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

April 2009

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

Dean Debra RingoldDear Willamette MBA Community,

April at Atkinson is a busy time of studying, group projects and preparation for final exams and presentations. We are also delighted to make a few exciting announcements of upcoming events and special distinctions earned by our school:

  • The Willamette MBA was recently recognized as a "top 15 program for preparing students for careers in marketing" by the Princeton Review. A complete description of the honor is available online:
  • The Willamette MBA and the Willamette Career Network will host the "Celebrate Willamette Women" reception at the Oregon Convention Center on April 23. Join us as we announce our new partnership with the National Association of Women MBAs during the event. Details:
  • The Willamette Full-Time MBA Preview Evening welcomed a number of prospective students in early April. As we near our next application deadline of May 1 for our Full-Time MBA programs, our admission office welcomes your referrals and recommendations for students into our MBA programs. The MBA for Professionals program will host Lunch and Learn events and class visits throughout the summer in both Salem and Portland.
  • Willamette MBA students are in the midst of their internship and job searches. Please let our Career Services staff know of any opportunities in your organization or through your networks.
  • The annual student-coordinated Brownwater festivities take place April 23-25. Check the Brownwater website for information on all the events our students have planned.

Thank you for all you do to support the Atkinson School! Please let us know if we can be of assistance.

Best Wishes,


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



Alumni News



WeddingSheila Lorenzo MBA'05 and longtime-beau Tom Johel were married on March 14, 2009 in Portland, Oregon, where Sheila works as a research director and Tom as a mechanic. A honeymoon in Italy followed. Among those in attendance at the wedding were numerous Atkinson friends, including Alexandra Ness MBA'05, Debra Peth '98, MBA'05, Hideaki Azuma MBA'05, Andy Yost MBA'05, Russ Yost MBA'05 and Kim (Chhuon) Renner MBA'05. Sheila and Tom are looking forward to settling in this Spring as they make their home together in southeast Portland.

WeddingOn June 24, 2008, in Humbolt County, CA, Kathryn McIntyre '94, MBA'97, JD'01 and significant other Janice McGinnis were married. As a witness was Kathryn's father, and Willamette alum, Mike McIntyre '65. Their Best man was Addison (also pictured). Kathryn is delighted that she was able to marry, fulfilling her childhood dream.


Family Additions

CaseyAndee (Vassilaros) Masonek MBA'04 and her husband, Aaron, and are now the proud parents of a new baby boy - Casey Martin Masonek, born on Valentines Day.



Ben IretonMichelle Birdsall Ireton MM '96 and her husband, Jack, are pleased to welcome their new son, Benjamin Jason Ireton, born on March 20, 2009. Ben joins older brother Jackson, 2 1/2.





The former company of Keri Courtain MBA'91, Data Bridge Northwest, has merged with another FileMaker Development company to form Fiddlehead Software. Located in Portland, Fiddlehead Software develops custom databases for a variety of clients using FileMaker Pro, as well as providing work flow process consulting. "We serve customers all over the country," writes Keri, "and have developed systems for both large Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike. Fiddlehead Software has four FileMaker Certified developers on staff, and looks forward to continued growth."

Don HomuthDon Homuth MBA'89, his sports car, and trophy he won at the Portland Roadster Show in early March.




Steven Anderson '94, MM'95 has been named by Avanade Inc. as Vice President and Customer Director for its U.S. West Region. Avanade is a global IT consultancy dedicated to using the Microsoft platform to help enterprises achieve profitable growth. Through proven solutions that extend Microsoft products, Avanade helps enterprises increase revenue, reduce costs, and reinvest in innovation to gain competitive advantage. Avanade was founded in 2000 as a joint venture between Accenture and the Microsoft Corporation and employees over 8,000 employees globally, in 22 countries. Mr. Anderson has been with Avanade since its inception.

