OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU honors business leaders

05/25/2005

PORTLAND – Seven business leaders from Oregon and California earned recognition at Oregon State University's College of Business 2005 Alumni and Business Partner Awards dinner in Portland.

Jon Masterson, a 1961 OSU graduate from Long Beach, Calif., and Harley Smith, a 1959 graduate from Stockton, Calif., were honored with the College of Business Hall of Fame Award. The award recognizes OSU graduates who have made sustained and meritorious business contributions throughout their careers.

Masterson, president and chief executive officer of Wallboard Tool Co., is a member of the College’s Business Advisory Council. In addition to his tenure with Wallboard Tool Co.; he has a long record of community service in Long Beach.

He has served as president of the community's Symphony Foundation and board member of the Museum of Art Foundation and Memorial Medical Center Foundation. He has also been honored for his involvement with the Boys and Girls Club and Public Corporation for the Arts.

Smith founded Harley Smith Investments, a private real estate brokerage, taught courses in California in real estate, taxation and corporate finance, and wrote a book on real estate exchanges. Smith is past vice-president of the OSU student body and helped write the resolution that changed the name of Oregon State College to Oregon State University.

He is a previous member and past chair of the College’s Business Advisory Council and is a trustee of the OSU Foundation. Smith also is the sponsor of the annual College of Business Harley and Brigitte Smith Lifetime Financial Planning Contest.

Receiving the Distinguished Business Professionals Award were Oregon State alumni Larry Brown, a 1975 graduate, and Pam Garcia, a 1981 graduate, both of Portland.

The award honors mid-career OSU graduates still practicing their profession, and demonstrating "sustained distinguished contributions to his or her profession, field, OSU or society at large."

Brown has been a partner with the assurance, tax and advisory services firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers since 1983. He serves on the complaints committee of the Oregon State Board of Accountancy and on the college's Business Advisory Council. He has been an active supporter of the college's accounting program, making numerous presentations at Beta Alpha Psi meetings. Brown received the 2004 Outstanding Accounting Alumni award.

In her 16 years with NW Supermarket Holdings, a private supermarket and real estate holding company, Garcia built its portfolio of 14 different companies. She serves as chairman of the board for Pinnacle Bank and has been active in the College’s Business Advisory Council, Portland Business Roundtable.

Scott Burri, a 1986 graduate and founder of Huntington Ventures, received the Distinguished Early Career Business Professionals Award, which recognizes alumni with less than 20 years of experience.

Burri, of Corona del Mar, Calif., founded Huntington Ventures in 2000 and has raised $34 million for venture investing. For the past 13 years, he has worked closely with early stage technology companies. He has been active in the College of Business as a guest lecturer and Austin Entrepreneurship Program supporter.

Receiving the college's Distinguished Business Partners Award were George Puentes and Bob Sznewajs. The award honors non-alumni or companies who have distinguished themselves through professional practice and service to the OSU College of Business, the profession or society.

Salem resident Puentes serves as president of Puentes Brothers Inc.-Don Pancho Mexican Foods. He serves on the college's Business Advisory Council and has hosted students from the OSU, University of Oregon and Portland State University-sponsored Oregon Executive Master's of Business Administration program. Puentes Brothers is in the top 500 list of Hispanic owned companies as tallied by Hispanic Business magazine. Puentes is active in civic endeavors, including the Salem City Council and the Salem Chamber of Commerce.

Sznewajs, of Portland, is chief executive officer of West Coast Bank, a Northwest bank holding company with $1.7 billion in assets. He has more than 30 years experience in the banking industry, previously serving as vice chairman of U.S. Bank. He serves on many boards, including the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Oregon Bankers Association.

West Coast Bank is the lead sponsor of the College’s Austin Family Business Program, the nation’s oldest family business program. Through West Coast Bank’s participation, the family business program is able to serve family businesses throughout the region with online resources, workshops, seminars and recognition programs. West Coast Bank also sponsors several football games and events including “Beaver Huddle” luncheons featuring OSU football Coach Mike Riley.

During the awards program, student entrepreneurs and members of the college’s Austin Entrepreneurship Program, Blake Heiss and Dylan Boye, showcased their multimedia business, Epoch Media, with a “Year in Review” video.