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

February 2010

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

Dean Debra RingoldDear Atkinson Community,

We're off and running for a very successful spring semester.  This busy February included a Power Lunch with Steve Bass, the CEO of Oregon Public Broadcasting, the Full-Time MBA program's Preview Day, the Portland Business Journal's "Forty Under 40" event (which the Willamette MBA sponsors), and a meeting of Willamette University's Board of Trustees. We are ending the month with our AACSB maintenance of accreditation visit.  Thank you in advance for all you do to support our efforts.

In January, we reached a milestone in the MBA for Professionals program:  over 100 graduates since the program's inception.  We commemorated the event with a special reception following the January commencement that included alumni and their families.  Special thanks to Pat Waite MM'84, Chair of the Atkinson Advisory Board, for serving as our commencement speaker.

The Willamette MBA was also named to the Aspen Institute's "Sustainable MBA Programs" list.  Just last fall the Aspen Institute's "Beyond Grey Pinstripes" survey ranked the Willamette MBA #47 in the nation for preparing graduates for social responsibility and environmental stewardship.

Throughout this newsletter look for special announcements of upcoming events, alumni news and new program offerings.  Please let us know if there is anything we can do to be of service.

Best Wishes,


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




Alumni News



Swartley weddingBen Swartley '07, MBA'08 and Shestin Swartley (JD'10 candidate) were married on December 19, 2009 at Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos, CA. Other Atkinson alumni in attendance were Nathan Love '05, MBA'06, John Powell JD/MBA'09, Matt Costanzo JD/MBA'09, Jesse Schumacher MBA'08, Brodie Phillips MBA'08, and Shawna Binning '07, MBA'08.


Family Additions

Lauren HenryAnnabelle (Brown) Henry JD/MBA'08, and her husband, Brian, are thrilled to announce the arrival of their first baby girl, Lauren DiGrandi Henry. Lauren was born on November 25, 2009 at 8:22 am. Surprising everyone, she weighed in at 8 lbs 10 ounces and measured 21 inches! Mom and baby are both doing well and enjoyed the holidays at home.



Loren B. Harwood MBA'98, CDR'98, CPA, LLC has recently opened an office in North Bend. Loren is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial PlannerTM certificant. He provides tax preparation, planning and advice to individuals, business, estates and trusts. In addition, as a CFP® professional, Loren assists clients with financial and retirement planning issues. Loren has spent the past six years in public accounting and financial services. He has worked with a variety of clients including medical professionals, attorneys, retail business, farmers and fishermen. Loren can be reached at: (541) 756-1515 or

Shelley Hanson MBA'96 was elected to the Salem Keizer Transit District board in May 2009 and voted President of the elected body June 2009. The District runs all of the mass transportation systems in the Salem metro area, as well as several smaller regional systems.

Mathew Hunnicutt '02, MBA'02 and Andrew Frazier '98, MBA'08 within 3 years of starting Frazier Hunnicutt Financial have grown their company to include 6 financial planners and 2 full time staff. This past year adding 3 financial planners and one full time assistant. Both have also continued to be very active within the community, sitting on the boards of the Portland Children's Museum, Hands on Greater Portland and the Rotary Club of Portland.

Takao Yamamoto '74, MBA'76 recently took a new position as Senior Vice President and Region Manager of Union Bank.

Chris Hawver2009 was a very busy year for Chris Hawver MBA'78. With 6 fellow motorcyclists/bikers, Chris rolled out the New Glory Flag Bike... carries 50 US flags with over 30,000 square inches of red, white and blue fabric. For more information, and planned activities, see Chris also co-authored and recently launched a national program focused on motorcyle safety, named Road Guardians. See "These programs provide me mental and emotional rewards... just for fun," writes Chris. "Neither are designed to generate income, nor should they. Cheers to the class of '78!"

Brent Harmon MBA'08 is an Operations Manager for Cascade Microtech, which just acquired the Test Systems division of Suss MicroTec in Dresden, Germany. Brent will be spending the majority of his time for the next several months in Dresden managing the integration of the two companies.

Jay DesaiJay Desai MM'89, CEO and Founder of Universal Consulting India Pvt Ltd, led his organization in a year-long research study on "Public Accountability in India", following the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai and the subsequent focus on poor public administration in the country. This resulted in an invite to meet the former President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam (pictured on the left with Jay Desai), in January 2010 in New Delhi, to discuss the results of their work.

