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FOSTER

Michael G. Foster school of business University of washington winter 2018

business Foster Futures Meet a few of the students who are leading the Foster School into its second century—and themselves into promising careers. page 10

Plus: Lifelines page 16

Epic Climb page 18

Keep Clam page 22


Features

departments

FOSTER

business Dean James Jiambalvo

Associate Dean of Advancement Steven Hatting

Director of Alumni Engagement Andrew Krueger

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Foster Futures

Meet a few of the students who are leading the Foster School into its second century—and themselves into promising careers

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News

Rankings Scorecard, Accelerating Ventures, Celebration of the Century, QB’s Tops in TDs, EMBA Turns 35, New Name for Pacific Rim Bankers, Corporate Days, Ascend 2020, First Classes, Global Perspectives

Lifelines

Epic Climb

Charting UW Foster’s astonishing rise in the rankings, the product of a decade-plus of unparalleled engagement, expansion and innovation

Contributing Writers Andrea Bowers, Andrew Krueger, Janna Lopez, Anna Micklin, Eric Nobis

Photography Matt Hagen, Paul Gibson, Laurence Labat/Cirque du Soleil, Alika Jenner/UW Athletics, Ivar Haglund Collection, UW Special Collections

a.k.a. design

Foster School of Business Marketing & Communications

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Faculty

Research Briefs, Honor Roll, Class of 2017, Teaching Excellence, Go Team!

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Keep Clam

The ballad of Ivar Haglund, the whimsical, inimitable marketing genius so essential to the history of Seattle and the Foster School of Business

Ed Kromer

Design

Transportation companies led by Foster grads are playing a critical role in Puerto Rico’s recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Maria

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Managing Editor

University of Washington Box 353200 Seattle, WA 98195-3200 206.685.2933

On the Web foster.uw.edu

Foster Business is published twice a year by the University of Washington Foster School of Business. The publication is made possible by proceeds from the Ivar Haglund Endowment. No state funds are used in its production.

Change of Address? fans@uw.edu

Comments?

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bizmag@uw.edu

Alumni Beverly Wyse, John Gabbert, Foster on the Road, Kelly McDonald, Reetu Gupta, Champions of the Century

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from the dean

TOGETHER, WE’VE MADE Measurable Progress on our vision If you’ve attended an event or been keeping up with this magazine over the past decade or so, you’ve likely heard me articulate our vision: to make the UW Foster School of Business the best public business school in America. I’ve also stressed that business school rankings aren’t the only, or even the optimal, way to track our progress toward this vision. But the rankings certainly play an important role when it comes to perception—both in terms of how others view us and how we view ourselves. So I want to take a moment, on the heels of Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2017 Best Business Schools ranking, to note that the Foster School of Business surpassed Yale, NYU, UCLA, University of Virginia, and University of Texas (Austin) to rank #15 in the US and #3 among public business schools. How did we move up four spots from #19 last year? The factors that contributed the most are: being number one in MBA job placement, an ROI ratio of high earnings/low debt for grads, employer opinion, and student satisfaction. Our full-time MBA program competes with the best business schools in the nation— public or private—and we’re consistently in the consideration set of top prospects. When it comes to our faculty, we’re the top public business school in the world (and #7 overall) in research productivity according to the Financial Times. But being “best” requires focusing on meeting the needs of our students and the employers who are looking to recruit top talent. To that end, the past five years have seen us successfully launch four degree programs that were designed with a market-driven focus. While the full-time MBA program remains steady, we have more graduate students overall than ever before. Meanwhile, our undergraduate program welcomed 250 Freshman Admits who could get into virtually any school in America, while upper division admissions is one of the most competitive at the UW. As alumni and supporters of UW Foster, these are just a few of the things you can be proud of as we pursue our vision. In this issue of Foster Business, you’ll read about the school’s epic climb in the major rankings, meet promising students leading us into our second century and legendary Foster restauranteur and philanthropist Ivar Haglund, and learn about the unsung work of two transportation companies led by Foster alums to aid Puerto Rico’s recovery after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Making a difference is a hallmark of the Foster School—your contributions are a testament to that. Our first century is now history. With your continuing support, the best is yet to come.

James Jiambalvo Orin & Janet Smith Dean Michael G. Foster School of Business

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NEWS

Rankings Scorecard Foster School continues strong performance across multiple rankings Bloomberg Businessweek – #15 in the nation and #3 among public universities, according to “2017 Best Business Schools” ranking. Foster’s Full-time MBA Program has risen 22 spots in the past four years, since Businessweek placed more weight on career results. Last year, Foster was #1 among all schools in job placement. Financial Times – #19 (#5 public)—and #7 in the world in research—in its “Global MBA Ranking.” FT also rates the Foster Executive MBA Program #12 (#4 public). The Economist — #25 (#10 public) according to its 2017 “Which MBA?” program ranking. The Princeton Review – #2 in resources for women, #8 in marketing, #10 in nonprofit, and #14 in entrepreneurship in its “Best Business Schools 2018.” Poets & Quants – #22 (#8 public) among its “Top 100 MBA Programs.” Also #23 (#10 public) among P&Q’s“Best Under-

graduate Business Programs of 2017,” advancing 10 places on the strength of hiring bonuses (#5), access to dream jobs (#10), admissions quality (#18) and student experience (#24). Eduniversal – Full-time MBA Program #23 (#7 public), Evening MBA Program #19 (#11 public), Technology Management MBA Program #14 (#7 public) and Master of Science in Information Systems Program #9 (#7 public) in its most recent “Best Masters Ranking.” U.S. News and World Report – Undergraduate Program #24 (#14 public) in its “Best Colleges 2018” ranking. Among academic specialties, Foster is #13 in accounting, #19 in management, #24 in finance and #27 in entrepreneurship. Money – #15 overall in its “Best Colleges for Business Majors.” Also #13 best value in the nation, noting that Foster BA graduates earn an average starting salary in excess of $60,000 and carry comparatively little student debt.

Accelerating Ventures

©istock.com/peshkova

Buerk Center marks 20th Business Plan Competition The $25,000 Grand Prize at the 20th annual UW Business Plan Competition went to Membrion, a team of UW chemical engineering and business students making low-cost, high-efficiency membranes for redox flow batteries. Discovery Health, a Seattle University team developing a suite of medical services to manage the health of maritime workers, won the $10,000 Fran’s Chocolates Second Place Prize. LC-Tourniquet, a UW-based maker of a medical device that refrigerates traumatic limb injuries to prevent amputations, won the $7,500 “Friends of the BPC” Third Place Prize. EpiForAll, a team of UW mechanical engineering, pharmacy and business students developing an affordable, reusable epinephrine auto-injector, won the $5,000 Fenwick & West Fourth Place Prize to add to their grand prize at the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge. Discovery Health, LC-Tourniquet and EpiForAll proceeded to the Jones + Foster Accelerator to work toward key milestones and follow-on funding under the mentorship of some of Seattle’s top entrepreneurs. Joining them were A-Alpha Bio (a pre-clinical drug toxicity screening kit), DASO Soccer Smart Wall (a home trainer/analyzer of fundamental skills), Goodwill Hunting (branded secondhand apparel), NASTEA & Co. (white coffee dirty chai), ShopSight (in-store customer analytics powered by RFID technology), and SwarmFX (drone-based wildfire response). Membrion went through the Accelerator in 2016.

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NEWS

Celebration of the Century Foster’s annual gala fetes one hundred years of business leadership in the Northwest Nordstrom humility, on behalf of everyone else. “The success of our company is really not about individuals named Nordstrom,” he said. “Our business is really defined by the 70,000 people who show up to work every day and treat the business as if it’s their own. Any reputation we’ve gained over the years for great service or having great business results is really a tribute to them.” PACCAR for the long haul PACCAR Inc was introduced by Jessica Enzi (MBA 2018), an Evening MBA at Foster who has worked at Dean Jim Jiambalvo, James Whittaker, Beverly Wyse, Ron Armstrong, Annie Young-Scrivner and Pete Nordstrom. PACCAR since earning her BA from the UW in 2007, following in the footsteps of her mother, The Nordstrom way The Foster School’s Centennial Leaderwho joined the company before Jessica Nordstrom was introduced by Gillian ship Celebration was a night to revel in was born. Van Der Schaaf (MBA 2018), president past glories and imagine a fascinating PACCAR, founded in 1906 by William of Foster’s MBA Association and loyal future. Pigott, Sr., is a global technology leader Nordstrom customer who experienced Emcee Annie Young-Scrivner (BA in the design, manufacture and customer the legendary retailer’s unique culture 1991), CEO of Godiva and vice-chair of support of premium trucks under the the Foster School Advisory Board, kicked firsthand as a summer associate. Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF nameplates, Nordstrom, of course, is a leading off the evening with a rousing toast, as well as advanced diesel engines, fashion specialty retailer that operates followed by a breezy tour of the school’s financial services, information technology 365 stores across North America with rich heritage by Dean Jim Jiambalvo. and related parts. With 23,000 dedicated more than $14 billion in annual sales. “As we look back, we see a great employees, PACCAR earns annual reveCo-founded as a shoe store in 1901 by history,” Jiambalvo said. “But together, nues in excess of $17 billion from sales John W. Nordstrom, this unique family we create futures. The Foster School in more than 100 countries. The Foster company has been steadily grown is committed to educating and guiding School has been a frequent beneficiary by four generations of the Nordstrom talented minds to be the business of PACCAR’s and the Pigott family’s family, all-the-while acting as dedicated leaders of today and tomorrow—for generous philanthropy. stewards of the founding principles of Washington, for the world.” Accepting the award was Ron providing the gold standard in quality and As its “Companies of the Century,” Armstrong, the CEO of PACCAR and customer service—not to mention exemthe school recognized three iconic proud father of two Foster grads. plary philanthropy and civic leadership. Northwest firms—Boeing, PACCAR and Co-president Pete Nordstrom Nordstrom—that have been creating accepted the award, with characteristic futures for even longer than Foster has.

4 | Foster Business


“The long-term relationships we have with our suppliers, our customers, our dealers, and our employees have been a key part of PACCAR’s success for 112 years,” he said. “Equally important is our relationships with the communities in which we work and live… We’ve had a special relationship with the University of Washington.” Boeing’s new frontiers Chad Shapard (BA 2017), a strategy analyst at Boeing, introduced his employer by way of his own tale of family tradition: his grandfather ran away from home at 16 and worked his way through school at Boeing—and stayed for a 38-year career. The Boeing Company, founded on the shores of Seattle’s Lake Union in 1916 by William Boeing, has grown into the world’s largest aerospace company and the leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, and defense, space and security systems. America’s largest exporter employs nearly 150,000 people and earns annual revenues of nearly $95 billion. Accepting the award was Beverly Wyse (MBA 2005), president of shared services at Boeing and graduate of Foster’s Aerospace Industry Management Seminar (AIMS) and Executive MBA Program. “The world is changing. Our companies are changing,” Wyse said. “And perhaps most critical is our ability to

evolve. Can we see what’s coming next? Are we willing to embrace the change that’s before us? It’s a big part of what’s made Boeing, Nordstrom, PACCAR and the University of Washington successful. And I think we all need to embrace it if we want to last the next 100 years.” Fast forward What’s next? James Whittaker, Microsoft’s technical evangelist, addressed this very question in his thought-provoking forecast of our not-so-distant future. He tracked three technology revolutions that have dramatically changed our lives in the past 30 years. First, the PC put computing in the hands of everyone. Then, the web allowed us to share severything we were doing on our PCs (and tablets and phones). Then, the cloud aggregated all of those scattered web servers into a single data center. “Data is the new oil,” Whittaker said. “But, like oil, it’s not really valuable until you can extract energy from it. Data isn’t valuable until you can extract knowledge from it.” Right now, we humans are drowning in data. Enter Whittaker’s tech revolution number four: a “planetary data substrate” composed of everything in life, reduced to data—and powering machine learning, artificial intelligence and the “Internet of Things.” All of this is creating opportunity, but also a profound existential conundrum: What’s left for humans? What doesn’t reduce to data? Whittaker suggested developing two distinctly human virtues for the coming age: coding and creativity: “Nurture that creative soul of yours. Because it’s the one place that machines don’t seem willing to go.”

Business community Foster’s 100-year evolution has been powered by many invaluable corporate and individual partnerships, many of which were on display at the Centennial Leadership Celebration. The Centennial Reception was sponsored by Deloitte. The Awardee Sponsor was GM Nameplate. A commemorative Centennial Book was underwritten by Alaska Airlines. The Centennial Showcase was sponsored by Intuitive IP, with a prize-winning Wheel of Foster sponsored by SuperGraphics. Gold Sponsors included Accenture, Susan Bevan & Tony Daddino, The Boeing Company, Jason & Stephanie Child, Kathy & John Connors, Neal & Jan Dempsey, Bill & Sally Douglas, EY, The Foster Foundation, Fran’s Chocolates, the Fritzky Family, Dan Fulton, Godiva, Charlie & Nancy Hogan, Holland America Line, the Hughes Family, Joe Chocolates, Kemper Development Company, KPMG, Liberty Mutual, Nordstrom, Eileen O’Neill Odum, PitchBook, Premera Blue Cross, Providence St. Joseph Health, PwC, Shelley Reynolds, Bruce & Gail Richards, Safeco, Saltchuk, Wells Fargo, Windermere Real Estate, Gary & Barbara Wipfler, Workday, Annie Young-Scrivner, Yoyostring Creative, and Zevenbergen Capital Investments LLC. Student & Young Alumni Tables were sponsored by Dorrit Bern, Costco Wholesale and Ken & Mary Denman. Net proceeds from the Centennial Leadership Celebration will help create futures at the University of Washington.

