Willamette - Atkinson School MBA



This month we attended the Leadership Summit for the Oregon Business Plan. It was striking in that we saw leaders from all aspects of the Government including the Governor and Oregon’s two U.S. Senators, as well as leaders from the State Legislature on the same platform. All spoke to aspects of our State’s economic and political future.

While the political speeches touched on economic development issues, there was one obvious omission – there was no role mentioned for Oregon’s independent universities. This is a clear oversight, since Willamette University and other schools in the state have a lot to offer.

It is easy to attribute this to the emphasis on a public, legislative agenda by these speakers and members of Oregon’s business community. However, it is also true that our private universities have not emphasized enough our connections to our community. Here at the Atkinson School, we have expanded the “value proposition” associated with our MBA. This involves merging the graduate school and community interests.

For years, Willamette’s Atkinson School has advocated and initiated student-centered community outreach programs. The goal of this community service has been to complement and enhance training and coaching received in the classroom. We believe that these programs add to the value proposition of the School, and are important to many in its constituencies.

Faculty and students connect with our community in many ways. One way is through the countless hours of volunteer effort devoted to nonprofits in our PaCE projects (required of all entering students). Another is through the MBA student internships, and of course there are many research and class projects carried out during the academic year for local businesses and government agencies,

We have always been about more than just two years of “finishing school,’ where we take good students and help them find opportunities to get on an executive track in various types of organizations. We hope that in the future, those in the Oregon Business Plan coalition see us as positive contributors to Oregon’s Economic future. We do have a role to play, and are eager to participate as we expand our own MBA programs and partner with community organizations.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season,

- Jim Goodrich


Amanda and JoeAMANDA (HERMSMEYER) DURKEE (MBA'97) got married in September while her and her beau of over 2 ½ years, Joe, were on vacation in New Zealand. Amanda is currently working with Bardsley & Neidhart Research as the technology research project manager. "It's been a great learning opportunity. Over the past year I traveled around the world several times to do focus groups," Amanda writes. She is managing projects autonomously, and is now getting involved in business development. "It's a good new challenge for me."

Amanda and Joe now live near University of Portland with their dogs Zeus and Malika. Joe, also a Willamette grad, graduated from the Law School the same year Amanda graduated from Atkinson, but they didn't actually meet until about 3 years ago. "I am happier and more content now than I have ever been," says Amanda.

SID PARAKH (MBA’03) is getting married on December 25th in Bombay India. His fiancée’s name is Sneha and they are planning a traditional Indian wedding spread over a few days. Sid is currently working as an equity analyst at The Robins Group in Portland, Oregon.

The Vancouver Business Journal selected JIM MORRELL (MBA’93) as one of Southwest Washington's top young leaders and visionaries as part of their "Accomplished Under 40" awards program. The Accomplished Under 40 Award program is designed to recognize the community's rising young leaders that have demonstrated leadership in their professions and community service. As Chair of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Technology Council, Jim also authored and presented an article entitled "2005 Emerging Technology Trends" at the 2005 BAI Retail Delivery Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 15, 2005. The technology trends article is an annual publication forecasting the future direction of technology for the credit unions and the financial services industry. The presentation was attended by financial institutions from across the United States and several foreign countries including Venezuela, Australia, Canada, Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.

On November 24th, OLGA SHPORA ODELL (MBA’01) received the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation and the rights to use her charter. The CFA designation is one of the world's most prestigious professional credentials in finance and investment analysis. It took Olga three years and an enormous amount of work to obtain this designation. “I am very excited to finally receive my charter,” writes Olga. Participation in the CFA program has enabled Olga to expand her knowledge in most aspects of modern financial theory and practice. Along with traditional accounting, quantitative analysis and corporate finance, the CFA curriculum covers complex topics of derivative instruments, fixed income securities and equity valuations. Today having the CFA charter brings you on the dream list of many employers. Congratulations, Olga, on this great accomplishment!

DON KRAHMER (JD/MBA’87)Two graduates of Atkinson, who are also members of the Atkinson Advisory Board, accepted awards at the 2004 Technology Awards dinner and reception held Nov. 18 at the Governor Hotel. JIM FITZHENRY (JD/MBA’81), Senior Vice President for Corporate Operations and Law of FLIR Systems, Inc., picked up an award for Flir Systems. DON KRAHMER (JD/MBA’87), a partner and attorney for Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt, is shown in the photograph on the left accepting an award for his firm. For the second year in a row, FLIR Systems, Inc., maker of infrared cameras and imaging systems, was honored in the category of Publicly Held Company of the Year with Revenue Over $250 million. The Service Provider 2004 award for improving technology client base went to law firm Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, PC, who demonstrated significant revenue growth from and new acquisition of technology clients. The Awards Dinner was featured in a special section in the November 19th Business Journal.

