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

Summer 2009

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

Dean Debra RingoldDear Atkinson Community,

Summer is finally here and I wish you and your families the best of this special season.

We're delighted to share a number of exciting developments at the Atkinson School. This May we were selected as a member of the Graduate Management Admission Council, placing the Atkinson School among 177 elite business schools from 19 countries around the world. Our membership in GMAC provides us with additional data and resources to recruit and serve our students.

Our full-time Early Career and Career Change MBA programs are excited to report a record number of applications for this fall. We are also at the height of the admission season for the MBA for Professionals program, slated to start cohorts in Salem and Portland. Those interested in applying for the MBA for Professionals should contact the admission office as soon as possible (

In this year's unique economic environment your referrals of job and internship openings are more important than ever. Thank you in advance for all you do to support the Atkinson School.

Best Wishes,


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




Alumni News



Peth WeddingDebra Peth '98, MBA'05 married Captain Rob Glen Snyder, US Army on March 20, 2009, at Alexander's Country Inn in Ashford, WA. The couple are the proud owners of two rescued retired racing greyhounds, Gracie and Nemo. Debra currently works as a Quality and Data Analyst for Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center in Hillsboro and the couple resides in Lacey, WA.


RobinsonMichael Robinson '05, MBA'07 recently proposed to his Willamette sweatheart, Melissa Dean '07. The couple have been together since his senior year at Willamette. They are planning a small wedding in July 2010 in Hawaii.



The wedding of Brian Christopher Nelson MBA'09 and current MBA student Jessica Marie Knox will be held August 4th, overlooking Anaeho'omalu Bay in Waikoloa, Hawaii.


Family Additions

Baby UnderwoodNicole (Boyd) Underwood MBA'03 and Greg Underwood MBA'03 welcomed a beautiful baby boy, Carter Frederick Underwood, into their family on June 13, 2009. Carter weighed 8 pounds, 12 ounces and was 20 inches long. He joins his big brother, Mason. The whole family is doing great and enjoying their new bundle of joy!


Baby KalinaSuzie Kalina (Cash) '00, MBA'01 and her husband Mike welcomed their son, Joseph Michael Kalina, into the world April 23, 2009 at 4:32 am. He weighed 8 lbs 9 oz at birth and was 20.5 inches.




Keith Phillips MM'96 was recently promoted to Lean Enterprise Director of Nike Footwear Vietnam. This position is responsibile for driving lean manufacturing concepts from product development through delivery of finished product.

Charlie Wolff '01, MBA'08 has taken on a new position developing sales support for ClearEdge Power, Inc. ClearEdge Power is a clean technology start-up based in Hillsboro, OR. ClearEdge Power's CE5 is a 5kW fuel cell that generates electricity and heat for residential and small commercial applications. Charlie has been working to establish sales systems for the initial product launch in Q3 of 2009.

Nathan Isaacs MBA'09 accepted a position in June as manager of business development for Optimization Technologies, based in Beaverton, Ore. He previously was a financial analyst with the Bonneville Power Administration. Nathan's newest challenge is to help the eight-year old technology company successfully enter the Electric Vehicle market with its OpConnect electric vehicle charging stations. For more information, e-mail Nathan at or visit

Michael Mischkot MBA'08 has been promoted to serve as Chief Financial Officer for City County Insurance Services (CIS). Michael has served CIS since 1988. City County Insurance Services was formed by the League of Oregon Cities and the Association of Oregon Counties to meet the risk management and employee benefit needs of cities, counties and other eligible local governments. Says Michael, "I'm thrilled at the opportunity. CIS is a progressive company that has a positive impact within local government risk management and risk financing."

Joe Weller MBA'05 has joined RealNetworks as a Senior Marketing Manager. The company is a provider of internet media delivery software and services, and is based in Seattle. Joe will be focusing on Search Engine Marketing for several of the company's product lines.

