Michael G. Foster school of business
University of washington
The legendary 1958 Husky crewâ€”powered by four Foster gradsâ€” beat the world-champion Soviets in Moscow Page 10
New Name, Same Great Center Page 14
Are You Experienced? Page 19
Exemplary Accelerator Page 21
Name: Sora Mizutani DOB: August 4, 2013
Does this look like a UW MBA fellowship recipient? No, Sora hasn’t been awarded a scholarship (at least not yet), but her father, Ryota Mizutani (MBA 2010) benefitted from the Dick and Nora Hinton MBA Fellowship that aided his studies and positioned him for a leadership role with SoftBank Corp in Japan. Today, Ryota is a Foster School ambassador promoting our school overseas, and little Sora is enjoying a better start because of the difference made by the Hintons’ generosity. Whether you, too, would like to build a UW bridge to Tokyo or Tacoma, your scholarship support doesn’t just impact your student. It can make a profound difference in families’ lives for generations to come. For more information on how you can help, contact Foster School Advancement at 206.543.0305.
On the cover
10 Master Stroke The legendary 1958 Husky crew—powered by four Foster grads— beat the world-champion Soviets in Moscow
14 New Name, Same Great Center A new name for the Business and Economic Development Center only begins to showcase all the center does
19 Are You Experienced?
The MBA Strategic Consulting Program equips Foster students to apply classroom theories to real-world problems
21 Exemplary Accelerator
The Buerk Center’s pioneering Jones + Foster Accelerator Program is helping turn entrepreneurial student teams into successful start-up teams
FALL 2013 1
Associate Dean of Advancement
Steven Hatting Managing Director Marketing & Communications
Eric Nobis Managing Editor
Renate Kroll Contributing Writers
Ed Kromer, Andrew Krueger, Sarah Massey, Eric Nobis, L.A. Smith Photography
Matt Hagen (principal), Paul Gibson
4 In the News
Racing to the Top, Day of Innovation, Business Leadership Celebration, Pure Blue, Sustainable Dynasty, Clean Technology, Canâ€™t Beat Experience, Feet in Doors, Summer Fun, Partners in Development, Success in the East
Great (Entrepreneurship) Reads, Seven Scholars, Fast Start, Research Briefs, Teaching Excellence, Mercurial Marketer
Barry Shulman, Thao Hong, Michael Egeck, Jerry Heinlen
Foster School of Business Marketing & Communications University of Washington
Box 353200 Seattle, WA 98195-3200 206.543.5102 On the Web
Foster Business is published twice a year by the University of Washington Foster School of Business. The publication is made possible by donations from alumni and friends. No state funds are used in its production. Change of Address?
email@example.com Think differently. Make a difference.
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Fostering Futures After 36 wonderful years on the UW faculty, including eight as dean of the Foster School, I’m still learning something new every day. Now, we’re all familiar with the adage that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Well, I believe this maxim! Thus, my conclusion is that this particular Dawg must not be old! Kidding (and logical fallacy) aside, it would be difficult to feel old with all the enthusiasm for learning and discovery taking place in Dempsey and PACCAR Halls! Not to mention all the learning that happens outside of the classroom, with multiple opportunities for students to consult with local and national companies (see pages 14-20), serve on non-profit boards (pg 15) and grow their own companies (pg 21). Seeing our BAs and MBAs grow into smart, ambitious and principled leaders continues to inspire me. Our faculty and staff also continue to grow and excel, as you will see throughout the pages that follow. And even though I’m a long-time accounting professor, I’ve embraced (if not mastered) the concepts of brand development and management. With our naming for Michael G. Foster in 2007, we went through a variety of brand exercises that helped us define our vision and path to success. Excellence across disciplines continues to be essential, but we have also built distinct capabilities in leadership, strategic thinking and entrepreneurship. Today, with quality teaching, research, services and facilities, these differentiators have helped us rank among the top 10 public business schools in the US. Still, sharing our success stories is as important as the people and programs that produce them. Effective communication is critical to truly define and differentiate ourselves among the leading business schools. This is where our 55,000 alumni around the world can aid their alma mater. I hope you will read, remember and share the stories here. Visit our website and attend a Foster School event. Speak with a student group to both impart your experience and wisdom and also to experience for yourself how our students and school have grown. Likewise, I ask you to find the time to leverage one of our most valuable assets— our network of alumni and business partners. Thursday, November 7th, brings the 22nd Annual Business Leadership Celebration. Each year we hear from hundreds of attendees about the inspiration they experience or the connections they make or reestablish at this terrific event. In terms of stories to share, a magazine or website can’t compare to hearing from those Huskies who have reached the pinnacle of their professions. This year we will hear from and recognize four amazing UW business leaders, and we’ll feature a keynote from a Washington native who reached the top of the banking world. (Please see page 5 for more information.) I hope to see you there and toast past successes and a bright future. Sincerely,
James Jiambalvo Dean, Michael G. Foster School of Business Kirby L. Cramer Chair in Business Administration
Fall 2013 3
in the news
Racing to the Top The Foster School expands relationship with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance US education projects Christie Youde (BA 2006, MBA 2013) is a proud product of the Washington state public education system—from K to MBA. While working toward her latest degree at the Foster School, she seized an unexpected chance to strengthen that system. Youde and classmate Haid Garrett (MBA 2013) piloted the Foster School’s new education research project with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation this year. Working under the guidance of Mark Hillier, an associate professor of quantitative methods, they contributed two vital research projects to the Gates Foundation’s education programs. In the first project, they developed a financial model for prospective charter school operators in the state, which became the 42nd to support independent public schools with the passage of Initiative 1240 last November. In the second, they forecasted the exploding market for Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in the higher education space. “This is the coolest thing we have done in the MBA Program,” says Youde. “To get to work with such a dream organization, such a giant in this space, and to do such relevant work that’s getting used… it’s incredibly rewarding.” Expanding the relationship
The Foster School’s relationship with the Gates Foundation began in fall of 2011 with Saara Romu (MBA 2007), then a portfolio manager in the Foundation’s Global Health group. Romu connected her Global Health colleagues with faculty and graduate students at the Foster School and the Department of Global Health to provide subject-matter expertise on a broad range of projects. Word got around. Early this year, demand at the Foundation expanded the Foster Research Group to take on education-based projects.
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Associate professor Mark Hillier (center) and MBAs Christie Youde (left) and Haid Garrett piloted the new education research project with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Today the Foster School, the Department of Global Health, the College of Education and the Evans School are engaged in projects that touch several areas of the Gates Foundation’s priority strategies in global health, development and education. On the Foster side, nine MBA students worked with six faculty members to tackle a variety of projects this year. “It’s amazing to have the assets of the University of Washington a few miles from the Foundation,” commented Martha Choe, chief administrative officer of the Gates Foundation. “And it’s been so exciting to see how we’ve taken advantage of the terrific support—from the students, the professors, the leaders.” Win win
David Parker, the senior program officer for College Ready Education at the Gates Foundation and coordinator of UW-bound education projects, offered high praise to the Foster team: “Christie and Haid absolutely knocked it out of the park. They got up to speed quickly, asked the right questions and delivered final products that were extremely
well received. My colleagues said this was the best money they’ve ever spent.” Word of a proven resource at the UW led the number of global health projects to grow, well, virally. Parker expects the same in the education space. “Considering how well the first two education projects went,” he says, “I expect word will get around quickly.” Youde and Garrett speak of the experience with the Gates Foundation as life changing. “Learning spreadsheet modeling and thinking through problems and how to present to a client are skills that are really applicable to what we both will be doing post MBA,” says Garrett. “It’s a huge value to be able to hone those skills on something real, with implications.” Youde will continue in that vein. In September, she joined the Foundation as a financial associate supporting the College Ready team. “To be a part of this high level of relevant work,” she says, “is incredibly motivating.” n
Day of Innovation Foster School conference explores the entrepreneurial powers of disruption, empathy and weak ties The Day of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which took place in April, offered an impressive array of speakers. The conference was led by Ken Denman, president and CEO of Machine Perception Technologies. He also held the Edward V. Fritzky Chair in Leadership at the Foster School for the 2012-13 academic year. The concept for the event was “Silicon Valley meets Seattle” in an all-day conference hosted at the Foster School. Highlights included the morning keynote by Charles Songhurst, Microsoft’s general manager of corporate strategy. One of the points he made was that diplomacy is virtually unknown in the tech industry. Songhurst recommended that practicing empathy, predicting how others will act and react, and adapting to cultural norms of your target will put you at a significant advantage in the technology space. Zaw Thet, co-founder and chairman of plyfe.me and HaulerDeals, provided advice about how to diversify your team, and referenced the paper, “The Strength of Weak Ties” by Mark S. Granovetter. Thet’s point was that in hiring employees, you should look for people who can find diversity outside of their current network via a weak tie to another group. The motivation for this is to expand your network and therefore, diversify your staff. Seth Neiman of Crosspoint Venture Partners provided insight on the difference between innovation and disruption. He referred to innovation as “something that is of such significant value that people will change how they buy,” adding that people won’t change their behavior if there’s not an incentive. “Innovation turns into a business when the time pressure means a big company will get there too slowly, regardless of how intelligent they are,” he continued. Disruption, according to Neiman, occurs when innovation is so powerful that it catches all the big companies off guard. Ben Casnocha, co-author of “The Start-Up of You,” brought the day to a close with the idea of applying entrepreneurial business thinking to your life. His suggestions of how to approach your personal development as you would a business included setting aside time to read and think, increasing your knowledge every day and earmarking funds for meeting with interesting people. n
Join us for the 22nd Annual Business Leadership Celebration
Featured Leadership Address:
Richard Kovacevich Chairman emeritus of Wells Fargo & Co.
Distinguished Leadership Award Recipients: David Bonderman (BA 1963) Tom Crowley (BA 1989) Dan Fulton (MBA 1976) Builder of Our Future Kate Kingen (BA 2009) Thursday, November 7 5:45-9:30 Seattle Sheraton Hotel Register online at foster.washington.edu/ leadershipcelebration For corporate sponsorship inquiries, please contact Sara Jack at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.221.6725.
Ken Denman (left) moderates a panel with Tim Porter (Madrona Venture Group), Jason Stoffer (Maveron) and Seth Neiman (Crosspoint Venture Partners).