PATRICK PINE (MBA’76), who is Corporate Benefits Manager for ESCO Corporation at the Portland headquarters, was elected President of the Oregon Health Care Purchasers Coalition, a group representing public and private employers purchasing health coverage in Oregon and Southwest Washington. He also was elected Vice President of the Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation, a nonprofit group initiating several projects to foster improved health care quality. He represented Oregon at the recent annual meeting of the National Business Coalition on Health in Atlanta. In addition to this, Pat was also part of a roundtable discussion featured in Oregon Business magazine (Dec. 4) regarding the health care system.

JOHN JESSE (MBA’97) started an investment company, Beacon Investments, about two years after graduating from Atkinson. The return has been around 15% overall to date. “Not like the bubble days we lived through when I was at Atkinson,” writes John. In September of 2004 John moved to Florida and is now working as an architect for a long-time friend who builds homes in the $700K to 2 million dollar range. “It's a great environment as we are all about the same age and similarly motivated.” John also continues to conduct the investment management business secondarily. “I no longer have the same level of energy - or arrogance - I had while attending AGSM. So I guess I compare more closely to a normal person now! (making the world a better place!)”

NATHATHAI PATHUMARAK (MBA'98) is still working for Central City Concern in Portland, Oregon. She is going back to school part time at Portland State University to earn her CPA certificate.

MARK T. GREEN (MBA’92) and Atkinson Professor FRED THOMPSON published "Vox Populi? Oregon Tax and Expenditure Limitation Initiatives" in PUBLIC BUDGETING & FINANCE (winter2004: 73-88). Mark is an AGSM alumnus and A.E. Coleman Chair in Family Business, Director, Austin Family Business Program and Austin Entrepreneurship Program, and Director, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, College of Business, Oregon State University. He celebrated his 40th birthday on November 13th.

MATTHEW ARNOLD (MBA’01) is currently working at Xerox in business development and has also started teaching this year at Portland Community College. He is teaching a course on business administration and another course on investments. Matthew writes “I am really enjoying it but didn't realize how much work it would be.”



Bob & Doris O’Neill Add $100,000 to the Student Investment Fund
Atkinson Graduate School is pleased to announce the recent gift of $100,000 by Bob and Doris O’Neill to increase the Student Investment Fund from $50,000 to $150,000. This fund, which was started with a generous gift from the O’Neill’s last year, provides an opportunity for students to get real world experience under the guidance of a faculty member and advisory board made up of outside investment professionals. This fund will eventually be run by students year round. The class is currently being developed and overseen by Professor Michael Dothan. Read more about the Student Investment Fund under “Student News.”

BOB AND DORIS O’NEILL (CLA’50) are graduates of the College of Liberal Arts at Willamette, but both their daughter and son-in-law, DEBRA AND RICHARD PINE (MBA’82), are alums of Atkinson. This generous gift and continued support will give Atkinson students yet another competitive edge for future employment.

Did You Miss Denise’s Birthday?
Not to worry! There is still time to send her belated birthday wishes by making your gift to the Atkinson Annual Fund. Gifts from alumni are critical to the success of Atkinson’s programs and future vision, which make your degree even more valuable. All gifts postmarked by December 31 will earn you a tax deduction come April, so don’t delay! Gifts can be made via snail mail to Atkinson Graduate School, 900 State Street, Salem OR 97301, by calling with a credit card to 503.370.6727 or securely on-line at www.willamette.edu/support (click on ‘Donate On-line in the upper right, choose Atkinson when filling out the form). Please make all checks out to Willamette University with Atkinson Graduate School in the note. All funds go directly to Atkinson and any amount over our goal for operations can be used for special projects and needs.

Help other students enjoy the same opportunities and experiences as you had. Contribute to the Atkinson Annual Fund today!

EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT CENTERIn January and February, the Oregon Department of Transportation, Driver and Moter Vehicle Division, will sponsor a program for fifteen of its managers on analyzing public policies and drafting policy memoranda and issue papers. This is the second time that the EDC has presented the program, designed and delivered with Professor DEBRA RINGOLD.

