A quick look back at 2015’s top stories

Welcome to 2016 at the College of Business, and we wish all of you the greatest successes in the year ahead.

But before we all get too immersed in the coming 12 months, here’s a quick look back at the top 10 highlights the college experienced in 2015. In no particular order (we’ll leave the rankings to you), here they are:

— Guest speaker lineup that includes design-thinking guru Barry Kudrowicz, international business CEO and ethicist Joe Lobbato and Israeli diplomat Ido Aharoni entertains and enlightens Austin Hall audiences.

— Online/Portland hybrid MBA program produces first class of graduates.

— Seaweed that tastes like bacon, the subject of an MBA student group’s integrated business plan, takes the nation by social media storm (the celebrated plant is known as dulse).

— Business Expo packs every floor of Austin with potential employers.

— Change in leadership atop the college as Mitzi Montoya takes over as dean following Ilene Kleinsorge’s retirement.

— COB students organize, stage TEDxOregonStateU, which packs the LaSells Stewart Center for a night of “Disruption.”

— OSU students dominate Duck counterparts in Civil War Shark Tank.

— Celebration of Excellence crowns new Hall of Famer (Stephen Bailey) while honoring college’s best and brightest.

— Oregon State Investment Group contingent meets “King of Private Equity” Stephen Schwarzman during annual trip to New York.

— Marketing professor Jim McAlexander receives KEDGE Business School’s “20 Years On” research prize for his 1995 ethnography on Harley-Davidson consumers. The prize recognizes research that has “paved the way for significant development within a field or a scientific approach.”

Best of the rest: COB alum Jaymes Winters serves as the kickoff speaker at the opening of the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center; OSU Advantage Accelerator continues work with entrepreneurs, startups; employers fill loge level at Reser Stadium to network with students.

Diversity highlighted at symposium

Diversity Career Symposium

Up to 200 students from Oregon State who identify with groups that are traditionally underrepresented on campus – e.g., people of color, who are disabled, are veterans, or are LGBTQ – will have an opportunity next month to attend a day-long career development event at the Salem Convention Center.

The Diversity Career Symposium is a partnership of OSU and the University of Oregon and is sponsored by Providence Health and Services, Wells Fargo, the OBA Education Foundation and Portland General Electric. It will be held Friday, Jan. 29.

Pam Knowles, executive director of industry relations at OSU, said the university became interested in an event of this type a couple of years ago because “employers were looking for diverse students, and we didn’t really have a way of connecting our diverse students with employers.”

Seeing the same need, the UO had already taken steps toward this type of event, and Knowles and Ronnie Casanova, Oregon’s assistant director for employer development, career services, decided to work together. That way employers could connect with job and internship candidates from both universities on the same day rather than having to go through the exercise twice.

Borrowing the UO’s framework for subcommittee structure, Knowles led OSU in setting up its own panels in areas such as student outreach, employee outreach and logistics. Oregon State raised about $60,000 to help put on the event, money that will among other things go toward providing transportation to and from the symposium for all Oregon State students who attend.

Sixty employers will take part in the event, which will feature morning and afternoon workshops, industry sessions, an “etiquette lunch” and a career fair.

“We want to help students start thinking about their careers at an earlier time,” Knowles said. “We provide workshops to go on their resumes, networking, that kind of thing, and the other piece is, hopefully they’ll have more awareness of what kinds of jobs and internships are out there.”

The goal is to have 200 students from each university attend, Knowles added.

For more information, visit http://www.diversitycareersymposium.com/tablet/index.html.

REAL People: Sam Yul Cho

Sam Yul Cho

Our REAL People of the College of Business series continues with Dr. Sam Yul Cho, assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship.

Cho has been at Oregon State since fall 2014, arriving after four years of doctoral study at Washington State University in Pullman. In the small town in the Palouse Hills, Cho worked under his current OSU colleague, Jonathan Arthurs, then reconnected with Arthurs in Corvallis to be part of the launch of the College of Business’ first Ph.D. program.

