Tag Archives: Business

Alumni return to share wisdom of business world

Four Linfield alumni returned to their alma mater to host a panel-style discussion to pass on their workplace wisdom and to network with current students.

Peter Fisher of the class of 1995, Joe Murray of the class of 2008, Samantha Lau of the class of 2012 and Brenna Patterson of the class of 2012 comprised the panel.

Fisher is a partner in Human Investing, an investment company based in Lake Oswego, Ore.

“Why I started my own company, I have no idea. You know, I had become greatly disenfranchised with corporate America,” Fisher said. “It was painful for me.”

Fisher began his career with Merrill Lynch, which was considered at the time to be one of Wall Street’s top investment companies.

“My perspective of what it was going to be like and the reality of what it was like, there was a huge delta between those two things,” Fisher said.

“Just sitting in your seats right now, just say out loud, ‘I have no idea what I want to be or what I want to do,’” Fisher said to the students in attendance. “If you can say that and own it, [...] because once you kind of get out of that mind set [of rigidity], you start fielding different opportunities, which can potentially have great significance for you in life.”

Murray is currently employed by Nike as a global merchandising manager for NFL apparel.

Murray said, I recently asked my boss what makes the most successful merchandisers and he told me about the three “C’s.”

The first “C” stands for consumer.

If you’ve perfected and understand who your consumer is, and you know where they shop and why, then the next step is to make that consumer a customer, which is the second “C,” Murray said. Customer is the second “C.”

The final “C” stands for competition. Through this analogy, Murray stressed the need to understand your market.

Moving onto the topic of job searching, “I know there’s that old saying, ‘It’s who you know [as opposed to what you know],’ but nowadays, I think it’s who knows you within your job search,” Murray said, reliving his own experience.

All four panelists stressed the need to stand out and network as opposed to relying on your resume for a callback.

Patterson is currently employed at Ponzi Vineyards as a sales and marketing coordinator.

Patterson interned at Oregon Mutual Insurance during her time at Linfield.

“You’re probably all looking at me like, ‘You work at a winery now, what were you doing working at an insurance company?’” Patterson said.

From her time at Oregon Mutual Insurance, Patterson developed a solid base of business fundamentals from real life experience that she was able to carry over to her current position at Ponzi Vineyards.

“This was really a turning point in my life where I was really figuring out what I wanted to do,” Patterson said. “You definitely won’t know right away.”

Ryan Morgan / Culture editor

Ryan       Morgan    can          be            reached   at

Balancing culture, business in Asian economy

Companies need to be aware of the norms, values and cultural ways in other countries in order to do business, a guest speaker told Linfield students.

“You need to learn about culture. You need to increase the cultural competency and awareness,” Dr. Piman Limpaphayom said.

Limpaphayom, academic director of International Management at Portland State University, also said that students who only learn about business and do not have cultural awareness will struggle in the business world because many businesses are moving overseas.

Limpaphayom, spoke on “The Balance of Global Corporate Power is Tilting Toward Asia,” on Thursday, Oct. 24.

Before the lecture, Jorden Taylor the recruiting and admissions specialist from Portland University’s School of Business Administration, held an informational booth about PSU’s Master of International Management program.

The master’s program teaches students skills they need for international business, but it also teaches the students cultural aspects of Asia.

One of the ways the program incorporates culture is to require the students to learn one of three Asian languages, including Mandarin, Chinese and Japanese. The program also requires the students to do a three-week study in an Asian country. The business program made it on the top 20 of The Aspen Institute’s best MBA programs in the world.

Limpaphayom  gave the example of Best Buy attempting to establish a store in China. Best Buy had not realized that the Chinese were accustomed  to bartering. They did not appreciate Best Buy’s already-discounted prices.

The Chinese wanted to barter to lower the prices. As a result of a cultural misunderstanding the Best Buy store failed.

In the lecture, Limpaphayom showed evidence of how the global business economy is heading toward Asia. He said that the three main places to do business in the world is the United States, with Japan and China following.

Limpaphayom’s slideshow also conveyed evidence on how the global business economy is slowly moving toward Asia. A total of 37 percent of the world economy is in Asia, and this percentage is expected to rise to 54 percent by 2025. In addition, a quarter of Oregon jobs are linked to Asia by $16.5 billion. Also, it is estimated that the Asian economy will grow by 15 percent in the next two years.

Mariah Gonzales / Culture editor

Mariah Gonzales can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com


Linfield promotes two new minors

The business department held an informational meeting April 2 to get people interested in two minors that were added last fall.

In the fall of 2012, the business department ended its general business minor and added two new minors, management and sports management.

“We wanted to make one that was more useful across campus,” said Denise Farag, assistant professor of business.

The management minor will give students a background in leadership and also let students gain experience with people skills.

“The management courses have provided me with leadership tools that will help me lead teams in the international environment,” senior Johnathon Bosch said.

The sports management minor is set up as an interdepartmental minor with the business, economics, philosophy and health, human performance and athletics departments.

The faculty were interested in making the minor because they found that students connected with class materials more when using sports examples.

“I wanted to minor in sports management because I have played sports my entire life and hope to work in the sports business industry,” senior Rachel Dewolf said.

These minors are not exclusively for business majors.

For further information about the sports management minor, contact Farag. For more information about the management minor, contact Sharon Wagner, chair of the business department.

Julian Adoff/Multimedia editor

Julian Adoff can be reached at linfieldreviewonline@gmail.com.

