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Willamette | MBA | Atkinson Graduate School of Management

december 2007

Willamette University Star Trees alight for the Holiday SeasonFrom all of us at Atkinson — we wish you happy holidays and a wonderful new year! Please note that due to the holidays there will be no January issue of the ATKINSONews

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

Dean Debra RingoldHoliday Greetings from the Atkinson School!

‘Twas the week before Holiday Break and all through AGSM, our students completed all their final exams. The faculty handled their grading with care; each paper and project objective and fair. The Professional students’ first graduating class presented their projects with ease and panache.

We welcome new members to the Atkinson team – making our operations run like a dream. Kendra Wax is the new Portland program assistant, and Nicole Thibodeau brings her accounting experience.

We thank our alumni, business partners and friends. We welcome your donations before the year’s end.

So upon the dawn of another successful year – Happy Holidays to all, far and near!

Best Wishes,

Debra Debra J. Ringold, Dean

*With the creative consultancy of Russ and Judy


Alumni News


Denise and JohnAtkinson alumna and Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Denise Crawford ’95, MBA ’00 became engaged to John Callahan ’92 on November 28, 2007. John surprised Denise on one knee at the Portland Airport upon her return from an Atkinson business trip. A fall 2008 wedding is planned.

Eric Lin MBA ’99 recently married long-time girlfriend Margaret Chung on December 10 in Hong Kong. Eric currently works in Beijing, China as Senior Manager of Sales & Distribution for a new Chinese film company called J.A. Media, where he is responsible for licensing films to Korea, Japan, Europe and Americas.

Family Additions

RomanowitzAdjunct Faculty member and alum Ted Romanowitz ’86, MM’90 and his wife, Teri, are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Emma, born on October 31st at 1:15 pm. She was born 7 punds 10 ounces and 19.25 inches in length. “The baby is beautiful and mom is doing great!” writes Ted. Emma joins older brother Jake who is 12 years old. The Romanowitz family resides in Keizer.

Jones Kim (Weil) Jones MBA ’02 and Greg Jones ’02 are happy to announce the birth of their first child, Caleb Scott, on November 13, 2007. Caleb was 7 pounds, 12 ounces and 21 inches long with a full head of gorgeous dark brown hair. Kim and Greg are adjusting to life with a newborn and enjoying their time together this holiday season as a family of three in their home state of Colorado.


Cortese Pete (Vito) Cortese MBA ’02 reports that all is well in Panama. “Two beautiful kids, Giancarlo and Charlotte, and a third on the way,” writes Pete. “We're living in Panama at the moment. We've started a construction company and are developing land and building houses!” In addition to the building homes for work, Pete is also in the process of constructing a home for his family. Click on the link to view a short video of their home under construction: Pictured are Giancarlo and Charlotte, Pete’s two children.

Recent MBA graduate, Tim Tanis MBA’07 passed the PHR (Professional in Human Resources) exam in June of this year and was offered an Adjunct Faculty position in Human Resources at Southern Oregon University.

PerryTatiana Perry JD/MBA’00, CDR’00 was recently elected as a partner for Tonkon Torp LLP, which is based in Portland. Tatiana practices securities and corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions. She works with private and public companies, with special emphasis on financial institutions and money managers. A portion of her practice focuses on forming and maintaining investment funds and advising clients on matters of SEC and FINRA compliance. Tatiana is a native of Russia, where she earned her undergraduate degree in 1995 from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk State Pedagogical Institute. Speaking of the attorneys recently elected to partnership, Michael M. Morgan, chair of Tonkon Torp’s managing board said, “These three very accomplished attorneys are a great addition to our partnership. They all have added exceptional strength and depth to their respective practice groups.” Tonkon Torp is a leading business and litigation law firm serving public companies, substantial private enterprises, entrepreneurial businesses and individuals throughout the Northwest.