Sam Hunter MBA'83 completed a Ph.D. from Gonzaga University's Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies in May 2009. His dissertation research involved a collective case study of the innovation process of four church congregations in the Northwest. The major factors in the innovation process were leaders, organizational structure, culture, and resources.

Shelley Hanson MBA'96 was recently elected to the Salem Keizer Mass Transit District, representing subdistrict #4. Shelley is also running for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Tribal Council, which is a three year elected position.

AJ Nash '05, MBA'06 and the President of Integrity First Financial (Tyson Pruett) have started a financial radio show on 1220AM in Salem Oregon. The show includes a CPA, MBA, and Financial Advisor who take a look at financial decisions in the home or in business every Monday from 4:00pm-5:00pm. The show is live on 1220AM or can be streamed live at


Atkinson News


Students, Faculty and Staff Honored at Award Ceremony

The achievements of students, faculty and staff were celebrated at the Atkinson Honors Reception on May 14th. The following awards were handed out by Dean Debra Ringold:

Dean's Awards
Joshua Beatty
Jessica Balsam

SOLA: Student Organization Leadership Award
Cheryl Berger

Administrative Award
Judy O'Neill, Assistant Dean and Director of Admission

Faculty Awards
Meritorious Service                 Excellent Teaching
Larry Ettner                           Elliot Maltz

Beta Gamma Sigma and Pi Alpha Alpha
Joshua Beatty***                  Ha Nguyen***
Nathan Beil**                       Elena Crosswaite Borquist Noyes**
Vanessa Bloomsburg**           Patrick O'Donnell*
Kristy Bolsinger*                  Robin Peach**
Heather Dickinson***            Hau Pham**
Jason Fieman**                    Gabriela Pop**
Elizabeth Gilgan**                 Tyler Robinson***
Kyle Hill***                           Elizabeth Ross***
Diep Ho*                             Beverly Schwarz**
Cameron Hunt***                  Angela Wanak***
Jenny Lillge**                       Marcus Whitney***
Ryan McGraw***                   Qian Zhong***

***Atkinson Honors (3.8+ gpa)
**Beta Gamma Sigma (top 20%)
*Pi Alpha Alpha (3.7 gpa)

Paul Dwyer, Assistant Professor of Marketing
Larry Ettner, Professor of Management Practice
Wei Wu, Assistant Professor of Finance

Congratulations to the 2008-2009 Honorees!

Atkinson Graduate School of Management Ranks Among Top Green Companies

Oregon Business magazine recently ranked the Atkinson Graduate School of Management 15th on its list of 100 Best Green Companies to work for.

The companies on the list were selected for their sustainable practices based on confidential employee surveys and a report completed by each company. Being on the list shows that "if you're committed to sustainable practices, it pays off not only for the environment and the bottom line, but also in being a great place to work," according to the magazine editors.

The Atkinson School also was profiled in the Aspen Institute's Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey as a top 100 management program in the U.S. for a commitment to corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability.

The school aims to help organizations view sustainability from a system-wide perspective, creating actionable objectives for incorporating sustainability initiatives into strategic planning. This spring Atkinson launched the Sustainable Enterprise Certificate and Learning and Leading for Sustainability, both of which are open to managers from any industry or sector. This fall Atkinson will introduce an area of interest in Sustainable Management as part of the full-time MBA program.

For more about Atkinson Graduate School of Management, visit To read the full list of 100 Best Green Companies, go to

Atkinson Graduate School Selected for GMAC Membership

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) selected the Atkinson Graduate School as an official “member.”  This places the Atkinson School among 177 elite business schools from 19 countries that represent the best in graduate management education.

GMAC membership was established in 1954 by a group of business school deans to uphold excellence in business education.  Atkinson’s participation on the Council will help guide the future of graduate management degree programs and the administration of the GMAT exam, utilized by all AACSB accredited business schools as part of the admission process.

