college of business

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

Head of Portland footwear company KEEN to talk at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – James Curleigh, president and chief executive officer of KEEN Inc., will discuss how to succeed in business for the 21st century in a free public lecture at Oregon State University on Tuesday, Oct. 5.

The event is sponsored by OSU's College of Business as part of the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series. It will be held in the Austin Auditorium inside the LaSells Stewart Center, 26th Street and Western Boulevard in Corvallis, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The title of Curleigh’s speech will be “Born this Century.”

“We are very fortunate to have Mr. Curleigh return to the OSU campus and share insights about the shoe and apparel industry,” said College of Business Dean Ilene Kleinsorge. “As a young company, KEEN is sure to inspire entrepreneurs, students, and anyone who is interested in joining or starting a new venture.” 

KEEN Inc. is an outdoor brand that delivers innovative hybrid products for outdoor enthusiasts in a model the company has labeled as “HybridLife.”

Founded in 2003, KEEN was first recognized for its Newport sandal, which featured patented toe protection technology. The brand offers a wide variety of footwear, socks and bags. Based in Portland, KEEN has been recognized as an emerging global player in hybrid product innovation, community engagement, and progressive business leadership.

Recently, KEEN was named one of Outside magazine’s “Best places to work.”

Curleigh will discuss his personal journey-to-date by sharing lessons learned along the way and will focus on the key success factors of KEEN, including a model of corporate social responsibility.

Prior to his position at KEEN, Curleigh was president and chief executive officer of Salomon North America where he led a team focused on branding and product innovation.

Media Contact: 

Thuy Tran, 541-737-6020

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James Curleigh
James Curleigh James Curleigh

Developing countries may not benefit from adopting international treaties

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new study by an Oregon State University business professor has found that developing countries that adopt major international economic treaties do not necessarily gain more foreign direct investment.

In fact, in some cases adopting these treaties can hurt, not help a developing country, contrary to what agencies such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) espouse. The study, published in the online version of the Journal of World Business, has major implications for Latin American and Caribbean intellectual policy reform.

Ted Khoury, an assistant professor in OSU’s College of Business, spent more than 12 years in private industry managing intellectual property and research and development strategies at various firms. He is the inventor of 43 issued United States patents and more than 70 international patents in areas related to micro/nanotechnology and semiconductor manufacturing.

Khoury wanted to know when developing countries in Latin America adopt intellectual property treaties such as the Paris Convention if their inbound investment from foreign countries increases. Mike Peng from the University of Texas at Dallas contributed to the research.

“Basically, I wanted to know when developing countries take on the rules of the wealthy, developed nations, do good things happen to them?” Khoury said. “And in many cases, the answer is no.”

Khoury looked specifically at the Paris Convention treaty, which was renewed in 1967. He found that countries that did not have a significant invention and scientific research base did not financially benefit from adopting the treaty, and in some cases found their economic situations worsen.

The OSU professor pointed out that developed countries such as the United States encourage others to adopt the treaties because they want to be able to file their patents in countries where there may be a market for their product, or perhaps where there may be a manufacturing workforce to make the product.

As the inventor of more than 100 domestic and international patents, Khoury saw this issue come up frequently when he was filing for patents in other countries. Companies file international patents to protect their invention and make sure competitors in other countries do not copy the product; and they want to ensure that they can sell, market or manufacture the product overseas.

Looking at the data over a 14-year period in 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries, Khoury found that countries that adopted the Paris Convention early – such as Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay – had an inflow of foreign direct investment if they increased innovation, which he measured by the number of scholarly journals published and number of patents filed from that country. So in some cases, adoption of international intellectual property rights treaties may have helped a developing nation.

But in countries with the lowest innovation base – including El Salvador, Honduras and Paraguay – early adoption did not increase investment in those countries.

“Countries that do not adopt are threatened with sanctions and other types of coercion,” Khoury said. “This explains why so many developing nations adopt treaties that are, quite frankly, not beneficial to them and in some cases only helps larger, multinational corporations within more industrialized countries.”

Khoury explained that developing countries often struggle to stay in harmony with international treaties that are designed as “one-size-fits-all.” In many cases, he added, developing nations may see much larger economic benefits from delaying participating with economic treaties such as the Paris Convention and waiting until they have increased their domestic innovation base.

