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Willamette | MBA | Atkinson Graduate School of Management

February 2012
administrative news
Message from the Dean

Dear Willamette MBA Community,

Welcome to the first edition of ATKINSONews for 2012.  Spring semester is already in full swing and there are a number of exciting announcements to share with you:

  • In January we celebrated Commencement for another group of graduates in the MBA for Professionals program. The graduates were joined by Robin Doussard, Editor-in-Chief of Oregon Business Magazine, who served as commencement speaker and our Beta Gamma Sigma honoree.
  • At the end of the year, Poets & Quants, an MBA discussion blog, named the Willamette MBA among its best 100 programs worldwide.
  • Application deadlines for the fall 2012 classes in the Early Career/Career Change MBA are coming up on March 1 and May 1. The MBA for Professionals is recruiting September 2012 cohorts in both Portland and Salem. We welcome your referrals and encourage you to contact the admissions office with any questions.
  • We have a number of events scheduled this spring including two Early Career/Career Change preview events, MBA for Professionals Dean's Lunches and an Executive Reception with President Thorsett in Salem.  Visit our events page for more information.
May 2012 bring you good health, happiness and success. Please keep us up-to-date on all the news in your personal and professional lives and join us at any of our events throughout the year.
Best Wishes,
Debra J. Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise

alumni news
Family Additions
Thamer Mofarrij MBA'10 and his wife were proud to welcome their son, Ghassan, into the world in October. He is pictured here at three months.
Jaya Khanna MBA'04 and her husband, Amitkumar, announced the birth of their son, Atharv Amitkumar, born December 28th, 2011. Jaya and baby (pictured) are doing well and keeping busy.


Brock Storfa MBA'04 and Kelly Duncan MBA'04 tied the knot on September 17th, 2011 in Bend, Ore. The couple met and fell in love during their time at Atkinson.

Colin S. Ray JD/MBA'00 recently accepted a position as Head-of-Legal for Sanabil Investments, a Saudi sovereign fund.  Colin and his wife (Emi) and children (Marina - 7; Tom - 5) are enjoying settling into their new hometown of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  If you expect to be in Riyadh or elsewhere in the region, please drop a line at:  c.ray@sanabil.sa.
Judy Hutchison MBA'08 joined First Republic in Portland in December as Managing Director and Business Banker. Judy, who has 17 years of financial services experience, will provide a full range of business banking services, which include lending services, deposit services, cash management, foreign exchange, online banking, and business escrow. Read the press release here.

Gina Reynolds MM'98 has taken a new job as Market Analysis Manager at Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, TN.
Jorge Ordonez MBA'05 recently returned from Guatemala, where he made a presentation on utility regulation in the seminar "International Experience in Buying Power and Energy and Relevant Issues in Electricity Markets," organized by the Guatemalan Energy Regulatory Commission. The invitation was made through the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC ). Jorge works as a Senior Financial Economist for the Oregon Public Utility Commission.
Don Krahmer '81, JD/MBA'87 was named One of 50 Most Influential Portlanders by Portland Monthly magazine in the January 2012 issue. This list identifies 50 Portlanders who "possess the spark and will to craft Portland's future." Don, a shareholder in the Portland office of Northwest regional law firm Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, was recognized for his "nurturing of the next generation of leaders." Read the article here.

atkinson news
Willamette MBA Students Competing in Million Dollar Global Case Challenge
The Hult Global Case Challenge (GCC) has selected a team of MBA students from Willamette to participate in the regional round of its third annual competition.

The Willamette University team (pictured right): Bradford McKeown (Marshfield, Oregon), Christal Lee (Temple City, California), Joe Garrison (Grand Rapids, MI), Katie Skaar (St. Paul, MN), and Casey Morgan (Carson City, Nevada) will travel to San Francisco in late February.

The team is assigned to the "energy track" and will be working on business solutions for the not-for-profit organization SolarAid.  One team from each track (a total of 3) will be selected from the regional round in San Francisco to compete in New York with schools around the world at the Hult GCC finals in April.

The Hult GCC is the world's largest and most internationally acclaimed case competition featuring thousands of students competing from over 100 countries. An award of $1 million in seed capital is made available annually to provide funding to pilot the very best ideas presented by student teams. Hult GCC's mission is to develop innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing social challenges and encourage breakthrough ideas from college and university students around the world.

Learn more about the Hult Global Case Challenge.
"Like" the Willamette MBA Program on Facebook - and Travel the World with Blitz the Bearcat
Biltz, Willamette University's mascot, visited the Atkinson School to learn about our MBA programs.  Follow "Business Dressed" Blitz travel the world on Facebook with our staff and alumni.  Print out a copy of Blitz dressed in business attire and upload your own photo with the famous bearcat.

Visit facebook.com/WillametteMBA to see where Blitz will end up next.  While you're there, "like" our page and catch the latest news, share information and network.  You can also follow us on Twitter (@WillametteMBA).

