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

October 2008

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

Dean Debra RingoldAs the economy and the elections dominate the news, the Atkinson School is abuzz with class discussions and special events.  Uncertain times provide us with an opportunity to think about what we are doing and where we are going.

In a letter to the campus community, President M. Lee Pelton reports that "while Willamette is not unaffected by the present crisis, our fiscal health remains very strong and positive from a variety of perspectives."

Staff and faculty at the Atkinson School are working hard to ensure the long term fiscal strength, stability and viability as we weather the economic storm.  For any questions regarding financial aid, I invite you to visit a website we have set up with answers to common questions.  We are also on hand to answer your questions with the help of the Financial Aid office.

Thank you in advance for all that you do to support the Atkinson School.  I hope you will join us at upcoming events outlined in this newsletter and on our website.

Best Wishes,


Debra Debra J. Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise



Alumni News


Family Additions

Amanda Stanley MBA'08 and her husband Scott are delighted to report their beautiful baby girl Rachel Drew Stanley was born on October 1st at 10:32am. She weighed in at 6 lbs and 13 oz and is 20 inches tall. Amanda plans to take six months off from her job at AT&T Mobility as an IT Systems Architect to enjoy her time as a new mom.

Tony Jones '02 MBA'05 and Carrie (McIntyre) Jones '04 welcomed their second child, Tatum Eliza Jones, on May 6th 2008.


Sandy BaruahSandy K. Baruah MM'95 was designated Acting Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration on August 15, 2008. Baruah, who is pending Senate confirmation as SBA Administrator, has served in the Bush Administration since 2001. Prior to SBA, he was the Assistant Secretary for Economic Development at the Department of Commerce, and comes to SBA with a keen understanding in how to promote local business growth, manage organizational change, and respond to federal disasters. Baruah helped lead significant accomplishments for EDA, including the agency’s induction into the Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame, passage of EDA’s Congressional reauthorization, the agency’s inclusion in President Bush’s Executive Order which established the Preserve America Initiative, and achieved the second-highest effectiveness ranking from the White House’s Office Management and Budget. Prior to joining President Bush’s team at the Commerce Department, he spent seven years with a Portland, Oregon-based corporate management consulting firm. As a business consultant, he worked on engagements with clients such as Walt Disney World, Intel, Key Bank and Citizens Bank. Sandy Baruah’s previous government service includes work with U.S. Senator Bob Packwood and service to President George H.W. Bush, with positions in the office of the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of the Interior.

Sandy Baruah appeared on CNBC’s "The Big Idea" on October 17th. Sandy discussed issues facing small businesses in the current economic climate and offer strategies for long term success. You can view highlights of the interview online:

Hemang KapasiHemang Kapasi MBA'02 was recently selected as an adviser to a industry wide forum that promotes good corporate governance. The mission of the Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) Summit is to increase the collaboration between key business executives for effective Corporate Governance strategies which will lead to increased oversight and management of enterprise risk, compliance and good governance. Read more at: View Hemang's profile at:

Kris Nelson MM'97 recently took a new position as VP, Business Development at Hydrophix of Oregon (, a storm water treatment company. Kris works with manufacturers, civil engineers, public works departments, and environmental consultants on projects to remove hydrocarbons and bacteria from runoff and developing new uses in green building, hatcheries, etc. Kris is also writing an article on videoconferencing technology by legal professionals for the Oregon State Bar "Bulletin."

Tim Tanis MBA'07 left his Compensation Analyst position at Harry & David in August to join Cabela's Inc, the World's Foremost Outfitter, as their Compensation Manager in Sidney, NE. In his new role Tim is leading the creation of the Compensation Department which Cabela's had not previously. Tim and his wife reside in Nebraska.

Gloria Yan MBA'03 started a new job as Program Design Manager at Conservation Services Group, Inc. at their downtown Portland office, as of September 2008. Conservation Services Group is a national non-profit company headquartered in Westborough, MA, which focuses on energy conservations and renewable energy.

Jay Desai MBA'89, Founder & CEO of Universal Consulting India, has been invited to deliver a lecture on the Indian Health Care System to MBA students at the Wharton School in Philadelphia on November 3rd.

Elvira Mammadzada MBA'04 has accepted the position of Country Manager for Azerbaijan with the international engineering projects firm Kentech. She has been with the organization for more than 3 years and was the Acting Country Manager since November 2007. The company’s head office is located in Cork, Ireland.

Jason (JJ) Jarred MBA'02 has recently been hired as human resource consultant for the Cascade Employers Association, a statewide human-resource consulting group headquartered in Salem. Before joining Cascade, Jarred worked for five years at Spirit Mountain Casino in employment and employee relations. JJ has received his professional in human resources certification from the Human Resource Certification Institute.

Loren Harwood MBA'98, CDR'98 has recently been hired as an accountant for North Bend-based Hough, MacAdam & Wartnik LLC. Loren is a CPA and certified financial planner, and has five years experience in accounting and financial services. He worked as a CPA for a large firm in the Willamette Valley, and for an international brokerage firm. His areas of expertise include individual and corporate taxation, as well as personal financial planning.


