David McKelvey in the Communications office at Willamette University for uploading ATKINSONews to the web.

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

March Corrections: In the March edition of ATKINSONews, under the section entitled Family Additions, a name was spelled incorrectly. The correct spelling of Isabella’s name is Isabella Anna Maria Vangelos. Apologies extended to Jim, Ingrid and Isabella Vangelos.

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.

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

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, the day before publication (see below). Please send your submissions electronically to ATKINSONews.

Subscriptions: The ATKINSONews is a monthly newsletter specific to the Atkinson Graduate School of Management of Willamette University, Salem, Oregon. It is usually distributed to the current Atkinson community, subscribed alumni and Willamette University administrators via email on the first Thursday of the month during the academic year. Recipients wishing to unsubscribe –excluding current community members- may do so by submitting your request to Opt Out. Current Atkinson community members cannot unsubscribe but can instruct their email program to purge or block the newsletter via Message Filters (Netscape) or Message Rules (Microsoft) applications. And last, please send notification of email address changes to List.

Thanks for reading.

Aimee Akimoff

Admissions - Alumni
Atkinson Graduate School of Management
900 State Street - Salem, Oregon 97301
503.370.6440    -     (toll free) 1-866-MBA-AGSM    -    FAX: 503.370.3011