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The Dean's Executive Speaker Series

Mark Graham
Senior Vice President
Wells Fargo Advisors

Scott Chandler

In addition to his duties as senior vice president with Wells Fargo Advisors, Mark Graham is a senior investment advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors, in Spokane. Previous to working at Wells Fargo, Graham was a senior vice president and investment officer with UBS Wealth Management. He also served as a senior vice president and portfolio manager for Smith Barney, and he has been a municipal bond trader and partner in Crowell, Weedon and Company. He started, owned, operated and sold several small businesses between 1988 and 2012. Graham received a B.A. in business and economics from Point Loma University, in San Diego, and was credentialed as a Certified Investment Management Analyst by the Wharton School of Business.

Graham is passionate in his desire to see God work through business in Third-World settings -- especially those that are devoted to promoting economic, social and, ultimately, spiritual advancement -- by intentionally sharing the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He is currently leading an effort to establish a large commercial pig farm and slaughterhouse in Uganda (the first ever for that country) to support Red Oak Ministries and The Kwagala Project.  Red Oak is dedicated to rescuing Ugandan girls who have been trafficked to China, sharing the hope to be found in Jesus, and repatriating them to Uganda. The Kwagala Project provides longterm aftercare in Bwaise, Kampala, and Gulu, Uganda, for young girls who have been rescued from human trafficking.  The project is unique in that it is one of only a few international ministries that truly focus on biblically based long-term aftercare for this very vulnerable demographic.


  • Leverage your time.
  • Do different things.
  • Embrace God’s sovereignty in both good and bad times.
  • Follow your passion with perseverance and be in God’s will.
  • Seek the Lord. Ask Him to reveal to you your passion.
  • Don’t do something just for the money.
  • Money will never bring happiness.
  • Be gracious.
  • Applaud your coworkers.
  • Be in the habit of prayer.
  • Make prayer your steering wheel, not your spare tire.

Practical Thoughts

  • Choose to serve others.
  • Differentiate yourself.
  • Encourage others.
  • Handwritten notes go a long way.
  • Get in the habit of good works.
  • Be the first to volunteer.
  • Know the janitor and thank him or her.
  • Have empathy for other people.
  • Encourage the lowly and downcast.
  • Success is progressive, not static; it is a journey
  • Focus on the biblical things and the Lord will provide
  • Lean into the Lord and He will guide you in all things
    Follow the Lord, not the world

Scriptural Guidance

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
  • Romans 5:1-4
    “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”


Scott C. Chandler
Managing Partner
Franklin Court Partners

Scott ChandlerScott Chandler has more than 25 years of senior and executive level management experience. He is one of the few individuals to have held senior management roles across the telecom universe (incumbent carrier, cable TV, broadband equipment, CLEC/DLEC). Chandler's focus at Franklin Court Partners ( is assisting companies in developing business plans to raise initial funding and secure additional round(s) of financing; FCP also assists in the restructuring of existing business to work within current financing and economic environment.

Prior to founding FCP, Chandler was a founder, chief financial officer and senior vice president for RHYTHMS NetConnections, a leading provider of broadband services utilizing digital subscriber line technology. He was responsible for raising more than $3 billion for RHYTHMS, and he led the company's financial restructuring, which resulted in the sale of its assets to Worldcom (now Verizon). He also led and managed the expansion of RHYTHMS, internationally identifying, negotiating and managing joint ventures in Canada and Japan.

In his pre-RHYTHMS years, Chandler served as president and CEO of C-COR, a pioneer in the cable television industry and a leading supplier of broadband telecommunications equipment. Under his leadership, C-COR's revenues increased 77 percent, to $152 million, and the company was named by FORTUNE magazine as one of the 100 fastest-growing public companies. Under Chandler's helm,
C-COR also launched three new product lines and forged strategic relationships with Bay Networks (now Nortel), Barco and Lucent Technologies.  