Fall 2013 5
IN the news
Pure, blue Novel water treatment technology wins UW Business Plan Competition
SUSTAINABLE Dynasty Foster MBAs win second Net Impact Case Competition in three years
Michael Bauer (left) from the Herbert B. Jones Foundation and the Pure Blue Technologies team
Ninety-one teams entered this year’s annual UW Business Plan Competition, which is organized by the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship at the Foster School. Judges identified several trends in this year’s competition, including a major focus on consumer products and service/retail businesses. There also were a number of ideas for targeted social networks, environmental innovation and solutions to world health problems. The winner of the $25,000 grand prize was Pure Blue Technologies. They have developed a contaminated water treatment system that uses visible light photo disinfection technology to produce disinfected water for beneficial reuse. Pure Blue Technologies also won second place at this year’s UW Environmental Innovation Challenge, also organized by the Buerk Center. The team comprised Jaffer Alali (MS Environmental Engineering), Adam Greenberg (BA Finance and Entrepreneurship), Michael Lee (MS Mechanical Engineering), Alan Luo (PhD Physics), Sep Makhous (PhD Electrical Engineering), Ryan Vogel (BA Finance and Entrepreneurship), Ian Tan (BA Finance), and Nicholas Wang (BA Chemical Engineering). The second place winner was Z Girls. They have created a sports-based curriculum that gives girls ages 11-14 the opportunity to develop skills like goal-setting, positive selfimage, and healthy nutrition habits through team programs and summer camps. Final Round Judge Steve Singh, CEO of Concur, remarked, “Z Girls is an inspiring business led by some amazing founders that could be doing anything in life. Incredible.” Team members include Libby Ludlow (JD and Technology Entrepreneurship Certificate), Jacob Dudek and Jilyne Higgins. n
The national Leeds Net Impact Case Competition is built around businesses facing sustainability challenges, and the Foster MBA team came up with a winning solution. Team members Gabe Jones (MBA 2014), Ryan Scott (MBA 2013) and Chris Walker (MBA 2014) reported on the school’s most recent victory this past February at the University of Colorado. The case challenged student teams to navigate Newmont Mining’s efforts to begin mining gold in a fictional African nation. The Foster team’s solution was centered on the creation of a Trusted Partners Program—a kind of independent escrow account managed by Newmont executives, stakeholders from local and national government, and NGO partners—that would manage profit sharing to benefit both company shareholders and local residents. The plan was simple, feasible and implementable. Said Scott: “The question we kept asking ourselves was, ‘What will the board do next week? After we finish our presentation, can the board actually act on this?’ I think that’s what earned us the win.” Foster students also won the national Net Impact Case Competition in 2011, and reached the finals in 2012. n
The winning team celebrates in Colorado.
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Clean Technology Environmental Innovation Challenge awards $22,500 to eco-entrepreneurs In April, 20 student teams from colleges and universities throughout the Pacific Northwest pitched their innovations at the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge. Now in its fifth year, the UW EIC, which is organized by the Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, challenges students to develop prototypes that solve current environmental issues. Teams address energy, urban agriculture, recycling, built environment and waterrelated problems with novel solutions that have market potential. The winner of the $10,000 grand prize was PolyDrop, which manufactures additives that transform regular coatings (think paint) into conductive coatings that open up a world of opportunity for carbon fiber composites in transportation industries. The transportation industry is looking to move toward using light-weight carbon fiber materials to reduce fuel consumption and decrease carbon dioxide emissions. However, carbon fiber composites accumu-
late a static charge that will interfere with a vehicle’s sensitive electronics. PolyDrop solves this problem by providing a means to dissipate static electricity with a viable conductive technology. The second place prize went to Pure Blue Technologies, which has developed a
unique water disinfection technology that is safer, smaller, and more cost-effective than existing solutions. Pure Blue Technologies also went on to win the UW Business Plan Competition. n
Can’t Beat Experience Foster undergrads win national sales case competition Foster undergraduate students Hayden Krall, Hannah Hanson, Hanna Klemm and Megan Smith bested teams from 20 top business schools to win the “Can’t Beat the Experience” National Team Selling Competition at Indiana University last year. The case involved an internal sale within a large company. Teams were charged with creating a workplace wellness program that would introduce a new fitness device: the GetFit wristband. The competing students—acting as “special task teams”—presented their plans to the firm’s CEO and vice president of human resources. The competition day was split into two presentations: a morning session for needs analysis and an afternoon sales presentation. The Foster team’s wellness program proved to be most convincing. “Winning was surreal,” says Smith. “There are not words to describe the feeling of having many late nights and hours of practice pay off. It is impossible for us to give enough credit to our coaches for their unparalleled support and guidance.” n
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IN the news
Feet in Doors EY Center has quickly become an essential new resource for students entering the job market Consider the EY Center for Undergraduate Career Advancement’s impact on students, by the numbers. Last academic year, the center presented a job fair featuring 125+ hiring companies, held 1,400 advising appointments, coordinated 330 interview sessions with employers, and facilitated more than 1,700 job interviews for students. At press date, the EY Center helped over 430 graduating seniors land a job with companies that include Accenture, Chevron and Wells Fargo. Remarkable figures, considering the center was launched only a year ago. The EY Center has also introduced Industry Focus Nights, which give students the opportunity to learn more about careers
in industries such as finance, consulting and IT, and launched the Career Exploration Program for newly admitted Foster students. The center also is connecting students to career opportunities outside of Seattle. In August, students traveled to San Francisco to meet with six Bay Area firms and participate in a networking event with employers and Foster alumni. According to Andy Rabitoy, director of the EY Center, goals for the upcoming year include connecting with more alumni, focusing on career opportunities for women and minorities, and increasing interview preparations—especially for case interviews which ask students to solve a business problem during an interview. Additionally, the center will be offering a marketing
symposium, holding Excel modeling workshops and partnering with the Foster Consulting and Business Development Center to offer a course on consulting. Many jobs today require advanced analytical skills, and the center is focused on helping students acquire skills that allow them to hit to the ground running in their first job. Rabitoy is enthusiastic about what the center has accomplished in its first year, and promises much more to come. “I can’t imagine not doing this,” he says. “We’re working with students at a defining moment in their life. I feel excited and proud when I see students get the job they want.” n
Summer Fun Foster annual alumni picnic enjoys perfect day, excellent company It’s Saturday, July 13, and the hour is approaching noon. Not only is it not raining, it’s a spectacular day—one of many that have marked Seattle’s “endless summer” of 2013. This is particularly good news for the 300 alumni, faculty and staff who attended the fifth annual all-alumni PACCAR Hall Picnic. As last year’s attendees can attest, this is a big improvement from seeing how quickly everything can be moved inside to escape a torrential downpour. Children (of all ages) raced through a “bouncy-house” style obstacle course, donned silly regalia at the Foster photo booth, hung out with UW mascot Dubs, got their faces painted and ate from tables laden with food that says summer. The 21-and-over set also had access to the beer
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and wine garden set-up at Orin’s Place, the café just inside PACCAR Hall’s entrance off Denny Yard. The picnic marked the mid-way point of the three days that make up the MBA Reunion Weekend, which celebrated the 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008 graduation classes (it rotates year-to-year). The previous evening found alumni freely spending their “Jiambalvo bucks” sampling beer, wine and spirits from eight different purveyors—all Foster start-ups. From Bellevue Brewing to Sound Spirits, the party was locally sourced in the best way. Following the fun-in-the-sun portion of the weekend, alumni gathered at locations around the Puget Sound to revisit classic moments in MBA history. It’s rumored that one of the parties even convinced an iconic
Mercer Island watering hole to remain open past normal business hours to keep their party going. Join in the fun next summer. Watch your mailbox, your inbox or our website for more details. n
Partners in Development The Foster School’s Consulting and Business Development Center collaborates with the National Minority Supplier Development Council to increase opportunities for minority-owned enterprises The National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. (NMSDC) and the Foster School’s Consulting and Business Development Center (formerly BEDC) have announced a partnership agreement to further the development of minority-owned businesses across the US. This agreement calls for collaboration on the development of executive education programs. Initially the collaboration will focus on Foster’s Minority Business Executive Program, a week-long residential program that has been drawing participants from across the US since its inception in 2008. In addition to providing input on the curriculum of the program, NMSDC will promote it at the national level, as well as sponsor some businesses’ attendance. As just one of three programs of its kind in the US (the others are at Tuck and Kellogg) the partnership will further extend the national impact of the Consulting and Business Development Center. The NMSDC, founded in 1972, connects minority-owned businesses of all sizes with corporations to increase procurement and business opportunities. “This agreement will provide minority business enterprises a new opportunity at one of the country’s leading institutions that supports minority business development,” says NMSDC president Joset Wright-Lacy. “We are delighted with our new relationship, and we look forward to many years of success for NMSDC, for the University of Washington, but most importantly, for our certified minority business enterprises.” Jim Jiambalvo, dean of the Foster School, expressed similar excitement about this partnership. “We recognize the NMSDC’s pioneering role in growing minority-owned firms across the US. The work of the council and its member corporations has done more to create opportunities for business growth and wealth creation in communities of color than just about any organization in the last 40 years. We’re proud to be partnering with them so that collectively we can do more than either of us could do independently.” n
Success in the East New lecture series focuses on doing business in Asia
Entrepreneur William Saito
Want to learn more about doing business in or with Asian countries? That’s the theme of the Foster School’s new lecture series sponsored by the Atsuhiko & Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation, kicked off last May with a talk by entrepreneur, venture capitalist and public policy consultant William Saito, entitled “Global Entrepreneurship: Rewards & Challenges.” Saito shared his experiences starting a business in Japan and penetrating Japanese markets using American venture strategies. Having earned recognition in 1998 as Entrepreneur of the Year from EY, NASDAQ, and USA Today, Saito now runs InTecur, a consultancy in Japan that helps companies identify and develop applications and markets for innovative technologies. This lecture was the first of four in a series hosted by the Foster School’s Global Business Center (GBC), and open to the public. The next in the series will occur in May of 2014. Check the GBC’s website at foster.washington.edu/gbc this spring for more information. n
Foster’s Consulting and Business Development Center director Michael Verchot with NMSDC president Joset Wright-Lacy and vice chairman of the board Shelley Stewart, Jr.
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Master Str The Russians had a habit of jumping the start. Not that they needed any more advantage. This was the vaunted Trud Club of Leningrad, the world champion men’s eightoared crew. A juggernaut on the water, intimidating to the man, Trud held the edge in size, age and experience against almost any competition. And on this gusty July day in 1958, they would be racing before a partisan Moscow crowd, against a team of college kids from the University of Washington whom they had beaten soundly at the Henley Royal Regatta two weeks prior. But that jackrabbit start at Henley had raised the hackles of their young challengers. “The whole boat was pissed about that,” recalls Chuck Alm (BA 1958), captain of the Husky eight. Pissed, and ready. The start in international rowing is called out in French: Êtes-vous prêt? Partez! “We were prepared this time,” says coxswain John Bisset (BA 1958). “When the Russians shot out of the stake boats on Êtes, we went too. The race was on.” It would be the race of their lives.
