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Willamette | MBA | Atkinson Graduate School of Management Willamette University Willamette MBA (Atkinson School)
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

December 2008

special holiday message


“Willamette MBA-Ride”
To the tune of “Sleigh Ride”


Just hear those students studying,
presenting and analyzing too.
Soon it’s the Holiday season
Post-finals a holiday break for you.
All over the world students are applyin’
Looking for financial aid and scholarships, too.
Come on, it’s a perfect season 
for a year-end gift from you.

Getting jobs, getting jobs, getting jobs,
Students go, with companies we know,
The economy won’t stop us, let’s go!
Working hard, working hard, working hard,
It’s grand, says Professor Hand,
We’re preparing MBAs for working days
From Taipei to Port-land!

Our students are focused and ready
And totally excited are we
We’re working hard together
Like Bernanke and Paulson should be.
Let’s take public, private and non-profits
And cross a sector or two
The economy is a perfect reason
To earn an MBA for someone (or you!).

Just hear those starting salaries rising,
And students interning too.
Come on, it's lovely weather
for an MBA for someone (or you!)
For volunteering and mentoring
The Atkinson crew says, "Thank You",
Go on, have a Happy Holiday
And a successful New Year to you!



Alumni News



Anita Hughes MM'99 was recently hired as the Registrar for Clatsop Community College in Astoria. Anita has relocated from Corvallis, where she worked as the MBA Program Coordinator at Oregon State University, her alma mater. Anita is happy with the career advancement and relocation.


Guest Article: Alumnae from Atkinsonís Class of 2006 Make Human Resources Contributions to Generation Z

Mommy Managers: The Babies of the Class of 2006

Baby DaleMadeleine Dale, daughter of Elliott Dale MBA'05 and Jennifer Dale MBA'06


Baby HemmertElaine Hemmert, daughter of Jamison and Amanda Hemmert MBA'06


Baby LaroRyan Laro, son of Eric and Meghan Laro MBA'06


Baby SavageParker Lynn Savage, daughter of Riley and Terri Savage MBA'06


Baby WheelwrightEvan Wheelwright, son of Marcus and Mary Wheelwright MBA'06


Heather Buxton Roberts MBA'06 and her husband, Chris, are expecting their first child on Christmas Eve.

Jennifer Hamilton Dale, Amanda Hemmert, Meghan Laro, Heather Buxton Roberts, Terri Savage and Mary Simbala Wheelwright share their insights on maintaining personal and family balance while advancing their professional lives.

Demanding jobs, family, household responsibilities, friends, political interests, volunteer work, church and hobbies all require allocations of time and life energy.  On the best day, being a working mother might be on par with any peer.  That is, until your child brings home an illness from the other children (aka petri dishes) at day care and your world turns into a balancing act of work, time off, trying to get the baby well, maintaining your own health and seeking out the blessed respite of an elusive full night's sleep.    

Other variables quickly differentiate working mothers from their professional peers: around-the-clock baby feeding demands, interviewing and keeping competent day care help, play group responsibilities, the guilt associated with not doing it all, negotiating responsibilities with your partner, and even more sleepless nights.

Working as professional and a mother is a delicate balancing act.  The recipe for "doing it all" distills out to planning, hard work, being flexible and having a well developed support team.  Even with all the anticipation and preparation there is still a tremendous learning curve one cannot export from being married and a pet owner.  These alumnae share their tips on how to create a context for success once the baby is born.

Personal Attitude.  Choosing and cultivating a positive attitude is essential.  Every day there is some aspect of life that may be left incomplete.  Leave work at work so that once you arrive at home you can spend your energy on yourself and your family.     

Planning.  Negotiating in advance with your spouse or life partner how to handle child care issues is critical.  Who will pick up the baby if the day care provider cannot complete the day or if the baby is sick?  Who will put the baby back to sleep in the middle of the night?  If your partner attempts to negotiate his role as managing baby’s investment portfolio in exchange for no more 3:00 a.m. diaper changes it may be that he needs more practice. 