Here’s more about Cho, in his own words:

“I’m from Seoul. I lived in Seoul for about 20 years and also lived in Tokyo for about nine years. I grew up in Tokyo for three years when I was in elementary school, and then I went back to Seoul for high school and university, then back to Tokyo to get my master’s degree, and after that I joined Suisse Bank and worked there for about three years. Then I went back to Seoul and joined LG Electronics for about three years, then I came to the U.S. to get my MBA.

“I went to the University of Rochester – in Rochester, it snows a lot. I had a finance background, and the University of Rochester is kind of a finance school. Basically they have great finance academics; their publications are phenomenal. It was very cold and it snowed a lot, but I think it was a good investment; it opened the door for me to join the Ph.D. program at Washington State. I spent four years there; I majored in strategy and minored in entrepreneurship.

“Pullman is a very small town. It’s cold and windy – actually there’s nothing there. The good thing is you can concentrate on your studies – the only thing you can do is study. It’s good to be there because once you get out, wherever you go, it’s better.

“We’re starting a new Ph.D. program (at OSU), and that’s a great opportunity. You can actually build up your own legacy, so to speak. If an organization is growing, you can grow too. And Oregon, location-wise, it’s awesome. I started hiking. When I came here I found a few small mountains, and when the weather is good, I go hiking. It’s so beautiful to see the city of Corvallis when you’re up there.”

Sam Yul Cho



Historical footnote to family business honoree

David H. Sutherland & Co. got its start in 1951 when Sutherland took note of surplus coal outside the Portland Gas & Coke Building. A few years later, the building was abandoned and an adjacent gasification plant shuttered. (Photo courtesy NW Natural)

Last month at Portland’s Sentinel Hotel, David H. Sutherland & Co. took home the Generational Development prize at the 2015 Excellence in Family Business Awards ceremony.

The 64-year-old company, a global supplier of composite and specialty products for aerospace and other high-performance industries, traces its beginnings to the agile mind and ambitious nature of the World War II bomber pilot for whom the firm is named.

David Sutherland was a social worker for the Veterans Administration in Portland when he noticed a pile of surplus coking coal briquettes outside the Portland Gas & Coke Building on Highway 30 in Northwest Portland.

Sutherland knew the briquettes were just the sort of material war-ravaged, rebuilding nations like Japan needed, so he started working his connections to see if he could find buyers for them in Asia.

He succeeded, and thus was born the company that last month was honored by the Oregon State University College of Business’ Austin Family Business Program.

The Portland Gas & Coke site, meanwhile, was in the early 1950s charting a much different course. The company, now known as NW Natural, in 1913 had built the plant on west side of the Willamette River, just south of where the St. Johns Bridge would open 18 years later. The Portland Gas & Coke Building, which was used for administrative purposes, and the rest of the facility were shuttered by the end of the decade as natural gas lines reached Portland, rendering obsolete what the plant had been constructed for: manufacturing gas from coal.

The building, which came to be known as Gasco, featured gothic architecture and became one of Portland’s most intriguing and photographed structures; described by its fans as an “industrial cathedral,” it was the last remaining structure from the gasification plant.

Vacant since 1958, abandoned and decaying – and also contaminated inside and out from plant activities – Gasco stood watch over Northwest Portland until this fall. That’s when NW Natural began demolishing it rather than spend roughly $2 million of ratepayer money just to stabilize and clean it (the demolition had been delayed to give a community group a chance to generate funds to save the structure, but the effort fell well short).

While the building itself is now gone, one part of Gasco lives on – and on the same campus that hosts the family business program that honored the company that got its start via surplus coal on the Gasco site. In 1988, NW Natural donated Gasco’s four-sided tower clock to Benton Hall, the first building of what would become Oregon State University.

And the Gasco tower survives as well.

Reports Melissa Moore, NW Natural’s corporate communications manager:

“We preserved the clock tower and are currently doing more abatement on that in hopes of donating it to the community member who had tried to raise money to save the building.”

Benton Hall
Since 1988, the Gasco clock has been marking time at OSU’s Benton Hall.

Finance grad opens The Show

The Show
The Show
The Show, 1915 N.W. Ninth St., Corvallis, is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.

Like other mid-valley residents who grew up in China, Xiuyu “Connor” Xue likes American meal staples like pizza and hamburgers.

