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

October 2010

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

Dean Debra RingoldDear Willamette MBA Community,

As our campuses buzz with fall semester activity, we are actively recruiting the next group of MBA students in both Salem and Portland.  This September, I traveled to the East Coast to meet many of our global partners and had the opportunity to speak to prospective MBA students about what makes the Willamette MBA a valuable career choice.

One of our primary differentiators is our mission to prepare managers for the business, government and not-for-profit sectors.  Over the past year, the Willamette MBA program was reaccredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).  The Willamette Full-Time MBA is the only MBA in the world to hold this dual accreditation.

Though the reaccreditation process is rigorous, our faculty and staff worked hard to prepare the necessary reports and information for our review teams.  Thank you to everyone who made the process a success.

At the NASPAA Annual Meeting this past week, I was honored to be elected to the Executive Council, the organization’s primary governing body, for a three year term.  I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from around the country and represent Willamette University’s commitment to the public and not-for-profit sectors.

Best Wishes,


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




Alumni News


In Memoriam

Submitted by John Brandhorst MBA'01

It is with deep sadness that we write to inform you of the death of our friend, Mike Alberts MBA'01. Mike passed away at home in his favorite chair on September 6, 2010. He was 46.

The Alberts Family has made arrangements for Mike to return to Nebraska so he will be close to his mother and other members of his family. We are all shocked and saddened by the loss of such a good friend so young in his life.

You may be happy to hear that, in his final weeks, Mike spent time with his friends at a regular Atkinson poker game - one that Mike has participated in since his first year in graduate school. Mike was jovial, full of life and truly enjoyed the company of his friends. None of us will forget Mike's laugh, his kind spirit and his genuinely selfless nature. He was a good man and will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in Mike Alberts’ name to the Atkinson General Scholarship Fund.



"Thanks in large part to the tutelage of Professor Maltz and the recommendations of Dr. Hand and Dr. Dothan," writes Jameson Watts MBA'07, "I was accepted and have started the doctoral program in Marketing at the University of Arizona."

Mick Luce '70, MBA'76 will retire in October 2010 after twenty-six and a half years with PacifiCorp and its descendent, Iberdrola Renewables. Mick was the first student admitted to the Atkinson School.

Effective September 1, 2010, Roland Zapata MBA'08 accepted the position of Post Sales and Programs Product Manager for Xerox Worldwide. In this new role, Roland will be responsible for developing and implementing marketing campaigns for Xerox Color and Monochrome product lines.



Atkinson News


MBA for Professionals Graduates Sixth Cohort

Thirty-three students participated in the 6th MBA for Professionals Ceremony on Sunday, September 19th, 2010. The ceremony was held in Cone Chapel, with a reception following in Mary Stuart Rogers Music Hall. Gloria Sukraw, General Manager of Garmin AT, Inc. served as the Commencement speaker. As the daughter of a Klamath Falls potato farmer, Gloria Sukraw's career and learning approach has been non-traditional from the start. Gloria was appointed General Manager of Garmin AT, Inc. in January of 2008 after 9 years as Controller and Administration Manager. She began her business career in 1990 working at The Toro Company in the finance department while attending classes at night. Subsequent to Toro, she worked as an auditor for KPMG. After almost 4 years with KPMG, she moved to the regional office of Campfire for Boys and Girls in Portland, Oregon as Finance Director. She later served as Pacific Rim Liaison and North American Revenue Manager for Mentor Graphics before joining UPS Aviation Technologies, later known as Garmin AT.


Willamette MBA Dean, Debra Ringold, Elected to Executive Council of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration

NASPAA AccreditedDebra J. Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise, was elected to a three year term on the Executive Council of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).  The Executive Council is NASPAA’s primary governing board and Council Members are selected through an organization-wide election.

NASPAA accredits graduate degree programs committed to public service and research in the government and not-for-profit sectors.  All NASPAA-accredited programs adhere to strict standards in preparing graduates for successful and ethical careers in public and not-for-profit organizations.

Ringold teaches courses in public, private and not-for-profit marketing and has served in leadership and consulting roles with organization including the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Census Bureau.  She has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing since 1991.

NASPAA reaffirmed Willamette University’s accreditation this past spring.  Willamette University holds the only MBA program dually accredited by NASPAA (for public administration) and the AACSB International (for business administration).  Dual accreditation through NASPAA and the AACSB supports the mission of the Willamette MBA program to prepare managers for the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.