Prior to C-COR, Chandler held a number of key positions at U S WEST. He was a founder and early leader of the !NTERPRISE Networking Services unit, broadly known as the most successful data initiative by any phone company in the country. He also founded !NTERPRISE America, a national expansion of U S WEST's data initiative, and forged joint venture relationships with competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) to offer frame relay, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and other data services.  Chandler's last assignment at U S WEST was heading up the company's cable and multimedia assets.

Chandler's business career began with Arthur Andersen & Co. as a senior consultant/accountant. At Arthur Andersen, he performed a wide range of assignments, including forming the microcomputer consulting group for the Western United States (now Accenture's Business Systems Client/Server Consulting Group) in 1987. He also worked for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee in 1984.

Chandler earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A from Whitworth University. He also serves on the boards of directors of various corporate and not-for-profit entities.

Scott Chandler's tips for success:

In your first job, trade salary for training.
Be vaguely right instead of precisely wrong.
Develop your personal board of advisors, and use them.
Be a "sponge." Become the expert on something that is new to your company.
The key to your first few jobs is your interpersonal skills.
Be the one whom people want on their cross-functional team.
Accounting is the language of business.
Business will give you many chances to be a servant-leader.
"Business believers" are all over the place. Do not be afraid to put a Bible in your bookcase at work.

Book Recommendations:

Victory from Defeat, by Andrew Mason
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey. (Substitute "Christ-centered" for "principle- centered" when you read this book. Many of the principles are from the Bible.

James 1:19: "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."
Micah 6:8: "And what does the LORD require of you? That you act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with your God."



Linda Elkin
Region President
U.S. Bank

Linda ElkinElkin is the region president for U.S. Bank. She has served U.S. Bank's commercial clients in the Spokane market since 1996, and, prior to her current appointment, she led the commercial-banking team. Elkin earned a BA and an MBA from Washington State University with an emphasis in marketing and organizational behavior. She completed the U.S. Bank Leadership Excellence Program in partnership with the University of St. Thomas, and she is a Leadership Spokane graduate. She serves on a number of community boards, including those for Greater Spokane Incorporated, of which she is the chair elect; the Inland Northwest Council of Boy Scouts, for which she is the foundation president; the Spokane Club; United Way of Spokane County; and The Mayor's Economic & Policy Roundtable for Mayor David Condon, City of Spokane.

Elkin's Advice for Success in Business and Life:

  • Value leadership and develop people to be leaders: 
    • The culture should value performance, set high expectations, maintain high accountability for results, and celebrate success. But this tried-and-true formula for business excellence won't work without engaged leaders. "Culture will eat strategy for breakfast every day if you allow it."

  • Types of leaders emerging in the next 3, 5, 10 years: 
    • Personal leaders build relationships and establish trust.
    • Thought leaders embrace diversity and inclusion and are innovators.
    • People leaders collaborate by engaging and developing others.
    • Results leaders advocate for the client or stakeholder and take balanced risks
  • The fundamentals of leadership never change: 
    • The core characteristics of ethics and trust, the core competencies of vision, accountability, and mission; and the core elements of being, including humility, humor, and humanity are immutable. And service to others never goes out of style.

  • Future leaders need to ask questions:
    • Allow yourself a healthy degree of skepticism and contrarian thinking; cultivate the will and the desire to solve challenging problems and move toward strategic outcomes that have broad impact.

  • How Universities Can Help Shape Future Leaders:
    • Focus on the core competencies: Explore human relations, the humanities, English composition, and ethics.
    • Focus on a commitment to develop the full potential of each student: Care about your students, and be committed to helping them achieve leadership and professional success.
    • Focus on patience:  In today's world of instant gratification and two-second sound bites, patience is nearly impossible. I didn't learn that I was a leader until I was in my 20s; I didn't truly lead (by my definition of creating a vision, solving challenging problems, and encouraging and lifting up others) until I was in my mid-40s.
    • Focus on failure:  The rose has to know the thorn, fail early, and fail often. Don't be overcome by obstacles: See them, and then focus on how to go around them.
    • Instill passion: It can't be manufactured, but it can be lit by mentoring, inspiring, and owning the responsibility of producing capable future leaders with unlimited potential who will go out and save the world, one Whitworth University graduate at a time!

