CORVALLIS, Ore. – Robin Klemm, who has worked as an economic and business strategy consultant and run a successful family business, is the new interim director of Oregon State University’s Austin Family Business Program.
Klemm has worked as a private consultant in Seattle since 2005. Prior to that, she spent 12 years as the CEO and cofounder of Optimus Consulting, a family-owned business that specialized in business economics and strategy.
Klemm replaces Mark T. Green, who recently left OSU to take a job in the private sector. Green had been director of the Austin Family Business Program for six years. He left the program with a strategic plan that Klemm will continue to develop and begin to implement during the next year.
Klemm’s diverse background as a business owner, a consultant and strategist, an economist and an academic was a key reason that she was selected for the position.
“Dr. Klemm possesses the educational training and real-world management experience to lead the Austin Family Business Program during this interim period,” said Ilene Kleinsorge, dean of the College of Business.
“She has a rich educational background in business economics, strategy and solving business problems,” Kleinsorge added. “And her experience as the executive director of an economic think tank at the University of Pennsylvania demonstrates that she has the energy, vision and leadership skills to have an immediate impact on the program.”
A national search for a permanent director will start immediately.
“Family businesses provide a control and culture that eludes employment contracts,” Klemm said. “I am well aware of the advantages and challenges of running a family business. The combination of my economics background and my consulting provides an opportunity for the Austin Family Business Program to go beyond the education and networking function provided by most family business centers.”
Klemm received her Ph.D. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Austin Family Business Program was created in 1985 through a gift from Ken and Joan Austin of A-dec, Inc. of Newberg. The AFBP’s mission is to help family business owners balance the well-being of their business, family and other individuals as they deal with the challenges arising from day-to-day operations.