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Willamette | MBA | Atkinson Graduate School of Management

march 2008

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

Dean Debra RingoldDear Willamette Community,

What does March Madness mean to you?  As an avid baseball fan, my version of March Madness describes all of the activity going on at the Atkinson School.

This issue of ATKINSONews features many exciting developments:

*The inaugural "Our Willamette MBA" video contest brought out the creative side of our MBA students - be sure to view the entries online.

*Plan to join us in celebrating the retirement of our faculty colleague, Bruce Gates, on April 19, 2008.

*Welcome Lisa Hylton (MBA '04), a great addition to our MBA for Professionals team.  Lisa will serve as a Recruiter/Admission Counselor guiding students through the application process and beyond.

*Welcome Tori Gustaveson (WU '06) another great addition to the
Willamette University MBA for Professionals team. As Senior Program Assistant, Tori is already having a positive impact on our students and faculty.

*A special piece of artwork was commissioned and donated to the WU
Portland Center by the inaugural cohort of students in the MBA for Professionals program.  The piece was dedicated and unveiled in early March.  Stop by and see it.

*Professor Lisbeth Claus delivered a presentation to Portland-area HR executives entitled "Leadership 2.0 - Knowledge Management and Strategic Advantage."  Special thanks to Lea Anne Doolittle (MBA '80) for hosting the event at NW Natural.

Thanks and congratulations to all who have shared their news and accomplishments!  We are delighted to hear from you.

Best Wishes,


Debra Debra J. Ringold, Dean



Alumni News


Family Additions


MiaWinona Nelson (Zeffiro) WU ’93, MM ’95, and husband Shane welcomed their second child, a daughter, Mia Makanalani Nelson on January 6, 2008. Everyone’s healthy and doing great. We continue to reside in Boise, Idaho.

Miriam Mark Brown MBA'03 and his wife Amy are happy to announce the birth of their fourth child, Miriam Sage. Miriam was born at 6:00 a.m. on January 26, 2008 in Rochester, MN. She weighed in at 6 lbs. and 13 oz. The Browns are happy and grateful that Miriam arrived safely and soundly in joining siblings Holden, Liliana and Asher.

TigerNuannutch (Tarn) Chulphongsathorn MBA'03 and her husband Rungrode are happy to announce the birth of their first baby boy, nicknamed "Tiger", on February 20, 2008. Tarn is now working with GE Energy Thailand as a finance analyst.

LillyNels Swenson '98, MBA'99 and his wife Kerry welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Lily Margaret, to their family on December 7, 2007. Nels and Kerry live in Portland where Nels manages a silicon supply chain team for Intel. Lily's aunt, Barbra Boyen Littrell '97 and uncle, Chris Littrell '97, MBA'08 were Lily's first visitors.

EvanMary (Simbala) Wheelwright MBA'06 and her husband Marcus are proud to announce the birth of their baby boy Evan Robert Wheelwright. Evan was born at 12:48 am on March 11, 2008 weighing 6 lbs. 15 oz., and measuring 20.25 inches in length. "Both Evan and Mom did remarkably well throughout the entire 22 hour process," writes Marcus, "while Dad watched in absolute awe. Everyone is arrived home safely from the hospital, and has begun to settle in together as a new family."


Agnes Zach MM'90 accepted the position of Executive Director with the Willamette Valley Development Officers.  This nonprofit organization serves people raising funds for nonprofit organizations by linking them with others in the community and providing affordable opportunities for their professional growth and education.

CrawfordDenise Crawford ’95 MBA’00 has accepted a leadership position with Willamette University as the Senior Director of Alumni Relations. Denise has served as the Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Atkinson for the past five years. “I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of AGSM and the relationships I have gained with faculty, staff, alumni and business partners. I have been proud to be a part of making my alma mater stronger and look forward to continuing my support of Atkinson through my new position at Willamette.” Denise will continue at Atkinson through May 31, 2008 while also beginning to address her new responsibilities in the alumni office on a limited basis. If you have any questions regarding Atkinson’s future development strategy, please do not hesitate to contact Denise at 503.808.9921 or

Andee (Vassilaros) Masonek MBA'04 and her husband Aaron started a new business: DrawBridge Creative LLC. ( "We are a boutique design firm offering a full range of graphic and web design services including (but not limited to) custom logos, posters, flash animation, illustration, and publication design," writes Andee. "We are excited about this new opportunity and hope you'll stop by our website to see what we have to offer."

