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Willamette | MBA | Atkinson Graduate School of Management

February 2013
administrative news
Message from the Dean

Dear Willamette MBA Community,

Last month I joined a crowd of over 400 family and friends to celebrate the commencement of 61 graduates from our MBA for Professionals program.  Since the program launched in 2006, our

MBA-P alumni community has grown to over 350 from cohorts in Portland and Salem.  They represent over 300 business, government and not-for-profit organizations in our region.

We're very proud of graduates – and the increasing power of the Willamette MBA network.  With each year that passes, our global alumni community grows.  Thanks to your financial support and referrals of prospective students and job/internship opportunities, this positive momentum will continue.

I encourage you to visit our event website or “like” our page on Facebook to keep up-to-speed on all our current events and activities.  We have special programming in the works for alumni (including the next series of our popular “Alumni Book Club”).  With the busy spring recruitment season upon us, we also have a host of events scheduled for prospective students in Salem, Portland and around the world.  Thank you in advance for spreading the word.

Best Wishes,

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


alumni news
Family Additions
Patrick Pine, '74, MBA'76 and his wife Debbie are pleased to note the arrival of a second grandson, Max Kauffman, born in early October – Max and his older brother Michael are proud residents of Eugene and therefore avid fans of the Oregon Ducks and the Bearcats (even if they do not yet know it).

Chris Magana JD/MBA'04 shared a heartwarming story of his travels that reconnected him with fellow Atkinson alumni around the world: "My wife and I along with 5 friends just got back from 20 days in Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.  Our first stop was Bangkok Thailand.  Durit Tansiri MBA'03 and Tarn Chulphongsathorn MBA'03 showed us around Thailand. Upon arriving in Saigon we (along with Durit, we couldn't shake him!) reconnected with Tuan Le MBA'03 and Van Phan MBA'04 and spent time eating, drinking and reminiscing about our time together at AGSM."

"My friend Chris Blakney (non AGSM grad) described the trip best: 7 friends, 4 new ones (my AGSM classmates), 20 days, 3 countries, 8 hotels, 7 planes, 14 motorbikes, 10 boats, 3 trains 2 ATVs, 2 buses, 10 vans, 1 elephant and 18K miles covered. Amazing trip!”

"As we reflected on the long flight home we all acknowledged that my old friends and their new friends made the trip. I think my friends were surprised at the generosity and strength of the AGSM alumni network.  AGSM is filled with generous, smart and fun people that eventually scatter around the globe.  Just one more reason I'm glad I chose AGSM."

David Ming Liu, MBA'94 has been enjoying his third year teaching at George Fox University as an assistant professor of management after obtaining his doctor of business administration (DBA) from City University of Hong Kong in 2010. He is known as "Dr. DVD" on campus since he had a successful DVD distribution business from 2001 to 2011 in Hong Kong. David teaches strategy, global business, and international management to DBA, MBA and undergraduate students. He and his wife Sharrina with their four daughters Christina, Gloria, Rebecca, and Betty just enjoyed their first family reunion Thanksgiving in America together.
Barran Liebman LLP is pleased to welcome Kyle Abraham JD/MBA'05, CDR'05 as an Associate Attorney. Kyle's practice focuses on representing employers in labor and employment law matters. Prior to joining Barran Liebman, Kyle was an officer in the United States Air Force serving in the Judge Advocate General Corp (JAG) for six years. During that time, he served as a labor and pic
employment attorney, military defense counsel, and military prosecutor. Kyle continues to serve as a JAG in Oregon Air National Guard, with the rank of Major. Before accepting his commission, he was a Deputy District Attorney and Law Clerk in Marion County District Attorney's Office.
Scott Coe MBA'89 has been hired as the General Manager of Emerald PUD outside of Springfield Oregon. Scott's 24 year career at Bonneville Power Administration started his 2nd year at Atkinson and culminated with him managing the Account Executives for BPA's Public Utilities. Somewhat coincidentally, 3 of the group's 10 AE's are also Atkinson graduates. Scott has been a very engaged alum working as a mentor, interview coach, and as a PACE team client.

atkinson news
MBA for Professionals Program Celebrates Commencement

On Saturday, January 19, the Willamette MBA program celebrated the commencement of 61 students from the MBA for Professionals. Members of three cohorts (two from Portland and one from Salem) combined for the largest MBA for Professionals ceremony to-date.