Upcoming Events

First Thursday

First Thursday Empowerment in Action Series

What are some of the most pressing issues facing today's managers and how do they deal with them? Join us every First Thursday in Portland as members of the Willamette University community lead discussions, share expertise and present research. Staff will be on hand to answer your questions about the MBA and Executive Development offerings at Willamette.

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

"Wall Street Reform, Consumer Protection and Future Investing"
Presented by Alex Russell MBA'06, Contributing Assistant Professor

In response to the financial crisis of 2007, the United States Government has now passed the most far reaching financial regulatory bill since the passage of the Glass-Steagall Act in the wake of the Great Depression. Given the vast array of financial activity that the bill is intended to cover, its impact is uncertain, and its potential effectiveness is unknown. Have we learned to regulate more intelligently since then, or is history destined to repeat itself? Come explore the impact of this legislation on banking, investing and on you as the consumer of financial services.

December 2, 2010
"Conversation and Convergence: The Future of Advertising"
Presented by Russell Yost MBA'05, Contributing Assistant Professor

Though the television show Mad Men keeps the image of the Madison Avenue advertising agency alive, is traditional marketing long gone? The discussion will focus on how marketing communications has adapted to a new world of consumers, where media now supports niche conversations among customers and clients.

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.

Oct 20 - Sarah Severn, Director of Stakeholder Mobilization: Sustainable Business and Innovation, Nike

Time: 11:45p.m. - 12:45p.m.
Location: Willamette University Campus Salem, Oregon, Alumni Lounge

Additional Upcoming Power Lunch Dates:

Dec 1st - Ron Silveira MAD'77, Vice President, NBC Universal

Learn More and RSVP Online



Oct 15 Career Close-up: Informational Interviews
Oct 18 Director, MBA for Professionals Tina Alexander's Birthday
Oct 20 MBA Power Lunch - Salem
Oct 22 Director of Career Management Beth Ursin's Birthday
Oct 26 EDC Director Anne Murray Allen's Birthday
Oct 27 Director of Marketing Russell Yost's Birthday
Oct 29 Career Management and Coaching Certificate
Oct 29 Professor Fred Thompson's Birthday
Nov 3 Recorder Karen Arthur's Birthday
Nov 4 First Thursday Empowerment in Action Series
Nov 5 Career Management and Coaching Certificate
Nov 5 Professor Rob Wiltbank's Birthday
Nov 23 Professor Nicole Thibodeau's Birthday
Nov 30 Professor Steve Maser's Birthday
Dec 2 First Thursday Empowerment in Action Series
Dec 10 Early Action 1 Application Deadline (Full-time MBA)
Dec 12 Office Manager Kim Baker's Birthday
Dec 25 Faculty Administrative Assistant Holly Carson's Birthday
Dec 27 Faculty Administrative Assistant Mary Stout's Birthday
Dec 24-Jan 3 Holiday Break - Offices Closed

alumni events calendar
atkinson events calendar




Career Management


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

Shelby GouldBeth UrsinSTATISTICS CLASS OF 2010: As expected, the job market is still challenging for the class of 2010. This year, realizing that jobs were scarce, more students accepted post-grad internships than in any previous year and only one student turned down an offer of employment. Therefore, employment at 90 days is up 9% from 2009 (73% compared to 64%), but still lower than our goal of 85%. Although the vast majority of students reporting salaries are within the same range as usual ($40,000 to $100,000), the average salary was lower ($55,106 compared to $59,808). That said, salaries of U.S. based jobs declined only slightly ($57, 679 compared to $59,808). We suspect that the economy had most to do with the decline and expect that when job growth begins as expected in the second quarter of 2011 salaries will increase again.   Internship statistics continue to look good with 98% of students seeking internships, receiving offers and accepting them. Six of these students in the class of 2011 have already received offers of employment from their internships and accepted them.

MENTORSHIP PROGRAM: The mentorship program kicked off this month with the largest group of mentor/student pairs yet. 70 students applied to the program where 51 students were matched with mentors. Early feedback is positive as students/mentors move towards completing their mentoring agreements by October 20th.

Shelby and I would like to send out a huge thank you to our student organization leaders and Presidents for putting on a successful Career Close-Up on Sept 17 at our Salem campus! We had over 22 companies represented from marketing, finance, human resources, consulting, accounting, global/international management, and more. The companies represented were Anvil Media, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Creative Company, QMP Group, RW & Associates, Radha Consulting, Coate Consulting & Communication, State of Oregon - Department of Administrative Services, NW Mortgage Group, Aequitas Capital Management, Xerox, Willamette Valley Bank, Oregon Dept of Transportation, Key Bank, Western Oregon University, Three Questions Consulting,  and Express Employment Professionals. There was a great networking session and a wealth of knowledge shared from business professionals to our current MBA students. We had alum participate such as Nathan Beil MBA'09 (Radha Consulting), Mikki Trowbridge '07, MBA'08 (Creative Company), Bob Anderson MBA'99 (Xerox), Ernesto Toskovic MBA'02 (Key Bank), Donna Banwarth MBA'10 (Western Oregon University), Ty Hanson MBA'10 (Natural Plant Products) and AJ Nash '05, MBA'06 (Willamette Valley Bank).

