Meet the Weatherford winners

weatherford awardRyan Hildebrand never set out to define himself as an entrepreneur, and Tim Hildebrandt doesn’t necessarily think of himself that way, either.

Labels aside, their innovative excellence has earned each of the College of Business graduates a 2015 Weatherford Award.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Hildebrand said. “I’m very humbled.”

Added Hildebrandt: ““It means a lot to me,” he said. “The past winners are so accomplished, I don’t think I’m in the same category as those guys yet. But I’m honored to be recognized, and excited.”

Hildebrand is a cofounder of Seed, an online and mobile banking service for startups headquartered in Portland and San Francisco. Prior to Seed, he was vice president of finance for Simple Finance, a similar type of company whose target clientele is 18- to 30-year-old consumers; while at Portland-based Simple he hired Hildebrandt to be the company’s controller.

Hildebrandt and Hildebrand worked together on the $117 million deal that saw the startup acquired by Spanish banking giant BBVA.

“Some people say they want to be entrepreneur, like it’s some kind of title, and it often ends up having a connotation based around ego, and that’s not what I believe in,” said Hildebrand, who left Simple to try his own startup, Seed. “Some people are not meant to start their own companies but they can be effectively innovative within their organization or doing whatever they’re doing. For me, entrepreneurship is starting something new, whatever it is — thinking through how the status quo is and trying to change it for the better.”

That mission statement also describes Hildebrandt, who now has Hildebrand’s old job at Simple.

“Tim is an excellent accountant, and what he was able to do was take those excellent skills and experiences and bring it into an innovative environment and apply it directly to something that didn’t exist,” College of Business Dean Ilene Kleinsorge said.

Hildebrandt and Hildebrand will be honored May 11 in Portland at the college’s annual Celebration of Excellence, along with the rest of the 2015 award winners as well as the retiring Kleinsorge.

The evening begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards presentation. For more information or to register, contact Elsa Frey at elsa.frey@oregonstate.edu or call 541-737-6648, or register online at http://business.oregonstate.edu/awards.

For more on the event and the honorees, follow the College of Business blog as the countdown to the celebration continues.

 

Born to run, Snow at home at Nike

Angela Snow.
Angela Snow.

Nike executive Angela Snow’s path toward Distinguished Business Professional honors began, appropriately enough, on a running track.

“I always knew I’d work at Nike,” said Snow, the company’s vice president for design culture and community. “I started running on the Beaverton track when I was 5 or 6 years old; there were meets every Saturday. That definitely introduced me to the idea of running and the whole aspect of competition. I grew up with Nike.”

Snow spent her childhood on a 50-acre farm on Weir Road five miles from what’s now the site of Nike headquarters. She was born in 1959 in Toronto to British parents and moved to Beaverton at 9 months; her father, Jim Strike, a former semi-pro rugby player, was a forest products manager, and his wife, Iris, was a “renaissance homemaker” whose talents and loves ranged from upholstery to baking to sewing to the arts.

Snow studied fashion design, graphic design and art history at OSU. Soon after earning her degree she joined Nike, and her initial role was putting together the burgeoning company’s first graphic design team. From there, she went to Hong Kong to start an apparel design team for the Asia-Pacific market, and after 21/2 years she moved to The Netherlands to be the creative director for apparel for the European market for three years.

“That led me back to the U.S., where I ran the men’s apparel department and then made the leap to footwear,” she said.

A half-dozen years ago, in response to an organizational evolution that designers found displeasing, Snow accepted her current assignment.

“Designers were working for business people and not creative people, and we said we’ve got to make sure design is holistic and has a strong organizational structure of its own,” said Snow, who notes that next to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., “OSU is our biggest feeder. The designers who come out of OSU, they’re developed and prepared and inspired.”

Snow, who as a member of the COB’s industry advisory board for design aims to help keep it that way, will be honored May 11 in Portland at the college’s annual Celebration of Excellence, along with the rest of the 2015 award winners as well as retiring Dean Ilene Kleinsorge. For more on the event and the honorees, follow the College of Business blog as the countdown to the celebration continues over the next couple of weeks.

The evening begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards presentation. For more information or to register, contact Elsa Frey at elsa.frey@oregonstate.edu or call 541-737-6648, or register online at http://business.oregonstate.edu/awards.

 

Hall of Fame to induct Bailey

Stephen Bailey with wife Marian and other members of their family.
Stephen Bailey with wife Marian and other members of their family.

Stephen Bailey had gravitated toward Oregon State partly because he was a Beaver sports fan, and as graduation neared, he came to realize his choice of universities was fantastic for academic and career purposes, too.