For more information on GMAC, visit

Center for Governance and Public Policy Research Co-Sponsors the Annual Performance Measurement Conference

The Oregon Public Performance Measurement Association (OPPMA) and Atkinson welcomed Barbara Cohn Berman, author and international speaker on public performance measurement, to Oregon. She was the keynote speaker at Willamette University July 15, 2009 as part of OPPMA's 5th Annual Public Performance Measurement Conference. Assistant Professor of Accounting Ken Smith also served on a performance measurement panel during the conference. For information, visit:

Professional Development and Lifeline Learning – Oregon Women MBAs

NAWMBAThe Atkinson School is pleased to partner with the National Association of Women MBAs to form a unique new local professional development organization, the Oregon Women MBAs.

The Oregon Women MBAs includes professional development events, networking opportunities and specialized programming.  The goal is to learn about cutting edge topics, pick up additional skills and add to your resume of experience – all while connecting and collaborating with other professionals.

Membership in the Oregon Women MBAs is open to those holding an MBA degree, with many of the events open to anyone interested the topics offered.  You can learn more about the organization at – feel free to join the mailing list or the Oregon Women MBAs’ groups on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Consider attending the 2009 National Association of Women MBAs Conference "Leadership: Today and Tomorrow" in Anaheim, California.

Early Bird Discount July 31 - register through the NAWMBAs website.

To learn more about the Oregon Women MBAs, visit:





Upcoming Events


Mid-Summer Gathering and BBQ


Join us for a midsummer night's tradition - Willamette MBA style. Share in the food, fun and good company of prospective students, current students, alumni, faculty and staff.

eventsDate: Friday, July 17, 2009

Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm

Location: Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University Campus - Salem, Oregon [map]

events RSVP ONLINE - BBQ Only

events RSVP ONLINE - BBQ and Information Session (see below)

Pre-BBQ Information Session

Know someone who is interested in learning more about the Willamette University Early Career MBA, MBA for Career Change or MBA for Professionals? Invite them to join us before the Mid-Summer Gathering for a special question and answer session with alumni, current students and our MBA admissions team (starting at 4:00pm).



Jul 17 Mid-Summer Gathering and BBQ
Jul 29 Senior Program Assistant Tori Gustaveson's Birthday
Aug 7 Professor Elliot Maltz' Birthday
Aug 14 & 17 MBA & WU International Student Orientation
Aug 19-21 Willamette Full-time MBA Compass Week
Sep 7 Labor Day Holiday
Sep 8 Dean Debra Ringold's Birthday
Sep 10 Professor Mike Hand's Birthday
Sep 12 MBA for Professionals Concentrated Cohort Training - Salem Campus
Sep 18-20 Willamette University Reunion Weekend
Sep 19 Commencement - MBA September 2007 Cohort Start
Sep 20 Dir. of Recruitment Aimee Akimoff's Birthday
[ alumni events calendar ]


Career Services


Update from Career Services: Beth Ursin & Shelby Gould


Shelby GouldBeth UrsinRecent news indicated that Oregon’s unemployment rate has remained steady at 12.2% , but not included in that number are previously counted unemployed people who are no longer looking. Since, I think that’s a very sad thing for people to be that depressed about the process, I decided to focus this month’s article on the secrets to a successful job search so that you can help your friends and colleagues keep motivated and confident during their search.  As our Salem SHRMA speaker today, Peter Paskill of HR Answers put it today so eloquently, “a successful job search is 10% technique and 90% emotions” or what I would call your confidence level.  Have you ever been around people that sound like Winnie the Pooh’s friend, Eeyore? Contrast that feeling to being around a motivational speaker. Yes, you better believe that changing your attitude could mean the difference between a job offer and being passed over. People want to be around positive, confident people and in your job search, you MUST keep that positive attitude and confidence and remember that the perfect job for you is out there.

