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

May 2010

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

Dean Debra RingoldDear Atkinson Community,

It's hard to believe we've already reached the end of the spring semester.  As our full-time MBA students are set to graduate, we appreciate all your help in connecting our career management team with job and internship opportunities. 

May also marks the beginning of the summer term for the MBA for Professionals program.  A group of students will finalize their integrative projects and present them in August.  We're currently reviewing applications for Portland and Salem cohorts beginning in September.  If you know someone who would benefit from earning an MBA in our evening format, please pass along our e-mail address ( and encourage them to contact us for a class visit.

It was a pleasure reconnecting with many of our alums during our Brownwater events in early May.  Thanks to all of you who joined us for the festivities.

Best Wishes,


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




Alumni News


In Memoriam


Keri Stone Courtain MM'91 passed away unexpectedly on April 16, 2010, from a brain aneurysm. She was 46. After earning her Master of Management from Atkinson, Keri worked as an intern at KATU Channel 2, then KINK-FM 102 as music director. In 2000 Keri founded her own company, Data Bridge Northwest, a FileMaker database software development consultant. Fiddlehead Software was formed in 2008 with the merger with friend Kate Lee's Field Element. Keri was extremely proud of her Fiddlehead family. Keri is survived by her husband, Roger Courtain of Portland and their young daughters, Hannah and Lucy. A memorial was held on Saturday, May 1, 2010, in the Montavilla United Methodist Church. Charitable contributions may be sent to the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation ( or the Dougy Center (



The YWCA Salem Finance Committee is recruiting volunteer members with financial expertise. The committee's responsibilities are to oversee the preparation of the annual budget, monitor financial operations monthly, review financial policies annually, and make recommendations to the Board of Directors as necessary. The committee meets approximately every second Thursday of the month at noon. The YWCA Salem is a non-profit dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. If interested, contact Rory Kaneshiro JD'02, MBA'04, Treasurer, at

Varun Desai MBA'07 opened a manufacturing facility in Vapi, Gujarat, India. Apollo Industries is a manufacturer of pressure sensitive adhesive tapes for a wide variety of assembly, bonding, mounting, and sealing and protection applications. Learn more about Apollo Industries here:

Richard MusslerRich Mussler MBA'89, author of three published works of fiction about the "Twisted Texan," a kid from East Texas who grows up to become an agent with the DEA (see, has authored a play now in production for performances first in Irving, Texas and then at the Lincoln Center for the The WeavingPerforming Arts in NYC. "The Weaving" tells the inspiring story of Corrie ten Boom and her family, who resisted the Nazi occupation of their homeland (Holland) during WWII. The story is told in a series of dramatic vignettes and dance. Tickets and performance information for the Irving production are available here.

Michael Mockler MBA'91 has achieved the milestone he has sought for many years. "I've gotten out from behind the pharmacy counter as a pharmacist and now teach all aspects of pharmacy (including business management) at the college level," says Michael.

Shannon Donivan Johns JD/MBA'01 started a job as a tax auditor with the Oregon Department of Revenue on April 1, 2010.

Patrick Pine '74 MBA'76 is serving as Interim CEO of the Robert F. Kennedy Medical Plan and Juan de la Cruz Pension Plan which are Taft-Hartley benefit plans serving members of the United Farmworkers Association (UFW). These plans work with multiple employers with contracts with the UFW. Patrick is still affiliated with HR Simplified, a third party administration firm based in Minnesota. Patrick may become the permanent CEO after serving in an interim capacity. His office is located in Keene, CA, adjacent to the National Chavez Center recognizing UFW founder Cesar Chavez - near Bakersfield.

Tim Tanis MBA'07 moved to St. Louis, Missouri at the beginning of May and took a position with Build-A-Bear Workshop one of Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For". In his new role he is the Manager of Compbearsation & HRIS.



Atkinson News


Atkinson alumnus named CFO for the City of Portland

Richard GowardRichard Goward MBA'83 was named CFO of the City of Portland on April 22. A former budget manager of Salem-Keizer Public Schools, Goward will now lead Portland's $3.5 billion budget and manage treasury operations. Goward taught accounting courses at the Atkinson School for nearly 20 years.

View the Portland Business Journal announcement of Goward's appointment here

Alumni Event – You're Doing What With Your Degree?

