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

November 2009

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

Dean Debra RingoldDear Atkinson Community,

I'm delighted to announce the Aspen Institute's Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey has again ranked the Willamette MBA program among the best schools in the world preparing graduates for social responsibility and environmental stewardship.  This year Willamette moved up 11 spots, to #47 overall, even with a 34% increase in participation in the survey.

This distinction speaks to the value of the Willamette MBA as an internationally recognized program.  Thank you for all your efforts to help increase the visibility of our programs.  We share this honor with all of you.

We have much to be thankful for this Holiday Season.   In our busy lives let us always be mindful of Willamette's motto, "not unto ourselves alone are we born," and embrace it as managers, family members, and stewards of our worldwide community.

Best Wishes,


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




Alumni News




VanapalliMurthy Vanapalli MBA'07 married Lavanya on October 8, 2009 in Bellary, Karnataka, India. The couple got engaged on December 14, 2008. Murthy currently works for Game Crazy and resides in Salem.



Family Additions

Joe Carmichael MBA'04 and his wife Megan are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Tatum Jean Carmichael, born on August 24th, 2009 and weighing in at 6lbs and 4oz.



Bea Tijerina MBA'04 recently started an initiative with the board of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington DC, on which she serves as the Vice President. The 2010 Partnership for Peace Program will select an individual organization to be the focus of their fundraising, community service, and programming efforts for the 2010 calendar year. This program is a new initiative that helps Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to further their commitment to the Peace Corps and to serving the needs of the local community.

Audrey McGeeney '05, MBA'07 earned the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation after completing a comprehensive examination on accounting and related subjects, meeting the two-year management accounting experience requirement and agreeing to comply with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Management Accountants. The CMA designation is administered by the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA), a division of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

Chris Magana JD/MBA'04 recently accepted an offer to teach investment management at Washington State University - Vancouver. Chris has been teaching a similar course at Concordia University for several years. As the senior portfolio manager at West Coast Trust, Chris brings a wealth of real world economic and investment issues into the classroom. "My time in the classroom is a unique kind of professional satisfaction - I don't get from managing wealth for trusts, foundations and high network individuals," writes Chris. "I love my time in the classroom, and thank my family and colleagues for supporting my time consuming teaching endeavors."

Kristin (Goodhue) Bauer MBA'05, was elected to the Board of Directors for the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) of Oregon and SW Washington for a two year term. Kristin also recently earned her Certified Treasury Professional designation (CTP) in January. The CTP is accredited by AFP National.

Jay Desai MM'89 gave a lecture at the University of Cambridge (Judge Business School), UK, titled "Unleashing India's Democracy: The Power of Public Accountability". This is based on an on-going research study that Jay has been leading at his firm, Universal Consulting for the last 11 months following the November 2009 terrorist attacks in Mumbai -- to try to understand the drivers of low public accountability and poor governance in India. This research has a Willamette University connection: Firstly, a component of the research is based on Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions, which Jay first came across more than 20 years ago in the organizational behavior class taught by Professor Patrick Connor. Secondly, Professor Mike Hand did a review of the conclusions of the statistical analysis in the study a few months ago.

Joseph Rubinstein '76, MAD'78 lives in Southern California in Upland with his wife Paula of over 25 years. He has 2 children - David, 21 who lives in Washington DC and will graduate from American University and also from Georgetown in Spring 2010. Leah, 19, attends the University of Redlands and is studying Communicative Disorders and Sign Language. For the past 25 years, Joe has managed investment portfolios for individuals and businesses and pension plans and built a successful company that now ranks as of the top financial advisor firms in the country. For 2008 he was the # 1 Financial Advisor for Capital Financial Group / H Beck out of over 900 advisors. In 2009, he was ranked in the top 3 as well. He loves to travel, snow and water ski and boating.

