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

september 2008

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

Dean Debra RingoldDear Willamette MBA Community,

Welcome to the 2008-2009 academic year!  I hope you all had an enjoyable and restful summer vacation.  The hard work and dedication of the staff and faculty at Atkinson have resulted in an outstanding group of new students joining our MBA programs this fall.  I am delighted to welcome these new MBA candidates to our community and look forward to working with them as they pursue their personal and professional objectives.

This edition of ATKINSONews contains a number of exciting announcements.  A few highlights to note:

*A total of 76 new students joined the Early Career MBA program this fall, representing the highest credentials of any class entering the Atkinson School. 

*A total of 38 new students joined the MBA for Professionals program in both Salem and Portland this September from a variety of business, government and not-for-profit organizations.

*It’s a pleasure to welcome two new faculty members to the Atkinson School – Paul Dwyer in marketing and Wei Wu in finance.

*Wade Brooks (WU ’90) joined our staff as the Director of Development and Alumni Relations and Shelby Gould now serves as our Career and Student Affairs Advisor. 

*Our Executive Development Center, lead by Director, Anne Murray Allen, and assisted by program coordinator, Judy Hampe, developed a number of new programs over the summer.  In addition, our Utility Management Certificate and Certificate in Public Management programs will begin in September 2008 and January 2009, respectively.

*The Willamette MBA program will host a number of events this fall and invite our alumni and friends to join us.  Celebrate three years in our Pearl District campus on Friday, September 26 and join us for our First Thursday sessions, starting again on October 2.  Our admissions team for the Early Career MBA will begin their travels domestically and internationally later this month.

*Our national search for a new Associate Dean is underway.  If you would like to recommend someone you think would make an outstanding Associate Dean, please see the job description at:

Thank you for your submissions to ATKINSONews and your continued support of our people and our programs.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our programs, people or upcoming events.

Best Wishes,


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



Alumni News


Family Additions

Brian Schmidt MBA'98 and his wife, Carri Elise Marie Schmidt, are happy to announce the arrival of their second child, a baby girl. She joins Owen who is 3 1/2. Elise was 8 lbs 6 oz. Brian and his family live in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Jason Cody MBA '98 and Amy Cody celebrated the birth of their daughter, Maben Frances Cody on July 13, 2008.

Turner kidsDebra Spears-Turner JD/MBA '05 and husband Ryan Turner welcomed their second child on July 14, 2008. Jordyn Bailey Irene Turner arrived right on time, weighing in at 7 lbs, 3 oz and 20.5" long. Both mom and baby are doing great! Jordyn joins her big sister, Kamryn, now almost 4. The Turner family is still doing great in their home town of Salt Lake City, Utah where Debra continues to serve as HR Manager and General Counsel for Tomax Corporation and a part time Staff Attorney for Salem based Whitford Law Offices. They send their regards back to everyone at Willamette!

Elaine HemmertAmanda Hemmert MBA'06 and her husband, Jamison, are happy to announce the birth of their daughter, Elaine Vittoria Hemmert. She was born on June 4 at 3:15 am. She weighed 9 lbs. 1 oz and was 22 inches long. They also just moved into a new house the week before and they now reside in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In Memoriam

John M. Jesse MM'97, 47, of Watertown, passed away July 29, 2007. Survived by mom Carol Jesse, Ixonia, sisters Karen Taylor, Watertown and Sue Hinshaw, Denton, TX, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Cremation took place at Range Funeral Home in Hurley, WI. A celebration of life service was held at St Martin's Church, Cross Plains Sunday, August 12.



Robyn MacKillopRobyn MacKillop MBA'98 has been published! You can access the text "Is Online Teaching For You?" at Search the title or name. Robyn currently works as Site Coordinator of an alternative high school, taking care of student needs including online teaching and learning, discipline, class registration, and employment opportunities.

Ihor Tsymbalisty MBA'96 is currently working Kiev, Ukraine as a Project Director at the Ukrainian Center for Common Ground, which is an NGO related to the Search for Common Ground ( This is an international organization that works toward introducing new ways to deal with conflicts. In his spare time, Ihor dances the Argentinean tango and organizes tango festivals in Ukraine. Recently, Ihor was elected to be the President of the Association for the Development and Support of Argentinean tango in Ukraine.

Patrick Pine '74, MBA'76 is now Benefits Manager for Providence Health and Services, Washington-Montana Region, at the Renton, WA regional office. His group manages employee benefits for more than 10,000 employees at all Providence facilities in Washington and Montana.

Mat HunnicuttMat Hunnicutt '02, MBA '03 was elected to the board of the Rotary Club of Portland. The Rotary Club of Portland is the 15th oldest Rotary Clubs in the world and has 350 members. The board term will last 2 years and is in charge of leading the strategic vision of the club.

Andy FrazierAndy Frazier '97, MBA'08 has been voted onto the Small Business Advisory Council (SBAC). The SBAC represents the diversity found in the Portland business community, and they provide an organized voice for small business with the Portland City Council on policies that impact small business.



