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

March 2011

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

PhotoDear Atkinson Community,

Spring semester is in full swing and the Atkinson school is buzzing with exciting projects, events and activities. 

  • The MBA for Professionals program is now recruiting for September cohorts in Salem and Portland.  Please feel free to invite your colleagues to join us at any of our upcoming information sessions.
  • The Early Career MBA/MBA for Career Change continues to review applications for Fall 2011. Preview Evening will be held on April 9th for prospective students to visit the campus, meet faculty and students and learn more about the program.
  • The Graduate Management Admission Council published an article about Atkinson’s unique PACE program in their international newsletter.  Read it here.
  • The Willamette MBA Angel Fund continues to receive positive press about its innovative approach.  Professor Rob Wiltbank was quoted in this month's issue of Oregon Business magazine and in a recent edition of the Portland Business Journal.


This issue of ATKINSONews details many of these announcements. I hope you will join us to share in these successes.

Best Wishes,

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




Alumni News



Family Additions

Angela Wanak JD/MBA'09 and her husband, Jeremy, welcomed the arrival of new baby Lily Kalei on January 23rd in Salem, OR.


PhotoNathan Louis Love '05, MBA'06 and Karen Ann Alinauskas were married on Janaury 17th, 2011 in New York at the home of Nizza and John Heyman. Until earlier this month, she was a senior associate at the New York law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. She graduated with honors from McGill, and received a law degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. The bridegroom, 28, works in the New York office of Lionsgate Films. He works in the sales planning and analysis of the digital and home entertainment group. He graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Ore., from which he also received an M.B.A. The couple met during the Sundance Film Festival exactly two years before their wedding day. They connected when Mr. Love showed up at the wrong luncheon and sat next to Ms. Alinauskas. At the time, she was trying to get a small production company off the ground, in addition to her regular job as a lawyer in New York. Mr. Love was working for Lionsgate Films in Los Angeles, and had gone to the festival for fun and to hang out with some of his actor friends. After Sundance, they began to meet often, occasionally tying in their get-togethers with trips to industry functions like the Cannes Film Festival. They became engaged on Maui at a place in Makena sometimes referred to as Love Beach, in front of the house where his late grandfather Robert F. Love once lived. Announcements of the couple's nuptials were posted in The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter.




Heather Roberts MBA'06 was recently appointed to the board of directors for The Ujimacare Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that works to bring relief to all ethnic groups, particularly focusing on orphans and deserted children and families in remote parts of the world. She hopes to organize a few programs during her trip to Ghana at the end of February and will update the organization's website about her process at

VanDyck Silveira '95, MM'98 recently left Duke CE in London after 4 years and returned to Brazil to become President and CEO of Grupo Ibmec S.A. Grupo Ibmec is one of the largest private providers of university level education in Brazil with over and the owner of Ibmec Business School which is the leading business school in Brazil. Ibmec has over 2,000 employees and is planning an IPO in two years. One of the current investors is Capital Group. Grupo Ibmec is present in over 20 cities in Brazil and growing very fast.

Lea Anne Doolittle MBA'80, Senior Vice President of NW Natural was recognized as a finalist for the Portland Business Journal's HR Leadership Awards for 2011 in the large company category. The awards celebrate excellence and innovation in Human Resources. The winners will be announced at a luncheon on Thursday, March 31, 2011 at the Governor Hotel, Heritage Ballroom in Portland. View the announcement here.

Vanessa Sturgeon MBA'03, President of TMT Development, was recognized among 25 outstanding women in business with the Portland Business Journal's Orchid Award for 2011. The winners will be recognized at the Women of Influence Awards Luncheon on Thursday, April 7, 2011 at the Hilton Hotel, Grand Ballroom in Portland. View the announcement here.



Atkinson News


Angel Fund teaches Atkinson Students about Entrepreneurship

PhotoFor the past two years, the Atkinson Graduate School of Management has run an angel fund to provide start-up money for new businesses while allowing students to work alongside real-world investors. This unique program — the only one of its kind among the region's business graduate schools — gives students insight into entrepreneurship from both sides of the table. "Each of the 10 students sees about 60 or 70 presentations from entrepreneurs who are running a business and pitching it to investors," says Robert Wiltbank, associate professor of strategic management. "They get to observe how business owners work to raise money for their project. On the other side, they're also seeing how successful entrepreneurs — the angel investors — evaluate these opportunities." A video about the Angel Fund was recently featured on Willamette University's homepage. Learn more and watch the video here.


