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

March 2010

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

Dean Debra RingoldDear Atkinson Community,

As we move into the midst of the spring semester, we've received positive news about the future of the Mudd Building in Salem.

After careful review of recent engineering studies of the Mudd Building, the Willamette University Board of Trustees has determined that we will stay in the Mudd Building for the foreseeable future.  This summer repairs will be made to the building's shell (i.e., brick and under surface). Modest repairs will be made to the HVAC and plumbing systems as well.

We will continue to use the Atkinson Annex, which will be completed over the summer, for classes, offices and other events.  As we move forward, we will work together to develop a case for support for the purchase of a new or existing building that meets Atkinson's needs for the future.

Thank you for all your assistance as we move forward.  We have a number of events and activities taking place over the rest of the semester.  Read on for more information, alumni updates and program information.

Best Wishes,


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




Alumni News




Natalie (Prust) McClelland MM'98 married Colt McClelland on November 25, 2009 in Napa, CA. The couple each has two daughters and the six of them live together in Mission Hills, KS.

VenerriaVenerria Lucas Thomas MAD'80 married Dr. Benjamin D. Thomas, psychologist, and has since relocated to Orlando, FL. They were married August 23, 2009 at Venerria's church in the Seattle area. Venerria also started a new job--Director of Health and Human Services for St. Johns County, FL. "My new job will take me to St. Augustine, FL--America's oldest city--about 30 miles south of Jacksonville," writes Venerria, "and my husband and I will be relocating once again."



Kevin Dull JD/MBA'99 was recently promoted from Labor Relations Manager to Director of Employee and Labor Relations at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in Portland.

Andee Masonek MBA'03 was elected to serve as a Director on the Merchants Exchange of Portland's Board of Directors at the not-for-profit's annual meeting on February 24th. Founded in 1879, the Exhange is a unique member-based association, providing the Columbia, Willamette, and Snake River Region with marine intelligence, communications services, reports and publications, and association management for not-for-profit industry associations. Andee had been serving as a non-board member on the Exchange's Finance & Budget Committee for 2 years prior to her nomination to the Board and will serve a term of 3 years as a Director.

Jenny Lillge JD/MBA'09 passed the California bar exam and has been working for Legislative Intent Service, Inc. since the fall. Legislative Intent Service, located outside of Sacramento, California, provides historical documentation and analysis regarding federal and state laws and regulations. Jenny is enjoying working with her attorney-clients and participating in the marketing and management decisions of this small business.

Denise Callahan '95, MBA'00 was recently elected to the district board of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The district serves advancement professionals in Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Montana, Alaska and Western Canada. Denise's position on the board is co-chair of regional programming for the district. CASE is an international professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas.

Janice WatsonJanice K. England Watson JD/MBA'06 spent the summer semester of 2005 in Aberdeen Scotland and visited many of the local, regional, and specialized courts. Here she reflects on her experience: "I even heard argument in their Supreme Court," writes Janice. "I discovered the horsehair wigs, long robes, and 'striding the hall' to negotiate, among the most interesting customs of ancient traditions and modern practices of their justice system. The wig and robe pictured here were part of a presentation made by the Supreme Court clerk. He brought traditional vestiges and appointments of the Scottish bar and bench which, although antique, are still in use today. The wigs can cost as much as $10,000 and the robes are heavy wool. They are often passed down from generation to generation and both men and women wear them. It is court attire for all judges and attorneys at all times. Very proper. And useful too, it turns as it turns out. I wish I had brought a set home, as Judge William P. Haberlach JD '68 and the City of Medford appointed me a Municipal Judge pro-tem in December 2009. It has been almost as much fun as Professor Hand's Rocket Science Statistics classes and Professor Tornquist's Trial Practice course. But I have already learned that, at times, in a small town such as Medford, a disguise or garb might be helpful. Stop by for a visit on your next trip through the Rogue Valley. But do make that a full and complete stop, and mind the speed limits."

Charles Kirschbaum MM'98 is now holding the position of Business Systems and Support Manager for the Denver Consolidated Service Center in Denver, CO with Kaiser Permanente.

Nathan Isaacs MBA'09, currently business development manager for Optimization Technologies, is a founder of GridIron Technology, an early-stage start up offering a Smart Grid solution to midsize utilities. Please contact him at for more information.