Atkinson Traditions Continue
Career Advisor Shelby Gould, Current Student Regina Safina and Dean Debra Ringold share a long-time Atkinson tradition this last November 2011: Pumpkin Pie Day. For this mid-November tradition, Dean Debra Ringold cuts pumpkin pie for the students, faculty and staff to enjoy.



Upcoming Events

Early Career and Career Change MBA Preview Days
Prospective students are invited to visit the Salem, Oregon campus, connect with current students, experience a sample class, meet Willamette MBA alumni and have questions answered about life in the Willamette Early Career and Career Change MBA program.

Save the date for this year's events:
Preview Day - February 18, 2012, 10:00am-3:00pm:  http://www.willamette.edu/mba/previewday2012/
Preview Evening - April 21, 2012, 3:00pm-8:00pm:  http://www.willamette.edu/mba/previewevening2012/index.html
Executive Reception with President Thorsett
Celebrate the success of the Willamette University MBA for Professionals with a reception featuring special guest, Willamette University President Stephen E. Thorsett.  Network, connect and mingle with MBA program alumni, faculty, staff and executives from around the Mid-Willamette Valley.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Willamette University Campus
Cat Cavern Dining Rooms, Putnam University Center


RSVP Online

Dean's Lunch Series - Upcoming Portland Events

Connect with Debra Ringold, Dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette MBA alumni, current and prospective students, and staff at a Willamette MBA for Professionals 'Real Connections' Luncheon.

View the Willamette MBA events page for upcoming dates and times in Portland and Salem:



Feb 13
Learn the Basics of Chinese Language Workshop
Feb 15
Dean's Lunches Series
Feb 17
Career Close-up: Portland Trek
Feb 17
Alumni Inspired Conversations - Guerilla Finance for Business
Feb 18Early Career/Career Change MBA Preview Day
Feb 22
Dean's Lunches Series
Feb 24
Atkinson International Dinner
Feb 25
Early Career/Career Change MBA Virtual Information Session
Feb 29
Power Lunch Speaker, Salem
Mar 7
Dean's Lunches Series
Mar 13
Executive Reception with President Thorsett
Mar 13
Dean's Lunches Series
Mar 21
Power Lunch Speaker, Salem
Apr 4
Dean's Lunches Series
Apr 10
Dean's Lunches Series
Apr 21
Early Career/Career Change MBA Preview Evening
alumni events calendar
atkinson events calendar

career management
Update from the Career Management Team: Beth Ursin & Shelby Gould
Seattle Trek: In January, the Career Management Team arranged for 32 students to visit key employers in the Seattle area.  

The visits included Alaska Airlines, a new relationship that just posted internships with us; Amazon.com where our alumni helped organize the visit; Theo Chocolates a sustainable business where we heard from the CEO and an alum who's an investor and toured/tasted at the factory; Bank of America, a new relationship where students had a round-table discussion with the President for the State of Washington; and Microsoft, where our alumni hosted their fourth annual event for students. Alumni involved in the Seattle Trek included: Sheila McLaren MBA'92, Kevin Price MM'96, Justin Barsotti MBA'99, Nicole Underwood MBA'03, Yameen Ali MBA'11, Nabeel Ashour MBA'11, Adrian Malatesta JD/MBA'00, Mike Armstrong '05 MBA'07, Sarah Laveroni '98, Miles Ward '01, Mike Foster '99, Julie Ming Foster '96, David Lutz '95, and John Morris '76. We are so grateful for our fabulous alumni who year after year go out of their way to welcome our students to Seattle. 

Willamette MBA Students on Seattle Trek

Not-for-Profit Scholarship Program
: At AGSM, we've always had a strong interest in not-for-profit management and have had wonderful partnerships with Salem and Portland area not-for-profits through the PACE program and other experiential electives where students have been able to add value in teams. However, when these same students explore job opportunities after graduation, they find that they lack the first-hand experience working for not-for-profits and with that, the opportunity to prove their worth as an individual. Three years ago, we started the not-for-profit scholarship program with a single donor whose organization funded one scholarship for a single student to do an internship with a local not-for-profit with great success. The student gained fabulous experience while covering their bills over the summer. The not-for-profit was able to secure a highly trained and motivated individual to complete a project. Last summer, the program received over 20 applications from not-for-profits and secured 7 scholarships to help students with their cost of living over the summer, several of which are highlighted below:

  • Caitlin Dilley interned at the Marine Corps Family Foundation assisting them in strategy development and building connections with supporting organizations.
  • Andrea Tang interned at CASA of Marion County to revise or create a series of foundational documents to assist in guiding the organization.
  • Vivek Balasubramanian completed a technical and business focus internship for the Willamette Humane Society. In the words of Executive Director, Joan Towers, "Vivek exemplified our work, strengthening the bond between pets and people." (Pictured below, first photo)
  • Eric Shin worked as a development analyst intern for the GEM Children's Foundation in Salem, Ore.
  • Laura Whorton worked as a Native Programs Intern for The Ecotrust Native Program. In Laura's words: "My long-time career goal has always been to work to protect the environment, and this internship gave me the opportunity to build upon my goals." (Pictured two bottom right photos with Don Sampson, Native Programs Director) 

We hope to continue to grow this program and would like you or your organization to consider a donation of $7500 to a not-for-profit of your choice earmarked for a Willamette Intern.  If you're interested in more information either as a donor or as a recipient organization, please contact Beth Ursin at eursin@willamette.edu

executive development center
Sustainable Enterprise Certificate Program Begins This Month February 2012

Willamette University's Sustainable Enterprise Certificate (SEC) program takes a unique approach to understanding the interconnectedness of social, economic and environmental well-being.  The program helps you create a plan, engage stakeholders and add new value through becoming a leading sustainable enterprise.