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NEWS

QB’s Tops In TDs

EMBA Turns 35

Foster junior Jake Browning rewrites the Husky Football record book

The Foster School’s Executive MBA Program celebrated its 35th year with a “homecoming” celebration featuring a star-studded leadership panel and an intimate conversation with an American hero. A panel on leading through chaos, moderated by long-time EMBA strategy guru Charles Hill, included Howard Behar, the former president of Starbucks North America and International, Phyllis Campbell (MBA 1987), Pacific Northwest chairman of JP Morgan Chase, and Robert Herbold, former chief operating officer of Microsoft and managing director of The Herbold Group LLC. “Leaders are here to serve, not to be served,” concluded Behar, with the simple wisdom of a Zen koan. In a second session, veteran CNN correspondent Jill Dougherty led a wideranging conversation with Barry McCaffrey, retired four-star general in the US Army who later served in the Clinton White House. Founder of his own successful consulting firm, McCaffrey offered his unique advice for success in business:

Marks milestone anniversary with A-list leadership acumen

1. Be willing to work hard. 2. Do business only with people you trust. 3. Build employee trust and engagement. 4. Listen to clients. 5. Don’t be afraid of structure, procedures and authority.

When he’s not working toward his bachelor’s degree at the Foster School, Jake Browning plays a little football for the Washington Huskies. Quarterback, in fact, and a pretty good one. This year, Browning broke the UW’s all-time record for career touchdown passes, connecting for 77 TDs by the end of the 2017 regular season (and eclipsing Keith Price’s old mark of 75). The 2016 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and CoSIDA Academic All-American (District VIII) is expected to continue his assault on the Husky record book—and opposing defenses— in his senior season.

6 | Foster Business

New Name, Same Great Program Pacific Rim Bankers Program becomes Global Bankers Program After 40 years educating international banking professionals, the Foster School’s Pacific Rim Bankers Program (PRBP) is changing its name to the UW Global Bankers Program (GBP), effective January 2018. “This change reflects both the true level of excellence that the PRBP curriculum has delivered over the past four decades and the increasing geographical diversity of participants who are attending the program,” says Jennifer Mullen, director of UW Executive Education. The intensive two-week program was designed by founder Kermit Hanson, former dean of the Foster School, to examine issues of mutual interest to all Pacific Rim nations, to improve participants’ abilities to handle banking and management problems, and to facilitate banking relationships between the US and other Pacific Rim nations. These goals still hold true today—and they have continually expanded as the program attracts participants from well beyond the Pacific Rim.


Corporate Days Foster celebrates Chair Level Corporate Partners Accenture and Alaska Airlines In a periodic recognition of its essential partnerships with iconic companies, the Foster School celebrated Accenture in May and Alaska Airlines in November. Corporate Days are offered as a benefit to Foster’s Chair Level Corporate Partners, who invest more than $100K in Foster in a fiscal year. Accenture Day offered students an inside look at the leading global professional services company whose 400,000 employees serve clients in 40 industries, 120 countries—and 39 languages. The Seattle office serves a who’s who of Northwest organizations. And it plays a strong supporting role at the UW, providing executives to serve as advisors, mentors, lecturers and judges, and investing heavily in Foster’s Consulting and Business Development Center. Speaking at a lunchtime keynote, Gil Wootton (BS 1989), managing partner of Accenture Seattle, said that this involvement is really a long-term investment. He noted that Accenture employs more graduates of the UW than any of other American university. These hires, he added, support Accenture’s values of innovation and inclusion. “Not only do we have a lot of rooms in our house,” Wootton said, “but we’re dedicated to filling them with all kinds of people.”

Alaska Airlines Day introduced students to the nation’s 5th largest carrier which has jetted into the Fortune 500 with gold-standard customer service and innovation, and a strategy trained on the farthest horizon. Alaska invests heavily in students, faculty, facilities and competitions at Foster. Alaska chairman and CEO Brad Tilden (MBA 1997) said the benefit is mutual. He was the first of dozens of emerging leaders that Alaska has sent through the Foster Executive MBA Program. Alaska Airlines chairman and CEO “When you have two Brad Tilden leads a panel discussion people a year over 20 with Foster EMBAs. years attend the same program, you develop a common way of thinking,” Tilden said. “During my time at Alaska, we’ve grown from 2,000 to 20,000 employees and from $1 billion in annual revenue to $8 billion. I think the UW has played a big role in that. “This is a fantastic school, and we could not be prouder to take part in your success.”

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NEWS management Education

Ascend 2020 Consulting and Business Development Center launches nationwide business-creating initiative

Inner-city Businesses Money

market access

The Foster School’s Consulting and Business Development Center, in partnership with JP Morgan Chase, has launched a new initiative called Ascend 2020 to grow inner-city and minority owned businesses in major metropolitan areas across the US. The center’s next logical evolution expands its locally-proven “3-M Model”—addressing gaps in management education, money (or access to capital) and market access (ability to reach customers and clients)—to entrepreneurs in underserved neighborhoods of Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. The Consulting and Business Development Center’s programs in management education and student consulting have resulted in more than $110 million in new revenue generated and more than 100,000 jobs created and retained across Washington state since the center was founded in 1995.

First Classes Inaugural cohorts of three new masters programs are on their way In 2017, the Foster School welcomed the first classes of students to the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship, Master of Science in Supply Chain Management, and Hybrid MBA Programs. June brought the initial class of MS Entre to campus. Its 26 students range in age from 20-37, more than half are women, just under a third are international and two thirds are underrepresented minorities. The year-long program catalyzes the creation, formation, execution and scaling of new ventures, under the mentorship of local entrepreneurs and investors and the guidance of Foster faculty, and a curriculum tailored to advanced entrepreneurship. The first cohort of 47 Hybrid MBA students convened in September from across the US to meet teammates and faculty before returning home to complete coursework online. The class, made up of students working in aerospace, IT, healthcare, financial services, government, consumer products, non-profit and the military, is 38 percent women and brings an average of 10 years’ work experience. Nearly a third hold advanced degrees and more than a quarter have lived or worked abroad. Foster’s first Masters of Supply Chain Management graduated in June, after expanding and developing the technical, analytical and strategic skills needed to become leaders in the supply chain field at such organizations as Microsoft, Boeing, PACCAR, Alaska Airlines and the US Army.

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Foster’s inaugural classes of the MS in Supply Chain Management (above) and MS in Entrepreneurship (left).


Grand Prize – “Class Photo” by Amber Lee (BA 2019), from the final day of her memorable month teaching in a Burmese monastery.

My Global Lens Category – “Curiosity” by Arianna Moscatel (BA 2018), from the Half the Sky Business Exploration Seminar in India.

Global Perspectives

Nearly 400 Foster School students engage in international study each year. Each brings home indelible memories—and some amazing photographs. Here are some of the best, winners of the 2017 Foster Study Abroad Photo Contest.

Study Abroad & Me Category – “Hike Up, Hands Up” by Lucas Boland (BA 2018), from Aoraki National Park in New Zealand.

Alumni Category – “A-Bomb Dome” by Pritha Chaudhur (MBA 2010), of a building that survived the atom bomb blast in Hiroshima, from the MBA Study Tour of Japan. Foster Spirit Category – “Under the Night Sky” by Ashley Lim (BA 2019), from Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains in the Impact Africa Exploration Seminar.

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Foster Futures Meet a few of the students who are leading the Foster School into its second century—and themselves into promising careers What’s next for the Foster School? It’s an obvious question to ask of an institution that has just finished celebrating its centennial. But while hindsight may be 20/20, the future is never so clear. Much easier to predict are the coming fortunes of today’s students (who, as both customer and ultimate product, are probably the most accurate measure of a b-school’s quality anyway). The Foster School teems with potential. Students enter with record GPAs and test scores and exit commanding salaries that rank among the loftiest in the nation. They are bright, ambitious, innovative and idealistic leaders and teammates who are making the most of the school’s world-class faculty, collaborative culture, opportunities of a lifetime and, of course, Seattle’s dynamic business community. Here are a few faces of Foster in 2018. The future, it would seem, is in good hands.

10 | Foster Business


“I’ll forever be grateful for the immigrant experience,” says Ale Flores. Not that it was easy when her family uprooted their life in Culiacan, Mexico, to seek a better future in the United States. She was only eight when they moved to Bellevue. But her family’s response to the challenges and adversity that come with starting over is what defines her today—and has shaped her future. Reading voraciously when she was first learning English, Flores became fascinated by people from around the world. “I knew even then that whatever I did in life would incorporate a global mindset,” she says. Her pursuit of Foster’s Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) has served this goal. So have internships with the Seattle Mariners, Russell Investments and VinoRai, an importer of Turkish wines. While exploring new cultures, Flores is also dedicated to her own. She mentors undocumented students interested in business through Leadership Without Borders and has vastly expanded the UW Association of Latino Professionals for America. She has worked with Seattle International Foundation to provide connections and increase opportunities for women worldwide. Flores will intern at Starbucks, an appropriately global company, ahead of graduation next fall. Alongside a career in corporate finance, she also plans to become an asset to a non-profit someday, “ideally assisting communities in need to develop financial literacy.” Fitting ambition for a product and pursuer of the American Dream.

Chris Merz came to Foster a military veteran, with advanced experience leading in extremis over his decade-long career. After graduating from the US Military Academy, he served as an infantry officer in the Army Rangers, deploying to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo. But the transition from the military to a corporate career can be tricky to navigate. In this, Foster has provided a platform for success. Merz leads the Consulting Society, serves on the board of the Outdoor and Sports Industry Club, and is an MBA Peer Advisor. And, not surprisingly, he’s also deeply engaged in the Foster Veterans Association, working to help others over the wall. His curricular and extracurricular experiences gelled last summer in his internship with McKinsey & Company, where he advised a large healthcare provider as it launched new growth initiatives. “I discovered what a special place McKinsey is,” Merz says. “Much like my time at Foster, I worked closely with incredibly talented and smart people who constantly pushed my thinking and encouraged me to grow.” He liked it so much, in fact, he’ll return to McKinsey after graduation to launch his second career. But part of his heart will always belong in the military; he continues to advise Steel Hearts, the non-profit he co-founded before starting business school to support families of fallen West Point graduates.

Maria Alejandra Flores Cardenas (BA 2018)

Christian Merz (MBA 2018)

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matt Koenig (BA 2019)

Sandra Mumanachit (MBA 2018)

12 | Foster Business

It doesn’t take long to identify Matt Koenig as an entrepreneur. The junior from Bellevue is a leader in the Buerk Center’s Lavin Entrepreneurial Action Program, and former president of Startup UW—“the best student organization at Foster!” he says with characteristic verve—where he helped forge a national network of 25 schools, hosted a West Coast early stage pitch competition and mounted a student startup showcase on the UW Quad. Koenig also represented Foster at the Emory Global Business Leadership Summit and has already worked in five internships: three with T-Mobile, one with a design startup, and one with Apple. “Each internship has taught me a little more about productivity, working within a team and how I can best bring value to a company big or small,” he says. To this, Koenig has absorbed every ounce of the school’s entrepreneurial focus. “Even at the biggest firms, entrepreneurship is increasingly celebrated and encouraged,” he says. “Foster ensures that every student has the ability to become a relatively seasoned entrepreneur at a very young age.” He’d like to lead business development or strategy at a large tech firm. Or, maybe just start his own someday. So, the next Elon Musk? “That’s the idea,” Koenig says, laughing. “Maybe I need a PhD first.”

It’s telling of Sandra Mumanachit’s humble character that she counts her biggest failure at Foster as one of her most indelible learning experiences. Overstretched with other commitments, her startup team didn’t make it as far as the UW Business Plan Competition. Nobody’s perfect. But missteps have been rare for this talented daughter of Thai immigrants. After spending her youth helping out in the family’s Philadelphia restaurants, Mumanachit became the first in her family to attend college. She graduated from Harvard College with a degree in neurobiology. After stints in healthcare at CVS Health and Boston Children’s Hospital, Mumanachit decided to go for an MBA. Though she is a continent away, her family is never far from her mind. “Growing up as the child of immigrants and witnessing their exploration of a new language and culture has taught me so much about empathy and compassion, and ingrained in me the work ethic and adaptability required to earn a dollar and sustain a business,” she says. “Completing my MBA makes me respect my mother and father that much more to know that they accomplished so much with so little.” Mumanachit is making the most of the assets before her. She has been president of the Healthcare & Biotech Association, MBA Association VP of Diversity & Inclusion, and an Alliance of Angels fellow. Last summer she worked at VICIS, a Seattle company developing state-of-the-art protective helmets used by NCAA and NFL teams. She’s plotting an impactful career in the healthcare and wellness industry, and hopes to master the things she’s passionate about enough to teach someday.