David LiuDavid Ming Liu MM'94 successfully defended his doctoral thesis on March 5, 2010 in the City University of Hong Kong for the Doctor of Business Administration. Now officially "Dr." David Ming Liu, he writes, "I owe this degree and honor to our God and so many of you who have been supporting me over the years. Certainly a doctoral degree will open some new doors for me in life. As some of you might have known that I will move back to USA with my family soon this year to start a teaching position in a university. "



Atkinson News


Former Assistant Dean of Atkinson Passes Away

Robert JohnsonRobert R. Johnson of Salem, son of Wallace B. and Marie Mulholland Johnson, died on February 5 at age 92. He was born in Anthony, Kan. on February 22, 1917. His family moved to Kansas City, Mo. where he grew up. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1939 and later did graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh and Oregon State University. He served as a state government official in Oregon under four state governors in the 40s and 50s. Then for many years he had assignments for the U.S. Department of State economic aid programs in Greece, India, Iran, Bangladesh and Vietnam. His career also included different positions in the private sector, including serving as Assistant Dean at the Atkinson Graduate School of Administration, Willamette University, and a two year overseas assignment as Project Director for local development for Chemonics International in Cairo, Egypt. His career reflected his personal commitment to public service. He was a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Salem Rotary Club, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the Elks Club and the Old Coots Club and his Friday morning writing class. He was also active in volunteer activities. A memorial service was held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Salem on February 26th, 2009.

MBA for Professionals – Information Sessions in Portland and Salem This March

Do you know someone interested in the Willamette University evening MBA for Professionals program?  Encourage them to attend an information session where they will connect with current students, hear from alumni and learn about the benefits of Willamette's program for working professionals.  Sessions are available in both Portland and Salem.

PORTLAND – Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Willamette University Portland Center – Pearl District

SALEM - Monday, March 31, 2010
Willamette University Campus – Ford Hall Board Room

Learn more or RSVP online

Atkinson team to participate in the Aspen Institute's 2010 Business & Society International MBA Case Competition.

Aspen InstituteThe team—David Lee, Yameen Ali, Angela Wilhelm and Luciana Yoshiyasu—will be competing against 25 leading international MBAs programs for prizes up to $40,000. Mark Ahn, faculty advisor for team noted: "Talk about putting IKEWs to the test! It's exciting see this stellar team represent Willamette University. Their commitment to excellence provides leadership by example for us all." Find out more and cheer our team on at:

Don't Forget to Leave Your Mark – The Willamette MBA Worldwide Network

How 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:

Article hails work of Willamette alumnus, CEO of Deloitte Consulting

A recent article in Investor's Business Daily noted the leadership of Deloitte Consulting LLP chairman and CEO Punit Renjen MBA'86 in creating a unique mix of strategies for the company.

In the article, Renjen said Deloitte's goal is to "define this profession of consulting" by offering a mix of strategic management and technology consulting services.

Read more online.

Willamette University MBA Program Looks to Southern Oregon, Targets Local Organizations

In an interview with KOBI-TV in Medford, Debra J. Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise at Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management, announced a campaign to recruit students from the Southern Oregon region. Television commercials on KOBI-TV commenced during the Vancouver Olympics and will continue through the rest of the spring.

Ringold cites the region's growth as a driving factor behind the University's recent push. "Many of our alumni call Southern Oregon and Northern California home – and they hold positions in some of the area's top organizations," Ringold explained. "We're following their referrals and reaching out to individuals and organizations that would benefit from Willamette's unique approach to management education."

During Ringold's recent visit, she toured local organizations to strengthen the school's relationships with local employers. "We are excited to welcome students from the Southern Oregon region, provide an exceptional 2-year MBA experience and help connect them with jobs and opportunities upon their return."

Watch Ringold's interview online.

Atkinson Honored by NSHMBA Seattle Chapter

NSHMBA AwardAtkinson Graduate School of Management was honored by the National Society of Hispanic MBA's (NSHMBA) Seattle Chapter for outstanding partnership and support of the Seattle Chapter on December 5th, 2009. Beth Ursin, Director of Career Management, pictured left, and several students attended the ceremony to receive the award.





Upcoming Events


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

First Thursday Empowerment in Action Series

"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, Portland, OR

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


"Certificate in Career Management and Coaching: Maximizing Mentoring and Coaching Relationships"

Presented by Willamette University Executive Development Center

April 2, 2010
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Willamette University Portland Center
1120 NW Couch Street, Suite 450, Portland, OR

Through this dynamic and interactive session:

* You will become aware of opportunities for mentoring and coaching from people who exemplify behaviors you can learn from in contributing to your organization and improving your career.

* We will explore how to determine areas of mentorship and coaching you would most benefit from and different ways to accept and offer mentorship and coaching.