KevinKevin B. Dull JD/MBA'99 was hired as an Adjunct Professor for Portland State University.  He is currently teaching the Strategic Business Management capstone course for undergraduate business majors and continues to reside in the Portland area.

John A. Lindquist II MM'99, was recently honored at the Ogden/Weber (Utah) Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner as the Volunteer of the Year for 2007. John was recognized for his numerous contributions of time, talent and finances to humanitarian and not-for-profit organizations in northern Utah.

Alison Hohengarten JD/MBA'01 has opened her own legal practice, Hohengarten Law LLC in Bend, Oregon. After a few years in private practice and then as in-house counsel for a large builder/developer, Alison is excited to launch her own practice. She and her husband, Erich, continue to enjoy the quality of life in Bend with their two sons, Carson (3) and Garrett (2).

Michael Eber MBA'97 was promoted to Director of Operations at the Grameen Foundation ( For the interim, Michael continues managing the Strategic Information Management group which provides process, strategy and technology integration services for the Foundations 50 microfinance partners around the world.

Update from James A. Connolly JD/MAD'78 who resides with his family in Olympa: "Reporting in for the first time since 1978! I was one of the first four Joint Degree graduates. When you are at the same desk, with the same law firm since graduation, it seems like there have been no major events to report. I have been in private practice in Olympia since 1978. The firm name changed to Connolly, Tacon & Meserve in 1999 when our founding partner became the Prosecuting Attorney. I handle civil litigation, estate planning and probate. I have been active with our local and state bar associations and also involved in the community. Currently I am chair of the City of Olympia Heritage Commission and very busy on the school board of the new Pope John Paul II High School which we hope to open in September, 2009. I have been married 32 years, with kids all grown up - both engineers. Salmon fish when I can and go to a lot of Mariner games."

Scott Engel MBA'02 recently traveled to London to present on International Fraud Mitigation at the 6th Prove ID Fraud Conference. Scott currently works for Expedia Inc. in the eCommerce Global Payments and Risk department. Scott's team mitigates fraud on over 30 global sites and is responsible for protecting over $4 billion dollars in annual sales. Scott resides in Washington State.

HUBRon Owen MAD'80 has just started with a new company, Humanity Unites Brilliance, as one of the Founders. He had spent over 25 years in HR since graduating from Atkinson. The mission of HUB ( is to create a global economic/social system to move people from survival to empowerment to sustainability. Current projects are focused on Humanitarian projects in Africa to provide food, water, education and micro-loans. "HUB membership have grown from 7 to 750 in just 3 months," writes Ron. "We have groups in the Portland area, Hawaii, AZ and SoCal and others." [Pictured: HUB Phoenix group. Ron is on the far left, top row.]

MorrellJim Morrell MM'93, senior vice president of Support Services/CIO, iQ Credit Union, has been named Information Technology Executive of the Year by Credit Union Times magazine. "Jim is a tremendous asset to our institution and to our members," says iQ Credit Union CEO Roger Michaelis. "He understands how to interweave today's technology into the framework of the credit union. He has a unique knowledge of both business and technology, and can integrate them effectively to support credit union-wide business strategies." Morrell accepted the award on March 4 at the Credit Union National Association's annual Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. The publication's editorial staff reviews nominations and selects the winners. Read the full article, published in the Credit Union Times here:


Atkinson News

Atkinson Alumnus Named to Willamette Board of Trustees

BradAtkinson alumnus Brad King '74, MAD'76 was recently named to the Willamette University Board of Trustees as its newest member. The Board recognized Brad's undergraduate and graduate experience at Willamette, his role as undergraduate student body president and the first Atkinson student body president, as well as his continued interest and involvement in, and support for, Willamette. Brad will serve on the Finance and Audit Committee and on the Endowment Committee, where he can bring his long career in finance and investment management to bear for Willamette.

First Graduating Class of MBA for Professionals Presents Gift

The first graduating MBA for Professionals class commissioned a painting which was presented to Atkinson as a token of their experience in the program. The painting hangs in the Portland Center as a reminder of Atkinson's 'pioneer' students of the Professional MBA.


