OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

business and the economy

Advantage Accelerator earns top-10 ranking among U.S., Canadian incubators

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator has earned a top-10 ranking among business incubators in the U.S. and Canada by a leading online network for angel investing.

In ratings released late last month based on a final tally of 2016 statistics, Gust.com tabbed the OSU Advantage Accelerator as the top startup accelerator in Oregon and the eighth-most active one in the U.S. and Canada. Oregon ranked fifth most active among states and provinces, ahead of all but California, Massachusetts, Texas and New York.

The accelerator, under the direction of Mark Lieberman and Karl Mundorff, helps nascent startups develop and commercialize high-growth, innovative technologies. Through three programs – Iterate, Accelerate and Launch – the Accelerator helps OSU faculty, students, staff and the broader community advance ideas and conduct research into products and services, guiding entrepreneurs through all phases of the commercialization process. 

The accelerator is part of Oregon State University Advantage, which connects business people to university resources, and it is also affiliated with RAIN, the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network; RAIN is an Oregon consortium of government, higher education and the business community.

In its four years of existence, accelerator clients have generated more than $4.5 million in revenue and gained more than $2.3 million in equity investments, $10 million in grants, and $500,000 in loans or other financing. 

Accelerator activities have created more than 50 full-time-equivalent jobs. The accelerator has engaged with nearly 400 entrepreneurs and startups in the region and interacted with more than 4,500 students and 130 volunteers.

The accelerator’s next one-month Iterate program kicks off Oct. 24.

“Iterate is the top of our funnel,” Lieberman said. “It’s a methodology that anyone can use to understand what entrepreneurial thinking is about and to help answer the question of what comes next.”

“The emphasis in Iterate is the evaluation of business ideas. The program helps you figure out whether an idea is worth your time,” Mundorff said. “And almost every team iterates to some variant of their initial idea.”

Media Contact: 

Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039, steve.lundeberg@oregonstate.edu

Source: 

Karl Mundorff, 503-880-7002, Karl.Mundorff@oregonstate.edu; Mark Lieberman, 541-368-5203; Sanjai Tripathi, 541-368-5206, sanjai.tripathi@oregonstate.edu

Top Oregon family businesses to be honored at Nov. 7 event in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. – Several Oregon family businesses will be honored at the Oregon State University College of Business’ 2017 Excellence in Family Business Awards ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland.

Zidell Marine Corporation, a 55-year old iconic Portland family business, will receive the Dean’s Award for Family Business Leadership, which is sponsored by the college’s Austin Family Business Program.

“The success of family businesses is critical to the Oregon economy,” said Mitzi Montoya, dean of OSU’s College of Business. “These awards recognize the hard work and drive of Oregon family businesses in the areas of entrepreneurship, community involvement and multigenerational planning, which are key areas for long-term success.”

Upwards of 80 percent of Oregon’s businesses are family-owned. The Austin Family Business Program, founded in 1985, provides inspiration, education, outreach and research to support family businesses.

“These families are intentional about involving all of the generations in the business and offer great examples of success,” said Sherri Noxel, director of the Austin Family Business Program.

The awards feature categories that reflect sound family business practices. Honorees are:

  • Family Harmony: Miles Fiberglass & Composites, Inc., Happy Valley. Finalists in the category included Myers Container, LLC, Portland; and Optimize Technologies, Oregon City.
  • Generational Development: NiceBadge, Grants Pass. Higher Taste of Portland and the Portland Pet Food Company were finalists in the category.
  • Business Renewal: Domaine Serene Winery, Dayton. Finalists included Chown Hardware Portland and Western Precision Products of Tualatin.
  • Student Award: Geoffrey Wildish, Eugene.

Brett Baker, president of Austin Industries LLC, will emcee the awards event, which begins with a reception at 4 p.m. and the program at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 for the reception alone; $75 for the reception with a buffet dinner; or $25 for children ages 3-10. The Sentinel Hotel is located at 614 S.W. 11th Ave., Portland.