Start, by looking internally. Who are you? What are your strengths? Your motivations?  Your goals? If you could make a difference in just one BIG issue – what change would you really like to be a part of? If you were given six months to live, how would you spend that time? If you were given a billion dollars, what would you spend your money on?

Next, look around you. Read the news, where are the opportunities? What’s the stimulus money being spent on? Who’s going to change regulations within the financial sector? What technologies will be needed for the global economy? Who’s going to take care of the aging population? Find two to three industries that need some help.

Third, brand yourself. Think about your strengths and build a marketing message around what you can do better than anyone else to help with one of the issues you’ve identified in part two. What brand do you want others to see when you walk in the room? How do you want employers to view you in an interview? Pick 1 to 3 key things to focus your messaging around.

Finally, go get it. Remember that 80% of jobs are never posted, so it will take talking to enough people and getting your brand out there for you to find the right opportunity. People hire people that they know and like – sitting at your computer applying to jobs isn’t going to cut it. You need to get out there and meet people and build your network. Focus your efforts on ‘how you can help them’ not on ‘how they can help me’. Yes, its an attitude adjustment, but believe me, it’ll help you build a network of people that will value what you can uniquely offer. Set goals and work your job search as if it was your job (never less than 8-5 if you’re unemployed).

And remember…chin up, the perfect job is out there – you just have to look long and hard enough.



Executive Development Center


A Tradition of Excellence:  Certificate in Public Management Program

The Atkinson Graduate School is now accepting applications for the tenth cohort of the Certificate in Public Management, planned for a January 2010 start date.  Public managers at the federal, state and local levels are encouraged to apply.

Visit the CPM website ( for more information or to download application materials. You can also e-mail Program Director Susan Wilson at

EDC Schedule Announced

The Executive Development Center is pleased to announce a line-up of upcoming programs for the academic year 2009-2010.  You can see a complete schedule online at  Information on all of the programs are available soon.

Special programs to note:

The Global Professional of Human Resources (GPHR) Certification Preparation Course will be offered in Portland from October 8-10, 2009.  Visit the GPHR website ( for more information.

Utility Management Certificate Program - Accepting Registrations for Fall 2009

The Utility Management Certificate Program is now accepting registrations for the next cohort, in Portland, Oregon this fall. The program consists of two, week-long sessions separated by three weeks.

This highly interactive and integrative training program emphasizes and develops management theories and skills as applied to the utility industry. It provides substantial coursework in managing regulations, stakeholders, IT and human resources, opportunities and risks, as well as understanding a utility from a financial standpoint.

Location: Willamette University Portland Center, 1120 NW Couch Street, Suite 450 (Portland)

Program Dates: September 21-25 and October 19-23, 2009 (Two Week Program)

Register online at





Faculty News


Elliot MaltzEllliot Maltz recently had an article published in the Journal of Marketing entitled "Distributor Sharing of Strategic Information with Suppliers."


Fred ThompsonFred Thompson taught in the Summer School in Public Economics, sponsored by the "Fundación Rafael del Pino," Spain, in collaboration with the "Instituto de Estudios Fiscales", Spain, and the International Studies Program, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, USA. He also published "Let's Try to Measure our Influence on Practice" in Public Money and Management. Vol 29 No 4 (July 2009): 203-8.

Lisbeth ClausProfessor Lisbeth Claus has three 2009 publications:
1. Lisbeth Claus and Dennis Briscoe (2009). "Employee Performance Management Across Borders: A Review of Relevant Academic Literature". International Journal of Management Review 11(2), 175-196.
2. Lisbeth Claus and Michael Hand (2009). "Customization Decisions Regarding Performance Management Systems of Multinational Companies: An Empirical View of Eastern European Firms." Journal of Cross Cultural Management (in press, September).
3. Lisbeth Claus, "White Paper: Duty of Care of Employers for Protecting International Assignees, their Dependents, and International Business Travelers." London: International SOS, 2009.