Management Students Dig Into Sustainability

PhotoThis spring management students at Atkinson had the opportunity to be scientists for a while. A new course was introduced called Science and Sustainability. The theory of the course is that students interested in the sustainability management track will need to better understand how the physical sciences view the topic in order to really understand the issues they will be facing.

The course is designed for people without an extensive science background. It emphasizes intensive exposure to the scientific method and scientific tools, complemented by hands-on projects and management case studies. It familiarizes students with the scientific method, examining traditional experimental science and hypothesis testing, and learning how to read and access the scientific literature. The bulk of the course is devoted to intensive study and exploration of three topic areas where science and sustainable business objectives intersect: water quality, alternative energy, and ecosystem function. Each topic will is taught as a three-week module in which students spend one week learning the basic science, one week learning and utilizing techniques for collecting, analyzing and interpreting scientific data, and the final week applying their scientific understanding to one or more management case studies.

As part of the first module students spent a Friday taking and analyzing soil samples to determine if an area of Zena Forest could be technically defined as a wetland.


Finalists Announced for Oregon Ethics in Business Awards

PhotoWillamette University's full-time MBA students evaluate nominees for the Oregon Ethics in Business Awards. From the pool of nominees, the reports submitted by the MBA students help select finalists for the awards. The winners will be announced prior to the Awards Banquet, held at the Governor Hotel in Portland. More information on the Oregon Ethics in Business Awards can be found through the Rotary Club of Portland's website. The program is a collaboration between the Willamette MBA program, the Rotary and the Portland Business Journal.

Finalists for the 2010-2011 Oregon Ethics in Business Awards

Individual Category

Dr. Donna Beegle
William "Bill" Harris

Business Category

Ashforth Pacific, Inc.
Dave's Killer Bread
Pacific Continental Bank
The Partners Group
Unitus Community Credit Union

Not-for-Profit Category

Children's Justice Alliance
DePaul Industries
Loaves and Fishes Centers
Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation

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

MBA for Professionals – Information Sessions in Portland and Salem This March

Do you know someone interested in the Willamette University evening MBA for Professionals program?  Encourage them to attend an information session where they will connect with current students, hear from alumni and learn about the benefits of Willamette’s program for working professionals.  Sessions are available in both Portland and Salem.

SALEM - Monday, March 14, 2011
Willamette University Campus – Ford Hall Board Room

PORTLAND – Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Willamette University Portland Center – Pearl District

Learn more or RSVP online:


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.

5:30pm - Networking
6:00pm - Presentation and Discussion
7:00pm - Wrap Up

PhotoApril 7, 2011

"Leveraging Community Impact - Mercy Corps' Approach"
Minda Seibert MBA'08, Senior Community Relations Manager, Mercy Corps talks about community impact in the non-profit sector.


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.

March 30th - Claudia Valderrama, Chief Financial Officer, Wieden + Kennedy

Photo11:45 – 12:45 pm
Ford Hall 122
Willamette University
Salem, OR

Learn More and RSVP Online


early career MBA and mba for career change - Preview Evening - April 9th, 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 upcoming preview event. The event includes faculty presentations, student stories, curriculum/program overviews and campus tours. Alumni are welcome to attend the reception immediately following the events (7:30pm-8:00pm) to meet prospective MBA students (RSVP requested).

Preview Evening - Saturday, April 9, 2011 - 3:00 - 8:00 PM

Details online at


Save the Date for Brownwater 2011

The tradition continues...


April 28 - 30

An Atkinson tradition for more than 35 years, Brownwater is a three-day event put on by the Atkinson Student Association that celebrates Spring, graduation and the end of the academic year. Continue the tradition by celebrating with fellow alumni, faculty, staff and students.

More details coming soon!