It would be tempting to declare—as so many have— Abiel Zewolday a “natural” leader, though the assertion diminishes the work he has put in to make it look so easy. The Edmonds-born son of Eritrean immigrants has engaged in the Foster School from A to Z. He is a mentor to Young Executives of Color (the high school pipeline program that first acquainted him with Foster), former president of the Association of Black Business Students and the undergraduate representative on the Foster Diversity Committee. He’s active in the Lavin Entrepreneurial Action Program. And, working with the Consulting and Business Development Center, his student consulting team advised Seattle Credit Union on how to more effectively reach and serve Seattle’s low-income populations. He’s also interned at Microsoft, Concur, EY and, most recently, Apple. He’ll return to Cupertino after graduating in May to begin his career in finance. Zewolday has given as good as he’s got from Foster, though he doesn’t see it that way. “Foster has prepared me to take on business challenges and has equipped me with the necessary tools to conquer them,” he says. As for his own challenges to conquer? “I want to start my own company and lead it as CEO.” You’d be wise not to bet against him.

Abiel Zewolday (BA 2018)

Lauren Krainski (MBA 2018)

Lauren Krainski is fearless. Or rather, she’s willing to face her fears. A few years ago, for instance, she enrolled in a mountaineering course to overcome her terror of heights. A while earlier she left the familiarity of her longtime home in Pennsylvania to work in consulting at Deloitte and Alcoa. And when she wanted to pivot from manufacturing to technology, she traveled across the country to the Foster School, arriving with the expressed intent of climbing out of her comfort zone at every opportunity. Case in point: an investment banking internship at Deutsche Bank in New York last summer, where she did M&A and fintech and media industry coverage. “I believe in the value of taking calculated risks,” Krainski says. “I’m lucky that Foster has given me opportunities like this.” For this Forté Fellow, other growth opportunities at the Foster School have come through leading the Finance Society and serving on the boards of the Women In Business and Entrepreneurship/Venture Capital Clubs. She’s also worked on a go-to-market strategy for Amazon and is currently interning at the Paul Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence’s startup incubator. She plans to eventually marry her past and future, using technology to solve big problems in large-scale industries such as manufacturing and agriculture. “I want to take part in the next industrial revolution—this time built around automation and artificial intelligence.”

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Alessya Labzhinova (MS 2018)

Though Alessya Labzhinova was born in Kazakhstan, she considers herself a citizen of the world. “I feel at home anywhere there’s coffee and WiFi, though I can live without the WiFi.” Happily, both are plentiful in Seattle, Labzhinova’s current and most frequent port of call. She came to Washington during high school, and discovered a passion and extreme aptitude for mathematics. She earned a BS in applied mathematics at the UW then worked in software development at Amazon, eventually helping establish a machine learning research center. Wishing to expand her business acumen and exercise the entrepreneurial genes handed down from her enterprising parents, Labzhinova enrolled in Foster’s new Master of Science in Entrepreneurship Program. The all-access pass to Seattle’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has been well worth the tuition. “Aside from the solid business foundation I am getting, I’m building relationships that will open doors,” she says. “I’m cultivating a network of people who are advancing technology I am passionate about—artificial intelligence—in meaningful ways.” They’re just as happy to add Labzhinova to their contacts. Opportunities abound for this rare talent—and robust advocate for women in STEM—on the cutting edge of technology. “There’s no way to know where technology will be even a few years from now,” she says. “But there are a few things I want in my career: to remain knee-deep in technology, surrounded by scientists and engineers who challenge and inspire me; to contribute to solutions that improve lives; and to never stop learning.” That includes, in 2018, learning to sail, achieving conversational competency in Greek, exploring three new countries and finally getting a driver’s license.

14 | Foster Business

Kate Jung’s curriculum vitae is pretty impressive. The senior from Issaquah is splitting her studies in finance and international business. Through CISB, she has studied abroad in Japan and India. She won the inaugural Accenture Student Consultant of the Year award for her work with the Consulting and Business Development Center. She has competed and won numerous case competitions at Foster, and represented the school at the Australia International Case Competition. And she has interned at Artemis Connection, Avanade and PwC, where she took 3rd place in the firm’s national intern case competition. Jung would give Foster much of the credit for her success. But credit is also due to her devotion to writing and the musical theater in her formative years. “I developed a passion for performing in front of audiences—which later translated to my involvement in case competitions,” she says. “I believe musical theater set a powerful foundation for my business education. Communication and storytelling are important skills for both disciplines.” Especially when you begin your career in consulting at PwC, as Jung will do this spring. She eventually hopes to work internationally, leading the expansion of a prominent brand. She’s also an aspiring writer (and has already published on LinkedIn as part of its Campus Editor program). “Foster’s culture of experiential learning has taught me that I don’t have to wait to create real change,” she says, “that my insights and voice matter now.”

Kate Jung (BA 2018)


As vice-president of international affairs in the MBA Association, Jonathan Ng is a tireless resource and passionate advocate for his fellow international students who have gravitated to Foster and its gateway to Seattle’s dynamic business scene. But Ng is not exactly a newcomer. Though he was born and raised in Singapore, he earned his BS in industrial engineering at the University of Washington. He recalls a consuming feeling of initial isolation when he realized that he was the lone Singaporean in his class. It didn’t last long. Ng quickly found a company of friends from the US, Canada, Mexico, India, China, Malaysia and more. “I learned that by being inclusive and fostering a strong and meaningful community, I had become a better person. The experience has become the backbone of who I am today.” It also informs his inclusive approach to the Foster MBA Program—and especially his colleagues from far-flung places who might find themselves feeling a bit lost or lonely at times. While looking out for others, Ng is also lifting his own career prospects through his leadership in the Technology Club and Level Up. He also interned at Amazon, where he pitched new product ideas to the Worldwide Deals and Events business, the team responsible for Amazon’s biggest shopping events, such as Prime Day. Ng will return to Amazon after graduation with an eye toward senior management and, eventually, service on a corporate board. He might like to be a foreign ambassador someday. He’s certainly got the chops working across cultures.

Courtney Wenneborg (MBA 2018)

Jonathan Ng (MBA 2018)

The jump from ecology to corporate finance might seem a big one, but it has actually been a slow migration for Courtney Wenneborg. Born and raised in Sammamish, Wenneborg earned a BS in biology at the UW and spent five years doing field work that took her from the subalpine meadows of Mt. Rainier to the Patagonian coast of Argentina, where she studied penguin habitats. When she decided to come in from the cold, Wenneborg worked in retail management at Starbucks and as a program manager for Amazon Books (its first brick-and-mortar bookstore) and Amazon Go (the “just walk out” grocery concept). At Foster she has become a classic connector, the cross-stitch in the fabric of the MBA Program. She seems to be everywhere: Strategy Club, Veterans Association, Finance Society, Marketing Association, Outdoor and Sports Industry Club. The last one is more than a passing fancy. Wenneborg merged her longstanding passion for sports and growing interest in finance into an internship at Nike. She’ll rejoin the global athletic apparel company upon graduation as a finance manager. But she hasn’t gone totally corporate. Wenneborg plans to bring the full measure of her MBA to bear in helping organizations protect the environment. “Preserving wild places is complex,” she says. “It’s an endeavor that requires diverse skill sets in scientific research, education, politics, public outreach, social psychology and business strategy. I want to marry my background in ecological research with the business acumen I’m building to add value in this space.”

winter 2018 | 15


Lifelines By Ed Kromer

Transportation companies led by Foster grads are playing a critical role in Puerto Rico’s recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Maria

I

n fair weather or foul, the American transport companies of Crowley Maritime and TOTE Maritime quietly and capably deliver all manner of everyday goods from the United States mainland to the people of Puerto Rico. On September 20, the weather was far beyond foul. Hurricane Maria, a monstrous category 4 storm, hit Puerto Rico with unprecedented vengeance. Pile-driving winds and torrents of rain knocked out power, severed communications, cut off water and wiped out transit across the entire US territory. Lives were lost, homes ravaged, bridges and roads erased from the map. Recovery after devastation of this magnitude would present challenges in any location. But because Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean, it meant that every bottle of water, every ration of food, every package of diapers, every medical supply, every battery, every blue tarp and plywood board, every portable generator and backhoe, every gallon of gasoline would have to be shipped in. While two-thirds of ships to Puerto Rico hail from foreign ports, it would be American companies—and their best-in-class cargo supply chains—coming to the aid of their fellow Americans. Stepping up The people, vessels and networks of Crowley and TOTE mobilized immediately after the storm, in partnership with FEMA, the Red Cross and other aid organizations. To the 3.4 million residents of Puerto Rico these companies have become, essentially, the supply chain of life itself. It’s a role that both embrace. “We’ve made a huge investment in the region and it’s a very important market for us,” says Thomas Crowley, Jr. (BA 1985), chairman and CEO of Crowley Maritime, which has provided transportation and logistics services to Puerto Rico and 16 | Foster Business

throughout the Caribbean region since 1954. “When a disaster like this occurs, we feel compelled to step up our response because we’re good at mobilizing quickly and getting things done. It’s the business we run every day.” Before they could get back to business, there was the matter of an island-wide power outage to address. Desperate times call for collaborative measures. And with Crowley’s initial barges laden with FEMA cargo, TOTE, its chief competitor in the region, delivered generators to get both companies’ cranes working. Back to work And work they did. As soon as the Port of San Juan reopened after the storm, an armada of Crowley vessels—nearly double its usual capacity—began accelerating shipments of humanitarian aid and construction supplies from New Jersey and Florida. By the end of November, Crowley had transported nearly 15,000 FEMA and commercial loads to Puerto Rico, and distributed them to every corner of the island with an army of 400 trucks through Crowley Logistics. The companies of Seattle-based Saltchuk responded in kind. A company jet delivered first responders. Saltchuk’s international fleet, Tropical Shipping, transformed barges into floating hotels for hundreds of aid workers. TOTE Maritime immediately began transporting vital loads of relief and rebuilding goods—2,500 40-foot containers full per week. And Foss Maritime stepped in with additional tug and barge units to add cargo capacity as well as assist FEMA with cleanup efforts. “Anything that fits in a container, we’re moving it,” says Tim Engle (MBA 2002), president of Saltchuk. Engle and Crowley have been moved by the commitment of their employees. Both companies have provided drinking water, food, ice and generators to their people and their families, and


Epic Climb

Charting UW Foster’s astonishing rise in the rankings, the product of a decade-plus of unparalleled engagement, expansion and innovation

2017

turned their local offices into aid stations and sanctuaries, offering hot meals, showers and washing facilities. “We have people who had to cut themselves out of their houses with chainsaws to get themselves to work,” says Crowley. “They come to work every day and support the mission,” Engle adds. “How am I going to look them in the eye if I haven’t dedicated resources to help them in their time of need? They’re doing the same thing for us.” The long haul And they’ll continue to for some time. Crowley believes that critics have underestimated the extent of this natural disaster in Puerto Rico. “For anyone to think that power would be restored in a month or two was unrealistic,” he says. “That was never our assumption, which is why we spent the money to bring generators in.” As a reality check, he points out that his company has been delivering replacements for the 70,000 utility poles that were splintered by Maria’s fury, while Foss is transporting hundreds of utility trucks from the US mainland. “The reality is that these people are in great need and they’re going to be for a long time to come. A relief effort on this scale takes patience and resources.” Family matters None of this, of course, is great for either company’s bottom line. “Our approach is, let’s take care of the need first and figure out the financials later,” says Engle. “We’re not a non-profit and we’re not completely altruistic. But we are a family business, so we have some leeway to extend our resources.” Having thrived in a mercurial and sometimes merciless industry over many generations, the family-run enterprises of Crowley and Saltchuk, run by friendly rivals, take “family” to heart. It’s why they have stepped up in moments of need, from the Ebola crisis in Africa to the Haitian earthquake to Hurricane Harvey in Texas to Puerto Rico today. “We’re trying to create an environment where you’d be proud to have your kids work,” Engle says. “When you hold yourself to that standard, the rest is easy. It’s how we live. We want to be part of the communities in which we do business. We’ve been in Puerto Rico for 30 years and we want to be there at least 30 more.” Crowley, whose company has served the island even longer, agrees: “We’re in this for the long haul.” n

Keeping up the Jones ACT Crowley Maritime, TOTE Maritime and Foss Maritime operate under the Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, a federal statute that requires all goods transported by water in US domestic commerce to be carried on American vessels. This act has taken some heat in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. But Crowley says that it ensures a viable American maritime industry—American shipbuilders, ships and merchant seamen. This becomes acutely important in times of war or disaster. “In addition to serving the broader interests of America,” he says, “the Jones Act has created an environment where American companies have invested heavily in the supply chain. This is where TOTE and Crowley are building new ships and terminals. We’ve built an American supply chain second to none.”

winter 2018 | 17

2000

20

52

Foster’s ascent among American business schools, averaged across the rankings of U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times and Bloomberg Businessweek

2017 Foster MBA Rankings

U.S. News: #27 (#9 public) Financial Times: #19 (#5 public) Businessweek: #15 (#3 public )


Epic Climb

Charting UW Foster’s astonishing rise in the rankings, the product of a decade-plus of unparalleled engagement, expansion and innovation