Judith Heltzel MBA'84 founded Capital Financial Planners, LLC in 1984. The firm provides investment advice and asset management services to individuals and business owners. Heltzel's business partner is Barrigan Nelson, a 1999 graduate of Willamette University CLA. The firm is located at 1640 Liberty St. SE, Salem, OR 97302.



Atkinson News


CEO Position Goes to Willamette Alumnus

Punit RenjenDeloitte Consulting LLP, one of the world’s leading strategy, operations, human capital and technology consultancies, has elected Punit Renjen MBA'86 as its new chairman and chief executive officer in the U.S.

Renjen will lead the U.S. consulting business within the global consultancy represented by the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu member firms, which had 2009 combined global consulting revenues of $6.5 billion and have offices in major cities throughout the world. Deloitte’s U.S. consulting business represents more than half of these global consulting revenues.

Renjen earned his MBA from Willamette and also serves on the university’s board of trustees.

“Punit has an outstanding foundation to build upon,” said Barry Salzberg, chief executive officer of Deloitte LLP. “He brings extraordinary skills to our world-class consultancy, as demonstrated by his leadership and client service accomplishments.”

Renjen has more than 22 years of experience with Deloitte Consulting. For the past two years, he served as the global and U.S. leader of Deloitte Consulting’s Strategy & Operations practice.

Under his direction, Deloitte Consulting has been recognized in several leadership rankings by top-tier industry analysts in the areas of mergers, acquisition, divestitures, post-merger integration, strategy, operations consulting and business advisory.

Renjen was named one of Consulting magazine’s “Top 25 Most Influential Consultants” in 2007.

Willamette MBA Among the Top Programs Preparing Graduates For Stewardship, Ethics and Social Responsibility

The Aspen Institute’s “Beyond Grey Pinstripes” survey recognized Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management as a top global MBA program for innovation in social and environmental stewardship.  The Willamette MBA appears in the “Global 100” list at #47 overall, and #20 for the relevance of its courses to ethical and socially-conscious management decision making.

This year management programs from 24 countries participated in an 18 month effort to map the landscape of teaching and research on issues pertaining to business and society.  Relevant data collected in the survey, as well as the list of top business schools, is available at:

The number of schools that participated in the survey increased by more than 34% in 2009, while the Atkinson School moved up 11 places in the rankings to #47 globally. 

 “The best business students move quickly into the front ranks of business – and the attitudes and values they bring to the table are deeply influenced by their time in business education,” said Judith Samuelson, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program.  “The schools that are competitive in the Beyond Grey Pinstripes ranking are the real trailblazers – they assure that students have the right skill as well as the will to make things happen.”

Oregon Women MBAs Share the Magic at National Conference in Disneyland

NAWMBATina Alexander, Beth Ursin, Lisa Hylton and Tori Gustaveson represented Willamette and the Oregon Women MBAs along with students from the Atkinson Chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA) at the NAWMBA National Conference in Anaheim, California.  Women from business, government and not-for-profit organizations networked, collaborated and shared best practices at the annual event, which drew over 1,500 women from across the country.  The Oregon Women MBAs, the local professional chapter of NAWMBA, launched earlier this fall and welcomed its inaugural Board of Directors.  Information on the Oregon Women MBAs, the board and upcoming events are available online.





Upcoming Events


Willamette University MBA is pleased to sponsor Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) Oregon:

Keeping an Eye on the Competition - Go Beyond Google

Friday, November 13, 2009
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Willamette University Salem Campus, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Mudd Building, 900 State Street, Salem, OR


Keeping an eye on the competition - Go Beyond Google

Knowing a competitor's strategies, in advance, can be the difference between success and failure, and yet most business owners, marketers, and sales teams are stretched too thin just "doing their job" to spend much time really analyzing the competition.

In this presentation Cascade Insights, a competitive intelligence firm, will walk you through 20 web-based tools that anyone can use, to quickly get the kind of information on your competitors that you won't find through a simple Google search.