Media Contact: 

Ted Khoury, 541-737-6066

OSU College of Business enters new era with gifts, plans for $50M building

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Oregon State University’s College of Business will expand into a $50 million state-of-the-art facility, thanks to a $10-million commitment from Joan and Ken Austin, Jr., of Newberg, Ore., and a $6-million commitment from the late Al Reser, his wife Pat Reser, of Beaverton, Ore., and their family. The building project was announced at the college’s annual Alumni and Business Partner Awards dinner in Portland on May 6.

The Austin and Reser lead gifts will be combined with others to construct a five-story, 100,000-square-foot building containing classrooms, offices, student services and collaborative learning spaces for the college’s growing undergraduate and graduate programs. Private gifts of $30 million are sought for the project, to be combined with $25 million in state bonds, subject to approval by the state Legislature.

Work on the new $50-million facility is expected to begin in spring of 2013, with completion slated for fall of 2015. An additional $5 million in private funds is included in the project to help with start-up costs and ongoing building operations. More than half of the $30 million fundraising goal has already been secured.

The new building will be nearly twice the size of the college’s historic Bexell Hall, built in 1922 when OSU’s business school had 900 students. Among the first 12 schools of commerce in the nation, the college today serves 2,400 undergraduate business majors, 90 MBA students and 600 students enrolled in the Business and Entrepreneurship minor. Increased student demand will require continued use of space within Bexell for some Business programs, with the remainder to be used to accommodate growing enrollment in other OSU programs.

“Coming at the dawn of our second century of operation, this new building signifies the beginning of a very exciting new era for the college. We are profoundly grateful to the Austins and Resers for making this advancement possible,” said Ilene Kleinsorge, the Sara Hart Kimball Dean of the College of Business. “Our MBA program is growing, and our emphasis on entrepreneurism, innovation and experiential learning has made our undergraduate programs especially well attuned to today’s business needs, and therefore increasingly in demand.”

Lead donors to the project, the Austins are the co-founders and owners of A-dec, Inc., one of the largest dental equipment manufacturers in the world. In addition, Joan Austin is president of Springbrook Properties, which owns and developed the highly acclaimed The Allison Inn & Spa. The building will be named in the Austins’ honor.

“As business people, Joan and I see very clearly the need for a great business school – one that is focused on the specific needs of Oregon businesses and their leaders,” said Ken Austin. “Our family is glad to help OSU take the next big step forward.”

The couple has generously supported OSU for many years, through their gifts and service on multiple advisory boards. In the College of Business, their gifts launched two signature programs, the Austin Family Business Program and the Austin Entrepreneurship Program. Ken Austin received his undergraduate degree in industrial and manufacturing engineering from OSU in 1954. The Austins’ daughter and son and their spouses are OSU alumni, as well.

The late businessman Al Reser – a college alumnus who was remembered with a special tribute at the May 6 dinner – and his family pledged $6 million to the project, $4 million of which will be used as a challenge grant to match other gifts to the building.

OSU President Ed Ray noted that promoting economic growth and social progress is one of three key areas the university has identified as core strengths and priorities for investment. “By partnering with the Austin and Reser families as well as other private investors on this facility, we will dramatically enhance our ability to prepare future generations of Oregon’s business leaders,” he said.

“The Austins are champions of education throughout the state. In addition to their remarkable support of our College of Business over the years, they have also significantly invested in schools and educational programs in their local community. The building on our campus that will bear their name will be a fitting tribute to their contributions to the core academic programs of the college and an enduring testament to their commitment to future Oregon Staters and indeed to all Oregonians,” Ray continued.  

The new building will house distinctive OSU business programs including: the Austin Family Business Program, one of the most recognized university-based family business programs in the nation; the Arthur Stonehill International Business Exchange Program, the largest program of its kind in Oregon; and the Close to the Customer Project, in which students gain industry experience in providing marketing research, project management, and marketing planning services.

The building initiative is part of The Campaign for OSU, the university’s first comprehensive fundraising effort. Guided by OSU’s strategic plan, the campaign seeks $625 million to provide opportunities for students, strengthen the Oregon economy and conduct research that changes the world. Approximately $575 million has been committed to date. This includes gifts early in the campaign that transformed the historic dormitory of Weatherford Hall into a unique living-learning environment for the Austin Entrepreneurship Program, the largest residential program of its kind in the world.


Ilene Kleinsorge, 541-737-6024, 541-740-0225 (cell)

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Lobby, proposed College of Business building


Interior of the proposed College of Business building


Exterior of the proposed College of Business building


OSU President Ed Ray, Joan & Ken Austin, Business Dean Ilene Kleinsorge

Al and Pat Reser

Al and Pat Reser