2017

turned their local offices into aid stations and sanctuaries, offering hot meals, showers and washing facilities. “We have people who had to cut themselves out of their houses with chainsaws to get themselves to work,” says Crowley. “They come to work every day and support the mission,” Engle adds. “How am I going to look them in the eye if I haven’t dedicated resources to help them in their time of need? They’re doing the same thing for us.” The long haul And they’ll continue to for some time. Crowley believes that critics have underestimated the extent of this natural disaster in Puerto Rico. “For anyone to think that power would be restored in a month or two was unrealistic,” he says. “That was never our assumption, which is why we spent the money to bring generators in.” As a reality check, he points out that his company has been delivering replacements for the 70,000 utility poles that were splintered by Maria’s fury, while Foss is transporting hundreds of utility trucks from the US mainland. “The reality is that these people are in great need and they’re going to be for a long time to come. A relief effort on this scale takes patience and resources.” Family matters None of this, of course, is great for either company’s bottom line. “Our approach is, let’s take care of the need first and figure out the financials later,” says Engle. “We’re not a non-profit and we’re not completely altruistic. But we are a family business, so we have some leeway to extend our resources.” Having thrived in a mercurial and sometimes merciless industry over many generations, the family-run enterprises of Crowley and Saltchuk, run by friendly rivals, take “family” to heart. It’s why they have stepped up in moments of need, from the Ebola crisis in Africa to the Haitian earthquake to Hurricane Harvey in Texas to Puerto Rico today. “We’re trying to create an environment where you’d be proud to have your kids work,” Engle says. “When you hold yourself to that standard, the rest is easy. It’s how we live. We want to be part of the communities in which we do business. We’ve been in Puerto Rico for 30 years and we want to be there at least 30 more.” Crowley, whose company has served the island even longer, agrees: “We’re in this for the long haul.” n

Keeping up the Jones ACT Crowley Maritime, TOTE Maritime and Foss Maritime operate under the Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, a federal statute that requires all goods transported by water in US domestic commerce to be carried on American vessels. This act has taken some heat in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. But Crowley says that it ensures a viable American maritime industry—American shipbuilders, ships and merchant seamen. This becomes acutely important in times of war or disaster. “In addition to serving the broader interests of America,” he says, “the Jones Act has created an environment where American companies have invested heavily in the supply chain. This is where TOTE and Crowley are building new ships and terminals. We’ve built an American supply chain second to none.”

winter 2018 | 17

2000

20

52

Foster’s ascent among American business schools, averaged across the rankings of U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times and Bloomberg Businessweek

2017 Foster MBA Rankings

U.S. News: #27 (#9 public) Financial Times: #19 (#5 public) Businessweek: #15 (#3 public )


Access

Charting Foster’s Epic Climb Sometimes perception takes a while to catch up to reality. Sometimes it needs a little push. The Foster School’s phenomenal rise up the rankings since the turn of the century is perhaps the result of a bit of both. And “phenomenal” is no overstatement. Since the year 2000, the Foster School has risen 32 places, on average, across the the three leading MBA rankings—considered the key indicators of overall school quality. In the momentum game, no one else even comes close. No other American b-school has risen even 20 places, and only 23 have moved up at all during the same period. As remarkable as the slope of Foster’s upward trajectory is its steadiness—sustaining forward progress even into the rarified air of the nation’s top 30, where there is precious little movement in or out, historically.

Extending opportunities of a lifetime to increasingly diverse student population

And still, Foster continues to rise. There is no great secret to this success. No marketing gimmick. No gaming the system. Foster’s big move is simply the product of continual improvement and market-driven innovation. And certainly a surge of energy since becoming the Foster School of Business in 2007 has elevated, expanded or enhanced every aspect of business education at the University of Washington (some of which are illustrated on these pages). An unprecedented ascent has been powered by Foster. Climb on.

• Undergraduate Diversity Services introduces Young Executives of Color (2006), Business Bridge (2010), Women’s Leadership Summit (2016)

• Foster School of Business named to honor $50M in giving from The Foster Foundation (2007)

• Princeton Review rates Foster #2 in resources for women (2017)

• Creating Futures Campaign – $181M raised, from 13,000 donors

• MBA Diversity & Inclusion (2017) serves underrepresented minorities, women, veterans and LGBTQ community

Centers New and ever-expanding to enhance scholarship and student experience

2017

20

• PACCAR Hall (2010) – 19 classrooms; 135,000 sq. ft.

• Global Business Center – Global Health Case Competition (2016), Russell Investments Case Competition expands, 400 students study abroad; 300 compete in global case competitions • Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship – Lavin Entrepreneurial Action Program (2007), Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge (2009), Jones + Foster Accelerator (2012), Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge (2016) • Consulting and Business Development Center – Tribal Enterprise partnerships (2007), Minority Business Executive Program (2011), National conference (2013), Ascend 2020 nationwide initiative (2017)

• Dempsey Hall (2012) – 9 classrooms; 65,000 sq. ft. • Founders Hall (2021 planned) – 5 classrooms; 100,000 sq. ft.

• Professional Sales Program – 125 students (doubled from 2007), placement rate > 90%, ranked among top programs nationwide for 10+ years, National Team Selling Competition champs two of the past three years

Careers Nation-leading employment rates and innovative career management • MBA Career Management expands staff, recruiter connections, multiple employer advisory boards; establishes Professional Development and Brand Essence programs

2000

52

• MBA placement rate of 98% in 2017 is #1 in the nation in both U.S. News and Bloomberg Businessweek • Average MBA starting salary + bonus $133K (up from $74K in 2001)

• Average BA starting salary $62K (up from $48K in 2007)

• Current Be Boundless Campaign (through 2020) – $185M raised, from 12,000 donors—so far

• Foster awards $4M in scholarships in 2017 (up from $1.9M in 2007)

Constructing a world-class campus

• BA internship rate of 85% and placement rate of 80% within 90 days of graduation

Donors step up, through recession and funding cuts

• Expansion of mentor programs, case competitions, student consulting opportunities

Facilities

• EY Center for Career Advancement (2013) serves undergrads and specialty masters

Private Support

• Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy (2014) – applying academic research in the service of Washington businesses, more than 15 projects completed through 2017 • University of Science and Technology of China-UW Institute for Global Business and Finance Innovation (2017) – Foster’s partnership with a top 5 Chinese university houses three research centers: finance, data analytics, and management of innovation

Faculty

NEW Degree Programs

Renaissance of scholar-educators as past masters retire

Market-driven launches boost masters’ program enrollment to 1,300 (from 750 in 2007)

Students

• 50 faculty hires since 2007

Foster draws increasingly high caliber of students

• Average teaching rating at an all-time high

• Freshman Direct admits 250 students per year with average GPA 3.88 and 1350 SAT

• Research rankings – Foster ranked #7 in the world, #3 in management, #5 in finance, #8 in marketing

• Foster leads the UW in four-year graduation rate and percentage of students studying abroad

• Nearly half of 85 research faculty serve on editorial review boards of top journals

• Incoming MBAs bring average GMAT of 691 (up from 652 in 2001)

• Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking (2008) – initiatives in MBA leadership, consulting contracts with US Military and other orgs, gamification of leadership development

• MS in Information Systems (reboot 2012) • MS in Supply Chain Management (2016) • MS in Entrepreneurship (2017) • MS in Taxation (renamed 2017) • Hybrid MBA (2017)


Access

Charting Foster’s Epic Climb Sometimes perception takes a while to catch up to reality. Sometimes it needs a little push. The Foster School’s phenomenal rise up the rankings since the turn of the century is perhaps the result of a bit of both. And “phenomenal” is no overstatement. Since the year 2000, the Foster School has risen 32 places, on average, across the the three leading MBA rankings—considered the key indicators of overall school quality. In the momentum game, no one else even comes close. No other American b-school has risen even 20 places, and only 23 have moved up at all during the same period. As remarkable as the slope of Foster’s upward trajectory is its steadiness—sustaining forward progress even into the rarified air of the nation’s top 30, where there is precious little movement in or out, historically.

Extending opportunities of a lifetime to increasingly diverse student population

And still, Foster continues to rise. There is no great secret to this success. No marketing gimmick. No gaming the system. Foster’s big move is simply the product of continual improvement and market-driven innovation. And certainly a surge of energy since becoming the Foster School of Business in 2007 has elevated, expanded or enhanced every aspect of business education at the University of Washington (some of which are illustrated on these pages). An unprecedented ascent has been powered by Foster. Climb on.

• Undergraduate Diversity Services introduces Young Executives of Color (2006), Business Bridge (2010), Women’s Leadership Summit (2016)

• Foster School of Business named to honor $50M in giving from The Foster Foundation (2007)

• Princeton Review rates Foster #2 in resources for women (2017)

• Creating Futures Campaign – $181M raised, from 13,000 donors

• MBA Diversity & Inclusion (2017) serves underrepresented minorities, women, veterans and LGBTQ community

Centers New and ever-expanding to enhance scholarship and student experience

2017

20

• PACCAR Hall (2010) – 19 classrooms; 135,000 sq. ft.

• Global Business Center – Global Health Case Competition (2016), Russell Investments Case Competition expands, 400 students study abroad; 300 compete in global case competitions • Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship – Lavin Entrepreneurial Action Program (2007), Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge (2009), Jones + Foster Accelerator (2012), Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge (2016) • Consulting and Business Development Center – Tribal Enterprise partnerships (2007), Minority Business Executive Program (2011), National conference (2013), Ascend 2020 nationwide initiative (2017)

• Dempsey Hall (2012) – 9 classrooms; 65,000 sq. ft. • Founders Hall (2021 planned) – 5 classrooms; 100,000 sq. ft.

• Professional Sales Program – 125 students (doubled from 2007), placement rate > 90%, ranked among top programs nationwide for 10+ years, National Team Selling Competition champs two of the past three years

Careers Nation-leading employment rates and innovative career management • MBA Career Management expands staff, recruiter connections, multiple employer advisory boards; establishes Professional Development and Brand Essence programs

2000

52

• MBA placement rate of 98% in 2017 is #1 in the nation in both U.S. News and Bloomberg Businessweek • Average MBA starting salary + bonus $133K (up from $74K in 2001)

• Average BA starting salary $62K (up from $48K in 2007)

• Current Be Boundless Campaign (through 2020) – $185M raised, from 12,000 donors—so far

• Foster awards $4M in scholarships in 2017 (up from $1.9M in 2007)

Constructing a world-class campus

• BA internship rate of 85% and placement rate of 80% within 90 days of graduation

Donors step up, through recession and funding cuts

• Expansion of mentor programs, case competitions, student consulting opportunities

Facilities

• EY Center for Career Advancement (2013) serves undergrads and specialty masters

Private Support

• Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy (2014) – applying academic research in the service of Washington businesses, more than 15 projects completed through 2017 • University of Science and Technology of China-UW Institute for Global Business and Finance Innovation (2017) – Foster’s partnership with a top 5 Chinese university houses three research centers: finance, data analytics, and management of innovation

Faculty

NEW Degree Programs

Renaissance of scholar-educators as past masters retire

Market-driven launches boost masters’ program enrollment to 1,300 (from 750 in 2007)

Students

• 50 faculty hires since 2007

Foster draws increasingly high caliber of students

• Average teaching rating at an all-time high

• Freshman Direct admits 250 students per year with average GPA 3.88 and 1350 SAT

• Research rankings – Foster ranked #7 in the world, #3 in management, #5 in finance, #8 in marketing

• Foster leads the UW in four-year graduation rate and percentage of students studying abroad

• Nearly half of 85 research faculty serve on editorial review boards of top journals

• Incoming MBAs bring average GMAT of 691 (up from 652 in 2001)

• Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking (2008) – initiatives in MBA leadership, consulting contracts with US Military and other orgs, gamification of leadership development

• MS in Information Systems (reboot 2012) • MS in Supply Chain Management (2016) • MS in Entrepreneurship (2017) • MS in Taxation (renamed 2017) • Hybrid MBA (2017)


Access

Charting Foster’s Epic Climb Sometimes perception takes a while to catch up to reality. Sometimes it needs a little push. The Foster School’s phenomenal rise up the rankings since the turn of the century is perhaps the result of a bit of both. And “phenomenal” is no overstatement. Since the year 2000, the Foster School has risen 32 places, on average, across the the three leading MBA rankings—considered the key indicators of overall school quality. In the momentum game, no one else even comes close. No other American b-school has risen even 20 places, and only 23 have moved up at all during the same period. As remarkable as the slope of Foster’s upward trajectory is its steadiness—sustaining forward progress even into the rarified air of the nation’s top 30, where there is precious little movement in or out, historically.

Extending opportunities of a lifetime to increasingly diverse student population

And still, Foster continues to rise. There is no great secret to this success. No marketing gimmick. No gaming the system. Foster’s big move is simply the product of continual improvement and market-driven innovation. And certainly a surge of energy since becoming the Foster School of Business in 2007 has elevated, expanded or enhanced every aspect of business education at the University of Washington (some of which are illustrated on these pages). An unprecedented ascent has been powered by Foster. Climb on.

• Undergraduate Diversity Services introduces Young Executives of Color (2006), Business Bridge (2010), Women’s Leadership Summit (2016)

• Foster School of Business named to honor $50M in giving from The Foster Foundation (2007)

• Princeton Review rates Foster #2 in resources for women (2017)

• Creating Futures Campaign – $181M raised, from 13,000 donors

• MBA Diversity & Inclusion (2017) serves underrepresented minorities, women, veterans and LGBTQ community

Centers New and ever-expanding to enhance scholarship and student experience

2017

20

• PACCAR Hall (2010) – 19 classrooms; 135,000 sq. ft.