Annual International Student Breakfast

Monday, November 16, 2009
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Willamette University Salem Campus, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Student Lounge

The International Graduate Student Association (IGSA) will host the annual International Breakfast on Monday. The Atkinson lounge will exhibit posters made by AGSM students of their home countries. Students will also prepare traditional food of their home country for all to share. You are invited to explore the flavors and cultures of Atkinson at the International Breakfast this Monday.

Willamette University MBA Executive Topic Round Table Series for Human Resources Professionals:

Managing the Risks of a Global Workforce

Co-sponsored by International SOS

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Willamette University Portland Center, 1120 NW Couch St. Ste. 450, Portland, OR

Approved for HRCI credit

Round Table Invitation

RSVP Required: Seats are limited. First preference will be given to Human Resources Professionals.

Dr. Lisbeth Claus, Ph.D, SPHR, GPHR, a Professor of Global Human Resources at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon (U.S.A.). Details about the white paper she will present listed below under Faculty News.

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.

Time: 12:00p.m. - 1:00p.m.
Location: Willamette University Campus Salem, Oregon

Upcoming Power Lunch Speakers

Feb 17 - Steve Bass, CEO of OPB
Mar 17 - LeaAnn Doolittle, HR Director of NW Natural

Learn more and RSVP at:



Nov 13 Executive Round Table Series - Salem Campus
Nov 16 International Student Breakfast
Nov 18 Executive Round Table Series - Portland Campus
Nov 19 Pumpkin Pie Day
Nov 23 Professor Nicole Thibodeau's Birthday
Nov 26-27 Thanksgiving Holiday - Offices Closed
Nov 30 Professor Steve Maser's Birthday
Dec 12 Administrative Assistant Kim Baker's Birthday
Dec 24-Jan 1 Holiday Break - Offices Closed
Dec 25 Faculty Administrative Support Specialist Holly Carson's Birthday
Dec 27 Faculty Administrative Support Specialist Mary Stout's Birthday
Jan 9 Career Management Advisor Shelby Gould's Birthday
Jan 12 Senior Assistant to the Dean Susan Chiapella's Birthday
Jan 17 Professor Robert Couch's Birthday
[ alumni events calendar ]


Career Management


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


Shelby GouldBeth UrsinDuring the month of October, Career Management went into high gear with Fall Recruiting heavily underway. After returning from NSHMBA early in the month a group of 11 students and four staff members attended the NAWMBA Conference and Career Fair (National Association of Women MBA’s) in Los Angeles. Featured organizations included Intel, Boeing, General Electric, Hewlett Packard Company, American Airlines and many more who are actively seeking women MBA’s. With a smaller group of attendees compared to the NSHMBA conference, students felt like they had more time to build relationships with the organizations and they have started to receive call backs for second interviews, which is always exciting. We also had the first two students in the class of 2010 receive offers from Accounting firms this week.

In October, more than 15 alumni and professionals met with students in small groups on campus on October 16th for our first ever Informational Interviewing Day, which was a huge hit among students. Never before have students been able to meet so many professionals in just one day on campus. Company information sessions in October included the fast growing PECI, Inc and PCC Structurals, one of the few Fortune 500 Companies headquartered in Portland. Students also attended a site visit and tour of PCC Structurals manufacturing facility, a Power Lunch with Rob Stuart CEO of OnPoint Credit Union, an internship session with George Beard of Oregon Fellowships. Several students also drove up to participate in the Portland NSHMBA event featuring State Farm Insurance on Leadership.

In Portland, the Career Friday’s series launched on October 2nd with Social Networking. These breakfast sessions continue in November with upcoming sessions on November 20th (Successful Transitions), December 4th (Interviewing) and 18th (Salary Negotiation) from 7-9am on the Portland campus for alumni and current Full-time and MBA for Professional students who are in an active job search or are considering one. In addition, Also launching in November is our wildly popular Mock Interview Days on November 13th and 20th. If you’re interested in participating in our Career Friday Series, in mock interviews with students or in reviewing their resumes and cover letters, please contact Beth Ursin at, we’d love to have more alumni and friends involved.

