Painting a picture of success at Daimler

Ian Bacon

Ian Bacon arrived at Daimler last summer for his MECOP internship ready to use his BIS and accounting studies to create value for the truck maker, and vehicles that leave the factory with better, more efficiently applied paint jobs are the lasting impact of his six months with the company.

“I started out doing the typical BIS sorts of things,” said Bacon, who’ll graduate from the College of Business in June. “Extracting things from databases, finding information for reports, creating process flow diagrams.”

Then Daimler turned him loose to work with information on truck painting that had been collected in a thorough manner but had never been analyzed or put to work.

“I was able to find a lot more useful information than anyone realized was there, kind of surprising findings,” he said “I developed that into a very thorough suite of reports, including a real-time feedback version for the actual paint shops in plants. Before, the company had a system and they put in numbers, but no one ever saw the results – the inspectors, the painters, the engineers, the plant floor people. We were able to put this information into a system for all of their truck plants, to get this thing useful and fun for everyone. Now if something isn’t happening quite right, in can be corrected immediately.”

In addition to his College of Business education, Bacon’s background includes seven years of learning about industrial processes while working at … Disneyland.

“I worked on rides, was the supervisor for rides, supervisor for some special events,” said Bacon, who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. “In 2008 I did the operational testing and adjustments when ‘It’s a Small World’ underwent a major renovation. Working at Disneyland taught me a lot about business and industrial stuff. Disneyland is an industrial environment, even though it doesn’t look like one. You have to get people safely onto rides, rides break down, things happen, there are lots of regulations, lots of business needs behind the scenes, and I took all of that to the truck factory floor at Daimler. I knew how to talk to people and find out what I needed to know.”

After graduation, Bacon will do a second six-month MECOP internship, this one with Garmin AT, the aviation technology subsidiary of the GPS-focused company. Where he ends up after that depends in part on where his wife, who works in social services, attends graduate school.

“Oregon is a fantastic place,” he said. “When I came and visited, I was looking here and down the road in Eugene, but OSU was more directly interested in me and in students in general. It was much more personal, plus it had the MECOP program, which was a selling point.”

Irrigation software team leads the way

The winning team makes its pitch to the sharks.
The winning team makes its pitch to the sharks.

A team proposing a business built around software for maximizing irrigation efficiency was the overall winner April 8 at the College of Business’ 14th annual MBA Business Plan Competition in Stirek Auditorium.

Developing the plan for the company, called Irrigation for the Future, were Andy Roberts, Yang Wang, Vincent Dijoe and Easton Henrikson.

Placing second was the h2know team of Keith Robertson, Ying Pan, Christina Kreps and Abdulsalam Alhawsawi, and third was X-Bubble: eXtreme heat eXchange, featuring Robert Shattuck, Qi Liu, Jingjing Jia and Chao Feng. H2know’s product was a wearable hydration assessment tool, while X-Bubble deals in nano surface structures for advanced heat transfer.

In the Elevator Pitch and Shark Tank portion of the competition, the order of finish was X-Bubble, Irrigation for the Future, and h2Know. Shattuck, of X-Bubble, was the top Elevator Pitch presenter.

The College of Business extends a big thank you to the judges and sponsors.

Ethics: Strive to be perfect

Aaron Beam, former CFO of HealthSouth, speaks to students over lunch.
Aaron Beam, former CFO of HealthSouth, speaks to students over lunch.

Former Fortune 500 chief financial officer Aaron Beam told College of Business students on April 13 that there’s only one way to maintain business ethics: Strive to be perfect at them.

“If you set the bar lower than that, you’re on a slippery slope,” Beam said. “What’s an acceptable moderate amount to cheat on your taxes? Zero. What’s an acceptable amount to cook the books? Zero.”

Beam, who gave both a lunch-hour and evening presentation in Austin Hall, learned that lesson the hard way: He served three months in federal prison for his role in inflating earnings reports while CFO of outpatient-care giant HealthSouth. He said he lacked the courage to say no when the company’s CEO told to him to make up numbers so the company could dupe investors and tell Wall Street what it wanted to hear.

Twelve months after failing to say no, a guilt-ridden Beam left the company, and four years later, in 2004, he was one of five former HealthSouth CFOs to plead guilty when the Securities and Exchange Commission accused the company of overstating earnings by $2.5 billion dollars dating to 1999.

Financially ruined by the restitution that was ordered, Beam went to work mowing lawns following his release from prison and now gives presentations such as the ones at Austin Hall to university and corporate groups around the country.

