Willamette – Atkinson School MBA


March 2005


A worthwhile investment

Dean Jim Goodrich Recently we made two successful budget presentations – one to the Financial Affairs Committee, the other to the entire Willamette University Board of Trustees at their February retreat at the Oregon coast. I say “successful” in that they approved our five year plan, and gave us unanimous support for our program expansion.

We will have more on the program improvements we are making as we discuss the results of our AACSB visit in next month’s issue of the Atkinson News. At this point, however, it is worth dwelling for a moment on the budget approval and our “business plan” for Atkinson.

Many of you can appreciate the fact that numbers always factor into any successful business plan. They encourage support, can lead to new rounds of funding, and help ensure prudent decision making to go with the most ambitious plans. In our case, we were lauded by the University for the clarity of our budget projections as well as the definitive nature of our program planning.

Most important, however, the Trustees and the President’s Office often mentioned the financial donations and support we have been receiving from our alums and friends of the School. These contributions, including those to the Dean’s Initiative Fund, the Student Investment Fund, our Scholarship Funds, and of course our Annual Fund, were mentioned time and again by the University as a key factor in building confidence in our efforts and our enterprise.

So I want to take a moment to thank each of you – regardless of the size or nature of your contribution – who has helped us to increase fundraising by a multiple of 7 in the last year and a half. We have seen an outpouring of generosity – from our Atkinson Committee of the Board of Trustees, from our Advisory Board, from our committed alumni and from other Willamette donors and alums – that is truly unprecedented in the past 15 years of our School.

This helps us in several ways. It “jump starts” some of our program expansion in significant ways (as opposed to waiting years for the planned “budgetary independence” we proposed to the University). It also enables us to make a significant argument for the University “bridge loan” amounts we will need for the next few years as we hire more faculty and staff to serve more students – in effect, we are helping to finance our own moves towards excellence.

In the next few months, you will hear of some of our successes, and the recognition we are receiving in the national surveys as well as local media. You will hear of the accomplishments of our students, the scholarship of our faculty, and the excellence of our recruiting as we bring in classes that are outstanding in so many ways. It is important to remember that at the base of so many of these achievements is the financial support you have given us. We thank you, and hope you will agree that it is a worthwhile investment.


Jim Goodrich


Carson West Hohengarten was born to ALISON HOHENGARTEN MBA/JD’01 and Erich Hohengarten on Saturday, February 12, 2005. He weighed 6lbs 12oz, and was 20 inches long. Alison served as Assistant Dean at the Atkinson School from May, 2001 - May, 2002 and is currently an Associate Attorney at Edwards Widmer in Bend, Oregon. Erich is the owner of Earthbuilt, Inc in Bend.

NICK JWAYAD MBA’01 and his wife LORI JWAYAD MBA’01, both Atkinson alums, are expecting their first child on April 17th. Nick is the Business Information Systems Manager for Portland Public Schools and Lori is a Forcasting Analyst for Regence Blue Cross.

WINONA (ZEFFIRO) NELSON ’93, MBA’95 and her husband, Shane Nelson recently celebrated the birth of their first child, a baby boy, Seth Palani Nelson, on January 24th, 2005.

JIM VANGELOS MAD’79 and his wife, Ingrid, recently welcomed their first child into their family. Isabella Anna Maria Vagelos was born on February 12, 2005 in San Luis Obispo, California at 6.6 pounds, 19.5 inches long. Jim writes about his new baby girl, “[She is] planning on attending Willamette in 2023….saving for tuition now!”

ASHISH PURAVANKARA MBA’04 was married on February 4th. “It was a hectic affair with 1000 guests,” writes Ashish. He and his wife currently reside in Bangalore, India.

Since SOMBOON RAKMANUSA MM’96 graduated from Atkinson eight years ago, he has returned to live and work in his home country of Thailand. “Really, all the experiences I gained from AGSM in and out of classes are extremely valuable to both my personal and professional life,” writes Somboon. He is now working as a general manager of the Animal Nutrition Department for Sun Valley Thailand, the fully integrated poultry operation and the leading cooked poultry product exporter in Thailand and a member of the CARGILL Company. Sun Valley Thailand, among others, supplies 70% of all McDonald’s Japan cooked chicken products sold in Japan and almost all cooked chicken products to Nichirei, the forth largest retail outlet in Japan.