  • Bottom Line:
    • Take a chance: To paraphrase Tom Peters, no one wants his or her gravestone to say, "S/he was mediocre." Too often I hear people talk about their jobs as if they were the British or Turkish ground troops digging in for the long, horrible battles of World War I. Survival, rather than enjoyment or personal fulfillment, is their goal. Life is too short to live that way.

Wayne Williams
President and CEO

Wayne WilliamsTelect, a telecommunications company headquartered in Liberty Lake, Wash., is a family-owned manufacturing business that offers products and services that aim to simplify networks and data communication. Wayne Williams has been with the company for more than 30 years; he began there painting walls and hanging wire. Telect serves many large companies including AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.

Williams has lived and operated in a way that parallels his mantra, "Grab another gear." This saying, which originated with a longtime friend who later died in a motorcycle accident, has been an inspiration and encouragement to Williams to persevere through the hard times and to adjust to the unexpected events in life.

After a childhood filled with high expectations set in place by his father, Williams emerged as an innovator and achiever at Telect. When the company was founded, on Sept. 13, 1982, the overarching motto was to abide by the golden rule (treat others as you would like to be treated), and this was to be done in three specific ways: 1) Love people, 2) Create top-quality products, and 3) Provide service that surprises with greatness. Williams has actively applied these important values, and he sees them as crucial to sustainability and success in the future. It is instantly apparent that he brings passion and charisma to the workplace and that he has created a supportive, encouraging environment that enables employees to thrive. Taking a walk through the Telect office, where Williams works daily, is a great example of his success in this area. Inspiring quotes blanket the room, a brainstorming room called "the foundry," with a white board covering an entire wall, invites creativity, and a culture of optimism and perseverance through adversity pervades the workplace.

Tips for success included the following:

  • If you don't invest in yourself, you will bust by sitting idle.
  • Use gears and breaks in life.
  • Read, listen, and learn every day.
  • Try to do something new every day.
  • Think ahead – imagine the future.
  • Differentiate yourself from your company.
  • Live from your strengths.
  • Love your neighbor (and your customer).
  • Change yourself rather than attempting to change others.
  • Apply wisdom ("What would I do if I were to go back to that circumstance in the past?").
  • Maintain this order: faith, family, friends, and then business.
  • A no today doesn't mean a no tomorrow.
  • A yes today doesn't mean a yes tomorrow.
  • Measure what you want to change.
  • Wisdom is made up of your experiences.
  • The hard way is credible.
  • You will be affected negatively by grabbing for the easy way in life.
  • The customer is everything.

Book Recommendation:
Leadership beyond Reason

Williams also offered additional suggestions about how to lead a successful life:

  • Don't be afraid of the adversity you will face:  Williams, drawing from his own life, emphasized that working through difficult times will leave you wiser and stronger.
  • It's best not to spend time in regret:  Along the same lines, mistakes create wisdom. You cannot change what you have done in the past; you can only react to where you are currently and look to the past as guidance. Learning from mistakes allows you to not make the same mistake a second time. "There's a reason why the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror."
  • Never stop learning:  In today's environment, technology is changing rapidly. In order to stay relevant and marketable, you need to keep pace and learn everything you can.
  • Be quick to stop doing what isn't working:  It may be difficult, and often there are politics involved, but the best thing for everyone involved is to cut activities that are not successful.
  • Be transparent:  "Tell the truth; you have less to remember." In being transparent, you build a legacy for your brand of honesty and respect.
  • It is who you know that gets you the look.
  • It is what you show that gets you the work. It is what you do that lets you keep it.
    People you know will always have enough time to help you, but the work that you do will ultimately be the deciding factor in your success.
  • If you want to be extraordinary, try seeing beyond the obvious: This message is a good reminder that in order to truly stand out – not just in business but in life – you need to be innovative.