His main messages: Maintain a rigid commitment to the highest personal ethics, and investigate any company you might want to work for to make sure it has a similar commitment regarding its corporate culture.

Raised in Shreveport, La., Beam holds an economics degree from LSU and is the author of two books: “Ethics Playbook: Winning Ethically in Business” and “HealthSouth, the Wagon to Disaster.”

Aspiring to be a leader who inspires

Taylor Norby.
Taylor Norby will go to work for Kroger as an assistant buyer.

Taylor Norby wants to drive change by becoming a leader and inspiring others toward leadership too.

With a job offer from Kroger in hand, she’s in position to do those things.

To get there, Norby established herself has a hard-working student, and ambitious Fred Meyer intern, and leveraged all the Career Success Center had to offer.

“I attended a resume workshop class that helped me understand what employers are looking for and how to make sure my resume was noticed,” the senior in marketing said. “I never would have known what Beaver Careers was without the CSC telling me about it, and that is eventually how I got my internship, which led to the full-time offer I received. Without help on my resume, I never would have been selected for an interview.”

Norby grew up in Keizer, where she was “heavily involved in music and sports.” She graduated from McNary High School, where her grades were so high she earned two free years at Chemeketa Community College, then transferred to the College of Business.

“I became interested in a degree for business because of others telling me it would open my doors to many different options for my future,” she said. “What led me to making my focus on marketing was my love for working with people and having a desire to increase my creative abilities along with learning how to be strategic with the work that I do.”

Norby spent the summer after her junior year as a store management intern for Fred Meyer, whose parent corporation is grocery-chain giant Kroger.

“Every so often we would go up to the main office to collaborate with the Kroger interns, and through that experience I became intrigued by the potential career path through corporate,” Norby said. “I knew that I would have to go out of my way to get noticed because I was competing with the main office interns while I was working in the store. I contacted the VP of merchandising and she gave me the names of her direct reports that I later set up informational interviews with so they could become familiar with me and also understand their jobs. I also set up job shadows with various buyers and planners in the main office. By taking the initiative, it showed dedication as well as gave me experience and information to talk about during my interview.

“After going through my internship, Fred Meyer hoped that I would pursue management within their stores and work my way to a store director,” she continued. “I told my supervisor early on what my goal was for the end of my internship, and although she really wanted to see me pursue the store route, she gave me all the necessary tools to become prepared for an interview with the corporate office. The VP of merchandising and her direct reports were heavily involved in the decision-making process and the decisions were based on our intern evaluations, project, interview, and overall mesh with the rest of the team. I truly believe that my efforts to reach out to those in the main office helped me tremendously when it came down to receiving a job offer.”

Kroger offered Norby an assistant buyer position. She’ll spend 12 weeks in the company’s general merchandise buyer/planner training program, then 18 months as an assistant buyer and another 18 months as an assistant planner. At the end of those three years, she can choose either the buying or planning route.

“I would like to work my way to a leadership role where I can make a difference and inspire others to work their way to a leadership role as well,” Norby said. “Within Kroger, I can work my way up to divisional merchandise manager and then to a general merchandise manager, which I have set my career goals as something I would like to achieve.”

Making the most of opportunities

Jeff Lulay fires up the Reser Stadium crowd.




Jeff Lulay arrived at the College of Business four years ago with a mission to make the most out of his college experience and take advantage of opportunities to get work experience and build his resume.

Lulay’s efforts paid off last summer with an internship with Nike Football, where his talents and work ethic led to the offer of a full-time job as a brand marketing specialist when he graduates with a marketing degree in June.

“My main job is the brand,” Lulay said, “how our brand is represented on players on the field.”

Lulay was one of 48,000 applicants for the handful of Nike Football internships last summer, and he arrived with a wealth of sports and apparel expertise to offer, though. He was a football player, baseball player and wrestler at Wilsonville High School, and at Oregon State, he’s interned with the athletic department – he’s the “mic guy” who fires up the football crowd at Reser Stadium – and served as president of the Beaver Dam, the student fan organization. He’s also done marketing for the prestigious 16-team Les Schwab Tires Invitational high school basketball tournament in Hillsboro.

As Beaver Dam president, Lulay has cultivated relationships with basketball coach Wayne Tinkle and football coach Gary Andersen. His people skills with high-profile figures came in handy during the two-month Nike Football internship, where he interacted with NFL stars such as Richard Sherman, Luke Kuechly, and Ndamukong Suh.

“I knew I couldn’t ask for photographs or autographs,” Lulay said. “I love the NFL, but I knew I had to keep my composure.

“I excelled at everything they gave me,” he said. “I’m good with events and love sports, so it was easy to be passionate about what I was doing.”

