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Willamette | MBA | Atkinson Graduate School of Management

april 2008

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

Dean Debra RingoldDear Atkinson Community,

As the 2007-2008 academic year quickly comes to a close, we graduate another successful group of Willamette MBAs. In each issue of ATKINSONews, you see first hand the success of our alumni, faculty and current students. As our network continues to expand we rely on contributions from alumni and friends to underwrite student scholarships, innovative faculty research, and rich co-curricular programming.

This funding comes from the Atkinson Annual Fund. Your gift to the Atkinson School will strengthen our tradition of reciprocity—one “generation” of graduates investing in the next “generation” of students. It is because of consistent alumni support that the Atkinson School continues to provide the high caliber, student-centered experience that makes us distinctive.

Please do your part to ensure that every class of incoming students has the best graduate management education experience possible. Make your gift online or mail your check before May 31, and you will be included among our 2007–08 honor roll of Atkinson donors.

Thank you in advance for your support.



Debra Debra J. Ringold, Dean



Alumni News


Buxton WeddingHeather Buxton MBA'06 married Chris Roberts on March 15, 2008 at The Ridge at Lake Tahoe. "We had 120 of our closest friends and family members with us!" writes Heather.


Family Additions

ThaboThabo Daniel Hanselman was born on November 19, 2007 to proud parents Mollar Nkiwane MBA '00 and Scott Hanselman. Thabo joins his older brother, Zenzo. "Everyone continues to be well." writes Mollar.


Parakh Sid Parakh MBA'02 and his wife are delighted announce the arrival of their darling daughter Natasha into the world on April 6, 2008. She weighs 7 lbs 4 oz and is 21 inches tall.




Thomas Smith MBA'03 recently made partner with Jensen Investment Management, his employer of four years. He is the youngest employee to make partner in the history of the firm. Tom lives in Portland with his wife, Chari, and two sons, Miles (4½) and Max (1). Tom will be speaking at the NW CIO Summit at the Oregon Convention Center in late April.

PrenticeBill Prentice JD/MM'89 has joined Ater Wynne LLP’s Energy Group. Bill Prentice, Of Counsel, has nearly 20 years’ experience providing counsel to major Northwest power companies. He advises energy clients on complex transactions involving wind, solar, geothermal, natural gas, coal, and hydro power projects. He is licensed in Oregon and is applying for licensure in Washington and Alaska. Ater Wynne attorneys provide strategically focused legal advice in energy, business, corporate, securities, real estate, health care, environmental, natural resources, litigation, intellectual property, employment, Indian, telecommunications and creditor’s rights law.

Matt Haugh MBA'03 recently began his new role as Director of Sales and Marketing at BigToys, Inc. in Olympia, Washington. BigToys manufactures commercial play structures, and is leading a green transformation of the playground industry. Matt can be reached at 206.819.1616 or

Steven Nord MBA'06 was recently hired by Central Oregon Ear, Nose and Throat as practice administrator. Previously, Steven was finance manager for Oregon Health and Science University's eastern operations, litigation manager for Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliff in San Francisco and a senior financial analyst for the Oregon Department of Administrative Services.


Atkinson News

Professor Fred Thompson to Lead Center for Governance and Public Policy Research

ThompsonFred Thompson, the Grace and Elmer Goudy Professor of Public Management and Policy, has been named director of the Willamette Center for Governance and Public Policy Research located at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management.

The new center brings to five the number of academic centers that already include the Center for Ancient Studies and Archeology, Center for Asian Studies, Center for the Study of Democracy, Religion, and Law and Center for Sustainable Communities.

Policy research center faculty will represent the College of Liberal Arts, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, the College of Law and additional faculty from campuses throughout the Pacific Northwest.

“The research center will help communities make ‘evidence-based’ decisions,” said Thompson, “not decisions based on wishful thinking. The goal is to transform existing states into a preferred one.”

With a focus on transformational and governance problems, especially those with a financial component, the center will examine issues that have a direct influence on Oregon citizens. Of interest to tax payers, for example, are how to stabilize state spending or how to transform the current system of health care delivery in Oregon to be able to provide medical coverage for all Oregonians.

Serving on the center's board of directors are Professors Patrick Emerson, Oregon State University; Tony Rufolo, Portland State University; Vincent F. Chiappetta, Willamette College of Law; Richard Ellis and Joe Bowersox, Willamette College of Liberal Arts; Manohar Singh, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, and Laura Lockwood-McCall, director of the Debt Management Division, Office of the Oregon State Treasurer.