* You will identify and create a plan to cultivate and care for effective mentors from your peer group and higher management levels in your organization.

Learn More and Register Online


Brownwater 2010

The tradition continues...


April 29 - May 1

An Atkinson tradition for more than 30 years, Brownwater is a three-day event put on by the Atkinson Student Association that celebrates Spring, graduation and the end of the academic year. Continue the tradition by celebrating with fellow alumni, faculty, staff and students.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, April 29
80's Rockband Night

Friday, April 30
Choate's Run
Casino Night

Saturday, May 1
Community Service Project
BBQ & Float

Learn More and RSVP for Brownwater Events Online



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 Certificate in Career Management and Coaching
Apr 2 Career Close-up Event
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 UrsinFebruary kicked off with the annual Northwest Consortium MBA Career Day held at the World Trade Center in Portland.  There were about 300 MBA students in attendance, one-third were from Willamette.  Employers included the CIA, City of Portland, Columbia Sportswear, ESI, FBI, Hitachi Consulting, Intel Corporation, Knowledge Learning Corporation, Legacy Health System, Mass Mutual, Northwestern Mutual, PCC Structurals, Peace Corps, PECI, PGE, Point B Solutions Group, Regence, Rubicon International, Secretary of State Audits Division, State Career DayFarm Insurance Company, Target, US Department of State, Vestas and Waddell & Reed.  Panels of employers spoke about careers in various industries in one room while students talked one-on-one with recruiters in the other. More information can be found at Students prepared for the Career Fair earlier in the week during a prep session.

On campus in February, students attended a brown bag with the Peace Corps, a site visit to Bonneville Power Agency and a power lunch with Steve Bass of Oregon Public Broadcasting. The International Student Association hosted a wonderful international dinner with live entertainment from some of the most talented students. The student Human Resources Association hosted a recruiting panel with Monica Woolheiser of Nike, alum Shelli Honeywell of the Oregon Department of Energy and Michael Korn of The Standard.  Spring WIP teams (Willamette in Pursuit) were formed. These are small groups of students who meet weekly to collaborate and support each other in their search for jobs.

Next month, on April 2nd, consider joining us for our spring Career Close-up Event from 10am to 1pm. This is a cross between a career fair and speed networking. Students will meet with employers in small groups to learn about upcoming jobs and internships. Several tables will also be designated for resume review and mock interviews. There will be a networking reception at the end of the event for students to talk individually with recruiters and alumni. If you're interested in participating, please contact Shelby Gould at



Executive Development Center


Limited Time Remains to Register for the Certificate in Business Lawyering

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.  Attorneys in-house at organizations or from law firms are invited to register.

The first program begins April 7, 2010 at the Willamette University Portland Center

Become a better lawyer by thinking about business issues the way business decision-makers think about them. View the CBL website:


Applications Due ASAP - Certificate in Public Management Cohort 10 Starts in 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.  Please contact the EDC office if you or someone you know would like to apply for Cohort 10 – 503.370.6791 or

A complete program schedule is available online at



Faculty News


Fred Thompson

Henry Bi recently had the following paper accepted for publication: H.H. Bi. 2010. "A structured language for manipulating process models." Business Process Management Journal. Forthcoming.


Elliot MaltzResearch by Elliot Maltz was recently cited in an article titled, "Global Supply Chain News: How Much Do Country or Regional Perceptions Impact Global Sourcing Decisions?" in Supply Chain Digest on February 17, 2010. View the full article here.





Student News


Congratulations to the Newly Elected Board of the Atkinson Student Association

President: Alina Vaynberg
Vice President: Alex Swerzbin
Secretary: Bahktear Talukda
Treasurer: Nikki Katsuni
Social Chair: Cassandra Graves
PR Chair: Katie Bertel


Flanigan CreativeMBA for Professionals student Tori Gustaveson '06 and her husband Shawn Flanigan '06 just launched their design agency, Flanigan Creative! Offering custom animation, illustration and graphic design, Flanigan Creative is off to a great start. Flanigan Creative launched after producing the recent Willamette MBA television commercials and continues to build clients through logo, web design and corporate identity packages for clients in Oregon and Idaho. Check out their website at


"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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, Natalie McLelland, Venerria Thomas, Kevin Dull, Andee Masonek, Jenny Lillge, Denise Callahan, Janice England Wastson, Charles Kirschbaum, Nathan Isaacs, Judy O'Neill, Mark Ahn, Henry Bi, Elliot Maltz, Katie Bertel, and Tori Gustaveson.

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