Dean's Executive Series

The tradition of inspiration, the words and stories that impart the exchange of knowledge, is one we honor at the College of Business. We are grateful to draw on the experiences of some of our most acclaimed alumni as well as the vast resources of leadership and excellence that rise across businesses, industries and nations. The Dean's Executive Series brings these inspiring leaders and their messages directly to our students, and we are honored to host these discussions.


Judith Erwin

Finding your superpower: lessons from an industry disruptor

Confidence matters as much as competence. Judith Erwin '82, founding CEO of Grasshopper Bank, the first digital commercial bank in the United States, shares how being bold, taking risks and rising to the occasion will give you an edge in the workforce.

The Bank opens its virtual doors in February 2019. The strategy was to build a bank from “scratch” and provide a much better user experience for the digital entrepreneurs Grasshopper serves. Judith and her fellow Grasshoppers are seeking a number of firsts: first US digital commercial bank, first new bank in NY in ten years, first de novo with a female CEO in 100 years, female CTO/Co-Found, female CFO (just to name a few).

Susan J. McGregor Memorial Lecture
Wednesday, Feb. 6, 7pm in LaSells Stewart Center, Austin Auditorium



Jim Bernau

A story of leadership in the wine industry

Jim Bernau, winemaker and founder of Willamette Valley Vineyards shares his remarkable story of building a world-class vineyard and brand. Planting his first grapes in 1983, Bernau's wines grew to create quite a stir – appearing on popular television shows and served at White House State dinners. Willamette Valley Vineyards has been listed among the top 100 Wines in the World by Wine Spectator, named "One of America's Great Pinot Noir Producers" by Wine Enthusiast, and "Winery of the Year" by Wine and Spirits.

Friday, Oct. 19, 10 am in Stirek Auditorium & 12 pm in LiNC 128


Mike Rich

Launch-U Fall Kickoff

Acclaimed screenwriter of Finding Forrester, The Rookie, Secretariat, and newly released Cars 3, Mike Rich gives us his insider perspective on the "business" of Hollywood. He will show Cars 3 after his Thursday remarks, and also speak at multiple Fridays in Austin events.

Thursday, Oct. 12, 7 pm  |   Stirek Auditorium - Austin 183


Oregon State College of Business

Keynote Address: Entrepreneurship Club

Tim Leatherman

Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder, Leatherman Tools

Friday, May 5, 3:30 pm  |  Stirek Auditorium 183 - Austin Hall

Lecture Video

Trey Winthrop Photo

Bob’s Red Mill: Behind the Business

Trey Winthrop

Chief Financial Officer, Bob’s Red Mill

Join us for Winthrop’s presentation and learn how Bob's Red Mill balances company growth, strategy and processes, while prioritizing the value of people and relationships.

Friday, April 14, 10 am  |  Stirek Auditorium 183 - Austin Hall

Lecture Video

robin chase headshot

Revolutions in Transportation: An Evening with Robin Chase

Robin Chase

Executive Chairman, Veniam Works and Author

Robin Chase discusses Zipcar and her recent book Peers Inc: How People and Platforms are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism.

Lecture Video

Oregon State College of Business

The Importance of Women in the Boardroom

Patty Bedient

Former Weyerhaeuser CFO and vice president

As the inaugural speaker in our new Susan J. McGregor Lecture on Women’s Leadership, Bedient presented to more than 700 students on the OSU campus on the importance of gender diversity in the boardroom, and steps oto achieve it.


ken black headshot

Designing the Future:
Looking at everything as a design challenge has its advantages

Ken Black

Vice president, Digital Design Future, Nike

Ken Black's approach to his work is based on the belief that we're all designers, and that leveraging our collective diversity of expertise and thinking leads to amazing innovations. Black will join Sara Hart Kimball Dean Mitzi Montoya for a Q&A about how designers think.

brian david johnson headshot

Humanity in the Machine:
What Comes after Greed?

Brian David Johnson

Futurist, Intel Corporation

Brian David Johnson, counters the myth of runaway, soulless machines by investigating how technology reflects the mission and values of the societies that create it. 

Lecture Video

John Hall headshot

A Code of Honor....Not Just For College 
Making Ethical Decisions When Success Is Defined by Profits

John Hall

Owner and CEO, 16 Degree Advisory

Hall shares his unique perspective toward applying ethics and values in organizations.

Lecture Video

Francesca Gino headshot

Sidetracked: Why our decisions get derailed and what we can do to stick to the plan

Francesca Gino, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Harvard Business School

Gino's studies have been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, Newsweek, Scientific American, Psychology Today and The Wall Street Journal

Lecture Video

Jon DeVaan

The Importance of Improving

The Value of Keeping an Organization Healthy, Growing and Competitive

Jon DeVaan

Corporate Vice President, Windows Development, Microsoft

Jon DeVaan manages the engineering team responsible for creating Microsoft Windows.

Lecture Video

Q & A Video

Peggy Cherng

Projecting Passion: Inspiring the Panda Culture 

Dr. Peggy Cherng

Co-Founder and co-CEO of Panda Express 

The OSU alumna shares how a small business grew into a global company and created a culture of its own.

Lecture Video

Q & A Video


Howard Behar

It's Not About the Coffee: Lessons on Putting People first from a Life at Starbucks

Howard Behar
Founding President, Starbucks International

Howard Behar helped establish the Starbucks culture, which stresses the importance of people over profits. He coached hundreds of leaders at every level and helped the company grow into a world renowned brand. And he shares the 10 principles and the memorable wisdom that guided his leadership and success — and not one of them is about coffee.

