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DEAN’S MESSAGE Each semester I teach the Dean’s Executive Leadership Series on Tuesday nights. To say that I “teach” the class is an exaggeration, considering it consists solely of presentations by business and community leaders. Each speaker shares a business and personal biography, and then offers his or her “tips for success” and answers students’ questions. The first speaker is always Tim Mitrovich ’99, the CEO of Ten Capital. Mitrovich has a way of putting it all out there, and I enjoy watching students’ eyes get big as they take in his message of personal responsibility in the face of life’s disasters and triumphs. Last semester we also hosted Becca Gebbers ’06, the owner of VIP Insurance Agency, whose story demonstrates how hard work combined with attention to detail and good study habits (Gebbers is the country’s foremost expert in crop insurance, the mastery of which surely requires good study habits) can lead to great business success. Other speakers have included Linda Underwood, regional president of U.S. Bank; Aaron Vaccaro ’14, senior associate at WestRiver Group; entrepreneur Fred Stockton; and Whitworth President Emeritus Bill Robinson. Another Whitworth colleague, Larry Probus, vice president of finance & administration, spoke about his work in the rough and tumble business world and how a chance meeting with Mother Teresa changed his life. A unique speaker this time around was Sergio DeLeon, the owner of DeLeon Foods. DeLeon grew up as a migrant worker who endured tough living conditions in Mexico, Texas and other parts of the United States before moving to Spokane and becoming, after years of hard work, a successful and well-known regional business owner. The Dean’s Executive Leadership Series is just one example of how we connect students to the business community. By the time students receive their diplomas, they have had the opportunity to interact with professionals through numerous mock interviews, career treks, recruitment fairs, classroom visits and internships. Our goal is for Whitworth


graduates to hit the ground running as they enter their new careers, and they are doing just that. Last year, 88 percent of WSB students were employed or in grad school within six months of graduation, a statistic that continues to be higher than the national average. I hope that you enjoy reading about the outstanding accomplishments of our students, faculty and staff.

Tim Wilkinson, Ph.D. Professor and Charles L. Boppell Dean

Whitworth’s student team took first place in the regional Chartered Financial Analyst Institute Research Challenge. From left, Derek Ramage ’20, Mesfin Symons ’19, Jason Pinales ’19, Parker Durr ’19 and Sidney Riggs ’19.













12 MAY TERM IN CHINA 13 D.C. INTERNSHIP 14 FACULTY & STAFF HIGHLIGHTS 15 ADVISORY BOARD On the cover: Worthy Investment - Page 11 High school students visited campus to learn about finance from the Whitworth Student Investment Group at its annual investment conference.



“As a political science major in the Dean’s Executive Speakers class, it was easy to be intimidated by students who you believe are more knowledgeable about business. But being on the outside looking in, you’re able to see the importance of taking initiative and establishing relationships with the speakers, as that could easily turn into an opportunity. The dean mentioned in his first class how important that was, and it was about putting your best foot forward whenever you’re networking with the speakers. Ever since then, I had the opportunity to be mentored by Tim Mitrovich ’01 from Ten Capital, where I was able to intern during Jan Term and spring semester of my senior year.”


Van Peursem worked for Learfield IMG College as a partnership coordinator. She also played for the Whitworth women’s soccer team and received a Northwest Conference first team all-conference award.


Mount says, “We were randomly paired as roommates our freshman year and quickly became close friends. We both were accounting students and also participated in sports at Whitworth. We lived together all four years and interned at the same accounting firm over the summer of 2018, PwC, but in different locations (she was in Seattle; I was in San Jose). At the end of the summer, we went to an event for interns at Disney World. We will both start full time after graduation at PwC in Seattle and will continue to live together.”



“One of the best experiences I’ve had during college was working as an investment summer analyst at the venture capital arm of First Pacific, an investment management firm based in Hong Kong. This experience was life-changing, as it allowed me to gain the technical skills of investing and working alongside earlystage and growth-stage companies. In addition, I was able to travel around Southeast Asia and broaden my worldview.”



Smit met Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple’s shareholders meeting on March 1, 2019.