ALISON HOHENGARTEN MBA/JD’01 was named COBA’s (Central Oregon Builders Association) Associate of the Year for 2004.


The Atkinson School hosted a bio-energy panel on Wednesday, March 2nd as part of the Oregon Environmental Council’s 2004-05 Forum for Business and the Environment. The forum, “Bio-Energy: A Boost for Oregon’s Economy,” opened with a welcome by Dean Jim Goodrich. Panel participants included Ralph Groschen, senior marketing specialist with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Tomas Endicott, SeQuential Biofuels, LLC, a biofuels marketing and distribution company; Dr. Jim Bowyer, University of Minnesota Department of Bio-based Products; Glen Montgomery, sustainable business liaison for the Oregon Economic & Community Development Department; and former Atkinson Dean, Bryan Johnston. The conference was well received with over 100 participants in attendance.

STAN HAMMER, former president of SNH Corporation in Salem and long-time Willamette University trustee, left a planned gift of nearly $50,000 to the Atkinson Graduate School after his passing in December 2004. The purpose of this gift will be to provide scholarship support for Atkinson students.

Mr. Hammer grew up working in the Hammer General Store in a small town in South Dakota. As the son of a Norwegian immigrant, he was a believer in free enterprise and always knew he would be an entrepreneur. He earned a degree in business from South Dakota State University and after serving in WWII, moved to Salem where he became a partner in Pumilite Block & Supply Company. He eventually took over the company and established a number of outlets throughout the mid-Willamette Valley and Bend, Oregon. The company has continued to expand into the Puget Sound area.

As a Willamette University trustee, Mr. Hammer served from 1979 until his death in 2004. It was during this time that he established a Contingent Remainder Trust with the primary purpose of creating a scholarship to support Atkinson students. In the words of his daughter, current Willamette trustee Susan Hammer, “He wanted to help a student have the kind of opportunity for growth, adventure and self expression that he had in business. He was grateful for the blessings in his life and wanted to share them with others, inside and outside of his family.”

In addition to his service to Willamette, Mr. Hammer was active in the Salem community and was honored as the community’s First Citizen in 1968. He took an active role in all he did and in fact continued to attend the University’s sporting events until the last year of his life.

Stan Hammer embodied the ethics, drive and vision that is the Willamette MBA. Each time this scholarship is awarded to a deserving Atkinson student, Mr. Hammer will be remembered for his generosity, hard work and commitment to business and the University.

Eric is currently the planning and analysis manager for Tektronix, one of the world’s leading Electronic Test and Measurement products companies. He began working at Tektronix since his graduation from Atkinson. He has enjoyed working as a financial analyst and later as a controller for several different functional areas including a three year assignment in London as European field controller.

Prior to attending Atkinson, Eric was a Branch Sales manager for eight years in the mortgage lending industry working for Household International. Although he enjoyed the customer service and underwriting aspects of the business, he wanted to make a career change that would provide more challenging analytical work in a different industry. In order to make this change he says, “I knew that I needed some new skills and qualifications to differentiate myself.” To do this he decided to complete an MBA program, which also allowed him to gain exposure to new industry opportunities.

Below, Eric describes why Atkinson was beneficial to his career and gives some examples of lessons that really stuck with him.

Atkinson’s program was a perfect way for me to “fill my toolkit” for future assignments:

  • Fred Thompson taught me how to write compelling one page memos in “Executivese”, which is a language that is tough to learn, but critical to communicate with top management.
  • Earl Littrell taught me how creative accounting can get you into trouble and that cash flow is critical. I remember one of Earl’s favorite jokes was, Question: “What is 2 + 2?” Accountant answer: “What do you want it to be?” Corporate accounting scandals soon reinforced how appropriate Earl’s words were.
  • Fred Truitt explained how globalization is shaping the way companies do business and reinforced how important it is for US managers to have international focus--not just to be culturally sensitive, but to increase company profitability. This international understanding was critical to me later when I spent three years in Europe working on a multinational team.
  • Marc Choate provided me with a finance foundation that helped me successfully navigate through the challenging seas of DCF analysis, cost of capital, and valuation analysis.
  • Bruce Gates taught me “what every MBA graduate should know about Excel” – lessons that were not necessarily part of his core curriculum, but critical for an aspiring financial analyst.

