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Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center Receives $500,000 Grant from JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase Provides $500,000 Grant to Seattle U Resource Program for Growth of Central Area Businesses

SEATTLE– Seattle University has received a three-year $500,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase to implement a new program that offers tailored business training and development services to neighborhood businesses in Seattle’s Central Area – the Resource Amplification & Management Program (RAMP). The grant is part of JPMorgan Chase’s “Small Business Forward” program, which recently announced the $75 million initiative to accelerate the growth of minority-, women-, and veteran-owned small businesses.

RAMP will focus the existing resources of Seattle U and the community, including students, faculty, staff, volunteers, alumni, neighborhood partners, and service providers, on Central Area businesses that are minority-, women-, and immigrant-owned, so that they can stay, grow, and thrive as Seattle’s economic boom continues.  Many of these businesses are confronting lost retail space, rising rents, shifting markets, and construction impacts that are forcing them to close or move, even though they represent the essential social, ethic, and economic “fabric” of the Central Area community.

Seattle U’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (IEC) team, led by Executive Director Sue Oliver, is the grant recipient, and has been working to augment the existing business services and capacity within the Central Area community over the past year, through a pilot project also funded by JPMorgan Chase.  With assistance from Seattle U faculty, staff, students, volunteers and service providers, the RAMP team will focus initially on the requirements of neighborhood businesses in the Central Area. 

“The objective is to work with the business owners to create a customized strategic game plan with multiple elements, from marketing to raising capital and more for their long-term success and sustainability,” said Oliver. “Together, we’re building upon their existing strengths, resources, and capabilities.” Over the next three years, the RAMP team will provide business resources, training, coaching, and connections to over 200 businesses, thanks to the JPMorgan Chase grant, which is the IEC’s single largest organizational grant in its history. 

“JPMorgan Chase is committed to helping communities make a long-term investment in increasing the access to career pathways and turning these opportunities into meaningful employment down the road,” said JPMorgan Chase Northwest Philanthropy Manager Cat Martin. “We feel our support of Seattle University’s RAMP Program is an important way we are helping to build the long-term success of the local economy.” 

“The RAMP business-campus-community engagement model requires successful community partnerships and aligns with the Seattle U mission around community engagement and empowering leaders for the greater good,” said Joseph Phillips, Dean of the Seattle U Albers School of Business and Economics. 

Here’s how RAMP works: Qualified student interns serve as year-long client relationship manager trainees who, along with a small team of experienced business mentors, work with a small portfolio of 4-5 neighborhood business owners to assess their requirements and connect them to business resources.  These resources include referrals to existing civic and private business services, as well as to Seattle U’s own interns, class projects, faculty researchers and volunteer mentors.  The RAMP team also provides basic business coaching to inspire the clients and hold them accountable to learn and build their own capacity to succeed over a multi-year time frame.  For as long as they choose, RAMP clients will receive a client relationship management intern and resource team each year. 

The RAMP team will also offer advisory services to qualified nonprofits and other organizations that are currently servicing Central Area businesses, in areas such as governance, marketing, and leadership development. “An important part of the RAMP process,” says Oliver, “is to create a strong model for business-campus-community engagement with case studies, outcome metrics and best practices that can be replicated and expanded across the region and, ultimately, nationwide.” 

“We need to protect and strengthen valuable community assets in these neighborhoods,” reports Doris Koo, lead consultant with Yesler Community Collaborative, a nonprofit working with Seattle U on this project. “Business owners and entrepreneurs help us create more livable neighborhoods and preserve the cultural diversity that makes Seattle a great city.  The RAMP project can make a huge contribution to their continued growth and success.” 

In addition to building a national model for this program, Oliver envisions a future that includes more robust training courses for small business owners. 

“A big opportunity is to better prepare neighborhood businesses for bank or investor funding, as well as for supplier contracts and commercial space,” notes Oliver. “It’s really about building upon what they’re already doing very well and conveying a more compelling story for lenders, investors, organizational purchasers, and commercial property managers.”

Bo Han to assume New Role

Bo Han, who is at Albers this year as a Lecturer in Finance, will start in a tenure track position next year as Assistant Professor of Finance. Bo is finishing up his PhD at UW and teaching corporate finance and entrepreneurial finance for us this year. He previously taught at Central Washington and has publications in the Journal of Applied Business and Economics and European Financial Management.