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Intro to Rowing
In fall of 1954, a promising group of strapping young freshmen turned up at the Husky Crew House to try their hand at this ancient sport that had brought generations of glory to the UW. Among them were four business majors who would someday be enshrined in the Husky Hall of Fame: Alm, Bisset, and Roger MacDonald (BA 1958) from Seattle’s Roosevelt High School, and Andy Hovland (BA 1958) from Ballard High. Their class would rarely ever lose, at any level, over the next four years. But in 1957, the NCAA imposed sanctions on the Husky football program for rules violations. A two-year ban on post-season play extended to all varsity sports, including rowing. This meant the class of 1958 would have no chance to vie for a national title at the IRA regatta their junior or senior years. Legendary coach Al Ulbrickson pledged to his seniors that if they finished the regular season without defeat, they would enter
The legendary 1958 Husky crew— powered by four Foster grads—beat the world-champion Soviets in Moscow
the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta in England, where the fastest crews on the planet came to duel. The Huskies did just that, sweeping meets against Cal and Stanford, then besting a University of British Columbia crew stocked with Canadian Olympians. “Henley,” says Alm, “was a tremendous reward for sticking it out those two years without a chance to compete for a championship.” On to Henley
Henley also represented uncharted waters for the Huskies. And a trip of significant cost. But rowing, in those days, was a marquee sport in Seattle, drawing tens of thousands of fans to Lake Washington on race days and dominating the local sports pages throughout the spring season. “Husky rowing wasn’t the only game in town,” recalls MacDonald. “But it was one of only a handful.” The wrongfully punished Husky rowers became a local cause celebre. “On To Henley” became a battle cry.
Husky boosters stepped up their support. And hundreds of students—recruited and deployed by Artie Buerk (BA 1958)— raised thousands of dollars by selling $1 “On To Henley” buttons on the streets of Seattle. In July, the Huskies arrived at Henley to compete for the Grand Challenge Cup. In the first round of the match-racing format, they drew the formidable world champions from Leningrad. In torrential rain, the Soviets jumped to a quick lead on the Thames, and the Huskies could not recover. Trud Club won by one and a quarter boat lengths, then went on to claim the Cup without serious challenge. Despite their gaping disadvantage in age, size and experience, losing at Henley was a major disappointment for the Husky eight. “We did not row to our capability,” Alm says. “And this Russian national crew really took it to us.” “They rowed a good race at Henley and we got beat,” agrees Bisset. “What can you say?”
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The Huskies were accustomed to the three-mile distance of collegiate racing. But in Moscow, as at Henley, they would row the international sprint distance of 2,000 meters, a six-minute burst at full throttle that demanded more than a little urgency. Ulbrickson directed his men to shorten their stroke and ratchet up the cadence. Their confidence grew with each pull of the oar. “We trained for ten days on the reservoir with the Russians right next to us,” recalls Alm. “And we could just feel it coming back together. We knew we were going to perform better than at Henley, but it remained to be seen how much better.” One thing’s for sure: they all had their sites on redemption. Says MacDonald: “We all relished the opportunity to have another crack at those guys.”
Unbeknownst to the oarsmen, the US State Department had brokered a potential cultural exchange that would send the varsity eight to Moscow for a rematch against Trud. “The consensus among the guys was that if we had beaten the Russians at Henley, we would never have received an invitation,” Bisset says. “It was clear that they wanted to beat us again in front of their home crowd.” Whatever the intent of their hosts, the Huskies accepted. They flew to Moscow, the first American athletes to compete behind the Iron Curtain. As they traveled the streets of the Russian capital, it became clear that this was not just another race. Posters promoting the event did not tout “Washington vs. Trud Club,” but rather “USA vs. USSR.” “It was the Cold War era. The Soviets and Americans were at odds, competing for superiority in technology, manufacturing, weaponry and athletics,” says Alm. “That gave it a political significance that we never contemplated, and added a surreal quality to the experience.” On the bus ride to train one day, the team drove by a massive state-inspired protest at the American embassy in response to US troops entering Lebanon to quell a communist uprising. But the oarsmen received nothing less than VIP treatment in Moscow. They were fed Russian delicacies and bused to the Bolshoi Theater, Red Square, Moscow University and several museums. They even viewed the open tombs of Lenin and Stalin. “I remember feeling a little embarrassed,” recalls MacDonald, “because there was a line a half-a-mile long, and they took us right to the front.” Back to business
But Ulbrickson, a no-nonsense coach known as “the Dour Dane,” soon got their minds on the business at hand. He drilled them up and down the Khiminskoe Reservoir on a new strategy.
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A young reporter named Keith Jackson—destined for several sportscaster halls of fame—had convinced his bosses at Seattle’s KOMO-TV that he should attend the race and broadcast it live on the radio. It would be the first such airing of an athletic event from inside the Soviet Union. On race day, July 19, the Huskies were surprised to learn that they would be competing against four Soviet crews. The Red Army, Spartak Moscow and Dynamo Kiev joined the Trud Club at the start. But the UW men were focused. “We weren’t thinking about political ramifications of the event, or who else lined up at the stake boats,” recalls Bisset. “This was between two crews. We hadn’t lost a race in four years, practically. We knew we could do better. And that feeling coalesced. Right before the start, there was a confidence throughout the boat that this was going to be a whole different race.” Following the hair-trigger Trud, the Huskies shot to the fastest start of their lives and steamed ahead at a furious clip. “I was later told they had never been beaten off the line like that,” MacDonald says. “I think that rattled them.” At 1,000 meters, the Huskies had a boat length lead. At 1,500 they were pulling away. As they crossed the line nearly two lengths of open water ahead of Trud and the rest, Bisset jumped up from his coxswain seat in euphoric celebration. “It was incredibly satisfying to win—and even more so to win so decisively,” Bisset says. “I think we proved our point.” “It was kind of a boys-against-men situation,” Alm adds. “But we were too young, maybe, to realize that it wasn’t supposed to turn out this way.” By all reports, the vanquished Russians were gracious in defeat. “I was really impressed by their demeanor,” says MacDonald. “These guys were pros, and they didn’t expect to lose, much less lose badly. It had to be a bitter blow for them, but they handled it with class.” Parting gifts were exchanged—the Huskies left their victorious Pocock shell Swiftsure behind as a gesture of goodwill to their hosts. And they returned home heroes. But local heroes only.
A second chance
The Husky Pantheon The 1958 Husky Crew competed around the midpoint of an amazing 105 years of rowing at the University of Washington. There have been extraordinary feats: victory over the Soviets in 1958, gold medals in the 1936 and 48 Olympics, a first Grand Challenge Cup victory at the Henley Royal Regatta in 1977. But the real story of Husky Crew is its sustained dominance decade after decade. The Washington men have brought home 21 national championships and 35 Pac-10 titles, and produced 66 Olympians. The Washington women have won 11 national championships and 22 Pac-10 titles, and produced 24 Olympians. Washington’s Crew program is simply the best. And many Foster School oarsmen and women stand proudly in the pantheon of Husky greats.
In those days before cable TV and the Internet could make even the most obscure athletic drama ubiquitous, the Huskies’ historic—and politically charged—victory over the Soviet world champions went largely unnoticed outside of Seattle and its environs. But the event made huge headlines at home. And left indelible memories. Keith Jackson, the legendary sportscaster, still considers the Huskies’ comeback win over Leningrad Trud his greatest memory in sports. George Meyer, the longtime sports editor of The Seattle Times, counted it as his favorite moment in his final column. At the 2010 Seattle Sports Star Awards, the Huskies’ upset victory in Moscow was named the top story of the past 75 years, beating out the Sonics’ ’79 NBA championship and UW’s ’91 NCAA football title. The 1958 varsity boat that beat the Soviets—John Bisset (cox), John Sayre (stroke), Andy Hovland (7), Louis Gellermann (6), Chuck Alm (5), Phil Kieburtz (4), Roger MacDonald (3), Dick Erickson (2), and Bob Svendsen (bow)—has been enshrined in the Husky Hall of Fame, along with their coach Al Ulbrickson, whose final race was that moment in Moscow. Postscript
It also was the final collegiate race for the four seniors who graduated that spring from what would become the Foster School of Business.
Hovland embarked on a long career at Boeing. MacDonald continued to row locally and eventually settled into a long career with Pacific Northwest Bell (later US West), then managed a printing business before retiring. Alm joined the Army and rowed in the 1960 Rome Olympics, then served as director of the UW Alumni Association in the 1960s before a long run as vice-president of Olympic Stain. And Bisset went on to coach the Husky freshmen before serving as head coach of UCLA’s nascent crew program, director of the UWAA (after Alm’s tenure), and finally as president of a package travel company called Alumni Tours in Chicago. But wherever life has taken them, the men who stunned the Soviets say they’ve always felt a deep sense of satisfaction, of pride, of kinship born in shared endeavor. “In a way, it was a lucky break to lose that race at Henley,” reflects Alm. “It gave us, without any equivocation, the greatest rowing experience of our lives to go in there and pull that off.” The sport of rowing—when it’s good—provides richer awards than medals or fame. Bisset recently read “The Boys in the Boat,”the acclaimed account of the equally legendary Husky crew that beat the Germans in front of Hitler at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. “That book really captures the essence of rowing, and what it means to be with a group of brothers who go through hellfire to achieve something great,” he says. “I could relate it very easily to our group of guys. We’re just bonded together. When we see each other, we just pick up where we left off as undergraduates, practically. It’s a unique thing, and I feel very blessed.” n
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same great center The BEDC is what now? The change in name only begins to showcase all that the Consulting and Business Development Center does by Eric Nobis
The Business and Economic Development Center is now the Consulting and Business Development Center. What? You didn’t feel any seismic activity around that shift in word tectonics? Given the role that student consulting plays in the center’s impact on the community and in jumpstarting careers for young graduates, it’s actually a more meaningful name change than meets the eye. To understand why, you have to understand more about what the center does—and that’s really where the story begins. Since 1995, what began as the Business and Economic Development Program at Foster (and subsequently became the Business and Economic Development Center) has engaged students in learning experiences that strengthen the competitiveness of hundreds of businesses in lower-income communities as well as those owned by minorities and women. This is where what our faculty teaches translates into real-world experience for students who will help businesses in underserved communities grow and have long-term success. It’s a triple bottom-line proposition that has resulted in more than $90 million in new revenue generated and more than 10,000 jobs created and retained across Washington state. This spring quarter, I had an opportunity to stand at the front of a marketing analytics class that the student consultants take and guest lecture alongside a colleague. Interacting with such a bright and motivated group was highly inspiring, and I was impressed by the rigorous curriculum—designed to transform undergraduate business majors into junior-level consultants. Students getting involved with the Consulting and Business Development Center are volunteering to traverse the mountain by way of its steepest face.