“I studied abroad last fall semester in Granada, Spain, where I received a B2 certification on the DELE Spanish proficiency exam. I took an Economics of Spain & Latin America class in Spanish that also counted as an elective for my business major. Additionally, I interned at an entrepreneurship event at the University of Granada that allowed me to see students share their creativity in developing new products and companies.”

A large Whitworth contigent came out to cheer Vange Ocasio Hochheimer and her husband, Manny MBA ’17, as they accepted the award for Outstanding Emerging Philanthropists.

Photo by Michelle Fessler






When Alexis McLeod ’16, MBA ’19, was looking at graduate business schools, there was one thing that set Whitworth apart from the rest. At Whitworth, McLeod says, “a student is more than just a student – you are there to be a part of something great.”

Leadership Network, she explores the challenges and opportunities facing her as a woman in the business world.

That “something great” can be many different things for Whitworth MBA students: the sense of community and mentorship cultivated among peers; the environment of support, collaboration and servant leadership they build over time; and the strides toward empowerment they take together.

Opportunities for growth seem to seek McLeod out, even when she might not be looking for them. On all of these co-curricular outings, she says, “I was there to learn how to be a better business woman.” But, she says, in these remote spaces, outside the comfort zone of a classroom or a boardroom, “I was also given the chance to discover some truths about myself I had never been given the opportunity to see.”

Whitworth MBA students make an impact everywhere they go, and McLeod has gone everywhere. A wilderness expert and explorer at heart, McLeod used her time in the MBA program to explore her potential. On the Sun Valley excursion, she discovered her calling as a leader and entrepreneur. Through the concentration in executive leadership, she learned about her resilience and unique gifts as a team builder. Through the Women’s


Now, through these connections made in the MBA program, McLeod is investigating a new set of opportunities as a marcom specialist at Numerica Credit Union.

For McLeod, the Whitworth MBA program was a platform not only for growth, but for a family. “I chose Whitworth because I knew I would not receive the same love and support anywhere else,” she says. “This was the one program that saw and believed in my full potential, and would push me to get there.”

TOOLS FOR SUCCESS Hard hats are optional accessories in the classroom on a typical night in John Dunlop’s operations management course. On class project presentation night, however, Meaghan Lane ’19, Janelle Ellison ’19, Jeff Mitchell ’20 and Bethany Botello ’19 donned field safety gear as they presented their analysis of Avista’s gas operations. The students worked closely with Avista’s gas operations manager, business process improvement leader and supply chain manager to provide useful information to the company. As a capstone to the project, the students took a field trip to the utility’s new $25 million gas operations complex and received a comprehensive tour. All four students are pursuing operations management certificates through the Whitworth School of Continuing Studies. The certificates can be completed in nine months alongside a bachelor’s degree or as a stand-alone credential. Offered on evenings and weekends, the program allows students to continue working during the day while increasing the value they bring to their employers.

“The students appreciate the convenient schedule and hands-on learning found in both certificate programs – operations management and accounting – offered through Whitworth’s School of Continuing Studies,” says Christie Anderson, director of the continuing studies business programs. “The ability to achieve credentialing while completing a degree provides an opportunity for promotion or job change prior to graduating.” The operations management certificate includes a fourcourse series: lean management, statistics, operations management and project management. Together, this powerhouse set of courses gives students tools they can apply to any organization. The professors are practitioners and bring real-world experience to the classroom, transforming it into an application-based learning lab. “Strategy design and implementation are key to success in all economic sectors,” Anderson says. “Students from all majors are drawn to the added marketability our certificate programs provide.”



KEN ROBERTS ’68 Chief Investment Strategist, Palouse Capital Management

MEGAN LAU ’13 Senior Account Manager, Amazon Launchpad

GARRETT FLOWERS ’06 Financial Planning & Analysis Manager, Brooks Running

The thing I appreciate the most about Whitworth is the time I could develop spiritually. I work in a tumultuous industry, and Whitworth’s mind-andheart focus as well as the environment encouraging a personal relationship with God helped develop resiliency to setbacks. You are going to get knocked down a lot by general market movements as well as other market noise, so it is important be able to maintain emotional and intellectual stability. I don’t pray that our stocks go up; I pray to think more clearly.