Kevin MeyersFor the past three years Kevin Meyers '97, MBA'03 has been applying his Atkinson education toward his passion. He officially started Kevin Meyers Photography in the spring of 2006. In a short time, Kevin has experienced success that has taken him on assignments all over the U.S. and other parts of the world. View his portfolio, blog, and other news at

Scott McIntyre MBA'89 has been named PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's managing partner for their US Public Sector businesses and their Aerospace & Defense advisory business.

Koehn FamilyTony Koehn MBA'03 was accepted into the University of Wisconsin's Cellular and Molecular Biology PhD. program. Julie Koehn MBA'03 earned her CMA designation and is working as the Corporate Accountant and is leading the Lean/Six Sigma initiative for Wick Building Systems in Mazomanie, WI. Julie and Tony live near Madison, WI with their two children - Max (4) and AJ (3).


Atkinson News


Willamette MBA Ranked a "Top 15 Program" for Preparing Students for Careers in Marketing by the Princeton Review


FacebookWillamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management was named a “Top 15 Program for Preparing Students for Marketing” by the Princeton Review.  The ranking, based on a survey of 19,000 students worldwide, appears in the latest issue of Entrepreneur magazine.

“This designation is especially meaningful because it comes from student satisfaction surveys,” said Debra Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise.  “It speaks to the quality of our faculty, the strength of our marketing curriculum and the career opportunities available to students upon graduation.”

Willamette University and the University of Oregon both made the list, which is listed alphabetically by school.  The list is also included in the Princeton Review’s Best Business Schools publication.

Willamette and UO are the only two schools from the northwest to make any of the “Top Programs” lists, and are two of only three schools on the west coast to be honored as a top program in marketing. 



Debra J. Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise, named a 2009 Orchid Award Winner by the Portland Business Journal


Debra RingoldDebra J. Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise, has ben named one of the most outstanding women of the year by the Portland Business Journal. The annual "Orchid Awards" will be presented during the Women in Business Expo at the Oregon Convention Center on April 23, 2009.

In conjunction with the Expo, Willamette University Alumni Career Services and the Willamette University MBA will present a special, invitation-only reception entitled "Celebrate Willamette Women!" The event will include music performed by Willamette University students, refreshments and networking. The Willamette MBA program will announce a local chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA), called the Oregon Women MBAs. The chapter is slated to launch in Fall 2009.




Willamette MBA to Establish Oregon Chapter of National Association of Women MBAs


In Fall 2009, the Willamette University MBA is pleased to launch the Oregon Women MBAs, a professional development chapter in Oregon affiliated with the National Association of Women MBAs. The chapter is meant to provide networking, professional development and other outstanding programs to empower women and their careers. Programming will take place throughout the state of Oregon on a variety of hot topics.

For more information on the chapter, please call 503.808.9901 or e-mail  You can also join the Oregon Women MBAs mailing list by visiting


Celebrate Willamette Women – April 23, 2009


The Willamette University Alumni Career Network and Willamette University MBA are pleased to invite you and a guest to an exclusive reception in Portland prior to the Women in Business Expo.

Network, celebrate and learn about the unique opportunities available for women affiliated with Willamette University. The evening also launches the Oregon Women MBAs, a professional chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs.

Entertainment and hors d' oeuvres will be provided.

Thursday, April 23, 2009
Oregon Convention Center – Holladay Lobby
777 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
Portland, OR

Register for the Celebrate Willamette Women reception at




Upcoming Events


Brown water 2009


The tradition continues...


April 23 - 25, 2009

View detailed schedule and RSVP online: Brown Water Website


Alumni and guests welcome to attend!