In addition, she organized and co-chaired (with Dennis Briscoe) a special symposium on global performance management in MNCs at the 10th International HR conference and presented a research note (Lisbeth Claus, Global Performance management in MNCs: A Research Note. Conference proceedings of the 10th International HRM Conference, Sante Fe, NM: June 2009) and participated in collaborative research resulting in a paper in conference proceedings. (Afzal Rahim, Clement Psenicka, Songsri Soranastaporn, Sae-Yoon Oh, Ahmed Amin Mohamed, Tae-Yeol Kim, Phyllis A. Duncan, Sajjad M. Jasimuddin, Md Sahidur Rahman, Nittala Rajyalakshmi, Benish Zafar Chaudhury, Mohamed Saad Mohamad & Lisbeth Claus, A Model of Social Intelligence and Creativity: A Cross-cultural Study. Paper presented at the 16th annual International Conference on Advances in Management at Colorado Springs, CO, July 15-18, 2009).




Staff News


Tori Gustaveson '06, Senior Program Assistant and current MBA for Professionals student, has accepted an opportunity to study and practice Microfinance in India. One of Tori's passions is to engage in business that supports sustainable practices, is sensitive to culture and diversity, and results in tangible positive changes. Tori will be in India July 29th through August 25th practicing Microfinance with a small group of peer Portland professionals. In September or October, Tori will present a summary of her experiences to students and faculty.




Student News


Student Chapter Wins Human Resources Merit Award

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in Alexandria, VA, has assigned the Superior Merit Award designation to the Atkinson Graduate School of Management Student SHRM chapter. The award recognizes an exceptional opportunities for growth and development for student chapter members.

"SHRM's Student Chapter Merit Award program exists to recognize our top student chapters. These chapters represent the best of our more than 450 affiliated student chapters and demonstrate this through their ability to provide innovative networking and educational opportunities to their members," said Chuck Salvetti, SHRM's Student Programs Manager.

During the 2008-09 academic year, the AGSM student SHRM group invited lunch time speakers from HR Answers, Robert Half International, the State of Oregon, and Salem Hospital. In addition, the group helped to plan a two day trek to Seattle to visit Boeing, Microsoft, RealNetworks and the Washington Port Authority. They supported local schools and the Salem Chamber of Commerce through participation in the Ready to Learn-Ready to Work program and collected food for the local food bank and stuffed animals for Salem Fire Department Emergency Responders.

Students from AGSM were also able to attend SHRM sponsored seminars and the Salem SHRMA chapter breakfast meetings. At one breakfast meeting AGSM students facilitated a presentation regarding on-boarding and the support use of current technology. The event was very popular among HR professionals in the Salem-Portland area.


Tamara JohnsonMBA for Professionals student Tamara Johnson is the recipient of the 2009 Professional Engineers in Government (PEG) Management Study Fellowship. Tamara serves as the current president-elect of the Professional Engineers of Oregon and is the electric engineering manager of the Springfield Utility Board located in Springfield, Oregon. The PEG Management Study Fellowship is awarded every year by the Professional Engineers in Government to an engineer pursuing advanced studies in management.

Marcus Harris, a current student in the MBA for Professionals program, obtained a new job at the Bonneville Power Administration and started May 11th. "An Atkinson alum helped me obtain an interview in the corporate finance division for a Finance Analyst Intern position," writes Marcus. "It is a full time position with my main responsibilities to manage an excel model called the accrual to cash model and support the construct of new finance models within the agency."



“We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts.”

Harold Nicolson

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, Debra Peth, Mike Robinson, Brian Nelson, Nicole Underwood, Suzie Kalina, Keith Phillips, Charlie Wolff, Nathan Isaacs, Michael Mishkott, Joe Weller, Sam Hunter, Shelley Hanson, AJ Nash, Tina Alexander, Elliot Maltz, Fred Thompson, Lisbeth Claus, Tamara Johnson and Marcus Harris.

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