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

February 2011

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

Dean Debra RingoldDear Willamette MBA Community,

Welcome to the first edition of ATKINSONews for 2011.  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 eighteen graduates were joined by Julie Manning, Corvallis Mayor and a Vice President at Samaritan Health, who served as commencement speaker and our Beta Gamma Sigma honoree.
  • We welcomed 22 outstanding students into the MBA for Professionals program's Portland cohort in January 2011.
  • The Portland Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” list includes seven Willamette University alums (including several MBA and MBA/JD alumni).  We are excited to celebrate with them at the awards program on February 18.
  • Kathleen Yoder has joined the Atkinson staff as the Assistant to the Deans in Salem.  Please feel free to contact Kathleen to schedule appointments with me or any of the Associate Deans.
  • Application deadlines for the fall 2011 classes in the Early Career MBA and MBA for Career Change are coming up on March 1 and May 1.  The MBA for Professionals is recruiting September 2011 cohorts in both Portland and Salem.  We welcome your referrals and encourage you to contact the admissions office with any questions (


May 2011 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,

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




Alumni News


In Memorium

James Arthur Connolly JD/MAD'78 died of cancer on December 22, 2010, in his Olympia home. Jim was born on June 19, 1952, to James E. and Patricia Connolly in Oceanside, CA. Jim was a devoted husband and father. He was a man of enthusiasms, including salmon fishing and shrimping on Hood Canal at the family summer cabin, St. Michael Catholic Church, the Mariners, Gonzaga basketball, Lewis and Clark, volleyball, poker, return trips to Italy, and telling long jokes. He served on the founding board of John Paul II Catholic High School, which opened this year, and the Olympia Heritage Commission (the Connolly family includes six generations in Olympia and Shelton, back to 1868). In 1976, Jim married Catherine Smith in Ephrata, WA. They have two children, Brianne Connolly and Caitlin Randles (Shaune). Jim and Cathy moved to Olympia, WA, in 1978, where he started as a law clerk and eventually became a partner in the firm now known as Connolly, Tacon, and Meserve. In 2010, he received the Daniel Bigelow Award (attorney of the year) from the Thurston County Bar Association.For several years, Jim was very involved as his law firm raised money for cancer research through the Relay for Life. The family suggests donations to the James A. Connolly Memorial Fund, which supports John Paul II High School (P.O. Box 3248, Olympia, WA 98509).


Family Additions

MakaiMatthew Harris '08, MBA'08 and his wife Sheena welcomed a new baby boy, named Makai David Harris, born on December 30th, 2010.




HathawayDanielle Hathaway MBA'10 was recently engaged to Charles Henty. Charles proposed to her over the Christmas weekend in Seattle. The couple plans to wed on September 17, 2010. Danielle is a product marketing manager in Seattle and Charles is an attorney in Seattle.




Taryn C. (Fuchs) Burnett JD/MBA'01, CDR'01 has been made a partner at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP. Gowlings is one of Canada's largest law firms. Taryn practices almost exclusively in the area of product liability and professional liability and insurance defense, including a significant component involving medical malpractice cases. Taryn lives in Calgary, Alberta with her husband Dean Burnett MBA'00 and their two boys, Quentin (5) and Preston (4).

Tokyo AlumniAtkinson alumni in Japan gathered on December 9th to welcome Note Vongslai MBA'04, who is working in Japan for two years starting in October, and to celebrate Christmas and the end of 2010. The party was held at a Korean BBQ restaurant at Azabu-Juban in Tokyo. Alumni who attended were Ichiro Nakajima MBA'06 (pictured from left to right), Kin Ki (Professor, TIU), Etsuko Nakajima (Ichiro's wife), Note Vongslai MBA'04, Yumi Azuma (Hide's wife), Hideaki Azuma MBA'05, Hisashi Ozaki MBA'03 and Hideyuki Sato MBA'04.

Voralak "Nink" Kosakul MBA'93 recently took a new job at the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok. Her responsibilities are similar to her previous job at the Danish Embassy. Voralak is responsible for regional cooperation supported by the Swedish government, which means more traveling for her in the region.

Jane Jackson '93, MBA'95 is one five worldwide project managers, working to transform Intel's office space, one floor at a time. After a floor is selected for renovation, these project managers manage the customers (floor residents), coordinate design, and provide the interface to the General Construction Contractor. A recently article in the New York Times article featured some of the transformative work going on at Intel, not in chip design or manufacturing, but in the way people work. Read the full article here.

Due to a business name dispute, Gary Duell '74, MBA'77 changed the name of his Registered Investment Advisory firm from Silver Sage Advisers to Duell Wealth Preservation. Gary notes, "this better expresses my firm's mission, anyway."

