college of business

OSU launches research to help colleges connect with alumni and donors

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Close to the Customer Project has launched a new research tool, the Building Community Initiative (BCI), to assist other colleges and universities in fundraising efforts. 

The BCI assesses the affinity and connection that exists among an institution’s alumni and donors. This level of affinity is measured in four areas. The BCI affinity research looks broadly at the diverse relationship a person can have with an institution of higher education. It produces a score that is associated with each area of affinity and each person is assigned an overall BCI score denoting their overall level of affinity toward the institution. 

“What sets this research apart from other products on the market is its ability to pinpoint how alumni and donors feel right now,” said James McAlexander, director of the Close to the Customer Project and a professor of marketing at OSU. “We are not looking at public domain information. We are going to the source and using very specific questions and detailed analysis to determine an alumni or donor’s allegiance to an institution.”

Many research tools used by universities to identify a donor’s giving potential typically screen for capacity to give or often assigns a person a “wealth score,” McAlexander said. The BCI provides university advancement and foundation professionals a fresh and innovative way of connecting with alumni and donors.

The information gained through the BCI survey can be used independently or combined with existing wealth and biographical information to create a deeper understanding of a person’s affinity and propensity to give. This research has the capacity to bring new donors to the surface, focus development priorities and even discover underlying areas of dissatisfaction for current or potential donors.

Mark Koenig, senior director of advancement services for the OSU Foundation, said BCI has been invaluable for him to put together lists of potential donors for the Campaign for OSU. The OSU Foundation used the BCI to learn more about their discovery pool. 

“The BCI score tells me whether someone has high affinity towards the university rather than lukewarm affinity, so we can really prioritize those individuals that we want to reach out to first,” he said.  

Koenig emphasized that he used the information not only to prioritize contacts but appropriately segment potential donors.

“We were able to not only find out how well alumni liked their experience at OSU, but what their priorities are,” he said. “So maybe a certain person loved their professor and degree, but hates athletics. We’re not going to target that person to contribute to a new athletics facility.”

For information on this research, go to www.oregonstate.edu\bci

Media Contact: 

James McAlexander, 541-737-3182

Weatherford Awards honors entrepreneurs, innovators on Feb. 17

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Business leaders from across the state will gather Thursday, Feb. 17, at the Hilton in downtown Portland for the third annual Weatherford Awards, Oregon State University’s celebration of lifelong and pioneering entrepreneurship and innovation.

The event, hosted by OSU’s Austin Entrepreneurship Program, starts at 5:30 p.m. with a reception, followed by a dinner and the award presentations. Tickets are $75, available until sold out and can be obtained by contacting Mary McKillop, 541-713-8044, e-mail mary.mckillop@bus.oregonstate.edu or on the web at: http://business.oregonstate.edu/programs/aep.

“The Weatherford Awards recognize pioneering and lifelong entrepreneurs and innovators who have shaped our world and, in many cases, are simply overlooked,” said Christopher Klemm, director of the Austin Entrepreneurship Program. “Our goal is to honor those pioneering spirits and help publicize the role, importance, and variety of entrepreneurs and innovators who have Oregon roots.”

Past individuals honored through the Weatherford Awards include a broad cross-section of individuals and their activities. For example, among the entrepreneurs honored at past awards include the inventor of the inkjet printer, cattle ranchers, a wheat breeder, a restaurateur, and a natural foods maker.

The awards are named for OSU's Weatherford Hall where entrepreneurship and business students can explore their innovations and new venture ideas in a unique, living learning residence hall.

For complete bios of the winners, go to: http://business.oregonstate.edu/programs/aep

The recipients of the 2011 Weatherford Awards will be:

  • Frank Dulcich, entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of Pacific Seafood. Headquartered in Clackamas, Pacific Seafood opened its first retail location in Portland in 1941. Dulcich has successfully driven his company to become the largest vertically integrated seafood company in the United States.
  • Paul Gulick, entrepreneur and founder of Clarity Visual Systems, co-founder of InFocus Corporation, father of the digital projector. Until late 2007, Paul served as chief technology officer of Planar Systems, Inc., a leader in specialty display systems. Gulick serves on six boards and holds 17 U.S. patents in the field of electronic displays and related technologies.
  • Jack Smith, inventor and co-founder of Hotmail, serial entrepreneur. Jack Smith started Hotmail, the first Web-based email service. After Hotmail was sold to Microsoft in 1997, Smith focused on advanced infrastructure design. He is CEO of the information security company Proximex.
  • Rex Smith, former chairman and COO of the Hotmail venture and father of Jack Smith. Rex Smith served as vice president for MSN Operations prior to his retirement in 2002. In 2006, Smith received the OSU College of Engineering Hall of Fame award.
  • Junki Yoshida is chairman and CEO of Yoshida Group, visionary behind the famous Yoshida sauce. Born in Kyoto, Japan, Yoshida arrived in Seattle at the age of 19 with only $500 in his pocket. Today his line of sauces sells in stores throughout the country.
  • Fred Ziari is founder of ezWireless and IRZ Consulting, a leader in water and energy conservation technologies. He is chief executive of IRZ Consulting, ezWireless and Onsmart LLC. Ziari founded OnSmart Technologies in collaboration with Intel to provide the next generation of hardware and software platform that will allow homeowners to manage the energy use in their homes.
Media Contact: 

Christopher Klemm, 541-737-8046

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Frank Dulcich
Frank Dulcich Paul Gulick
Paul Gulick Jack Smith
Jack Smith Rex Smith
Rex Smith
Junki Yoshida Fred Ziari
Fred Ziari

New Portland workshop series for family businesses starts Feb. 9

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Austin Family Business Program will launch a series of monthly workshops for family businesses in Portland. The first session, “Family Policies Today Help Family Business Tomorrow,” will be held Wednesday, Feb. 9, at the Governor Hotel (614 S.W. 11th Ave.).

This new “Business for Breakfast” series will address fundamental aspects of running a family business.

“The family business community is ready to come together and examine some key management and governance issues in running a family business,” said Sherri Noxel, interim director of the Austin Family Business Program. “This series will be the beginning of extensive programming addressing more advanced family business issues in the future.”

The series will feature networking and in-depth discussions with experienced advisers and each session will be facilitated by an Austin Family Business Program board member. Participants will learn about new resources available to help businesses and gain perspectives on issues such as governance, leadership and finances.

All sessions are from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and include breakfast. The cost is $30 per session or $100 for the entire series of four topics. For tickets or information, call 800-859-7609 or http://familybusinessonline.org.

The Feb. 9 session will be facilitated by Clint Bentz, a member with Boldt, Carlisle & Smith, a full-service CPA firm with offices located in Albany, Salem and Stayton.

The speakers are June Wiyrick Flores of Ater Wynne LLP and Terri Bennink of Columbia Leadership Institute. Flores is an attorney who works with families and businesses to develop and implement succession strategies. She is also experienced in estate and trust administration. Bennink is an organizational development consultant who specializes in assisting and advising family businesses.

Noxel said many family business owners have expressed that a common barrier to improving their business was the lack of written policies and agreements. The development of agreements help families connect and strengthen their shared understanding of core issues in the family and the business. This session will facilitate an extensive discussion to help family business leaders discover how policies such as family employment and compensation and family charters are being used to strengthen today’s family businesses.

The rest of the Business for Breakfast series includes:

March 10:

Topic: “Family Business Boards and Advisors: Outside Directors Bring Insight.” Facilitator: Mark Kralj, Ferguson Wellman; Speakers: Mike Henningsen, Henningsen Cold Storage, and Richard Simmonds, Simmonds Associates. Location: Tonkon Torp., 888 SW 5th Ave., Portland;

April 13:

Topic: “Family Business Banking for Long-Term Success.” Facilitator: Kay Abramowitz, Ater Wynne LLP. Speakers: Justus Poling, Umpqua Bank, and Leif Hansen, Leif’s Auto Collision Centers. Location: Governor Hotel;

May 10:

Topic: “Family Business Tax Matters in 2011.” Facilitator: Ken Madden, Madden Industrial Craftsmen. Speaker: Gwen Griffith, Tonkon Torp, LLP. Location: Tonkon Torp.

Media Contact: 

Sherri Noxel, 541-737-6019

Profiling based on mobile, online behavior: a privacy issue

CORVALLIS, Ore. – It’s illegal for businesses and law enforcement to profile a person based on their race, gender, or ethnicity, yet millions of Americans are being profiled every day based on their online consumer behavior and demographics.

Known as consumer profiling for behavioral advertising purposes, this type of profiling is largely unregulated.

The result, according to two recent articles in the journal of Computer Law & Security Review, is that consumers have less privacy and are being targeted by advertisers using increasingly sophisticated measures, which may include efforts to alter behavior based on online tracking and profiling.