The commencement speaker was Steven Bass, President and CEO of Oregon Public Broadcasting (pictured with President Steve Thorsett and Dean Debra Ringold).  Read Mr. Bass’ complete speech online.


Willamette MBA Program Featured in Emerging Local Government Leaders Blog

There are many successful Willamette MBA alums who work for local governments and municipalities around the world.  Current MBA students connected with the Emerging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) group in Oregon to explore opportunities for working and serving local public agencies.  The Willamette MBA program was profiled in the December 2012 ELGL blog.



Upcoming Events

Power Lunch Series: Nordstrom

Join us for lunch and a presentation by Angie Snyder, Director of Marketing Finance and Strategic Planning at Nordstrom.

February 27, 2013
11:45 am - 12:45 pm
Willamette University Campus
Salem, Oregon

RSVP by emailing Desiree Vorhees (dvorhees@willamette.edu)

Early Career and Career Change MBA Preview Day - March 2

The Early Career and Career Change MBA is once again hosting Preview Day on March 2nd, 2013 for prospective students and their families. Students are invited to 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.

Please encourage anyone you know interested in the program to check out this great event. If you are interested in serving as a volunteer at this event or other recruiting events, please email Aimee Akimoff (aakimoff@willamette.edu).

Learn more about Preview Day

International Dinner Sponsored by the International Graduate Student Association

TThe IGSA Dinner is a chance for AGSM to get together to celebrate the diversity of the students, faculty and network associated with the school. There will be a number of different events ranging from a fashion show to individual performances and presentations from students and alumni. There will also be a international potluck that will be catered by students and faculty of AGSM.

March 2, 2013
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Willamette University Campus
Salem, Oregon

Learn more about the event

MBA for Professionals GMAT/GRE Prep Sessions, Bio Writing Workshops and Social Events

The MBA for Professionals has a number of events this spring. Dean Debra Ringold will once again be hosting luncheons for current students, prospective students and alumni in Salem and Portland. GMAT/GRE Prep Sessions are being offered, as well as a Professional Bio Writing Workshop.

Check the Events Page for a listing of all upcoming events.

To RSVP, please contact Lisa Hylton (lhylton@willamette.edu).


Feb 14
Dean's Luncheon with Debra Ringold - Portland
Feb 16
GMAT Strategy Session - Salem
Feb 27
Power Lunch Series: Nordstrom
Mar 2
Early Career and Career Change MBA Preview Day
Mar 2
Brand You - a Professional Bio Writing Workshop - Portland
Mar 2
IGSM International Dinner
Mar 9
GRE Strategy Session - Portland
Mar 14
Dean's Luncheon with Debra Ringold - Salem
Mar 23
GRE Strategy Session - Portland
alumni events calendar
atkinson events calendar

career management
Update from Director of Career Management: Beth Ursin

Students have been busy this semester planning and attending career events through their student professional associations, searching for and applying for jobs and internships and going on company treks. We're proud of our students in their continued efforts to reach their career goals!

Here are a few more things students have been involved in this past semester:

Consulting, Tax Research, Technology: Thomson Reuters Company Information Session – AGSM Parent and VP of Software Technology in Indirect Tax, Gary Allen came to Willamette to encourage students to apply for jobs and internships with his Lake Oswego office of Thomson Reuters, but also talked about the entire Fortune 500 organization. 

Finance: Intel Company Information Session – Two Atkinson Alumni, Kevin McClaughry '89 MBA'91 and Terri Savage '01, MBA'06 came on campus to talk with students about opportunities in Intel Finance. Students applied for jobs and internships a week later and interviews happened on campus shortly after.