Vanessa Sturgeon MBA'03 is among the high-caliber executives younger than 40 who will be recognized for character and achievement in their careers, engagement in civic activities, volunteerism in the community and genuine passion for what they do. Vanessa is president of TMT Development Company Inc., a Northwest property development and management organization that focuses on office towers and retail shopping centers. The company's properties include Fox Tower and the Broadway Building in Portland. The awards were given out Feb. 18 at a reception in Portland, sponsored by Willamette University's MBA programs. Learn more on the Portland Business Journal website.

AJ NashA.J. Nash '05, MBA'06 was recognized as the "Merchant of the Year" at the First Citizen's Banquet in Keizer on February 6th. The Merchant of the Year Award is given to an individual and/or business that did the most in 2009 for the Keizer Business Community. The nominee must be a Keizer Chamber member and have assisted in moving forward the organization’s objectives of: Developing the Current and Future Workforce; Promoting Keizer; Advocating for Business and Economic Fitness in Government Relations; Servicing Members; and Assuring Organizational Vitality.



Atkinson News


Make Your Mark – The Willamette MBA Worldwide Network

Google mapHow powerful is the Willamette MBA network?  Put your “pin” on the Willamette MBA Google map to help us find out.  Write a little something about yourself and what you’re doing – you can even include a photo!  Instructions on how to place your “pin” are available online (a Google login is required).

View the map and add your pin and information:

Atkinson Community Celebrates Cultural Diversity at the Annual International Dinner

This year's festivities featured over 30 dishes from around the world, a kendo demonstration and musical performances by international students, including an unveiling of Atkinson's first international rock band! The International Dinner, which is sponsored by the International Graduate Students Association, was held in Montag Den on Friday, February 12th. Thank you to this year's IGSA leaders for a successful event: President: Luciana Yoshiyasu, Vice-President: Prakash Achuthan, Treasurer: Olga Slabari, Secretary: Evelyn Martinez, Social Chair: Oscar Ojeda, First Year Rep: Elizabeth Cheng, First Year Rep: Ahmed Chaikhoun and Faculty Advisor: Polly Rizova.

International Dinner


MBA Students Launch Successful New Ventures

Despite a rough economy, Full-time MBA students at Willamette continue to see success in the launching of their new business ideas through the New Ventures to Launch course, led by Professor Rob Wiltbank. Below are two examples:

Cyclisme Gallant: a new cycling clothing company run by threecurrent Willamette CGstudents. MBA Candidate Brendon Gallant, David Davidson, andStephen Moore have come together to form Cyclisme Gallant. CG clothing offers tasteful style and a way to show Bearcat pride on the bike without the garish look of "pro" race clothing. With only three employees, CG is a small student-run business. "We're bringing a fresh perspective to world of cycling clothing by making the clothes that we actually want to ride in," says Brendon. The only Willamette University gear previously available was the same race-cut sponsor-covered kit worn by the collegiate team at races. And while wearing the team-issue race kit is a great way to show support, Cyclisme Gallant clothing keeps the focus on Willamette with a CGclean style that looks great for any ride – not just for competition. CG offers clothing that blends the modern, Europe-inspired aesthetic of race-wear with the crimson and gold pride of your alma mater. As such, a CG kit will look great whether you wear it to race, to train or to lounge. Whatever your style of riding, CG would love to supply the clothing that you look forward to wearing! For more information, check out or email:

RomaniaTravel, started by Diana Ursachi, is an all-inclusive travel Romaniacompany focusing on Romania as a destination. "Check out this great opportunity for spending your Spring Break abroad! During your trip to Romania you'll get the chance to check out: antique sites as old as the Stonehenge, Dracula's Castle, Transylvania, old, traditional villages and other great UNESCO sites. Horse riding, wine tasting and delicious traditional, organic food are part of the feast! Last but not least, you'll get the chance to visit the biggest building on Earth after the Pentagon, the House of Parliament in Bucharest. All this for a great price!" For more details contact Diana Ursachi at

"That will be a blast! If I were smarter and younger I'd be all in!" - Rob Wiltbank




Upcoming Events


"Certificate in Career Management and Coaching: Applying Emotional Intelligence"

Presented by Willamette University Executive Development Center

February 26, 2010
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Willamette University Salem Campus, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Mudd Building, 900 State Street, Salem, OR

Through this dynamic and interactive session:

* You will develop an understanding of what motivates other people and becoming more attuned to respond to each individual's needs.

* We will explore and practice skills critical in building effective, sustainable, and rewarding professional relationships, building trust in the workplace, using influence effectively and fostering cooperation and collaboration.