Work Communication.  Keep in contact with your manager, work unit and client base.  Keeping them informed about how to reach you and providing progress updates on projects will maintain high trust levels and demonstrate your commitment. 

Support Networks.  Spouses, partners, families, friends and other mothers provide a support network to maintain the demands of work and child care.  Another important part of the support network is girls’ night out – which is a bonus if it is with other moms who can empathize and give advice.  It is also nice to find day care providers who are open to moms coming onsite during lunch break and feeding or playing with kids.

Flexible Work Assignments.  Having a supportive work environment is often attributed as the critical element for a successful working mother. Even a demanding job in peak season can be well managed with telecommuting, flexible hours or job rotations.  It is important to plan job priorities and work break contingencies in advance with human resource managers and supervisors. 

Be Real About Emotions.  Filling the emotional reservoirs of others in your support network in advance of needing to draw from it is also important.  Guilt has a way of finding you and telling you that you are underperforming.  When you take care of a sick child, you feel guilty for missing work.  When you work extra hours, you feel guilty about missing out on your child and husband.  Having a strong support network and choosing to "live in the moment" helps get through these challenges.  Date your husband, love your child and serve your supporters in a proactive way as much as possible.

To Thine Own Self be True.  Part of the balancing act requires each of us to know our limits and develop our personal interests.  Professional working women have little time for personal interests, but occasional time for self each week is a must.  Whether it is a pedicure, shopping, working out, comfort food out, slipping into church, visiting with friends, or uninterrupted time reading – each working mom has a way of buoying herself up. 

A Professional Job.  Although it may be counter-intuitive, work is attributed as one of the buoying elements in a balanced life.  Yes, we chose to be mothers.  We also chose to complete an MBA program and to work in demanding professions.  Choosing to work often adds a creative and professional outlet to balance out motherhood.  Work helps us stay connected to the world around us and making us better mothers.


Atkinson News


Atkinson Recruiter Caught in International Incident

Aimee AkimoffInternational recruiting and adventure often go hand in hand. But on a recent recruiting trip to India, Aimee Akimoff, Director of Recruitment for Willamette University's full-time MBA program, found herself in a situation she had never anticipated.

As her flight touched down in Delhi on Nov. 27, the crowded financial district of Mumbai was under siege by armed terrorists. 

"I first heard of the events through a friend back in Oregon who text-messaged me asking if I was okay," Aimee said. "I didn't understand the severity of the situation until I turned on the news and saw the Taj Hotel in Mumbai under siege."

The historic and beautiful Taj Hotel is frequented by many of Mumbai's business elite, and it's often where Aimee represents the Willamette MBA program to meet perspective students. She was booked to stay at the hotel just two days after the terror attacks began to attend the World MBA Tour, which was scheduled to be held at the Taj Hotel.

On a similar recruiting trip in 2007, Aimee met current Willamette MBA student Robin Singhvi in the lobby of the Taj Hotel, as well as several Atkinson alumni who are now Mumbai residents.

Currently students from 18 different countries study in Willamette University's MBA program, and though the World MBA Fairs were postponed in India due to the terrorist attacks, Aimee is considering future recruiting efforts domestically and abroad.

Aimee Akimoff"The tragic events in Mumbai will not prevent the Willamette MBA from recruiting top students – from India and from around the world," said Aimee (pictured on right).  "We will continue to reach out to students in person and via electronic communications to discuss the positive impact the Willamette MBA program can have on their future."


Check out the new Photo Page for Willamette MBA!

New photos will be added regularly. If you would like your Willamette MBA photos included, please email




Upcoming Events


First thursday Empowerment in Action

Business Savvy and Web 2-Point-Oh?

February 5, 2009

What are some of the most pressing issues facing today's managers and how do they deal with them? Join us every First Thursday in Portland as Willamette University's top professors lead discussions, share expertise and present research. Our Empowerment in Action series allows you to experience why the MBA and Executive Development programs at Willamette can take your career and your experience to new heights.