To reserve a seat, register online at business.oregonstate.edu/familybusinessonline or contact Melissa Elmore at Melissa.elmore@bus.oregonstate.edu or 1-800-859-7609. The deadline to register is Oct. 26.

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Sherri Noxel, 541-737-6019, Sherri.noxel@bus.oregonstate.edu

Business incubator gears up for next cohort, welcomes five new advisory board members

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator seeks creators of new business concepts to be part of their fall cohort in the Iterate program, where startup experts help budding entrepreneurs evaluate and refine their ideas.

The Iterate application period coincides with the Accelerator’s naming five new members to its strategic advisory board, including Maggie Finnerty, executive director of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, and former Oregon Republican Party chairman Allen Alley.

The one-month Iterate program kicks off Oct. 24.

“Being on the strategic advisory board is a great opportunity to work with the state’s leading research university and be part of the bridge to industry,” said Alley. “Oregon’s future depends on harnessing our world-class innovations and bringing them to global markets.”

In its four years of existence, the Accelerator has advised more than 70 program graduates who have generated more than $4.5 million in revenue and gained more than $2.3 million in equity investments, $10 million in grants, and $500,000 in loans or other financing. 

Accelerator activities have created more than 50 full-time-equivalent jobs. The Accelerator has engaged with nearly 400 entrepreneurs and startups in the region and interacted with more than 4,500 students and 130 volunteers.

Additional new members of the 15-person board are Julianne Brands of the Oregon Angel Fund; Rita Hansen, chief executive officer of OSU spinout OnBoard Dynamics; and Jennifer Brown-Dennis, dean of the OSU Graduate School.

Brian Wall, OSU’s assistant vice president for research, commercialization and industry partnering, said the board demonstrates the university’s commitment to diversity in leadership.

“Adding distinguished advisory board members such as Maggie, Julianne, Rita, Jennifer and Allen helps us continue the economic progress achieved by Accelerator companies and continues to evolve Oregon State into a 21st century land grant institution,” he said.

The Accelerator, under the direction of Mark Lieberman and Karl Mundorff, helps nascent startups develop and commercialize high-growth, innovative technologies. Through three programs – Iterate, Accelerate and Launch – the Accelerator helps OSU faculty, students, staff and the broader university community advance ideas and conduct research into products and services, guiding entrepreneurs through all phases of the commercialization process.

“Iterate is the top of our funnel,” Lieberman said. “It’s a methodology that anyone can use to understand what entrepreneurial thinking is about and to help answer the question of what comes next.”

“The main thing we teach in Iterate is how to evaluate business ideas,” Mundorff added. “The program helps you figure out whether an idea is worth your time. And almost every team iterates to some variant of their initial idea.”

The Accelerator is part of Oregon State University Advantage, which connects business people to university resources, and it is also affiliated with RAIN, the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network; RAIN is an Oregon consortium of government, higher education and the business community.

Media Contact: 

Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

Oregon State University breaks record with $441 million in research grants

CORVALLIS, Ore. –Oregon State University crossed the $400 million threshold in grants and contracts for the first time in the fiscal year that ended June 30, including being awarded a grant to build a $122 million regional research vessel.

Oregon State received $441 million from state and federal governments, businesses and foundations for research on a wide range of projects in natural resources, health, engineering and science across the state and around the world. Federal agencies provided $315 million (71 percent), and additional funds came from state agencies, businesses and foundations.

“OSU research spurs solutions to problems and serves and involves people, communities and businesses across the state and world,” said Cynthia Sagers, OSU vice president for research. “Investment in research affects our daily lives —  the food we eat, health care, the environment — and pays back dividends in economic growth for Oregonians. Researchers are starting new businesses and assisting established companies.”

Altogether, Oregon State’s research revenues leapt 31 percent over last year’s record-breaking total of $336 million. Over the past 10 years, OSU’s research revenues have more than doubled and exceed those of Oregon’s public universities combined.

OSU research totals surged in June with a $122 million grant from the National Science Foundation for a new regional research vessel, which will be stationed at the university’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. It was the largest single grant ever received by the university.