Next Career Close-up Event: October 15. Register at:



Executive Development Center


Coaching Series

Register Now - Career Management and Coaching Empowers Alums, Current Students and Local Executives

The Executive Development Center’s Career Management and Coaching Certificate included Willamette alumni, current students in the MBA for Professionals program and local executives during its first segment, held this past spring.  Each of the eight sessions encourage self reflection and professional analysis.  The result is a deeper understanding of career interests and a personal roadmap to success at work.

Sessions will be held in Portland this fall and in Salem next spring.  Those interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Executive Development Center at 503.370.6791.  Programs in Portland have already launched for Fall 2010.
Details and upcoming session dates available online:


Attorneys, Do You Speak Business? Certificate in Business Lawyering New Sessions in 2011

Learn to combine legal expertise with strategic business principles through Willamette University's Certificate in Business Lawyering (CBL) program (  The program’s highly interactive and applicable curriculum benefits attorneys from any organization and practice area.  Become a better lawyer by talking about concepts the way your clients or colleagues think about them.

Testimonials from participants and attorneys familiar with the program:

"While associates do feel the hourly pressure the reality is that they will be much better business advisors if they put their legal work in a larger context. Solutions in business are what matter and the more you know about the competing interests in the company you are advising the better you can come to the [best] alternatives."

"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."

Sessions are taught by faculty from Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School and College of Law.  The program is delivered at the Willamette University Portland Center in Portland's Pearl District.

A complete list of 2011 session dates and topics can be found on the CBL schedule website.  Oregon and Washington CLE credits are available.


Sustainability and management – Willamette presents the third annual Sustainable Enterprise Certificate Program

You probably recognize the recent buzz on sustainable processes and practices, corporate social responsibility, and “greening” within the larger global environment. Learn how your organization can channel that energy into coordinated action toward creating a more healthy and sustainable future.

The three session program is delivered on-site at the Willamette University Portland Center.  Sessions are supplemented with webinars on new topics in sustainability management. 

Each class will be conducted using a combination of methods:  These include presentations, small group exercises, guest practitioner/expert lectures and discussion, introduction to and practical application of tools and simulators, case studies, and time for individual work and reflection.

Program Dates: 
February 16-18, 2011 - System Dynamics
March 16-18, 2011 - Natural and Social Systems
April 13-15, 2011 - Moving Into Action

For more program information, visit


How much of your time do you spend in conversations?

If you add up your meetings, your one-on-one conversations, conversing on the phone and on email, you'll probably find that conversations take up 60% to 90% of your workday. We get our work done, solve problems and make things happen through conversations. We create and align strategy through effective conversation and we take coordinated action to implement that strategic direction based on our ability to listen, think, and talk together. Yet conversation is also the arena in which most of us run into the toughest challenges. We are expected to get the best thinking and produce quality results with little understanding of how to talk together effectively and call on our collective intelligence. 

Consider joining us at the Willamette University Portland Center for:


November 16, 17 & 18, 2010

International experts in the field of dialogue and engagement teach this lively and engaging workshop.  Come alone or better yet, bring a team who are interested in improving their ability to get the best out of working together.
Space is limited and the early bird special registration ends September 30th.

For more information see:

Or contact the Executive Development Center at:



Faculty News


Fred ThompsonFred Thompson will be one of three participants (with Stephen Osborne, Edinburgh Business School, and Koen Verhoest, Catholic University of Lueven) in the Journal of Management and Governance roundtable at the annual meeting of the Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale held this year at Bocconi University, October 20-23, in Milan, Italy. In September, Fred attended the annual meeting of NASPAA in Las Vegas as AGSM’s principal representative, where he presented the NASPAA/ASPA Distinguished Research Award, and presented papers at the annual research conference of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management in Omaha NB. He also served as an external reviewer for the Pew Center on the States’ report on revenue forecasting.