The center is about applied learning and helping out small businesses in need. This model is built on research conducted over decades by the center’s faculty director, Dr. William Bradford, dean emeritus, professor of finance, and recent inductee into the prestigious Minority Business Hall of Fame. (Read more about Dr. Bradford on page 17.) The research shows that successful small businesses in underserved communities are a great incubator for jobs and wealth creation. Business owners hire from their community, buy from their community and give back to their community. This over-simplification doesn’t do Bradford’s research justice, but his findings on economic development are groundbreaking. So much so, that the center has been tasked—with the sponsorship of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation—to replicate the model for business development at other universities—which includes hosting the recent National Conference on Business Development in Underserved Communities (see page 18). The roles of the Consulting and Business Development Center are many. In addition to undergraduate consulting opportunities, the center works with MBAs and Foster faculty, along with business owners across Washington. If you’re a graduate student, consulting opportunities come in the form of firsthand experience learning the ins and outs of board governance. The Board Fellows Program places MBA candidates on the boards of non-profit organizations in the capacity of non-voting members. It’s a unique opportunity, founded on the trust level the center has with organizations across the state and the excellent reputation of Foster business students. Over the last seven years, MBAs have also worked as consultants with tribes and tribal enterprises in Washington, Oregon and Alaska through a targeted summer internship program.
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Another pillar of the center’s work is faculty-led business education courses for early-stage and experienced business owners. The center’s Business Certificate Program advances the management skills of business owners and managers who typically have companies with revenues of under $500,000. The program is comprised of six sessions and is developed and taught by faculty from Foster. The certificate program provides an opportunity for participants to study proven business fundamentals, as well as the chance to network with successful local business owners. To make the program accessible, classes are offered in Seattle, Yakima, Everett, Spokane and the Tri-Cities at different times throughout the year, with some of the offerings being taught in Spanish. There’s also a program aimed at helping minority business owners reach their next growth milestone. Foster’s Executive Education group and the Consulting and Business Development Center, in partnership with Boeing, Microsoft and Zones, offers the Minority Business Executive Program, which strengthens the competitiveness of already experienced and successful entrepreneurs. Recently added to that partnership is an alliance with the Northwest Minority Supplier Development Council, to increase the number of minority businesses with access to the program. And don’t forget the annual recognition that comes in the form of the UW Minority Business Awards, which is the largest annual
event held by the Foster School. See what I mean? The center has reached deeply into the community to ensure that its mission does not remain ensconced on the wrong side of the ivory tower. There is tremendous impact that stems from having a center director, in Michael Verchot (MBA 1995), who is capable of connecting all of these dots and growing the reach of the Consulting and Business Development Center year-over-year. But there are also issues of succession, brand identity, ongoing vision and the need to clearly articulate the purpose of the center as the need for private funding becomes greater in the realm of public education. So, fast-forward from the class I guest taught this spring to this summer, and I’m moderating a Consulting and Business Development Center advisory board meeting in which the name and tagline of the center are about to shift. The need for change is predicated on a couple things: 1) “economic development” has become a dated term that conjures up ad hoc government programs from the 1970s more than it does the vibrant mission and programming of the center and 2) a brand research study on the center has been completed and it’s clear that the center’s “elevator pitch” will require the duration of 80 floors or more. The various student consulting projects, consulting with peer schools on their business development centers, and a consultative approach to statewide and executive education programs put a premium on consulting as a key component in the way the center fulfills its mission. And “business development” does more to express the faculty-to-student-to-community knowledge transfer than does “economic development.” The path to better economics, as posited by the center’s research-based direction, is business growth in underserved communities. And as an economic index of small businesses in Washington state (performed by the center) has shown, there is a tremendous business engine at work when you aggregate the revenues and job creation associated with small businesses across Washington, many of which are women or minority-owned. Welcome to the Consulting and Business Development Center, and its renewed focus on engaging students in real-world consulting projects that enables them to jumpstart their careers and grow businesses in underserved communities. n
As managing director of marketing for the Foster School, Eric Nobis works with the Consulting and Business Development Center on branding and marketing strategy.
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Hall of Fame Performance Dean Emeritus William Bradford, seminal supporter of minority business development, takes a bow
Bill Bradford is not exactly a founding father of the Foster School’s Consulting and Business Development Center. But he could be called a funding father. A catalyst. And an author of the center’s inspiration. Bradford was the Foster School dean who green-lighted the vision of Michael Verchot and Emeritus Professor Thaddeus Spratlan, and who provided the seed money to launch their plan to spur minority business development in the mid-1990s. More significantly, perhaps, Bradford generated many of the groundbreaking studies of minority enterprise that provided the empirical foundation for the center’s aspirations. “Early on I got the idea that if the US is going to maintain its economic status in the world, then it’s going to have to use all of its resources as best as possible,” says Bradford. “And if there is a set of people who are not systematically reaching their potential, then all of us stand to lose.” For a career of major contributions to economic development among minority populations, Bradford was inducted this year to the Minority Business Hall of Fame—only the third academic to receive this honor.
Bradford grew up in Cleveland, eventually choosing the academic life over the family business of ministry (his grandfather and father led Baptist congregations, as do two of his brothers). He earned a BA from Howard University and an MBA and PhD from Ohio State in 1972. Prior to joining the Foster School, he was on the faculties of NYU, Stanford, and the University of Maryland Smith School of Management, where he also served as chair of the finance department and associate dean of academic affairs. Bradford became the first African-American dean of the Foster School in 1994. By the time of his Foster appointment, Bradford’s prolific research had already established him as one of the foremost experts on minority wealth creation and management, entrepreneurship and economic development in the context of minority-owned businesses. When Verchot and Spratlan pitched a program that would leverage his (and others’) academic work by deploying student teams to accelerate the growth of small minority-owned businesses, Bradford was more than intrigued. “My thought was that we are a public university,” he says. “So we needed to contribute not only to the Boeings and Microsofts, but also to small firms, and those firms in less economically developed areas. I didn’t know if the program was going to work, but there was a demand, and it was a way to connect with the community.” Verchot recalls finding more than just a champion in Bradford. “What was exciting about Bill being appointed dean was that he brought with him 25 years of research and publishing on minority business development,” says Verchot. “He became a catalyst— someone who not only understood and supported what we were trying to do, but who had actually done some of the seminal work that we could refer to.” Living legacy
When he stepped down as dean in 1999, Bradford was named the Endowed Professor of Business and Economic Development at the Foster School, an honor financed by a group of anonymous donors. That same year, what is now the Consulting and Business Development Center instituted the William Bradford Minority Business of the Year Award, the premier honor for minority-owned businesses in the state of Washington, based on revenue size, management quality and commitment to community. Today Bradford continues to publish actively, shaping public policy and private sector practice. His current research investigates venture capital investment in minority-owned firms. He’s finding that such firms earn investors a higher average rate of return compared to the general population of venture-funded firms. And he continues to serve on the board of a flourishing Consulting and Business Development Center, and as its faculty director. “When we began, Bill’s knowledge stretched us to think bigger and further than we might have otherwise,” reflects Verchot. “Had he not been dean when we were just getting started, it’s hard to imagine the center even existing today.” n
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Conference attendees pose for a photo in PACCAR Hall.
accelerating development The Consulting and Business Development Center hosts first national conference of its kind
At its founding, nearly 20 years ago, the Consulting and Business Development Center had virtually no peer in higher education. Its purpose—to educate students while accelerating the development of businesses in underserved communities—was trailblazing. Now that trail is increasingly traveled. The ranks of university-based centers, programs and individuals supporting the development of small businesses in their inner-city and rural communities have grown across the nation. And many of them were represented at July’s inaugural National Conference on Business Development in Underserved Communities held at the Foster School and hosted—fittingly—by the Consulting and Business Development Center.
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The summit drew influential academics and administrators from more than 20 business schools, as well as regulators and representatives of financial institutions and community organizations. It was the first national meeting of its kind. “Given the changing demographics of our nation and the growing multicultural population, this was a fitting topic to be addressed in a conference setting,” says Jerome Williams, interim director of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at Rutgers University, launched in 2008. “It was a great opportunity for people working in this area to come together and learn from one another and set an agenda to move forward collectively and collaboratively.” Among the topics discussed: understanding minority entrepreneurship, scaling small businesses, improving curriculum, research, and funding. Bill Bradford, the UW center’s faculty director, opened the conference with a review of more than 200 academic publications on minority-business development, and issues faced by small businesses in lower-income communities. Center director Michael Verchot explains that the intent of the conference was to catalyze a nationwide network of kindred centers, programs and people dedicated to a shared goal. The conference followed by six months the publication of the Fosterproduced “Multicultural Marketing and Business Consulting,” the first textbook for business school classes that engage students in small-business consulting projects. “We commend the Foster School of Business in their efforts to move the field forward and provide the opportunity to contribute to the revitalization of the most deserving underserved communities—through technical assistance, revenue and job creation,” says Phyllis Campbell (MBA 1987), chair of the Pacific Northwest region for JPMorgan Chase, whose foundation helped underwrite the conference. The Foster School’s Consulting and Business Development Center has made an exemplary pioneer, sharing its secrets of success in numerous collaborations across the country and supporting development of similar centers at the University of Arizona, Rutgers University, Washington State University, and Portland State University. “If not a template, the UW center has certainly provided a model on which to build and modify depending on the specific needs of your school and community,” says Williams, who noted he was among the first to use the book for his courses at Rutgers. In centers from Rutgers to Wharton to Northwestern to UCLA, the Foster School now finds itself in good company. With more to come. According to Verchot, the conference participants departed on one shared action item: to grow the number of universities serving businesses in underserved communities to 100. n
experienced? The MBA Strategic Consulting Program equips Foster students to apply classroom theories to real-world problems Genevieve Cohen (MBA 2013) needed experience. An elementary school teacher trying to make the considerable jump from education to business, Cohen knew she’d have to prove her mettle to employers, demonstrate that she could apply her MBA knowledge to real-world challenges. She found myriad opportunities to do just that at the Foster School. Internships with leading companies. Projects featuring live businesses and brands (see sidebar pg. 20). And the MBA Strategic Consulting Program which, for the past decade, has deployed teams of graduate students to analyze business problems for a variety of successful firms in the region and beyond. Gordon Neumiller, the program’s director, says that these education-in-action projects provide good value for clients—and crucial value for students. The dean agrees. “The classroom is a great environment for learning theories and frameworks,” says Jim Jiambalvo, dean of the Foster School. “But it’s critical that students know how to apply these theories and frameworks to real-world problems. The MBA Strategic Consulting Program directly addresses this critical need, and ensures that our students can roll up their sleeves and solve the complex, unstructured problems they’ll face on the job.” Genesis
Ten years ago, Dave Albano (MBA 2004) was an MBA candidate with an English degree who had stumbled into the wireless telecom industry. “I found that I enjoyed solving problems and making businesses run more efficiently,” he says. “I became an internal consultant wherever I worked.” At Foster, Albano parlayed this passion into an existing MBA student organization called the Business Consulting Network. As president, he worked—along the margins of his academic work— with Neumiller to recruit area businesses with strategic problems to solve, deploy student teams, and provide quality control. He and Neumiller believed that the experiences were so valuable—and time-consuming—that they should be worth class credit. They pitched the idea to school administration. And soon there was a formal class, then a requirement, then an official program of the Foster School. Today the Full-time MBA Program requires a 10-week Applied Strategy project in the first-year core, and many second-year students and Evening MBAs elect to take on a longer Field Study
project through the MBA Strategic Consulting Program. “These projects are an invaluable counterpart of the academics in that you get actual experience and really get engaged,” says Albano, now a consultant at Accenture who continues to advise Foster teams and has delivered a “Consulting 101” intro to many Applied Strategy classes. “It’s critical to have a quality work experience to point to, especially when you’re a career changer like I was.” This year’s model
The program’s portfolio of recent clients includes Fortune 500 corporations (Starbucks, Intel, PACCAR, Alaska Airlines), smaller firms (Outdoor Research, Web Turner, OneEnergy Renewables, Isernio’s Sausage), non-profits (Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle Opera), and, increasingly, firms farther from home (Machine Perception Technologies of San Diego, California, Scharffen Berger Chocolate of Hershey, Pennsylvania). The type of projects range from supply chain efficiency to expansion strategy to brand management to database marketing and anything in between. One of last year’s collaborations was with Saltchuk Resources, a diversified holding company founded by long-time Foster Advisory Board member Mike Garvey. The challenge? To develop a more robust and integrated Saltchuk corporate brand across its family of 35 distinct companies that are loosely assembled around a theme of transportation and distribution. “This task was not in our skill set,” admits Saltchuk president Tim Engle (MBA 2002). “So we looked outside for help.” He found the team of Foster Evening MBA students—Etta Mends, Tyler Edgar, and Rose Tucker—was more than up to the task. They worked closely with the company’s many stakeholders to produce a set of guidelines, both internal and external, designed to make Saltchuk a stronger and more cohesive company. Mends, who works full-time in finance at Boeing, found the deep dive into the unfamiliar waters of branding and organizational structure to be exhilarating. “Not only did this project offer me a completely different perspective on business,” she says, “it also gave me a glimpse into a smaller company that moves so quickly to adapt and evolve.” The client was more than satisfied. “We got a heck of a deal,” says Engle. “In terms of return on investment, it’s tenfold, easily. Their work will guide our thinking for a long time to come.”