Debra Ringold Welcomes Prospective Students, Families and Friends for Preview Evening

Debra Ringold, Dean and Professor of Marketing, shared her thoughts on what makes the Willamette MBA program unique during the Early Career MBA’s Preview Evening. In her discussion, Debra outlined the four key factors that set Willamette apart from other graduate programs in the region. She also emphasized the strength of the Willamette MBA community, including alumni, faculty and business partners around the world.

Watch Debra’s speech online:

Willamette MBA Students Use Business Skills to Make Community Impact

PACE2Six local non-profit and government organizations benefited from special business consulting courtesy of teams of Willamette MBA students. The PACE (Public, Private and Community Enterprise) experiential learning program provides MBA students with the unique opportunity of designing and presenting a for-profit business venture while concurrently serving local non-profit community organizations.
On April 4, six MBA student teams presented their results, projects and recommendations to a board of directors who evaluated the students’ for-profit and community partnership plans and recognized the top teams in both categories.
In-Demand Consulting, or PACE team 2 (team pictured above), swept both honors through their “Callisto Guide Systems” GPS touring software and their community impact on Marion County Juvenile Department’s Fresh Start Market.
All six teams delivered impressive new venture and community impact presentations. Overall, student teams dedicated over 2000 hours of service to all PACEsix community organizations and developed innovative business ideas, which the PACE board critiqued and judged for feasibility. Students have the opportunity to take these new venture ideas to market in their second year of studies through a unique elective course.
The PACE program is part of the first year curriculum for all early career MBA students at Willamette University. Willamette’s program is recognized for its unique integration of business, government and not-for-profit management.
Team Projects:
* In Demand Consulting: Developed Callisto Guide Systems GPS tour software and partnered with Marion County Juvenile Department to improve operations and PACEemployee training at Fresh Start Market.
* Lumeni: Developed Camplicity, an online camping rental software, and partnered with Oregon Public Broadcasting in assessing new markets to serve with programming.
* Balance Consulting: Developed infinityONE interactive MP3 covers and partnered with the Nature Conservancy to assess land value trends in the Willamette Valley.
* Trig Enterprises: Developed Green Spring Mattress Solutions, a mattress recycling program, and partnered with St. Vincent de Paul to assess the viability of starting the mattress recycling program in Salem.
* Q 12: Developed GreenMonkey, a sustainable auto shop, and partnered with the Oregon Food Bank in assessing mission driven practices and efficiency goals at regional food banks.
* Furthering Your Success Consulting: Developed It’s News 2 U, a specialty memento products company to capture life events, and partnered with Trillium Family Services to help enhance their online presence.

Speakers on Campus

This month, Atkinson hosted a number of guest speakers on campus:

Scott Silva from Halton Caterpillar and Expert in Six Sigma Methodology, spoke in Elliot Maltz' Value Chain Management course on April 8. “6 Sigma” is a business methodology adopted by Boeing, Bank Of America, DuPont, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Merrill Lynch, Raytheon, Samsung, and U.S. Armed Forces Caterpillar and many other organizations and industries. It emphasizes team-driven, fact-based, decision making using metrics to deliver ongoing performance.

Fariborz Pakseresht spoke to Bruce Gates' Operations Management class about implementing lean principles in the Department of Human Services on Thursday, April 10. Lean Thinking, which has evolved from techniques developed as part of the Toyota Production System shares many similarities with Six Sigma, so this presentation nicely complemented the Six Sigma presentation that took place the same week in Professor Maltz's class.

Peter B. Hamilton, retired vice chairman and president of Brunswick Corporation's Boat Group; present director of Spectra Energy Corporation, past director of Talbots, Kemper Corporation, and Scotsman Industries addressed issues of leadership and management to Larry Ettner's first-year Managing Organizations course, as well as his second-year Leadership class on April 10. Hamilton spent 11 years at Brunswick Corp., serving in various positions, including president of Brunswick's Life Fitness Division, chairman of Brunswick Bowling and Billiards, and executive vice president and chief financial officer. Prior to joining Brunswick, Hamilton served as vice president and chief financial officer of Cummings, Inc., and was a partner with the law firm of Califano, Ross and Heineman in Washington, D.C. He also held positions in the Department of Defense including general counsel for the Department of the Air Force. He has a bachelor's degree in English from Princeton University and a law degree from Yale University.

