George Morlan Plumbing Supply: 2019 EFBA Finalist “Generational Development”

Key milestones in the history of George Morlan Plumbing Supply

1927: George and his wife, Mary, moved from Arkansas to Portland, Oregon. He started his plumbing business with one helper and a Ford truck.

Mid-1930s: The new “electric water heater” was invented and George quickly realized the benefit to Oregon homeowners. He began selling and installing so many water heaters, that he was dubbed “The Water Heater King” by a friend and it stuck.

1965: George’s son Gary joined the company full time and, like his dad, he was a constant hard worker. George married Leone Kramien who, with her son Rick, had accompanied her first husband, a circus owner and magician, on the road performing. When they joined the Morlan family, they brought a major component that shaped the company going forward.

1989: Rick purchased the business and opened the second location in Tigard, doubling the size of the business overnight. The grand opening celebration made national news and over 10,000 people attended the event with a mini trade show, Elvis impersonator, and even elephant rides.

Since then, the business has expanded to eight locations, each with their own unique identity but harnessing the spirit of each previous generation.

Q&A with George Morlan Plumbing Supply, 2019 Excellence in Family Business finalist in the generational development category.

How are the third and fourth generations incorporating the historic values of creativity and entertainment in the running of the company today?

Rick, the third generation, particularly merged his show business background with the plumbing company. He was known in Oregon for major advertising campaigns, which at the time, was unheard of in the plumbing business. The George Morlan jingle “The Water Heater King” became widely recognized in the Portland area. The fourth generation, Rick’s children, Alex and Amanda continue these traditions with specialty advertising campaigns, participation in community events, and exciting customer events.

How has the work of long-term planning for the future of the business benefited the family?

About two years ago, Rick, with the help of Alex and Amanda, wrote a long-tern Business Plan and Strategy. The work that went into that has given us a solid plan for the future that undoubtedly will help us grow and thrive.

What’s the biggest challenge that has accompanied the substantial growth of George Morlan Plumbing and Supply? 

Our biggest challenge has definitely been hiring qualified and knowledgeable staff. It has been increasingly difficult to hire anyone with industry knowledge, and therefore, we must hire and train candidates who are completely green. We estimate is takes about three years for someone to learn most of what they need to know to successfully serve our customers. Fortunately, we have many long-term employees with more than 20 or 30 years of history with our company. They are invaluable to us in training new employees.

What is the legacy you hope that the current generations leave for the future owners?

George Morlan created his business on customer service, knowledge and expertise. Customers knew that they could come in with any issue, and he would fix it right at the counter or walk them through their projects. This is the essence of George Morlan that we want to continue in all future generations of the business.

City of Roses Disposal & Recycling: 2019 EFBA Finalist “Generational Development”

Key milestones in the history of City of Roses Disposal & Recycling

July 1996: Al Simpson Founds City of Roses Dropbox Service.

September 2005: COR Purchases 2 Acre Industrial Site with goal of building own Recycling Facility.

April 2013: COR Receives First Recycling Facility Permit.

August 2013: Founder Al Simpson retires from City of Portland after working for COR and CofP for past 17 years.

December 2017: COR Purchases 12 Acre Industrial Site with goal of getting site permitted as a Solid Waste Facility.

June 2019: Metro Council approves COR Solid Waste Facility Permit which becomes the first-ever privately owned transfer station in the City of Portland.

August 2019: COR begins operations at newly permitted Solid Waste Transfer Station.

Today: COR is now the first-ever and ONLY certified Benefit Corporation Waste & Recycling Company in the entire United States.

Q&A with City of Roses Disposal & Recycling, 2019 Excellence in Family Business finalist in the generational development category

How has your father’s deeply-held value of frugality supported today’s success of COR?  

  • It has become the foundation of COR’s message to the world and the meaning behind our existence “Diverting Wasteful Thinking.”
  • Mass consumption leads to waste and the Founder Al Simpson always made a point to ask everyone “Why Waste?” We have taken these principals and made it a core mission of the family business.


What advice do you have about for family business successors who are ready to launch new ventures in their industry?

  • Always respect your elders and predecessors and most importantly learn from their mistakes.
  • As the business grows, the family is continuously strategizing on how to prepare the next generation for roles and expertise that can be secured in house as opposed to hiring externally. We are adamant about preparing our next generation with education in roles to fulfill Legal, Finance, Land Use & Development, Environmental Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation jobs within the company.