• Global Business Center – Global Health Case Competition (2016), Russell Investments Case Competition expands, 400 students study abroad; 300 compete in global case competitions • Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship – Lavin Entrepreneurial Action Program (2007), Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge (2009), Jones + Foster Accelerator (2012), Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge (2016) • Consulting and Business Development Center – Tribal Enterprise partnerships (2007), Minority Business Executive Program (2011), National conference (2013), Ascend 2020 nationwide initiative (2017)

• Dempsey Hall (2012) – 9 classrooms; 65,000 sq. ft. • Founders Hall (2021 planned) – 5 classrooms; 100,000 sq. ft.

• Professional Sales Program – 125 students (doubled from 2007), placement rate > 90%, ranked among top programs nationwide for 10+ years, National Team Selling Competition champs two of the past three years

Careers Nation-leading employment rates and innovative career management • MBA Career Management expands staff, recruiter connections, multiple employer advisory boards; establishes Professional Development and Brand Essence programs

2000

52

• MBA placement rate of 98% in 2017 is #1 in the nation in both U.S. News and Bloomberg Businessweek • Average MBA starting salary + bonus $133K (up from $74K in 2001)

• Average BA starting salary $62K (up from $48K in 2007)

• Current Be Boundless Campaign (through 2020) – $185M raised, from 12,000 donors—so far

• Foster awards $4M in scholarships in 2017 (up from $1.9M in 2007)

Constructing a world-class campus

• BA internship rate of 85% and placement rate of 80% within 90 days of graduation

Donors step up, through recession and funding cuts

• Expansion of mentor programs, case competitions, student consulting opportunities

Facilities

• EY Center for Career Advancement (2013) serves undergrads and specialty masters

Private Support

• Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy (2014) – applying academic research in the service of Washington businesses, more than 15 projects completed through 2017 • University of Science and Technology of China-UW Institute for Global Business and Finance Innovation (2017) – Foster’s partnership with a top 5 Chinese university houses three research centers: finance, data analytics, and management of innovation

Faculty

NEW Degree Programs

Renaissance of scholar-educators as past masters retire

Market-driven launches boost masters’ program enrollment to 1,300 (from 750 in 2007)

Students

• 50 faculty hires since 2007

Foster draws increasingly high caliber of students

• Average teaching rating at an all-time high

• Freshman Direct admits 250 students per year with average GPA 3.88 and 1350 SAT

• Research rankings – Foster ranked #7 in the world, #3 in management, #5 in finance, #8 in marketing

• Foster leads the UW in four-year graduation rate and percentage of students studying abroad

• Nearly half of 85 research faculty serve on editorial review boards of top journals

• Incoming MBAs bring average GMAT of 691 (up from 652 in 2001)

• Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking (2008) – initiatives in MBA leadership, consulting contracts with US Military and other orgs, gamification of leadership development

• MS in Information Systems (reboot 2012) • MS in Supply Chain Management (2016) • MS in Entrepreneurship (2017) • MS in Taxation (renamed 2017) • Hybrid MBA (2017)


Epic Climb

Charting UW Foster’s astonishing rise in the rankings, the product of a decade-plus of unparalleled engagement, expansion and innovation

2017

turned their local offices into aid stations and sanctuaries, offering hot meals, showers and washing facilities. “We have people who had to cut themselves out of their houses with chainsaws to get themselves to work,” says Crowley. “They come to work every day and support the mission,” Engle adds. “How am I going to look them in the eye if I haven’t dedicated resources to help them in their time of need? They’re doing the same thing for us.” The long haul And they’ll continue to for some time. Crowley believes that critics have underestimated the extent of this natural disaster in Puerto Rico. “For anyone to think that power would be restored in a month or two was unrealistic,” he says. “That was never our assumption, which is why we spent the money to bring generators in.” As a reality check, he points out that his company has been delivering replacements for the 70,000 utility poles that were splintered by Maria’s fury, while Foss is transporting hundreds of utility trucks from the US mainland. “The reality is that these people are in great need and they’re going to be for a long time to come. A relief effort on this scale takes patience and resources.” Family matters None of this, of course, is great for either company’s bottom line. “Our approach is, let’s take care of the need first and figure out the financials later,” says Engle. “We’re not a non-profit and we’re not completely altruistic. But we are a family business, so we have some leeway to extend our resources.” Having thrived in a mercurial and sometimes merciless industry over many generations, the family-run enterprises of Crowley and Saltchuk, run by friendly rivals, take “family” to heart. It’s why they have stepped up in moments of need, from the Ebola crisis in Africa to the Haitian earthquake to Hurricane Harvey in Texas to Puerto Rico today. “We’re trying to create an environment where you’d be proud to have your kids work,” Engle says. “When you hold yourself to that standard, the rest is easy. It’s how we live. We want to be part of the communities in which we do business. We’ve been in Puerto Rico for 30 years and we want to be there at least 30 more.” Crowley, whose company has served the island even longer, agrees: “We’re in this for the long haul.” n

Keeping up the Jones ACT Crowley Maritime, TOTE Maritime and Foss Maritime operate under the Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, a federal statute that requires all goods transported by water in US domestic commerce to be carried on American vessels. This act has taken some heat in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. But Crowley says that it ensures a viable American maritime industry—American shipbuilders, ships and merchant seamen. This becomes acutely important in times of war or disaster. “In addition to serving the broader interests of America,” he says, “the Jones Act has created an environment where American companies have invested heavily in the supply chain. This is where TOTE and Crowley are building new ships and terminals. We’ve built an American supply chain second to none.”

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2000

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Foster’s ascent among American business schools, averaged across the rankings of U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times and Bloomberg Businessweek

2017 Foster MBA Rankings

U.S. News: #27 (#9 public) Financial Times: #19 (#5 public) Businessweek: #15 (#3 public )


The ballad of Ivar Haglund, the whimsical, inimitable marketing genius so essential to the history of Seattle and the Foster School of Business

Keep Clam By Ed Kromer

I

var Haglund (BA 1928), the legendary restauranteur, raconteur and ringleader of Old Seattle, was a man of many gifts. An elfin charm. A sweet tenor. A mind for branding. A knack for promotion. An affinity for zany stunts and cornball puns. A devotion to his city and its waterfront. A mischievous spirit. A generous soul. But Ivar’s greatest gift of all may have been his final one. After he passed away in 1985, his last will and testament revealed that the vast majority of his estate was to be donated, in equal parts, to Washington State University’s School of Hospitality Business Management and the University of Washington School of Business (now the Foster School). Once the paperwork had settled, the total bequest to each of the schools came to $5.2 million. A lot of clams. The scale of this unexpected gift was stunning. It was—by far—the largest the Foster School had ever received. But perhaps most remarkable was that the money arrived without strings or fanfare, accompanied by a humble directive: to be used at the discretion of school leadership. “It didn’t matter to Ivar if he got credit,” says Bob Donegan, the current president of Ivar’s Inc. “All he wanted was for kids to get a great education.” The singing entrepreneur Haglund’s own education—at least the formal kind—culminated at the UW College of Business Administration, where he earned a BA in economics in 1928. “An ironic degree to get a year before the stock market crash of 1929,” noted historian Paul Dorpat, who’s working on Haglund’s biography. “But Ivar was always ahead of the times.”

At the UW, Haglund sang with the Glee Club, and earned side cash performing a song-and-dance routine peppered with bits of comedy. He passed the Great Depression living the bohemian idyll of a folk-singing troubadour who kept company with the likes of Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie and Burl Ives.

The UW Glee Club featuring Ivar Haglund (middle row, second from left).

But Haglund, the son of Swedish and Norwegian pioneers, had industry in his blood. Plus, an abiding passion for the Seattle waterfront that developed during his long trolley commutes to the UW campus from his family home on Alki Point. In 1938, Haglund opened one of the city’s first aquariums, on what is now Pier 54. More significantly, he also opened an adjacent fish-and-chips stand to serve hungry patrons. Soon enough, he realized that there was more money to be made in seafood to eat than to ogle. Ivar’s Acres of Clams opened in 1946, a full-service restaurant embellished with kitchsy nautical décor. And a regional empire of eateries grew from there, on a steady diet of fresh local seafood and inventive promotion that was packed to the gills with gut-busting songs, groan-inducing puns, and headline-grabbing stunts—for publicity and, well, just for the halibut.

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Stunt man A career of strategic tomfoolery began in December 1940, when Haglund trundled his aquarium’s star seal, Patsy, in a baby buggy to Frederick & Nelson for the first of many annual visits to Santa Claus. He regularly convened a cabal of Seattle’s most powerful newspapermen to brainstorm new and fantastic ways of promoting his growing enterprise. There was the $5,000 reward offered to anyone who could deliver to the aquarium the sea monster that Haglund reported to have spotted swimming in Lake Washington. Then a ballyhooed wrestling match between washed-up prize fighter Tony “Two-Ton” Galento and Oscar the Octopus. And the invention of “Ever-Rejuvenating Clam Nectar” transformed spent cooking liquid into an aphrodisiac of such reputed potency that a third cup was allowed only with the written consent of a man’s better half. In fact, a daily diet of Ivar’s nectar was claimed to be the key to victory in the first Seattle Clam Bowl, a competitive eating contest mounted by Haglund’s International Pacific Free Style Amateur Clam Eating Contest Association (IPFSACECA). The event garnered world-wide attention. So did the publication of Ivar’s “Fishcal Statement” in the Wall Street Journal, featuring an org chart of menu items, an infographic on the health benefits of seafood and an explanation that “there will be no dividends until we have found the key to the petty cash drawer.” Haglund’s stunts weren’t always planned, either. When a railroad tank-car spilled 1,000 gallons of corn syrup on the train tracks in front of Acres of Clams, he was there in a flash with hip waders and a tall stack of pancakes, ladling on the runaway goop as photographers captured yet another front-page photo. Marketing genius Of course, Haglund continued crafting his persona as beloved and benevolent huckster. He never stopped performing on radio and television, singing ballads and chanties that served as subtle—and sometimes shameless—reminders of his nautical enterprise.

24 | Foster Business

His most famous went like this: No longer a slave of ambition I laugh at the world and its shams As I think of my happy condition— Surrounded by acres of clam-m-m-s! Even Ivar’s signature motto—“Keep Clam!”—was the perfectly eccentric Northwest twist on that famous articulation of the British stiff-upper-lip. “Ivar was a natural marketer,” says Doug MacLachlan, a professor emeritus of marketing at the Foster School. “He had good instincts and quirky ideas that endeared him to a wide audience and patrons of all ages.” Look a bit closer and it begins to look like genius. Haglund certainly entertained the masses as the crooning clown in the captain’s hat. But there was method to his madcap. “It was a rare thing for families to eat out in the ’50s and ’60s,” explains Donegan. “Ivar made it seem fun, not fussy.”


The man behind the legend Of course, the commercial Ivar was a character, a longrunning installation of performance art that provided his beloved city with 1,001 fish tales—and a lot of tasty fish. The real Ivar tended to be quiet, introspective and intensely loyal. He was a shrewd and perceptive business man who saw opportunities that escaped the grasp of others. He also cared deeply about Seattle, leading countless preservation and improvement initiatives—both formal and freelance. Late in his life he purchased the historic Smith Tower to save it from disrepair. And when he ran for Port commissioner in 1983—largely as another publicity stunt—he won. What might define Haglund more than anything, however, was his deep sense of empathy. He was quick to connect with people and causes. This inspired a lifetime of philanthropy both small (providing clam chowder to the Millionaire Club Charity) and large (underwriting the annual “4th of Jul-Ivar” fireworks from 1964 until decades after his death). But nothing approached the scale or scope of his parting gift to the UW and WSU. Whale of a legacy An endowment that now pays out more than $600,000 annually to enhance education at the Foster School is only part of Haglund’s enormous legacy. Ivar’s is stronger than ever today, with 82 restaurants across the Northwest, a concessions business, tankers of chowder sales and upwards of 1,300 employees during its busiest season. An 80-year-old restaurant company is one of the rarest fish in the sea. Donegan, a whimsical president in his own right, gives credit to Haglund. “Part of the reason we’re still around is that the principles he established still guide us,” he says. “We don’t measure success by profitability first. We measure it in employee satisfaction. Because we know, as he knew, that if our employees are happy, they will make customers happy.” That has always been the Ivar way. And good food and good fun are gifts that, apparently, keep on giving. A few years ago, divers dredged up several weathered Ivar’s billboards from the bottom of Elliott Bay. They were reported to have been installed by Haglund in the 1950s upon learning of a plan by Washington State Ferries to add fast submarine service from Bainbridge to Seattle. One of the billboards advertised: “Ivar’s chowder. Worth surfacing for.” It was all revealed to be a hoax, of course, a lighthearted conspiracy of Ivar’s leadership, a local ad agency and even the historian Dorpat to create publicity for the company while paying homage to its late, great “flounder.” “It was very much in the spirit of Ivar Haglund,” explained Dorpat, sheepishly, in the Seattle Times. Indeed. And, like so many of the memorable stunts and pranks and antics and escapades that Haglund actually did conduct in his life… it worked. Ivar’s chowder sales quadrupled. n