Apr 18 Professor Bruce Gates' Birthday
Apr 23 "Celebrate Willamette Women" at the Women in Business Event
Apr 23 - 25 Brownwater 2009
May 1, 8 Final PACE Presentations
May 13 Coordinator of the EDC Program Judy Hampe's Birthday
May 14 Atkinson Honors Ceremony
May 17 Commencement
Jun 16 Director of Admission Judy O'Neill's Birthday
Jun 20 Admission Counselor Desiree Vorhees' Birthday
June 27 Professor Michael Dothan's Birthday
[ alumni events calendar ]


Career Services


Update from Career Services: Beth Ursin & Shelby Gould


Shining Through in a Tight Economy

Shelby GouldBeth UrsinIn November 1982, Oregon's unemployment peaked just 7 months before I graduated from college. Did I have any idea what was ahead for me and my classmates? Of course not, I was paying attention to ‘trickle-down economics’.  I graduated, used my network to land a summer job, then found a second job in September when my husband started at AGSM and a third job in winter of 1984 through my network at AGSM. Interestingly enough, my third job was as a Job Developer for a company in the Worker’s Compensation space, helping injured workers find work. In winter of 1984 when unemployment numbers were still double-digits in Oregon and peaked at 18% in Coos Bay, I picked up the phone and called employers asking about job opportunities for our clients. Surprisingly, our clients got jobs with our help although many needed re-training.  Lesson’s learned: Pick up the phone and ask everyone you know about job opportunities – it works!

Yes, Oregon's unemployment numbers are the highest since the 1980's. We have to work together to respond to this challenging market. The Willamette MBA Career Services office welcomes any referrals or contacts as our students search for internships or jobs this week. Thank you in advance to all of you for your help.

Let’s break down the current numbers…

  • November 2008 saw 32,800 fewer jobs in Oregon than November 2007, a 1.9% drop, putting Oregon at 44 place.  Increases during the previous three years were 1.3% to 3%.
  • Hardest hit sectors were construction and manufacturing in Oregon, financial services nationwide.  The manufacturing sector supplies B-to-B components and of course our lumber industry was hit by falling home prices. No surprises here.
  • Despite the overall numbers there were actually gains in two sectors: government (2.5%) and Education and Healthcare (4.9%). Two industries that serve the growing population of retired baby-boomers, No surprise there either.

So, here’s what I know. There is still a War for Talent as a significant portion of the population are baby-boomers and are set to retire within the next 10-15 years.  The federal stimulus package should hit local governments by May, with dollars starting to be spent by late may early June. Think Green…these companies should win, including many of the Northwest’s energy or utility sector. We also know that the same rules apply during recessions as during great economic times only the competition is more feirce. Jobs will still be open as people will still retire, have babies and move to new areas. Graduates from degree programs make up less than half of the overall unemployment numbers. Graduates from advanced degree programs no doubt even lower. Take away: Students may need to be willing to volunteer to get experience and be willing to accept stepping stone positions (i.e. those that have a high likelihood of setting you up for the experience you need to get the ideal positions). Competition for jobs is high, so perfect execution is needed…no typos, excellent resume, perfect follow-up and great interviewing.

Beth’s top 10 tips for job searching in a tight market:

  1. Have you told EVERYONE you know that you are seeking and what you are looking for? And I mean everyone..? past employers, faculty, class-mates, co-workers, people in the grocery store check-out line? Prep your elevator pitch so that people think of you first when job A comes across their desk.
  2. Have you expanded your network through linked-in, the AGSM and Willamette alumni databases and related professional associations? Are you doing this regularly?
  3. Are you focused? Yeh, its great to open your mind to lots of possibilities, but nobody wants to hire someone who simply ‘wants a job’, they want to hire people who’ve planned their entire life for this one purpose – FOCUS…even if the focus is different for each job.
  4. Are you job searching full-time? Its not easy to find spare time, you must get up and get to work on your job search by 8am and not finish until 5pm. Looking for a job is a full-time job. In a good year, it takes one month for every $10,000 you expect to earn – that’s 6 months for a $60,000 job. Plan accordingly.
  5. Have you asked for critical feedback on your resume, cover letter and interviewing style? Willamette has THE BEST alumni network. I know there are many people out there who are willing to help critique. I recently organized sessions for our finance, accounting and HR students. The feedback from our alumni was fabulous.
  6. Are you keeping front and center with WU career staff and recruiters? Yes, you need to be assertive. Look at it from our perspective. Job A comes in, who do you think comes to mind immediately? The person who ‘checks-in’ weekly? Or the person who hasn’t been in contact since last September?
  7. Do you have a plan and are you executing against that plan? People who throw darts at the board are never as satisfied with their career search as those that layout a plan and execute against it, stopping periodically to evaluate and update their plans. Searching for a job is the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do…seeing progress even if its activity based progress is so good for your morale. It’ll also make it easier to know who to follow up with when.
  8. Have you cast your net wide enough? Tough times call for expanded plans…that means, plan A, plan B AND plan C. In this economy, you may need to take a stepping stone job. The more narrow your net is, the longer it will take to find a job…its definitely a numbers game.
  9. Are you using your network? Ideally, each time you apply for a job, you’re looking for two or three internal referrals. If you’re a hiring manager…who are you going to hire? Candidate A who’s a friend of a friend or candidate B who you know nothing about?
  10. Are you staying positive? Nobody wants to hire Negative Nelly. Stay positive by being involved in a job search group, staying current in your area of expertise, volunteering your time to keep your skills current and your resume growing, and constantly evaluating and trying new things.