Steve MaserSteve Maser and Fred published "The Fox and the Henhouse: On the Wisdom of GAO Audits of the Federal Reserve" in the Berkeley Electronic Press Journal's "The Economists' Voice" (

Mark AhnMark J. Ahn presented the keynote address at the Oregon Bioscience Association meeting in Portland on August 26. Prof. Ahn also co-authored (with Ackerley, D., Davenport, S., & Bednarek, R.) ‘Fodosine at IRL (Industrial Research Limited): From Invention to Innovation’ in: Dunn, W., Hunter, I., Morris, K. (Eds) New Zealand Case Series: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in New Zealand, Melbourne, McGraw-Hill.




Staff News


We are happy to welcome Ellis Webster in his new role as MBA for Professionals Senior Program Assistant. Ellis is a graduate of Willamette University. During his tenure as a student at Willamette, Ellis worked in the AGSM Department supporting full-time MBA staff. Ellis was a 4-year starter on the Willamette University Men's Varsity Baseball Team and a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. Ellis recently served as Assistant Baseball Coach in the Lakeridge HS Baseball Program. Ellis is an avid sports fan. He current lives in Salem and plans to move to Portland shortly. Ellis' hours at the Portland Center are M-Th 9am to 6pm and Friday 8am-5pm.



Student News


Net Impact Chapter Comes to Willamette MBA

As we move into our fall term, we are seeing many new faces, ideas and organizations in our community.  Of these, one of the most exciting is the creation of the Willamette MBA Net Impact Chapter.  Net Impact is a global organization dedicated to making positive social impact using business.  Through service projects, educational experiences and networking, the Willamette chapter will become the platform for students who wish to immerse themselves in the non-profit and service sectors. 

In our kick-off event, Net Impact drew over 25 students together for information about what Net Impact does, how students can get involved and what the chapter’s plans for the year entail.  Currently, the MBA chapter has an administration staff of four individuals, all first years, with membership across both years of our program.  During its first weeks as an active chapter, Net Impact has already reached out to the existing Net Impact chapters in the area including the Portland Professional Chapter.  During a weekend trip, members of each chapter met and toured local wineries including the Carlton Wine Studio, acclaimed for green and energy efficient technology and also the Stoller Vineyard, one of Oregon’s premier sustainable operations.  During these exciting tours, members were able to learn about the application of sustainable operations in a “real life” context and were able to make valuable connections with the Portland members. 

As the MBA chapter moves forward, our focus turns to reaching out to the community.  On October 2, 2010 members made a trip to the Marion Polk Food Share.  Members had the unique opportunity to receive a tour of the facility, learn how this nonprofit organization works and were able to help out by volunteering for a few hours. In that time, the members moved over 4,000 lbs of produce for the food share in under 4 hours!

The Willamette MBA Net Impact chapter is based around a system of mass involvement; therefore we are always looking for insights from anyone within the Atkinson community.  If you have any project ideas, useful connections or just want to chat about what Net Impact is, please don’t hesitate to contact Ian Townson, Chapter President at

Gluten-Free PACE Project Finds Success

Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains.  Studies suggest that 1 out of 7 people experience gluten intolerance, but only 10% know it.  Adverse effects include digestive problems, fatigue, headaches, compromised immune system and over 200 other symptoms. 

Gluten is essential in baking, necessary for good taste and consistency as the primary binding agent.  The single hardest product to make without gluten and also the product most missed by gluten intolerant population is bread. Current student Jan Taborsky, plans to capitalize on this growing market opportunity and introduce his own gluten free bread, using a family recipe. 

The process is well planned as this is the second semester PACE project being carried through.  First stage is to sell at Salem Saturday Market for the month of October – create awareness, generate feedback and learn about customers.  "We are using the intimacy of Saturday market and turning our customers into a research panel – asking everything important, even the name they would prefer (that is why we do not have a name for our business yet)," writes Jan. "We plan to approach Salem health food stores (LifeSource, Roth’s, Trader Joe’s) during November.  Currently, we are mainly working on production capacity.  We will have to move to a larger facility, as we now bake out of a little pizza restaurant in Salem.  Our first selling weekend last Saturday was a success, we collected a lot of feedback, gave out a ton of samples and sold out in 2 hours."

"Thank you the Jebams PACE team, Rob Wiltbank, Elliott Maltz, Debra Ringold and Russ Yost for all the help and guidance!"

"Until the end of October, we will be at Salem Saturday Market – come see us and try our bread!"


"Try not to become a man of success but a man of value"

Albert Einstein

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, John Brandhorst, Jameson Watts, Mick Luce, Roland Zapata, Fred Thompson, Mark Ahn, Tina Alexander, Ian Townsend, and Jan Taborsky.

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 week before publication. 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