Williams stressed the notion that people need to innovate and that they need to fail in order to be successful. They learn from their failures what not to do and how to innovate better. He followed this by saying that people should pursue excellence, not perfection. This idea suggests that while they innovate, people should try to put out the best product or idea possible. But they must recognize that it will never be perfect, and holding out for that perfection will only inhibit progress.


Robert J. Ingersoll
Corporate Vice President of Contracts & Pricing
The Boeing Company

March 11, 2014

Bob IngersollBob Ingersoll graduated from Whitworth in 1967 with a major in business management. He became a business major after taking an economics class from the legendary Dr. Harry Dickson. Further education included graduate-level business courses at the University of New Mexico, Claremont College (Calif.), and Harvard University, as well as earning an FAA commercial pilot's license. Ingersoll's career at Boeing spanned 36 years and involved many different positions and locations. As the V.P. of contracts & pricing, he was responsible for policy, guidance and oversight of the contracting and pricing organization across the $60B Chicago-based aerospace company.

Prior to his time at Boeing, Ingersoll served as vice president of contracts & pricing for Military Aircraft and Missile Systems, in St Louis.   Using an alternative dispute-resolution process, he successfully resolved major litigation for the ACU 130 gunship with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Air Force. This was the largest dollar settlement to date using this process. In 1997, Ingersoll was the Boeing project manager for the Boeing/McDonnell Douglas merger. He managed the process for obtaining Federal Trade Commission and European Commission approval as well as transitional integration of the companies.

Ingersoll performed a similar role in 1996 when Boeing acquired Rockwell International. Prior to that, he led negotiations with NASA, industry, and  international partners to restructure the International Space Station Program. This included negotiation of the prime contract, novation of the major subcontracts, and execution of the Memorandum of Agreement with the international partners. Ingersoll joined Boeing in 1967 and has held positions in government and commercial contracting for the missiles and space, military airplanes, commercial airplanes, electronics, and product-support operating groups. Bob is married to Arlene Ingersoll; he has one daughter and six grandchildren.

Tips for Success:

  • Be willing to say yes to new opportunities.
  • Do not be bound by the need to live in one location.
  • Find mentors, but do not become overly attached to any one mentor.
  • Building a career is not a sprint, but a marathon; it is like a wall built with bricks that support each other.
  • Leadership is making sure that the right things get done, whereas managing is making sure things get done right.
  • There are landmines out there, and you have to be on your toes to survive.
  • Listen to the other side's position.
  • Learn patience and perseverance.
  • Establish credibility with sound technical knowledge.
  • Create trust.
  • Meet their expectations and your expectations.
  • You are in charge of your career; manage it.
  • Be flexible.
  • Become a road warrior.
  • Look for special assignments.
  • Have a sense of humor.
  • Life is a journey between who you are and who you are capable of becoming.
  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Know the numbers.
  • Be diligent.
  • If you push "Send," it's forever!

Book Recommendations:

  • Who Moved My Cheese?
  • Getting to YES


Marty Dickinson
Executive Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Real Estate
at Sterling Bank

Marty DickinsonAt the forefront of Spokane's business and civic organizations, Marty Dickinson has led successful teams across a wide range of industries. With more than 20 years of experience, Dickinson is passionate about inspiring and motivating teams through changes and uncertainty.

At Sterling Bank, Dickinson oversees all marketing, public relations and communications functions. Her first task at Sterling Bank was to strengthen her team in preparation for the rollout of the bank's rebranding effort, an external reflection of the internal changes that Sterling undertook during the 2008 financial crisis. Now, her skill in guiding teams through times of transition is prized more than ever as she plays an integral role in preparing Sterling's associates for a merger with Umpqua Bank. With expertise in navigating change, leading through uncertainty, and reading an evolving environment, Dickinson credits her success to opening her mind to the possibilities that the future holds.