The articles examine existing privacy laws to determine how well they protect consumers’ privacy and look at possible ways to protect consumer privacy including adopting new laws, using technology to protect privacy and voluntary efforts by the advertising industry.

Nancy King, associate professor of business law at Oregon State University, is lead author on the articles in a two-part series on profiling of mobile customers. King is an expert on privacy issues and e-commerce and has been studying issues related to consumer privacy and data protection for more than a decade.

“Most people do not know they are being tracked, and they aren’t given a choice whether to be tracked or to have their online behavior and personal information shared with large networks of advertisers,” King said. “Online advertisers may know or make inferences about what neighborhood you live in, your gender and how much money you make and even very intimate details – such as if you are trying to lose weight or where your next vacation is planned – and they use that information to target advertising at you.”

In addition to the concerns regarding online behavioral advertising, mobile users have added concerns, King said, because typically only one person uses a particular cell phone and the geographic location of cell phones may also be tracked. So advertising generated through cell phone tracking and profiling may be both personal and location-specific.

King gives a hypothetical example of fast food ads based on profiling teenage customer behavior and demographics that could produce highly-targeted ads sent to teens on their cell phones. These ads can be time- and location-targeted, arriving when teens are likely to be out of school or when they happen to be near fast food restaurants.

Given the concern about obesity in our culture, King said teens and their parents may have legitimate privacy concerns about the impact of these types of ads on teenagers’ food choices; yet existing laws do not protect these privacy interests.

“Profiling can manipulate consumers’ behavior without them knowing that they have been categorized by advertisers,” King said.

King seeks potential solutions to protect consumers’ privacy, but she said it is important to avoid privacy solutions that go too far and might unduly restrict the behavioral advertising industry. Often the right balance involves ensuring consumers have enough information and mechanisms in place to protect their privacy.

As it stands now, King said, consumers have little choice whether or not they are tracked or profiled. Online users can disable tracking cookies – software code that is downloaded to your computer by websites that track consumers’ behavior – but many websites will not allow users to access their sites if cookies are disabled. And wiping cookies from your computer regularly may not help either.

Web beacons are another tool used to track behavior, but instead of downloading the tracking device to a personal computer, a beacon tracks behavior directly from the website. Web beacons can record almost every individual move of a web user and users have no control over beacons since they reside on the websites that users are visiting.

King said that online behavioral advertising is a new and effective tool to reach potential customers, which is one reason why the privacy issues are as yet unresolved. However, as lawsuits – such as one pending against Facebook for potentially disclosing users’ personal data to advertisers – continue to increase, King said it is inevitable that the issue of online and mobile privacy will be addressed, if not by Congress, then by the courts.

“The bottom line is that we as consumers are being tracked and profiled, and it is an invasion of privacy and in some cases gets into issues of social justice,” King said. “You are being targeted because you ‘look’ like someone who may – or may not – be interested in a certain product, but you may never know what the advertiser knows about you that lead to this conclusion.”

The implications of consumer profiling go far beyond receipt of targeted advertising. Imagine this scenario: you are on a travel website browsing airline ticket fees, and you decide to do shopping on other websites. You find a good deal on a hotel at your proposed destination, so you make a reservation. A few hours later you re-check the travel site only to notice that the price has increased by $100. Most likely, you have been profiled as a return visitor and a customer who is highly likely to buy an airline ticket, based on online tracking enabled by the cookie that was downloaded to your computer on your first visit to the travel site. So, now the price of those tickets is higher – just for you.

This type of profiling is not currently illegal in the U.S., nor is it known how frequently it may occur.

“You should have the right to surf the Internet and use your mobile phone without being tracked and profiled, and you should be given a choice about whether you want to receive behavioral advertising,” King said.

The first part of this study was published in the September issue of the Computer Law & Security Review and the second part appeared in the November issue. Pernille Wegener Jessen from Aarhus University in Denmark is co-author of the paper, which was named “Best Academic Paper” recently at a conference in Barcelona for the International Association of IT Lawyers.

Media Contact: 

Nancy King, 541-737-3323

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Nancy King
Nancy King

OSU business prof to discuss entrepreneurial wealth and risk at conference

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new study suggests that for entrepreneurs, both wealth and attitude toward risk matter, but in different ways, depending on the source of funding sought by the entrepreneur.

 Julie Elston, a business faculty member of OSU Cascades campus, has been invited to present on her findings from this study regarding the role of risk and individual wealth at a major conference in Washington D.C. on Nov. 2.