Kristy Bolsinger MBA'09 left RealNetworks in December to join a small start-up consultantcy called Ant's Eye View. Kristy is joining Ant's Eye View as a consultant where she and the rest of the team will focus on strategic customer experience consulting with large scale clients.

Janice WatsonJanice Watson JD/MBA'06 was offered a postgraduate research fellowship at King’s College School of Law University of Aberdeen, Scotland beginning January 2011. She has been invited to study for a PhD, Philosophy in Law. Although she enjoyed general practice in Southern Oregon and was honored by appointment to protem Municipal Judge by Judge William Haberlach (JD ‘68) and Medford City Council, her husband’s work relocated them to Utah. Watson will be in Aberdeen for three years, so hopes family and friends will cross the pond for a visit. She appreciated the academic recommendations from Rebecca Hillyer JD ’85, Director Legal Resources Chemeketa and Justice Peterson, Emeritus WUCL. Watson’s thesis will examine Eminent Domain or "Takings" for the "Public Good." Watson proposed to research the philosophical, legal and ecclesiastical concepts of liberty and laws as they pertain to property and what influence the Scottish Enlightenment had on America’s original Constitution. Professor Mazur-Hart’s LRW assignment on Bituminous Coal notwithstanding, she is excited about the opportunity undertaken and about researching the original source of the term common sense government - as well as researching the finest golf courses, distilleries, and fishing in the world (outside of Oregon, of course).

After 15 years in the investments industry, John C. Raaf MBA'95 has launched his own company--Raaf Investment Advisors, LLC. "My wife Mitzi (Mari Margaret Piva Raaf MBA'95) is actively involved in managing the business, allowing me greater freedom to spend time with clients," writes John. Raaf Investment Advisors will provide a range of services including: investment management, financial planning, and retirement planning. Please contact John at 503-535-8026, or via email at The website will be live within the next month at

Ted Crawford JD/MBA'03 was recently elected as Mayor of Dundee, Oregon. Since moving to the city of some 3,000 people in 2004, Ted became increasingly involved with various civic activities. Those civic activities included a couple of years on the city’s Budget Committee and on the Planning Commission. In 2008 he decided to run for an elected position on the city council and won a seat. Then in 2010 he got a lot more ambitious and set his sights on unseating the incumbent Mayor. Campaigning included knocking on almost a thousand doors (except doors having gates and/or roaming dogs between the street and the door). Ted found the door-to-door efforts a little hard at first (e.g., people mad at high water rates and potholes) but as he moved around the city he gained some great insight into its citizens and had several interesting conversations. The Mayor of Dundee is a non-paid position. In fact, the vast majority of Mayors in Oregon are non-paid. Most Oregon Mayors do have full-time staff members to handle day-to-day operations. But the Mayor still has to sign ALL checks and is often asked to represent the City at various events and meeting with local/regional leaders. Currently Ted is attempting to find a balance between his paid job as a Patent Attorney and being an actively engaged Mayor. Finding that balance in his first month as Mayor has been a challenge. However, Ted believes he will find that balance and is excited to be Dundee’s newest Mayor.

Since November of 2009, Suzanne Kersh '78, MBA'86 and her husband Karol Kersch '73, JD'76 have been engaged in preparing for the improvement and republication of a book written by her uncle in the 1930's, Swish of the Kris, the Story of the Moros, which has become current and topical all over again. It is directly connected to the Islamic culture of suicide killers, is a cultural study of the Islamic Filipinos (the Moros), and is an indictment of past and present US military strategies and tactics as well as the failed strategies of the Spanish for the 300 years they occupied the Philippine Islands. Much more information about the book is available on their web site The book is now available for sale.


Atkinson News


Willamette MBA alumni among Portland’s Forty Under 40

Four Willamette MBA alumni are among the Portland-area young executives to be honored in February as part of the Portland Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 awards.

The winners are recognized for character and achievement in their careers, engagement in civic activities, volunteerism in the community and genuine passion for what they do.

The Willamette MBA alumni who will be honored are:

  • Kevin B. Dull JD/MBA'99, Kaiser Permanente Northwest
  • Christopher Magana JD/MBA'04, West Coast Trust
  • Charles Turner MBA'01, Prudential Northwest Properties
  • Russell Yost MBA'05, Willamette University Atkinson Graduate School of Management

The awards luncheon will be held on Friday, Feb. 18. Learn more on the Portland Business Journal's website.


2011 Oregon Ethics in Business Awards Banquet Set for June 15, 2011

The Oregon Ethics in Business (OEIB) program is a partnership between Rotary Club of Portland, Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University, and Portland Business Journal with the goal of celebrating organizations and individuals who demonstrate ethical behavior beyond the expected.