Healthcare: Salem Health Trek - The final event of the October Career Close-up was a site visit in the afternoon to Salem Health to meet with alumni Cort Garrison MBA'09, Chief Information Officer, Denise Hoover MBA04, Director, Employee Wellness, Benefits, & Compensation, Cassie Cook MBA'11, HRIS Analyst and current MBA-P student, James Parr, Director of Finance. Students learned about Salem Health's strategic initiatives and the importance of process improvement for the future of healthcare. Technology Power Lunch: Microsoft, Featuring Kevin Price MBA'96 - Group Manager - SMB Online & Digital Marketing was featured on campus as one of our Willamette MBA Executives on Campus. Prior to his presentation, Kevin was invited to a closed group discussion with a few student leaders to discuss Microsoft and its growth trajectory. His presentation detailed Kevin's journey leading up to his current position at Microsoft. Key takeaways from his talk were that students need to believe in themselves, never give up and pursue what they want to pursue. Being a political science major, Kevin did not have any formal technology training but he still managed to get a first job at Tektronix based on his attitude and drive to achieve the very best. He emphasized how important showing your passion for the company is in the interview. At Microsoft, creativity and team work are highly cherished and valued. The presentation concluded with Kevin mingling with students and answering their various questions related to Microsoft and Mircosoft's recruitment process.

October Career Close-up: Career Development – Resumes and Cover Letters: The Career Close-up kicked off early with a Business Writing Workshop presented by alum, Jessica Ordonez MBA'04, an expert in grammar. She did a two hour workshop to students interested in learning how to improve their writing skills. She will be doing a second workshop in November. The workshop identified critical elements that can make or break a resume. Jessica gave helpful tips and identified the various recommended improvements in the participating students' resumes and cover letters. The workshop also focused on best practices in business writing and business communication. The second event was a Business Etiquette presentation by Recruiter and HR Generalist, Nancy Marshall of Maps Credit Union. This was followed by a resume/cover letter review session where various employers convened together to review participating students' resumes and cover letters. The employers gave the students tips on which areas to focus upon, which areas to reconsider and which areas that they shouldn't mention in their resumes and cover letters. Participants included representatives from a variety of local organizations such as the Salem Chapter of SHRM, MaPS Credit Union, City of Salem, Target, State Farm Insurance, ODOT, two of our fabulous mentors – Gerry Griffin and Britt Woessner as well as alumni, Jessica Ordonez MBA'04, AJ Nash '05 MBA'06, and Franklin Felizardo MBA'09.

Student Association Sponsored Events included:

Accounting: Tualatin Valley Water District and Moss Adams – The Atkinson Accounting Association started a brown bag lunch series which featured a financial analyst from TVWD and a Senior Manager for internal audit and advisory services with Moss Adams as speakers this semester.

Human Resources: Employment Law Firm, Saalfeld Griggs – The Atkinson SHRM Association invited an employment law attorney who also serves on the Oregon State Council of SHRM to to speak about the basics of law as it relates to businesses, red flags that HR professionals should be aware of, when HR should turn to a lawyer and their best uses.

JD/MBA Panel - An annual event that serves to increase the number of students who participate in this amazing joint degree program featured alumni, Tim Bernasek '93, JD/MBA'98, attorney at Dunn Carney, Shelli Honeywell JD/MBA'93, CDR'93, Oregon DOJ and Zachary Dablow JD/MBA'07, solo practitioner.

Marketing: Craft Brew Alliance Trek – On October 19th, the student chapter of the American Marketing Association went to Craft Brew Alliance in Portland for a tour and employee panel. It was a successful trek with 20 attendees.