Lulay’s primary internship responsibility was being in charge of the equipment room at the Top 150, a July camp at the Nike campus in Beaverton for the best high school seniors-to-be in the country. Lulay oversaw more than $1 million worth of football gear.

Lulay was also on one of 24 eight-person intern teams who competed in a challenge to revamp Nike’s onboarding procedures. His team took the creative approach of presenting its suggestions in the form of a SportsCenter segment.

“When we were done, the judges applauded,” said Lulay, whose team won the competition and earned the right to present to present to Nike CEO Mark Parker.

Lulay urges his fellow business students, especially the younger ones, to start using the Career Success Center early, especially for help with resume writing and lining up internships.

“I tell freshmen, use what the College of Business has to offer,” he said. “The college brings all these things to the table. Take advantage of them. A degree by itself isn’t enough. You need to get that work experience to set yourself apart.”


BIS students power up with PGE

Kevin Whitener of Portland General Electric, right, addresses the tour group by the Beaver-colored bank of batteries in Salem. Center is tour organizer Pradeep Kumar of the Portland chapter of the Society of Information Management.
Kevin Whitener of Portland General Electric, right, addresses the tour group by the Beaver-colored bank of batteries at the Salem Smart Power Center. Closest to Whitener is tour organizer Pradeep Kumar of the Portland chapter of the Society of Information Management.

About 20 business information systems students from the College of Business took a two-hour tour of Portland General Electric’s Salem Smart Power Center on Feb. 10.

The tour was the annual BIS field trip arranged through the Portland chapter of the Society for Information Management. Pradeep Kumar of Portland SIM was the organizer.

The power center is a new battery storage facility and part of the larger Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project. The Bonneville Power Administration calls the center a first-of-its-kind facility and one of the most advanced electrical systems in the nation.

Rene Reitsma, BIS professor at the College of Business, describes the Smart Power Center as a five-megowatt bank of lithium-ion batteries used “to smooth out supply and demand and store renewable energy.” In the event of a citywide PGE outage in Salem, the grid-tied batteries could meet the needs of every customer for 15 to 20 minutes, long enough to get backup generators online.

Reitsma said the tour focused on the vast IT requirements of the battery system, which according to the BPA involve 67 separately addressed Internet devices communicating on two different networks within the facility.

BIS student Jacob Roller was invited to “sit down at a computer and play with the battery,” Reitsma said. “He’d take 150 kilowatts and push it into the net, then pull it back out. We thought it was just going to be a simulation, but it was real. It was so much fun.”

Joining the College of Business students on the tour were students from the University of Portland, Oregon Institute of Technology, and the University of Washington-Vancouver.

REAL People: Cheliss Thayer

Cheliss Thayer

Our REAL People of the College of Business series continues with Cheliss Thayer. Cheliss started at the college this winter and has the easily-rolls-off-the-tongue title of accounting administrative program specialist — she helps support the college’s accounting faculty and programs.

Here’s more about Cheliss, in her own words:

“I was born and raised in Central California in the small town of Placerville, just west of Tahoe. I graduated from Smith Flat High School in 2010 and moved to Oregon that fall to attend LBCC. I worked full time while attending school part time so that I could gain residency. I graduated from LBCC in 2013 with my AS in English-Writing. I began at Western Oregon University in the winter of 2014 and will graduate from WOU after this term with my BS in humanities – Writing & Linguistics. Because of working all through my schooling career, I will graduate with no debt. I’m also the first person in my family to attend and graduate college!

“While attending LBCC, I met my now husband, Jared. Together, we started a construction company, Thayer Construction, that has been serving the Corvallis community for almost two years now. This summer, we also adopted Jared’s sister, Emma (15), who is now a sophomore at Corvallis High School.

“Aside from professional endeavors, my family loves to travel! I spent the summer of 2011 living in Malta, and have toured through England, Scotland, France, Greece and the state of Montana (among a few others). In our house, we have three large maps (Oregon, USA and the world) on the walls with little pins tagging where we’ve been and where we want to go. At this point, we have quite the extended list of ‘to go’ places that we’re looking forward to tackling. My family is very important in my life. Coming from a family of five kids, we stick pretty close together. Currently, we live about five blocks from one set of grandparents (both over 80) who share our love of travel. This last summer, we took a 2,400-plus mile road trip with them. I also teach dance classes at a local dance studio in Corvallis in the evenings, knit, make jewelry, read (a whole lot), write and cook.

“I started working at the College of Business this last December and am looking forward to the future opportunities here.”