Elston will present at a joint conference between the National Academy of Sciences and the German DIW, DC held on Nov. 1 and 2. DIW DC is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan economics institution focused on bridging the gap between academic research and public policy. Its partner institution is DIW Berlin, or Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (German Institute for Economic Research).

Elston, an associate professor at OSU Cascades, is an expert on international business, finance and entrepreneurship. In 2008 she was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to study the impact of science on policy formation in the European Union.

Elston’s presentation in Washington D.C. comes from her recent paper in the current issue of the

Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. In a paper titled, “Risk attitudes, wealth and sources of entrepreneurial start-up capital,” Elston suggests that lower levels of wealth increase the probability of using a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant, but lower levels of wealth also reduce the probability of using loan financing.

“This indicates that collateral is still important in the lenders decision to finance small firms,” Elston said.

For those entrepreneurs financing firm start-ups with earnings from a second job, the study found it is not wealth but risk aversion which causes individuals to seek this source of financing. According to Elston, this underscores the importance of risk attitudes in the financing choice of the entrepreneur. The study noted that 58 percent of U.S. firms in the study used earnings from a second job as the primary source of funds for start-up capital -the most common funding source, in contrast to findings for the United Kingdom, where the most common external funding source (73 percent) was bank loans.

“More generally, this suggests that country-specific institutional differences may also impact funding choices,” Elston said.

 Overall, findings suggest that both wealth and risk attitudes may play an important role in the financing choice of entrepreneurs.

Media Contact: 

Julie Elston, 541-788-1422

CEO to discuss computer fraud and how to stop it

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Greg Pierson, founder & CEO of iovation Inc., is the next speaker in Oregon State University’s Entrepreneur in Residence lecture series.

His free, public lecture begins at noon on Thursday, Nov. 4, in the Construction & Engineering Auditorium at OSU’s LaSells Stewart Center. Pierson’s talk is titled, “How do you Stop 100,000 Computer Frauds a Day?”

Pierson says he is committed to helping make the Internet a safer place for individuals to conduct business and interact with each other. In 2004, he started the company iovation and invented “device reputation” – a way for businesses to identify hackers and thieves on their websites and keep them out for good. Today iovation stops 100,000 online fraudulent activities every day.

In his talk, Pierson will share what kind of fraud and abuse iovation stops, how they do it and why it is important to businesses and consumers.

In addition to the public lecture, Pierson will be at a faculty luncheon at 1:30 p.m. and talk with students as part of a fireside chat at 3 p.m. To RSVP for either of those faculty or student events, e-mail mary.mckillop@bus.oregonstate.edu or call 541-713-8044.

The talk is sponsored by the Austin Entrepreneurship Program and the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at OSU.

Media Contact: 

Mary McKillop, 541-713-8044

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Greg Pierson
Greg Pierson

OSU honors top Oregon family-owned businesses on Nov. 18

CORVALLIS, Ore. – VanNatta Public Relations, Inc., Old Dominion Collision Repair Centers, Ltd., Lum's Auto Center, and Henningsen Cold Storage Co. are this year’s winners of the 2010 Excellence in Family Business Awards, presented by Oregon State University’s Austin Family Business Program.

The Oregon companies will receive the award, along with recognition for the seven finalists, at a ceremony to be held 5:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Hilton Portland & Executive Towers. Marty Reser, of Reser Fine Foods, will serve as the emcee of the event.

More than 170 companies have received this recognition since the awards were first presented in 1988. In celebration of the 25th year of the program, Pat Frishkoff, the founding director of the Austin Family Business Program, will be recognized as a Family Business Professional of Distinction.

The awards recognize the achievements of family businesses in innovation, entrepreneurship, commitment and community involvement.

“These award-winning families in business can succeed for generations, even in tough economic times, because as businesses they are responsive to their customers and as families they are responsive to their communities,” said Sherri Noxel, interim director of the Austin Family Business Program.

More than 100 family businesses were nominated in 2010. The nominees then must complete the application and a panel of judges reviews all applications to select the finalists. The second leg of the competition requires a presentation to the judging panel. A winner and two finalists are picked for each category to receive awards.

VanNatta Public Relations of Salem is the winner in the micro category, which is open to businesses with nine or fewer employees. The judges said the company’s success has been based in part on the parents allowing the next generation the freedom to redefine the focus of the business to reach new customers.