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The largest and most consistent client of the MBA Strategic Consulting Program is certainly Microsoft, which generated five different projects this past year. One of the longest running collaborations is with Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing venture. Under the guidance of Suresh Sathyamurthy (MBA 2007), group product marketing manager at Windows Azure, Foster MBAs have helped scale the business, identify market opportunities, understand the partner ecosystem, and analyze strategy over the past few years. “The quality of work has been extremely good,” says Sathyamurthy, who was introduced to Microsoft while doing a student consulting project defining value bundles for the Xbox console. “The Foster students collaborate well and work with the end outcome in mind. This collaboration stands out in every presentation and in every meeting.” Takeaways
At the end of the day, standing out is the name of the game for every MBA looking to leverage rich experiences into interesting and impactful work.
“We always tell students that the way to turn their project into a good job is to do a good job on the project,” says Neumiller. “It may not land you a job with your client company, but it will help you get a job.” Mends already has a good job, and really came to the Foster School to remain competitive. But she says that challenging experiences like the Saltchuk project have opened her world. “My ambitions of what I want to do are growing as I grow with the program,” she says. For Cohen, the former schoolteacher, the MBA Strategic Consulting Program was an essential facet of her management education. Working with different combinations of classmates, she delivered a business development plan for Ecologists Without Borders, a supply chain solution for Alaska Airlines and an international expansion analysis for Starbucks, as well as a dynamite brand audit for Tequila Partida. “Understanding the different types of clients, different personalities, different challenges that each consulting project brings was a critical piece of my education,” Cohen says. Her first job after graduation from Foster? Consulting. n
Real, smooth Foster MBA students learn to market premium tequila If tequila could be said to have any role in higher education, it is—at best—as a distraction. At least, typically. In Mark Forehand’s Consumer Marketing and Brand Management class this past spring, however, tequila served as a powerful pedagogical tool. Tequila Partida, to be precise. The going concern of one Gary Shansby (BA 1959), chair of the Foster School Advisory Board and renowned branding guru. After a career of building obscure or failing consumer brands into blockbusters—Famous Amos Cookies, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts, Terra Chips, Spic and Span, Vitamin Water, to name a few of the 50+— he has recently devoted himself to building a super-premium brand of tequila from scratch, which is to say, from the finest 100 percent pure blue agave grown on a single estate in Mexico. Partida is considered by aficionados to be among the finest tequilas available. The problem? Young adults barely know it exists. As Shansby formulated a new strategy to build his brand among this key demographic, he decided to open his company’s challenge to Forehand’s MBA students. A brand audit has been the capstone of Forehand’s course for years, but this is the first time the brand’s founder and CEO has been in the room to introduce the case and ultimately help evaluate the proposed solutions. “I heard very clearly from students that Gary’s involvement provided both a depth of insight about the brand and a special motivation to take their analysis to the fullest level,” Forehand says. Student teams had to choose between marketing Partida and a 20 f os ter BU S IN ESS
similarly compelling challenge expanding the brand of Microsoft’s nextgeneration Xbox One, as presented by Jamil Rich (MBA 2002), director of Xbox Brand. The Partida teams organized focus groups to understand their market demographic, interviewed bartenders and other taste-makers, and delved deeply into the category, competition, packaging, pricing, and position. They even studied the Partida mascot known as its “spirit bird.” Some common themes emerged from the final presentations: Confirmation that educated young people are largely unaware of the critically acclaimed brand. That they equate tequila with fun (and sometimes a bit too much fun). That they trust friends and bartenders more than companies. That Partida’s online image needed an update—and a triple-shot of social networking. That Shansby should have some fun with the spirit bird. Bull’s-eye. The student insights aligned almost perfectly with the meticulously developed strategy that Shansby had in the works. His recently launched marketing campaign comes complete with a robust social media presence and a focus on the fun side of even this finest of tequilas, as exemplified in an irreverent—and hilarious—promotional video that could well go viral among the demographic. “To be in a marketing strategy class with a professor the caliber of Mark, these students are getting a great education,” Shansby says. “But I think they’ve reached out even further through this project. “I was blown away by how smart and how intuitive and how serious and how fun these students are. It really pleased me and made this entire exercise a wonderful experience.” n
Accelerator The Buerk Center’s pioneering Jones + Foster Accelerator Program is helping turn entrepreneurial student teams into successful start-up teams On June 10, 2013, US News & World Report posted a story on its website regarding the recent efforts by many colleges to help student entrepreneurs launch companies. The Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship was featured as an “early pioneer in campus accelerators,” which are essentially programs offering mentorship, interaction with other start-ups, physical space, and the possibility of funding, all in a short time-frame. It’s a telling description about the speed at which entrepreneurs move—in the case of the center’s Jones + Foster Accelerator Program, being an “early pioneer” is based on three years of existence. The program began in 2010 when the Herbert B. Jones Foundation provided a grant to the Buerk Center to offer additional seed funding totaling $80,000 a year to the most promising student teams that competed in the annual Business Plan Competition. “We wanted to accelerate some of these start-ups,” said Michael Bauer, president of the Jones Foundation, and a longtime supporter of the Buerk Center and its Business Plan Competition. “So we came up with this idea of a real financial incentive for the teams to set and reach key milestones in the company’s development.” Since that original grant, individual gifts have been made by some of the center’s board members, and the Jones Foundation has renewed the grant for another three years. In addition, the program is now open to student teams from around the university, not just those who have competed in the Business Plan Competition. However, the proposition remains the same. Teams work with center staff and mentors—some of Seattle’s top entrepreneurs and investors—to develop challenging, but realistic milestones to achieve in a six-month time frame. The milestones can range from licensing intellectual property to launching a website to raising money. Along the way, teams produce monthly reports, meet with their mentors, and revise milestones if needed. When the program is complete, the teams are eligible to receive follow-on funding up to $25,000. And yet, the start-up process is messy and unpredictable; achieving the agreed upon milestones is no easy task. “Honestly, I thought it was going to be a cakewalk,” says Jake Director, co-founder of Strideline, a producer of high perfor-
mance crew socks. “The reality was that it was hard. Our mentors really challenged us.” Director and friend and co-founder Riley Goodman launched their business while in high school and were having success. But, they admittedly had a lot to learn. “Our biggest takeaway was recognizing how little we knew,” says Director. “For instance, we weren’t doing a good job with our financials at all. We thought we were going to need to raise money, but working with our mentors realized we could finance from our cash flow.” The financials weren’t the only thing the start-up tackled. Their milestones included developing a comprehensive marketing plan, securing 50 retail locations, creating a new fulfillment process, establishing a retail advisory board and selling 50,000 pairs of socks in Q4 of 2012. They met them all. And while the duo received the $25,000 award for their efforts, they both agree that the real reward was working with their mentors, including Marc Barros (BA 2003), co-founder and former CEO of Contour, Geoff Entress, partner at Voyager Capital and one of Seattle’s best known angel investors, and Jesse Proudman, CEO of Blue Box. “Every one of the mentors wants these students to launch their companies or bring an entrepreneurial spirit to larger companies in our region,” says Entress. “We’re all local. That’s key. We spend a lot of time on campus, talking with A comprehensive marketing plan was a key students. Being a mentor milestone for Strideline co-founders.
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current line-up 2013 marks the fourth year of the Jones + Foster Accelerator Program, and it’s shaping up to be a good one. After a competitive application process, seven teams were accepted: LuckySteps
LuckySteps is a mobile game app that rewards corporate employees for exercising more and improves their employer’s bottom line.
in this program is a big time commitment, but we are all willing to do it because we see value being created.” Entress also served as a mentor to JoeyBra, founded by Mariah Gentry (BA 2013) and Kyle Bartlow (BA 2013), a company that made their debut at the 2012 Business Plan Competition. “The Business Plan Competition was about us demonstrating our commitment and passion. The Jones + Foster Accelerator Program was about taking it to the next level, establishing where we wanted to go, and working with the mentors to help us get there,” says Gentry. “Investment advice was the key for us. We weren’t used to asking people for money. You can read about it, but to have someone walk you through the intricacies of the process was amazing. We wanted the right people with the right connections and the right intent. They guided us through that process.” The results for JoeyBra included developing new sizes and products, completing negotiations for fulfillment services and closing a financing round of $110,000. And while establishing milestones and receiving mentorship is a great experience, it doesn’t always translate to success. Of the twenty teams having participated in the Jones + Foster Accelerator Program in the last three years, seven no longer exist. “This is the real life part of what we do. This is not an assignment or a project for a class,” says Connie BourassaShaw, director of the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. “If, for one reason or another, a team fails, that’s fine because I know they’ve learned a lot. They’ll come back stronger and more prepared for their next endeavor.” Entress echoes Bourassa-Shaw’s sentiments. “The majority of start-ups fail. Failure is a big part of being an entrepreneur. It’s a learning experience. What we are trying to provide is a more valuable learning experience. If one company succeeds that would not have otherwise—we can call it a success.” n
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Grand Prize Winner, UW Environmental Innovation Challenge 2013 Finalist Prize, UW Business Plan Competition 2013 PolyDrop has created a conductive polymer additive for paints, primers and coatings that is lighter, more affordable, longer lasting, and has better adhesion than other products on the market. Project Wedge
Project Wedge is a plug-in-and-play projector for tablet devices, smart phones, and other electronic devices that have HDMI videoout capabilities. Pure Blue Technologies
Grand Prize Winner, UW Business Plan Competition 2013 Second Place Prize, UW Environmental Innovation Challenge 2013 Pure Blue Technologies innovates low-cost, efficient, and environmentally friendly water treatment solutions for the oil & gas industry. StudentRND
StudentRND creates the next generation of technologists by inspiring high school and college students to work on tech projects in their spare time. Torch Illumination
Torch Illumination is a soy candle company on a mission to produce eco-friendly candles that support social and environmental causes. Z Girls
Second Place Prize, UW Business Plan Competition 2013 Z Girls measurably improves girls’ participation rates in sports (and positive self image during their adolescent years) by teaching young female athletes mental and emotional skills through coaching and camps.
faculty Great (Entrepreneurship) Reads Foster faculty experts recommend their go-to books on creating a company It’s well-known there are a plethora of books available about how to start company. But launching a company is time-consuming and difficult. To save you time and energy, the Foster School’s entrepreneurship professors have recommended a few of their favorite books. If you’re looking for a how-to guide for starting a company or just plain inspiration, keep reading. The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything (Guy Kawasaki) “It’s a very approachable book that would make a great summer read for anyone. Kawasaki is the master of breaking down complex problems into common-sense approaches and has fantastically sticky catch phrases to go along.”