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
Mar 29 Professor Lisbeth Claus' Birthday
Mar 30 Power Lunch: Claudia Valderrama, CFO Wieden + Kennedy
Apr 7 First Thursday Empowerment in Action Series
Apr 8 Student Organizations: Portland Trek
Apr 8 Mentorship Program Reception (Portland)
Apr 9 Early Career/Career Change MBA Preview Evening
Apr 12 Professor Paul Dwyer's Birthday
Apr 15 PACE Not-for-Profit Final Presentations (Salem)
Apr 22 PACE New Venture Final Presentations (Salem)
Apr 28-30 Annual Brownwater Events
May 8 Professor Henry Bi's Birthday
May 12 Honors and Awards Reception
May 13 EDC Program Coordinator Judy Hampe's Birthday
May 15 Commencement
May 30 Memorial Day Holiday
Jun 15 Oregon Ethics in Business Awards
Jun 16 Associate Dean and Director of Admission Judy O'Neill's Birthday
Jun 20 Admission Counselor/Recruiter Desiree Vorhees' Birthday
Jun 23 Portland Summer Gathering
Jun 27 Professor Michael Dothan's Birthday
Jul 4 Independence Day Holiday
Jul 13 Summer Lunch and Learn Series (Portland)
Jul 22 Mid-Summer Gathering (Salem)

alumni events calendar
atkinson events calendar




Career Management


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

February has been a busy month for internship applications, job interviews and company site visits. As we near the close of the 2011 school year, we encourage you to consider sending job/internship postings our way. While most of our students prefer to stay on the west coast, many are also looking at other parts of the country or world, so we welcome any job or internship posting that you think might be of interest to AGSM alumni or students. Seattle and the Bay Area, California are new areas of focus for us in 2011 as Beth makes plans to visit both locations this year to build employer relations. If you live in one of those locations and think your company may be of interest to students, please let us know.

Portland Trek: On February 11, students were hosted by three very different organizations in the Portland Metro area: D.A. Davidson & Co., Nike Inc. and Intel Corporation. The day started at 4:30am when 10 students had a chance to listen to analysts report on what was to be expected in their areas of expertise before the market opened. Students then had a chance to interact with a variety of high level executives, analysts and associates in both the research and investment banking sides of Equity Capital Markets. Rob Wright MM'97 was one of the presenters. Students visited Nike next, which gave them an opportunity to hear from and interact with alumni from AGSM and CLA in smaller groups as well as tour the gorgeous campus. Alums participating included Susan Hale '01, MBA'06 and Carl Hillig '03, MBA'06 (the organizers), Barbra Littrell '97, Jaime Kraushaar MBA'09, Brett McNeil '05, MBA'05, Shawna Staples MBA'95, Julie Addicott '06, Matt Varner '00, and Francis Gonzalez '96. Students then travelled to Jones Farm campus of Intel Corporation where they met with alumni Jonathan Chappelle MBA'99 and Kevin McClaughry '89, MBA'91 (the organizers), Ted Romanowitz '86, MBA'90, Anne Maiden '06, MBA'08 and Nels Swenson '98, MBA'99 and learned about Intel organization, jobs, culture and benefits.

APAA Trek: The student association of public administration invited David Brooks, NY Times columnist to speak prior to a visit to the Capital on February 21st.

SHRM Columbia Sportswear Trek and joint Willamette-PSU student chapter networking session: On Friday, February 25th, the Talent Acquisition Team at Columbia Sportswear invited the student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management for a visit to learn about their talent management strategy and tour of the facility. In the late afternoon, the student chapters of both Willamette and PSU jointly organized a networking session at the Portland Campus inviting the volunteer boards of the Oregon State Council of SHRM, SHRMA and PHRMA.

Atkinson Consulting Association Speaker Jerry Viera of QMP presented on February 21 on the topic of "How the 8 client personality types affect the ultimate success of a consulting engagement."

Atkinson Accounting Association hosted a panel of accounting firms on February 25th at the Portland campus, including AKT LLC, Moss Adams, McDonald Jacobs and Northwest Mortgage. The discussion included current MBA for Professionals student, Michael Karden and alum Jennifer Dale MBA'06.

Power Lunch on February 23: Executive Director, John Haines of Mercy Corps Northwest talked about their mission, projects and his personal story in an interactive lunch session with students.

Oregon Fellowship Information Session on February 7: George Beard came on campus to talk with a group of students about internship opportunities in the public sector in Oregon.

Nike interviews on Campus on February 28th: Fourteen students were selected to interview on campus for internships at Nike.