Flexible Funds, Forever Over the past four decades, the Ivar Haglund Endowment has become the Foster School’s ultimate utility fund, quietly financing innumerable unmet needs and unexpected opportunities. In the 1990s, fund income seeded the launch of Foster’s studentfocused Global Business Center, Consulting and Business Development Center and Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. It has supported recruitment of traditionally underrepresented students as well as research efforts, career services and instructional computing. It has underwritten an MBA curriculum overhaul, plugged gaps in the operating budget and retired debt on the game-changing PACCAR Hall. It transformed a humble alumni newsletter into a full-blown magazine. And proceeds from the Haglund Endowment have supported generations of students—many of whom will never know their unnamed benefactor. “In almost all businesses and, certainly, at business schools, there is always some unanticipated need for funds,” says Jim Jiambalvo, the Orin and Janet Smith Endowed Dean at Foster. “In spite of the ups and downs of the economy and state support for higher education, the discretionary dollars provided by the Ivar Haglund Endowment have been vital to the Foster School’s upward trajectory.” Through many years of responsible stewardship, this deep reservoir of opportunity funding has grown to nearly $15 million today, distributing more than $600,000 annually to help students get a great education. All of this would please the big-hearted benefactor of this fungible fund to no end, says Frank Madigan, the executor of Haglund’s estate and COO of the 80-year old Seattle seafood company. “The way that Ivar gave his gift—with no strings attached—was the way he ran his business, too. He gave you authority and then got out of the way,” Madigan says. “He would be thrilled to know how the UW has been using it.” winter 2018 | 25


faculty Research briefs

The Grateful Workplace

I, Robo-Journalist

The Caveat of Calling

Cultivating gratitude can be good for an organization’s bottom line

Automated articles on corporate earnings strengthen capital markets

Meaningful work can be productive and satisfying—or lead to burnout

Plenty of academic research—not to mention common sense—supports the conclusion that gratitude emits positive repercussions. Grateful people are happier and more satisfied, less aggressive and cynical. And they tend to pay forward the kindness shown them in a variety of prosocial behaviors. Yet in the workplace, gratitude can seem a pretty squishy feeling to cultivate. Ryan Fehr suggests otherwise. A new study by the assistant professor of management models the progression of on-the-job gratitude from episodic (once in a while) to persistent (recurring) to collective (a widespread culture). It also offers tips for organizations to foster a culture of gratitude, including all-employee appreciation programs, opportunities to see the positive impacts of work, and developmental feedback. Such programs can create a general feeling of employee well-being that protects against the stresses and anxieties of work and generates a happy litany of organizational virtues—from personal dedication to greater collaboration to organizational citizenship to corporate social responsibility. “By making gratitude a fundamental part of the employee experience,” Fehr says, “leaders and managers can leverage the benefits for employees and the organization as a whole.” n

There’s a new name in financial journalism. And it isn’t human. The Associated Press, responding to cost pressures across the news industry, has begun publishing computer-generated articles as an inexpensive means of broader reporting on quarterly earnings of private corporations. This “robo-journalism” has certainly expanded the coverage of firm financials in popular channels frequented by investors. But does it actually make a difference in the financial markets? A new study by Ed deHaan demonstrates that these automated earnings articles—composed of public data synthesized by algorithm and wrapped in basic prose by natural language processing— increase firms’ trading volume and market liquidity. This is likely due to the response of “retail” traders who lack the access and sophistication of institutional investors. “We wanted to learn whether a story about an earnings announcement, written by a robot, is of interest to anyone. Do investors read and respond to them?” asks deHaan, an assistant professor of accounting. “It turns out, they do. And this intentionally simple application of automation actually strengthens capital markets.” The news is not so good for journalists, analysts and advisors whose existence is threatened by increasingly sophisticated automated analysis. n

For most of human history, work has been viewed as a necessary drudgery. In recent decades, though, a notion first introduced during the Protestant Reformation has re-emerged: that it’s desirable to pursue work that is meaningful and filled with purpose. A calling. But there is a potential downside to following your professional passion. New research by Kira Schabram, an assistant professor of management at Foster, demonstrates that pursuing a calling can lead to thriving—or to burnout. And the thin line between soul-stirring and soulcrushing depends on how you approach a calling. From her studies with animal shelter workers, Schabram found that those with the loftiest intentions and abilities tended to become defeated over time. Only those who approached their callings with more modest aspirations and a goal of learning had a positive experience. “None of the people we studied had a moderate experience of their calling,” Schabram says. “They either followed a path that produced learning and growth or one of two other paths that generated intense negative emotions and culminated in burnout and exit from the occupation.” She advises purpose-driven people to develop mechanisms to deal constructively with the challenges inherent in their callings. n

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istock.com/CnOra, PhonlamalPhoto, quisp65, wildpixel, dwphotos, enisaksoy

Who’s Driving?

Passion Pays

Why Risk It?

Why online discussion forums often stray from the original query

Entrepreneurial zeal is critical to securing crowdfunding investment

Tracking the origins and evolution of a corporation’s preference for risk

Good conversation sometimes takes a few detours. But straying off topic is far less appreciated in conversations initiated to seek advice. On product purchases. Vacation rentals. Home repairs. Anything. Yet diversion is precisely the fate of many online consumer discussion threads, according to new research by Ann Schlosser, a professor of marketing at Foster. Schlosser finds that the content of advice offered in these online forums tends to be driven not by the original query, but rather by its first respondents. And when these early “experts” don’t really answer the question, they also steer subsequent respondents away from what was asked in the first place. This meandering can lead to incomplete, irrelevant or even faulty recommendations. “You’d expect that people offering responses in an online forum would want to provide the most helpful content given the specifics of the query,” Schlosser says. “Instead, we found that people are less likely to mention a critical attribute if earlier respondents also ignored it. This herding behavior—the un-wisdom of crowds— occurs because respondents tend to affiliate with their fellow experts rather than with the person seeking advice.” n

When trying to raise startup capital via online crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, entrepreneurs need to pitch with palpable passion. That’s the conclusion of a new study by Suresh Kotha and Xiao-Ping Chen, professors of management at Foster. Their examination of entrepreneurial crowdfunding campaigns reveals that an overt display of passion in an online video presentation dramatically increases the odds that viewers will dedicate their own money to the development of a new product or venture. Perhaps more importantly, a passionate pitch increases the likelihood that investors will forward to friends. Add an innovative product and the effect is even greater. “Displaying passion in a crowdfunding video increases the amount of enthusiasm for the project that viewers experience,” says Kotha, the Olesen/Battelle Excellence Chair in Entrepreneurship. “This prompts them to contribute financially and to share campaign information via social media channels, further facilitating campaign success.” He cautions against being swayed by passion alone—in crowdfunding, education, religion or politics. “When we lack the expertise to make an informed judgment, we often look for passion,” Kotha adds. “But we should not overlook other substantial factors.” n

Why do some firms take so many risks while others seek certainty—often over many decades in business? A new study by Stephan Siegel, the Michael G. Foster Endowed Professor of Finance and Business Economics, examines the origin and evolution of corporate risk culture in a novel way. By using cultural heritage—a determinant of economic preferences—as a proxy for the risk profile of senior executives and directors of 6,000 public companies, Siegel and his co-authors determined that a firm’s leaders tend to share common attitudes toward risk and uncertainty. This corporate risk culture manifests in a firm’s willingness to invest in R&D and engage in M&A activities. Siegel finds that these variations in a firm’s attitude toward risk persist over time—often evolving little from the individual risk profile of a firm’s founder. While the preservation of a founding philosophy can serve a company well over its life, such persistence carries a caveat, too. “As much as it offers stability, continuity and predictability,” Siegel says, “culture can also become a hindrance to acting differently when an opportunity presents itself.” n

Interested in reading more about this research? Visit foster.uw.edu/research-briefs

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faculty

Honor Roll Foster faculty recognized locally and nationally for outstanding achievements in 2017 Who What Why it matters Nidhi Agrawal Michael G. Foster Professor of Marketing and International Business

Erin Anderson Award, American Marketing Association (AMA) Foundation

Agrawal, the consummate scholar and mentor, is honored by the nation’s leading marketing organization for the impact of her research publications and her tireless coaching and development of doctoral students and junior faculty at Foster.

Bruce Avolio Mark Pigott Chair in Business Strategic Leadership, Professor of Management

Top 20 Scholar, Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Avolio, the founding director of the Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking, is the #18 most-cited researcher of all time—tied with Terry Mitchell—in the field of industrial and organizational psychology for his seminal work in authentic and transformational leadership development.

Connie Bourassa-Shaw Founding Director of Master of Science in Entrepreneurship

David Thorud Leadership Award, University of Washington

The longtime director of the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship and catalyst of student and faculty startups across campus earns the UW’s highest employee honor. Bourassa-Shaw was also a finalist for Geekwire’s “Geek of the Year.”

Jonathan Brogaard Assistant Professor of Finance, GM Nameplate Endowed Faculty Fellow

Emerald Citations of Excellence Award, Emerald Publishing Group

Brogaard’s award-winning 2014 paper linking highfrequency trading with enhanced price discovery in the financial markets is one of the most-cited papers across all business disciplines—a key indicator of the study’s relevance and influence.

Xiao-Ping Chen Philip M. Condit Endowed Chair in Business Administration, Professor of Management

Fellow, American Psychological Association

Chen, Foster’s associate dean for faculty and academic affairs, is one of only 90 fellows elected this year by the nation’s largest organization of scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants and students in the field of psychology.

Crystal Farh Assistant Professor of Management

Ascendant Scholar Award, Western Academy of Management

The West Coast affiliate of the Academy of Management names Farh among a handful of young b-school scholars who have demonstrated an exemplary record of research, teaching and service—and even greater potential.

Thomas Gilbert Assistant Professor of Finance

Favorite MBA Professors, Poets & Quants

The essential MBA news site counts Gilbert— winner of Foster’s 2017 PACCAR Award for Excellence in Teaching, Charles E. Summer Memorial Teaching Award and Dan Siegel Award for Service—among the most inspiring, innovative and indelible business educators in the world today.

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Who What Why it matters Ben Hallen Assistant Professor of management

40 under 40 Most Outstanding MBA Professors, Poets & Quants

Hallen, the founding faculty director of the new MS in Entrepreneurship Program, has been recognized as one of the 40 best young MBA instructors in the world—by the world’s most influential MBA news site.

Terry Mitchell Professor Emeritus of Management

Top 20 Scholar, Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Mitchell, a leading mind at Foster since 1969, is the #18 most-cited researcher of all time—tied with Bruce Avolio—in the field of industrial and organizational psychology for his formative research on leadership, motivation, decision making and employee turnover.

Rob Palmatier John C. Narver Endowed Professor in Business Administration, Professor of Marketing

#12 Most Prolific Marketing Researcher in the World, American Marketing Association

The nation’s premier marketing organization recognizes Palmatier’s extraordinary publication record in the field’s most influential journals over the past decade. One of those papers—enhancing resource-based theory in marketing—was among the most-cited across all business disciplines last year.

Yong Tan Neal and Jan Dempsey Professor of Information Systems

Best Paper Award in Information Systems, Management Science

Tan’s 2010 paper—decoding the dynamics of following friends versus the crowd in online reviews—is recognized for its impact over time by the flagship journal of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS).

Michael Wagner Assistant Professor of Operations Management, Neal and Jan Dempsey Endowed Faculty Fellow

Best Paper Award (Scheduling and Logistics), IIE Transactions

Wagner is lauded for the impact of his paper, “Robust Policies and Information Asymmetry in Supply Chains with a Price-Only Contract,” in the flagship journal of the Institute of Industrial Engineers.

Elijah Wee Assistant Professor of Management and Organization

Best Paper with Practical Implications Award, Organizational Behavior Division, Academy of Management

Wee, a promising newcomer to the Foster faculty, receives highest recognition from the largest division of the premier management organization for his study closing the gap between idea generation and idea implementation.

Foster Faculty

#7 Global Ranking in Research Productivity, Financial Times

Foster lands at #7 in the world, #6 in the US and #1 among public universities in this index, a factor in the paper’s “2017 Global MBA Rankings,” based on the number of research papers published in the top 45 scholarly journals, representing every business discipline.