– Emily Cox Pahnke, assistant professor of management and Neal & Jan Dempsey Faculty Fellow “It’s a how-to book that provides good practical advice for budding entrepreneurs.”
– Suresh Kotha, professor of management, Olesen/Battelle Excellence Chair in Entrepreneurship and research director, Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies (Rhonda Abrams) Entrepreneurship: Starting and Operating a Small Business (Steve Mariotti & Caroline Glackin) The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company (Steve Blank & Bob Dorf) “I find most books with the title ‘Entrepreneurship’ to be boring and pedantic about this vibrant subject. But I find these and materials published by The Planning Shop to be well written.”
– John Castle, retired lecturer of entrepreneurship The Startup Owner’s Manual also made Emer Dooley and Jacob Colker’s list. “This book teaches you the big picture of how to do customer development and why it is important. It also goes through the business model canvas.”
– Emer Dooley, Pat Hughes Faculty Fellow and Jacob Colker, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UW Center for Commercialization Rework (Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses (Eric Ries) “It is a must-read for entrepreneurs. The discipline of a minimum viable product, testing and measuring is one every entrepreneur should at least know exists.”
– Deb Hagen-Lukens, lecturer of marketing “Teaches you how to do smart, fast, targeted tests to disprove hypotheses.”
– Emer Dooley, Jacob Colker Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks) (Dave Kerpen) “I’m fond of this book and think it is one that entrepreneurs— especially those targeting consumer markets, but not exclusively those—could really benefit by reading.”
– Deb Hagen-Lukens The Monk and the Riddle: The Art of Creating a Life While Making a Living (Randy Komisar) “This book offers a broader philosophical approach to thinking about what you would like to accomplish with your life. The context for addressing these big issues is entrepreneurship.”
– Suresh Kotha The Leap: A Memoir of Love and Madness in the Internet Gold Rush (Tom Ashbrook) “It is a recount of an international reporter who joins an old college classmate on an Internet venture without any business experience. If you’re looking for inspiration, read this book.”
– John Castle n
“Smartest book out there for how to run a team efficiently.”
– Emer Dooley, Jacob Colker
Fall 2013 23
faculty seven scholars Foster School adds promising faculty to every academic department The Foster School continues its roll of strong recruiting classes to enhance each of its academic departments. This year’s seven new hires join the school at varying stages of career. They bring deep knowledge in areas that range from financial accounting to social media, fatigue in the workplace to intellectual property, market regulation to supply chain management. They’re also indefatigable skiers and accomplished musicians, avid runners, bikers and hikers, former boxers, chamber choristers and quiz bowl champions. The common denominator is a proven track record of excellent teaching and expert research. And a boundless curiosity. Here is the Foster School faculty class of 2013: Accounting
Senior Consultant, Deloitte & Touche, 2004-08 Tax Accountant, Brown, Wheeldon, Tajoya and Barrett PC, 2003-04
Expertise: Executive compensation, asset valuation Extracurricular: Enjoys gardening, cooking, family activities (with two young children in the house).
Management & Organization Peter Demerjian Assistant Professor of Accounting
PhD (organization and management), Emory University, 2009
PhD (accounting), University of Michigan, 2007
Assistant Professor, Georgetown University, 2009-13
Assistant Professor of Accounting, Emory University, 2007-13
Expertise: Organization theory and strategy; intellectual property; semiconductor industry
Trust Accountant Supervisor, Mellon Financial Corporation, 1997-2000
Expertise: Financial accounting, debt contracting, debt covenants, managerial ability Extracurricular: Plays clarinet, saxophone, tuba, bass guitar, mandolin, French horn, a little piano, and is learning violin with his 8-year-old son. Has run three marathons and trained as a Golden Gloves boxer. (“I got popped in the jaw a few too many times sparring with better boxers,” he says, “and realized competition may not be for me.”)
David Tan Assistant Professor of Management
Christopher Barnes Assistant Professor of Management PhD (management), Michigan State, 2009 Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech, 2011-13
Extracurricular: Ran cross country and sang in the Chamber Choir at Creighton University; taught a course called “The Economic Sociology of Emerging Technology” at Emory.
Finance & Business Economics
Assistant Professor, United States Military Academy at West Point, 2009-11 Research Assistant, Michigan State University, 2004-09 Behavioral Scientist/Acquisitions Officer, US Air Force, 2000-04 Faculty Research Excellence Award, Management Department, Virginia Tech 2012, 2013 SIOP Top Poster Presentation Award, 2013 Favorite Faculty, Virginia Tech, 2012
Paige Patrick Assistant Professor of Accounting PhD (accounting), University of Colorado at Boulder, 2013 24 f os ter BU S IN ESS
Expertise: Sleep and fatigue issues in the workplace; team performance and decision making; emotional labor; behavioral ethics; compensation Extracurricular: Enjoys mountain biking.
Philip Bond Associate Professor of Finance and Norman J. Metcalfe Business Professor PhD (economics), University of Chicago, 1999 Associate Professor of Finance, University of Minnesota, 2010-13
Fast Start Assistant Professor of Finance, University of Pennsylvania, 2003-10 Assistant Professor of Finance, Northwestern University, 1999-2003 Member of Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, 2002-03 Associate Editor, Economic Theory
degrees from universities on three continents: Stanford University (North America), Tsinghua University of Beijing (Asia), Ecole Centrale Paris (Europe).
Marketing & International Business
Associate Editor, Journal of Finance
Expertise: The role of financial institutions in the economy and on the regulation of credit markets Extracurricular: Multiple finisher of the American Birkebeiner, the famed 50K cross-country ski “marathon” in Wisconsin; hopes to climb Mount Rainier.
Information Systems & Operations Management
Abhishek Borah Assistant Professor of Marketing PhD (marketing), University of Southern California, 2013 Analyst, McKinsey & Company, 2004-07 Fellow, Marketing Science Doctoral Consortium, 2009, 2012 Outstanding Doctoral Student Researcher Fellowship, USC, 2012-13
Shi Chen Assistant Professor of Operations Management PhD (production & operations management), Stanford University, 2013 Analyst/Researcher, Google/Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2011-12 Analyst/Researcher, DCH Global Inc./Stanford Center for Integrated Facilities Engineering, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2009-10 Larry C. K. Yung Doctoral Fellowship, Stanford University, 2008-09
Winner of MSI research competition on “Communication and Branding in a Digital Era,” 2011 Winner of Research Proposal Competition, Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative, 2010
Expertise: Social media, Internet, innovation, text-mining, natural language processing, time series analysis Extracurricular: Winner and runner-up of numerous national quiz competitions in India. Has run 11 marathons in the past six years and coached the USC marathon team. Was the vocalist of a grunge band in Delhi during his undergraduate years (“Funny that I landed at the birthplace of grunge,” he says). n
Expertise: supply chain management, project management, sustainability in operations management.
Oliver Rutz named Marketing Science Institute “Young Scholar” Oliver Rutz, an associate professor of marketing at the Foster School, has been named a 2013 Young Scholar by the Marketing Science Institute. The award recognizes individuals who have earned their doctorate in the last 4-7 years and whose work suggests they are potential leaders of the next generation of marketing academics. Rutz worked as a senior associate at McKinsey & Company in his native Germany before earning his PhD at UCLA in 2007. He served as an assistant professor at the Yale School of Management before joining the Foster School in 2011. His research expertise is in lucrative but little-understood areas of Internet commerce: paid search advertising, online word of mouth, banner advertising, clickstream analysis, ad copy effectiveness and landing page design. For his recent Journal of Marketing Research paper modeling a positive spillover effect between generic and branded paid search ads, Rutz won the journal’s 2012 Paul E. Green Award and the American Marketing Association’s 2013 Donald R. Lehmann Award, honoring the best dissertation paper published in the Journal of Marketing or the Journal of Marketing Research. n
Extracurricular: Enjoys swimming, tennis, and sailing; avid reader; interested in the development of green technologies; earned master’s
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faculty RESEARCH BRIEFS Round-tripping
Lifting the veil on a pervasive form of offshore tax evasion
Job satisfaction, over time and in context, is the best predictor of voluntary turnover
When modeling ethical culture, trickle-down management isn’t enough
Bermuda. Bahamas. Cayman Islands. Dream vacation spots? Maybe. Places to evade United States income taxes? Definitely. But nobody—not even the IRS—has been able to quantify the volume of tax evasion occurring via offshore tax havens. Until now. A new study by Jacob Thornock, an assistant professor of accounting at the Foster School, sheds first light on a form of illegal tax evasion called “round-tripping,” in which Americans disguise their investments in US securities by routing them via shell corporations based in offshore havens. Thornock and his co-authors were able to estimate that between $34 and $109 billion is invested annually through illegal round-tripping.
