The Linfield University Alumni Association will honor four Wildcats for their hard work, innovation and generosity of spirit during its annual event, Linfield’s Finest, at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8 at The Grand, 325 NE Third Street, McMinnville. This year’s recipients are Sean Hoar ’80, Ashley (Russell) Blatchley ’06, Craig Ostbo ’15 and Ann Klein ’07.
“These alumni have distinguished themselves in a variety of ways,” noted Kandice (Kleiber) Marshall ’05, Alumni Leadership Council president, “The Alumni Leadership Council is proud to recognize this unique slate of 2021 recipients.”
The alumni awards are presented annually for up to five nominees and voted on by the Alumni Leadership Council.
Distinguished Alumni Award
Sean Hoar ’80, a partner and chair of the data privacy and security practice at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, is the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. This award honors those whose professional or civic achievements mark them as a top leader in their chosen field. Hoar, an expert in cyber law, leads a team that manages more than 2,000 data breaches each year and was named the “Cyber Law Firm of the Year” in 2019 and 2020 by Advisen. Before joining Lewis Brisbois, Hoar served as the lead cyber attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon. He frequently books speaking engagements, has taught courses at Lewis & Clark’s School of Law and has authored 14 articles in publications including the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice magazine and the Department of Justice’s USA Bulletin. Hoar also founded the Financial Crimes and Digital Evidence Conference, which brings together law enforcement investigators, prosecutors and private-sector personnel to learn techniques to combat financial fraud.
Distinguished Nursing Award
Ashley (Russell) Blatchley ’06 is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Nursing Award. This award is given to a practicing or retired nurse who demonstrates innovation and dedication to their patients and the field of nursing. Since 2005, Blatchley has worked as a nurse in the Portland Area, first at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center and then at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. She currently serves as director of patient care, emergency services and critical care. In each of her roles, Blatchley has been a leader in process improvement, reducing patient harm and innovative care models. She has led initiatives related to reducing catheter-associated infections, sepsis recognition and shared governance models, all while serving as a mentor to other nurses. Blatchley also helped develop a unit to care for infectious patients (e.g., ebola and COVID-19). Her work has not only improved outcomes for patients, but colleagues say that her collaborative leadership style has also improved the workplace for nurses, as well.
Alumni Service Award
Craig Ostbo ’15 is the recipient of this year’s Alumni Service Award, which honors alumni for their volunteer contributions to the university. As chief executive officer of Oh! Strategic Branding, Ostbo brings his more than 30 years of marketing and branding experience to natural, organic and sustainable food, beverage and consumer products. He brings that same experience to helping Linfield’s students as a member of the Business Advisory Council, providing strategic direction, advocacy and development for the School of Business’s programs. In the nine years that he has been on the council, Ostbo has co-created a Business-in-Residence Program, a class on impact entrepreneurism, and a student exchange program with Nurtingen-Geislingen University (NGU) in Germany. His nominator wrote that Ostbo has “added so much to our school and university with his enthusiastic support, exceptional and creative ideas, and extensive time commitment.”
Young Alumni Award
Ann Klein ’07, president of Majoris Health Systems, is the 2021 Young Alumni Award recipient. This award recognizes recent alumni who have distinguished themselves through contributions in their chosen field. Klein has served in a variety of roles for the managed-care organization, including roles in human resources, administration, contracting and provider relations. She became president in 2019, and in her first two years as president, the organization has seen a 20% growth in clients served. When asked how Linfield helped prepare her, Klein said, “I loved studying history, but the best part about the education at Linfield is its structure. It sets you up to learn not just the technical knowledge/facts but also core skillsets that are transferable no matter what career path or industry you move into. So far, my comparative analysis between the Russian and Chinese communist revolutions has yet to come up. But, what I have used daily are the abilities to learn, to think and to communicate.”
More information on the awards, including how to RSVP for Linfield’s Finest, is available at linfield.edu/homecoming.