“But I can’t eat that every day,” the 2014 College of Business finance graduate said.

Knowing many of his fellow expatriates felt the same way, and preferring to be his own boss, Xue has launched The Show, a quick-serve eatery dishing up authentic Chinese food from its north Corvallis location at 1915 N.W. Ninth St.

The name was a suggestion from Prof. Ray Brooks, after hearing that Xue planned to have USB chargers and plug-ins at every table so busy customers could meet their electronic work and recreational needs while waiting for their food or eating.

Xue, 24, figures The Show fills a previously empty niche in a university town with 1,500 Chinese students: high-quality and authentic Chinese food that customers can experience without having to spend 40 minutes or more in a sit-down dining environment. Three to five minutes is The Show’s service goal for options including sweet and sour pork ribs, braised beef with potatoes and carrots, shredded pork with bell peppers, Chinese crepes, and tea eggs. Customers can order by phone at 541-602-7790.

Xue notes that Corvallis has excellent Chinese restaurants but that the only fast-serve establishment is Panda Express, which he likens more to American food than Chinese. Roughly half of his customers so far, he notes, have been American.

The Show is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.

Xue’s restaurant was recently featured in the Corvallis Gazette-Times in a report by business writer Kyle Odegard.

Xue had initially planned to open The Show in early November, but a soft opening at that time revealed operational tweaks that needed to be made before the eatery could be fully ready to go.

Connor Xue
Connor Xue dropped by Austin Hall to talk about his new restaurant.

REAL People: Keith Robertson

Keith Robertson
MBA student Keith Robertson is wrapping up his first term in Corvallis after moving west from Missouri.

Keith Robertson of Kansas City, Mo., had never been to Oregon before deciding to pursue an MBA in commercialization at Oregon State University beginning fall term 2015. The owner of a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Missouri (class of 2012), Robertson is loving his time in the Beaver State, even if it did mean being 2,000 miles away from the Royals’ World Series celebration, and even if the Corvallis weather has gotten a bit damp of late.

Robertson, the subject of the latest installment of our REAL People of the College of Business series, took some time the Friday of dead week to talk about his decision to head west and how the transition is going so far:

“When I was looking at grad schools, I had a few criteria, and one of them was an accelerated program. OSU does a good job of catering both to students to have to keep working and who want to be full-time students, so for me I could be here nine months, get in, get the knowledge I was looking for and get back into the job world.

“Another area that’s different from other schools is here you can specialize down a track. Other universities offer MBAs that are more generic, so if I could leave here with a major and an emphasis, I thought that would be useful.

“It’s extremely fast paced. I’m taking five courses per quarter, so it’s like more than a full workload, but an accelerated program was one of my primary criteria, and I enjoy my teachers and my classes.

“I enjoy Corvallis, and I try to take advantage of state — any dry weekend. I just purchased my first rain jacket, so I look like a local – I guess I came a little unprepared to battle the elements. The campus is nice, and Austin Hall is high tech and state of the art. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about my new journey, though I did miss being in Kansas City for the Royals winning the World Series.”


City Club hears marketing proposals

City Club of Corvallis members listen to marketing pitches from Advertising Management students.
City Club of Corvallis members listen to marketing pitches from Advertising Management students.

Eight student teams made presentations to City Club of Corvallis members Dec. 1, outlining strategies and tactics for the club to increase its membership by 30 – or roughly double it – over the next seven months.

The students are in Prof. Jason Stornelli’s Marketing 493 class, Advertising Management, and made their pitches in the Robert Family Events Room in Austin Hall.

Stornelli said the City Club was chosen as the focal point of the students’ work because the club had approached the College of Business’ Close to the Customer Project for marketing assistance.

Among the recommendations was building membership by tapping into Oregon State’s Greek community “due to their tendency to be more involved in the community” and because fraternity and sorority members are “required to be involved in some sort of community service each month.”

The same group of students – Dayne Lee, Gillian Benoit, Mike Hanson and Gabby Kelly – also suggested targeting Corvallis’ over-65 population, which the team said exceeds 5,000, by working on ways to alleviate any transportation issues they have that might prevent them from getting to the club’s monthly noontime meetings at the Boys & Girls Club.