Project Management: Synergy Professional Services, LLC – The Atkinson Project Management Association coordinated a workshop hosted at Willamette, put on by the Project Management Institution of the Willamette Valley. The workshop was run by Jeff Oltmann, PMP, who taught both technical and soft skills of project management during the 7 hour session. The technical portion of the workshop included proper use of charters, analyzing stakeholders, rebalancing projects, and progress monitoring techniques. The skills taught were directly relevant to projects and case studies required of students in the PACE class. The soft skills included project leadership, building a high performance team, leveraging the diverse interaction styles of a team, and facilitating a retrospective to learn lessons from a project. These skills are also very applicable to all group work done in Atkinson's curriculum. The workshop provided lunch as well as morning and afternoon snacks. About 50 people were in attendance, including 17 Atkinson students, with representation from full-time Salem, professional Salem, and professional Portland.

Project Management: Kaiser Permanente Trek – The student Project Management Association together with mentor, Michael Steensma arranged for a site visit at Kaiser Permanente with about 20 students and some very high level executives. Students learned a lot about the strategy and culture of the organization as well as upcoming internships and hiring criteria.

Public Management: Bonneville Power Agency Company Information Session – Current students and employees at Bonneville – Casey Morgan, Miranda Gestrin and Doug Gilmore talked with students about the benefits of the internship program at BPA. They also discussed the changes in federal hiring and the new Pathways program.


executive development center
Management Consulting Program Launches on February 25

Willamette University's Executive Development Center will present a special certificate program for internal and external management consultants. The five day session is based on curriculum established through the Institute for Management Consultants (IMC) International. Topics presented are also a great way to prepare for the Certification in Management Consulting (CMC©) exam. The program will be held at the Willamette University Portland Center from February 25 - March 1.

Learn more about the program: http://willamette.edu/mba/executive/management_consulting/index.html


faculty news
Fred Thompson and Ken Smith, of University of Washington published "Budgets? We Don’t Need No Stinkin' Budgets: Ten Things We Think We Think We Know about Budgeting and Performance" in the Jahrbuch der Schweizerischen Verwaltungswissenschaften/Yearbook of Swiss Administrative Sciences. Volume 4 (2012), pages 39-52. Fred's articles "Betting on

the Future with a Cloudy Crystal Ball: Revenue Forecasting, Financial Theory, and Budgets" (with Bruce Gates) and "A Comment on Managing Successful Organizational Change in the Public Sector" (with Patrick Connor) were reprinted in Debating Public Administration: Management Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities, ASPA Classics in Public Administration and Public Policy, R.D. Durant and Jennifer R.S. Durant (eds.) CRC Press, 2012.


Wade Brooks was the closing speaker for the Seattle Angel Conference, a recurring Seattle Angel-driven event where the investors create an LLC, engage in due diligence of the applying startup companies, and ultimately pool funds to invest in one of the presenting finalists. The Seattle Angel Conference is the primary method Seattle Angel uses to find and fund new startups.


staff news
Matt Alex '08, MBA'12 joined the Atkinson team as the Full Time MBA Recruiter and Admission Counselor. Matt is an experienced recruiter, serving Willamette's undergraduate admission office prior to earning his MBA from Willamette in May 2012. During his time at Atkinson he served as President of the Atkinson Marketing Association and as a teaching assistant for the PACE program. pic
Since graduating Matt completed an internship at Sparkloft Media as a Social Media Analyst and returned to Willamette as an Admission Counselor for the College of Liberal Arts. He also serves on the Professional Development Committee of the Oregon Chapter of the American Marketing Association and Alumni Advisor for Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership of Oregon (a youth leadership organization he has volunteered with since 2002).

student news
Two current MBA students, Casey Morgan and Marta Tarantsey are finalists for the Presidential Management Fellowship. The Presidential Management Fellowship Program is a competitive flagship leadership development program for advanced degree candidates to develop a cadre of potential government leaders. Congratulations to these two as they move forward in the application process!
"You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you."
Maya Angelou

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, Patrick Pine, Gary Duell, David Ming, Anneka Nelson, Scott Coe, Fred Thompson, Wade Brooks and Beth Ursin.

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

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