When did you know you were ready to take on the CEO role in the family company?

  • Once my other family members suggested that title for me…. Which was in the fall 2018.


What does it mean to the family to be leaders in the community’s economic development?

  • It means ALOT … In a variety of forms, Economic Development is the main vehicle to financial independence.  We have a huge responsibility to our community, underserved populations, and, most importantly, our youth of color who are all faced with lack of opportunities that lead to financial independence. This is important to us as those barriers are very similar circumstances from which we originate.

Women in Leadership Spring Break Trip

Touring the “Grate Room” at Tillamook Creamery’s Portland location, the Tillamook Outpost.


Women in Leadership trip opens secret Nike labs, “grate” room at Tillamook, and connects students with business leaders

The 2019 Women in Leadership Spring Break Trip, co-hosted by the Women in Leadership (WiL) student organization and the OSU Center for the Advancement of Women in Leadership, took 22 OSU student leaders representing six different colleges (and numerous student clubs) on an overnight visit to Portland. The trip included meeting and networking with women leaders at companies big and small, and attending the National Diversity Council’s Women in Leadership Symposium, an event sponsored by Lane Powell, featuring Portland women business leaders.

WiL student chapter president Lily Beck had a leadership role in planning the trip. “Since it was over spring break, not everyone was centrally located on campus. Some people were at home in Portland or around Corvallis, and we even had an online student fly in from Idaho. I had a lot of help to make sure all the logistics were lined up,” Beck said.


Tillamook, Nike and Green Zebra

Among the visits, the group toured Tillamook Creamery’s Portland location, the Tillamook Outpost, and sat for a workplace culture discussion with Sheila Murty, Tillamook’s executive vice president of people and culture, and Sibel Candemir, their vice president of categories.

Sarah Busmire, the Ecampus student from the College of Agriculture who flew in for the event, felt that the diversity discussions were the most valuable to her. “I learned a lot, and the question-and-answer session was awesome,” Busmire said. “I realized that many women face the same challenges in various times of life-from college students all the way to CEOs. It is important as a society that we begin to recognize those challenges and create workplaces where they don’t occur.”

Up next the group headed to Nike, paused to sign non-disclosure agreements and then embarked on an exclusive visit to Nike’s top secret, innovation-focused Valiant Labs. The discussion was led by Nike’s Shaherose Charania, senior director at Valiant Labs, and Liz Freuler, their director of brand and consumer marketing. Many suggested it was a highlight – but did not say much more!

The group then visited Green Zebra, a women-owned grocery chain that features local and organic food in communities that lack larger food retailers. Evelyn Murphy, Green Zebra’s chief people and operations officer, met the students and discussed their philosophy for the small local grocer as a community focal point.

“Green Zebra was really impressive in the fact that they wanted to make sure people in Portland had access to food in a healthy sustainable way,” said Beck. “They mentioned that they wanted people to be able to walk or bike in 20 minutes or less to be able to get to a grocery store. This desire to serve people was also evident in the environment they created among their workers as open and engaging people who were extremely inviting to our group.”


Networking and symposium

An evening networking mixer construed into a “flash mentoring” session allowed trip attendees to circulate through various tables for prompted discussions. Each station would seat two Portland professionals, and about six students taking on the topics.

“We structured the conversations so that students could learn about the challenges women face in the workplace, how to navigate those challenges and how to lead and create change,” said Audrey Iffert-Saleem, center director.

“I learned a so much about the incredible work being done by women in industry to empower other women and make a difference in the organizations they work in,” said College of Engineering student Umayal Annamalai. “I also had the chance to meet so many amazing women from OSU with a variety of backgrounds and aspirations.”

The following morning the group attended the National Diversity Council’s Women in Leadership Symposium at The Nines hotel in downtown Portland, joined by panelists from Bank of the Pacific, Tonkon Torp, Lane Powell, Portland Trail Blazers as well as College of Business Dean Mitzi Montoya. Attendees discussed topics such as building up the women around you, defeating gender-based harassment, the imposter syndrome and using technology for work-life integration.

Following the event, the group engaged in additional discussion over lunch with Portland business women, including members of the panel.

“We were all able to benefit from the connections we made, and the people we talked to. It was an amazing experience for me to be able to plan this kind of trip, and I would do it again in a heartbeat,” Beck said.