Alumni noted for success by Business Journal

The Portland Business Journal recently recognized three Linfield graduates in its 2013 “Forty under 40” list. The journal honors successful businesspeople, entrepreneurs and executives who are important to Oregon’s future.
“It’s nice to be recognized,” said Evan Wilson, 2001 graduate and senior research analyst at Pacific Crest Securities. “It’s great that we had there Linfielders out of 40 people on the list. It shows the quality of the Linfield education.”
Wilson is a senior stock and research analyst for Pacific Crest Securities, an investment bank for technology in the Internet and video game industries.
“I work for an investment bank that provides research to institutional investors. With the Internet and all the wonderful content that it brings forward, it can be hard to break through the clutter,” Wilson said. “I’m a stock analyst so I track the Internet and video game industries. I have to follow the health of [the economy] to interpret it and the trends and their effect on my industry.”
Also recognized was Lincoln Bach, who graduated from Linfield in 1996 and is now the chief financial officer at GreenWood Resources, a global timber investment company that buys land to develop sustainable tree farms.
“A big part of our company is green energy and turning woody mass into a power source and a heating source,” Bach said. “It’s a mature market in Europe and South America. Hopefully, it gains traction in the U.S. lumber market and as a bioenergy source.”
The third of the alumni recognized was Mary Lago, who graduated in 1997 and is now a vice president and relationship manager at Washington Trust Bank. She helps business owners and individuals with financial planning and investment management, as well as advises charity foundations in the Pacific Northwest. Lago is active on many community organization boards, such as the Estate Planning Council of Portland and the Oregon Health and Science University Foundation.
Lago was unable to be reached for an interview because she was on vacation.
Linfield’s professors and programs helped these three individuals get where they are today.
“I was an accounting major, so I went straight into public accounting right out of college,” Bach said. “I had some great professors, like Mike Jones. Linfield has a really strong program and I was well prepared. It was a good way to get hands-on knowledge instead of getting lost in the shuffle of a bigger university.”
Wilson used his many opportunities and activities as a way to network and break into his field.
“I had an opportunity for a wide variety of things. I played basketball, I was on KSLC, student senator and I wrote for the Review. I did a lot of different activities that introduced me to people and developed my ability to write and talk to people,” Wilson said. “It was an opportunity that I might not have gotten from a bigger school. Everyone tried to get me involved, and I think that’s important.”
In college, Bach and Wilson both knew what they wanted their careers to look like. Lincoln, who was public accounting and finance driven, was able to use his degree to do what he loves.
“When you’re picking your degree, obviously pick what you enjoy doing and balance it with something practical that you can use when you get out of school,” Bach said. “Realize when you first get out of college you’ll probably have to work pretty hard and build your relationships. Find something you can enjoy and succeed at. It’s a hard balance.”
Wilson has found his success through the connections he made while at Linfield.
“Meet as many people as possible. Find ways to get involved with the field you’re interested in before you leave. It’s the experience that matters, especially that you get from internships. You get more from that than what you get in class,” Wilson said. “I’m a firm believer that it’s the relationships you create that will get you into your industry. Networking is the most important thing you can do as a college student.”
If Wilson has learned anything during his career, it is that technology has a profound impact on everyone and their industries.
“We’re starting to see computer scientists replace human traders. More and more clients are using algorithms to make trading decisions rather than fundamental research,” he said. “That trend of more trade put forth by computers than humans is shaping industries.”
In recent years, the economic recession has made being in business difficult. But according to Bach, things are getting better than they were five years ago.
“We’ve experienced the down cycle of the recession, especially in the housing market. When housing goes down it affects the [timber] industry quite a bit,” he said. “There’s more optimism today. We were on the cusp of the recession hitting, and now we’re on the other side of the downward trend. Things are picking up again.”

Kelsey Sutton
Managing editor
Kelsey Sutton can be reached at

Business students work alongside non-profit

A few of Linfield’s business students recently banned together, aiding the Adelente Mujeres organization.

Seniors Danny Brown, Heather McClellan and Greg Schockelt, junior Robby Richardson, and sophomores Kathie Byers and Aziza Jappie worked alongside business professor Michelle Nelson,  creating marketing materials to connect local Latino organic farmers with customers.

The Adelente Mujeres organization, located in Forest Grove, Ore., works to give low-income Latina women and their families education and encouragement to financially support themselves and their families.

Nelson’s entrepreneurship class basically worked as middlemen for Adelente Mujeres, passing along information to local companies about La Esparanza Farm, the
organic farm for Latino farmers, founded by Adelente Mujeres.

“We developed two different brochures for the program, which help connect Latino farmers to distributors in the area,” Schockelt said.

The organization is fairly young, being founded in 2002 by Bridget Cooke and Sister Barbara Raymond. Cooke and Raymond, who work with other local organizations, noticed that there is a lack of Latina women who participate in work outside of their homes.

“I like organizations which are about helping people help themselves,” McClellan said. “It’s exciting for me that they help teach people English.”

Adelente Mujeres started by providing English classes for Latina women and daycare for their children. It then
expanded to help with business plans, youth organizations for teenage Latina girls and organic farming.

“It is still in the stage where it is small enough that you can tell that everyone is connected, like a small family,” Schockelt said.

Their mission, as stated on their website, is: “the holistic education and empowerment of low-income Latina women and their families. We encourage all participants to believe in themselves, to commit to personal growth, to express solidarity with others and to love and respect the Earth.”

Schockelt enjoyed working with a non-profit organization for once, he said.

“The goal [for profit organizations] is to see how much profit you can make, not how much good you can do with it.”

By contrast, the goal for non-profits is, “doing well by doing good,” Schockelt said.

So far, the organization has a few contacts in the area, along with a few local eateries.

Meghan O’Rourke/
Opinion editor
Meghan O’Rourke can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com