Location: Living Room Theaters - SW 10th and Stark - Portland, Oregon
Networking at 5:30p.m., presentation and discussion at 6:00p.m.
Details and online RSVP at

POWER Lunch SERIES: Learn. Interact. Connect.

Join Willamette University MBA faculty, staff, students and alumni for an interactive conversation with one of our distinguished Power Lunch presenters.

Time: 12:00p.m. - 1:00p.m.
Location: Alumni Lounge, University Center
Willamette University Campus Salem, Oregon

Map and Directions (Alumni Lounge is in Building #34)

arrow RSVP for these events Online

Tuesday, Feb. 10th

Michael Woolfolk MBA'90
Bank of New York

Tuesday, March 10th

Jim Albaugh, President & CEO
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems

Learn more and RSVP online:



Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 27 Faculty Assistant Mary Stout's Birthday
Dec 22-Jan 4 Winter Break - Offices Closed
Jan 2 Certificate in Public Management - First Day of Class
Jan 5 MBA for Professionals - First Day of Class
Jan 12 Early Action Application Deadline for Full-time MBA Programs
Jan 12 Budget & Accreditation Analyst Susan Chiapella's Birthday
Jan 16 Mock Recruiting Event
Jan 17 MBA for Professionals Commencement
Jan 19 Full-time MBA - First Day of Class
Feb 5 First Thursday Empowerment in Action Event
Feb 6 Northwest MBA Consortium Career Day
Feb 10 Power Lunch
Feb 13 International Student Dinner
Feb 16 Professor of Management Practice Larry Ettner's Birthday
Feb 21 Preview Day for the Full-time MBA Program
Feb 26 Dine Like a Diplomat Ettiquette Event
[ alumni events calendar ]


Career Services


Update from Career Services: Beth Ursin & Shelby Gould

Shelby GouldBeth Ursin

Atkinson Career Services would like to extend our thanks to our volunteer interviewers for the Mock Interview Event held on Dec 5th: Sarah Harvey, Melissa Evers-Hood, Art Bobrowitz, James Furlo '06, MBA'07, Dave Parry MBA'05, Daniel Rodriguez, Brett Marconeri, Monique Little, Keith Grimm, Jon Lazarus MM'98, Allison McKenzie, Peter Wallmark, Brian Purnell MBA'83, Kathy Sharp, Randy Sutton, Ann Jackson MBA'84.  It was a full day of at least 70 interviews for the MBA students in Beth Ursin and Larry Ettner’s GSM 508 Practical Applications for Careers and Enterprises (PACE) class.  The students interviewed with external hiring professionals; who consisted of alumni, mentors, and Willamette supporters from the Salem and Portland area.  Overall, it was a successful event and the best candidate for each of the mock jobs was invited to attend our Company Trek to Seattle in January. 

Congratulations to the following first-year MBA student winners of the Mock Interviews:

Amit Mehta (Marketing position)
Anna Higley (Accounting position)
Sumit Sabharwal & Nick Cottle (Supply Chain Management positions)
Kelly Intile & Andrew Clark (Human Resources positions)
Donna Banwarth (International Management position)
Scott Weaver (Operations position)

Career Services Conference
Shelby Gould had the opportunity to attend the Mountain Pacific Association of Colleges and Employers (MPACE) conference.  It provides Career Services staff with a chance to meet with new employers, share ideas with other universities, and network to create more opportunities for Willamette University and its MBA students.  A few of the workshops attended were: Preparing Students for the Interview, You Too Can YouTube, Hiring Trends and the State of the Labor Market, and The Business Career Portfolio. 

Upcoming Career Services Events 
Jan 15 & 16: Company Trek to Boeing, Microsoft, Port of Seattle, and RealNetworks
Jan 23: Off-Campus Mock Interviews
Jan 27: Company Information Session & Interviews: Regence
Jan 28: Sport & Entertainment Career Fair, sponsored by the Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden
Jan 29: Company Information Session & Interviews: Air BP Aviation
Feb 6: Northwest Consortium MBA Career Fair, please check out the website:
Feb 10: Power Lunch with Bank of New York, Michael Woolfolk MBA'90
Feb 13: International Student Dinner
Feb 26: Dine Like a Diplomat


Executive Development Center

OTPI: Oregon Transportation Policy Institute - January 14

The Oregon Transportation Policy Institute (OTPI) is established to provide state legislators and other public officials an educational program on transportation. It is designed to furnish a common understanding of the concepts, challenges and trade-offs associated with transportation policies and funding. Supplying a framework to evaluate transportation issues and investments, it communicates information necessary to making transportation policy decisions. Transportation has been identified as a top agenda item for the next legislative session that convenes in January.