Workforce retraining shapes new career and degree path for Portland hybrid student

After finding herself unemployed as the result of a manufacturing plant closure, OSU Portland hybrid Business Administration student Angela Douglass decided the time was right to return to college and complete her degree. “I was able to go back to school full time under the federal Trade Act, a program for workforce retraining,” she explains.

She started with project management classes through Clackamas Community College (CCC) and discovered an industry, construction, and she says she “took to it naturally.” Her instructors recommended her for an internship with the construction project management firm chosen to provide new construction, renovations and deferred maintenance for three community college campuses through the voter approved Clackamas Community College Bond Program. “I got the position and never left.

Douglass has been with the company for almost five years now, managing several projects. One project in particular that stands out for Douglass was the creation of two workforce programs for the CCC bond project. “I worked with contractors and architects to get students and minorities and local businesses involved in the construction work happening on campus”, she recalls. “The programs have been wildly successful, and it has been so rewarding for me to get to help give other students the same opportunities I had, securing internships that lead to careers.”

As part of her responsibilities she recently presented a progress update to the CCC Board of Education.
In December Douglass successfully earned her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, which is the industry standard certification for Project Managers. According to Douglass, “It takes years of hard work to achieve and is a milestone I am really proud of that will open more doors for me as a Project Manager in the construction industry.”

Douglass believes her OSU Business Administration degree will fit into her future plans in a few ways. She’s considering an MBA after graduation, but is also looking at different types of management degrees such as Construction or Engineering Management.

“I want to work up into management positions, so any business and leadership class will help me get there. I am also currently working on starting my own project management consulting business, with the goal of doing small jobs on the side for several years until I have enough experience to run my own woman-owned project management company.” A long-term goal is to start a nonprofit traditional housing community for the homeless, which is what led her to decide to pursue a degree in business.

“All of the teachers and connections I have met along my journey have empowered me to succeed by believing in me and recognizing talents I never even knew I had,” Douglass said. “I am beyond grateful for every opportunity.”

Douglass grew up on a Christmas tree farm in Beavercreek, Oregon, and currently lives in Oregon City with her two cats, Shylphrena and Aziraphale (“who love me unconditionally and keep my heart open“). When she’s not studying or pursuing professional development opportunities, Douglass enjoys exploring the world around her.

“One of my favorite things to do is to go on mini road trips, whether it’s to my favorite winery, the beach, or around the mountain, finding new places to grab a bite to eat and drink and new roads to explore. I can also be found hiking the wilderness, or curled up with a book or pad of paper writing poetry.”

College of Business 2018 Sales Academy to Launch with Strong Corporate Partners

Students across OSU will have the opportunity to enhance their professional sales skills, thanks to a newly launching initiative in the College of Business. The Sales Academy comes to OSU in the 2018-19 academic year with the backing of numerous regional and global corporate partners.

The Sales Academy combines both academic and extracurricular activities, giving students interested in developing or improving their knowledge of professional sales tactics and strategies.

The Sales Academy is centered on a series of learning modules that culminate with a resume-building certificate from the College of Business Sales Academy. An annual sales competition will pit area universities’ best sales teams in a real-world scenario to test their skills.

The Sales Academy extends from a corporate partnership wherein sponsoring businesses, those with a stake in cultivating a talented pool of sales employees, get involved as mentors, teachers and backers of the academy’s multiple learning opportunities.

Pacific Office Automation, title sponsor of the Sales Academy, is an office management and office information technology solutions provider with locations throughout the Pacific Northwest and Southwest United States.

POA President Doug Pitassi says that the topic of access to trained sales professionals is a common discussion point among his network of small- to medium-sized businesses owners and executives. These businesses all seek the same solution – a better supply of trained workers.

Pitassi also seeks to create a deeper understanding of the negotiating, relationship-building skills, and expertise of a sales professional. He seeks to elevate the value and sophistication of sales skills as a professional skill set.

“A big objective for me is to connect with students and convey that there’s a great deal of security in sales, and this is about an investment in your ability to conquer a great skill, whatever product or service you’re selling.”

Danelle Kronmiller, director of strategic partnerships at the College of Business, says that the POA title sponsorship is just one of the many ways that businesses can turn thought leadership on a solution that benefits an industry in particular or the economy of Oregon.