In summary, the Atkinson program was a good investment for me both professionally and personally, because of the content of the program and the unique access to and interaction with faculty.

Mini-MBA Program: Developing New Business Ideas On May 16, the EDC initiates a program leading to a Certificate in Transit and Community Transportation Management. The ten-day program will be delivered for one week in May and one week in June at the Region 1 Headquarters of the Oregon Department of Transportation in Portland, Designed to meet the management development requirements of people involved in transit and community transportation management and operations, it targets transit systems in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska. It is structured to meet the constraints of working professionals in terms of class scheduling, content, and the learning characteristics of adults. The program has been offered in California, Texas, Washington and Oregon for several years. The program is also recognized by the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) as meeting the transportation training prerequisite of the Certified Community Transportation Manager (CCTM) examination. For details, go to www.willamette.edu/agsm/transit.

Senator JASON ATKINSON MBA’97 and the Certificate in Public Management program will cosponsor a breakfast for CPM students, alumni, and faculty, as well as Atkinson alumni who work for the State of Oregon and local governments in the area. The breakfast will be on Tuesday, April 5, from 7:30-9:00 AM in Room 50 of the Capitol Building, the only hearing room that survived the fire which destroyed the initial capitol building. The purpose of the breakfast is to familiarize the Senators and Representatives now serving in the legislature with the CPM program. Cohort VI begins in September 2005 under the direction of newly appointed program manager, Mike Stafford (www.willamette.edu/cpm);

The MiniMBA: Business Essentials, offered through Cascade Employers Association, concludes on the third Friday in March after the final meeting of the sixth module: Managing Finances. Participants will receive certificates of completion at a luncheon at the training site in Wilsonville. Because of the high level of participant satisfaction with the MiniMBA, Cascade Employers expects to offer it again beginning in October, 2005 (www.cascadeemployers.com).

Young Professionals of Portland
MAT HUNNICUTT ’02, MBA ’03 has started a Young Professionals of Portland group that meets on the last Tuesday of every month. Participants are invited to drop in to the informal gatherings held at local bars between 5:30 and 6:30. Locations can be found on their website at www.youngprofessionalsofportland.com. For more information, e-mail the group at portlandprofessionals@yahoo.com.

Atkinson Business Speaker Series
Join us on Monday, March 7th at Lefty’s Pizzeria for the Atkinson Business Speaker Series (formally titled YPO Series).

Once a month, Atkinson invites a prominent business leader to talk with the Atkinson Community. Next week, Chris Olberding, President of Pinnacle Exhibits, will talk about building a multi-million dollar exhibit display business. Pinnacle Exhibits (www.pinnacle-exhibits.com) designs, builds and manages custom trade show booth for companies who want to make an impact. Pinnacle has won many awards for the exhibits they have built for a long list of clients: Microsoft, Rock Shox, and Levi Strauss & Company.

Mr. Olberding will speak about managing a business with two production locations (Los Angeles and Beaverton), current issues he faces at Pinnacle Exhibits, and how an MBA could help his business.

Society Of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Salem Chapter Monthly Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday, March 8, 2005
WHERE: Willamette University, George Putnam Center, 3rd Floor Alumni Lounge
REGISTRATION & BREAKFAST: 7:00 am - 7:30 am
SPEAKERS: 7:40 AM - 8:35 AM
PRESENTED BY: Deborah Jeffries, PHR, CPC - HR Answers

This highly interactive workshop will cover valuable tips and techniques needed in team building. Attendees will participate in interactive exercises designed to show team dynamics and the interaction of team members. A comprehensive handout packet, exercises, and real team examples make the session an outstanding opportunity to learn more about teams.