A native of Spokane, Dickinson is equally passionate about her hometown. Before joining Sterling Bank in 2011, she served for six years as the president of the Downtown Spokane Partnership, where she helped attract more than $3 billion in urban reinvestment to enhance Spokane's downtown district. Her private-sector work includes management and marketing roles in the telecommunications industry, with NEXTLINK, XO Communications, Cellular One and AT&T Wireless.

All of Dickinson's experiences have shaped her flexible and open-minded management style and demonstrated how organizational changes can bring opportunities for professional growth. She is a frequent public speaker on the topics of organizational management, motivating teams and managing the work/life balance.

Dickinson has been featured in the regional and national press. In 2009, the Inland Catalyst named her one of Spokane's Top 20 Under 40. More recently, her American Banker op-ed, "Branding a Turnaround," was named one of the top 10 contributed articles in 2013.

A graduate of Washington State University with a bachelor's degree in business and marketing communications, Dickinson serves as an officer on the YMCA Board, the State of Washington Regence/Blue Shield Foundation Board, and the WSU Spokane Advisory Board.

Three Things You Must Do to Achieve Success

  1. Be an influencer. Have the ability to empathize, to energize, to be optimistic, to be accessible.
  2. Take the initiative. Don't wait to be asked to do something; look ahead and around the corner.
  3. Adapt. Know your audience, navigate change effectively, and be open-minded and flexible.

Three Great Reads

  1. Leading from the Middle – Bill Robinson
  2. The Tipping Point – Gladwell
  3. The Go-Giver – Burg/Mann

Three Things to Remember
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. " – Anais Nin
"Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. " – Stephen Hawking
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood. " – Stephen Covey

Marty Dickinson also gave students the following advice:

  • Make the best of any scenario.
  • Identify and connect with allies and advocates.
  • Find someone to emulate.
  • Be worthy of a mentor.
  • Start.
  • Map your path.
  • You must have patience as you pay your dues.
  • Be willing to move.
  • Learn how to intuitively manage up.
  • Find a group of advisors who can guide you.
  • Be eager to learn.
  • Broaden your scope; put yourself out there.
  • Navigate change and adapt.
  • Your career is an evolution; the more flexible and adaptable you are, the better off you will be.
  • Draw on what you have done to go forward.
  • Be office-smart and politically savvy to navigate people.
  • Self-reflect: How do people see me and how do I see myself?
  • If you can't adapt, you will go away.
  • Be forthright in communication in a respectful way.
  • Be one step ahead of your boss.



Laura Lawton-Forsyth
Lawton Printing, Inc. , and File-Ez Folder, Inc.

Feb. 25, 2014

Laura Lawton-ForsythLaura Lawton-Forsyth is one of the fourth-generation Lawton family members to join Lawton/File-Ez; she became president in October 2001. As an adolescent, Lawton-Forsyth began working at Lawton Printing part time after school and during the summers to learn the business from the ground up. After she earned her B.S. degree in graphic communications with a concentration in printing management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, she returned to work at Lawton Printing full time, eventually becoming president and owner of the company. She is active in the printing industry and in her community, and she serves on local and national boards, including the Whitworth School of Business Advisory Board.

Lawton-Forsyth's advice for success in life and business includes the following:

  • Become involved with industry associations.
  • Increase your company's footprint through national networking.
  • Set goals.
  • Get out of your business to learn things.
  • The more people you can meet, the more ideas you will come up with.
  • Volunteer.
  • Hire people who can think critically rather than those who are just rote thinkers.
  • Employ people who want to understand the entire process.
  • Pay attention to financial metrics.
  • Run a business as a business.



