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Willamette | MBA | Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Summer 2012
administrative news
Message from the Dean

Dear Willamette MBA Community,

It appears that the beautiful northwest summer is finally upon us, yet our attention focused on our new classes beginning this fall.

Referrals from alumni are one of the best sources of new students in our MBA programs. If you know someone interested in our evening MBA for Professionals, please feel free to connect them with Lisa Hylton. For the Early Career and Career Change MBA, please contact Aimee Akimoff

We are pleased to welcome three new staff members to the Willamette MBA community - Madhu Rao joins us as Senior Associate Dean, Alexander Subert joins us as the new Assistant Dean and Director of Admission for the MBA for Professionals program and Donna Banwarth Montoya joins us as the new Recruiter/Admission Counselor for the MBA for Professionals program. Please join me in welcoming Madhu, Alexander and Donna to the team – more information about them is included below. 

The September issue of ATKINSONews will include information on our three new faculty members joining us this fall. Until then, enjoy the summer and keep us up to date on all that’s going on in your life. Thank you in advance for your referrals.

Best Wishes,


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


alumni news
In Memoriam

Joseph Niederhauser JD/MBA'10
, an avid hiker and outdoorsman, went missing in the Denver area on Monday, July 2nd. He has since been found, and the family is deeply saddened to report that Joe has passed on. "Joe was a wonderful and gracious person and brought great joy to many people’s lives. We love him and will miss him greatly," writes his family.
Joe Niederhauser

A donation fund has been created in Joe's name. This fund is in lieu of flowers and will help his immediate family with funeral expenses. Please make donations payable to the Joseph Niederhauser Donation Fund and send to: Brighton Bank 7101 S. Highland Drive Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121 Electronic payments also can be made through your bank's Bill Pay, and cash donations are accepted at any Brighton Bank.
Family Additions
Caitlin Villavicencio MBA'09 and husband Fernando welcomed their first child on April 19th at 12:32am. A daughter named Xiomara Jolene 7 pounds 6 ounces and 20 inches long. Xiomara Jolene
Dr. Wade Larson MM'96 resigned from his position of 5 years as Executive Director of Human Resources for North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, ID to start in a new role with Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), a 3500-employee electrical engineering company with headquarters in Pullman, WA. Wade will serve as the newly created Dean of Administration for SEL University where he will oversee the rapid expansion of their corporate university and both internal and external course offerings.
Mark de Rohan Barondes MBA'11 recently became the Program/Enablement Manager at IBM in Dubuque, IA.
Eli Waite MBA'08 of Port Townsend has been elected as one of seven delegates from the 6th Congressional District to attend the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 3-6, 2012. The Port Townsend Leader published a story on May 23rd about Eli's election. Eli Waite
Fadi Bouri MBA'06, who serves as the Associate Director for Investment Banking at Emirates Investment Bank recently announced the successful sale of NPS Energy to Aker Solutions for US$ 460 million. Emirates Investment Bank acted as the sell-side adviser to the shareholders of NPS Energy, an oil & gas services company headquartered in Dubai, UAE and with presence across Middle East, North Africa and the Subcontinent.
Christopher J. Boman JD/MBA'98, a partner at Fisher & Phillips LLP in Irvine, Calif. office, has been listed in Southern California Rising Stars as a top attorney in the region for 2012. This is the sixth year for Boman, who focuses his practice on defending employment-related lawsuits, including multi-party complex and class action litigation and claims of harassment, Christopher Boman
retaliation and discrimination, wrongful termination, workplace violence and prevailing wage issues. Boman also provides compliance and liability prevention training and is a frequent speaker for trade groups, private employers and associations. No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in Southern California are selected for the designation.
Lindsay Burton JD/MBA'09 was recently promoted to the title of Senior Counsel at Litle & Co, LLC, which is north of Boston, MA. Litle is a leading provider of payment processing services to eCommerce and Direct Marketing merchants such as Overstock, Ancestry.com, GoDaddy and ShopNBC.
Matt Haugh MBA'03 has accepted a Services Marketing Management role at Intel, where he will be working to activate a developer ecosystem to deliver world class software solutions.

atkinson news
Welcome New Senior Associate Dean

Madhu Rao serves as Senior Associate Dean at Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management. His role includes managing the day-to-day operations of the school, developing curriculum plans with faculty members, and overseeing the accreditation process.

Madhu Rao

Rao received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of Toronto and served as a faculty member and administrator at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Ohio prior to coming to Willamette. At BGSU, he taught courses in Management Science and Business Statistics at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the Department of Applied Statistics and Operations Research.
Alum's Company is Making Waves in Seattle

SURF is an entrepreneur network founded in 2009 by Seaton Gras. It was originally conceived as a way to provide mentorship and meeting space for entrepreneurs starting businesses with a technical programming requirement.
For two years entrepreneurs congregated at various locations around Seattle to collaborate on development projects and explore their “big ideas.”

Neil Berquist

The community quickly grew to over 1000 members. In 2012, SURF teamed up with Neil Bergquist '09, MBA'10 and local entrepreneurs to secure a floor of class A office space in downtown Seattle. Since its inception SURF has evolved into a community of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, developers, designers, educators, and a breath of community supporters. SURF is a resource network for entrepreneurs eager to transform their ideas and startups into disruptive businesses.

