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.

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.

November AWL at the new OSU Portland Center

Join us for our next AWL strategic discussion and networking event

What do you get when you combine public policy research, serial entrepreneurship, and diversity-focused executive leadership? ― You get our next Advancing Women in Leadership strategic discussion, that’s what.

We’re hosting our November 6 meeting at the OSU Portland Center in Pioneer Square, our first at OSU’s new location in the heart of downtown. This is an opportunity to gain insights from the impressive panelists we have on board as well as visit the new learning hub that we are all so passionate about.

We’re grateful to our panelists for this quarter’s Portland event.

Su Embree, President, DHM Research

Su Embree is the CEO and President of DHM Research, a well-respected opinion research firm based in Portland, Oregon, with offices in Seattle, Washington, and Washington, D.C. The firm specializes in public policy issues and studies the values of everyday people in communities across the country. Su’s interest in research began early in college where she learned the power of data to improve outcomes. Today, she dedicates her time in highlighting the voice of our community to executive teams, elected officials, and boards of directors.

DHM Research has cultivated strategies to increase community impact, specifically around diversity and equity. She takes a leadership role, serves on boards, and engages with community leaders to increase support for women and minority-owned businesses. Embree also is committed to developing young leaders of color in corporate and community leadership.

Embree graduated from the University of Tennessee, the first in her family to graduate from college. She serves on the boards of the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF), Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), and Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). As the past chair and President of EO, she has led the member organization to reach a 50 percent diversity goal.

Embree has called Oregon home for the past 23 years. She lives in Portland with her husband and two daughters.


Robin Jones, Chief Operating Officer, Public Market

 Robin Jones is a startup “Jill-of-all-trades” and Public Market is her seventh entrepreneurial venture. She has held leadership roles across a broad array of functions, including marketing, partner/developer ecosystems, IP licensing, sales operations, HR and finance, product & project management, mergers and acquisitions and fundraising. Jones was most recently SVP marketing and business development at Socrata, where she reworked the go-to-market strategy, and left her tenure as the sales team increased qualified pipeline coverage by more than five fold. Jones founded and grew the OEM business unit at Esri to $2.9 million in revenue over two and a half years.

She joined Esri via the acquisition of Geoloqi, a mobile location services startup at which she served as chief operating officer. Jones also co-founded FonJax, where she was the vice president of business development, engineering the sale of the company to Keynote Systems. Jones has an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and a B.S. from Stanford. She serves on the board of directors of TiE Oregon.


Sheila Murty, EVP People & Culture, Tillamook County Creamery Association

Sheila Murty ‘90 came to the United States as an international student from Malaysia to attend the University of Montana in Missoula. While enthralled with big sky country, Murty quickly realized in order to survive she had to get out of the brutal cold. She moved to Oregon and found home.

She obtained her BS from OHSU and her MBA from Portland State University.    She started her career in healthcare as a clinical scientist, eventually finding her way to HR – leading to a senior HR leadership role at Legacy Health, providing operational leadership and strategic human resources support in various areas for one of Oregon’s largest private employers with multiple locations and with over 12,000 employees.

Murty was also Legacy’s first diversity officer and was instrumental in building their diversity strategy.  In 2015, she became the Vice President of Operations, leading operations, people & culture, technology, diversity & inclusion for The Oregon Community Foundation, a $2B community foundation dedicated to improving lives in Oregon.

In 2018, she made a move to Tillamook Creamery (yes – cheese!) as their first EVP of People and Culture where she is leading the creation and adoption of a clear culture vision, strategies to achieve their vision for a values-based organization and all aspects of building a responsive and strategic HR function.

In her free time, she spends time with her three children and husband, watching a lot of sports, enjoying the local food scene, exploring farmers markets and neighborhoods and traveling whenever possible.

Tuesday, November 6 
5 – 7 pm
OSU Portland Center

555 SW Morrison Street, 2nd Floor, Portland, OR 97204
Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served.


Every quarter OSU’s College of Business brings the Portland business community together for discussions and networking around ideas and strategies on how we can work together to advance women in business. Registration is $10 per person. All ticket proceeds will directly support activities and programs for the OSU Women in Leadership student club that serves students of all majors, men and women, across OSU.



In 2018, we launched the AWL In–PDX Membership Program. Members receive a 20% discount on College of Business professional development courses, among other benefits. Interested in being a part of our AWL In–PDX community? Find out more here.

C2C a great fit for market researchers

The Honda Fit.
The Honda Fit.

Reggie Williams took many lessons away from his role as team leader on a Close to the Customer project that involved helping Honda plan a redesign of its popular subcompact car, the Fit.

“The Honda project was my first as part of the C2C and I learned that there may not be a clear-cut question from a client,” said Williams, who completed his psychology degree spring term. “Coming up with multiple solutions is helpful, as well as taking into consideration client needs and specifics of the market when coming up with a solution.”

The project involved Honda wanting “to get a feel for Instagram and what people were posting about their Honda Fit,” said Amanda Terhes, director of the C2C. “The exciting part for students was when they asked, ‘how do we do this,’ we said, ‘I don’t know but we’ll figure it out.’”

The student team led by Williams ended up pulling approximately 1,000 Honda Fit photos from Instagram and then categorized them thematically – e.g., by what activity they were being used for.

The themes were used to create topic guides for field research by marketing professor Jim McAlexander in the Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles areas. McAlexander conducted six one-on-one interviews with customers and also did nine triads – a triad is a mini focus group of three people.

McAlexander, whose contacts in the auto industry paved the way for C2C being granted the project, presented the results to Honda. The results are understandably proprietary as Honda prepares to execute the redesign of the Fit in five or six years — in such a way that the four-door, front-wheel-drive vehicle still appeals to current customers and potentially attracts new, first-time Fit owners as well.

Williams’ student team included finance major Chris Koenig and MBA student-to-be Jill Wells, plus a sociology major.

“It’s great to have a team with different backgrounds and diverse perspectives and approaches,” Williams said. “A lot of psychology goes into market research, understanding and eventually trying to influence behavior. Thinking outside of the box but at the same time maintaining structure and providing valid results is fundamental to the art of marketing research. It helped that we had a great staff of professors and our director who allowed us creative control and input while guiding us through the process.”