In November, we’re also launching the Career Management Certificate Program which begins with a session on Pitching and Presenting for Executives on November 20th. This series was specifically designed for our MBA for Professionals, but is open to others through our Executive Development Center. For more information, please contact Anne Murray Allen at



Executive Development Center


Registration Open for the Sustainable Enterprise Certificate:  Connecting Social and Environmental Well-Being

Willamette University's Sustainable Enterprise Certificate program takes a unique approach to presenting the interconnectedness of social, economic, and environmental well-being. This is done in a way that will integrate all areas of sustainability by first focusing on the dynamics of complex systems, followed by a practical look at social systems and how the expansion of social well-being ties directly to economic and environmental well-being.

Session One:
System Dynamics
February 17-19, 2010

Systemic Implications of Climate Change - February 26 – Webinar
Climate Interactive - March 5 - Webinar

Session Two:
Natural and Social Systems
March 17-19, 2010

What the Antarctic Treaty Can Teach Us - March 26 - Webinar
Session Three:
Moving Into Action - Creating a Sustainability Plan
April 14-16, 2010

The lineup of speakers and presenters in the 2010 Sustainable Enterprise Certificate includes Polar explorer Robert Swan, Mary Hansel of the Biomimicry Institute and Norm Miller of the Climate Science Department at the Berkeley National Laboratory.

Visit the website for a complete schedule, list of presenters and more information on the Sustainable Enterprise Certificate.


Certificate in Business Lawyering

Are you a law firm looking to attract and retain talented associates? Are you a legal professional eager to expand your knowledge to better advise clients with business problems and opportunities? The Certificate in Business Lawyering (CBL) program offers a structured approach to business that provides the tools, resources and concepts to increase an associate’s value and ability to attract billable hours. Become a better lawyer by thinking about business issues the way clients think about them. Prepare to be a partner by building business expertise to make it easier to manage the law firm.

Sessions begin Spring 2010. Learn more: or contact Steve Maser or the EDC at for more information.



Faculty News


Fred ThompsonFred Thompson participated in a Forum on “Framing a Public Management Agenda,” organized by the IBM Center for The Business of Government in response to the Obama Administration's expressed intention "to engage experts in federal management policy to craft a broad management and performance framework." The Forum was held in Washington DC, Sunday evening, November 8th and Monday, November 9th. The Forum goals were to: (1) examine the major management themes of the Obama Administration, (2) understand activities to date in each theme area, (3) discuss major challenges ahead to successful implementation in each area, and (4) develop a research agenda in each of the theme areas.

He also attended the Association for Public Policy and Management ResearchConference November 4-7, also in Washington, where he presented a paper entitled: A Positive Model of Expenditure Growth: Toward Closure of the Organizational Process Theory of Budgeting, which he coauthored with Michael Dothan and Mike Hand.

Ken SmithKen Smith recently attended the 5th Annual Performance Management Conference with the Association of Government Accountants in Seattle, WA on November 5-6. In addition, Ken published a chapter in a new book compiled by AGA called Managing for High Performance Government, which was just released this November. His chapter titled "Improvements in City Government Performance Reportion" was co-written with Lee Schiffel of Valparaiso University and several Atkinson alumni helped contribute to the chapter through their research efforts, including Kyle Hill MBA'09, Diep Ho MBA'09, Aminata Keita MBA'09, Goerge Liu MBA'09, Sejal Mehta MBA'09, Gabriela Pop MBA'09, Satvir Singh MBA'09, Thanh Tran MBA'09, Kathy Wang MBA'09, Joyce Wu MBA'09, Ivy Feng MBA'08, David Johnson MBA'08 and Sajal Maheshwari MBA'09.