“It became apparent when I got a job offer,” said Bailey, who completed his accounting degree in 1970. “That’s a little bit tongue in cheek, but it’s not far from right. I think I was offered five different jobs coming out of Oregon State. Oregon State within the profession had a high level of awareness because graduates had demonstrated an expertise.”

Bailey had grown up on a Tillamook farm and developed an affinity for Oregon State while following the exploits of all-America end Vern Burke, who in 1962 had the best receiving season the NCAA had yet seen, and quarterback Terry Baker, that year’s Heisman Trophy winner.

A football and basketball player for the Tillamook High Cheesemakers, Bailey arrived in Corvallis ready to meet any challenge, prepared by his duties on the family’s 120-cow dairy.

“That type of environment gives a lot of life lessons, and the primary one is work ethic,” Bailey said. “You don’t shy away from hard work, and in one form or another you pick up a number of job skills along the way. I was left from time to time running the farm by myself while my father was away, and shouldering that load gives you a keen awareness of what responsibility is and how you carry it.”

After completing his degree, Bailey went to work with Touche Ross & Co. (now known as Deloitte & Touche) as a CPA and audit manager. That was the springboard for a long career, capped by a 10-year stretch at Flir Systems, the thermal-imaging company he helped turn around from the brink of failure, that earned Bailey induction this year into the College of Business Hall of Fame.

He’ll be honored May 11 in Portland at the college’s annual Celebration of Excellence, along with the rest of the 2015 award winners as well as retiring Dean Ilene Kleinsorge. For more on the event and the honorees, follow the College of Business blog as the countdown to the celebration continues over the next couple of weeks.

The evening begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards presentation. For more information or to register, contact Elsa Frey at elsa.frey@oregonstate.edu or call 541-737-6648, or register online at http://business.oregonstate.edu/awards.

COB alum helps open Harris center

Jaymes Winters speaks at the grand opening of the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center.
Jaymes Winters speaks at the grand opening of the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center.

College of Business graduate Jaymes Winters, class of 1985, was the kickoff speaker April 15 at the grand opening celebration of the new home of the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center.

Winters, the late Harris’ nephew, is the CEO of Blue Leopard Capital, a private equity fund based in Portland. He told the overflow crowd of nearly 300 that he hoped the new facility could be “a center for everybody to get a better understanding of each other, what diversity is all about, and not just a place people visit on Kwanzaa and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”

Winters batted leadoff for a lineup of speakers that included Geoff Brooks, a 1972 Oregon State alumnus and a member of the OSU board of visitors; fellow board member Larry Griggs; Corvallis NAACP president Barry Jerkins; and OSU president Ed Ray.

The grand opening was intentionally scheduled for April 15 because it’s Jackie Robinson Day, the date in 1947 that Robinson broke major league baseball’s color barrier; Harris, the first director of the university’s Educational Opportunities Program, was an accomplished baseball player and coach, Griggs said.

The center that bears his name, a gleaming brick and wood structure, is at the corner of Monroe Avenue and Memorial Place.

Winters said he wants the center to be a place people visit regularly and truly learn about each other.
Winters said he wants the center to be a place people visit regularly and truly learn about each other.

 

 

The wide world of Jackie Swint

Jackie Swint and her friend, Foy Renfro, outside the Austin Hall project room Swint sponsored.
Jackie Swint and her friend, Foy Renfro, outside the Austin Hall project room Swint sponsored.

College of Business donor Jackie Swint of Tigard toured Austin Hall for the first time on Feb. 28, taking enthusiastic notice of the project room she sponsors, the gleaming and mesmerizing Abacus sculpture that hangs from the ceiling, and … the students’ backpacks.

“Why are all of those people wearing backpacks?” she asked.

Another member of the tour group explained to Swint, a 1951 College of Business graduate, that backpacks were simply the tool of choice these days for hauling around textbooks, laptop, etc.

“Well, I guess it’s better than just carrying a pile of books,” she said.

Swint knows a bit about both books and luggage, having traveled the globe as a secretary for the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. Equipped with her degree in secretarial science, she worked in eight countries and eventually published “Who Was That Man?” (Inkwater Press, 2008, $22.95), a collection of stories about her adventures.

The title refers to an on-train encounter in the old Soviet Union with a person Swint imagines as possibly being USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

“She saw the world,” said Foy Renfro, formerly of the Oregon State University Foundation, who worked with Swint to set up the scholarships she funds and also accompanied her on her trip to Austin Hall. “Without OSU, she would not have been able to do all of those things, and she’s very appreciative of that.”

Among the ways Swint shows that appreciation is $10,000 in annual scholarship money distributed to four female students in the College of Business, one in each year in school; $1,000 goes to a freshman, $2,000 to a sophomore, $3,000 to a junior, and $4,000 a senior.