Professor Haixin Yao Ming (Dr. Yao) of Liaoning University, currently a visiting scholar at California State University, Northridge explained the US-China trade to the students of Fred Thompson's International Finance course on Tuesday, April 15th. The presentation was titled "Whither the Renminbi, the Dollar, the Yuan, and the Euro?"





Year-End Events


BrownwaterJoin us for the 34th annual Brownwater!
This year's three-day celebration kicks off with a Casino Royale themed night on Thursday, April 17. Friday you are welcome to join us as we give back to the community of Salem then head out to the greens to hit a few golf balls. Then it's a night out on the town on Friday night.
Saturday morning starts off with the traditional 10K Choate's run with the 5K option then of course the BBQ and the Mill Stream Float!

Learn more and RSVP online:


Class of '88 reunion

Members of the class of 1988 reunite with fellow classmates, faculty and staff. The reunion will take place at the RAM Big Horn Brewery in Lake Oswego (320 Oswego Pointe Dr Lake Oswego, OR) from 4:00 - 6:00pm.

Bruce Gates Retirement Party

GatesCome join us to celebrate the retirement of our esteemed faculty colleague, Bruce Gates, on April 19, 2008.  The event will be held at the RAM Big Horn Brewery in Lake Oswego, Oregon from 6:30-9:30pm.

If you have any questions, please contact Denise Crawford at 503-808-9921 or



Apr 17-19 Brownwater
Apr 18 Professor Bruce Gates Birthday
Apr 19 Class of '88 Reunion
Arp 19 Bruce Gates Retirement Party
May 6 Professor Manohar Singh's Birthday
May 8 Honors and Award Ceremony
May 11 Hooding Ceremony and Commencement
May 26 Memorial Day
Jun 11 Oregon Ethics in Business Awards Dinner
Jun 16 Director of Admission Judy O'Neill's Birthday
Jun 20 Admission Counselor Desiree Vorhees' Birthday
Jun 26 Professor Ken Murphy's Birthday
Jun 27 Professor Michael Dothan's Birthday
Jul 4 Independence Day
Jul 13 Administrative Assistant/Reception Pam Nyburg's Birthday
Jul 18 Mid-Summer Gathering BBQ
Jul 31 Student Affairs Coordinator Bo Bae's Birthday
[ alumni events calendar ]


Career Services


Update from Director of Career Services: Beth Ursin

Beth Ursin

Statistics as of April 15, 2008 according to MBACSC Standards
Class of 2008 - job acceptances:
Class of 2008 - job offers:
2009 - internships accepted:
2009- committed:

Job Market Update:

The job market is tightening up as the economy recovers from the mortgage crisis which has hit the financial markets, housing, construction and retail. While a few companies have frozen or cut back hiring, there still seems to be quite a few MBA positions out there. Oregon claims a 5.5% unemployment rate, a half a percent increase from 2007. Smart companies are realizing that for succession planning reasons, they still need to bring in fresh talent. Interestingly enough, when hiring is tight, employers tend to fill projects with interns.

How you can manage in a tight job market:

1. Keep your network strong. Reconnect with a lot of people in your field. You might be able to help them out or they may be able to help you depending on the circumstances.
2. Work hard and show your value to your organization. It’s a good idea to annually assess your accomplishments anyway.
3. Update your resume – just in case. An updated resume will enable you to quickly brush up a bio for a speaking engagement.

How you can manage in a tight job market:

1. Let everyone you know that you’re seeking. Remember companies prefer to hire people that they know.
2. Know that there will be competition. I’ve heard that at the City of Portland they have had 400 applicants for some positions. Nike typically runs about 400-600 applicants per position. Make yourself stand out!
3. Do in-depth research on the companies. Show how you can uniquely add value to the organization.
4. Draft three things about yourself that make you a unique candidate. Weave your three things into your application, your opening and into the rest of your answers. Close with your three things.
5. Remember – it’s a numbers game. In this type of a market, start early with your job search, contact twice as many people as you think necessary, set a schedule for yourself and make regular contacts.
6. Treat your job search like a job - Expect that it will take you one month for every $10,000 in income you are seeking. Yes, expect a professional job search to last 7 months for a $70,000/year job.