The session will include short lectures with significant time for questions and answers, opportunities for the audience to give perspective on the direction of the course and an interactive exercise. The presenters are expected to include former officials, consultants, college professors, and others, mostly from Oregon but also allowing for some national perspective.

Preceding the OTPI session on January 14, there will be Senate Leadership Institute day on the 13th of January. 25 members of the Oregon Senate are expected to participate in a session to develop skills and techniques in creating conversations that create value and move things forward. The challenges with the state budget in 2009 will create a challenging environment for legislators to work together to make tough decisions. The Leadership Institute will provide information and development to help strengthen the policy conversations and decision process for the coming year. Additional information online.

Certificate in Public Management – Register Now for Cohort 9
(January 2009)

The Willamette Executive Development Center is now accepting applications for the remaining spots of the ninth cohort of the Certificate in Public Management (CPM) program. The CPM prepares public managers at all levels to take on more managerial responsibility, gain the latest tools and expand their ability to serve the public. The CPM is delivered in a convenient format to meet the needs of working professionals at the federal, state and local levels. Sample course descriptions and application materials are available online at You can also request additional information on the CPM by writing to or calling 503.370.6115.

Sustainable Enterprise Certificate Program

The Executive Development Center is pleased to announce a  Sustainable Enterprise Certificate Program.  This new certificate program can be taken for graduate credit and will consist of three, two-day sessions beginning April 2-3, 2009 with a focus on understanding dynamic systems.  The second session will be held April 30 and May 1st and will go in-depth on understanding the importance of social systems and how expansion of social well-being ties directly to economic and environmental well-being.  The final session is scheduled June 4-5 and will address sustainability indicators and measures; how to build a working plan to integrate sustainable practices into participants' own organizations and communities.  Two webinars will be offered throughout the certificate program, one highlighting the Climate Interactive project currently underway.  For more information and to register, please see:

Work is underway for a one day Social Entrepreneurship Conference to be held in March at the Portland campus.  For early information on this event, please contact: .

Faculty News


Lisbeth ClausMichael HandOn December 5th, Professors Lisbeth Claus and Michael Hand presented a co-authored paper titled "Customization Decisions Regarding Performance Management Systems of Multinational Companies: An Empirical View of Eastern European Firms" to the Atkinson community. Professor Ken Smith also presented an in-progress research paper that has Ken Smithbeen "accepted" for review of a special issue of a journal. It is a 20-year case study of performance measurement coordination among state government, local government and non-profits. Ken's co-authors are Janet Carlson (Marion County Commissioner) and Alison Kelley (Marion County Director of Children and Families).

Ken Smith's research has recently been featured in an interview by the Association for Government Accountants (AGA):
Additionally, Ken's "Preparer-Friendly" tools and research results will be appearing at the Center for Governance and Public Policy Research website in the near future:

Steve MaserSteve Maser has agreed to Chair a Task Force on Major League Soccer/AAA Baseball for the City of Portland. Mayor-elect Adams and Commissioner Randy Leonard are sponsoring the Task Force. The first meeting was held on December 9th. "News media (and lots and lots of Timbers fans) were present," writes Steve. "There was an article about a month ago regarding the Task Force without naming its members. Additionally, it was a Willamette Week cover story a few weeks ago. Having met them all this afternoon for the first time, it's a great group. The key issue is whether and under what conditions the City should invest $85M in renovating PGE Park for soccer and renovate or build another stadium for the baseball team, both teams to be owned by Merritt Paulson, if the MLS awards Portland a soccer franchise."