Atkinson News

Make Charitable Donations to Atkinson Prior to December 31 for 2007 Tax Break

As the end of the calendar year quickly approaches, take advantage of the opportunity to make a charitable donation to the Atkinson Graduate School and ease your tax penalties. All gifts to AGSM are 100% tax deductible and there are a variety of areas worthy of your support. Gifts can be made in support of faculty, scholarships and the annual fund, to name a few. Charitable contributions by alumni and friends to Atkinson meet a significant portion of the School’s operating needs and are crucial to the continued success and growth of the program.

Give on-line securely through our secure web site (click “donate online” in the bottom left) or mail checks to Atkinson Graduate School, ATTN: Denise Crawford, 900 State Street, Salem OR 97301. For questions or more information, contact Denise at 503.808.9921 or In order for gifts to be counted for tax purposes, checks must be dated no later than December 31 and credit card gifts must be made no later than December 31.

Get LinkedIn with the Willamette University MBA!


Join fellow classmates and reconnect with old friends on the Willamette MBA LinkedIn group. You can also network with other Willamette alumni from other graduation years. Join the Willamette MBA LinkedIn group here:

“Our Willamette MBA” Video Contest – Share Your Story

ContestHelp us capture the essence of the Willamette MBA experience!
Create a thoughtful, meaningful and fun video about your experience here at Willamette.

The Willamette MBA community is invited to participate in the Inaugural “Our Willamette MBA” video contest. In developing your video, consider experiences in teams, with faculty or through the admissions process. You can work in teams or create a video on your own. Just remember to keep it under five minutes, tasteful and professional (but have fun). The contest is open to all Willamette MBA students (Full-Time and Professional) and all faculty and staff.

Cash Prizes: $1000 (1st place), $500 for two runners up

January 18, 2008 - Completed entry form turned in to Russell Yost at
February 25, 2008 - All videos must be turned in on DVD to Russell Yost
March 6, 2008 - Videos will be premiered and voted on at the First Thursday event at the Living Room Theaters in Portland

Visit for more information or to download a registration form.

Videos will be placed on YouTube and linked to the Willamette MBA site. Once submitted, the Willamette MBA program reserves the right to broadcast or use videos for promotional purposes.




First Thursday’s in Portland: Empower Yourself with Business Hot Topic Discussions

Join us every First Thursday in Portland as Willamette MBA faculty, staff, students and alumni present business hot topics and lead discussions with local business leaders. If you are interested in learning more about any of Willamette’s MBA programs, our staff will be available to answer your questions and provide additional information.

February 7, 2008 – Business Savvy for the Greater Green
Sustainability is a hot topic in the Northwest and around the world, but how does it impact management decision making? Join us for a special First Thursday event to hear from business leaders on how they are incorporating sustainable practices into their operations.

March 6, 2008 – “Our Willamette MBA” World Premiere
Portland may be 1,500 miles from Hollywood but our amateur MBA filmmakers will compete with the most Oscar-worthy films of the year. Join us for a special event as the Willamette MBA community premiers their “Our Willamette MBA” videos, vying for fame, recognition and a cash prize.

Location: Living Room Theatres
341 SW 10th Ave in Portland (at the corner of Stark Street)
5:30pm — Networking
6:00pm — Presentation
Reception following in the Living Room Lounge

2007-2008 Power Lunch Series

Danielle Killpack, Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility
Power Lunch
Wednesday, Feb. 13th
12:30 – 1:30 pm
Alumni Lounge, University Center, Salem Campus

Eric Brown, CEO
American Red Cross, Pacific NW Regional Blood Services
Power Lunch
Thursday, March 13th
12:30 – 1:30 pm
Alumni Lounge, University Center, Salem Campus


Dec 24-Jan 3 Winter Break (Willamette University Closed)
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 27 Administrative Assistant Mary Stout’s Birthday
Jan 12 Senior Assistant to the Dean Susan Chiapella’s Birthday
Jan 12 MBA for Professionals Commencement
Jan 18 Martin Luther King Day Celebration (Willamette University)
Feb 1 Northwest MBA Consortium Career Day
Feb 7 First Thursday Event - Empowerment in Action Series, Portland
Feb 13 Power Lunch, Salem Campus
Feb 14 Valentine’s Day
Feb 15 International Graduate Student Association Dinner
Feb 16 Early Career MBA Preview Day
Feb 21 Dress for Success Career Event
[ alumni events calendar ]


