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

October 2009

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

Dean Debra RingoldDear Atkinson Community,

 As I travel to different events, locally and nationally, I am grateful for the many ways in which members of our community support Atkinson's efforts.

Throughout this edition you will find announcements about our faculty, staff, alumni and friends.  We are also pleased to share exciting news with you:

  • We recently graduated our MBA for Professionals cohorts from Salem and Portland during a wonderful commencement ceremony, with guest speaker Tim Fallon, President (North America) of Kettle Foods.
  • Judy O'Neill has been promoted to Associate Dean and Director of Admission, taking on a larger role in the development and implementation of academic policies, represent us more frequently in University academic policy discussions, and travel on our behalf to meet with our academic partners in Europe.
  • Fall recruitment for the full-time MBA programs is in full swing, with stops across the U.S. and around the world.  Be sure to check our "meet and interact" page for events near you.
  • The MBA for Professionals is now recruiting for the January 2010 cohort in Portland.  We welcome your referrals and are pleased to have you join us at an upcoming event in the Salem and Portland areas.
  • The Career Management office kicked off a new year in the mentor program, pairing up our large class of new full-time MBA students with fantastic professionals from our region.

A heartfelt thanks to all our new mentors for the tremendous impact you make on our students.  We're fortunate to have such a supportive community of alumni and friends.

Best Wishes,


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




Alumni News


Family Additions

Baby Keagan SavageTerri Savage '01, MBA'06 and her husband Riley welcomed their second baby girl into the world on September 24th at 10:06 pm. At birth, Keagan Read Savage weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz and was 19.5 inches long. "The family is doing great!!" writes Terri.

Baby ElizaMark Brown MBA'03 and his wife Amy welcomed their fifth child, Eliza Ruth, on September 25. Eliza was born in Lake City, MN, at the hospital where Mark is the administrator. She weighed 7 lbs., 10.5 oz. and was 21 inches long. She joins brothers Holden (7) and Asher (3), and sisters Lili (5) and Miriam (20 months). Everyone is doing great and enjoying the wonderful Minnesota fall weather.


Tony De Alicante JD/MBA '88 deployed to Iraq on September 18th for one year as the Command Judge Advoate in charge of the legal office in al Asad.

Rick Emerson MBA'86 was the Course Designer and Assistant Race Director for Primal Quest Badlands 2009 - "The World's Most Challenging Human Endurance Competition". 32 teams from 14 countries competed in this 10-day, 600-mile event hosted in western South Dakota. His design was highly praised, with Brent Edwards of Team Orion (and the current world champions) calling it "the best course I've ever done." Competitors trekked, ran, mountain biked, climbed, caved, swam, paddled and navigated across the Black Hills, Buffalo Gap National Grasslands, and the Badlands this past August for the sixth running of Primal Quest. Rick is an avid outdoor enthusiast who loves to make work out of playing.

Blue DevilsThe Blue Devils Drums & Bugle Corps, based in Concord, California won the Drum Corps International World Class World Championship title in August '09, for an unprecedented 13th time. Additionally, they won the World Championship title for the open class division for the first time. They are the first drum corps in history to win both titles in the same year. Bret Rios '72, MBA'87 is the COO/CFO of BD Performing Arts, the parent non-profit organization of the Blue Devils Drum Corps program.



Atkinson News


Fall Issue of Atkinson Management Today Published

AMTThe fall edition of Atkinson Management Today was recently released. You can find new stories at
Atkinson Management Today (AMT) is an electronic journal released twice yearly with content directed at mid-level management who are tasked with interpreting and implementing organizational strategy. The journal is intended as a resource for progressive upwardly mobile managers, offering practical and contemporary articles on the methods, techniques and theory of management. The mission of Atkinson Management Today is to provide timely management knowledge relevant for today's competitive environment in the business, government and not-for-profit sectors.

Atkinson Women Race for the Cure

Race for the CureThis year the National Association of Women MBAs Atkinson Student Chapter started a team for Race for the Cure 2009. The team was composed of thirteen MBA students, one Atkinson administrator, and one faculty member. Team members participated in a verity events ranging from the one mile walk to the 5k run. All together the Willamette MBA Team raised $565.00. Thanks to all the members who participated.