Ev Hopkins
PHR, Chief Administrative Officer
Spokane Teachers Credit Union

Feb. 18, 2014

Ev HopkinsInitially hired to develop a training CUSO for a number of Spokane credit unions, Ev Hopkins has worked within the credit-union industry since 1995. In her current role, she serves STCU's marketing, facilities, training, human resource and administration teams. In addition, she facilitates the organization's strategic-planning process. Prior to working in financial services, Hopkins was a regional sales manager for a fashion retail company. In that role, she oversaw 85 store locations throughout the Western United States, Alaska and Hawaii.

Hopkins, who has more than 35 years of management, mentoring and leadership experience, received her bachelor's degree in program management from Whitworth College (now Whitworth University), and a master's degree in organizational leadership and certificate in servant leadership from Gonzaga University.

Hopkins offered the following suggestions and observations:

  • Read The Leadership Pipeline, by Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter and James Noel
  • Each time you take on a new role of managing other people, you have to make a significant shift in what you value, your approach to coaching, and how you manage your time.
  • East Coast business people see the West as  very different.
  • Culture is extremely important in organization effectiveness.
  • The success rate for internal promotion is much greater than it is for bringing someone in from the outside.
  • Southwest Airlines is a great example of a company that knows how to do organizational development.
  • "Don't call the baby ugly" when you take over a department. (Don't become an instant critic. )
  • Strategic agility and visionary ability are increasingly important as you move up in an organization.
  • Have a "welcome party" instead of a new-employee orientation.
  • Don't look for ideas only within your industry; look at Southwest, Disney, Tiffany, Google, and Zappos.
  • The employee comes first. Remembering this results in your treating the customer in the right way.
  • Make sure you can talk at the table: Know the technical language of your industry.
  • Become a strategic business partner for the CEO.
  • Understand the whole business.
  • Build new skills through assessment, challenge, and support.
  • There is no risk-free way to learn and grow.
  • You have a responsibility to mentor others.

Tips for success:

  • Be curious!
  • Have a happy heart.
  • Be an agile learner.
  • Remember that growth requires risk and sacrifice.
  • Collaborate with your team to create a compelling vision. Discover and do what is in low supply.
  • Culture eats strategy for breakfast: Enculturate people into your organization.
  • In order to create a culture of "choice," "No" must be a true option.
  • Leverage feedback as a tool for transformation. You must adapt to the requirements of each new leader.
  • Do not over-rely on strengths or what has worked in the past. What worked in the past is likely not what you need in a new level.
  • Build relationships.
  • Demonstrate managerial courage; have the tough conversation when you need to have it. Don't wait.
  • Don't try to recreate a past job in your new job.
  • Every strength can be overused. It is easier to coach to the overuse of a strength than it is to coach to a weakness.



David Kimmet
Rehn Associates

Feb. 11, 2014

David KimmellDavid Kimmet, the president and one of the owners of Rehn & Associates, recently spoke at the Whitworth School of Business. Kimmet was born and raised in Spokane, Wash. , where he currently resides with his wife and two boys. He graduated from Whitworth College summa cum laude, with a bachelor's degree in organizational management.

Kimmet has been with Rehn & Associates since January 2002. Initially, he worked with the management team focused on the ancillary lines Rehn & Associates offers. In his current role as president, Kimmet is responsible for the total organization and the day-to-day operations of the company. He is also an administrative agent for each of the Taft Hartley Trust clients for whom the firm provides services. He remains a point of contact for all new clients, and he enjoys developing ongoing client relationships.

In addition to talking about how he became a business owner, Kimmet gave several tips for success, including the following:

  • Show grace, forgiveness and patience.
  • Life isn't always going to go your way.
  • Give people a "full face" when listening to them if they come to speak with you.
  • Know your mission statement and core values.
  • Know where to draw the line.
  • Emphasize integrity, loyalty and responsibility.
  • Maintain a servant attitude.
  • Take care of the client and your staff.
  • Be clear and reasonable in your expectations.
  • Do what is right.
  • In hiring, "fit" is important.
  • Never stop improving.