Revenues from business and industry — including technology testing, sponsored contracts and licensing of innovations developed at the university — grew to $34 million last year, up 10 percent from the previous year.

“Our latest success is the result of hard work and strategic decisions by our faculty and partners in business, local and state government and the federal delegation,” Sagers said.

Based on past OSU research, startup companies such as Agility Robotics (animal-like robot motion), Outset Medical (at-home kidney dialysis) and Inpria (photolithography for high-performance computer chips) are attracting private investment and creating jobs. Advances in agricultural crops (winter wheat, hazelnuts, small fruits and vegetables) and forest products (cross-laminated timber panels for high-rise construction) are bolstering rural economies as well.

Since it began in 2013, the Oregon State University Advantage program has provided market analysis and support services to more than 70 local technology businesses and start-up companies. 

Other major grants last year included:

  • Up to $40 million by the U.S. Department of Energy for testing systems for ocean wave energy technologies;
  • $9 million for a next-generation approach to chemical manufacturing known as RAPID, in partnership with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory;
  • $6.5 million from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to make artificial-intelligence systems more trustworthy;
  • A combined $1.15 million in state, federal and foundation funding for a state-of-the-art instrument known as an X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy system. The XPS system brings world-class capabilities to the Pacific Northwest to address challenges in surface chemistry. Partners included the Murdock Charitable Trust, the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), the Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center and the National Science Foundation.

 “Whether it’s with the fishing and seafood industries on our coast, federal labs working on energy and the environment or local governments concerned about jobs and education, partnerships with business, government and other research organizations are absolutely vital to our work,” said Sagers. “We care about these relationships, the benefits they bring to our communities and the educational opportunities they create for our students.”

Research has long been a hallmark of graduate education, and undergraduate students are increasingly participating in research projects in all fields, from the sciences to engineering, health and liberal arts. OSU provided undergraduates with more than $1 million last year to support projects conducted under the mentorship of faculty members.

“Research is fundamental to President Ray’s Student Success Initiative,” said Sagers. “Studies show time and again that students who participate in research tend to stay in school, connect with their peers and find meaningful work after they graduate. Research is a key part of the educational process.”

Federal agencies represent the lion’s share of investment in OSU research. That investment has more than doubled in the last five years. The National Science Foundation provided the largest share of funding, followed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Energy. 

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Project summaries and FY17 research totals for OSU colleges are posted online:

College of Agricultural Sciences: http://agsci.oregonstate.edu/our-best/research-awards-2016-17

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences: http://ceoas.oregonstate.edu/research/map/

College of Education: http://education.oregonstate.edu/research-and-outreach

College of Engineering:  http://engineering.oregonstate.edu/fy17-research-funding-highlights

College of Forestry: http://www.forestry.oregonstate.edu/college-forestry-continues-advance-research-efforts#

College of Liberal Arts: http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/cla-research/2017-research-summary

College of Pharmacy: http://pharmacy.oregonstate.edu/grant_information

College of Public Health and Human Sciences: http://health.oregonstate.edu/research/funding-highlights 

College of Science: http://impact.oregonstate.edu/2017/08/research-funding-continues-upward-trajectory/

College of Veterinary Medicine: http://vetmed.oregonstate.edu/research-highlights

Video b-roll is available with comments by Cindy Sagers, vice president of research, at https://youtu.be/pkGD-lhVTwo.

 

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Cynthia Sagers, vice president for research, cynthia.sagers@oregonstate.edu, 541-737-0664

    

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Gun violence prevention groups strike middle ground to meet goals

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A study led by Oregon State University researchers found that American organizations identifying as gun violence prevention groups advocate for the right to bear arms and for some gun purchase and ownership conditions, which they argue will curb gun-related injuries and deaths.

The finding contrasts with some depictions of gun violence prevention groups as “anti-gun.”

“When people talk about the ‘gun debate,’ it typically revolves around gun rights supporters and anti-gun people with no one in the middle,” said Aimee Huff, an assistant professor in OSU’s College of Business. “We found these groups are in the middle. They strike a balance between individual rights and responsibilities to reduce death and injury.”