Emerald Citations of Excellence Award, Emerald Publishing Group

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faculty

Class of 2017 Foster School welcomes four promising new faculty members Stephanie Lee Assistant Professor of Information Systems Education PhD (economics), Stanford University, 2017 Accolades • NBER Digitization Research Grant, 2016 • Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, Stanford University, 2016 • Freeman Spogli Institute Research Grant, Stanford University, 2016 • Gregory Terrill Cox Fellowship in Law and Economics, Stanford University, 2014 • Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Honors Thesis, Stanford University, 2012 • J.E. Wallace Sterling Award for Scholastic Achievement, Stanford University, 2011 • President’s Award for Academic Excellence, Stanford University, 2008 Expertise Economics of information technology and digitization, economics of innovation, industrial organization, applied microeconomics

Reviewer for MIS Quarterly, IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, Neurocomputing, and Pattern Recognition Letters Expertise Machine learning, recommendation systems, Bayesian optimization, dynamic pricing, e-commerce, online auctions, deep learning, natural language processing, and healthcare analytics Extracurricular If not a business professor, I would be: A research scientist or a software engineer in an IT company Something surprising about me: I’m very good at playing various online and video games

Expertise Power and status dynamics, creativity and employee innovation, organizational change

Something surprising about me: I completed basic airborne training in the military

Favorite movie: Mission: Impossible

When I’m not at work, I enjoy: photography and tennis

Favorite television series: Friends Favorite company: Google, which is engaging in genuine innovations and always having fun

Favorite book: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, by Haruki Murakami Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction Favorite television series: Community

Elijah Wee Assistant Professor of Management and Organization Education & Experience PhD (organizational behavior), University of

Favorite movie: The Wizard of Oz

Maryland, 2017

Favorite television series: How I Met Your Mother

Assistant Director, Public Service Division, Singapore Prime Minister’s Office, 2010-2011

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• Most Innovative Student Paper Award, Organizational Behavior Division, Academy of Management Meeting, 2013

Favorite book(s): The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling

Favorite book: Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

Education & Experience PhD (computer science), Princeton University, 2017

• Outstanding Graduate Assistant Award, University of Maryland Smith School of Business, 2015

When I’m not at work, I enjoy: shopping

When I’m not at work, I enjoy: swimming, reading and traveling

Yingfei Wang Assistant Professor of Information Systems

• Best Paper Award, Organizational Behavior Division, Academy of Management Meeting, 2016

Extracurricular If not a business professor, I would be: a government policy maker or a photojournalist

Extracurricular Something surprising about me: I love all kinds of noodles

Favorite company: Apple, because I study the mobile industry

• Best Paper with Practical Implications Award, Organizational Behavior Division, Academy of Management Meeting, 2017

Staff Officer, Center of Leadership Development, Singapore Armed Forces, 2005-2008 Accolades • Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Outstanding Dissertation Award (finalist), Florida International University Center for Leadership, 2017 • Allan N. Nash Outstanding Doctoral Student Award, University of Maryland Smith School of Business, 2017

Favorite company: Bridgewater Associates, because its expectation of radical transparency among its members is a riveting case study on idea meritocracy at work

Tiona Zuzul Assistant Professor of Management and Organization Education & Experience PhD (strategy), Harvard Business School, 2014 Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, London Business School, 2014-2017 Alumni board, Harvard Business School Editorial board, Strategic Management Journal Ad-hoc reviewer, Organization Science, Management Science, Academy of Management


Teaching Excellence X 2 Thomas Gilbert’s second PACCAR Award caps a year of accolades Accolades • Wiley Blackwell-BPS Outstanding Dissertation Award (finalist), Academy of Management, 2014 • Heizer Dissertation Award (finalist), Academy of Management Entrepreneurship Division, 2014 • Grigor McClelland Award (honorable mention), Society for the Advancement of Management Studies, 2014 • Best Paper Award (honorable mention) and Best PhD Paper Award (finalist), Strategic Management Society, 2012 • Paul Taylor Prize for Best Overall Performance, London School of Economics, 2006 • Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Merit Award, Harvard College, 2005 Expertise Entrepreneurial strategy in new industries, innovation, decision-making and cognition, organizational learning and change Extracurricular If not a business professor, I would be: a fiction writer or executive chef (or, more realistically, a consultant) Something surprising about me: I practice Mysore-style Ashtanga yoga six days a week, with no exceptions! When I’m not at work, I enjoy: spending time with family and friends; cooking, eating and learning about food; visiting art galleries and museums; hiking and exploring the Seattle area; swimming, sailing or just relaxing on the coast of Croatia (where I am from) Favorite book: Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov, and Catch-22, by Joseph Heller—We have a cat named Yossarian who lives up to his name Favorite movie: The Royal Tenenbaums Favorite television series: Game of Thrones (current), The Wire (past), and I also have a (not-so-secret) penchant for cooking competition shows n

Thomas Gilbert, an assistant professor of finance, won the Foster School’s 2017 PACCAR Award for Excellence in Teaching. The school’s highest teaching honor was established in 1998 by PACCAR Inc, the Fortune 200 global technology company based in Bellevue, Washington. The award’s annual recipient is selected by a panel of Foster MBA students. “Thomas has an incredible way of conveying complex information in a very straightforward and easy-to-understand manner—he’ll even make a few jokes along the way to put you at ease,” said Joshua Rodriguez (MBA 2017), an associate at Goldman Sachs who notes that Gilbert’s class inspired a previously unconsidered career path. “His energy and passion for the subject matter is infectious and I came to love finance because of it.” Fast start Gilbert joined the Foster School in 2008 after earning his PhD from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. There, he applied his early study of physics toward the understanding of financial markets as a complex system where investors take the place of electrons. Personal economics dictated that he also teach early on, and Gilbert earned the outstanding graduate student instructor award three years in a row at Haas. He has continued this classroom excellence at Foster, where he won the 2010 PACCAR Award in his first year teaching the MBA core finance course. Big year In addition to his follow-up PACCAR honor, Gilbert also received the school’s Charles E. Summer Memorial Teaching Award and the Dan Siegel Award for Service in 2017. And he earned a place among the year’s “Favorite MBA Professors,” compiled by the essential MBA news site Poets & Quants. “Thomas elicits in his students a true passion for the subject of finance,” wrote one student nominator. “His energy is contagious, which is made obvious by the level of intellectual curiosity present in his classroom. He is one of those professors who students remember long after they’ve left Foster—not just for his humor and wit, but for the love of learning he imparts and the high standards he demands.” Another student distilled admiration for Gilbert into a single word: “Legend.” n

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faculty

Go Team! Fostering effective collaborations is a matter of discipline and drive Teamwork is essential to a Foster School education. Why? Teams are the structural building blocks of modern organizations, according to resident expert Greg Bigley, the Longbrake Endowed Professor in Innovation who teaches team building across many of the school’s master’s programs. We asked Greg to reveal a few secrets to successful teams. Why are organizations so reliant on teams? Greg Bigley: Teams can improve decision-making, especially in situations where stakes are high, time is short, and situations are complex or ambiguous. And they can boost organizational innovation and problem solving. The distinguished psychologist Richard Hackman spoke of the potential of teams to “generate magic, producing something extraordinary, a collective creation of previously unimagined quality or beauty.” He was talking about synergy, that musty old term that means creating a whole greater than the sum of its parts. That’s one of the main reasons organizations lean on teams: to produce magic. But research consistently shows us that teams typically underperform relative to their incredible potential. Why do teams so often fail to reach their potential? People often presume they know enough about how to work effectively in teams. But the knowledge and skills required for the teamwork that produces extraordinary results in modern, complex organizations do not come naturally to most people. Also, most of us placed on teams have an intense bias for action—driven by conflict aversion, over-optimism and impatience—which leads to the belief that upfront team building is a relative waste of time. As a result, we tend to be unprepared to handle the problems that inevitably arise down the road. What are the keys to achieving synergy? Extraordinary teamwork is not easily achieved through a few simple tips or quick fixes when problems arise. It is the product of a deliberate and disciplined process that relentlessly builds the capacity for collective effectiveness. At Foster, I teach the Team Performance Model, which I developed as a diagnostic framework for initially building and further developing teams—applicable from b-school study teams to corporate boards. How does the Team Performance Model work? The team-building process begins by identifying key stakeholders and their expectations. The team then decides what needs to be done to deliver the greatest value to stakeholders. Then it determines how its intangible resources—people, structure and culture—must be configured to support the set of processes that deliver stakeholder value.

32 | Foster Business

Can you expand on these intangible resources? “People” refers to the knowledge, skills and attitudes of the team’s membership. “Structure” includes rules, roles and a statement of purpose. “Culture” consists of the values, assumptions and beliefs that the team members share and make it unique. How does this approach help a team deal with internal conflict? There are many types of conflict that this approach can help manage. One of the biggest is work-style differences or personality conflicts, which can lead to frustration and resentment. To address such conflict, a team can build a specific set of rules and roles into its structure to promote respectful behavior and prevent disrespectful actions from occurring. The model sounds pretty formal. Should it be? Yes. Teams put themselves in a better position to function effectively when they sort out the main issues up front in a dedicated process. I recommend that any team write a charter or a contract that states its stakeholder expectations, core purpose and values, operational goals, processes, rules and roles. What comes after the contract? The team contract should be regarded as a living document which needs to be revisited and revised periodically as a team and its task environment evolves. The best teams are those that are centrally concerned with development and improvement, and that have good protocols promoting honest discussions about performance. How can organizations foster more effective teams? External managers should require that teams undergo a formal team-building process up front. They should provide overall direction, objectives, tools and resources to succeed—but then give teams a degree of autonomy to build themselves. This promotes buy-in and increases the odds that teams will achieve, as Hackman said, “something extraordinary.” How can an individual become a better team member? A first-rate team member engages teammates and teamwork enthusiastically, offers opinions clearly and confidently but not obstinately, and strives to maintain attitudes of trust and respect toward teammates. n


alumni

High Flier Beverly Wyse has soared to success at Boeing by being bold and ever-adaptable

When Beverly Wyse (MBA 2005), the recently retired president of Shared Services at The Boeing Company, accepted the Foster School’s “Company of the Century” award on behalf of the worldwide aerospace giant (see page 4), she spoke passionately and eloquently about the importance of evolving and adapting to meet the challenges of tomorrow. It’s not a coincidence that someone in her role had the vision to meet change with an agile mindset. Wyse has been cultivating the ability to translate the big picture into operational reality for decades. She’s never been content with what she already knows. It turns out that a voracious appetite for learning is excellent preparation for responding—not reacting—to the rapidly shifting landscape of business. Wyse’s final Boeing role—overseeing a multibillion-dollar, 6,000-person operating group providing common internal services across the company’s global enterprise—required expansive ideas and a tremendous range of operational perspectives. Her innate abilities, including curiosity, boldness and adaptability, were honed in and out of the classroom during the course of her career. An early career boost This champion of strategic evolution joined Boeing in 1985, after earning a degree in

mechanical engineering from the University of Washington. Boeing was her first job out of college. Her career received a second boost from the UW when she participated in the Foster School’s Aerospace Industry Management Seminar (AIMS), an educational partnership with Boeing that has been running since 1962. Among her early roles at Boeing, Wyse served as the director of strategy and business development for Connexion, the company’s erstwhile in-flight Internet connectivity service, and director of program management for the 757 aircraft program. Over the years, titles, roles and responsibilities grew as Wyse moved up in key Boeing programs, including the 767 and Boeing Commercial Airplanes divisions. In the 767 program, Wyse became the first woman to run a wide-body aircraft program. To the next level Midway through her 32 years with Boeing, Wyse’s professional and personal lives intersected in ways she could never have imagined. In 2003 her boss Scott Carson (MBA 1986), just two years from becoming CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, spotted Wyse’s exceptional leadership potential. He encouraged her to enroll in the Executive MBA Program at Foster.

“Scott saw my aspirations and knew the capabilities required,” she says. “He knew that having this type of advanced learning was necessary for me to achieve what was ahead of me. This was important for me to realize.” Wyse was hesitant at first. Her sons were 11 and 12 years old. She had just begun a new job and was incredibly busy finding balance. “When I shared my hesitancy with Scott,” she recalls, “he smiled and replied, ‘Awesome! I signed you up!’ “It was the support of my family and colleagues that enabled this to happen. My husband Steve, also with Boeing at the time, wanted me to pursue this and was immediately on board. Thanks to Boeing’s support, Steve took a two-year leave of absence to help take care of the boys.” Part of the future In her role as president of Shared Services, Wyse oversaw a wide range of global services, including maintaining and protecting the company’s worldwide sites; managing the sale and acquisition of all leased and owned property; purchasing non-production equipment and supplies; delivering a variety of human resourcesrelated services; and managing the company’s business travel, expense and other financial services. It was a fitting final application of her acumen and education—from multiple engagements with the UW and Boeing. Even as she begins retirement after a remarkable career, Wyse remains bullish on Boeing. “It’s an exciting time to work in this aspect of the company,” she says. “There are huge opportunities with a CEO who’s very inspirational and focused on moving Boeing across many product components. Every day is exciting, being part of this constant change—being part of the future.” n

– Eric Nobis and Janna Lopez

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alumni

True grit John Gabbert masters the art of venture investment data tracking and catfish noodling

“Have you ever been noodling?” It’s an interesting question, considering the topic and the questioner. Noodling is fishing for catfish using only bare hands. The person asking the question is John Gabbert (BA 1996), the founder and CEO of PitchBook, a financial data and software company headquartered in Seattle. The company and Gabbert made news in late 2016 when Morningstar acquired PitchBook, valuing the company at $225 million. The two—noodling and Gabbert—intersected when he started teasing the fishing experience as an incentive to his sales team. “I had talked about it for probably five years and then, finally, people were calling my bluff,” says Gabbert. “I was like, ‘Oh, we’re going to do it—we’re going to do it this year.’ And so we did. Twenty-two of PitchBook’s top salespeople went down to Nashville.” 34 | Foster Business