Stacey Quoted on Minimum Wage Initiative

Stacey Jones was quoted in The Seattle Globalist on the impact of the Washington state minimum wage initiative on immigrant businesses. You can read the article at the Seattle Globalist website.

Student Recognized by AMA

Veronika Zwicke, President of the SU American Marketing Association Chapter and Director of Canisius Designs, was recognized by the Puget Sound AMA as an "Outstanding Marketing Student for 2016." Veronika is a junior with concentrations in Marketing & Management.

Davit to Join Albers in New Role

Davit Adut, who is with us this year as a visiting assistant professor in accounting, will be joining us next year in a tenure track position. Davit teaches primarily in the managerial accounting arena, and has previously been on the faculty of American University, University of Cincinnati, and Christopher Newport University. He has publications in the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Advances in Accounting, and The Accounting Review.

Starbucks X-mas Cup Story Features Matt

Matt Isaac was quoted in a Seattle Met Magazine story on the Starbucks Christmas Cup Controversy appearing in the December issue. You can read the story at SeattleMet.com.

School Meeting

Nearly 70 faculty and staff gathered on November 18th for the final meeting of the quarter. The faculty approved a new undergraduate concentration in business analytics, joint graduate degree programs, and changes to the MSBA curriculum. On-line graduate programs, the recent AACSB visit, and initiatives around diversity, inclusion, and equity were also discussed.

Chair and Professorship Installation

On November 18th we installed one new endowed chair and two new professorships. Eva Lasprogata was installed as the 18th Robert O’Brien Endowed Chair in Business and will hold for the 2016-18 term. Quan Le was installed as the fifth Eva Albers Professor in Business for the 2016-19 period. Bonnie Buchanan was installed as the second Howard J. Bosanko Endowed Professor in International Economics and Finance for 2016-19.

Expeditors CEO to Speak

Jeff Musser, President and CEO of Expeditors International, will be participating in the Albers Executive Speaker Series on May 23rd, 2017. The event will take place in Pigott Auditorium from 5:30 to 6:30 PM.

SU to Host 2018 IAJBS/CJBE Joint Meeting

The Albers School will host the 2018 joint meeting of the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools (IAJBS) and Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education (CJBE). This will take place July 22-25, 2018 on the SU campus. IAJBS is a group serving Jesuit business school administrators from around the world. CJBE supports faculty teaching in Jesuit business schools, historically focusing on the US. Both groups hold annual meetings and periodically come together for a joint meeting, which will be the case in 2018.This is the 20th anniversary of CJBE, which had its first meeting at SU in 1998!

Albers Returns to Omaha

The Albers School has again been selected to send a group of graduate students to visit with finance guru Warren Buffett in Omaha in 2016-17. The dates of the visit have yet to be determined, but we are thrilled that another group of our students will get this experience! The first group visited in January, 2015.

Albers Ranked Highly by US News

The 2017 US News and World Report graduate school rankings have been released, and the Albers School is mentioned prominently. Our PMBA program is ranked 59th, making it the top ranked private school program in the Northwest. Our LEMBA program is ranked 12th in the nation, making it tops in the northwest, and our MPAC program is ranked 16th, tied for best in the Northwest.

REI CEO to Speak

Jerry Stritzke, President and CEO of REI, will be participating in the Albers Executive Speaker Series on January 19th, 2017. The event will be from 5:30 to 6:30 PM in Pigott Auditorium.

Weyerhaeuser CEO to Participate in Speaker Series

Doyle Simons, President and CEO of Weyerhaeuser, will be speaking in the Albers Executive Speaker Series on February 28th, 2017. Weyerhaeuser recently announced a merger with Plum Creek and will be moving to Pioneer Square later this year.

Business Week Ranks PMBA 44th in the Nation

Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranks our Professional MBA program 44th in the nation in its 2015 rankings of graduate business programs. This places us second in the Northwest, third among Jesuit schools, and eighth on the West Coast.

Albers Listed in Princeton Review Best 295 Business Schools

Our Professional MBA program is featured in the Princeton Review's 2016 295 Best Business Schools publication. Each year, the Princeton Review highlights the top MBA programs in the US.