ProWorks Corporation of Corvallis and Coelho Winery of Amity are the finalists in the micro category.

Old Dominion Collision Repair Centers of Eugene/Springfield won in the small category, which is open to businesses with 10-24 employees. The business was recognized for creating new ways of serving customers and incorporating a sophisticated level of strategic planning.

The finalists in this category are Olufson Designs of Corvallis and Second Glance & The Annex of Corvallis.

In the medium category (25-99 employees), Lum’s Auto Center of Warrenton took the top prize. The energy and enthusiasm of this family business – along with its growth and support from the community – were cited by judges as key reasons for the award.

Ray Schultens Motors of The Dalles and ViewPlus Technologies of Corvallis will take home awards as finalists in this category.

The top large business (100 or more employees) this year is Henningsen Cold Storage Co. of Hillsboro. A four-generation family business, Henningsen Cold Storage is one of the largest public refrigerated warehousing companies in North America and was recognized for the company’s foundation of customer care, employee satisfaction and sustainable practices.

“The application process for the Family Business Excellence Award is a good refresher and gives us the perspective and experience of other family businesses to guide us in areas we can improve,” said Mike Henningsen, owner of Henningsen Cold Storage.

The finalist in the large category is NatureBake/Dave's Killer Bread of Milwaukie, Ore.

In addition to the family businesses recognized, the Dean’s Leadership Award in Family Business goes this year to Neil Kelly Co. for leadership in innovation in the home building industry and in service to Oregon’s families in need.

A student award will be given to Zachary Olson of Newberg. Olson is majoring in business administration entrepreneurship and is one of seven sons working in his family’s second-generation business, Hiland Water Corporation. The faculty award recognizes Steve Lawton, emeritus faculty at OSU.

The Austin Family Business Program at OSU began in 1985 at the suggestion of Joan Austin of Newberg-based A-dec, Inc., and was endowed by Ken and Joan Austin in 1994.

More information and tickets to the awards dinner are available at 1-800-859-7609 or http://www.familybusinessonline.org

Media Contact: 

Sherri Noxel, 541-737-6019

Young entrepreneurs come to OSU and speak on ‘Building Your Killer Business Plan’

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Jon Karl of iovation and Ryan Kirkpatrick of Galvanic Design kick off the Austin Entrepreneurship Program’s Building Your Killer Business Plan lecture series, which starts Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m.

It will be held in Weatherford Hall, room EG01.

The Building Your Killer Business Plan series is designed to help budding entrepreneurs take an innovative idea and craft a business plan to develop it.

Kirkpatrick and Karl are both alumni of Oregon State University, with multiple businesses and entrepreneurial experiences under their belts. Business plans have been used to varying degrees in each business they’ve worked with, and results can be seen in both the success and failures experienced in each of those enterprises.

Karl has co-founded two companies, ieLogic and iovation. As vice president of business development for Portland-based fraud detection company iovation, he has an active role in defining the company’s business strategy, technology partnerships and the development of iovation's fraud management services to meet market demand on a global scale.

Over the past several years, Karl has aided start-ups with investments in SplashCast Media, Platial, RNA Networks, Values of N, Environmentally Neutral Design, Expert Insight, and BugleMe.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from OSU.

Kirkpatrick graduated from OSU in 2006 and has already started two companies. While at OSU, Kirkpatrick connected with Dan Whitaker, a serial entrepreneur who has led over a dozen start ups including Rogue Wave Software. One of Kirkpatrick’s notable startups is Galvanic Design, creator of the Campus Rail Jam Tour, a unique promotional tour that travels to 12 different college campuses around the western U.S. and puts on snowboarding exhibitions in the middle of college campuses.

Both entrepreneurs will provide insight into why you should care about creating the killer business plan, and how the lecture series can help you achieve your goals as an entrepreneur, regardless of the type of business you’re starting.

All events in the Building Your Killer Business Plan Series are free and open to the community. Building Your Killer Business Plan Series leads up to The Enterprise Challenge, a business plan competition that will be held April 22, 2011.