They derived this through a novel analysis of the risks and rewards of this pervasive form of tax evasion. An increase in potential risk of being caught—tightening international exchange agreements—results in decreased volumes of round-trip investment. An increase in potential reward—rising US tax rates— results in a two- to three-fold increase in round-trip investment. “Changes to the US tax code or exchange agreements should have no influence on the actions of legal investors in foreign nations,” Thornock says. “These costs and benefits only apply to a tax evader.” n
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Job satisfaction has long been the goldstandard predictor of voluntary turnover in organizations. To put it simply, happy employees are most likely to stay put. But how do we measure an individual’s satisfaction in the workplace? Until now, only in the moment—and without accounting for the attitudes of co-workers. Now a groundbreaking study by Thomas Lee and Terence Mitchell, professors of management at the Foster School, measures job satisfaction over time, and in the context of colleagues. In doing so, the researchers have dramatically increased the ability of organizations to predict whether or not an employee will choose to quit. The trajectory of job satisfaction proved a far better predictor of voluntary turnover than any single measure. And the attitudes of co-workers—especially a cohesive group—create a contagion effect on an individual’s job satisfaction and subsequent flight risk. “Managers should be aware of the effects of morale on individuals’ job satisfaction, and expand their efforts to measure satisfaction over time and in organizational context,” Lee says. The paper and its authors have won the prestigious 2013 “Scholarly Achievement Award” from the Academy of Management’s Human Resources Division. n
How do you build an ethical culture? In the complex topography of the modern organization, it’s not as easy as setting standards at the top and expecting them to trickle down an orderly chain of command. In a new study, professor of management Bruce Avolio proposes, instead, a multilevel approach to more effectively embed ethics throughout an organization. This new model, developed from extensive observations of overlapping US Army combat units, acknowledges the circuitous path of ethics transmission. People are affected in roundabout ways, not only by their direct supervisor, but by the mechanisms in the climate and culture and by “unofficial” leaders who earn de facto authority from their peers. Avolio, the director of Foster’s Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking, believes the study’s findings provide insight to any kind of organizational change, from innovation to safety to customer-centrism. “These kinds of change-implementation projects that are typical in organizations today cannot rely on simple top-down, command-and-control leadership,” he says. “You have to find a way to influence people across the organization to be owners, not renters. Renters do the minimum—at best—of what is expected while owners foster, guide and influence change.” n
© iStockphoto.com / argalis, alashi, Logorilla
Mark Hillier wins his second PACCAR Award for Excellence in Teaching
“I am truly honored and deeply touched,” gushed Mark Hillier upon receiving his second PACCAR Award for Excellence in Teaching at the 2013 Foster MBA graduation. The Foster School’s highest teaching honor was established in 1998 by PACCAR Inc, the Bellevue-based Fortune 200 global technology company. Its winner is selected annually by a panel of Foster MBA students and includes a $35,000 prize. “I feel very blessed to have a job that I love and to spend my days with such intelligent people who challenge and teach me every day,” continued Hillier, an associate professor of quantitative methods. “And what other job pays you to play with Legos?” Wait, what? Legos?
What sets him apart is his ability to demystify some seriously complicated material—spreadsheet modeling, linear programming, simulation, decision analysis—in playfully simple ways. Ergo, the Legos. To introduce the concept of linear programming, Hillier doles out the candycolored plastic bricks as the raw materials of a rudimentary chair and table manufacturer. After running the students through different scenarios, they come away with an indelible lesson in how to optimize resources to maximize profits. Another classic example of his toysas-tools methodology is the legendary “Professor Hillier Action Figure” which embodies a marketing modeling problem aimed at spurring better decision making. (A decade or so ago some students fashioned an actual Action Figure from a doctored “Ken” doll that is exuberantly displayed in a commemorative box.) “I try to keep things fun,” says Hillier. “When we’re discussing some vague mathematical concept, I think it’s helpful to let them actually see it at work. We start simple and then we add complexity and real-world applications so they can see how cool these tools are.”
The family business
Hillier teaches the core quantitative methods course in Foster’s Full-time MBA, Evening MBA, Technology Management MBA and Global Executive MBA Programs.
Hillier’s command of quantitative methods may have a genetic component. His father, Frederick Hillier, is a professor emeritus of operations research at Stanford University.
While studying engineering as an undergrad at Swarthmore, Mark wanted to learn what exactly his father did, so he enrolled in an operations research course. “I just fell in love with it,” he says. Hillier earned an MS in operations research and a PhD in industrial engineering and engineering management at Stanford, then joined the faculty of the Foster School in 1993. He has been an Evert McCabe Endowed Fellow since 2004, was a Neal and Jan Dempsey Endowed Faculty Fellow from 2002-04, and received his first PACCAR Award in 2007. He collaborated with his father to write the text book he uses in his classes. Hillier’s award-winning research focuses on building mathematical models to improve operations in real-world settings. He also contributes to a range of global health and education modeling projects through the Foster School’s new research collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Simplifying the complex
But it’s Hillier’s teaching that excites his students. They find his playful methods have a serious payoff. “Mark teaches an underappreciated core skill in a world-class style,” wrote one MBA student in nominating Hillier for the PACCAR Award. “The tools he shares with us prove to be among the most valuable and useful that Foster MBAs gain during the program.” “Wonderfully organized and easy to follow, with a great sense of humor, Mark is a pleasure to be around,” noted another. “You can really tell how excited he is about teaching the subject matter.” A third summarized Hillier’s performance in two simple words: “Teaching excellence.” n
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Mercurial Marketer Rob Palmatier receives national award for early contribution to marketing strategy research Spirit of reinvention
If Rob Palmatier seems to be in a hurry, it’s because he is. The professor of marketing and John C. Narver Endowed Professor in Business Administration got a late start in academia, only commencing doctoral studies after attaining graduate degrees in electrical engineering and management, serving five years in the Navy and another ten as a senior executive in industry. “I was the oldest doctoral student in my program,” says Palmatier. “I had to catch up to my age group.” He’s done that, and more. Since adding “scholar” to his curriculum vitae, Palmatier’s research around relationship marketing and strategy has been so prolific and impactful that he received the American Marketing Association’s prestigious Varadarajan Award for Early Contribution to Marketing Strategy Research earlier this year.
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Palmatier started out a fair distance from marketing. He earned BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech before serving as an officer on a nuclear powered submarine in the US Navy. He followed with an MBA from Georgia State University, then went to work for Raychem Corporation, a Fortune 500 producer of industrial electronics components, in 1991. Palmatier directed worldwide strategic planning and marketing for a division of Raychem, and rose to general manager of its European operations before its 1999 acquisition by Tyco International. In 1998 he became president and chief operating officer of C&K Components, a $110 million producer of electro-mechanical switches. After C&K was purchased at the height of the dotcom bubble, Palmatier tried early retirement. It didn’t take. “It turns out that I just don’t have the personality for it,” he admits. “I tried a lifetime of hobbies in one year. None of them was enough.” So on to graduate school to study marketing at the University of Missouri, a new adventure to sate his intellectual wanderlust. On a roll
After postdoctoral work at Northwestern, Palmatier joined the Foster School in 2007. He’s been on a remarkable run ever since. To date, Palmatier has written 13 monographs, book chapters and MSI Working Papers. His 500-page book on marketing channel strategy is in press. And he’s authored 25 scholarly papers published or forthcoming in the field’s top peer-reviewed journals, with another five currently under review or revision. As a testament to his influence, his scholarly work has been cited more than 2,000 times.
Palmatier’s research is directly relevant to industry. “My papers contribute new theories that allow businesses to more effectively execute marketing strategies,” he says, “or they test existing marketing strategies to see if they really work.” A recently published study outlines the conditions under which it makes sense for a firm to shift strategically from providing products to providing services. A paper on “relationship velocity” finds that a more effective way to predict customer decisionmaking is through surveys that chart the trajectory of satisfaction or loyalty over time rather than in a single snapshot. Another new study identifies the conditions under which an organization’s customer-centric restructuring pays off financially. Next chapter
All of this has earned Palmatier a surfeit of honors. He is a six-time AMA-Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium Faculty Fellow. He was named the Palgrave Youth Scholar of 2008 and a Marketing Science Institute Young Scholar in 2007. In 2008 he received the Journal of Marketing’s Harold H. Maynard Award for significant contribution to marketing theory and thought. But he spends little time dwelling on his accomplishments. So much yet to accomplish. High on Palmatier’s to-do list is his plan to launch a new UW Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy (CESMAS), to be headquartered at the Foster School. It’s mission? To align important sales and marketing problems with academic research and analysis techniques to develop strategies that improve business performance, and to facilitate business-academic collaboration to create and disseminate sales and marketing knowledge. “Stay tuned,” he says. n
All In Barry Shulman brings his “A” game to get the most out of business, poker and life voraciously. And he began winning money in progressively bigger tournaments. Shulman couldn’t help but notice that interest in the game was exploding. The venues had gone upscale, a long way from the game’s smoky backroom past. There were more and bigger-money tournaments. And they were on TV. Plus, the Internet was just about to break. “It was crystal clear to me to me that poker was going to boom,” Shulman says. “And I wanted to get in on the business.” Ruling out a casino, he instead purchased Card Player Media with his retirement funds. With Shulman as publisher and son Jeff as president, Card Player has become a major force in the industry. Shulman & son are as responsible as anyone for poker’s continuing ascent. Barry Shulman (BA 1967) is not a professional poker player. Sure, he has a pair of championship bracelets from the World Series of Poker, 16 tournament titles, and 119 finishes in the cash—adding up to winnings in excess of $4.7 million. And he’s authored three books and a video on the game’s intricacies. But it’s not how he makes his living. “People think I just played poker all my life,” says Shulman, whose inscrutable granite scowl at the card table is straight out of Central Casting. “That’s never how I paid my rent. My whole life I’ve worked, worked, worked.” After graduating with a degree in accounting from the Foster School, Shulman started in his father’s wholesale liquor business.
Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Businessweek, Fortune, Barrons and a host of other media. He also developed real estate of his own. In the ’80s and early ’90s, Shulman bought, developed, managed and sold condominiums in 19 Northwest communities, usually with a trusted group of investors. The deals were conservative, and lined up before seeking capital. And he always had skin in the game. “I never did deals that I didn’t have a big investment in,” Shulman says. “I wasn’t just making money by raising money. If it was going to make money for me, it had to make money for the other guys, too. “No investor in any of my deals ever lost a penny.”