SURF has made headlines recently in the Puget Sound Business Journal, Geek Wire and others. The successful SURF Launch Party drew more than 400 attendees on June 22nd and featured a Startup Demo Competition where five SURF residents competed for airfare and admission to DEMO Fall 2012 in Silicon Valley.

Neil provides a strong background for this entrepreneurial network. He started his first company when he was seventeen, managing vacation rental properties in Island County. He continued to run the business through college where he played football for a nationally ranked team while earning his MBA at Atkinson. He's been actively involved in business development consulting and was responsible for all Seattle-based due diligence for the Willamette University Angel Investment Fund. Prior to SURF, Neil negotiated and managed corporate real estate portfolios for commercial end-users at Washington Partners. Neil moonlights as a Board Trustee for the Friends of the Seattle Public Library and is Chair of a committee responsible for spinning off new business ventures in order to supplement government funding.

Neil has even maintained close ties to Willamette, having Wade Brooks, Executive Director of the Willamette University Angel Fund, interviewed as part of the Launch Party. Interview can be seen here.

Atkinson Honors Lifelong Oregonian, Philanthropist John Gray as Glenn L. Jackson Award Winner

During the 2012 May Commencement Ceremony, John Gray, retired executive and philanthropist, was awarded the prestigious Glenn L. Jackson Leadership Award for his many years of service Oregon.
Born in Ontario, Oregon, Mr. Gray grew up in a farming community north of Monroe and south of Corvallis.

John Gray

After his father’s death when John was only six years old, his mother supported her family of three boys by teaching in a one-room schoolhouse near Monroe for sixteen years.

Mr. Gray has worked for and led manufacturing and development companies in Oregon. He has served on the board of directors for some of the state’s largest organizations and was the developer behind several of the Northwest’s major projects, including Salishan Resort, Sunriver, John’s Landing and Skamania Lodge. Over the course of his career, Mr. Gray has involved himself in numerous civic and community organizations as a director, trustee or member.


Oregon Ethics in Business Award Winners Announced

Since 2004, the Willamette University MBA program has served as a founding member of the Oregon Ethics in Business (OEIB) program. The OEIB Awards honor those organizations and individuals who have demonstrated ethical business practice in its broadest interpretation: in the workplace, the marketplace, the environment, and the community. On June 13th, the winners of this year's OEIB awards were announced.

From 23 nominations and 9 finalists, the winners are...

Business Category (Tie):
The Collins Companies
Wildish Companies

Not-for-Profit Category:
NextStep Recycling

Individual Category:
George Rode

Learn more about the recipients here.



Upcoming Events

Willamette MBA Mid-Summer Gathering - "Hawaiian-Style"

Willamette University Salem Campus
Atkinson Mudd Building, Patio
315 Winter Street SE
Salem, OR 97301

Come ready to enjoy Hawaiian-style food and drinks, the Mill Stream summer-scape from AGSM's backyard patio, and networking with MBA connections and the Salem business community. This is a family-friendly event.

As a Willamette MBA, you know the difference the MBA made in your success. Thank you for encouraging others to explore an MBA and helping motivated candidates discover the MBA for Professionals and the Early Career and Career Change MBA.

Register Online

Discover Salem at the Young Professionals' Great Salem Race
Great Salem Race The Willamette MBA sponsored group, Salem Young Professionals, is holding their second annual Great Salem Race on August 25th. This fun, interactive, family-friendly event is a great summer tradition!

Teams of 2 individuals or more race to solve clues, overcome obstacles, find hidden Salem experiences, and complete challenges in this ultimate scavenger hunt. Join the 'Team Division' or the 'Family Division' and discover Salem’s history, unique organizations, and unique experiences in this fun filled race. Proceeds from family division will go to the Boys & Girls Club of Salem, and proceeds from the competitive division will go to the Salem Area Young Professionals.

Last year, a team of Willamette MBA staff members participated as a group of savvy "Bond-style" spies (pictured above)! Sign up for a team with your family, business or as a group of friends!

Register Online

Jul 13
Salem Mid-Summer Gathering
Jul 17
Portland Alumni/Career Management Gathering
Aug 10
Living and Learning in Salem Optional Orientation (EC/CC)
Aug 14-17
Compass Week (EC/CC)
Aug 25
Salem Young Professionals' Great Salem Race
Sep 21
Willamette Alumni Weekend
alumni events calendar
atkinson events calendar

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

The class of 2012 is actively seeking permanent positions in the areas of marketing, finance, operations and human resources and we appreciate your continued help in identifying MBA opportunities.  

If your company might be in need of a full time hire or an intern, please let us know by calling us at 503.370.6167 or emailing Beth at eursin@willamette.edu. We find that most students continue to get jobs through people we know.

Graduates have been securing some fantastic jobs this year including positions with the following firms: Ernst and young, PWC, Avanade, Nike, Intel, Energy Trust of Oregon, Tektronix, Bonneville Power, Daimler, City of Bellevue, WA, City of Long Beach, US Fish and Wildlife and many more.  At graduation, interim statistics indicated that 54% had accepted offers of employment.