Deborah Jeffries, PHR, CPC, Vice President, is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) through the Human Resource Certification Institute and has over 15 years experience in the human resources field. Deborah is also a Certified Professional Consultant (CPC) through the International Guild of Professional Consultants. She is the editor of HR Answers’ monthly newsletter, Advantage, and also manages the Willamette Valley Office. As a consultant, she works with clients on their employment compliance, handbooks, policy manuals, recruitment processes, and training needs. Deborah’s past experience includes recruiting, training, education, and marketing. She holds a BS in Psychology and a teaching certificate from Willamette University. As a trainer, Deborah works with organizations on the employment process, recruitment, orientation, performance, recognition, discharge, customer service, harassment, marketing strategies, and improved communication styles. Additionally, she has served as adjunct faculty to Marylhurst University and Portland State University, teaching business students key elements of human resources and communication. Deborah is a member of the Northwest Human Resource Management Association (NHRMA), and has served as Chapter President of her local human resources association. She is a past Board Member of both the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)’s Oregon State Council and SHRM Area V, which includes Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Website: http://www.nhrma.org/

Business Women’S Forum Event
TITLE: Be All That You Can Be: Women in Entrepreneurship
SPEAKERS: Judy Clark, President and Owner, HR Answers Inc. and
Linda Weston, President and Executive Director, Oregon Entrepreneurs Forum.
(See website if you would like to read more http://www.oef.org/.docs/pg/14006)
WHEN: Tuesday, March 8, 2005, 5:45 - 8:00 pm
WHERE: Sassy Onion (1244 State St., 6 min. walking distance from Atkinson)
WHY: To hear some great insights from women who have experience in entrepreneurial settings, meet more of your fellow classmates, network with other members of the Atkinson community, and enjoy a great meal!

You must prepay ($12 for dinner and beverage) and RSVP to Kim Chhuon (kchhuon@willamette.edu) or another BWF Board Member by Mar. 3rd or pay $15 at the event.

These events are laid back (casual business dress) and meant to provide a respectful and engaging way to broaden ALL of our horizons. EVERYONE is welcome to come, listen, and participate at every event.

Please contact Amanda (ahemmert@willamette.edu) for more information.

Atkinson School MBA Preview Day - Saturday, March 12
Be sure to encourage your friends and relatives who are interested in the Atkinson School MBA program to come to Preview Day on Saturday, March 12th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Preview Day is our annual Saturday open house for prospective students. The program includes lunch, alumni speakers, sample classes, a student panel, and information about the curriculum, PaCE, career services, financial aid and admission.

Prospective students can get more information about Preview Day and register online at http://www.willamette.edu/agsm/admission/previewday.htm

Save The Date For Brownwater 2005: April 28-30
THURSDAY: Retirement Party for Choate
FRIDAY: Golf Tournament, Cocktail Reception, Wine Tasting, Casino Night
SATURDAY: Morning 10K Run, Millstream Float and BBQ

Look for additional information coming soon on the Atkinson alumni website: www.willamette.edu/mba/alumni or the official Brownwater website: http://www.willamette.edu/agsm/brownwater, where you can also view pictures from last year’s festivities.


LISBETH CLAUS LISBETH CLAUS recently co-published an article with Jessica Collison, The Maturing Profession of Human Resources: Worldwide and Regional View (Survey Report). Alexandria, VA: Society for Human Resource Management, February 2005.


PATRICK CONNORBook Cover: Managing Organizational Change The Chinese edition of PATRICK CONNOR’S book, Managing Organizational Change (Praeger Publishers, 2003), was recently issued. The book’s co-authors are Linda Lake MBA’84, and Professor Richard Stackman, University of San Francisco. Names of the author are listed in the lower right-hand corner.



JANET JOBES JANET JOBES recently attended the Beta Gamma Sigma Collegiate Chapter Workshop held in St. Louis, MO. The attendance was small, but diversified, with representatives from the University of Rhode Island, Arizona State University, Stephen F. Austin State University (Texas), Niagara University (New York), Wichita State University (Kansas), and Willamette University. The objective of the workshop was to update BGS Collegiate Chapters on new benefits, scholarship opportunities, progress and growth occurring within the prestigious honor society, and to share ideas. Beta Gamma Sigma’s total membership is currently 520,000, and reaches four continents with members in 250 countries. A recent survey reveals that the average BGS member’s income is $147,000, which is 9% higher than the average affluent household, and one out of five are executives. The mission of Beta Gamma Sigma is to encourage and honor academic achievement in the study of business and to foster personal and professional excellence among its members.