Career Services


Update from Director of Career Services: Beth Ursin

Beth Ursin

I’m excited to let you know that the changes we made to the advising system, mentorship program and career programs are showing early signs of success. Specifically, each incoming student was assigned to a faculty advisor, staff referral advisor and a peer career advisor team this year who have served as a support team for the students. Each student was also asked to complete a career plan and meet with me in November this year to review their plans. In addition, the students in the mentorship program were asked to complete a mentoring agreement with their mentors outlining their professional development goals for the school year and to establish a plan to achieve those goals. With a full support network in place and concrete objectives, students are actively networking, doing informational interviews, determining their career paths and some have even secured internships already.

Over the last month, I have met with each incoming student to review their plan and their resume. I have been impressed with the depth of thought put into their skills and abilities, interests and transferable skills. Some have amazing focus and thorough plans set out and are actively working on implementing them. Others are driving down two or three paths trying to figure out what the best solution is for their career. I think all of them are focused on figuring this out in the short term and have expressed how helpful their network of peer career advisors, mentors, faculty, staff and alumni have been in the process. I know it takes a large community of volunteers to pull off this kind of success and I thank each of you for your help in the process.

Events on Campus

Career Programming on campus has consisted of company information sessions including Intel, State Farm Insurance, Oregon Secretary of State Audits Division and others.

The student Marketing Association led a trek to Nike campus where we took a tour and were given a thorough presentation by Nike staff in US Brand Management, US Corporate Communications, Retail Marketing and Sports Marketing.

The Salem area Project Management Association hosted a panel on campus for students interested in project management and brought in the Presidents of the Salem, Eugene and Portland chapters as guests. Many students are excited about this newly growing field and have been discussing the possibility of starting a student chapter.

The student chapters of the American Marketing Association, Atkinson Finance Association and JD/MBA associations have also hosted panels of professionals which included guests from Target, Bonneville Power Administration, Morgan Stanley, KeyBank and others. These panels have been developed by students for students and have served to give each student a fairly broad view of types of jobs and career paths available in several functional areas typical to Atkinson alumni.

New Online Job Board

This fall, Career Services launched a new software system to view and apply for jobs using the Symplicity software system and are now a part of the NACElink network which expands our reach to even more jobs. Alumni may set up an account on the system and post jobs for students or even apply for jobs. There are three categories: jobs (typically entry-level for current students), internships and alumni jobs. To set up an account, email Pamela Nyburg at


Executive Development Center


Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) Offered in Seattle This February

There’s no better time to earn GPHR Certification than this spring! The GPHR Certification represents the latest professional designation from the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Professor Lisbeth Claus will again offer the Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) Certification Preparation course February 7-9, 2008 in Bellevue, Washington. Willamette University is one of the few schools across the country that offers a GPHR preparation course co-sponsored by the SHRM and HRCI.

Visit for more information on the February 7-9, 2008 GPHR Certification Preparation Course or e-mail with your questions.

Certificate in Public Management – Just a Few Spots Left

The eighth cohort of the Certificate in Pubic Management begins this January and there are only a few spots left.

Willamette University is currently accepting and reviewing applications for the latest cohort, composed of managers from local government and numerous state agencies including:

Department of Administrative Services
Department of Corrections
Department of Fish and Wildlife
Department of Human Services
Department of Justice
Department of Public Safety, Standards and Training
Department of Transportation
Secretary of State’s Office

If you’re ready to take your career in public service to the next level, apply to the CPM program today. You can e-mail or call the Willamette University CPM office at 503.370.1070 to begin the application process. All application materials are available online at


Faculty News


Lisbeth Claus Professor Lisbeth Claus has joined the editorial board of the International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior. This journal brings together researchers and practitioners, both within and outside the United States, who are in the areas of organization theory, management, development, and behavior. The journal covers all private, public and not-for-profit organizations’ theories and behavior.