Upcoming Events


Oregon Women MBAs – Chapter Organization and Upcoming Events

Professionals from the region are invited to attend an upcoming event for the Oregon Women MBAs, held at the Willamette University Portland Center:

Oregon Women MBA's Presents "Building a Culture of Engagement: Thrive and Stay Inspired"

Friday, October 16, 2009
12:00pm - 5:00pm
Willamette University Portland Center
1120 NW Couch Street, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97209
Cost:  $99 (Note: The event fee is included in the $75 membership dues for National Association of Women MBA members)

We're excited to present a workshop designed for newly formed workgroups by the INSPIRATIONWORKS, LLC team of Valerie and Roger Pease.  Moving through the stages of getting-to-know-you, acceptance and finally producing can be unsatisfying and energy draining.  Valerie and Roger will lead us through fun and insightful exercises to jump start and maximize our engagement in the organization, at our work and in our personal lives.

Registration Information:


First thursday Empowerment in Action

Special Event with Victor d'Allant of the Skoll Foundation
"WEB 2.0 & Social Change - The Power of Story Telling"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

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

Victor d'AllantAbout Victor: Victor d'Allant is the Executive Director of Social Edge where he works with social entrepreneurs, nonprofit professionals and other practitioners of the social sector. Victor is a global media executive and cultural anthropologist who has worked for large corporations, international organizations and entrepreneurial startups in many parts of the world.

Before his involvement in digital media, Victor built and ran his own international media consultancy, helping communications companies and technology-based ventures expand their global operations. His clients included Newsweek, Bloomberg, Nokia Innovent, Wired, Outside magazine and Deloitte & Touche.

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: Willamette University Campus Salem, Oregon

Upcoming Power Lunch Speakers

Oct 26 - Rob Stuart, CEO of OnPoint Credit Union
Feb 17 - Steve Bass, CEO of OPB
Mar 17 - LeaAnn Doolittle, HR Director of NW Natural

Learn more and RSVP at:



Oct 16 Oregon Women MBA's Presents "Building a Culture of Engagement: Thrive and Stay Inspired"
Oct 18 Dir. of MBA for Professionals Tina Alexander's Birthday
Oct 22 Dir. of Career Management Beth Ursin's Birthday
Oct 26 Dir. of the Exec. Development Center Anne Murray Allen's Birthday
Oct 26 Power Lunch: Rob Stuart, CEO of OnPoint Credit Union (Salem)
Oct 27 Dir. of Marketing Russell Yost's Birthday
Oct 29 Professor Fred Thompson's Birthday
Nov 3 Recorder Karen Arthur's Birthday
Nov 5 First Thursday Empowerment in Action
Nov 5 Professor Rob Wiltbank's Birthday
Nov 18 Power Lunch: Ken Wightman, CEO of David Evans & Associates
Nov 23 Professor Nicole Thibodeau's Birthday
Nov 30 Professor Steve Maser's Birthday
Dec 12 Administrative Assistant Kim Baker's Birthday
Dec 25 Faculty Administrative Support Specialist Holly Carson's Birthday
Dec 27 Faculty Administrative Support Specialist Mary Stout's Birthday
[ alumni events calendar ]


Career Management


Update from the Career Management Team: Beth Ursin & Shelby Gould


Shelby GouldBeth UrsinI’m just back from the 2009 NSHMBA Conference in Minneapolis (National Society for Hispanic MBA’s) with over 6000 job seekers and 300 of the Fortune 500 companies represented. Willamette was represented by 12 students actively networking and walking booth to booth in pursuit of internships and jobs. This was very exciting to me as in previous years, I’ve attended with only as many as two students. From talking to multiple recruiters over the last several days, I thought I’d share some ways to stand out in a sea of qualified candidates at a job fair.