“POA has helped us address one area of concern that sales-driven business models face,” Kronmiller said. “We have room for more partners in the Sales Academy. But ultimately we are ready to execute on the next great idea that will support our students and contribute to the economy of Oregon.”

Paint manufacturer, distributor and seller paint coatings and related products Sherwin-Williams, is a bronze sponsor of the 2018 Sales Academy, and Modesto, Calif.-based E. & J. Gallo Winery, the largest winery in the world, also is a bronze sponsor.





Danelle Kronmiller
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Oregon State University College of Business
Tel.: 541-737-6648



About the OSU College of Business: The College of Business educates students for success in managing and developing sustainable, innovative enterprises in a dynamic economy. With strong graduate and undergraduate programs, internationally recognized scholarly research, and an emphasis on experiential learning, the college helps students and businesses succeed.

One last pitch for fall term: students wow judges with big ideas

BA 260 teams, Launch Academy students and “Next Great Startup” pitch competitors wow judges with big ideas


Three minutes to pitch, another three to take questions, and then a few moments for judges to make notes. Through two days of competitions, hours of presentations on three separate competitive event platforms, the College of Business and OSU entrepreneurs filled Austin Hall awaiting their chance to pitch – and their chance to win startup funds.

This is InnovationX, the OSU Center of Excellence for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which serves students of all majors across the university.


Launch Academy and BA 260 “Introduction to Entrepreneurship”

The second-year students of BA 260 “Introduction to Entrepreneurship,” and the business startups enrolled in Launch Academy incubator courses (BA 367 and BA 368) appeared in Stirek Auditorium Friday for their reckoning. These were the survivors – through the various elimination rounds across three separate panels of judges.

Team Creative Hub took the top prize of $1000 for BA 260 students, besting the elevator pitches of the more than 350 students enrolled in the course.

Among the Launch Academy competitors, ShoeBio, Medivac and Melaknow were the top-funded businesses of the 14 teams. Altogether Launch Academy startups earned more than $15,000 in support from the Giles Student Entrepreneurs Fund.


OSU Advantage Accelerator “Next Great Startup”

At the Thursday event, the engineering and business students competing in OSU Advantage Accelerator’s annual “The Next Great Startup” appeared for the preliminary showdown. Of those teams, Melaknow and Kickback will advance. These finalists from the preliminary competition will compete against student teams from across OSU during a university-wide competition held winter term.

There are patents pending; there are companies with legit annual sales; there are seasoned startup teams that have been catching the eye and ear and pocketbook of venture capitalists throughout the region. Here’s some more details of our students’ work and their incredible business ideas:


Medivac system refrigerates medications

Noah Hoffman opened his pitch with a dramatic statistic from the Hurricane Maria aftermath in Puerto Rico – in just two months after the disaster, deaths attributed to diabetes increased by 46 percent. He points out that insulin degrades within six hours at temperatures higher than 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

His startup Medivac provides a portable, reliable, and long-lasting refrigeration unit offering freedom and security for diabetics. His product is a hybrid cooling box about the size of a lunchbox that mixes passive and active cooling methods to provide long-lasting and secure cold storage for any biologic medication.

“Not only do we provide peace of mind for those without power, but we also enable everyday people who rely on temperature-controlled medications to travel, camp, and venture further than they’ve ever been able to before,” Hoffman said.

Medivac earned $2,000 in funding from the Giles Fund.


MelaKnow app screens moles for cancer

Eli Winkelman, for MelaKnow, points out that the most significant factor for surviving a skin cancer diagnosis is early detection. He also cites data that nationally dermatologists are in short supply, with appointment windows opening only six months into the future. Long enough for a patient to worry, or simply forget and move on.

MelaKnow is a skin cancer screening tool for primary care providers to better diagnose cancer with their smartphones. With MelaKnow’s machine-learning, primary care providers improve their diagnosis from 50 percent accuracy to 90 percent accuracy.

MelaKnow, which is currently applying for NSF grant funding, also earned $2,000 in funding from the Giles Fund. streamlines online shoe shopping

Benjamin Steinhorn, presenting, describes it as “Trivago for sneakers.” His team harnesses big data with a patent-pending normalization algorithm to streamline the buying process, create price alerts for deals or other alerts for styles and sizes. His polished, functioning platform earned $2,500 in funding, but seeks six digits worth of capital investments.

