Alumni Connections

Alumni News and Life Events  |  Marriages, births, and deaths information

1960-69 |1970-79 | 1980-89 | 1990-99 | 2000-09 | 2010-2011

1960–69

Roy McConaughey (G66) and Mike McConaughey (G93) are a father-and-son leadership team at C.S. Lewis Academy in Newberg. The school's board decided not to fill a superintendent position opening and designated Mike, the high school principal, to oversee day-to-day operations, assisted by Roy, the elementary and middle school principal. The school has 180 students, 25 teachers and 10 support staff. It recently won a "Promising Practices" award from the Character Education Partnership for its Students Community Outreach Program in which students do volunteer work in the community four times a year.

Kent Thornburg (G67) has been named interim director of the Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition and Wellness at Oregon Health & Science University. The institute's goal is to reduce the prevalence of adult chronic diseases by promoting healthy, nutrient-rich diets before conception, during pregnancy and lactation, and during infancy and early childhood. Thornburg is professor of medicine within the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and also holds joint academic appointments in three additional areas. He joined the OHSU faculty in 1975.

Tonya (Edwards) Porter (n68) is a home economics and art teacher at Pierce High School in Arbuckle, Calif., one of 24 teachers for its 373 students.

Rinard Recognized for Visionary Leadership

Dale Rinard

When Dale Rinard (G67) retired last fall after 16 years of guiding a community- based behavioral health organization in Phoenix, his coworkers did more than just say goodbye. They secretly prepared documents testifying what he meant to the organization. Those papers and research resulted in Rinard being presented with one of the nation’s top awards in the field.

Rinard and his wife, Nancy (Newlin) Rinard (G67), were flown to Chicago in April where he received the Visionary Leadership Award from the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare at its 42nd national convention. The award, called the most prestigious in behavioral healthcare, recognizes “innovative and inspirational work happening in behavioral health organizations nationwide.”

Rinard was cited for his work as president and CEO of TERROS Behavioral Health, growing it from an organization with 110 employees and a $5.5 million budget when he started in 1995 to 450 employees and a $30 million budget when he stepped down. “His rescue of TERROS from financial disaster means that today more than 30,000 Arizonans can receive behavioral health prevention, treatment and recovery services,” noted the council. “Rinard’s creative thinking has offered much-needed help at a reasonable cost to many across the state.”

Rinard, a business and economics major at George Fox, also was honored for helping to form two new behavioral health networks in the state, including a live 24-hour telephone crisis hotline service that now serves about 20,000 people each month.

Rinard also led the formation of the CHOICES Network, a group of more than a dozen provider agencies serving persons with serious mental illness. “Dale worked tirelessly to address barriers, engage people, listen to fears, confront misconceptions and maintain a positive vision …” his coworkers wrote in the nomination. “Although he is now retired, his influence, expectations and values are still alive.”

1970–79

Margi (Astleford) Macy (G70) retired this spring after 20 years teaching at George Fox University. She finished her career as associate professor of education and co-chair of the undergraduate teacher education department. She joins her husband, Howard Macy (G66), in retirement. He retired last year after teaching in George Fox's religion department for 21 years. They have moved to Friendsview Retirement Community in Newberg.

Deborah (Goins) Johansen (G75) retired this spring after 22 years directing drama productions in McMinnville, Ore., public schools. She began her career as a performer and later taught at a children's educational theater. She began teaching drama at McMinnville Middle School (now Patton Middle School) at the age of 35, then five years ago moved to McMinnville High School. She directed 38 shows over her career in the district, in addition to teaching acting classes. She also has directed and acted at the Gallery Theater in McMinnville and Pentacle Theatre in Salem, Ore.

Tim Weaver (G76), who retired last year from the Newberg-Dundee Police Department after nearly 33 years, continues to receive awards for his work clearing Oregon highways of impaired drivers. In April, he received the Chuck Hayes Award at the annual DUII Multidisciplinary Conference in Canyonville, Ore. The award is named for the first certified Drug Recognition Expert in Oregon, and Weaver followed in his footsteps, earning certification in 1995 and becoming a trainer himself in 1997.