Cheliss Thayer

Quilt raffle highlights Food Drive

The Marys River Quilt Guild donated the 90-by-80-inch quilt to the college.

A raffle for a 90-by-80-inch quilt is one of the highlights of the College of Business’ efforts for the annual OSU Food Drive, which benefits Linn-Benton Food Share.

Raffle tickets ($5 each or three for $10) go on sale Monday, Feb. 8, in the Faculty Services office, Austin Hall 302. They’ll be on sale through noon Feb. 12, and the quilt, donated by the Marys River Quilt Guild in Philomath, will be on display in the Faculty Services office all week as well. The drawing will be held at noon; the winner will be notified by email.

On Tuesday, Feb. 2, the college will kick off its food drive efforts with a coffee, tea and pastry event from 10 a.m. to noon in the Masterson Family Marketplace. During the event, Faculty Services will accept donations of money and nonperishable food items and sell tickets for a 50-50 raffle. Tickets for the 50-50 raffle are also $5 apiece or three for $10.

On Friday, Feb. 5, donuts and drinks will be sold door-to-door in Austin Hall. As with every promotion, all proceeds go to Linn-Benton Food Share.

Donations of food and money will be accepted at the Faculty Services office throughout February, and college employees can also donate via payroll deduction. Deduction forms will be available at the kickoff event.

For more information about the college’s Food Drive efforts, email Noelle Cummings at

Get Going: Broaden your horizons

A panel with first-hand experience shares advice about studying abroad.
A panel with first-hand experience shares advice about studying abroad.

Twenty-six College of Business students turned out to the Robert Family Events Room on Jan. 21 to learn about studying abroad from a seven-person panel with first-hand experience.

Among the words of advice passed along by the panelists during the “Get Going” session:

  • Immerse yourself in the culture.
  • Be a sponge – absorb all you encounter.
  • Learn at least a bit of the language.
  • Remember that grades aren’t all that matter.
  • Focus on the whole experience.
  • Try the food.
  • Don’t be afraid to say yes.
  • Branch out and meet people.

Making up the panel were Rachael Korbel, who studied in Italy; Jason Duncan (Norway); Ruby Sutton (Austria); Virginia Tat (Germany); Nathaniel Berry (Czech Republic); Mark Scheidler (Denmark); and Stefan Herrenbruck (Austria).

Korbel is a design student who took part in a study abroad program at fashion and design school Accademia Italiana. The remaining students on the panel went abroad via the Arthur Stonehill International Exchange Program, a partnership between the College of Business and universities in 12 countries; the others are Australia, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Thailand.

Also available, for design students, is an exchange program at Hanyang University in South Korea.

Click here for more information about international opportunities.




REAL People: Noelle Cummings

Noelle Cummings

Our REAL People of the College of Business series continues with faculty services office manager Noelle Cummings. Noelle has lived in the mid-Willamette Valley for most of her life but has also spent six years overseas: three in Italy, where the food was a fantastic highlight, and three in Japan, where she kept her eating relatively low-key and left things like baby squid on a stick to her more adventurous husband, Jeff.

Noelle and Jeff have two children, Sean, 12, and Emma, 8; Emma was born in Italy. Here’s more about Noelle, in her own words:

“I was born in California, moved to Oregon when I was 2 and have called Oregon home ever since. I graduated from Philomath High School in 2002, got married and had my first child in 2003, and after that I started working part-time and going to school part-time. In 2005 – my husband had joined the military – we moved to Italy in October and were there until October 2008, at Aviano Air Base. I loved it; it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Then we moved to Japan for three years, Misawa Air Base. Those six years that we spent overseas, we made some of best memories, traveling and learning. We did extensive traveling while we were in Italy, and in Japan we made it down to Tokyo a couple of times; my husband had a more rigorous work schedule, and I was working for the Air Force; I was the 35th Force Support Squadron writer and editor.

“My husband left the Air Force in 2011, and now he’s a full-time student going to school on the GI Bill; he’s an electrical engineering and computer science major, and he’ll graduate in June 2017. I graduated last June with a degree in communication, and it’s four years this month for me working at the College of Business.

“After graduating, I wanted to become more involved with my local community and I knew I wanted to do that through volunteering. I saw a call for volunteers in the Gazette-Times for American Red Cross disaster shelter workers for Benton County and thought this would be a great fit for me having experienced the Japanese 9.0 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011. I completed numerous online trainings as well as a day-long hands-on orientation and training that certifies me as a Disaster Shelter Worker for Benton County. I can be called to other counties in the state as well, and with additional training, nationwide.”

Noelle Cummings