Atkinson News


Faculty Call for Connections!

As part of its Acquisition Research Program, the Naval Postgraduate School has awarded a research grant to Professors Steve Maser and Fred Thompson to study the defense acquisition process. The process includes opportunities for bidders to protest decisions, especially the final award, triggering a review and administrative hearing by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. For example, a protest involving Boeing's bid for a refueling tanker has been in the news for the past few months. The number of bid protests is increasing. The proposed research asks whether changes in the design of the defense acquisitions process, especially the protest process, can retain the benefits of allowing protests while mitigating their costs. The research will examine the sources of and reasons for protests. The research project also will review and assess alternative institutional designs for managing protests and their impact. Professor Maser would be interested in hearing from alumni who have experience in contracting with the Federal government, especially the Department of Defense, involving successful bids or bid protests. You can reach him at

Help us capture the essence of the Willamette MBA experience Video Contest

Let the second annual Willamette MBA video contest begin!

Create a thoughtful, meaningful and fun video about your experience at Willamette. The MBA community - including current students (Early Career and MBA for Professionals), staff, faculty and alumni - are invited to participate in the second annual "Our Willamette MBA" video contest.

The Prizes:
The first place video will be awarded a $1000 cash prize. Two runners up will receive $500.

The Rules:

  • Videos should be under 5 minutes
  • Content should be professional, tasteful and creative
  • All teams must submit an entry form no later than November 15, 2008
  • Videos must be in DVD format as well as web-ready (Quicktime, MP4 or Windows Media)

Video ContestDOWNLOAD an entry form


November 15, 2008 - Completed entry form turned in to Russell Yost (
January 26, 2009 -
All videos must be turned in on DVD to Russell Yost
March 5, 2009 -
Videos will be premiered and voted on at the First Thursday event at Living Room Theaters in Portland

Watch the Winning Entries from Last Year!

Always On the Move - Willamette MBA Represented at “Portland’s Favorite 10K”

RunAt the Willamette MBA, our staff and faculty are always one step ahead. Director of the MBA for Professionals, Tina Alexander, Director of Marketing, Russell Yost, and Assistant Professor of Marketing, Paul Dwyer, all completed the Pints to Pasta 10K in Portland on September 7.


Willamette MBA on the Road

The Willamette MBA recruitment and admissions team will begin their travels domestically and internationally this month to represent the program and recruit prospective students. For a full list of cities where we'll be, click here: If you are interested in assisting with recruitment events in a city near you or if you'd like to meet us while we're in town, please contact us via e-mail. We look forward to seeing you!




Upcoming Events


Body Vox

Creativity, Expression, Passion and Business Savvy...

Celebrate with current students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends for a special evening of food, conversation and artistic mastery as the Willamette University Portland Center welcomes a new class of students in the MBA for Professionals program. Over the past three years, Willamette University has embraced its new home in Portland's Pearl District, a cross-roads of art and culture. We're pleased to offer our unique blend of management education in this innovative, creative community.Body Vox

BodyVox dance company will provide a special presentation during this unique event. In its 10 years as one of Portland's most innovative performing arts companies, BodyVox has thrilled audiences by flirting with tractors, waltzing underwater, and frolicking beneath a sky of falling flowers. BodyVox blends energized dance, unexpected storytelling, original cinema and human comedy. The performance will be breathtakingly physical, highly original, passionately lyrical, and frequently whimsical.

When: Friday, September 26, 2008 :: 6:00p.m.-8:00p.m. (BodyVox performs from 6:45p.m.-7:15p.m.)

Where: Willamette University Portland Center - 1120 NW Couch Street, Suite 450 - Portland, OR [map]

RSVP Online

Call 503.808.9901 with any questions. For more information on the Willamette University MBA for Professionals program, visit the program's website or contact Tina Alexander ( or Lisa Hylton (

Learn more about BodyVox.

Empowerment in Action – First Thursdays are Back

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 members of the Willamette University community lead discussions, share expertise and present research. Staff will be on hand to answer your questions about the MBA and Executive Development offerings at Willamette.

October 2, 2008 – Business Savvy, Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

Willamette University is pleased to welcome past recipients of the Oregon Ethics in Business Awards, sharing their stories, strategies and successes in going “Beyond the Expected” in their practices and policies.  What does it take to be a responsible company in Oregon?  What does it take to lead and manage an ethical organization?

November 6, 2008 – Business Savvy for the Next Generation (with Rich Meneghello)

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 this fall.

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

Wednesday, Oct. 8th

Dick Reiten, Chairman of the Board
Northwest Natural

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:



Sep 13 MBA for Professionals Commencement
Sep 20 Director of Recruitment Aimee Akimoff's Birthday
Sep 23 Mentorship Reception
Sep 26 Portland Center Open House featuring Body Vox
Sep 30 Rosh Hashanah
Oct 2 First Thursday Empowerment in Action Series
Oct 8 Power Lunch - Dick Reiten
Oct 9 Yom Kippur
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
[ alumni events calendar ]


Career Services


Update from Director of Career Services: Beth Ursin

Beth Ursin

Due to the soft economic market in 2008, our recruiting partners reported that many organizations decreased their annual graduate and intern hires and delayed offers of employment.  Despite that, we nearly met our employment at graduation and salary targets. After a delayed start, overall internship placement remained strong and internship salaries increased by 17%. Towards our goal of becoming the MBA program of choice for employers in the Northwest, three key elements of the strategic plan were initiated:

1.  Utilization of technology for online job postings, a CRM module and a new career website with 24x7 access to resources for students and alumni.