Lisbeth ClausLisbeth Claus authored a white paper titled; “Duty of Care of Employers for Protecting International Assignees, their Dependents, and International Business Travelers,” which provides business leaders with the information and tools they need to protect their most important asset – their employees – which allows them to also effectively manage business, financial and reputational risks. With a focus on safeguarding employees who travel or live abroad on assignment, the paper breaks down the duty of care puzzle and provides an integrated risk management approach to solving it. This is the first white paper that deals with duty of care as it applies to international assignees, their dependents and international business travelers. The paper was released by International SOS, a world provider of international health care, medical assistance and security services.

Lisbeth has a busy schedule this fall presenting the white paper, with plans to host a webinar for the Asia region (Nov. 11) and travel to Paris (Nov. 27, Thanksgiving break), Amsterdam and London (Feb 10-12) and Singapore, Beijing and Hong Kong (March during spring break) and Toronto (TBD spring). Lisbeth recently completed a U.S. city tour during the past two months with roundtables in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Washington DC, LA, San Jose. Seattle is scheduled for March. In early November, Lisbeth was interviewed by MarketWatch in San Francisco. The white paper has received considerable press, having been translated into French and released there last week. She was also interviewed by Le Figaro and L'Express, two leading French magazines who will release their articles in November prior to her visit. In February, one of Lisbeth's articles will be featured (with a quote from Willamette University Vice President for Administrative Services Jim Bauer, MBA '09) in HR Magazine, which has a considerable circulation. Additionally, the paper was featured in an article on Travel Blackboard, an Australian travel news website.



Staff News


Lisa HyltonLisa Hylton MBA'04, MBA for Professionals Recruiter and Admission Counselor, served on a panel at the 16th Annual PMBA Conference at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her topic, “Engaging the PMBA Student: Creating and Sustaining Culture from Recruit to Alumni,” discussed methodologies to engage and inspire evening MBA students in the University’s mission and culture during and after their experience. The Annual PMBA Conference is designed for Universities who offer a Professional MBA program featuring either a Part-time and/or Evening format.




Student News


Atkinson Students Share International Customs

Each month the office of International Education and the Language Learning Center produce “Willamette World News,” a comprehensive webpage designed to give an international perspective on major issues, building on the human resources Willamette counts on as a liberal arts university. It also serves as a listing of international resources for students, faculty, and all those interested in information, international education, and language learning.

International students at Atkinson are often featured presenters.  Read this month’s issue to learn more about how various holidays are celebrated around the world – through firsthand accounts from Atkinson students. (hyperlink last sentence:

Contributors this month included: Akkadet Udomsirithamrong from Thailand, Minh Ngo from Vietnam, Joy Zhang from China, Jan Taborsky from Czech Republic and Sakina Vohra from India.


NAWMBACurrent Full-time MBA student Diana Ursachi was recently honored as the first NAWMBA Scholarship Award recipient at Atkinson. The scholarship provides $1,500 in tuition and covers participation at the NAWMBA National Conference and Career Fair, which this year took place in Disneyland, Anaheim, CA. The scholarship was made possible with the support of Wal-Mart/Sam's Club. The National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA) is dedicated to empowering graduate women in business in order to propel more women into leadership positions in corporate America and to enhance the diversity of the nation’s workforce. Pictured on left are students who attended the NAWMBA Conference in California (left to right): Shirley Rodriguez, Jessica Nelson, Jenessa Meng, Diana Ursachi, and Madeleine White.


Carson ManningCurrent MBA for Professionals student Tonya Manning recently gave birth to her and her husband's second son on Monday, October 26th. His name is Carson Matthew Manning and he weighed 8 lbs, 8 oz and was 21 inches long.



"Work joyfully and peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts will inevitably bring about right results."

James Allen

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: Russell Yost, Debra Ringold, Beth Ursin, Murthy Vanapalli, Joe Carmichael, Bea Tijerina, Audrey McGeeney, Chris Magana, Kristin Bauer, Jay Desai, Joseph Rubinstein, Judith Hetzel, Sarah Evans, Fred Thompson, Lisbeth Claus, Chris Andresen, Diana Ursachi, and Tonya Manning.

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 day before publication (see below). 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