CORVALLIS, Ore. – Some of Oregon’s most notable business leaders received honors recently as Oregon State University College of Business presented its annual Alumni and Business Partner Awards in Portland on May 3.
The most prominent award winners were two OSU alumni who were inducted into the college’s Hall of Fame. This honor is bestowed upon recipients for sustained and meritorious business contributions throughout their careers.
Winners were Kenneth Poorman, a 1961 graduate and co-founder and chairman of Poorman-Douglas Corporation; and Arthur Tokin, a 1971 grad, who is retired managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Poorman was recognized for developing one of Portland’s largest data processing companies and for his dedication to OSU through his membership on several boards.
In his remarks about the upcoming foundation fund-raising initiative, and his strong desire to see a complete remodel of Bexell Hall, Poorman said, “Beavers are builders, and they are persistent. They hang in there until they get the job done.”
Tokin was praised for his nationally recognized expertise in the fields of strategic planning, corporate governance, real estate and financial accountability. His devotion to community involvement included so many board memberships, they were too numerous to mention every one.
Awards were presented in four other categories, as well.
The Distinguished Business Professionals awards were presented to Joe Karas, managing partner, Moss Adams LLP, and James Baumgartner, a partner with Black Helterline LLP. Karas was recognized for raising donations for the Moss Adams classroom and his ongoing support of OSU’s accounting degree. Baumgartner was singled out for his work with OSU’s Austin Family Business Program and his work to ensure that program’s success.
The Distinguished Young Business Professional award was given to Greg Laird (’03), a senior software analyst with Stockamp & Associates. Laird was lauded for his stellar performance within the Stockamp & Associates organization, and for his support of the MIS program.
The Distinguished Business Professionals awards were given to three alumni; Tad Davies (’78), president, T.A. Davies & Co, PC; Wesley Edens (’84), chairman and CEO, Fortress Investment Group, LLC; and Linda Hirneise (’75), practice leader – global travel and hospitality practice, J.D. Power & Associates.
Davies was honored for developing a successful CPA firm in neighboring Albany. He and his wife, Lynne, have served on several boards for more than a decade. In his remarks about watching OSU president Ed Ray and College of Business dean Ilene Kleinsorge transform the college and their plans for the future, Davies said, “ If you want to get on a boat that is going a lot of places, do it now.”
Edens was recognized for his outstanding development of Fortress Investment Group, LLC, an investment firm that manages assets of more than $30 billion.
In his acceptance speech, Edens told the crowd, “OSU gave me the entrepreneurial experience I needed. I didn’t think of myself as an entrepreneur until I got into a fight with the guy who ran the company [I worked for] and he said, ‘I’m going to give you an opportunity to be an entrepreneur!’”
Edens was also the keynote speaker earlier in the day at the Austin Entrepreneurship Program.
Hirneise was honored for her trailblazing career at J.D. Power & Associates. After being recruited away from teaching, she proceeded to set the pace in a male-dominated field by being the first female executive to work with Japanese and European auto giants. She is also responsible for developing several of J.D. Power’s client and retailer programs.
More than 300 people attended the event, which was held May 3 at the Hilton in Portland.