The Mini-MBA, sponsored by Cascade Employers Association at the Clackamas Training Center in Wilsonville, began its December module, "Leading and Managing," taught by Professor PATRICK CONNOR. The fourth module, Negotiation, will be taught by former dean BRYAN JOHNSTON in January. For information, go to www.cascadeemployers.com/training.htm.


International DinnerInternational DinnerOn Friday, November 19th, over 100 people gathered in the Montag Den to celebrate the cultures of the world at the annual International Dinner, put on by Atkinson international students and the board of IGSA (International Graduate Students Association). Students, staff and faculty brought homemade food from various countries. Some of the dishes presented at the dinner were Chingri Dopeaja (Shrimp Onion Masala) from India, peanut butter stew and rice from Zimbabwe, frikadeller and flødekartofler (Danish meat balls and potatoes in cream) from Denmark, Samosa from Kenya, Arroz Verde con Pollo (Green Rice with Chicken) from Peru, Biryani from India, beef salad from Cambodia, Chinese dumplings and marbleized tea egg from Japan. Tatenda Chirusa, first-year student from Zimbabwe and emcee at the International Dinner, entertained the crowd with two audience participation games. The first quiz offered Willamette Store gift cards as prizes to the winners. The second game was an audience vote on the best food presented at the dinner, with the winner being the Indian food.

BUSINESS WOMEN’S FORUMThe Business Women's Forum (BWF) had a wonderful turnout for its first event on Nov. 9, 2004. A group of 30 people (including first and second year students, faculty, staff, and alumni) listened to Profs. Claus, Ringold, and Roney share insights into their education, professions, and leadership. Then attendees broke into smaller groups to discuss questions that addressed business women's issues. Our next event will be in late January/early February and will feature speakers that have experience in entrepreneurial projects. Please remember that this forum presents a woman's perspective on business, but all are welcome to come, listen, and participate. More information will be available at the beginning of Spring semester.


LISBETH CLAUSProfessor LISBETH CLAUS was one of seven HR professors invited to attend the SHRM Symposium on the Future of HR Education in Washington DC on December 1, 2004. The objective of the symposium was to develop/explore new perspectives on HR education and the needs of the business community due to the changing business environment relative to the goals and content of human resources. A report with broad recommendations will be prepared and distributed to key academics.


ATKINSON STUDENTS ABROAD STUDENTSFive Atkinson students participated in Atkinson's study abroad agreement with the University of Southern Denmark in Odense during the Fall Semester. The purpose of the exchange is to immerse them with 275 other international students from around the world. Courses include Marketing and Culture, International Business Marketing and Organizational Design.
The students spent time working in cross-cultural groups and traveling around Europe, visiting companies and getting a feel for what life and working is like in other nations.


THRIFTWAY FAMILYCurrent Atkinson student CHRISTIAN CUTSFORTH and his family’s business, Cutsforth’s Thriftway Market, was awarded 2nd runner up (3rd place) in the medium business category (50-250 employees) in the 2004 MassMutual National Family Business of the Year Awards, which honor 13 of the nation’s top family businesses. As noted in ATKINSONews about a year ago, Cutsforth’s Thriftway Market won 1st place for Excellence in Family Business Awards in Oregon in the large business category. The Excellence in Family Business Awards program, presented yearly by Oregon State University's Austin Family Business Program, was founded in 1988 to applaud the accomplishments and contributions of family businesses for their innovation, entrepreneurship, commitment, and heart.

To see 2003 award details, visit: http://www.familybusinessonline.org/programs/ofba.aspx or for national award details: http://www.ffi.org/NFBYA_2004.htm.

Student Investment Fund Begins Investing
Students in Professor MICHAEL DOTHAN’s Investments class have completed an Investment Plan for the ROBERT AND DORIS O’NEILL Student Investment Fund. The Fund Advisory Board has approved the Plan, and students will be placing their first buy orders in the next few days.

Working in teams, students have assessed general economic and geopolitical conditions, conducted fundamental analysis of companies and industry sectors, and used quantitative models of asset allocation and value-at-risk to select their initial portfolio of investments in defense and aerospace, oilfield equipment and services, and trucking industry sectors, and in diversified portfolios of global equities and investment grade U.S. corporate bonds.

DEAN GOODRICH and Professor Dothan met with the Fund donors to describe student accomplishments to date, and the donors decided to follow up their initial investment in the Fund with an additional contribution of $100,000. The Fund will continue its activities in the spring semester with additional investments and a possible hedge of the declining U.S. dollar.