SESSION 1:  February 15-17, 2012 - Biomimicry System Dynamics

SESSION 2:  March 14-16, 2012 - Natural and Social Systems

SESSION 3:  April 11-13, 2012 - Moving Into Action.

WEBINARS:  February 24, March 7, March 30

Register online for the entire SEC certificate program or for individual sessions at http://www.willamette.edu/mba/sustainability or call 503.370.6791.

Alumni Inspired Conversation - "Guerilla Finance for Business" - February 17

Join expert trainer and Executive Development Center regular, John Hynes, as he makes clear what leaders need to understand about their organization's financial model to succeed in today's business environment.

Presented Exclusively Online, February 17 at 10:30am-12:00pm PST

Please RSVP to edc@willamette.edu.

For a webcast of our previous conversations, please visit:  http://www.willamette.edu/mba/executive/alumni_conversations/library.html

faculty news
Professor Rob Wiltbank was quoted in the article "Off and Running" in the Portland Business Journal on January 6th, 2012 about one of the Willamette Angel Fund investments: AthletePath (www.athletepath.com). The article discusses how Athletepath - chosen this fall as one of the latest entrants into the Wieden+Kennedy-led Portland Incubator Experiment - announced that it had closed a $300,000 seed round led by the Willamette MBA Angel Fund. Read the full article here.

Fred Thompson to Serve as Assessor for London School of Economics
Fred Thompson, Grace and Elmer Goudy Professor of Public Management and Policy Analysis, has been invited to serve a five-year term as an External Departmental Assessor for the Department of Management at the London School of Economic and Political Science (LSE). LSE's Department of Management houses personnel from managerial economics, strategy, marketing, and public administration, as well as organizational science. This is part of LSE's quality assurance program. According to LSE:  "Departmental Assessors are individuals of high seniority and eminence within the particular discipline, with an overview of the subject," who advise LSE's Personnel and Budget Committee.


student news
Atkinson Real Estate Association Established

The Atkinson Real Estate Association was recently approved by the Atkinson Student Association. The Atkinson Real Estate Association, otherwise known as AREA, was started by first year MBA candidate Greg Machado. The advisor for the newly created student organization is Professor of Management Practice, Larry Ettner.

The purpose of AREA is to serve as a nexus to students, faculty, staff, alumni and the public to further facilitate the development of and support for a real estate savvy community at Willamette University. AREA will make available resources to further the knowledge, spirit and passion of real estate; support for educational, social, networking, teaching and researching events where real estate skills can be applied; and foster, inspire and support the creation of new real estate opportunities.

AREA looks to strengthen the reputation and esteem of the Atkinson Graduate School among prospective students and employers by providing students a platform for developing real estate competencies, enhancing institutional expertise in the industry and creating employment opportunities for students.

If you would like to be a part of the new organization, provide assistance and resources and/or find out more information, please contact Greg Machado at gmachado@willamette.edu or Larry Ettner at lettner@willamette.edu.

MBA Student Serves Beyond Borders

Second-year MBA Candidate Justin Hanseth presented at Engineers Without Borders in Seattle on agricultural issues in developing countries. He also signed on to some consulting opportunities to help them, as well as a couple other NGOs get food security projects going in their host countries.

Justin also helped start Books for Kigutu, which is working to raise money to purchase books for children in Africa. "This is a very young and productive organizations for people to donate to, if they so chose," says Justin. "Even small donations like $20 make a difference with this one."

Justin is also in the midst of initiating a water system for a rural village in Northern Ethiopia, outside Gondar, although he is in the early stages of this project. 

Lastly, Justin started an organic vegetable garden on Fairmont Hill, in Salem last year, which he plans to rehabilitate in a month or two.

Student Photo Submission

This beautiful snapshot was taken by MBA Candidate Souvik Mandal while on a hike at Forest Park with fellow students during the first week of January 2012.

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."
John Quincy Adams

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 aakimoff@willamette.edu 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, Thamer Mofarrij, Jaya Khanna, Brock Storfa, Fred Thompson, Gina Reynolds, Jorge Ordonez, Scott Weimer, Katie Skaar, Shelby Gould, Beth Ursin, Wade Brooks, Greg Machado, Justin Hanseth and Souvik Mandal.

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 aakimoff@willamette.edu. 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

Willamette UniversityWillamette MBA (Atkinson School)