Richard GowardThe Willamette University Office of Alumni Relations presents its second "You're Doing What With Your Degree?" networking event on Thursday, May 20 from 5:30pm-8:30pm in Portland. Alumni from all programs are welcome to attend and network with each other and share stories about the career path they have chosen after their Willamette degree.

Pyramid Brewery (owned by a WU alum!)
2730 NW 31st Avenue
Portland, OR

For additional details and to RSVP online


AACSB International Accreditation Reaffirmed - 2010

AACSBJudy O'Neill, Associate Dean and Director of Admission, accepted the AACSB International Reaccreditation Award at the Annual Conference and Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA.




Willamette MBA-Sponsored ReVV Conference a Success

ReVVWillamette University MBA recently co-sponsored the successful Revisioning Value Conference- The Intersection of Purpose and Profit, in Portland, OR. This conference is expected to become an annual event and draws participants from the social entrepreneurship, impact investing, foundations, and sustainability ranks. Anne Murray Allen introduced this year's keynote speaker, Dan Pallotta, author of "Uncharitable-How Restraints on Non-profits Undermine Their Potential," ( ). Professors Rob Wiltbank and Mark Ahn and current MBA student Yameen Ali were also featured speakers. Professor Ahn invited his class in Social Entrepreneurship to attend and many took him up on the offer! (Pictured: Anne Murray Allen, Director of Willamette's Executive Development Center, Dan Pallotta, author and keynote, and Amy Pearl, Springboard Innovation).





Upcoming Events


2010 Commencement




70 students from the Full-time MBA program will be participating in the annual Commencement activities throughout this week and on Sunday, May 16th. Activities include the Honors Ceremony on Thursday, which acknowledges outstanding academic and professional achievements in the MBA program; Rehearsal and End-of-Year BBQ on Friday and Commencement on Sunday, with a Brunch immediately following. Tickets are required for most Commencement activities, however a live stream of the Hooding and Commencement ceremony will be available. The broadcast will be available here and will begin at at approximately 8:55 AM PST on Sunday, May 16th. View the entire Commencement schedule.


Career Management and Coaching Workshops

Presented by Willamette University Executive Development Center

Developing Others through Mentoring and Coaching

May 14, 2010
8:30am - 4:30pm
Willamette University Portland Center
1120 NW Couch Street, Suite 450
Portland, OR

Develop your awareness and skills as a capable coach and mentor to others. How can you transfer the skills you learn to relationships where you are a mentor? How do you effectively "mentor" someone?

Transitioning with Resilience

May 21, 2010
8:30am - 4:30pm
Willamette University, 900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301

Explore and understand the rate of change in workplaces, especially as it continues to accelerate. Are your ready for change? How do you handle change?

Creating a Career Action Plan

June 4, 2010
8:30am - 4:30pm
Willamette University, 900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301

Putting it all together... The objective of this session is to develop a career action plan that integrates all aspects of this Certificate program.

Concluding Session: Coaching Forum

June 11, 2010
8:30am - 4:30pm
Willamette University Portland Center
1120 NW Couch Street, Suite 450
Portland, OR

Get ready to learn from the experts and boost your mentoring and coaching relationships. The objective of this session is to practice coaching for participants who attended at least seven of the previous certificate sessions.

Learn More and Register Online


COMING SOON - Summer Lunch and Learn Series is Back!




"Four Different Perspectives: Generations in the Workplace" Presented by Judy Clark, Contributing Assistant Professor

Judy ClarkThursday, June 17, 2010 - PORTLAND
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Willamette University Portland Center
1120 NW Couch Street, Suite 450
Portland, OR 97209

Professor Clark's Faculty Profile

Different in so many ways, yet all collected in the same space – our workplace. While most recent studies have focused on how different the four generations are, there are also great similarities which when better understood, create the opportunity for highly productive and effective organizational results. This session will explore some of the differences, detail some of the commonalities, and provide some unique ideas about cross-generational relationships. All this, with a liberal does of humor. Join us for lunch, laughs and learning.

