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Washington State University
Dividend - Fall 2021 Creating Pathways to Excellence

National Board of Advisors: Creating Pathways



We are working to support the vision of Bernie Wong-On-Wing, department chair. We are expanding and diversifying our board with representation from smaller firms and industry leaders, with additional gender and ethnic backgrounds. We’ve also focused on development and fundraising, particularly for the incredibly valuable Moss Adams accounting career advisor position. We are discussing more long-term funding options including involvement of multiple firms, alumni, and individuals.

Scott Thomson, Chair

Entrepreneurship Advisory Board

We are engaged with Center for Entrepreneurship staff to provide mentoring, advising, career coaching, and professional networks for students interested in entrepreneurial skill development. Members speak across multiple colleges, departments, and classrooms at WSU, and their diverse backgrounds provide connections for students to find successful careers while also advancing The Next Carson Coug initiative. This approach promotes long-term relationships between students and our external network.

Jeff Terrill, Chair

Finance Advisory Board

We work with the finance department to offer events featuring experienced finance professionals. 2020 events included Advice for Students, Finance Professionals Night, Women in FEM, November Election Impacts, and Financial Empowerment for Women. We also worked with the FIRE Club to offer a panel about entering the job market. The eDividend newsletter highlighted member Kaycee LeCong’s efforts to shape the financial literacy curriculum in two new financial planning classes.

John Sommer, Chair

Hospitality Business Management Advisory Board

Each year, we participate in guest lectures, mentoring, judging student competitions, focus groups, fundraising, and recruiting. Participating in Hospitality Week is a highlight. Board members represent companies such as Hilton, Marriott, and Puget Sound Hospitality and interact with students. The Burtenshaw family sponsors the Burtenshaw Lecture and Career Night. Members Chris Burdett, Jerry Burtenshaw, Tom Norwalk, Brian McGinnis, George Forbes, and Andy Olsen are SHBM Hall of Fame inductees.

Joe Davis, Chair

Human Resources and Management Advisory Board

Shannon Flynn led development of an HR/management planning case study for students in BA100 and worked with board members to deploy the Career Essentials Design workshop for seniors. Cooper Greenfield and Bernadette Berney created “Internship in a Box,” a playbook for potential employers. Kay Meyer and Tanya Platt led the student mentorship program connecting students with professionals and careers of interest. Tim Mulligan worked with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) chapter on an executive panel discussion and funding to send students to national conferences.

Judy Kolde, Chair

International Business Advisory Board

We offer advice on issues facing the international business program and are learning more about economic barriers and scholarship funding to increase all Carson students’ access to international experiences. We present to the International Business Club chapter, invite them to board meetings, and work with the club advisor Courtney Anne Jackson. Students shared the impact COVID-related travel restrictions had on their academic plans and experiences.

Nicole Weynands, Chair

Management and Information Systems Advisory Board

Our multiple projects include a mentoring program matching juniors and seniors with board members/friends for career advice, assisting with curriculum assessment, and the annual Business Technology Symposium impacting 300+ students. At the 2020 virtual event, Russ Burtner, PNNL, and Niels Hanson, Deloitte, explored issues and opportunities surrounding the future of work and data analytics. Their recorded interviews later reached nearly 1,000 students in the introductory information systems class and introduction to business class.

Alex Fischer, Chair

Marketing Advisory Board

We established pillars and subcommittees to address faculty and students’ needs, especially focusing on mentorship and career prep. A post pandemic subcommittee is planning lunch & learns, corporate tours, fireside chats, and tailgate meetups at football games. The board contributed to a fund to enhance departmental efforts and worked with chair Jeff Joireman and faculty to create a curriculum incorporating real-world business experiences of board members with faculty members’ expertise.

Matt Williams, Chair

Risk Management and Insurance Advisory Board

We support students’ exposure to insurance industry organizations and professionals. Each fall, we host the Walton Lecture and Insurance Industry Night. The lecture provides insights into the insurance industry and unique challenges and opportunities. Insurance Industry Night features insurance professionals who inform students about industry career opportunities. We work with faculty member Mike McNamara throughout the year to provide guest speakers in his classes as well as for student club meetings.

Gary Spanner, Chair

WSU Tri-Cities Advisory Board

Our board subcommittee teamed with the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce to pilot the Association of Washington Business Institute’s Washington Workforce Portal program. The portal lists internships, career information, résumé repository, a place for employers to search résumés, and resources for faculty. We recruit businesses to offer internships and encourage WSU Tri-Cities business students to use the program. Read more about the board’s engagement with students.

Sierra Eckman, Chair

WSU Vancouver Advisory Board

We collaborate with faculty/staff to provide coaching, guest lectures, student competition judging, and more. Our newest project is the Student Board Membership Pilot program. Two student members will share their experiences at five board meetings. Student responsibilities align with professional development achievement in the Carson Career Amplifier program. Students will gain leadership and professional experience, share student feedback, and share board updates and topics with classmates to increase engagement with the board.

The National Board of Advisors volunteers to serve the college in shaping its vision and goals.
To learn more, please contact Lori Peterson, Faculty Affairs Coordinator, at or 509-335-3920.