This event serves not only as a point of pride for Atkinson students and alumni but also for the entire state of Oregon. For-profit businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and individuals are nominated annually by community members across the state. These nominees are subject to underwriting and due diligence by our own Atkinson Graduate School of Management MBA candidates over a two-month period. The students’ finalized reports are delivered to a selection committee who make the final recipient selections.

Join us to celebrate the business ethics of today and build the foundation for strong business ethics in the future!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 7 p.m.
Governor Hotel at 614 SW 11th Avenue in downtown Portland
For more information, visit




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.

Susan WilsonFebruary 3, 2011 – 5:30-7:00pm
“Who is Managing Government?”
Presented by Susan Wilson MBA'77, Contributing Professor and Director, Certificate in Public Management Program

Professionals in all sectors face challenges updating managers' skills and building effective new managers. Professor Wilson will discuss strategies and methods utilized in the private sector and speak to the unique challenges of governmental organizations. She will also respond to the concept of increasing accountability in an attempt to facilitate competence from public employees.

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.

Feb 23rd - John Haynes, Executive Director of Mercy Corps Northwest

Learn More and RSVP Online


Finance Workshop Open to All Alumni – Two Upcoming Sessions

All Willamette alumni are invited to attend a series of finance workshops, presented at the Willamette University Portland Center and online. Academic pre- and post-work is required and seats are limited. Willamette MBA Candidates and Alumni will be seated on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Credit Crisis: Origins and Aftermath (Register for Online Session)
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Segment One: 9:00 am - 10:45 am
Segment Two: 11:15 am - 1:00 pm

Globalization and its Discontents (Register for Online Session)
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Segment One: 9:00 am - 10:45 am
Segment Two: 11:15 am - 1:00 pm

To register for an in-person session at the Willamette University Portland Center, visit:


early career MBA and mba for career change - preveiw day - february 26, 2011

Prospective Willamette MBA students in the Early Career MBA and MBA for Career Change programs will have the opportunity to experience Willamette first hand at the Atkinson School's two annual preview events. Each event includes faculty presentations, student stories, curriculum/program overviews and campus tours. Alumni are welcome to attend the receptions immediately following the events (3:00pm-4:00pm) to meet prospective MBA students (RSVP requested).

Preview Day - Saturday, February 26, 2011, 10:30am-4:00pm
Preview Evening - Saturday, April 9, 2011

Details online at



Feb 3 First Thursday Empowerment in Action - Portland
Feb 11 Mentorship Program Networking Session - Portalnd
Feb 11 Career Management Portland Trek
Feb 16 Professor of Management Practice Larry Ettner's Birthday
Feb 23 Power Lunch in Salem Featuring John Haines of Mercy Corps
Feb 26 Early Career/Career Change Preview Day - Salem
Mar 3 First Thursday Empowerment in Action - Portland
Mar 11 Career Close-Up Event in Salem
Mar 15 Recruiter/Admission Counselor Lisa Hylton's Birthday
Mar 16 Director of Development Wade Brooks' Birthday
Mar 21-25 Spring Vacation

alumni events calendar
atkinson events calendar




Career Management


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

Shelby GouldBeth UrsinThe MBA marketplace seems to be turning a corner as we move into 2011. Already over 10% of the class of 2011 have secured jobs and we had a record number of employers attend our NW MBA Career Day on January 28th. Although unemployment remains at 10.6% in Oregon, there seems to be some loosening up in the market for recent grads.

Power Lunch Speaker: John Haines, Mercy Coprs, planned for February 23.

CFA Panel December 3: The student finance association invited Ben Mahon from the Office of the State Treasurer to campus to talk about the CFA exam (Certified Financial Analyst).

The NW MBA Consortium Career Day was a tremendous success! More than twenty five of the top Northwest Organizations met with over 300 students from the AACSB accredited MBA programs in the region. Companies included: Acumed, Army Audit Agency, Banfield, the Pet Hospital, Central Intelligence Agency, City of Portland Bureau of Human Resources, Columbia Sportswear, ESI, Hitachi Consulting, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, Market Strategies International, Nike, Inc, North Star Resource Group, Northwestern Mutual, NSHMBA Portland, Oregon Air Guard Recruiting, PCC Structurals, Inc., Peace Corps, PECI, Point B, Portland General Electric, Regence, Secretary Of State Audits Division, Slalom Consulting, State Farm Insurance, Target, The Bonneville Power Administration, and Vestas.