2.  Improved candidate preparation through an in-class program (integrated in PACE) for Early career students and an online version for the MBA for Professionals.

3.  Direct visits to 35 employers of interns over the summer 2008 by the Career Director and Faculty Internship Coordinator.

Job Market Update
We achieved 91% employment in internships this year, with the average hourly wage increasing by 17% from $14.13 in 2007, to $16.57.

Employment statistics for the class of 2008 are still being finalized; however, graduates have secured new jobs in a variety of locations including the West Coast, Romania, Texas, Colorado, Wisconsin and Montana. Employers included Hewlett Packard Company (2 Marketing Analysts), Mentor Graphics (2 Tax Analysts), Bonneville Power Agency (2 Financial Analysts), Johnson and Johnson (New Product Development), The Regence Group (Finance), BP Air (Marketing), US Bank (Credit Analyst), West Coast Bank (Financial Analyst), U.S. Coast Guard (Finance), AKT LLC (Associate), Ashland Partners (Verifier), Secretary of State (Auditor) and PML Microbiologicals (Marketing Product Manager) among many others. Of the 2007 Recruiters surveyed by GMAC in February of 2008 , 73% were “extremely satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the quality of graduates hired from AGSM. We hope to continue to increase that number over the next several years.


Executive Development Center


Now is the Time - Utility Management Certificate Program Fall 2008 Cohort

Space is filling up for the 2008 Utility Management Certificate (UMC) program, presented in Portland in October.  Designed for managers of gas and electric PUDs and IOUs, the program is delivered in a cross-functional format that allows participants the opportunity to network with each other and share knowledge.

Register or request additional information online at

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
Fred Thompson published "Las Tres Caras de Gestión Pública" in Gestión y Política Pública. 17/2 (summer 2008) 487-510. The article was published online in English as The Three Faces of Public Management in the International Public Management Review, 9/1 (2008) 1-17. The Spanish version may be downloaded in a few months at <>. The English version at <>.


Staff News

Atkinson Welcomes New Staff Members


Wade BrooksWillamette alumnus Wade T. Brooks '90 will serve as the Director of Development and Alumni Relations for the Atkinson Graduate School of Management.  Brooks, a native of Portland, will oversee fundraising and major gift initiatives for the graduate school, as well as lead alumni relations efforts.

Brooks has an entrepreneurial background with over 15 years of hands-on business ownership, strategic planning and sales and marketing experience.  He served as Vice President, President and CEO of numerous technology companies including SoftSource Consulting, ServerLogic, StorePartners, Network Equipment Marketplace and Janus Interactive Software.  He has also taught courses in corporate finance and was a registered investment advisor.

“As a successful business owner and financial consultant, Wade brings important skills to his role as our development and alumni relations officer,” said Debra Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise. “We’re delighted to welcome Wade Brooks to our team – both as an alumnus and a colleague.”

Read Wade's full biography here.


Shelby GouldShelby Gould recently started her new position as Career and Student Affairs Advisor for Atkinson on August 25th. Shelby most recently advised students in career and academic development. She taught an Educational Psychology class for incoming freshmen at Northern Arizona University where she earned her Masters of Education in Counseling and Human Affairs.

She started her academic advising and student affairs career at the State Department in the Educational and Cultural Bureau where she was awarded the Excellent Achievement Award for her involvement in the FLEX (Future Leader Exchange) program. As a Junior Program Officer, she wrote a bimonthly newsletter on FLEX Alumni and post-Soviet issues, organized volunteer activities, and supervised the international students from Eurasia.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a Minor in Spanish from Northern Arizona University where she was an NCAA Division 1 soccer athlete. As a student-athlete she traveled to Slovakia, the Czech Republic, as well as countries in other parts of Europe and Latin America. Shelby was also an exchange student at the University of Granada in Spain.


Tori GustavesonTori Gustaveson '06, MBA '10, Senior Program Assistant at Atkinson's Portland Center, and Shawn Flanigan '05 finally tied the knot on Sunday, July 20, 2008 in Portland, Oregon. They are very happy and looking forward to a bright future!



“Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.”

John F. Kennedy


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, Ken Smith, Beth Ursin, Raution Jaiswal, Ben Crop, Kristy Bolsinger, Robin Peach, Cheryl Berger, Denise Crawford, Jim Fitzhenry, Pat Waite, Fred Thompson, Robert Foster, Sid Parakh, Terri Savage, Anita Hughes, Jerry Mathias, Bob Seibert, and Susan Hanf.

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