Financial need and academic excellence are the criteria used by the College of Business Scholarship Committee in determining the winners.

This year’s recipients are Ilwaad Aman, Jamie Martin, Annemarie Lewandowski and Allyssa Taylor.

Each year, Ilene Kleinsorge, dean of the college, brings her scholarship recipients to Portland to have dinner with Swint “so she can share her stories with her students.”

In addition to sponsoring the project room and funding the scholarships, Swint has donated to the Memorial Union a collection of 11 rubbings she made at the sites of various bas-relief carvings at temples and other ancient building sites in places such as Cambodia, Thailand, Peru and Greece.

“She thought if international students saw something of beauty from their own country it would help them to feel proud of where they came from and less homesick,” Kleinsorge said.

Lewandowski, who helped show Swint around during her visit, was impressed by her concern for other people, among other parts of her personality and life.

“She wanted to ensure that women within the College of Business have a chance to do what she did,” said Lewandowski, a junior majoring in management. “She wanted to show us that we could do it, too.

“She’s so sculpted by her travels and has such a good world perspective,” Lewandowski said. “Every aspect of her life is so intriguing. I was just completely inspired by this lady. She was so great. I wish I could have sat with her all day and just listened.”

 

Students prep via mock interviews

Employers and students descended on the CH2M HILL Alumni Center ballroom for the mock interviews.
Employers and students descended on the CH2M HILL Alumni Center ballroom for the mock interviews.

Representatives from 23 employers helped College of Business students prepare to compete for jobs Feb. 20 during 5½ hours of mock interviews at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center.

Among the participating organizations were COB corporate partners Mutual of Enumclaw and adidas.

“We’ve developed a very strong relationship with the College of Business, and every time we interact with someone from the business school, we walk away amazed at how much of a partnership we’ve built and how cool the students are,” said Larry Beck, a trainer for Mutual of Enumclaw who was conducting mock interviews at Oregon State for the first time.

Added adidas recruiter Thomas Stuyvesant, also a first-time mock interviewer: “We get a lot of talent from OSU, so it’s important for us to maintain that relationship. It’s about pipelining and building goodwill and preparing these strong students to be successful in their careers. It could pay immediate dividends for us, or it could be down the road.”

Prior to the start of the afternoon session, Stuyvesant said he was “very impressed” with the students he’d talked to.

“It’s been great,” he said. “I’ve interviewed four so far, and they’ve all had obvious strengths. One of them, I wish he’d have applied for our internship; he’d have been a great candidate.”

Student reactions to the interviews were just as positive.

“I thought it was so helpful,” said Megan Goody, a junior in finance and management, following an interview with a representative from Target. “I haven’t done a lot of interviews, and she made me feel relaxed, at ease about this whole situation. I was so nervous going into it.

“I think you just need to relax before you answer a question and not let nerves get to you. Take a deep breath — you do have a second to think.”

Mohannad Hadi, a senior business information systems student, interviewed with a representative of the State of Oregon.

“It was really worth it,” he said. “She gave me a lot of advice. I’m planning to get a graduate degree, and she gave advice about what fields to go into.”

And he also learned a key lesson about being a strong interviewee.

“That I should relate my answers to experience listed in resume,” Hadi said. “That was really useful.”

 

Willener: Beavers among the best

Curt Willener.
Curt Willener.

The College of Business prepares people to measure up against the best, says Curt Willener, this year’s Distinguished Early Career Business Professional.

The Hillsboro resident should know. Three years after his OSU graduation, he was accepted into the MBA program at Harvard Business School.

“OSU was on my list, but since I’d gone there as an undergraduate, I wanted a new experience,” who at the time was working at a mill in Albany. “I had just gotten done with a super dusty, 14-hour shift when I talked to (Dean) Ilene (Kleinsorge) about going to graduate school. I think I got her office dirty. But she was so open to talking with me and supporting me, and Ilene wrote a recommendation letter that helped me get into Harvard.

“You’re always a little nervous with something like that, but Ilene said don’t worry, we prepared you, and she was absolutely right,” Willener said. “The top students at Oregon State can compete anywhere in the world against anyone.”

For Willener, now operations manager and Danaher Business System leader at Tektronix/Danaher, the route to OSU began on Sauvie Island, where from age 12 to 18 he worked at a local farm and kennel. After graduating from Scappoose High School, he followed in the footsteps of his OSU alum father, Henry, and headed to Corvallis.

Willener graduated in management and finance from OSU in 2004 and earned a place in a Weyerhaeuser program designed to develop new leaders. Within a few months he was the night-shift supervisor, winning over the older, more experienced workers by “treating them with respect and giving them a fair shake” and “approaching situations with humility and common sense.”