Link to Lecture video

Link to Poster

Jame Curleigh

Born This Century!

James Curleigh
President and CEO, KEEN, Inc.

Portland-based KEEN Inc. is an outdoor brand that delivers innovative hybrid products. Prior to KEEN, Curleigh led Salomon North America during the company’s surge in winter sports and its successful extension into the outdoor category. Curleigh discusses how to re-think, re-engage, and re-imagine success for the 21st Century.

Link to lecture video

Link to lecture poster

Photo of Justin Rattner

The Law of Accelerating Returns: Intel’s Next 40 Years

Justin R. Rattner
Chief Technology Officer, Intel Corporation Monday, May 24, 2010
7-8:30 p.m.

Technology has dramatically progressed in the last 40 years, and the rate of advancement appears to be accelerating. Join Intel executive Justin Rattner as he looks at the technology trends that are enabling new user experiences and redefining our views of computing.

Link to lecture video

Photo of Don Roberts

The Power of Information

Don Robert
CEO, Experian

Robert was appointed chief executive officer of Experian in February 2005, having served as CEO of its North American business prior to that. Robert discusses the company’s business model, emphasizing the value it brings to consumers, businesses, and emerging economies.

Link to lecture video

Photo of Larry Miller

Unifying People in a Championship Culture

Larry G. Miller
Former president, Portland Trail Blazers

Larry Miller was named president of the Portland Trail Blazers in June 2007. Miller shares personal insights on the necessary steps to build a viable enterprise and discusses his extensive experience as a sports professional and how he led the charge to rebuild the reputation and brand of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Photo of Alfred Lin

Building a Brand that Matters

Alfred Lin
COO, CFO and Chairman,

Using an interactive Q&A format, Lin discusses the ingredients to building a brand, culture and company that matter. He will share his top 10 lessons learned while growing the business over the last decade as well as key insights on e-commerce and entrepreneurship.

Link to lecture video

Photo of Ursula Burns

Lessons of Leadership:
Bold Bets and Back to Basics

Ursula M. Burns
Chairman and CEO, Xerox Corporation

Burns discusses Xerox's path from the brink of bankruptcy to a financially strong, global technology enterprise. She'll share the leadership lessons learned along the way and how Xerox's focus on big bets, like color and document services, and back to the basics, like cash generation and cost control, redefined the company.

Link to lecture video

 Photo of Richard Parsons

The Future of Media

Richard Parsons
Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Time Warner Inc.

Parsons became CEO in May 2002 and Chairman of the Board in May 2003. He led Time Warner's turnaround and set the company on a solid path toward achieving sustainable growth.

Photo of Marc Epstein

Sustainability and Social Innovation: Business' Role in Improving Both Organizations and Society

Marc Epstein

Marc Epstein is the author of more than a dozen books and more than 100 professional papers on how companies are integrating social and environmental issues into management decisions.

 Photo of Patrick Kuhse

Business Ethics: Why Smart People Can Do Such Dumb Things

Patrick J. Kuhse
International speaker, trainer and consultant

Just a few short years ago people like Kenneth Lay, Martha Stewart and Dennis Kozlowski were highly respected professionals on the top of their games with flourishing careers. Kuhse shares the critical thinking errors that he, and executives of Enron, Tyco and WorldCom, to name a few, were guilty of. From his journey as a successful stockbroker in San Diego, to his involvement in a financial fraud scheme, to the jungles of Costa Rica as an international fugitive, to incarceration in two countries and back again, Kuhse is uniquely qualified to address what leads to unethical behavior and criminal activity.

 Photo of Jim Bernau

Heard It through the Grapevine -- The Dirt on Growing the Oregon Wine Industry

Jim Bernau
Willamette Valley Vineyards founder and president

Willamette Valley Vineyards, one of America's first consumer-owned companies, is leading American business with innovations in capital formation, customer involvement, supplier relations and environmentally sustainable practices. Founder and CEO Jim Bernau shares his remarkable story of how it happened and reveal what you can do to succeed.

 Photo of Diane Swanson

Business Ethics: A Contract Between Corporations and Society

Diane Swanson
Award winning ethics educator Diane Swanson

Throughout the ages, there has always been an implicit contract of mutual responsibilities between business and society. Diane Swanson explores the economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic implications of this "contract" for corporations today.

 Photo of Jack McGowan

Building Community -- Why Does Business Care?

Jack McGowan
Executive director of SOLV

McGowan explores business ethics, business values and how healthy economics and healthy community go hand in hand. SOLV, founded in 1969 by Oregon Governor Tom McCall, has grown into one of the largest volunteer organizations in the Pacific Northwest. With a yearly volunteer participation of over 90,000, SOLV is active in over 250 Oregon communities, helping to preserve Oregon livability.

From the Firing Line: A CEO's Perspective on Leadership

Chris Marsh
CEO of Unicru, a leading provider of hiring management systems

Marsh as he shares his personal insights and experience in acquiring leadership skills and identifying potential leaders-and his own strategy for filling a successful management team.

The Business of Hollywood

Mike Rich
Screenplay writer for "The Rookie," "Finding Forrester" and "Radio"

From business school to fulfilling his passion for writing, Rich shares with us the ins and outs of creative writing, how costs impact movie scripts and production, and how Hollywood ultimately makes its money. Join us for an inside look at "The Business of Hollywood!"