Atkinson News


The Perfect Time to Earn an MBA – Now Accepting Referrals for the Willamette MBA Programs

The MBA for Professionals program is now accepting applications for Portland and limited spots in Salem starting in January 2009.  If someone you know has been thinking about earning an MBA, this is the perfect time to add the degree to your resume of experience.

For information on the MBA for Professionals, contact Tina Alexander or Lisa Hylton by e-mailing, calling 503.808.9901 or visiting

For information on the Early Career MBA or MBA for Career Change, email or visit

A note about Financial Aid

With all the press surrounding the economic climate in the United States, the Willamette MBA has set up a website to help provide answers to common financial aid questions. Visit our Q&A page about the economy:




Recent Events


Center for Governance and Public Policy Hosts the first director of the Congressional Budget Office

The Willamette University Center for Governance and Public Policy held an off-the-record conversation for students and faculty with the Brooking Institution's Alice Rivlin ( The conversation was held on October 17th. Alice is currently one of the participants in the Concord Coalition's Fiscal Wake-Up Tour (; formerly she was head of the OMB, CBO, and vice chair of the Fed.

For more information about upcoming events through the Center for Governance and Public Policy, visit

Upcoming Events


From Dream to Nightmare - The Financial Crisis of 2008

Special event sponsored by the Atkinson Finance Association

Recent financial innovation promised homeownership to the people and profits to investors.  How and why did the dream turned into a nightmare and what further consequences we can expect.

Thursday, October 23, 2008
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Willamette University Campus, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Third Floor Lounge
Complimentary pizza and soft drink will be served.
RSVP to Cameron Hunt at

Michael Dothan is Guy F. Atkinson Professor of Economics and Finance at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University.  Michael teaches courses in investments, finance and strategy, and financial derivatives.  Michael's teaching awards include United Methodist Exemplary Teacher Award (2001) and Excellence in Teaching Award (2007).

Michael's research has appeared in the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Business, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Financial Research, and other journals.  His most recent research is in the areas of corporate finance, financial markets, public finance, and company valuation.

Sponsored by the Willamette University MBA and the Atkinson Finance Association.


First thursday Empowerment in Action

"Business Savvy and Generation Y"

November 6, 2008 - Featuring Rich Meneghello

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.

There are now 80 million Gen Y workers in the American workforce, and they are almost certainly becoming an ever-increasing presence in your own company. Our newest generation of workers has been described as "the most coddled and over-parented generation in history." They are autonomous and technologically savvy; they change jobs quickly and know that portable trade secrets and proprietary information are valued in the workplace. Gen Y workers favor employment at will because they like coming and going with no strings attached. Learn how smart employers are rethinking old ideas about how to manage this segment of the workforce, including reassessing the value of the employment at will doctrine in favor of more individualized employment relationships.

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
Bank of New York

Tuesday, March 10th

Jim Albaugh, President & CEO
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems

Learn more and RSVP online:



Oct 23 Financial Crisis Discussion
Oct 27 "IOUSA" Film Screening
Nov 6 First Thursday Empowerment in Action Series
Nov 11 Mentorship Workshop
Nov 15 Video Contest - Entry Form Due
Nov 27-28 Thanksgiving Holiday - Offices Closed
Dec 4 First Thursday Empowerment in Action Series
Dec 25 Christmas Day
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 10 MBA for Professionals Commencement
Jan 12 Early Action Application Deadline for Full-time MBA Programs
Jan 16 Mock Recruiting Event
Jan 19 Full-time MBA - First Day of Class
[ alumni events calendar ]


Career Services


Update from Director of Career Services: Beth Ursin

Beth Ursin

Class of 2008 Statistics: Despite the soft economic conditions, we were able to achieve 46% employment at graduation (goal was 50% or better) but only 67.7% employment at 90 days (goal was 85% or better). Employment offers were slightly better with 51.1% of graduates reporting offers at graduation and 77.4% at 90 days. As of 9/30/08, 78% of the class had secured employment and 87% had secured offers. We will continue to work with the class of 2008 until all students secure employment. Base salaries remained roughly the same as last year averaging $58,190, though a significant number of graduates received starting bonuses and other guaranteed compensations averaging $4167 per student bringing the average total compensation package beyond our goal of $60,000 to $62,357.

Mentorship Program: We successfully matched 50 students with 50 professionals from the Portland and Salem areas, our largest participation ever. The Mentorship Reception on September 23rd kicked off with an opportunity for experienced mentors to share pearls of wisdom with the new mentors. This was followed by an interactive social hour for students and mentors to have an opportunity to meet one another and network. By October 20th, the students and their mentors will have completed a mentoring agreement focusing on specific professional development goals during the school year. This year, mentors represent a variety of organizations such as Intel, Nike, Bonneville Power Administration, Oregon Department of Transportation, Hewlett Packard Company, Deloitte, First Tech Credit Union, Executive Officers Club, SHRM and West Coast Bank. Students are very excited about their matches and the potential the program offers them. Mentors are equally enthusiastic to learn from the Millennial generation and be part of developing the next generation of leaders.