“ShoeBio has a variety of monetization strategies,” Steinhorn explains. “Our largest revenue stream is affiliate marketing. We are in the process of becoming affiliated with all of the websites that we search which allows custom URL coding for each link. We have applied for 250 and will be approved for them within a week of when we applied. We will apply for new programs as soon as we find them, when new websites are added to the platform. Additionally, each affiliate program averages 7 to 8 percent commission payout.”


Dotmap Knife interface assists gaming event organizers

Graham Barber’s entrepreneurial passion is dotmap, a company that creates tools for game developers. Graham presented Knife, a platform that makes it easy to organize and sustain events called game jams, where people create games in a limited period of time.

Knife provides a robust, customizable web-based interface that helps organizers track participants, teams, submissions, and more — all of the moving parts of their event. With Knife, game jam organizers can spend less time building their own management system, and spend more time engaging with their community to run a better event.

Knife earned $500 in funding from the Giles Fund.

[Event photos]

Complete list of winners

Two finalists advance to the next stage of the Advantage Accelerator’s Next Great Startup. They’ll compete against the best OSU teams that survive the winter-term elimination rounds and were each awarded $500 cash prizes.

  • Melaknow
  • Kickback


BA 260 “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” class winners:

  • Creative Hub – $1,000
  • UpSprout – $500
  • Dress to Impress – $300

Other BA 260 that reached the final round (and winners of $100):

  • NannyNow
  • Impact Systems
  • Go Find Me
  • PassportBox
  • Endless Energy


Launch Academy (the incubator for OSU student entrepreneurs) awarded winners:

  • ShoeBio $2,500
  • Medivac $2,000
  • MelaKnow $2,000
  • Zazu $1,500
  • Soulful Boards $1,500
  • Poppins $1,000
  • PAI $1,000
  • Kickback $500
  • Sanctuary $500
  • Rental Consultant $500
  • BrakeBoy $500
  • Knife $500
  • Halo Holds $500
  • Gigspace $500

Case study: Gallo keeps its sales team best in class with custom training

At a “Selling in a Digital World” training site, Gallo employees break for lunch.

Gallo keeps its sales team best in class with custom training

E. & J. Gallo Winery, a family-owned company and leader in the U.S. wine industry, is recognized for distributing and marketing its wine, spirits and other alcoholic products in more than 110 countries.

Lifelong learning is more important now than ever, and Gallo invests in its employees through a Sales Leadership Development Program. To keep pace with a changing global marketplace, Gallo turned to the professional development expertise at Oregon State University.

OSU created a custom hybrid in-person/online training program in digital marketing to upskill employees and expand their capabilities.


Provide a national sales team with multifaceted training and digital marketing experience.


  • Gallo met with OSU’s executive and professional development team to discuss training and professional development needs.
  • Combining OSU’s online capabilities and subject matter experts from the College of Business, a custom program with multiple formats was created for Gallo.
  • Gallo’s sales team completed a pre-assignment online, then received instructor-led training at three training roadshows held across the country.


Upskilled employees: Gallo’s entire sales team learned about selling in a digital world and how to participate in retailers’ marketing efforts. After completing the training, employee ratings exceeded Gallo’s target beginning and ending net promoter scores. Selling in a Digital World earned a 95 percent employee satisfaction score!

Advancing Women in Leadership ― Corvallis edition ― expands successful Portland series


Business, leadership, health, strength and service to society ― these are some of the many torches our lineup of panelists carry to the first Corvallis-based Advancing Women in Leadership strategic discussion this month.

The November 29 meeting, hosted by the OSU Center for the Advancement of Women in Leadership and the OSU Women in Leadership student club, brings together Julie Jones Manning, former Corvallis mayor and vice president for marketing, public relations and community health promotion at Samaritan Health Services; Ilene Kleinsorge, professor and dean emeritus, OSU College of Business, and Marianne Vydra, deputy athletics director for administration/senior woman administrator, Oregon State Athletics.

The Corvallis discussion series follows the model of the highly successful Portland-based series now entering its third year of quarterly events. Though the Corvallis-based series does aim to facilitate student involvement, expanding the series makes OSU’s academic thought leaders, Corvallis and the area’s entrepreneurial-minded leaders even more accessible to our students.

These signature networking and discussion series are part of the core activities of the Center for the Advancement of Women in Leadership, founded with the mission to change the landscape of business leadership by moving women into leadership roles in industry and create the pathway for women’s perspectives to have equitable influence on business decisions and growth.