Pausing for a Picture
First- and second-year studentsFirst- and second-year students with guest lecturer Fareed Lutfi, Director of the Dubai International Financial Center, and General Consultant for the Dubai Islamic Insurance & Reinsurance Company. Mr. Lufti was a guest to Professor Lisbeth Claus’ Global Human Resource Management course.



Holiday Memo

HollyTo: All Employees
From: Management
Subject: Office conduct during the Christmas season

Effective immediately, employees should keep in mind the following guidelines in compliance with FROLIC (the Federal Revelry Office and Leisure Industry Council).

1. Running aluminum foil through the paper shredder to make tinsel is discouraged.
2. Playing Jingle Bells on the push-button phone is forbidden (it runs up an incredible long distance bill)
3. Work requests are not to be filed under "Bah humbug."
4. Company cars are not to be used to go over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house.
5. All fruitcake is to be eaten BEFORE July 25.
6. Egg nog will NOT be dispensed in vending machines.

In spite of all this, the staff is encouraged to have a Happy Holiday!




Willamette Star Trees Lighting and Holiday Concert


Hanukah begins


Willamette Master Chorus Holiday Concert:
"How Can We Keep From Singing?"


Salem & Portland Young Alumni Holiday Party


University Closed (All offices closed for holidays)


Christmas Day


Faculty Administrative Assistant Mary Stout’s Birthday


New Year’s Eve



New Year’s Day


Senior Assistant to the Dean Susan Chiapella’s Birthday


Professor Ilan Vertinsky’s Birthday


Martin Luther King Jr. Day


Professor Patrick Connor’s Birthday


Willamette Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration



Chinese New Year


Valentine’s Day


President’s Day

View the current events calendar at: http://www.willamette.edu/~schiapel/master_calendar/ and other information for alumni at: http://www.willamette.edu/alumni/agsm/.

In the business world, the rearview mirror is always
clearer than the windshield.

- Warren Buffett

Acknowledgements: I thank the following contributors for this month’s issue: Jim Goodrich, Fadi Bouri, Debra Ringold, Jorge Ordonez, Lisbeth Claus, Judy O’Neill, Sharon White, Christian Cutsforth, Fred Thompson, Sid Parakh, Jim Morrell, Olga Odell, Amanda Durkee, Quang Nguyen, Don Krahmer, Patrick Pine, Denise Crawford, Steve Maser, Jim Fitzhenry, Michael Dothan, Amanda Hemmert, Russell Yost, and Wendy Foltz in the Communications office at Willamette University for getting ATKINSONews online.

Comments/Corrections/Suggestions: I encourage and appreciate that you send your thoughts, comments, criticisms, corrections or suggestions about your newsletter to Comments. Corrections will be addressed in the following issue and all your comments or suggestions will be thoughtfully considered.

Corrections to the November 2004 ATKINSONews: In the item titled, “Consul General of Canada to Visit Atkinson,” it was stated that Jeffrey Parker, Consul General of Canada, will be visiting Atkinson on November 10 “(appropriately on Canada Day).” However, it must be clarified that November 10 th is not, in fact, Canada's national holiday, but rather the day that Willamette University celebrates Canada and the Canadian students represented at Willamette. My apologies to our Canadian readers for trying to give you another holiday!

It was noted under the Calendar section that Professor Fred Thompson's birthday is on November 29th, but actually his birthday was the previous month, October 29th . My apologies Fred for trying to give you another birthday!

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.

Mission: As an effort to foster one of Atkinson’s significant purposes – to establish a close community – ATKINSONews’ 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.

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 day before publication (see below). Please send your submissions electronically to ATKINSONews.

Subscriptions: The ATKINSONews is a monthly newsletter specific to the Atkinson Graduate School of Management of Willamette University, Salem, Oregon. It is usually distributed to the current Atkinson community, subscribed alumni and Willamette University administrators via email on the first Thursday of the month during the academic year. Recipients wishing to unsubscribe –excluding current community members– may do so by submitting your request to Opt Out. Current Atkinson community members cannot unsubscribe but can instruct their email program to purge or block the newsletter via Message Filters (Netscape) or Message Rules (Microsoft) applications. And last, please send notification of email address changes to List.

Thanks for reading.

Aimee Akimoff

Atkinson Graduate School of Management
900 State Street - Salem, Oregon 97301
503.370.6440    -     (toll free) 1-866-MBA-AGSM    -    FAX: 503.370.3011