Staff News


It is with sadness that we report the passing of Susan Chiapella’s mother. Margaret Mary Black passed away on Friday, Nov. 30 at 11:08 PM. She would have been 91 years of age on Dec. 17. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease 20 years ago; and spent the last 5 years of her life in special care at an assisted living facility. Writes Susan, “Although her death is a great loss to us (her family and friends), it is in many ways a blessing.” She is survived by all 6 of her children (Bob, Rosie, Erin, Dan, TJ, and Suzie), and 3 of her 6 siblings (Dolores, Bernadette, and John). “We are planning a memorial service for this Saturday afternoon, December 8 at Orchard Heights Senior Community in West Salem. Next August, we will gather to spread the ashes of my mother and father from the top of a mountain outside of Moscow, Idaho where they spent their first summer together (1948) living in a lookout station spotting fires for the Forest Service.” Susan Chiapella is the Senior Assistant to the Dean and Budget Analyst for Atkinson.

Please join us in welcoming Kendra Wax to the Atkinson Graduate School of Management staff. Kendra began her role as Senior Program Assistant for the MBA for Professionals on December 17th. Kendra recently moved from Bend to Portland, Oregon where she served as Marketing Manager at Pepsi Cola Company of Bend for the past two years. Kendra completed a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Marketing degree at Southern Oregon University in 2005. Kendra will be located at the Portland Center.



Student News


Fall Edition of AMT Released

Atkinson Management Today

Introducing the newest edition of Atkinson Management Today (AMT) - the student produced publication of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. Click here to read the latest in top management techniques and trends:

Professional Students Deliver Final Project

PresentationThe inaugural cohort of students in the Willamette University MBA for Professionals delivered their integrative projects to a board of alumni and business partners on December 10. Students completed eleven different projects for business, government and non-profit organizations of their choice, both individually and in teams. The evening kicked off with a welcome from Willamette University President PresentationM. Lee Pelton and recognition of the three panelists on hand to evaluate the projects. This semester’s panel included Pat Waite MBA’84, John Scott and Scott Carr. Each project included an element of research into a particular business issue – integrating content and best practices from their MBA coursework. The students also offered some sort of recommendation or solution to each organization they worked with as part of the experience. A complete list of project titles and student teams is available online at


HedgesProfessional MBA students Minda Hedges ’94 married Robert (Bob) Seibert ’94 on July 7th, 2007 in a lavender farm outside of Silverton, Oregon surrounded by family, friends and Professional MBA classmates. The couple is also thrilled to announce that they anticipate the birth of their first child in June. Minda is the Community Relations Officer for Mercy Corps, while Bob is the Chief Financial Officer for Silver Falls Bank. They reside in Tualatin.

StudentsStudentsThree students in the Full-time MBA program will soon complete a three-month study abroad program in France and Denmark. Second-year MBA students Marcus Perry and Brodie Phillips studied at Bordeaux Business School and Oscar Jaimes studied at Copenhagen Business School, the two partner institutions where Atkinson Graduate School of Management has exchange agreements. While the students are studying management courses abroad, they also have the opportunity to travel around Europe. Included in the photo on the left are students, Marcus Perry and Brodie Phillips, during their trip to Rome. Oscar Jaimes is pictured on the far left in the second photo, along with friends from Copenhagen Business School.


“You've achieved success in your field when you don't know whether what you're doing is work or play.”

Warren Beatty

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 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 on the first Thursday of the month during the academic year.

Mission: As an effort to foster one of Atkinson’s significant purposes — to establish a close community — ATKINSONews’s 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.

Acknowledgements: I thank the following contributors for this month’s issue: Russell Yost, Debra Ringold, Eric Lin, Kim Jones, Denise Crawford, Pete Cortese, Janet Jobes, Catherine McCann, Tim Tanis, Beth Ursin, and Minda Hedges.

Subscriptions: Recipients wishing to unsubscribe — excluding current community members — march 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 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, the day before publication (see below). 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 University Willamette MBA (Atkinson School)