Thursday, Nov. 29, 5 to 7 pm  |  Austin Hall, Stirek Auditorium  |  Corvallis, OR 97331


Read more about our panelists:


Julie Jones Manning is vice president for marketing, public relations and community health promotion at Samaritan Health Services, a Corvallis-based regional health system comprising hospitals, physicians and health plans serving Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties.

In addition to her responsibilities at Samaritan Health, Manning served as mayor of Corvallis for four years from 2010 to 2014.

Manning remains an active community volunteer. She co-chairs the Early Learning Hub of Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties and is a member of the Oregon State University Board of Trustees. She is also a board member of the Benton Community Foundation, Oregon Humanities and the Greater Oregon chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). She serves on the Oregon Community Foundation’s Leadership Council for the Southern Willamette region.

She was named Corvallis’ First Citizen in 2004.


Ilene Kleinsorge, professor and dean emeritus retired in June 2015 as the Sara Hart Kimball Dean of the College of Business at Oregon State University. Kleinsorge had served in that capacity for more than 12 years. She directed a business program that educated nearly 5,800 students including 3,900 business majors and pre-majors, nearly 850 business and entrepreneurship minors and more than 800 students in the School of Design and Human Environment.

A faculty member of the College of Business at OSU since 1987, she served as department chair of Accounting, Finance, and Information Management from 1995-2001 and again from 2001-2002. She was appointed dean in 2003. Most of Dean Kleinsorge’s teaching and research focused on cost and managerial accounting systems with emphasis on multinational companies and healthcare.

Kleinsorge also served as the technical advisor for the Governor’s Oregon Innovation Council, is past chair of the Western Association of Collegiate Schools of Business, was a member of the Executive Commercialization Advisory Council for OSU, and served on numerous boards. She was at Oregon State for 25 years and is often known to say, “I came for a job and stayed for the people.”

Marianne Vydra, deputy athletics director for administration/senior woman administrator, Oregon State Athletics, is a part of an executive team that has guided OSU Athletics into a new era that encompasses success on the fields of play, but also outside of the competitive arenas through leadership initiatives and academic programs.

Vydra was promoted to senior associate athletic director/senior woman administrator in 2008 by then Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart. In February 2015 CollegeADnamed her one of the top 10 senior woman’s administrators in the NCAA. She served as OSU’s interim director of athletics in July 2015.

As part of the executive team that oversees 17 sports and over 500 student-athletes, Vydra’s vast array of responsibilities include heading the senior staff strategic planning group, human resource management, student-athlete welfare (sports medicine, strength and conditioning, NCAA Life Skills, and the Leadership Institute), and is the supervisor for several men’s and women’s sports. She is the department’s liaison for Title IX/gender equity, student fees and the Athletic Advisory Council. Vydra also serves at the NCAA Certification Steward and assists with the department’s budget development.

The native of Missouri serves on numerous OSU, Pac-12 Conference and national governance committees. She currently is the chairperson for the NCAA Women’s Soccer and Softball Committees, is a member of the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Committee and is on the President’s Commission on the Status of Women. Vydra recently served as the vice president of the executive board of the Pac-12 and has been a member of the Long Range Planning Committee, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the Diversity Initiative Committee, the women’s basketball tournament committee, and the league’s television committee.

One year to a bachelor’s degree, with our Lane Community College fast-track arrangement

(l to r) Lane Community College President Margaret Hamilton and OSU College of Business Dean Mitzi Montoya signed a degree partnership agreement today to open a fast-track pathway to a bachelor’s degree.

One year to a bachelor’s degree, with our Lane Community College fast-track arrangement

One year to a bachelor’s degree, you’ve read that right!

Graduates with a business associates of applied science from the Eugene, Ore.-based Lane Community College can earn their bachelors degree in business from Oregon State University in one year thanks to an innovative new plan. College of Business Dean Mitzi Montoya and Lane Community College President Margaret Hamilton signed an agreement today in Corvallis, the first fast-track arrangement between the two educators.

Lane Community College and OSU College of Business have developed the agreement for LCC associate of applied science business graduates to transfer to Oregon State University and complete the coursework necessary for a bachelor’s in just one year.