The most rewarding part of my work is to not only work with small businesses despite working for a huge tech company, but to also see these brands succeed. We interact with brands that have amazing products, founders and stories, and it’s exciting to see their businesses grow.

The most rewarding part of my work, aside from relationships developed with my colleagues, is knowing that I am providing meaningful guidance and support that helps shape the course of our business and keep it on a trajectory of sound growth.

Through the Whitworth Student Investment Group and other interactions I have with students, I am impressed with the qualities and abilities of the students I see at Whitworth.


One thing I learned at Whitworth (being far away from family and high school friends) was the importance of building relationships and community. It can be tough to make friends in a new environment, but all the awkward initial conversations will be worth it in the end. All of my Whitworth friends are still my best friends to date, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.

Through the many essays I wrote for my Core classes and otherwise, Whitworth cultivated my writing skills in a way that has been tremendously valuable in my career. I spend my day working with numbers, but the ability to clearly and concisely communicate the story that those numbers are telling is critical.

CRISSA LINDLY ’04 Relationship Manager, Wells Fargo

JOHN PROFFITT ’04 Sales Manager, Stryker

People may think of banking as strictly dealing with numbers, but it is such a relationship business. If you don’t build a deep, genuine relationship with your clients, it can be very hard to earn their trust.

Stryker is a medical device company. Without a doubt, hearing a survivor’s story who was brought back to life with a defibrillator or chest compression device that our company sells gives me chills every time. But the most rewarding part of my job is getting to see the people I work with grow personally and professionally.

The one thing that always sticks with me about Whitworth is the amazing people that are there. The friends I made at Whitworth are still my closest friends today; they are true lifelong friends. I love that my husband Adam ’02 (a Whitworth football coach) and I are still a part of such a great community. Whitworth will always be a special place to me that holds so many amazing memories.

When I think about the biggest impact Whitworth has had on my life, it is hard to beat the fact that because of Whitworth I met my wife. I really value the lifelong relationships I gained through Whitworth, chief among them my spouse, but also many close friends and a number of professors who remain important mentors to this day.

KATIE STAIB ’11 Director of Education, Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture My path in art, education and travel led me to realize business was an area I wanted to develop, and I pursued that education through Whitworth. The combination of those interests and skills enabled me to work in my passion and pursue my career at the Museum of Arts and Culture.   I especially appreciate the servant leadership methodology imparted at Whitworth and value the highly educated and experienced professors that provide current and relevant business experience. When I am presented with challenging work, I feel prepared. I have often thought, “thank you, Whitworth. I feel prepared for this.”



Last year was a big year for Balance Your Bucs, Whitworth’s personal-finance education program. We made strides in carrying out our mission, which is for School of Business students to serve students across campus by educating them in areas of personal finance. With this mission to guide us, we hope to encourage students to lead well-balanced financial lives. Balance Your Bucs puts on engaging, student-led workshops throughout the academic year to promote personal financial knowledge and show how to integrate this knowledge into one’s daily life. One engaging new way we have started to promote financial literacy is through our Cash Cart. Several times a week during early fall and late spring, you will see Balance Your Bucs coordinators offering golf cart rides to fellow students and asking them financial literacy questions. Between the chance to learn 10

something new and win a coffee card with the correct answer, students have loved getting to participate in Cash Cart. As the Balance Your Bucs senior coordinator last year, I had fun not only spreading the word about the program, but also engaging with the Whitworth community about a topic that is critical for students to learn. Personal finance is rarely taught to the general population, even though it is useful and valuable information. Getting to be a part of a team that can bring this important topic to students on campus, and learning more about finance myself through the process, has been a truly incredible experience. The Balance Your Bucs program has a bright future on this campus, and I am excited to see how it grows as it creates new ways to share knowledge of personal finance with Whitworth students.