The study is one of the first to look at American gun violence prevention groups (GVPGs), many of which have formed in recent years after events such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The study is based on two years of analysis of nine gun violence prevention groups, some of which are focused nationally and others regionally or locally. The researchers interviewed leaders of the groups, attended their rallies and training sessions, talked to state legislators about them, monitored their social media pages and analyzed media coverage focused on them.

The consumer culture researchers sought to unpack the messaging of these groups, whom they describe in the paper using pseudonyms to protect their identities. They wanted to understand who the groups focus on, how they reach those people and the outcomes they hope to achieve.

They found that the groups position themselves as supporters of the Second Amendment, direct their messages to the middle-ground majority and communicate the everyday toll of gun violence using non-polarizing language.

The researchers assert that the gun violence prevention groups are having some success. Some examples they cite include:

  • Policy changes that have led to an increase in the number of states requiring universal background checks from 12 in 2012 to 18 in 2016.
  • Institution of restrictive firearms policies by prominent companies such as Target and Starbucks banning the open carrying of firearms.
  • Support of cultural changes championed by gun violence prevention groups from editorial boards of major newspapers (New York Times and USA Today), celebrities (Beyonce and Jennifer Aniston), and professional sports and entertainment associations (NBA).

Further, the researchers cite a Gallup poll that found the percentage of respondents who want the nation’s laws or policies on guns to be more strict has risen from 25 percent in 2012 to 38 percent in 2016.

The researchers conclude: “It is neither possible nor necessary to precisely identify the impact of GVPGs in these changes, but we assert it is reasonable to assume that they play an important role.”

The paper, “Addressing the Wicked Problem of American Gun Violence: Consumer Interest Groups as Macro-social Marketers,” was published in the Journal of Macromarketing.

In addition to Huff, the authors were Michelle Barnhart and Jim McAlexander, both of OSU, and Brandon McAlexander, of the University of Arkansas.

Media Contact: 

Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787, sean.nealon@oregonstate.edu

Source: 

Aimee Huff, aimee.huff@oregonstate.edu, 541-737-3688

OSU

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OSU President Ed Ray

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Forestry Dean Thomas Maness

Startup Showcase, a celebration of entrepreneurship, will be held May 10 in Corvallis

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Startup Showcase, a celebration of achievements and a new take on a traditional startup graduation event, will be hosted by the Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator/RAIN Corvallis program on May 10 in the ATAMI building at HP in Corvallis.

The Startup Showcase provides an opportunity to learn about innovations in the pipeline, new technologies and the latest group of emerging startups, while networking with investors and entrepreneurial experts.

The schedule of events includes:

  • 4 to 4:50 p.m.: The Futurists. A panel discussion featuring groundbreaking work by OSU researchers Mark Leid, Brian Paul and Yiğit Mengüç showcasing disruptive innovations.
  • 5 to 5:30 p.m.: Growth Stage. Three-minute pitches by Accelerator clients and finalists from the Next Great Startup competition. Companies include: GobTech, an artificial intelligence platform for game designers; Assure, a safety protection device for female college students; Sensiplicity Systems, lightweight, low-cost module IoT (Internet of Things) sensors for agriculture; Biological Solutions, biochar media for waste water remediation; FUEL, sensors to collect carbon credit data for wood stoves; Bird Bus Decoy, waterfowl hunting decoy carry packs; and Coastal Conditions, predictive technology for surf conditions. 
  • 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Launch Stage. Launch clients and alumni will give seven-minute pitches, followed by a short awards ceremony. Companies include: JULVIA Technologies, cost-effective wound closure devices; Hytchr, blockchain technology for photographers and large brands; Seiji’s Bridge, autism spectrum disorder products; and eChemion, improved efficiency and efficacy of large battery storage containers.

Attendees are invited to attend a reception following the Launch Stage. The event is free and open to the public but space is limited and attendees should RSVP online: http://bit.ly/2pDjAV5. The HP campus is located at 1110 N.E. Circle Blvd; attendees are asked to park in the northeast lot, behind the building.