Executive Development Center


Sustainable Enterprise Certificate Program – Two Sessions Open for Registration

This Certificate Program takes a unique approach to presenting the interconnectedness of social, economic, and environmental well-being. This is done in a way that will integrate all areas of sustainability by first focusing on the dynamics of complex systems, followed by a practical look at social systems and how the expansion of social well-being ties directly to economic and environmental well-being.

Next Session:  April 30-May 1
June Session:  June 4-5
(note:  Each session includes different content – participants may sign up for one or both sessions)

Register online at


Learning and Leading for Sustainability - May 6-8, 2009

Sustainability is not a problem to be solved. It is a future to be created. Leadership is not about position or formal authority but the capacity of human communities to shape futures that people truly desire. What does it take to nurture and unleash such leadership? Led by Peter Senge of MIT, and joined by colleagues working in the sustainability field, this workshop will be a synthesis of core organizational learning disciplines - systems thinking, mental models and collaborative inquiry, personal mastery and building shared vision - and the practical know-how developed through the Society on Organizational Learning and the book The Necessary Revolution.

Location: Hotel Monaco - Portland, Oregon

Certificate in Social Action Research - May 11-15, 2009

This residential, retreat format certificate program is for those who want to not only learn more about how performance occurs inside organizational social systems.  It is for those who also want to learn how to apply social action research methods to uncover and better understand performance, social and financial well-being inside their own or client organizations.  The 4 day workshop is offered at the Rex Ranch retreat and conference center near Tucson, Arizona and will require some follow up work for participants to complete certification.

Location:  Rex Ranch Retreat Center – Amado, AZ (near Tucson)




Faculty News


Polly RizovaPolly Rizova has been selected for a 2009-2010 Hewlett Grant for her proposal: Emergence and Dynamics of Work-related Advice Social Networks:
A Comparative Study in Business, Not-for-profit and Government Organizations
. Hewlett Grants are awarded to members of the faculties of the College of Liberal Arts, School of Education, Atkinson Graduate School of Management and the College of Law at Willamette University.


CatalystRob WiltbankRob Wiltbank's book, titled The Catalyst, was recently released by Crown Publishing. The Catalyst represents the culmination of a three-year study of how operating managers achieve extraordinary organic growth, despite seemingly never-ending setbacks and challenges. Read more about the book online at:





Student News


Sutapa BabyFull-time MBA Student Sutapa Bhattacharjee and her husband, Gobinda, welcomed a beautiful baby girl on April 5, 2009 named Sywamprava Gariwashi Chakraborty. Sywamprava weighed 7 pounds and measured 50cm. The process was long, over 30 hours in labor, but all is well and the family is very happy. Both mother and father are very excited!



“A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.”

Kahlil Gibran

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, Tobin Ernst, John Kannin, Nick Cottle, Amber Revoir, Jordan Bishko, John Haushalter, Fred Thompson Tori Gustaveson, and Keith Pulley.

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