Company Connections in September: During the month of September, our Power Lunch featured Todd Kaufman, Director of State Government Affairs with a full house. Shelby and Beth visited with connections at Xerox, Exit Real World and Knowledge Learning Corporation. Company information sessions included the Oregon Independent Colleges Foundation – Power of 10 Program and the City of Woodburn. Off-campus, three students attended the Northwest Human Resources Management Conference in Washington on Sept 16, 17 and 18 along with Career Director, Beth Ursin, fourteen students attended the Oregon CPA Career Showcase on Sept 23 and several students attended the State of Oregon Career Fair on September 13. These three off-campus events gave students multiple opportunities to network and practice their elevator pitches.

Professional Panels for Accounting and Human Resources: Professional student organizations, Atkinson Accounting Association (AAA) and Society for Human Resources Management(SHRM) kicked off their programs with a panel of speakers in September. The Atkinson Accounting Association hosted an excellent accounting panel with over 25 students and staff in attendance to listen to the panel discuss how accounting is about so much more than numbers, how accounting plays a key role in all well-run organizations and therefore should be at least familiar to all good managers. They also learned how rewarding a career in accounting can be, whether it be in private practice or in government. Panelists included Brandon Burke MBA'07 of AKT, LLC; Mary Doel of Secretary of State, Audits Division; and Jeff White the CFO of Marion County. The SHRM association featured a large panel of human resources professionals featuring the following panelists: Shelli Honeywell MM/JD'93, CDR'93, Dept. of Corrections; Twyla Lawson, Dept of Administrative Services; Jessica Knieling '97, MBA'03, Oregon School Board Association; Kris Kautz, Deputy Director of DAS; George Naughton, State Budget Director. Over 25 students attended this session and learned how the HR division needs to understand other facets of business and work with them. Both panels serve as an introduction to a career area for first year students to explore and as an opportunity for second year students to network and gain key contacts.

Career Services Workshops: During the first month of school, the Career Module of the PACE class focused on phase one of career development, self-exploration which included workshops on resume writing, an industry overview and opportunities for MBA candidates and career exploration. Students were asked to complete a series of assessments, talk with five people they know and gather 360 feedback on their strengths, skills and abilities all of which they used to develop their MBA resumes and start to hone in on their career goals. We also featured a networking session titled, "First Impressions Last – Make yours a Good One" for the MBA for Professionals students in Salem.


Executive Development Center


IOUSAThe Executive Development Center in partnership with the Center for Governance and Public Policy Research hosts "I.O.U.S.A." Movie Screening

Monday, October 27
4:30 - 6:30 pm, Salem, Oregon - Willamette University College of Law, Paulus Lecture Hall. Visit the I.O.U.S.A. special event page for more information or to RSVP.


Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) - Certification Preparation Course
There are still spaces available for our GPHR course offered this November. Add a global certification to your resume of experience.
Portland, Oregon - November 6-8, 2008
Visit the GPHR Website for additional program information

Certificate in Public Management (CPM)
Salem, Oregon - The next cohort begins in January 2009
Visit the CPM Website for additional program information or contact the CPM office at

Planned Courses (coming spring 2009):

  • Certificate in Organizational Performance
  • Certificate in Sustainable Enterprise


Faculty News

Ken Smith

Professor Ken Smith presented a case study titled "Coordinating Reforms in Government & Non-Profit Human Services: Oregon’s Commissions on Children and Families" at the Symposium on Accountability and Performance Measurement in the Hollow State: A Reflective Dialogue on the Evolving Role of Nonprofits in Public Service Delivery. The case study is co-authored with Marion County Commissioner Janet Carlson and the Director of the Marion County Commission on Children and Families, Alison Kelley.

Ken Smith will be the Keynote Luncheon speaker at the National Performance Management Conference in Seattle on October 28. The title of his speech is "Performance Reporting at Cities and States: Howz that werking fer ya?!" Ken will discuss the results of his study of more than 400 state and city performance reports. He looks at the major successes and the ongoing significant obstacles to widespread quality reporting.



Student News

MBA Student Featured in Willamette World News

WU World NewsThis month's edition of Willamette World News features full-time MBA student Olga Slabari from Moldova in a discussion about the investment boom in her home country:



"Knowledge speaks, Wisdom listens."

Andrew Cenany

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, Amanda Stanley, Tony Jones, Hemang Kepasi, Kris Nelson, Tim Tanis, Gloria Yan, Jay Desai, Elvira Mammadzada, JJ Jared, Loren Harwood, Fred Thompson, Nathan Isaacs, Judy Hampe, Anne Allen Murray, and Ken Smith.

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.

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