Lisbeth Claus will spend her spring 2009 sabbatical leave as a guest researcher at the Vlerick School of Management in Gent, Belgium. Follow her European experiences through Facebook:

Fred ThompsonMichael DothanFred Thompson attended the National Tax Association's 101st Annual Conference <>, November 20-22 2008, in Philadelphia, PA, where he presented the latest version of "A Better Budget Rule," which he coauthored with Michael U. Dothan <>. Among other things, this paper provides a theoretical justification for the recent recommendations of Oregon's Task Force on Comprehensive Revenue Restructuring, chaired by Lane Shetterly of Dallas.



Staff News


On November 29th, Bonnie O'Neill, mother and friend of Assistant Dean and Director of Admission Judy O'Neill, passed away. "Bonnie O'Neill was born on August 23, 1924 in Rainier, Washington," states her beautifully-written biography (read Bonnie's full biogrphy here: "As a member of "The Greatest Generation," her wisdom and strength reflected growing up during the Great Depression, coming of age during World War II, succeeding through effort and perseverance, and dedication to family. Bonnie was truly a beautiful person, inside and out. She was kind, loving and supportive. She was always there to provide encouragement, celebrate or wipe a tear, and love us -- no matter what. She was the glue that held her family together through the successes and challenges of life." For the last eight years since Bonnie's life-changing stroke, Judy was her most kind, faithful, and loving caregiver.
Judy O'Neill and motherAn open house to celebrate the life of Bonnie O'Neill will be held on Saturday, November 20th from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at 5231 Woodwind Court North in Keizer.
Family and friends who would like to make a charitable contribution in memory of Bonnie O’Neill are encouraged to contribute to one of the following three organizations:
Willamette Valley Hospice
The American Diabetes Association
The American Stroke Association
Pictured: Judy O'Neill and her mother, Bonnie, in 2002


Aimee AkimoffA presentation by Director of Recruitment Aimee Akimoff at the NAFSA Region I and XII Conference, titled "Millenials & Beyond: Understanding and Working with a New Generation of Students," was recently nominated by conference attendees as one of the top three presentations at the conference. The nomination will be forwarded to the National Conference Committee and if selected, Aimee will present the session at the National NAFSA Conference to be held in Los Angeles in May.



Student News


Living Our Motto This Thanksgiving - "Not Unto Ourselves Alone Are We Born" - MBA Students Volunteer Efforts

LoavesIn celebration of Thanksgiving, Willamette MBA students and alumni volunteered for Loaves and Fishes, the Meals on Wheels program in the Portland-metro area. Proceeds raised from the "donate dinner" campaign fund meals for homebound senior citizens throughout the year. MBA for Professionals students Trisha Price and Stephanie Gaumont volunteered for Loaves and Fishes at the Sellwood Neighborhood New Seasons Market and alumnus Andrew Yost MBA'06 handed out cards to shoppers during the Donate Dinner campaign. See pictures and read the full story here:

Full-Time MBA International Student Takes Part in Election Night Celebrations, Shares Reactions and Thoughts

Amani Alf-Allatah, full-time MBA student at Willamette, was interviewed by OPB reporter Christy George for a feature story about Election Night. Regarding the events, Amani, a student from Saudi Arabia, said "Things are going to change, and I hope it's going to change for better ways. That's what we're all hoping." Read the full article here:

MBA for Professionals Student Featured in Statesman Journal Article

Warren Bednarz had the opportunity to share his thoughts on the revitalization of West Salem in an article in the Statesman Journal that appeared on November 24, 2008. Read the full article here:



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, Beth Ursin, Shelby Gould, Denise Crawford-Callahan, Dan Olson, Janet Jobes, Josh Caldwell, Jon Lazarus, Mac Rinhart, Harvey Gail, Adam Heaton, Kelly Intile, Judy Hampe, Tina Alexander and Anne Allen Murray.

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

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

Correction from October 2008 Issue: The MBA for Professionals Commencement date was incorrect in the October issue. The correct date of Commencement is January 17, 2009.

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