Local Executive Education Program Aims to Fill Senior Technology Management Gap in Oregon

01/09/04    Portland, Ore.

OHSU's OGI School of Science & Engineering, the AeA and Portland State University's School of Business Administration hope to provide more qualified technology managers

An intensive executive education program designed to help Oregon technology leaders master the challenges of managing businesses is already bearing fruit in the Portland area. The program, called Essentials of General Management for Emerging High Technology Leaders, is sponsored by Oregon Health & Science University's OGI School of Science & Engineering, Portland State University's School of Business Administration, and the AeA (formerly the American Electronics Association). Enrollment is now underway for the 2004 Essentials of General Management course with classes scheduled for February 19, March 18, April 29, and May 20.

"Through the Essentials of General Management course, I gained a great perspective of what real leaders do when it comes time to make tough decisions," said Janet Johnson, vice president of corporate communications at Merant. "The testimonials of the featured technology leaders who faced challenges and turned businesses around were excellent.

"Gaining insight into the decision-making processes around management challenges was invaluable," added Johnson, who was recently promoted to her current role. "Being exposed to the instructors and my peers helped me better understand my strengths as well as those areas where I needed to increase my knowledge of general business principles."

FLIR Systems, Inc., vice president of operations Frank Ness took the Essentials of General Management course to hear from high-tech leaders what it takes to be successful in today's business environment and to network with his peers.

"It is apparent that there is no secret recipe to business success," said Ness. "However, coupled with hard work and dedication, the tools and skill sets described by the speakers can go a long way towards paving that road to success."

Ness and Johnson were just two of the 45 high-technology up-and-comers from 14 companies who were sent by such heavy-hitters as Xerox, Electro Scientific Industries, FLIR, Hewlett Packard, Planar Systems, InFocus, and Merix, to take the once-a-month-for-four-months course.

"The Essentials of General Management course filled very quickly last year," noted Jack Raiton, MBA, head of OGI's Department of Management in Science and Technology and chairman of the AeA finance committee, who helped design the course. "This told us that we must be filling a real gap in local high-tech general management education.

Instructors for the upcoming workshops include: Robert "Rocky" Higgins, Ph.D., a University of Washington finance professor (February 19 on "Finance for Operating Executives," with Tektronix chief financial officer Colin Slade as the luncheon speaker); Charles "Chuck" House, the Science Policy and Societal Impact director at Intel Corporation (March 18 on "The Challenge of 21st Century Leadership," with TriQuint Semiconductor chief executive officer Ralph Quinsey as the luncheon speaker); Richard Levy, Ph.D., president and CEO of Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (April 29 on "Leading the Market Driven Company," with Merant president and chief executive officer Gerry Perkel as the luncheon speaker); and Kathleen Eisenhardt, Ph.D., a Stanford University strategy professor (May 20 on "Rethinking Strategy," with FLIR Systems chief executive officer Earl Lewis as luncheon speaker).

The cost of the executive education program is $3,450 (AeA members receive an early-registration discount).

Participants are encouraged to go back to their respective companies after the workshops and teach the material they have learned. This has been found to amplify the learning of the participant as well as spread the learning broadly throughout the sponsoring company, noted Raiton.

Following the May 20 workshop, there will be a "graduation" dinner with guest speaker Bill Lattin, a former senior executive with both Synopses and Intel.

"The very best part of the course was the opportunity to network with my peers in the industry in the Portland-area," said Merant's Johnson. "We have a lot of talent here and I've been able to gain insight into companies in the area through their people. OGI, AeA, and PSU have created a rewarding learning environment for Oregon's technology leaders."

ABOUT THE COLLABORATORS The OGI School of Science & Engineering (formerly the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science & Technology) became one of four schools of the Oregon Health & Science University in 2001 (see http://www.ogi.edu for research and education information).

AeA's Oregon Council, the statewide arm of the AeA, works to improve the visibility of the high-tech industry, keep industry executives abreast of trends, provide industry networking opportunities, and advocate the industry's position on public policy issues (see www.aeanet.org).

The School of Business Administration at Portland State University is dedicated to becoming the leading academic and professional resource for business education in the Northwest (see www.sba.pdx.edu).

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