Many students this year have banded together into a job search group, we affectionately call WIP, or Willamette in Pursuit. Every student who has actively participated in the job search group has had at least two or more interviews or informational interviews. The students hold themselves and one another accountable to the weekly goals they set.


executive development center
Give Us Your Opinion – Willamette MBA Alumni Book Club

This fall the Executive Development Center, with a generous gift from Willamette University Trustee George Hoyt, is proud to launch the Willamette MBA Book Club.  Designed as virtual sessions led by notable management authors, the Club is offered exclusively to Willamette MBA alumni. 

We will hold three sessions available to 50 alumni per session at no cost to the participants.  The session includes a copy of the business book mailed, a card with the key learning take-aways and special tabbed sections to identify about an hour of reading for those that choose not to read the entire book.  We will then have a one hour facilitated call-in with the author in a question and answer format.

Please take a moment to complete a short survey telling us what books you are interested in discussing.  More details on registering for the club will be sent later in July.

Start the survey - http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JZY62TP

Career Management and Coaching Dates Announced for 2012-13

The Career Management and Coaching Certificate is designed for professionals ready to explore opportunities and challenges critical to achieving career and organizational success. Participants will energize and reinvent themselves through a process of reflection and personal development.

2012-13 Dates:

September 14, 2012 - Effective Critical Conversations
October 5, 2012 - Discovering Your Career "True North"
October 26, 2012 - Maximizing Mentoring and Coaching Relationships
November 16, 2012 - Navigating Organizational Culture
December 7, 2012 - Effective Executive Presentations
January 18, 2013 - Performance Coaching
February 1, 2013 - Creating a Career Action Plan
March 1, 2013 - Coaching Forum

For more information, visit the website.
Discounts available for Willamette alumni.


faculty news
Professor Elliot Maltz has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to lecture in the Philippines for 3 weeks.



staff news
Welcome New MBA for Professionals' Staff

Alex Subert joined the MBA for Professionals program as Assistant Dean and Director of Admission. His specializations in the field of college admission focus on recruitment methodology and strategy, and enrollment management through statistical modeling.

He is the co-creator of the Disadvantage and Achievement Indices—automated measures of consideration for disadvantaged students—and researcher in student choice theory and cognitive dissonance. Prior to joining Willamette, he held positions in undergraduate admission at the University of Oregon and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Alex earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the National Association of College Admission Counselors, as well as their regionally affiliated chapters in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain Region. In his free time, Alex enjoys traveling, attending concerts, and spending time with his partner, Brooke.


Donna Banwarth Montoya joins the MBA for Professionals team as the Recruiter/Admissions Counselor and is excited to assist perspective students in continuing their professional careers through attaining their master's level education.

Donna graduated from Willamette's full-time MBA program in 2010 and went on to pursue her career as a higher education administrator and career development professional. As part of her professional leadership, Donna is on the board of the Oregon Career Development Association (OCDA) and a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). Before embarking on her MBA and higher education careers, Donna graduated from Linfield College with a B.A. in Economics and Spanish and lived in Mexico where she worked in residential real estate, gave Business English courses, and was Academic Supervisor at a language institute. Donna is excited to bring her variety of experiences to her position and is pleased to return to her alma mater to represent Willamette's MBA program and the outstanding education and community for which the University is known.
At this year's annual Willamette University ACE Awards, honoring classified and administrative staff, several Atkinson staff members were recognized for their commitment to the university. Karen Arthur, Mary Stout, Desiree Vorhees and Kathy Yoder were all recognized with "We ROC" awards (Recognition on Campus) by their peers. Several received Staff of the Year nominations, including Karen Arthur, Shelby Gould, Kathy Yoder and Russ Yost. Mary Stout was honored for her 15 years of service to Willamette University and Karen Piter was honored for 25 years of service to the university.


student news
Student Team Selected as Finalist in Government Finance Case Challenge

A submission by a team of Atkinson students has been selected as a finalist in the Association of Government Accountants' 2012 Graduate-Level Government Finance Case Challenge. The team, mostly recent graduates, Will Norris MBA'12, Katie Washington MBA'12 and James Hanseling MBA'12, (Faculty Advisor: Nicole Thibodeau) will proceed to the final phase of the competition, which is a presentation at AGA's 61st Annual PDC: Training to Solve Today's Fiscal Challenges in San Diego, CA on July 29 -July 31, 2012. Finalists get their expenses, memberships in AGA, and complimentary registration at the conference.

Learn more about the Case Challenge here.

Update on Student Internships

Atkinson student, Virginia Alvino is reporting and producing for Oregon Public Broadcasting as part of a competitive internship this summer. She recently published her first story on Oregon's new WWII Memorial.


"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is."
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 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, Caitlin Villavicencio, Wade Larsen, Mark Barondes, Eli Waite, Fadi Bouri, Christopher Boman, Lindsay Burton, Matt Haugh, Beth Ursin, Shelby Gould, Elliot Maltz, and Nicole Thibodeau.

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)