11:30am – Lunch, Networking
12:00pm – Presentation
1:00pm – Adjourn

"The Mortgage Crisis" Presented by Alex Russell, Contributing Assistant Professor

Alex RussellTuesday, July 13, 2010 - SALEM
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Willamette University Salem Campus, Ford Hall Board Room
900 State St.
Salem, OR 97301

Professor Russell's Faculty Profile

Explore the impact that the U.S. government's unprecedented involvement in the mortgage market has had on mitigating the current crisis, and what impact it may have as support programs are wound down.

11:30am – Lunch, Networking
12:00pm – Presentation
1:00pm – Adjourn

Learn More and Register Online



May 13 EDC Program Coordinator Judy Hampe's Birthday
May 13 Honor's Ceremony
May 14 Career Management and Coaching Workshop (Portland)
May 16 Commencement
May 21 Career Management and Coaching Workshop (Salem)
Jun 4 Career Management and Coaching Workshop (Salem)
Jun 11 Career Management and Coaching Workshop (Portland)
Jun 16 Associate Dean and Director of Admission Judy O'Neill's Birthday
Jun 16 EDC Certificate in Business Lawyering (Portland)
Jun 17 Summer Lunch and Learn Series (Portland)
Jun 20 Admission Counselor/Recruiter Desiree Vorhees' Birthday
Jun 27 Professor Michael Dothan's Birthday
Jun 30 Associate Dean Jim Myer's Birthday
Jul 2 Professor Wei Wu's Birthday
Jul 13 Career Systems Coordinator Pam Nyburg's Birthday
Jul 13 Summer Lunch and Learn Series (Salem)
Jul 23 Mid-Summer Gathering BBQ
Jul 29 Senior Program Assistant Tori Gustaveson's Birthday
alumni events calendar


Career Management


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


Shelby GouldBeth UrsinInterim Employment Statistics: Job and internship acceptances are up slightly from 2009, which are consistent with the GMAC Recruiter Survey findings in December 2009, which stated that "a slight increase is expected in the proportion of companies hiring new MBA's in 2010, from 65% to 69%." As of April 30, 2010, 56% of first year Willamette MBA students have accepted internships, which is up from 38% in 2009 and higher than any previous year. Job acceptances are also up compared to 2009 (27% compared to 18% in 2009). Despite the increases, hiring is still down from the peak in 2007 when we had 37% job acceptances by April 30th. A strong effort has been made in 2009-2010 to get more companies involved on and off-campus with our students in an effort to increase employment. This involved visiting 116 companies (up from 72 in 2008-2009) and encouraging them to participate on campus. Overall, we've had 169 volunteers on campus from speakers to mock interviewers representing a total of 101 companies.

April Career Events: April kicked off with our first annual Career Close-Up event, which is a personalized career fair. Over 50 students and 20 employers met in small groups to discuss opportunities. In addition, each student had a one-on-one appointment to review their resume and/or do a mock interview or informational interview with recruiters. Overall, it was a great event with peak attendance and good feedback from employers and students. April ended with a bang as alumni, current students, faculty and staff all gathered for our annual three day Brownwater event. Back were all the usual popular events such as Casino night, Rock Back competition, Choate's Run, BBQ, golf tournament and, of course, the Mill Stream Regatta. As usual, ASA did a fantastic job organizing and hosting the three day event. Check out photos from the regatta on the Willamette MBA Facebook Group.

Other Career Management related events included a Leadership Retreat for student organization leaders and Peer Career Advisors, a trek to Oregon Public Broadcasting, the student Consulting Association put on a Case Interviewing Workshop featuring Britt Woessner of DHS, AGSM Finance Association put on a finance panel with Scott Koch of Beall Corporation, Michael Swerzbin of Cascade Energy, Chris Malory with Cascade Energy and Ernesto Toskovic MBA'02 of KeyBank, and the student NAWMBA chapter hosted a Leadership Conference debrief session. April marked the end of our annual mentorship program which culminated in an evening wine and appetizer event where students and mentors discussed what they learned this year. Students were also delighted to attend the Internship Speed Networking event with OEN, a NSHMBA event at Microsoft, a PMI event at Salem Hospital and a student information session at BPA.


Executive Development Center


Participants Praise Quality of Certificate in Business Lawyering Program

Willamette University's Certificate in Business Lawyering (CBL) program launched in April 2010.  Attendee's praise the program's highly interactive and applicable curriculum taught by industry practitioners and academic experts.