This spring’s showcase falls in the middle of a three-day entrepreneurial event in Corvallis coordinated by the OSU Advantage Accelerator/RAIN Corvallis; Willamette Innovators Network (WIN); and the Willamette Angels Conference.

The events include a pub talk presented by WIN at 6 p.m. May 9 at 101 Eat and Drink in Corvallis. For more information and to obtain tickets, visit: http://bit.ly/2qqdoCP. The three-day series concludes May 11 with the 2017 Willamette Angels Conference at the Whiteside Theater. For more information on the conference or to register, visit: http://bit.ly/2qCizw4.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Mark Lieberman, 541-368-5203, mark.lieberman@oregonstate.edu

Accepting and adapting are keys to sustaining a career after acquired hearing loss

CORVALLIS, Ore. – For adults who acquire severe hearing loss, accepting and adapting to the loss play key roles in sustaining a career and thriving in the workplace, new research from Oregon State University indicates.

“People who are successful at adapting to hearing loss tend to accept that they are now biologically different from how they used to be,” said David Baldridge, an associate professor of management in the OSU College of Business

“People who remain successful tend to adapt what they do at work and how they do it,” he said. “They also tend to stay abreast of medical and workplace technologies such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, video relays, speech to text and interpreters.”

Hearing loss is a common disabling disorder that affects more than 360 million people worldwide. In the United States, more than 50 million people have hearing loss, including 60 percent of military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Hearing loss also is part of many people’s life course and careers. The percentage of the population with hearing loss increases exponentially as people age: 3.2 percent of people age 20-29, but 44.9 percent of those age 60-69.

The population overall is aging and people are working longer and delaying retirement, which leads to hearing loss becoming more prevalent in the workplace. Environmental noise also plays a role in the increasing prevalence of hearing loss. How well employers and employees adapt to this change may have significant implications for both a healthy economy and healthy aging, Baldridge said. 

“One of our goals with this study was to understand how people who acquire a severe hearing loss can remain productive and sustain their careers,” he said. “We found that there are some key traits to successfully doing so.”

The findings were published this month in the journal Human Relations. The co-author of the study is Mukta Kulkarni of the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India. The work was supported by Oregon State University, Indian Institute of Management and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. 

Baldridge and Kulkarni interviewed 40 professionals, including doctors, lawyers and consultants, who had acquired a severe hearing loss as adults in an effort to pinpoint how their hearing loss has affected their careers and identify strategies that helped them remain productive and successful.

“It was not a random sample – these are the best and brightest, most successful folks we could find,” Baldridge said. “We wanted to know what they did to survive and thrive. The hope is that lessons learned from them might help others.” 

The researchers found that those who tried to hide or deny their hearing loss tended to struggle more in the workplace, avoided social engagements and often became isolated.

Those who were able to sustain their careers tended to accept and adapt to their hearing loss using a wide range of strategies, including communicating more via email and less by phone, or holding individual meetings rather than participating in group meetings. 

The researchers found that those who were most satisfied in their careers found ways to adopt a new work role or craft a new career around their hearing loss, sometimes becoming advocates for others. They also tended to redefine their own success, with a shift away from economic success and toward social success through service to others.

“Some people are able to figure out that the hearing loss can be a positive,” Baldridge said. “Those are probably the people with the highest satisfaction in their work.” 

Additional research is needed to better understand how employers adapt to hearing loss changes among employees, with an emphasis on the roles of managers, supervisors and human resources personnel, Baldridge said.

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David Baldridge, 541-737-6062, david.baldridge@bus.oregonstate.edu

$5 million gift is largest in OSU-Cascades’ history, supports capital expansion

BEND, Ore. – A $5 million gift to Oregon State University – Cascades will propel the university toward its next phase of capital development, which will include a second academic building for the growing campus. The gift from an anonymous donor represents the largest donation ever received by the Bend campus.

“A visionary gift like this, at the onset of our efforts to seek capital funds from the Oregon State Legislature, makes a powerful and motivating statement,” said OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson. “Our appreciation is tremendous, as the gift signals to our elected officials and supporters how important higher education is for all of Oregon.” 