The rest of the series will address key aspects of building a business plan. The talks will be held at 6 p.m. in Kelley Engineering, room 1003 for 2010, and the location is yet to be determined for January 2011. Talks include:

Oct. 19: Norm Galvin, ORM Consulting, sales

Nov. 2: Keven Malkewitz, faculty at OSU College of Business, marketing

Nov. 9: Christopher Klemm, director of Austin Entrepreneurship Program, competition

Nov. 16: Bill Witt, Witt Consulting, cash flow and profit/loss statements

Nov. 23: Nick Fowler, Orion Ventures, sources and uses of capital

Jan. 4: Ray Jenski, intellectual property attorney, intellectual property

Jan. 11: Jeanne Smith, Jeanne Smith & Associates, company structure and management team

Jan. 18: Members of former Enterprise Challenge finalist teams, what it takes to win

Media Contact: 

Mary McKillop, 541-713-8044

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Jon Karl

Jon Karl Ryan Kirkpatrick
Ryan Kirkpatrick

Women executives twice as likely to leave their jobs as men

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new study has determined that female executives are more than twice as likely to leave their jobs – voluntarily and involuntarily – as men. Yet despite systemic evidence that women are more likely to depart from their positions, the researchers did not find strong patterns of discrimination.

Lead author John Becker-Blease, an assistant professor of finance at Oregon State University, and his co-authors at Loyola Marymount University and Trinity College, analyzed data from Standard & Poor’s 1500 firms. They classified departures as voluntary or involuntary based on careful examination of public news accounts accompanying an executive’s departure.

The study is featured in October’s issue of Economic Inquiry.

“Departures of powerful female executives, as we saw with Carly Fiorina and Patricia Dunn at Hewlett-Packard, are often high-profile news events,” Becker-Blease said. “Despite these very public departures, relatively little is really known about women executives, whether they are more likely to depart or be fired than men, and the reasons for their departures.”

About 7.2 percent of women executives in the survey left their jobs, compared to 3.8 percent of men. Both the voluntary rates (4.3 percent versus 2.8 percent for men) and the involuntary rates (2.9 versus 0.9 percent) were higher for women executives.

“We really had to dig deep to tease out any systematic patterns behind these departures,” Becker-Blease said. “We did find that women were slightly more likely to leave smaller firms, and firms with more male-dominated boards, but this was a small effect size.”

Becker-Blease said research has shown that women are more likely to leave a job due to domestic or social responsibilities than men, which could explain the higher voluntary departure rate.

As for the higher rate of being dismissed from a job, Becker-Blease said research suggests that women at the mid-levels of management may not be getting the kind of opportunities and professional support that they need to advance successfully to the top ranks.

“Recent research offers some intriguing evidence suggesting that while the market may seem to perceive women as less capable business leaders, the disparity isn’t really about gender, but about the experience those women bring to the table, “ Becker-Blease said. “It’s likely that as more and more women earn opportunities at mid-and upper-level management, this will translate into more opportunities for successful stints as executives.”

In addition, he said companies with female executives tend to help “grease the wheel” for other women to rise in the ranks, but women CEOs are still rare. A 2009 report showed only 13 women CEOs among Fortune 500 companies.

“Women benefit from women in positions of leadership,” Becker-Blease said. “Our study contributes to the small body of work out there on women at the executive level. I think it is reasonably good news for women, in that we did not find evidence of discrimination at an obvious level, but the different rates of departure from the executive ranks is troubling.”

Media Contact: 

John Becker-Blease, 541-737-6061

Austin Entrepreneurship Program launches the “Building Your Killer Business Plan” series

CORVALLIS, Ore. – You may have an idea for a great new product or business – whether it is a food cart or some new technology innovation that will change the world – but how do you turn that idea into reality?

Oregon State University’s Austin Entrepreneurship Program is launching the “Building Your Killer Business Plan” series, designed to help budding entrepreneurs take an innovative idea and craft a business plan to develop it.

The first event in the series is a networking night that will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 6, in Weatherford Hall Room D107 (the Trysting Tree Conference Room) on the OSU campus. This is an introductory event to build teams and meet others with business ideas. Students will also gain experience to support their ideas and projects for submission to The Enterprise Challenge, OSU’s business plan competition which will be held in April, 2011.

The series is designed to benefit the community and the campus.

“For students, the series is highly experiential learning where they are getting exposure to seasoned entrepreneurs and business professionals who have succeeded in business,” said Christopher Klemm, director of the Austin Entrepreneurship Program.

“A number of people in the community have the same need,” Klemm pointed out. “They have the seed of an idea in their head, but how do they take the next step and develop a plan for turning that idea into a marketable product?”

There are more than 10 events in “Building Your Killer Business Plan” series and all include opportunities to meet and network with successful entrepreneurs.

All events in the Building Your Business Plan Series are free and open to the community.

Media Contact: 

Christopher Klemm, 541-713-8046