Worthy Investment By Sarah Stubblefield ’20

This past spring, high school students and business professionals converged on campus for the Whitworth Investment Conference, a full-day event led by the Whitworth Student Investment Group. Now in its second year, the conference gives students a chance to discuss investing and finance with experts in the field. Alyssa Peterson ’21, the Whitworth Student Investment Group president for 2019-20, says, “WSIG started our annual conference with the hope that we could do at least four things: Build our network outreach beyond our university, expose local high school students to the valuable community that exists at Whitworth, ignite passion in them to learn about and study finance, and provide them with some practical tools to manage their own money well.” Conference participants learned from members of the WSIG and a distinguished lineup of speakers who shared their insight, providing advice on navigating today’s investment environment and the wide array of careers available in financial services. Attendees were able to make connections between their academic and professional endeavors, including by practicing career-ready skills such as introductory equity research and fundamental valuation. This year, the conference consisted of student-led workshops and a panel, allowing participants to engage in conversations about financial literacy and college preparation. “I was thrilled with this year’s high school students, who encouraged us to engage with their own, real-world money experiences, and therefore tailor our workshops to fit their needs,” Peterson says. Notably, two alumni from Washington Trust Bank presented, and another alum who manages a portfolio for a family office in London conducted a conference call with the group. Each speaker shared about specific career paths as well as industry-related trends, such as wealth management, data science in finance, and the future of banking. By cultivating connections as well as the educational and professional development of WSIG members, this year’s conference helped the investment group fulfill its commitment to making a difference in the community and building the next generation of leaders. 11

INTERNATIONALLY SAVVY During May Term 2018, Associate Professor of International Business Todd Friends and 14 students participated in the Three Chinas study-abroad program, visiting Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei. Friends facilitated a balance of international business visits, cultural excursions and networking opportunities. In each city, the students were hosted at dinners by a broad array of global business executives. “From our initial landing in Beijing to our departure in Taipei, our group was warmly welcomed,” says Katie Long ’19, a business administration major. “Dr. Friends ensured that we were consistently networking with locals by arranging meetings with local university students, U.S. State Department staff and executives from multinational companies.” The students had a variety of experiences in Beijing, including the opportunity to participate in a live interview by CRI China Radio International, China’s largest multimedia conglomerate. The interview was broadcast to 21 million people and focused on the students’ perception of China and their experiences there. In a meeting with Caterpillar China representatives, students learned about the massive Silk Road infrastructure initiative connecting China and 12

European trade routes. Additionally, a U.S. trade diplomat updated the students on U.S. and China trade negotiations. In Shanghai, Whitworth alumni Nate Lewis ’93 and Josh Thayer ’18 coordinated international business visits. Lewis, general manager at Georgia Pacific Trading (Shanghai) Ltd., explained what it is like to work in China in the paper export trade from the U.S., and arranged a tour of the world’s largest port. Thayer, of Northside Inc. and Outdoor Gear International, introduced the students to China Fortune Star President Nam Lui. In Taipei, students were hosted by the Taiwan International Trade Commission, American Express Taiwan, and East Asia studies professor CF Hsu and graduate students from National Chen-Chi University. Alumnus Peter Adams ’09 coordinated a visit to Grand Dynasty International’s production site for 3D plastic injection. “Through these networking opportunities, we were able to connect more meaningfully with the culture than if we had been tourists,” Long says. “By the end, we were more versed in the culture, as well as in international business concepts.” Friends will return to China in 2021 with another cohort of business students.

Embracing Opportunity in D.C. By Katelynd Trinidad ’19

As a marketing student at Whitworth, the last place I thought I’d find myself interning was the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. And yet, there I was, the fall of my senior year, living and working in our nation’s capital as a marketing intern at the Smithsonian. At the museum, my daily work revolved around helping our department plan and promote the fourth annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend. As the head marketing intern, I planned and implemented our marketing efforts with businesses in D.C. and also independently designed programs and signage for the event. On top of that, I worked closely with vendors, curators and program producers to help plan Last Call, the beer history happy hour that capped off the weekend festivities. After months of planning, it was incredibly rewarding getting to see our hard work successfully unfold into the weekend festival itself. Besides my amazing experience working as an intern, life in the city meant lots of time to explore. Restaurants,