Upcoming Events:
Portland Treks: February 11, February 25, April 8
Power Lunch: February 23 featuring John Haines, Executive Director of Mercy Corps Northwest
Career Close-up: March 11

RSVP to Beth at



Executive Development Center


Only a Few Seats Remain - Willamette's 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. Only a few seats remain for the certificate program. For more information or to register, visit

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


Business Lawyering Program - Special Pricing for 2011

Make this the year you combine your legal expertise with management knowledge while earning CLEs. Willamette University's Program in Business Lawyering is pleased to offer special pricing for registrants in 2011. Benefit from this special pricing structure by registering online for upcoming sessions. You make take sessions individually or together for a complete certificate.

Special 2011 Pricing: $475 for individual sessions, $3325 for a complete certificate

Past participants praise the program's unique integration of legal and business expertise through interactive, problem-solving learning. The program is delivered by outstanding teachers and practitioners from the industry and from Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management and College of Law.

Register now for any of our upcoming sessions held at the Willamette University Portland Center in Portland's Pearl District.

More information on sessions and online registration:
E-Mail Contact: Professor Steven Maser





Faculty News


Elliot Maltz, Debra Ringold and Fred Thompson recently had an article entitled "Assessing and Maximing Corporate Social Initiatives: A Strategic View of Corporate Social Responsibility" accepted for publication in the Journal of Public Affairs.


Professors Steven Maser and Fred Thompson collaborated on writing a paper, "Managing spirals of conflict in DOD source selections," that is one of the winners of the 2011 research paper competition sponsored by the Defense Acquisition University Alumni Association. The paper will be published in the April issue of the Defense Acquisition Review Journal. Professor Maser will attend the DAU Acquisition Symposium in Virginia in April to present the paper and receive the award. The paper is one of several resulting from research they conducted under a grant from the Acquisition Research Program at the Naval Postgraduate School to Willamette's Center for Governance and Public Policy Research (CGPPR). Professor Thompson serves as director of the CGPPR.




Staff News

White/HattonKathleen Yoder recently joined the Atkinson staff as the Assistant to the Deans. Ms. Yoder has extensive experience providing support to executives in the health care and insurance industries. Most recently she provided executive support to the Director of Surgical Services at Salem Hospital.

White/HattonBeth Ursin MBA'00, Director of Career Management, has been nominated to be the Regional Director, Pacific North for MPACE (Mountain Pacific Association of Colleges and Employers) starting July 2011 through June 2012.

White/HattonTina Alexander MBA'10, Director of the MBA for Professionals, successfully completed the Global Professional Human Resources (GPHR) Certification.


White/HattonLisa Hylton MBA'04, Recruiter and Admission Counselor for the MBA for Professionals, successfully completed the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) Certification.


White/HattonRussell Yost MBA'05, Director of Marketing and Contributing Assistant Professor, was named to the Portland Business Journal's "Forty Under 40" list for 2011.





Student News



Atkinson plans to send two teams to the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC) in Long Beach, California on April 15-17. ICBSC is a strategic Business Policy Game that allows advanced business students to integrate and apply the theories of their various business courses. Robert Wiltbank, Associate Professor of Strategic Management, will be advising both teams. The student participants are: Alina Vaynberg, Yameen Ali, Andrew Beldin, Ashlee Stoeger, Nikki Katsutani, Ahmed Chaikhoun, Will Norris, Sakina Vohra, Colin Schilling, and Sophie Wu. These students will have the opportunity to become strategic managers of simulated companies competing against other business students acting as managers of their own companies. The simulated environment incorporates the economies of two countries, and requires consideration of global and domestic strategy. Participants learn key lessons of how to run a business, including strategic planning, new product introductions, manufacturing scale economies, competitive pricing, market forecasting, and competitive intelligence.


Current MBA student Kyle Hardy and his wife recently had a baby girl, named Hazel June Hardy. She was 8lbs 8oz, 19.5 inches long, and born on January 15 at 4:27am at the Salem Hospital. Kyle also studied for and passed the exam to be a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) over the winter break.


White/HattonCurrent MBA students, Madeline White and Brett Hatton, both Class of 2011, were engaged over winter break. They have set a wedding date of September 3rd, 2011 in Bozeman, MT.



logoAs of the end of 2010, current MBA for Professionals student Chi Nguyen, departed Enterprise Holdings, Inc. from her position as Business Rental Sales Executive. She left a successful career of setting fleet growth and profit standards, developing employees, and exceeding customers' expectations. Leading up to her departure, she propelled the Rideshare division into the #1 position nationally (over the last two consecutive years), pioneered one of the company's firstcarsharing programs, and led the introduction of electric-vehicles to the region's fleet. Currently, she is co-founder and managing partner of AutoMedic, LLC. AutoMedic is committed to delivering convenient mobile auto repair/maintenance, diagnostics/inspections, and butler service. She looks forward to partnership opportunities with fellow students, alums, and faculty/staff. For more information on AutoMedic, LLC please visit or contacting


"The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen."

Frank Lloyd Wright

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.

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