Upcoming Events: RSVP to Beth at

  • Career Close-up: March 11
  • Power Lunch Series: March 30 [Wieden + Kennedy CFO, Claudia Valderrama]
  • Portland Trek: April 8




Executive Development Center


Career Management and Coaching Program – Join us for “Effective Executive Presentations” on April 1

The Career Management and Coaching Certificate is designed for the professional ready to explore opportunities and challenges critical to achieving career and organizational success. Energize and reinvent yourself through a process of reflection and personal development.

Presented at Willamette University – Salem Campus (AGSM Mudd Building Room 204)
Sessions start at 8:30am (with an 8:00am continental breakfast) and conclude at 4:30pm.

April 1 - Effective Executive Presentations:  Become effective at delivering clear, concise and persuasive presentations for senior-level managers and executives.

April 8 - Navigating Organizational Culture: Become aware of your own decision making processes and that of your organization, understanding influences and variables.

Cost:  $249 per session, special alumni rate of $199 available.

Read more about upcoming sessions.





Faculty News


PhotoDean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise Debra Ringold was quoted in anarticle on, which discussed a business name-change. "Debra J. Ringold, professor of marketing and dean of Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management, said there can be benefits to rebranding, but changing an established identity also carries risks." Read the article here.

PhotoProfessor Mark Ahn co-authored (with Frederickson, L. Borman, B. & Bednarek,R.) "Eye Health in New Zealand: A Study of Public Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Related to Eye Health and Disease" in the Journal of Health Education.

PhotoProfessors Mark Ahn and Larry Ettner had two articles accepted for publication: "Teaching Values-Based Leadership: A Humanities Approach," in: Wankel, C. and Stachowicz-Stanusch, A. (Eds), Management Education for Integrity and "From Classical to Contemporary Leadership Challenges: A Values-Based Leadership View," by the Journal of Leadership Studies.

PhotoProfessor Polly S. Rizova published an article entitled "Finding Testable Causal Mechanisms to Address Critical Public Management Issues," in the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Volume 13 Issue 1 (2011), Pages 105 – 114.





Student News


2011-2012 Atkinson Student Association Board Announced

Congratulations to the new ASA Board members recently voted in by their peers:

President: Adina Kaliyeva
Vice President:  Desiree Hall
Treasurer:  Eric Shin
Secretary:  Funmilayo Ojikutu
Publicity Chair:  Lora Roba
Social Chair:  Joanita Bora

Thank you to the outgoing board for their wonderful contribution and dedication to ASA and the Atkinson community this past year:

Outgoing President: Alina Vaynberg
Outgoing Vice President: Alex Swerzbin
Outgoing Treasurer:  Nikki Katsutani
Outgoing Secretary: Bakhtear Talukdar
Outgoing Publicity Chair:  Katie Bertel
Outgoing Social Chair:  Cassie Graves
Outgoing JD/MBA Liaison:  Tim LaBadie
Outgoing International Representative:  Ahmed Yeslam
Outgoing 2nd Year Representative:  Nabeel Ashour

Current Willamette student becomes finalist in 2011 OEN Angel Oregon Conference

MBA for Professionals student, Angela Kienholz, is one of six finalists presenting at OEN's premier investment contest on March 16, 2011. Kienholz competed against 17 other "concept stage" companies throughout OR and WA for a chance to present at the conference and compete for the $25,000 investment prize. Once funding is secured, Angela plans to launch Memorial Footprints: the go-to resource for funeral & memorial planning before or after a death. The business concept evolved during Kienholz's fall 2010 IMAP course with Professor Mark Ahn and incorporates her entrepreneurial spirit and passion to help others. Learn more about the venture and show your support by becoming a fan of Memorial Footprints on Facebook!


PhotoCurrent MBA student, Bobby Powers and Kaylyn Ruddy got engaged on Christmas Eve in Boise, Idaho. They will get married this upcoming July and honeymoon in Cancun. Bobby will be working in store management for Target in Boise this fall and his new bride will be student teaching at a high school in the area.


"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently."

Henry Ford

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: Angela Wanak, Nathan Love, Heather Roberts, VanDyck Silveira, Elliot Maltz, Larry Ettner, Shelby Gould, Beth Ursin, Fred Thompson, Alina Vaynberg, Bobby Powers and Angela Kienholz.

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