“Listening is a really big part of it,” he said. “People respect you for it.”

Willener will be honored May 11 in Portland at the college’s annual Celebration of Excellence, along with the rest of the 2015 award winners as well as the retiring Kleinsorge. For more on the event and the honorees, follow the College of Business blog as the countdown to the celebration continues over the next couple of weeks.

The evening begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards presentation. For more information or to register, contact Elsa Frey at elsa.frey@oregonstate.edu or call 541-737-6648, or register online at http://business.oregonstate.edu/awards.

 

 

Alumni return for Career Symposium

Cameron Stanislowski picks up tips from OSU alum Katie Barger, who works for Nike.
Cameron Stanislowski picks up tips from OSU alum Katie Barger, who works for Nike.

Representatives from more than 50 companies were at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center on Wednesday for the 29th annual Career Symposium for College of Business students majoring in interior design, graphic design, apparel design and merchandising management.

“It’s great to be involved with people in the industry, and it’s cool they brought it to us,” Hannah Bonilla said during a “life after graduation” networking session featuring Oregon State apparel design and merchandising management alumni who work for companies such as Aquent, Firebrand Sports, Gap and Macy’s.

“You hear what they do and think ‘Oh, I might want to do that too,’” said Makenzie Donnerberg, like Bonilla, a junior majoring in merchandising management.

Fred Meyer, Kohl’s, Nike and SmithCFI were the gold-level sponsors for the four-hour symposium, the theme of which was, “Yesterday’s Dream, Today’s Mission, Tomorrow’s Reality: Shaping the Future of Business & Design.”

Columbia Sportswear and Dream Careers were silver-level sponsors, and traditional-level sponsors included Accademia Italiana, Adidas, American Home & Stone, the American Society of Interior Designers, Buckle, Fine, Hanna Andersson, JanSport, Linn County, Lucy, The North Face, Pacific Furnishings and Pendleton Woolen Mills.

“It’s really fun to walk around and talk to people and see what they’re doing and figure out what I’ll actually do after graduation,” said John Conner, a senior in apparel design. “I’m interested in sportswear but am keeping everything open.”

Senior Cameron Stanislowski, who’s studying merchandising management, said his dream job would be to work in footwear design or footwear product development, ideally in the areas of cleated, training or basketball shoes.

“It’s so useful to have your past classmates come back and talk to you,” he said. “You can network and really find the heart of what you’re into as you prepare to make that transition from graduation into the possible industries you might be in.”

More than 390 students attended.

Claire Rose, an OSU grad working for Macy's, talks to students at the symposium.
Claire Rose, an OSU grad working for Macy’s, talks to students at the symposium.

Austin Hall’s Abacus: Numbers in time

abacus oneOne of the first aspects of Austin Hall, the new home of the OSU College of Business, that visitors can’t help but notice is the artistic array of stainless steel spheres suspended by cables above the building’s central staircase.

To the science oriented, the display might seem molecular in nature, but it’s really mathematical. The artwork by Ray King is called Abacus, named after the ancient tool for counting and calculating.

King lives in Philadelphia and his philosophy is to create “dynamic sculptures that interact with the sun by reflecting light into shadow and refracting light into colors.” He’s exhibited his work internationally since 1976 and has done site-specific artwork throughout the U.S.

King’s Austin Hall creation is actually 24 abaci, each representing an important year in College of Business history — ranging from the 1858 creation of Corvallis Academy, to which Oregon State traces its history, to the 2014 opening of Austin Hall.

A plaque (shown below) on the east-facing wall near the northeast corner of Abacus explains why each date significant and also provides instruction on how to read an abacus. Basically, the columns of spheres stand for thousands, hundreds, tens and ones, with spheres below the abacus’ horizontal rod assigned a value of one each, and spheres above the rod having a value of 10 each.

It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it — though if it takes you a few minutes to do that, don’t feel alone.

For more on Abacus, see http://www.designboom.com/art/ray-king-abacus-sculpture-spheres-stainless-steel-austin-hall-oregon-state-university-01-18-2015/

abacus plaque

 

 

Austin Hall Donor Dinner and Celebration

To conclude the series of opening events for Austin Hall, donors were invited for a dinner and celebration on Nov. 14th.  The Jon Masterson Family Marketplace and the Bailey Family classroom were transformed to seat more than 200 donors, alumni and friends for a dinner and evening program.

Austin Hall was funded by  $30+ million in private gifts plus $20 million in state bonds, with $10 million donated by Ken Austin and his late wife Joan; and $6 million donated by the Al and Pat Reser family. More than 450 additional gifts were made to fund the new home for the College of Business.