All came back with a great fish story. “We work hard at PitchBook. We push,” says Gabbert. “We also laugh a lot and have a good time.” Notice the hard work comes first. Cold calling Gabbert worked during college to pay for his education. One of the skills he acquired was a comfort for cold-calling while he was employed at Copiers Northwest, Dain Bosworth and as rush chairman of his UW fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon. “I earned 10 bucks every time I got a qualified lead. I literally made thousands of cold calls,” says Gabbert. It’s a skill that would come in handy more than a decade later. Gabbert had moved to San Francisco to pursue a job in finance. After nine years working in the field of venture capital, he heard a need expressed by his

customers—a single database of tracking information about venture capital and private equity investments, fundraising, fund performance, etc. Gabbert pitched the idea internally. It went nowhere. So, for two years, Gabbert worked full time and spent his nights building PitchBook, crashing in a former fraternity brother’s spare room and living on pizza and Coca-Cola. During this time, his wife and kids were in Seattle. He describes being away from them as his low point. He returned to the Emerald City and his family, and launched PitchBook on March 1st, 2007, just as the Financial Crisis was about to strike. His timing wasn’t great, but his tenacity and ability to pick up the phone and pitch his idea kept his dream afloat. “Early ’07, the private equity database seemed like a pretty good idea,” Gabbert recalls. “Later ’07, it seemed a little bit less of a good idea, ’08 was miserable,


’09, horrible. I was trying to raise $3.8 million. Through the period that was known as the Great Recession, I pitched over 200 people that said no. Luckily, 18 people said yes.” Number 18 was Joe Mansueto, founder of Morningstar, the Chicago-based provider of independent investment research. Gabbert had coldcalled him with the pitch. This wasn’t on the syllabus For those first few years, PitchBook operated out of a 200-square-foot office. “There were seven of us, no windows,” says Gabbert. “I think it speaks to just how focused we were. We were running a business and trying to break even through the recession. It was a slog.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, when asked what book Gabbert would recommend to current students, he picks Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. “I sometimes hear people discuss— almost complain—how many hours they’ve worked recently and refer to that as having grit. Whereas I view grit as a long-term play,” says Gabbert. “It’s not as transactional as putting in so many hours. Rather, it’s about finding things you’re passionate about and not quitting regardless of the obstacles in the way. I don’t know that grit is a teachable quality. It’s a mindset that can be developed over time and is best exemplified by the willingness to repeatedly get out of your comfort zone and by persevering.” Phone a friend While Gabbert may not have developed grit while attending classes in Balmer Hall, he appreciates the breadth of knowledge he took from the experience. “One of the things in particular about the business school is that you get exposure to a lot of different things: marketing, finance, accounting, management, communication. I think it’s that broad exposure that lays a great foundation to build on.” He also celebrates the relationships he built at the school and the TKE fraternity, and the impact they’ve had on his life.

His first job out of college at AT&T came from a referral, as did his next job at John Hancock. And his move to San Francisco came at the invitation of UW friends. “I look back at the relationships I built at UW and those really may be the most valuable parts of my undergraduate experience,” says Gabbert. “Today, I enjoy paying it forward. Whether it’s hiring from UW, providing referrals, mentoring students or my role as Fritzky Chair at Foster, giving back to the Husky community is extremely important to me.” Let the good times roll “We like to make it fun,” Gabbert says. And they do. The evidence is all over PitchBook’s Twitter feed. Amid the tweets about financing rounds and acquisitions and valuations you’ll find photos of the team at baseball games and golf tourneys—and even noodling. About that fish story. It involves hours submerged in murky water. And a fishing guide named Big Sexy. And a 55-lb catfish that shook the riverbed before Gabbert pulled it from the water attached to his arm.

Foster on the Road Join the Foster School at these upcoming regional alumni events

New York Tuesday, February 6 Foster alumni are invited to a conversation with Tod Leiweke, Chief Operating Officer of the NFL, at The Racquet and Tennis Club on Park Avenue. Register at www.foster.uw.edu/ny2018.

Portland Tuesday, February 13 The Portland Husky Business Network quarterly meeting.

Shanghai Friday, March 16 Foster MBAs and alumni will come together for a happy hour and networking event in Shanghai as part of the Asian Capital Management study tour.

Tokyo Tuesday, March 20

In 10 years, Gabbert built a company with less than $4 million of capital into one with $80 million in sales and nearly 750 employees. As Gabbert says, “It’s a work in progress. And it’s also success worth celebrating.” John Gabbert is serving as the Edward Fritzky Endowed Visiting Chair in Leadership at the Foster School this academic year. n – Andrew Krueger

Foster MBAs and alumni will enjoy a Japanese-style dinner and networking in Tokyo as part of the Asian Capital Management study tour. For more information on any of these events, please contact the Foster School Alumni Team at fans@uw.edu. n

Get Foster gear online kotisdesign.com/uwfosterstore 20% off with code: magazine

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alumni

up in the air Kelly McDonald follows a dream, finds a career with Cirque du Soleil They’d say the same about her. McDonald’s original feature, Adagio, is an ethereal, aerial dance sequence that appears unbound by the laws of physics (or good judgement, to be honest). Three burly porters propel her body into a flight of impossible power, danger and elegance. The effect is mesmerizing. Utterly breathtaking. An alternative career Such transcendent artistry and athleticism is the obvious evolution of a great gymnast. McDonald got into the sport at age 5 at Seattle Gymnastics Academy and advanced to captain Husky Gymnastics, where she closed her career as MVG with 25 individual titles and a spot on the Pac-10 All-Academic team. The latter accolade recognized her dedicated studies in marketing and international business at the Foster School. She chose business for its career flexibility. “It’s broad enough that you can use it as a base for a lot of career paths,” she says. After completing her athletic eligibility, McDonald took a fifth year to study abroad in Grenada, Spain. She had just returned and was interviewing for marketing jobs when she was invited to audition for an aerial acrobatics show called Le Rêve in Las Vegas. “When I was offered the position, I thought I’d do this for one year and then get a real job,” she recalls. “But I totally fell in love with it.”

Some kids dream of running off to join the circus. The notion didn’t hit Kelly McDonald (BA 2007) until after she graduated from business school. But today, as her classmates from Foster are a decade into management careers, McDonald is a principal aerial acrobat in Luzia, the latest traveling spectacle of the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil.

36 | Foster Business

Actually, “spectacle” is an understatement. Luzia is aptly billed a “waking dream of Mexico.” It’s a sumptuous visual feast, a fantasia enacted by superhuman feats of strength and grace, daring and beauty. “Cirque du Soleil searches the world over to find performers who will amaze a modern audience,” says McDonald. “I’m amazed to live and work among these people.”

Big time, big top McDonald performed with Le Rêve for eight years, eventually emerging in the leadership role of captain. On the side, she also began developing a new act with a fellow performer. When Cirque du Soleil, the epitome of modern circus arts, became interested, she and her co-creator moved to its headquarters in Montreal and joined in the show’s development.


Now, two years into Luzia’s globetrotting run, McDonald is as jazzed as ever to go to work every day under the Grand Chapiteau (big top), wherever it takes her (it’s in Los Angeles now). She loves to travel and experience new places. And she’s inspired by living and working among a company that hails from 15 different nations. She also appreciates her continuing education. In addition to Adagio, McDonald features in a high-altitude pole dance and understudies on trapeze. And for her part in the ensemble of this immersive community, she also has studied acting, dance and voice. Her Spanish comes in pretty handy, too. There’s no business like… Like any professional athlete or dancer who makes her living on exceptional physical abilities, McDonald knows her performing career cannot last forever. “My body feels as strong as ever right now, and I still have plenty of passion for performing,” she says. “But you have to be smart when you do a job like this.” Fortunately, McDonald has experienced every element of this creative, collaborative enterprise, from art direction to casting to training to business management. And she finds it all fascinating. “There are a lot of different paths and I get to learn about and contribute to all of them,” she says. “It’s helping me decide which route I might pursue when I’ve taken my final bow.” That day may still be a ways off, but McDonald has already co-produced—with boyfriend Felipe Saray, a Luzia musician—a spinoff showcase of Saray’s native Colombia in music, dance, circus and theater which just premiered in Bogata to raves. So there may be a dream job after her dream job. n – Ed Kromer

dreamer-Doer Reetu Gupta writes her own compelling chapter of the American Dream

Reetu Gupta (MBA 2010) didn’t come to the Foster School to become an entrepreneur. In fact, she had already written a pretty compelling story of the American Dream by the time she enrolled in the Technology Management MBA Program. Gupta grew up in a tiny town in northern India, struggled her way to an education and landed a job at Hughes Software Systems. Later, a job offer from AT&T Wireless led to her immigration to the United States in 1999. Arriving with two suitcases and $2,000 in hand, she marched boldly into the land of opportunity, starting as a principle software engineer at AT&T Wireless, then rising to general manager in Honeywell’s commercial displays business, managing $500M in annual revenue. She also authored several user interface patents in aerospace cockpit technology. Finding herself increasingly involved in team and project management, Gupta reasoned that an MBA was the next logical step to continue her rise up the corporate ladder. Except… Inflection point The Foster TMMBA experience—“a chance to learn from the best of the best,” she says—stirred in her an irrepressible entrepreneurial spirit: “The TMMBA opened

doors I didn’t even know existed.” Not long after graduating as valedictorian of her class, Gupta was helping her daughter navigate the byzantine application process for a prestigious private school in Redmond when she was struck with her eureka moment. She quit her job at Honeywell, cashed in savings and investments and launched “Cirkled in,” a college recruitment platform that connects universities with best-fit high school students based on rich, detailed personal portfolios. “Cirkled in helps students shine in the best possible light,” Gupta says. Rebel with a cause The idea hit a nerve and found a growing market. Cirkled in has won a number of American Business Awards—better known as “Stevies”—including the 2017 Grand Stevie Award which recognizes the top 10 companies in the US. In 2016, Gupta received the Stevie for Female Entrepreneur of the Year. Perhaps her most satisfying title, however, is Mom. Gupta’s two young daughters, Prakriti and Prakshi, inspire her to show them the way to a world of opportunity that she could not even have imagined at their ages. “I’m raising the next generation of rebels and change makers,” she said, proudly, at the recent GeekWire Summit on the immigrant’s journey. Gupta didn’t come to Foster to become an entrepreneur. She came out believing she could be anything. “The TMMBA gave me tons of tools, knowledge and the confidence to know that I can do this.” “I still believe I can change the world,” she adds. “And I will.” n

– Ed Kromer and Anna Micklin

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Champions of the Century The UW Foster School’s first 100 years is a story of people—thousands of alumni, faculty, staff and supporters whose remarkable accomplishments and contributions are the threads that make up the School’s magnificent tapestry. Here are 21 of our most illustrious, honored at the School’s Centennial Leadership Celebration last November.

Bill Ayer (MBA 1978)

Nancy Jacob (BA 1967)

Navigator of the Century

Trailblazer of the Century

Fred Beckey (BA 1949)

Theresa McMahon

Climber of the Century

Activist of the Century

Connie Bourassa-Shaw

Stephan Miller

Catalyst of the Century

Founding Father of the Century

Artie Buerk (BA 1958)

Yoshihiko Miyauchi

Connector of the Century

Dempsey

jacob

(MBA 1960) Sage of the Century

Neal Dempsey (BA 1964) Diehard of the Century

Bobby Moch (BA 1936)

miyauchi

Captain of the Century

James Douglas (BA 1930) Local Hero of the Century

The Nordstroms Stewards of the Century

Jai-ANANA Elliott Transformer of the Century

William Sharpe Scholar of the Century

Albert O. (BA 1928) and Evelyn (BA 1932) Foster

Orin Smith (BA 1965)

Benefactors of the Century

Builder of the Century

Mike Garvey (BA 1961, JD 1964)

Thaddeus Spratlen

Idealist of the Century

Vanguard of the Century

Ivar Haglund (BA 1928)

Courtney Thompson

Promoter of the Century

a.o. foster

GArvey

(BA 2007) Dynamo of the Century

Kermit Hanson Modernizer of the Century Buerk


Celebrating Five Years Of the Dempsey Hall Difference

Foster students have a great facility for learning. This year’s freshmen and last year’s graduates agree. Sure, we could talk about how much collaboration and innovation you can fit into 65,000 square feet—high-tech classrooms, first-rate event space, conference rooms as functional as they are beautiful, top-ranked career centers for undergrads, grad students and MBAs… but what we’d really like to do here is thank the generous and amazing supporters who made it happen.

With Gratitude To Neal and Jan Dempsey

• •

• • •

Jim and Roberta Weymouth Arnie and Debra Prentice Tom and Christine Crowley Todd and Julie Patrick John and Dee Fery Don and Karin Root Gordon and Gretchen Raine Firoz and Najma Lalji Steve and Heather Singh Walter Glaeser Carl and Betty Hogan Bob and Pat Herbold Budd and Kathy Gould

Admitted as a freshman to Foster, Fletcher Hatting (BA 2021) toured Dempsey and remarked that, “it looked a lot more like a tech company than a school. Seeing students in breakout rooms with laptops connected to flat screens, the intro session in Anthony’s Forum, rows of interview rooms… it was impressive.”

Now a customer success manager at Tableau, recent alumna Gretchen Reynolds (BA 2017) remembers thinking, “I don’t feel like I’m in school, I feel like I’m in the future. The ability to team up and collaborate based on classroom design, the integration of technology and planning space, like the Herbold Innovation Lab. It’s actually sad to graduate and have to leave this community.”


­No n prof it O rgan i zati o n U.S. P ostage

PAID S eattle, WA P erm it No. 62 ADVAN C E M E NT B ox 353200 S eattle , Wa 9 8195-3200

Michael G. Foster school of business University of washington

FOSTE R

WINTER 2018

Foster Business Magazine Winter 2018  

Foster Business Magazine Winter 2018