The Results are in! Our Willamette MBA Video Contest Entries

VideoAt the First Thursday – Empowerment in Action event in March the Willamette MBA community premiered a number of short videos created by our students. One “Best Overall” and two runners up were selected. View the videos online at

Strategic Selling Workshop in Portland

Miller Heiman will be delivering its Strategic Selling® workshop at the Regus Centre in Portland in May. This workshop helps organizations and individuals develop comprehensive deal strategies to win complex sales. It is especially helpful when selling solutions require approval from multiple players on the buy-side before the deal can be closed.

Workshop Agenda:
May 15-16, 2008 from 8:30AM to 4:30PM. Breakfast and lunch are included each day. Continental breakfast begins at 8:00AM.

Regus Centre
1001 SW 5th Avenue
Suite 1100
Portland, OR 97204 USA
Tel: + (503) 220-1600

Affiliates of Willamette University have been offered a special discounted rate of $1,395. To register please call Gary Cook at 877-506-3049 or and mention Willamette. View the website for more details:




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.

April 3, 2008 – Business Savvy and the Creative Economy
The “Creative Class” is making a significant impact on businesses around the world and especially in the northwest. Join us as we explore the relationship between creativity and innovation and the factors that motivate, inspire and retain this creative talent.

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

Details at

Final PACE Presentations

PACE (Public, Private and Community Enterprise) final team projects will be presented on Friday, April 4, 2008. Student teams will present their new venture proposals and share the valuable projects they are completing for the not-for-profit and public clients. The Atkinson Community is welcome to attend one or both events:

New Venture Presentations
April 4, 12:30 - 3:00 pm

Delivering Value for Society Presentations
April 4, 3:00 - 5:30 pm

Reception following at 5:30 pm

Montag Den - Willamette University Campus
900 State St. Salem, OR
RSVP to 503.370.6770 or


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. 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



Mar 24-28 Spring Break (No Classes, Offices Open)
Apr 3 First Thursday Event - Empowerment in Action Series, Portland
Arp 4 PACE Presentations
Apr 10 International Graduate Student Association Panel
Apr 11 Early Career MBA Preview Evening
Apr 15 Mentorship Reception
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
[ alumni events calendar ]


Career Services


Update from Director of Career Services: Beth Ursin

Beth Ursin

Students are deep in the midst of interviews this month as they narrow down their choices to secure jobs and internships. We kicked off the month of February with the NW MBA Career Fair. Following this, we started to focus on interviews holding two interview classes and two full days of video-taped mock interviews. We wrapped this module with a career session focused on salary negotiations.

Job/Internship Postings

If you’ve been thinking about having an intern this summer or have an MBA job open at your firm but haven’t posted it yet – NOW is the time to post it with us. We do have several highly talented students seeking internships and jobs in finance, marketing, human resources, project management, analytics and various other private, public and not-for-profit careers. Contact Pam or Beth at 503.370.6167 to request a resume book.

Company Treks

The Atkinson Finance Association organized a trek to RV Kuhns this month, which is a Portland based firm providing strategic investment consulting services to institutional investors. Following an engaging presentation by multiple high level staff at RV Kuhns, many students applied for an investment analyst position opening at their firm. We’re excited about continuing a relationship with this amazing firm.

The Atkinson Accounting Association organized a trek to ESCO Corporation. ESCO Corporation is a global manufacturer of engineered metal wear parts and components for industrial applications with global staff of 3600 employees. A tour through one of the manufacturing facilities followed by discussions with multiple levels of management including our own alum, Steve McCall MBA'85 was fascinating. We look forward to continued relations with ESCO.

On-Campus Recruiting

Alumnus, Kyle Roadman MBA'06 from Tektronix and alumni Ben Davidson MBA'06 and Woody English MBA'06 from Providence Health Systems came on campus for information sessions and interviews, as well as Rubicon International, an education consulting firm.


Executive Development Center


Have You Ever Thought of Teaching Management Education? Consider the Teaching Business Successfully Program 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

Utility Management Certificate Program – Fall Program Dates Announced

The Willamette University Executive Development Center is pleased to present the Utility Management Certificate (UMC) program for the fourth year in a row.  Participants will 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

Professor Fred Thompson and retired professor Marc Choate co-wrote "Nothing is Certain but Debt and Taxes: The Conditional Irrelevance of Municipal Capital Structure," which was reprinted in Jack Rabin & Glenn L. Stevens (eds.) Handbook of Fiscal Policy. New York: CRC Press, 2001: 1607-1620.Choate

ClausProfessor Lisbeth Claus delivered a presentation to Portland-area HR executives entitled "Leadership 2.0 - Knowledge Management and Strategic Advantage." Special thanks to Lea Anne Doolittle MBA'80 for hosting the event at NW Natural.