The investment is a profound step toward a $10 million philanthropic match required for the state capital funding currently sought by OSU-Cascades, according to Johnson.

In total, OSU-Cascades is seeking $69.5 million in state bonding from the 2017 Oregon Legislature for the next phase of campus expansion. The project includes preparing adjacent land for expansion and constructing an academic building and Student Success Center. With the commitment of state funding, the anonymous donation will be applied to construction costs for the new academic building.

In his recent State of the University address, OSU President Ed Ray called the expansion of OSU-Cascades the fulfillment of a 30-year community dream to bring a four-year university to Central Oregon. He emphasized its potential impact on the state’s economy. According to ECONorthwest, if work on the Bend campus occurs as planned, in 2025 OSU-Cascades will contribute $197.8 million in total annual economic output throughout Oregon.

“OSU-Cascades is providing valued education, cultural opportunities, research and innovation to Oregon’s fastest-growing region,” Ray said. “I know that Central Oregon residents would say they have waited long enough for a four-year university. I hope that all Oregonians will agree that this university campus and its statewide benefits are long overdue.”

The Tykeson Family Foundation has also pledged $1 million toward the philanthropic match for the capital expansion. The Tykeson Family contributed toward the OSU-Cascades campus’s first academic building, named Tykeson Hall.

OSU-Cascades’ proposed additional capital facilities will provide needed instructional classroom, laboratories and student support space for the growing student enrollment at OSU-Cascades. Over the past five years, OSU-Cascades has been the fastest growing public university in Oregon. More than 1,100 students are pursuing degrees at the Bend campus, which can currently accommodate up to 1,890 students. Plans are to grow enrollment to 3,000 to 5,000 students.

Source: 

Christine Coffin, 541-322-3152, Christine.Coffin@osucascades.edu

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Top Oregon family businesses to be honored at Nov. 2 event

PORTLAND, Ore. – Several Oregon family businesses will be honored at the Oregon State University College of Business’ 2016 Excellence in Family Business Awards ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Portland Hilton and Executive Tower.

Bill Stoller, co-founder of Express Employment, will speak at the event, which is sponsored by the college’s Austin Family Business Program. Domonic Biggi, president of Beaverton Foods, will emcee. There are fees for attendance.

“Our Excellence in Family Business Awards recognize the achievements of family businesses in entrepreneurship, community involvement and multigenerational planning,” said Mitzi Montoya, dean of OSU’s College of Business. “With upwards of 80 percent of Oregon’s businesses being family-owned, it is really important that we honor the hard work and drive of these families and continue to foster a culture of support and shared-learning within the family business community.” 

Founded in 1985, the Austin Family Business Program provides inspiration, education, outreach and research to support family businesses.

“We want everyone to access these stories and learn why these businesses are so successful.” said Sherri Noxel, director of the Austin Family Business Program.

The awards feature categories that reflect sound family business practices. Honorees are:

  • Family Harmony: The Charlton Kennels & Farm, Portland. Finalists in the category included C & D Landscaping, Dayton, and Jag Forms, West Linn.
  • Generational Development: Benchmade Knife Company, Inc. C & R Remodeling, Salem, was a finalist in this category.
  • Business Renewal: GK Machine, Inc., Donald. Finalists included The Cronin Company, Portland, and Pride Disposal Company, Sherwood.
  • Student Award: Nicholas Strebin, Strebin Farms, Troutdale.

Stoller will receive the 2016 Dean’s Award for Family Business Leadership.

The event begins with a reception at 4 p.m. and the program at 5:50 p.m. Tickets are $45 for the reception alone, $75 for the reception with a buffet or $25 for children ages 3-10. The Portland Hilton and Executive Tower is at 921 S.W. 6th Ave., Portland.

Tickets are available online at http://bit.ly/2cNO3ga, by calling 1-800-859-7609 or by contacting Melissa Elmore at Melissa.elmore@bus.oregonstate.edu. The deadline to register is Oct. 26.

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Sherri Noxel, 541-737-6019, Sherri.noxel@bus.oregonstate.edu