* You will write a personal action plan that identifies and further develops your EI talents and addresses areas where changes will help you be more impactful.

Learn More and Register Online


First Thursday Empowerment in Action Series

"Can We Innovate Our Way Out of This Recession?: Black Swans Cast Long Shadows"
Mark Ahn, Associate Professor of Global Management"

Thursday, March 4, 2010
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Living Room Theaters - SW 10th and Stark

We live in an interdependent world in an era of rapid change and growth. Are we ready for the challenges ahead? This discussion will explore the hype, hope, and opportunities ahead in the context of innovation, performance and value creation.

"Career, Life and the MBA: Making it All Work"

Thursday, April 1, 2010
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Living Room Theaters - SW 10th and Stark

They are fathers and mothers, experienced executives, just starting out in their career, looking to move up in their organizations, taking over a business or seeking their next professional step. MBA students represent a diverse group with unique personal goals and motivations. How do they make it all work? Hear from a panel of MBA current students and alumni about the experience of earning a graduate degree at different career and life stages.

Learn More and Register Online


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 Speaker

Mar 17 - LeaAnn Doolittle, HR Director of NW Natural

Learn More and RSVP Online


Portland NSHMBA Membership Drive

NSHMBAYou are invited to be a part of an exciting initiative to launch the Portland Chapter of The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA). We are recruiting MBAs from Northern Oregon who are interested in working with NSHMBA to develop a chapter.

Opening comments will be provided by Ricardo J. Echevarria- Vice President, Intel Architecture Group, General Manager, Business Client Platform Division.

Thursday, March 18, 2010
5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Intel Jones Farm Campus, JFCC Building
2111 NE 25th Avenue
Hillsboro, OR 97124

Learn More and RSVP Online


Save the Date: Brownwater 2010

The tradition continues...

BrownwaterApril 29 - May 1

More details to come!





Feb 26 Certificate in Career Management and Coaching: Applying Emotional Intelligence
Mar 4 First Thursday Empowerment in Action
Mar 15 Recruiter & Admission Counselor Lisa Hylton's Birthday
Mar 16 Director of Development & Alumni Relations Wade Brooks' Birthday
Mar 17 Power Lunch Speaker: LeaAnn Doolitle
Mar 18 Portland NSHMBA Membership Drive
Mar 22-26 Spring Break (Offices Open)
Mar 29 Professor Lisbeth Claus' Birthday
Apr 1 First Thursday Empowerment in Action
Apr 2 Willamette MBA Preview Evening - Salem Campus
Apr 12 Professor Paul Dwyer's Birthday
Apr 13 Mentorship Reception
Apr 16 PACE Not-for-Profit Final Presentations (Ford Hall)
Apr 23 PACE New Venture Final Presentations (Ford Hall)
Apr 29-May 1 Brownwater
May 8 Professor Henry Bi's Birthday
May 13 EDC Program Coordinator Judy Hampe's Birthday
May 13 Honor's Ceremony
May 16 Commencement
[ alumni events calendar ]


Career Management


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


Shelby GouldBeth UrsinBeth traveled to India in January with the MBA Tour meeting with prospective students and alumni in Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad. India was a magical place with gorgeous architecture and handicrafts, yet the best part of India remains the people, who rank among the nicest people in the world. While in India, she visited with Digvijai Singh MM'92 in Delhi, Jay Desai MM'89, Varun Desai MBA'07, and Sneha Goswami MBA'07 in Mumbai, Gurpreet Pall MM'90 in Hyderabad, and was pleasantly surprised to find herself sitting next to alum Purnima Renjen MBA'00 on the plane home.

January Career Highlights

On January 14th and 15th, the Second Annual Seattle Trek included the Career Management team arranged for site visits with five companies in the Puget Sound area: Boeing, Microsoft, Sound Transit, T-Mobile and State Farm Insurance. Twenty five students attended accompanied by staff, Shelby Gould and Wade Brooks. The day started early with students arriving to the Renton Boeing facility by 9 AM for a tour of the 737 factory and presentations by Finance and Human Resources at Boeing accompanied by alum, Lynn Ristig JDA/MBA'85. At Microsoft, alumni Justin Barsotti MM'99, Sheila McLaren MBA'92 and Kevin Price MM'96 arranged small group sessions and a tour to talk about a variety of career path's at Microsoft.  Later that evening, students and Seattle area alumni gathered for informal networking. Friday started with a visit to Sound Transit, where alum Tracy Butler MBA'02 arranged for students to hear the transportation strategy for the future. Next, Willamette friend, Lisa Dean and alumni Nicole Underwood MBA'03 and Greg Underwood MBA'03 of T-Mobile arranged a round-table discussion on the culture of the organization and career paths. On the way back to Salem, the vans stopped at State Farm Insurance in Dupont, Washington where the HR staff introduced students to a variety of careers.