Other suggestions included changing the meeting location and time to make it easier on potential members to attend, providing child care for parents who wished to be members, and ramping up the club’s presence online and on social media.

“They were great,” board member Nick Houtman said of the students’ presentations. “Lots of useful ideas based on an understanding of what this organization can do. We’re having a board meeting this afternoon, and their ideas will definitely help fuel discussion.

“Among our thoughts will be doing some ongoing work with the Marketing Club,” Houtman continued. “The leader of that group seemed interested in continuing to work with us and develop our presence in the community.”

Thirty years of family business education, excellence

Andrew Crouse and Mary Sutherland Crouse.

The spotlight shone on three decades of brilliance Nov. 19, including this year’s award winners, at the 2015 Excellence in Family Business Awards ceremony at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland.

The event celebrated the Austin Family Business Program’s 30 years of family business education, as well as conferred recognition on eight Oregon companies – winners and finalists in the categories of Business Renewal, Family Harmony and Generational Development – plus saw a special award given to Oregon’s oldest family business.

Nik Blosser, chairman of Sokol Blosser Winery and CEO of Celilo Media Group, emceed the event, which included remarks by Dave’s Killer Bread co-founder Shobi Dahl.

Winners and finalists were as follows:

Business Renewal: Rose City Label Company (winner), Hillsboro Implants & Periodontics (finalist).

Generational Development: David H. Sutherland & Co., Inc. (winner), Newberg Steel & Fabrication, Inc. (finalist), Hagan Hamilton Insurance (finalist).

Family Harmony: Roe Motors (winner), Lee Farms (finalist), Nicholas Restaurant (finalist).

Student Award: Mackenzie Day.

Dean’s Family Business Leadership Award: The Thomas Moisan Farm, established 1842, recognized as Oregon’s oldest family business.

Stories on the winners and finalists appeared in the event’s program.

There are also videos that honor the 2015 winners.

The Newberg Steel & Fabrication family with fellow Newberg businessman Ken Austin, right.
The Newberg Steel & Fabrication family with fellow Newberg businessman Ken Austin, right.


REAL People: Emily Bestor

Emily Bestor

Our REAL People of the College of Business series continues with versatile third-year student Emily Bestor. Get to know her through her own words:

“I grew up in Ashland, Oregon, and I’m a junior here at OSU, majoring in business information systems and business management. I am also pursuing a minor in French. I currently work as an accounting assistant at the Auxiliaries and Activities Business Center. If you are a treasurer for a club, it’s highly likely I’ve helped you in the office! One of my favorite things I’m involved in on campus is DAMchic Magazine. I’ve always been interested in journalism, and I love brainstorming ideas for photo shoots and then watching the whole magazine come together beautifully.

“I’m someone who is analytical and likes to understand how things work, not just that they work. It’s a certain way of thinking.

“My parents own a retail store, Travel Essentials. I’ve spent a lot of time in the store, working with customers. And I’ve been learning about the systems they use, how their website works. That’s sort of what made me interested in BIS. A BIS education is also just a really good tool to have, something that will help me with challenges I encounter in whatever job I have.”


Event introduces new COB dean

Meet the Dean

The chance to lead one of the nation’s most venerable business schools and drive it to even greater heights is what attracted Mitzi Montoya to Oregon State, the College of Business’ first-year chief executive told the audience Tuesday at a “Meet the Dean” event organized by Management Practicum students.

The 90-minute gathering began with opening remarks by Montoya inside Austin Hall’s Stirek Auditorium, continued with a question-and-answer session, and concluded with a reception in the Masterson Family Marketplace.

An alumni base that’s more than a century in the making is an enormous strength for the College of Business, Montoya said, as is the college’s reputation for producing hard-working, profession-ready graduates equipped to become leaders in an economy that’s increasingly data driven and innovation oriented.

She also asked forgiveness if anyone ever sees her wearing green, explaining green is the school color of Michigan State University, from which she earned both a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. Montoya noted that like Oregon State, Michigan State is situated in a college town (East Lansing) and that she’s pleased to be living in such a place again.

After the Q-and-A session, the dean mingled with students in the marketplace, posing for photos with a number of them.