  • Apply to Jobs at Each Company BEFORE the Fair: Some employers told us that interview slots were filled up to two weeks prior to the Career Fair. Those that applied only one week ahead or showed up without applying online missed opportunities to interview on site.
  • Do Your Homework: There is no bigger turn-off to a recruiter than someone walking up to their booth and saying “So, what does Proctor and Gamble do?” Rather, to stand out, research their web sites, then do a Google search for recent news and weave your knowledge into your pitch.
  • Develop a Strategy: A great strategy is to develop your list of TARGET companies and plan to visit them first. Usually, employers leave a couple of interview spots open for walk-ins, so if you arrive to the career fair early and beeline to your favorite companies, you might be able to pick up a few interviews. Alternatively, if you’re nervous, go talk to two or three companies that you’re not interested in first as a practice to build your confidence, then high-tail it to your target companies.
  • Dress the Part: I know this sounds elementary, but MBA’s are expected to dress professionally at Career Fairs even if the company they seek employment from has a relaxed dress code. Obviously, this is rarely an issue with Willamette students, but every once in awhile, recruiters tell me that a shirt was cut too low, a skirt to high, or someone paired sneakers with a suit. If in doubt, a dark suit with recently shined shoes and a shirt and tie or blouse for women is the norm at these events.
  • Bring GREAT resumes: Plan to bring customized resumes and cover letters for your target companies, they will appreciate it and you will stand out.  Sometimes, the person you really need to speak with is not there and your materials will be the only thing that will be used to determine whether or not you’ll get an interview. Bring plenty of generics for the rest of the companies you meet, you never know when a company that you hadn’t thought of before has the ideal job for you.
  • Practice Your Pitch: At many of these career fairs, you will stand in line for 15 to 30 minutes for a chance for a 30 second to 1 minute face-to-face with a recruiter. Be prepared with a 30 second pitch weaving in your knowledge from research and the three things that make you an ideal candidate. Practice, practice, practice and ask your peers for feedback. Make sure this message is also clearly revealed in your resumes.
  • Remember, You are Always Being Interviewed: Many of these career fairs include company information sessions, panels and networking opportunities where you relax and may not realize that all eyes are still on you.

Upcoming Conferences: There are multiple career fairs this fall in cities all over the country, including the upcoming NAWMBA conference in Southern California (National Association of Women MBA’s) where Willamette’s MBA program will be represented by 13 attendees. Consider joining us if you are actively seeking work and willing to relocate. There’s no better place to secure jobs with the top firms, such as General Electric, Walt Disney World, Ford, Sony, Walmart, American Airlines etc.

Job Search Preparation: If you are seeking work this fall, consider joining us for our Career Friday Series designed for the working professional seeking new positions. All sessions are held on Friday mornings over breakfast and are FREE to Willamette students and alumni and held at the Willamette Portland Center in the Pearl District from 7am to 9am. Upcoming sessions include:

  • October 16—Social Networks and the Job Search
  • November 6—Don’t Be That Guy: Networking Savvy
  • November 20—Career Swap: Successful Transitions
  • December 4—Interviews: What No One is Telling You
  • December 18—Negotiations and the Job Offer

Post jobs for your firm with us: I am working with a number of recent graduates and alumni who are seeking work now, please consider posting a job, internship or project with us.

For more information about the Career Friday series, for access to our online job board as an employer or as a candidate or for an individual appointment email Beth Ursin at or call us at 503-370-6167.

Recent Career Management Events

The 2009 academic year has started with a bang! With the combined efforts of the Atkinson Student Organizations and Career Management we have successfully coordinated over 26 events for the Atkinson community.  Some events included Company Treks to Salem Hospital, State Capitol, and Don Pancho, Career Panels and 2nd Year Professional Sessions, Career Fridays, Race for the Cure by NAWMBA, a Cultural Panel, and more.

Our most recent event included a Career Panel sponsored by our APMI student board.  They invited alumni and professionals who shared their experience as Project Managers: Galen McGill MBA'93 (ODOT), Ron Hittner '87, MBA'89 (Hittner & Associates), Lisa Ansel (Dept of Business Development), and Jon Lazarus MM'98 (ODOT).  The four guests addressed the changes and new trends of Project Management, the type of skills needed to be successful, and personal insight on how to kick-start a career.