Mentor Workshop: Judy Clarke of HR Answers and Contributing HR faculty led a workshop on Performance Coaching and related it to the mentoring relationship. Judy's teaching style of sharing stories was powerful, helping even the most experienced mentors gain insights to apply. The workshop was attended by multiple mentor/mentee pairs as well as internship supervisors. Prior to the workshop the Career Management Team hosted a focus group for Internship Supervisors and invited them to stay for Judy's presentation.



Executive Development Center


Certificate in Business Lawyering – Now Registering Attorneys and In-House Counsel

Are you a law firm looking to attract and retain talented associates or develop future partners and practice leaders? Are you a general counsel who wants to provide relevant and immediate professional development opportunities for your staff? Are you a legal professional eager to expand your knowledge to better advise clients with business challenges that raise legal issues?

The Atkinson Graduate School of Management and the College of Law have developed a Certificate in Business Lawyering (CBL) that includes tools, resources and concepts to increase an attorney’s value and productivity.  The program is eight, day-long sessions taken together as a certificate or individually.

Become a better lawyer by thinking about business issues the way business decision-makers think about them. Prepare to be a partner or general counsel by building your expertise in the business side of your profession. View our website:


Certificate in Public Management – Now Accepting Applications for April

The next cohort of the popular Certificate in Public Management program (CPM) will begin in April 2010.  The program is aimed to managers at the Federal, state and local levels, and offers “essential” management courses uniquely designed for the public sector.

For more information, visit the CPM website or contact Susan Wilson, program director, at




Faculty News

Fred Thompson

Mike HandMarc ChoateFred Thompson, Mike Hand and Faculty Emeritus Marc Choate recently published a study that was featured in The Bond Buyer: The Daily Newspaper of Public Finance on October 20, 2009. The article, titled "Munis Don’t Proliferate When U.S.Taxes Go Up, Study Finds," was about a paper the three presented at the annual research conference of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management and is also forthcoming in the Municipal Finance Journal. The study reached a surprising conclusion — municipalities do not sell more bonds when federal tax rates go up.



Michael DothanMichael Dothan and Fred Thompson published "Optimal Budget Rules: Making Government Spending Sustainable Through Present-Value Balance" in the September, 2009 issue of Public Finance and Management (9/3: 512-560).


Lisbeth ClausLisbeth Claus is working with Mignon Mazique of MercyCorps' human resource on a study regarding performance management of their international assisgnees stationed in field offices around the world.

February 9-18, Professor Lisbeth Claus will be presenting her white paper on Employer Duty of Care for International Business Travelers and Assignees, published in 2009 by International SOS, at roundtables in Amsterdam, London, Johannesburg and Capetown.




Student News


Sutapa BattacharjeeSecond-year Full-time MBA student Sutapa Bhattacharjee has passed the GPHR (Global Professional in Human Resources Certification Exam on December 28th, 2009. The GPHR certification examination establishes credibility and recognizes professional achievement of a person responsible for global HR operations of an organization. The GPHR examination is administered by HR certification Institute, an affiliate of SHRM. It is believed that Sutapa is the first person from Bangladesh to have passed the GPHR certification!


Thamer MofarrijCurrent Full-time MBA student Thamer Mofarrij married on December 15th, 2009 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.




MBA Students Share Winter Break Travel Stories

World NewsInternational Willamette MBA students contributed a number of travel stories to this month's issue of Willamette World News, including trips home to Thailand and the Czech Republic, a road trip in the US, an adventure in Ecuador and more!

Read the latest edition online


"The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist."

Eric Hoffer

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, Ben Swartley, Annabelle Henry, Loren Harwood, Shelley Hanson, Mathew Hunnicutt, Takao Yamamoto, Chris Hawver, Brent Harmon, Jay Desai, A.J. Nash, Luciana Yoshiyasu, Olga Slabari, Brendon Gallant, Diana Ursachi, Nancy Garcia, Fred Thompson, Lisbeth Claus, Sutapa Bhattacharjee, and Thamer Moffarij.

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