Executive Development Center


Nationally Recognized Instructor on Management Education to Lead Teaching Business Successfully Program in Portland This May

Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management presents an innovative 1.5 day program for executives who aspire to perform as effectively in the classroom as they do in business. If you’ve ever thought about teaching, this program will provide you with the tools you need to be an effective teacher, trainer or consultant.

The program will be taught by James G. Clawson, Professor of Business Administration and head of the Leadership and Organizational Behavior Area at the University of Virginia’s Darden School. Professor Clawson teaches and leads several Executive Education programs. His research addresses issues of leadership, career management, management development, and mentoring. He has authored four books, numerous articles, and written or supervised the writing of more than 100 cases on a variety of topics.

May 16:  4:00pm-9:30pm (Dinner Included)
May 17:   8:00am-4:00pm (Continental Breakfast and Lunch Included)

Willamette University Portland Center
1120 NW Couch Street, Suite 450
Portland, Oregon

Visit for additional details or to register online (available Feb. 27).

Building the Basics of Cost Accounting - An Executive-on-Demand Program for Managers

June 13-14, 2008
Willamette University Portland Center – Portland, Oregon

In Association with the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition (PNDC)

Join managers from organizations throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington as Willamette University presents a special program on the basics of cost accounting.  Delivered by Professor Kenneth Smith of Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management, the 1.5 day program will discuss the standards of cost accounting, new trends in reporting and budgeting and tools available to managers to make effective decisions.

For more information or to register, visit or send an e-mail to

Register Today - Utility Management Certificate Program Presented This Fall

Spots are filling up for the 2008 cohort of the Utility Management Certificate (UMC) program. Now in its fourth year, the program allows participants to explore content presented by industry experts and network with their colleagues from gas and electric PUDs and IOUs in the northwest and beyond.

The program will be delivered at the Willamette University Portland Center in the fall of 2008.  Registration and additional information is now available online.

September 22-26 and October 20-24, 2008 (two week program)
Willamette University Portland Center – Portland, OR
Register online at or e-mail


Faculty News

Fred Thompson

Bruce Gates and Fred Thompson published "State Fiscal Bruce GatesManagement: What Practitioners Can Learn from Risk Management Theory," Chapter 21 of the Handbook of Revenue Forecasting (New York: Macmillan, 2008) 477-500.

The International Public Management Journal, which was founded by Fred Thompson at Willamette University, with the support of the rest of the Atkinson faculty, and is now edited by Steve Kelman, the Albert J. Weatherhead III and Richard W. Weatherhead Professor of Public Management at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, has been included in the Social Sciences Citation Index effective the first issue of 2008. The SCI-SSCI is the leading and by far the most prestigious bibliographical index in academe (although for many purposes Google Scholar is more useful).

Rob WiltbankSteve MaserLisbeth ClausRobert Wiltbank published "Designing Organizations that Design Environments: Lessons from Entrepreneurial Expertise" in Organization Studies 2008 29: 331-350, with Saras D, Sarasvathy, Nicholas Dew, and Stuart Read.

Steve Maser attended the meetings of the MidWest Political Science Association in Chicago, April 4-6, where he chaired a panel entitled: "Local Government Structures and Outcomes." Steve then attended the Sloan-C Workshop on Blended Learning in Higher Education, again, in Chicago.

Lisbeth Claus is the guest editor (with Prof. Dennis Briscoe) of a special issue on global performance management of the European Journal of International Management. Her article entitled, "Employee performance management in MNCs: reconciling the need for global integration and local responsiveness," appears in the journal (Vol. 2, No.2, 2008).
A paper authored by Lisbeth Claus entitled, "What global HR practitioners need to know about the new labor contract law of PR China," has been accepted for publication in "Legislative Update" by the Society for Human Resource Management. It will appear in the September 2008 issue.
A paper entitled, “Employee Performance Management across Borders: A Review of Relevant Academic Literature,” by Lisbeth Claus and Dennis Briscoe will be published in the September 2008 issue of the International Journal of Management Reviews.
The third edition of International Human Resource Management (Dennis Briscoe, Randall Schuler and Lisbeth Claus) will be published this summer by Routledge.
Lisbeth Claus has been selected to serve as a member of the Subject Matter Expert Committee for the preparation of the 2009 edition of the SHRM Global Learning System by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Holmes Corporation. The SHRM Global Learning System is used for GPHR certification preparation.