"I have attended a few similar courses in the past, and this course was far superior. I learned a great deal from this course."

"Best explanation of numbers that I have ever had. Interesting and engaging format."

"Straight forward, informative and interesting."

"I thought the program was extremely useful and left me with a great deal of knowledge that will be helpful not only in my practice area, but life in general. Well taught."

Ready to join them?  If you are looking to earn CLEs while learning valuable tools and resources to improve productivity, register for upcoming sessions:

Comparing and Contrasting Legal with Business Strategy
May 19, 2010 
Oregon: (CLE 7: 6.0 PS, 1.0 General)
Washington: (CLE 6.5)

Integrating Organizational Dynamics with Legal Issues
June 16, 2010
Oregon: (CLE 6.5: 1.0 Ethics, 2.75 PS, 2.75 General)
Washington: (CLE 6.5)

View complete schedule online:

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.

Contact to discuss upcoming sessions and program benefits.

View the CBL website:



Faculty News



Fred ThompsonFred Thompson's guest article "Keep the GAO Away from the Fed" appeared in the May 11 issue of The Oregonian newspaper. Thompson presents his argument against a recent proposal in the U.S. Congress that would allow the General Accountability Office to audit the Federal Reserve. Read the article online.


Larry EttnerCongratulations to Larry Ettner, recipient of the Jerry E. Hudson Award for Excellence in Teaching, which was announced on April 19th at the Willamette University Annual Faculty Awards Ceremony. This award celebrates distinguished teaching and leadership by a faculty member.

Russ Yost

Lisbeth ClausLisbeth Claus and Russell Yost's paper entitled, 'A Global View of the University's Duty of Care Obligations,' has been accepted for publication in the URMIA Journal (2010).

Lisbeth Claus, current MBA student Aida Patrasc and Mignon Mazique's paper was accepted at the 11th International Human Resource Management Conference in Birmingham, U.K. (June 1010). The paper is entitled, 'The Relative Importance of Individual, Organizational and Societal Factors in Predicting Expatriate Job Performance: A Working Paper on an Empirical Study in Progress with International Assignees at Mercy Corps.'

Libeth Claus was also a speaker and panel member at the 2010 ACTE Global Education Conference in Chicago, May 16-18. She discussed employer duty of care responsibilities in light of the thousands of employees that were stranded as a result of the volcanic ash cloud which disrupted international business travel on a global basis.




Student News


Integrated Marketing Students Serve Non-Profits, Earn Awards from the Atkinson Marketing Association (AMA)

Student TeamsStudent teams in the Integrated Marketing Communications course research, develop, write and present integrated marketing plans for non-profit clients.  During the final presentations, judging panels composed of local marketing leaders and client representatives critique the teams and determine which teams they would "hire" to carry out their marketing efforts.  This year the teams received an added incentive – a plaque and cash prize from the student-led Atkinson Marketing Association (AMA).  Michael Bowers, Nancy Garcia, Ty Hanson, Joe Neiderhauser, Minh Nguyen, and Amber Revoir presented the winning campaign for Donate Life Northwest (team pictured in bottom photo).  Erin Bone, Annelise Hagmann, Will Patton, Brendon Rowe, Ann Sinclair, and Aaron Warren presented the winning campaign for the Portland Police Bureau's Sunshine Division (team pictured in top photo).

AGSM team in Aspen Institute's 2010 Business & Society International MBA Case Competition

AspenAn outstanding AGSM team of current MBA students Yameen Ali, David Lee, Angela Wilhelm and Luciana Yoshiyasu successfully competed in the Aspen Institute's 2010 Business & Society International MBA Case Competition against 25 leading international MBAs programs. Mark Ahn, faculty advisor for the team noted: ""Please help me in extending a hearty congratulations to Angela, David, Luciana & Yameen for an outstanding job and teamwork in the Aspen case competition! They each of brought something distinct, valuable and innovative to the case--and brought great credit and deserved recognition to AGSM community!"



"Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life."

Sandra Carey

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, Alan Reynoldson, Rory Kaneshiro, Varun Desai, Rich Mussler, Michael Mockler, Shannon Donivans John, Patrick Pine, Tim Tanis, Anne Murray Allen, Fred Thompson, Lisbeth Claus, and Mark Ahn.

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