Oregon State University has degree partnerships with all seventeen Oregon community colleges to provide a smooth path for Oregon students to earn their four-year degree. However, the LCC agreement is the first of its kind to build out the expedited curriculum plan. This is a great opportunity that paves the way for similar partnerships between LCC and other colleges at OSU.

“We’ve looked for a partner to establish this model, and we expect others to follow suit,” said Hamilton. “It’s a great day for our business programs, and it has been wonderful to see how well our students are treated when they get here.”

The agreement effectively creates a “2 + 1” degree that opens up options for Lane business students that aren’t available locally. The agreement will save students hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars while completing a bachelor’s at an outstanding business school.

Under the agreement, OSU will accept up to 120 credit hours from LCC that will count toward undergraduate business administration degree requirements. Students will then complete 60 upper-division credit hours at OSU to earn their bachelor’s degree.

“We’re excited to pave the way with innovative partnerships that give more students access to an OSU degree,” Montoya said.

The agreement provides for close personal attention for students to ensure success, including orientations, trainings, personal advising, appointment scheduling, access to scholarships, access to upper-division hybrid courses, and other assistance.

LCC and OSU anticipate improved admission, retention, and degree completion as a result of the arrangement.

The agreement will be reviewed in three years.

Jim Bernau: A story of leadership in the wine industry

Jim Bernau, Founder/Winegrower, Willamette Valley Vineyards

If you ask Jim Bernau how long he has worked in the wine industry, he will tell you that he can only remember ever working two days.
Maybe someday he will tell us which two days those were…


Dean’s Executive Series with Willamette Valley Vineyards founder

This story begins like it did for many of us. Being served small amounts of wine at the dinner table by our parents. But in Bernau’s case, it was made by the first emigrating winemaker since Prohibition: UC Davis graduate Richard Sommer, who believed it was in Oregon ― not California ― where he would grow world-class pinot noir.

Sommer needed a lawyer to obtain the necessary licenses that the state hadn’t issued in more than 30 years, so he drove his pick-up truck into the small town of Roseburg to find himself a lawyer, and hired Bernau’s dad. By 1963, Sommer had produced 200 gallons of wine.

First motivated by its effects more than its flavor, Bernau began by fermenting the concord grape juice that his mom kept in the freezer, guided by information on fermentation in the family encyclopedias, later graduating to Sommer’s grapes – hiding the bottles under the crawl spaces of the house.

While Bernau’s father wanted him to return from Willamette Law School to the family practice, he chose to pursue his interest in government and wine, representing the Oregon Winegrowers in the passage of the Oregon Wine Advisory Board for the research and promotion of the industry in 1981, his first piece of legislation as a young lobbyist.

In the same year, he began searching for vineyard land, found an old overgrown pioneer plum orchard in the Salem hills and began planting pinot noir in 1983, watering his vines with 17 lengths of 75-foot garden hose he’d bought on special. Bernau named it Willamette Valley Vineyards – later to become grandfathered into federal law when the American Viticultural Area was federally authorized.

While the vines were growing, Bernau concentrated on helping the Oregon Winegrowers by passing legislation on making wineries a permitted use on farmland, the direct shipment of wine, wine tastings in stores and restaurants, and later the establishment of the Oregon Wine Board. Bernau’s personal gift to Oregon State University established the first professorship for fermentation science in the nation.

His fellow winemakers recognized Bernau’s early work with the industry’s Founder’s Award followed by the Governor’s Gold, presented by Oregon’s four living Governors. His wines created quite a stir by when they appeared on the television shows “West Wing” and “Friends,” and were later served at White House State dinners. Willamette Valley Vineyards was eventually listed among the top 100 Wines in the World by Wine Spectator, named “One of America’s Great Pinot Noir Producers” by Wine Enthusiast and was dubbed “Winery of the Year” by Wine and Spirits.

The recognition Bernau values most came from his fellow winegrowers when he involved in creating the first system of environmental stewardship in American agriculture, the Low Impact Viticulture and Enology program, followed by awards presented by the Rainforest Alliance and the American Wine Society.

Bernau believes among healthiest forms of business organization are those owned by the community. He conducted one of the earliest “crowd funding” in the nation to build his winery by obtaining permission from the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1988, resulting in a growing fabric of laws allowing community-based funding for small businesses. Willamette Valley Vineyards has grown to more than 16,000 wine enthusiast shareholders and is listed on the NASDAQ under the symbol WVVI.