2008 Hewlett Grant Awards to Atkinson Faculty
Each year, Willamette President Lee Pelton and a committee select from among the most creative and interesting proposals to receive a Hewlett Grant award. Congratulations to the following 2008 Hewlett Grant recipients among the Atkinson faculty:

Willamette Center for Governance and Public Policy Research:
Inaugural Conference, July 2008
Manohar Singh, Associate Professor of Finance
Frederick Thompson, Professor of Public Management and Policy Analysis

Cash, Debt, and Value: An Innovative Software Tool
Michael Dothan, Guy F. Atkinson Professor of Economics and Finance

The Emergence and Dynamics of Work-Related Advice Social Networks in Knowledge-Intensive Organizations.
Polly S. Rizova, Associate Professor of Management

Economic Impact of State Institutions
Frederick Thompson, Director, Public Policy Research Center and Professor of Public Management and Policy Analysis



Staff News

Karen M. Arthur
recently joined Atkinson as administrative assistant to the faculty (third floor). Please join us in welcoming Karen to Atkinson.

Ryan JamesMary Stout, administrative assistant to the faculty (second floor) is a proud grandma to her newest grandson, Ryan James, born 7 lb 4 oz and 20.25 in. on April 17, 2008 in Pennsylvania.




Student News


YouTube Video Entries Featured in Willamette World News

WU World NewsThis month's edition of Willamette World News features four full-time MBA students: Sejal Mehta, Howie Pham, Gabriela Pop and Raution Jaiswal and features YouTube video entries:


Student Updates

Two Full-time MBA students were honored at the Campus Life Awards Ceremony at Willamette University on April 9th. Joshua Beatty received a Special Recognition Award from the Dean of Campus Life for the work he has done on the Building Bridges program and bringing to campus documentary filmmaker Alex Shear, who screened and discussed his movie, "Kokoyakyu," which follows a Japanese high school on the road to the national high school baseball championship. Mikki Pomerenke received a Special Recognition Award from the Dean of Campus Life, as well, for her work on the Take A Break program, a student-led alternative break program that places small groups of Willamette University students, staff, and faculty in communities across America to engage in community service and experiential learning.

MBA for Professionals Student Bally Singh is soon to start his new job at Symantec where he will be responsible for Inside Sales in the territory of Utah, Arizona and Southern Nevada. This job comes after four years of Sales Management experience with T-Mobile. Bally is on track to complete his MBA by December 2008.

A current student in the MBA for Professionals program, Danielle Hathaway recently accepted a position as an Account Executive at Lamar Transit Advertising, which is responsible for the advertising on the transit systems throughout Oregon and Washington.

MBA for Professionals student Ian Benson will be starting a new position with Waggener Edstrom Worldwide in Seattle beginning on April 14th. The role is as a Digital Media Producer and his primary responsibility will be on the Microsoft account. Digital Media Producer advises on, manages and executes online marketing campaigns across a variety of Microsoft divisions; functioning as part creative director, part account executive, part technologist and part Web marketing guru in order to deliver ground-breaking Web-based campaigns.

Tom Gennarelli, a student in the MBA for Professionals program, has accepted the role of Business Logistics Manager supporting Southern Lumber and Plywood Sales in Hot Springs. Tom will assume his new responsibilities beginning April 21, 2008. Tom is currently the General Manager of Albany Trucking in Albany, OR.

MBA for Professionals student Stephanie Gaumont will graduate from Six Sigma Training at UnitedHealth Group as a Black Belt. UnitedHealth Group provides its own internal training to Six Sigma Green Belts, Black Belts and Master Black Belts. The Black Belt training consists of 4 intensive training weeks in Minneapolis, MN; company headquarters. Stephanie's training project is focused on reducing non-value added time spent on processing claims, as well as improving claims turn around time and customer satisfaction. Stephanie has worked at UnitedHealth Group for 4 years. She spent the last year as a full time Six Sigma Green Belt and Project Manager, and was promoted to Black Belt this January.

“Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you will land among the stars.”

Thomas Samuals Hardson Jr.

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 each 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, Heather Roberts, Mollar Nkiwane, Sid Parakh, Thomas Smith, Matt Haugh, Elliot Maltz, Larry Ettner, Fred Thompson, Beth Ursin, and Bruce Gates, Rob Wiltbank, Steve Maser, Lisbeth Claus, Bo Bae, Mary Stout, Josh Beatty, Bally Singh, Danielle Hathaway, Ian Benson, Tom Gennarelli, Stephanie Gaumont, and Tina Alexander.

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)