The full-time MBA students have been encouraged to conduct informational interviews with professionals in the industry and/or discipline they are exploring to pursue their careers.  A new event Career Management has developed this year is Informational Interview Day where we have invited over 15 employers on campus to be interviewed by the students.  We are always seeking alumni to participate in our career events, especially for the 13th and 20th of November for the Mock Interview Final.  If you are interested or want to learn more, feel free to contact Shelby Gould, Career Management Advisor, at



Executive Development Center


Using Social Media Effectively: How to Leverage the Power of Your Network

Social Media Conference – November 6, 2009
Salem Campus –
Montag Center Den

The Executive Development Center is offering an innovative one day conference on social media and social entrepreneurship in Salem on Friday, November 6th. "Using Social Media Effectively: How to Leverage the Power of Your Network" features three expert practitioners who will cover how to sort through the exploding options for social media and how to make intelligent choices in building your own on-line presence and network. Social entrepreneurs who have been successful in expanding their ventures through online storytelling and engagement will be highlighted. Keynote speaker Victor D'Allant from the Skoll Foundation and creater of the will be featured. For more information on this conference see:

Special pricing available for Atkinson students, faculty, and alums is available. Contact for more pricing specifics.

Sustainable Enterprise Certificate Program

We are happy to announce that the Sustainable Enterprise Certificate program will be offered again in early 2010 at the Willamette Portland Center. Darcy Winslow, former general manager at Nike, has accepted the role as the new director of this certificate program. The newest cohort will begin on February 17 and include 3 sessions and several webinars. Check out the full program syllabus and roster of internationally known instructors at:
Questions? Please contact us at

Certificate in Business Lawyering

Are you a law firm looking to attract and retain talented associates? Are you a legal professional eager to expand your knowledge to better advise clients with business problems and opportunities? The Certificate in Business Lawyering (CBL) program offers a structured approach to business that provides the tools, resources and concepts to increase an associate’s value and ability to attract billable hours. Become a better lawyer by thinking about business issues the way clients think about them. Prepare to be a partner by building business expertise to make it easier to manage the law firm.

Sessions begin Spring 2010. Learn more: or contact us at for more information.



Faculty News


Fred ThompsonFred Thompson attended the annual research conference of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management, September 23-26, in Washngton DC, where he presented a paper entitled: The Influence of Income Tax Rates on the Market for Tax-Exempt Debt, coauthored by Mike Hand and Atkinson professor emeritus, G. Marc Choate.

Fred, together with Professor Michael Barzelay of the London School of Economics and Political Science, published " All Aboard? Evidence-Based Management and the Future of Management Scholarship in the INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC MANAGEMENT JOURNAL 12/3 (2009) 289-309.



Staff News


Judy O'Neill was recently promoted to the position of Associate Dean and Director of Admission. Judy will be taking on a larger role in the development and implementation of Atkinson academic policies, represent the program more frequently in University academic policy discussions, and travel on Atkinson's behalf to meet with our academic partners in Europe. She will also be instrumental in our efforts to establish additional academic relationships with partners in the middle east, India, and China.




Student News


International Students at Atkinson Inspire Local School Children

Language in MotionEvelyn Martinez, a second-year MBA student from Honduras recently went to Waldo Middle School to talk to students about the benefits of participating in community service and was also featured in the Salem-Keizer newsletter. As part of the Willamette Language in Motion program, several current international students at Atkinson, including Ayodele Olorunnisola, Amit Mehta, Abhisek Tibrewal, Thamer Mofarrij, Amani Alfallatah, Diana Ursachi, Jan Taborsky, Sumit Sabharwal and Aziz Al Yabes presented language and culture activities in public school classrooms in the Salem community throughout this year or last. Additionally, several alumni, including Majed Alharbi MBA'09, Majed Al Subaie MBA'09, Aminata Keita MBA'09, and Raution Jaiswal MBA'09 helped to establish the Language in Motion program, which is now in its third year of operation. For more information, visit: or email: if you are interested in volunteering through the Language in Motion program.


“The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

Vincent T. Lombardi

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, Terri Savage, Mark Brown, Tony De Alicante, Rick Emerson, Bret Rios, Nancy Garcia, Donna Banwarth, Tina Alexander, Anne Murray Allen, Fred Thompson, Chris Andresen and Shelby Gould.

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