museums, monuments, concerts and night life: Washington, D.C., never failed to produce some exciting activity. Whether it was doing homework in the Library of Congress, going to the Eastern Market on Sunday mornings for fresh bagels, or visiting the White House, Capitol Building and Supreme Court, living in the capital was an incredible experience that I tried to fully embrace. Living on the other side of the country was not without its challenges. Being so far from my life in Spokane made some days especially hard, but on those days, I’d stop and think of all the wonderful opportunities at my disposal and remind myself that no adventure is without its struggles. And after all is said and done, I look back on my experience with complete clarity and know that I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. Trinidad was one of 10 students who took part in Whitworth’s inaugural Honors Smithsonian Internship Semester, a program that matched students with internships related to their majors.



Sinead Voorhees, director of Graduate Studies in Business, was recognized with a Women in Business Leadership Award from Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living magazine. Under Voorhees’ management, Whitworth’s MBA program has doubled in size over the last two years despite the national trend of declining MBA enrollment. The program has also expanded to offer concentrations, destination classrooms, executive coaching and leadership trainings. Assistant Professor Tara Lambert graduated in 2018 with a doctorate of business administration (DBA) degree from the University of WisconsinWhitewater. Her dissertation is titled “Inventory Choice: Its impact on earnings quality and earnings response coefficients.” She has completed six academic years of teaching accounting courses in the undergraduate and continuing studies programs. Assistant Professor Robin Henager was featured in The Inlander for her research titled “The Relationship Between Student Loan Debt and Financial Wellness.” The study collected data from nearly 17,000 people and found that despite the burden of student loans, attending college results in higher levels of financial wellness and is still a worthwhile investment. Associate Professor of Economics & Business Vange Ocasio Hochheimer (middle) and her husband, Manny MBA ’17, were named the 2018 Outstanding Emerging Philanthropists at the Spokane Philanthropy Awards.


WSB ADVISORY BOARD 2018-19 GREGG AMEND ’97 Partner Moss Adams LLP ALLEN BATTLE Founder A Strategic Solution DARIA BROWN ’98 CPA Fruci & Associates, PS RANDY CLARK Consultant BILL CONDON ’03 Managing Director Colliers International BILL CURRY ’73 Board Chair Huntron Instruments CRAIG DIAS K&N Electric Motors MARTY DICKINSON Consultant PETER ENKEMA ’69 Sales Associate Coldwell Banker Tomlinson ANDREW ERICKSON ’84 Sales Representative/Partner Washington Fruit & Produce Co. KRISTIN GOFF President Wendle Motors Inc.

BOB INGERSOLL ’67 Retired, Corporate Vice President – Contracts & Pricing Boeing CAROLYN KADYK Executive Director MultiCare INW Foundation DAVID KIMMET ’98 President Rehn & Associates LARRY LARISON President Columbia Management System RAY LAWTON Business Transition Specialist Lawton Printing JENNIFER LEHN Chief Operations Officer Numerica Credit Union DANIEL MAHONEY Retired, CEO Fastor Systems (acquired by Smart Modular Technology) JIM MASTERSON CEO LightEdge Solutions TIM MITROVICH ’01 CEO/Chief Investment Officer Ten Capital HOLLY MONTGOMERY Vice President – Relationship Management & Private Banking US Bank

OCTAVIO MORALES Senior Vice President/Operations Tierpoint TRAVIS PREWITT ’73 President of Investments UBS Financial Services Inc. BARBARA RICHTER ’77 Retired, Center of Excellence Leader Procter & Gamble KEN ROBERTS ’68 Chief Investment Strategist Palouse Capital Management DAVE ROGERS Retired, General Manager, Climate Change Chevron Corp. DAN SANFORD ’65 Emeritus Professor, International Management Whitworth University TOM SIMPSON Co-Founder and Chairman etailz Inc. FRED STOCKTON Retired Keywords Studios AARON VACCARO ’14 Senior Associate WestRiver Group TIM WILKINSON Charles L. Boppell Dean School of Business Whitworth University




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Profile for Whitworth University

Whitworth University School of Business Review: 2019  

Whitworth University School of Business Review: 2019  

Profile for whitworth