Having accumulated a tidy nest egg—and no debt—by the early 1990s, Shulman decided to retire to Las Vegas, travel a bit, and maybe play a little poker, a hobby back in his college days. Retirement didn’t suit him, intellectually. But poker did. He studied the game
But Shulman had his own ambitions. He began selling non-traditional securities in oil and gas and real estate—“anything that wasn’t stocks and bonds,” he says. Throughout the 1980s his expertise in real estate was quoted in the New York
What happened in Vegas
The sweet life
At 67, Shulman remains the right kind of busy for one averse to retirement. He travels the world by cruise ship with his wife Allyn, and blogs about his experiences at JetSetWay.com. He’s the CEO of the Shulman Family Foundation, and keeps a hand in the real estate business with a few low-risk commercial properties. He leads Card Player and plays a lot of cards, a hobbyist of the highest order. This makes Shulman patriarch of the “First Family of Poker”—Allyn is a champion in her own right (with more than $1 million in winnings) and Jeff is one of only three people this century to make the final table at two World Series of Pokers (2001 and 2009). Reflecting on a still-vibrant career, Shulman believes that success in business and in poker comes from the same place. “In business,” he says, “if you do the right things at the right times in the right places and with the right people, sometimes you get lucky. I’ve never won a poker tournament without getting lucky. I’ve also never won one where I wasn’t playing my best game. The two go together.” n
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The World is Her Oyster Thao Hong has made a grand life and living in service of global economic development says. “If you can get there, you can enjoy them like a local, almost.” After Shanghai, Hong completed the Advanced Economic Studies Program at the Foreign Service Institute, capped by an externship with the Boeing Company. When Boeing offered to retain her, she decided it was time to come home. A new mission
Barely a decade out of school, Thao Hong (BA 2001) has made enviable progress on a world-class bucket list. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Check. Study pastry in Paris. Check. Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Check. Learn to Tango in Buenos Aires. Check. Call it a perk of her itinerant years in the US Foreign Service—the job, itself, a significant item on Hong’s life to-do list. “I always wanted to work in diplomacy,” she says. “Not only to engage in political discussions, but also to build the cultural and economic ties that support peace around the world—and preempt situations like the one my parents found themselves in.” That was the War in Vietnam, from which they were displaced for years before finding their way to the US. Without money, connections or a word of English, they made careers in social work and built a decent life for their two daughters in Federal Way. In Thao, they inspired a profound sense of mission. Shooting at the moon
Hong came to believe that diplomacy and international trade represented the most direct path to prosperity and peace. If an international posting with the State 30 f os ter BU S IN ESS
Department was her “shoot-at-the-moon” goal, she bet that studies in finance and international business at the Foster School would be a suitable preparation. They were. After getting her start working at Nordstrom and Expeditors International, she landed a job in the Foreign Service and entered its economic track. Hong trained in Washington, DC, and then served in Taipei, Taiwan, and Shanghai, China. Her first role was in consular work, but she quickly advanced to representing US interests in trade negotiations with government officials and business leaders in the areas of currency, banking, transportation and textiles.
Hong found an excellent fit in Boeing, America’s largest exporter whose fastest growing markets are international. “We live in an increasingly interconnected world,” she says. “And it’s wonderful to be a part of this great company that helped facilitate international travel, trade and diplomacy. We’re philosophically aligned.” Hong began as director of international strategy, leading a team of functional experts to chart the enterprise global strategy of Boeing Commercial Airlines, Boeing Defense Space & Security, and Engineering Operations and Technology. Now she is being groomed to lead the next generation of Boeing sales, and learning the aerospace industry from the wheels on up. “Boeing is a genuine American icon,” Hong says. “I see why people are so proud and get so emotional about the company and its products. It’s contagious.”
Hong—who speaks fluent English, Vietnamese, and Mandarin, and basic French and Japanese—relished the immersive experiences. “That exposure has made me appreciate how important it is to understand the context of foreign cultures,” she says. “The world is not so US-centric any longer. And trade is a vibrant force that pulses with or without us. I still believe it’s what facilitates peace around the world.” The job also has been her ticket to see that world. “In the Foreign Service you end up with a network of friends who have sweet places to live across the globe,” she
Though her scope is global, Hong is tied to the Foster School, mentoring students as they work toward a Certificate of International Studies in Business and dream of their own role in the global economy. Her advice? Make home out of wherever you are. Check your ego and learn from the people you meet. Learn the local language. And have a curious mind. “That’s how you find yourself on Kilimanjaro or the Inca Trail or cooking in Paris,” Hong says. “I was curious and wanted to try it out.” n
First Ascent Eddie Bauer CEO Michael Egeck is guiding the legendary Seattle outdoor-clothing retailer back to the summit says Egeck. “One of the things they said, and I still find it to be true, is ‘there’s a certain thrill in making stuff.’ To see somebody in your jacket, your shoes—making real, tangible consumer products is very gratifying.” Making stuff
On June 5, 2012, outdoor-clothing company Eddie Bauer named Michael Egeck (MBA 1983) as president and CEO. In the press release, Egeck is noted as a “highly respected industry leader” with “a proven track record of building leading apparel and outdoor brands.” It might seem a strange career path for a guy who accepted a position with Rainier Bank after graduating with his MBA, until you learn he never showed up for his first day on the job. The weekend before he was supposed to start at the bank, Egeck attended a party hosted by Richard Lentz and Steve Ritchey who had recently launched Union Bay Sportswear. “They were so passionate about what they were doing that they talked me into going to work for them,”
The thrill in making stuff led Egeck on a leadership trajectory that has included oversight of some of world’s most recognizable brands, including 7 For All Mankind, The North Face, Vans, True Religion and Columbia Sportswear. But the thought of leading Eddie Bauer was never too far out of sight. “In 1992, I wanted to work here. I could see them going off track. I applied for a position and didn’t get it. Then I went to work for Columbia Sportswear. In 2006, I tried to purchase Eddie Bauer with some investors and was turned down again,” says Egeck. A couple of years later, the company filed for bankruptcy and was purchased by Golden Gate Capital. They approached Egeck, then CEO of Hurley International, with the offer. “I wasn’t looking, but I have a long history with this brand. And, I felt I was 0-for-2, so to get the opportunity to finally work with it, I couldn’t resist.” Bauer from birth
Egeck was born and raised in Seattle. His grandfather, father, and great uncles were all Seattle firefighters and outdoorsmen, and so is his brother. Eddie Bauer was a brand with which he grew up. “I remember my first Eddie Bauer Skyliner jacket. It was a hand-me-down
from my dad. I wore it all the way through college,” says Egeck, smiling. “I also slept in an Eddie Bauer sleeping bag when I lived in a houseboat on Lake Union during college because it had no heat.” Having accepted the job, Egeck conducted brand research with current and lapsed customers and with people who had never purchased from Eddie Bauer. The results were the same. All viewed it as an authentic, Northwest, outdoor company, something Egeck says the company had veered away from. Outdoor focus
When asked early on what his turn-around strategy would be, Egeck says it was an easy answer. “I said, ‘We don’t have any choice. We have one strategy available to us. The consumer is giving us one path to walk down and we’re just going to go down it while executing on the highest level possible.’” That path has included an overhaul of messaging and design, and a concentrated effort to produce cutting-edge new products, all while being consistently and passionately outdoor-focused. A look at their Facebook page or a glance in a store window is reflective of that spirit. So are the recent product awards and accolades coming from sources like Field & Stream, Men’s Journal and Outside. When asked about his first year with Eddie Bauer, Egeck is measured. “One of the members of the board was remarking about all of the things going well (profit will more than double this year). I told him that inside the company we say it’s ‘directionally correct.’ We’ve got a long way to go and lots of things to work on, but we’re headed the right way, and we will reach our goals.” No surprise, that direction has included a reintroduction of the classic Skyliner jacket. n Fall 2013 31
Sharp Leadership SOG CEO Jerry Heinlen has a mission: to increase awareness of a brand that got it’s start in covert operations take a reproduction of the fabled bowie knife. That single commemorative model became Frazer’s starting point for designing a full line of innovative tools. His story
If you’re not an aficionado of specialty knives and outdoor tools, or the kind of person who pages through Outdoor Magazine’s seasonal gear guides, you might not know about SOG Specialty Knives and Tools. CEO Jerry Heinlen (MBA 1987) is counting on a career managing top brands, and a talented team, to help change that. The SOG story begins in Vietnam, where members of a highly classified US special ops unit—known as MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group)—carried a bowie knife greatly admired for its form and function. That knife would later inspire a young designer named Spencer Frazer to found SOG Specialty Knives and under-
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Meanwhile, the story of Jerry Heinlen’s career begins during his undergraduate years at the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point. Upon graduation, he served as a deck officer aboard vessels operated by the Military Sealift Command. “I had little knowledge about the maritime industry before I entered Kings Point,” says Heinlen. “I grew up as the fifth of six children in a family that valued education—both of my parents were educators. I chose Kings Point because it offered an excellent education, and it was at the academy that I developed a love of the sea—but my plans had always included graduate school and a career ashore.” Heinlen pursued his MBA at Foster in order to broaden his focus and equip himself for transitioning between industries. He specialized in both marketing and finance, and although he considered a job with Hewlett-Packard in finance after graduation, he took the marketing path, joining the Ore-Ida Foods divisions of H. J. Heinz to learn consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketing and brand management. “The CPG arena was, and still is, a fantastic training ground for young marketers and business people of all disciplines, and five years working on brands
including Weight Watchers frozen foods, Ore-Ida, and Steak-UMM sandwich steaks gave me an excellent business foundation,” says Heinlen. After leadership positions at big brands, including Waterloo Industries (manufacturers of Craftsman), Dremel, and Skil power tools, he returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2006 to lead Yakima Products, Inc. in Portland, Oregon. Yakima was owned by private equity investors and Heinlen’s role was to turn the iconic brand around and expand internationally. Mission accomplished, he transitioned the business to new owners in 2011. Cut to SOG
“I wanted to stay in the Northwest, and networking led me to the opportunity to be CEO of SOG,” says Heinlen. Since joining SOG in January, he’s already forged ahead with a goal to double the company’s current size over the next four to five years. “We are off to a great start and expect to grow at a healthy double-digit pace in 2013. Long-term, our goal is to continue to establish SOG as a market-leading brand and company in the outdoor products space.” Certainly Heinlen’s deep understanding of brand management will play a large role in meeting SOG’s goals. But he believes that an environment of open communication ultimately fuels high-performance teams. “I encourage everyone to speak up about challenges early enough to enable others to help with a solution before a deadline arrives, to over-communicate during times of complexity, and to be unafraid of articulating what they know— and what they don’t know—about an issue. Good communication is the oil that keeps a team’s engine running smoothly.” And great leaders have a passion for on-brand communication that never dulls. n
Why is the
UW Foster School of Business ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report when it comes to MBA students who get jobs ? Just ask these hiring companies that helped get us there: Amazon.com American Life Arryve Beacon Development Group Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Brooks CBRE ChefSteps Coinstar Community Attributes D.A. Davidson & Co. Deloitte Ecova Expedia EY
Facebook GameHouse The Hartman Group Hitachi Consulting IBM Intel Intellectual Ventures Kosmos KPMG Lenati Liberty Mutual Marchex McKesson Metzler Real Estate Microsoft Milliman
NetApp Oberto Brands PACCAR Philips Healthcare PricewaterhouseCoopers Revel Russell Investments Saltchuk Starbucks Sustainable Business Consulting Tektronix T-Mobile TransPower Univar Vulcan Capital
They also helped make us the #8 public MBA program in America. There are too many to list here, but thank you also to the 314 companies that hired our BA grads this year! *#1 in “full-time students employed 3 months after graduating” out of the top 25 ranked business schools in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Business Schools rankings.
You’ll find our alumni working to build great companies in the Northwest and around the world.
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In this issue, read about the legendary 1958 Husky crew team that beat the world-champion Soviets in Moscow; a new name for the Business and...