Atkinson Business Students Announce Online Journal
A team of first and second-year students is preparing to launch the Atkinson School’s first student-managed business journal during the first week of March. Atkinson Management Today will be a quarterly, online publication that will provide timely, relevant information to rising business leaders.

Content will include employee retention, effective emailing at work, and tips on project management.

A synopsis will be distributed, at no cost, to Atkinson alumni via e-mail, and will include links to full-text articles on AMT’s Web site, http://www.willamette.edu/agsm/atm. Articles will not exceed 1,000 words and will contain links to referenced and sourced material. Writers will draw upon secondary literature reviews; individual interviews with regional managers, business leaders, and academic experts; and student research supervised by Atkinson professors to produce their content.

The concept for AMT developed from discussions with faculty advisors KEN MURPHY and STEVE MASER. The editorial board members include graduate students: ANNABELLE BROWN, ELLIOTT DALE, JENNIFER HAMILTON, CHRIS HANSON, AMANDA HEMMERT, TODD HUEGLI, MARY SIMBALA and STEVE NORD.

* * * *

First year Atkinson students, HEATHER BUXTON, TODD HUEGLI, and DAN OLSON have all been accepted to a summer study abroad program in Asolo, Italy. They will study cross-cultural management and strategy.

Award: Special Merit and Most Outstanding Science Publication First year Atkinson student, STEVE NORD recently won First Place with Special Merit and Most Outstanding Science Publication from the American Scholastic Press, for his work on the Eastern Oregon Science Journal, a journal published by his undergraduate institution. Steve served as editor of the 2001-2002 edition. The magazine is judged on its content, organization, design, presentation and creativity. Based on these criteria, the Science Journal received 990 points out of a possible 1,000.

Atkinson student and Willamette Bearcat runner, KARI HOLBERT, earned All-American status by placing in the top 35 at the recent NCAA Division III National Championship meet. This announcement was included in the Winter 2005 edition of Cardinal and Gold, the official magazine of Willamette’s Department of Athletics, as was Kari’s picture on the front cover. Kari has had an impressive athletic career throughout her undergraduate and graduate years at Willamette. She has won numerous awards, including being named Northwest Conference athlete of the week in track and field.

TATENDA CHIRUSA, first year Atkinson student from Zimbabwe was a contributor this month for the Willamette World News online publication, at: http://www.willamette.edu/wits/llc/worldnews/index.html. The Willamette World News is a webpage designed to give an international perspective on major issues and is written by Language Teaching Assistants and foreign exchange students who come to Willamette from many countries. Contributors research their home country’s newspapers for important issues, either within their country or internationally. They provide a short summary of the article, and include a link to the article itself. Tatenda’s contributions this month include articles about a Zimbabwean man who won medals competing in female track events, the Miss World Tourism Pageant being held in Zimbabwe, and recent slavery issues in Niger.


The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter  than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies, and Nations 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 Professor of Marketing and Associate Dean DEBRA RINGOLD:

Surowiecki, James (2004), The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies, and Nations, New York: Doubleday. “Very accessible arguments regarding “smart” consumers and the fallibility of experts,” comments Debra about her recommended reading.




Career Event: Dine like a Diplomat


Atkinson Business Speaker at Lefty’s Pizzeria


SHRM Salem Chapter Meeting Business Women’s Forum Event


Atkinson Preview Day


St. Patrick’s Day


Spring Break: No Classes, Offices Open




Professor Lisbeth Claus’ Birthday



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

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

The only job where you start at the top, is digging a hole.

- unknown

Acknowledgements: I thank the following contributors for this month’s issue: Jim Goodrich, Denise Crawford, Nick Jwayad, Janet Jobes, Susan Chiapella, Winona Nelson, Lyndsey Eisenbarth, Mat Hunnicutt, Jim Vangelos, Alison Hohengarten, Ashish Puravankara, Somboon Rakmanusa, Steve Maser, Debra Spears, Amanda Hemmert, Lisbeth Claus, Patrick Connor, Janet Jobes, Sharon White, Jennifer Hamilton, Heather Buxton, Steve Nord, Debra Ringold 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.

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