Professor Larry Ettner participated as a panelist in a round table discussion held on Wednesday, March 19th on the Willamette University campus, discussing Corporate Social Responsibility and Future Generations: The Oregon Experiment. Robin Collins, Professor of Law and Director, Program on Sustainability at the College of Law organized a group of panelists who addressed issues on Corporate Social Responsibility within Oregon business.




Staff News

HyltonLisa (Gislason) Hylton MBA'04
recently joined the Atkinson staff, serving in the role of Recruiter Admission Counselor for the MBA for Professionals. "I am very excited to be returning to Atkinson as a member of this dynamic faculty and staff!" writes Lisa. After Lisa received her MBA from Atkinson in 2004, she moved to Eugene and was the General Manager of the Eugene Concert Choir. "It was the perfect synthesis of my passion for the vocal arts and my recently acquired knowledge in business," says Lisa. "During my time as General Manager, we doubled our level of corporate sponsorships and private donations and expanded our artistic program from a five- to a six-concert series. I left the Choir to be the Business Development Officer at Oregon Community Credit Union. While I was there I helped grow the Community Business Partnership (CBP) Program from six to fourteen businesses in the Eugene and Springfield area. I worked closely with the HR professionals involved in the CBP program to organize and offer financial literacy and educational seminars to their employees." We share Lisa's enthusiasm for joining the Atkinson team and welcome her warmly!

Teresa Day has joined the joined the EDC temporarily as program coordinator, performing the functions for the EDC that Jeanne Hobson performed. She will be at the Portland office and can be reached at, and 503-808-9920. Most recently, Teresa has been working on marketing with a Montessori school in Vancouver. from 1995 to 2004, she held positions of increasing responsibility at PSU's Professional Development Center/Extended Studies Program. Teresa holds a B.S. in Business Administration from PSU with a concentration in marketing.

Senior Program Assistant for the MBA for Professionals program, Kendra Wax, has taken a new role at Pepsi. Kendra's organizational skills, stick-to-it work ethic and fun personality will be missed.
Victoria (Tori) Gustaveson, Willamette BA Cum Laude 2006, has temporarily stepped into the role of Senior Program Assistant on Monday, March 17. Tori has plans to pursue her graduate degree and will leave the MBA team prior to the September 2008 term.



Student News


World Politics and Economics Covered in Latest Willamette World News

HowieGabrielaTwo MBA students contributed towards the latest issue of Willamette World News. Howie Pham of Vietnam and Gabriela Pop of Romania share their views on politics and economics in their home countries. View their blogs here:


Student Updates

Mike_SuzanneProfessional MBA student Suzanne Ralls (née Bleier) married Mike Ralls on December 29th, 2007 in a ceremony held a few miles from their new home in Lake Oswego, Oregon. They were surrounded by family, friends and her MBA classmates. Mike is a 2001 graduate of Willamette University who is currently working on his masters degree while working full time at Jay Lee's Auto Group in Gladstone. Suzanne is a Capital Capacity Manager with Intel.

SofieSofia Casillas Holowatz was born to MBA students Crista Casillas and husband Mannie Holowatz on February 23rd at 9:42 AM. "She is beautiful and healthy, born weighing 7 lbs 1 ounce, 19 inches!" writes Crista. "She loves being sung to and holding her head up."


MylleniaMBA student Jerrica Pierson and her husband Joey are thrilled to share the news of the birth of their daughter, born at 8:55 PM on Sunday, March 9th. Myllenia Natal Seeger weighed 8 lbs 6 ounces and 20 inches in length. "She is beautiful," writes Jerrica. "No wrinkles or squished face!!! She has a full head of hair, big blue eyes, and perfect 10 fingers and toes -- though they are very long!!! She is going to be a tall girl!"


“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, Winona Nelson, Mark Brown, Tarn Chulphongsathorn, Nels Swenson, Mary and Marcus Wheelwright, Agnes Zach, Denise Crawford, Andee Masonek, Kevin Dull, John Lindquist, Alison Hohengarten, Michael Eber, James Connolly, Scott Engel, Ron Owen, Jim Morrell, Brad King, Bo Bae, Beth Ursin, Fred Thompson, Mary Stout, Lisa Hylton, Tina Alexander, Suzanne Ralls, Crista Casillas, and Jerrica Pierson.

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)