Warren Koch (G78) has been appointed to a three-year term as chair of the Festival of Media Arts for the National Broadcast Educators Association. The peer-reviewed national event has about 1,000 entries. Koch has served the past 10 years as associate professor of theater, film and television at Azusa Pacific University. Previously, he spent 17 years at George Fox in a similar media position. While at APU his students have won the association's Best of Festival Award in video three times.

Joel Leisy (G78) was one of 69 individuals nationwide honored by the National Private Truck Council. In April, in Cincinnati, he was awarded the designation of Certified Transportation Professional. Introduced in 1993, the designation is called "a benchmark of excellence earned by a special few." Leisy is transportation manager for Safeway, Inc., of Auburn, Wash.

Pamela (Geagel) Blikstad (G79) has been honored by the Portland Business Journal as Non-Profit Chief Financial Officer of the Year. She is vice president and chief financial officer for Medical Teams International, based in Portland. Blikstad was recognized for her accomplishments in managing annual budgets of more than $125 million.

Dean Coffey with The Incredible Years team

Dean Coffey (top right with puppet) with The Incredible Years team

Coffey Reaches Professional Milestone

If you’re the first to do something in California, a state with more than 37 million residents, it’s certainly a noteworthy accomplishment. That’s the case with Dean Coffey (PsyD03), a licensed psychologist on the staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Coffey is the first in his state to complete the peer coach certification process for the national The Incredible Years program, an evidence-based psychological treatment for children (0-12) with early onset conduct problems such as tantrums, noncompliance and aggression. The program, started in 1982, offers training versions for children, parents and teachers based on the social learning theory that we learn best by observing a model.

That’s where Coffey comes in: helping with that learning process. He already had been certified to be a parent group leader; now he is certified to teach the program to other professionals. “Essentially what I do is provide group supervision to predoctoral interns and postdoctoral fellows, reviewing recordings of their groups and providing consultation, feedback and opportunities to practice new skills,” Coffey says.

Coffey actually began his Incredible Years journey and led his first parent-training group while he was still a student at George Fox, and “found it to be very effective in reducing early onset conduct problems.” He later obtained the support of the CHLA administration to introduce the program in its Development and Behavior Clinic.

Coffey currently serves as program area leader for the CHLA Child & Family Program, which provides mental health services for children ages 5 to 12 and their families. He leads a team of psychologists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists while also supervising an interdisciplinary medication clinic.

1980–89

Gary Chenault (G80) in March resigned as president and CEO of the United Way of Delaware County, Ind., to spend more time with his daughters in Portland. He had led the organization for nearly seven years. Chenault began his United Way career in 1990 with the central Indiana branch in his hometown of Indianapolis. He was then named senior campaign manager for the United Way of Columbia-Willamette in Portland, and later became vice president of resource development.

1990–99

Pat Casey (G90) has become the winningest coach in Oregon State University baseball history. With his 614th win May 25 in Corvallis (a 7-3 defeat of the University of Oregon), he passed Jack Riley, who recorded 613 wins in 22 seasons. Casey has coached the Beavers 18 seasons – winning two national championships – after guiding George Fox for seven years, compiling a 171-113 record.

Jennica (Hein) Jenkins (G91) recently opened Blue Sky Counseling Center, a psychotherapy practice that provides mental health services to adolescents and adults in Roseville, Calif. A licensed professional counselor, she has been a registered psychological assistant at Monarch Center for three years and previously was an adolescent intervention counselor in the Roseville Joint Union High School District. Also a part-time counselor at Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif., she received a PsyD degree from California Coast University in 2005.

Daniel Rude (G92) has been promoted to director of human resources at Embassy Suites in Napa Valley, Calif. He previously was assistant director of human resources at the Hilton Portland & Executive Towers.

Ron Wolfe (G92) is the new manager-vice president of both the Newberg and Dundee branches of West Coast Bank. He previously was with Columbia Community Bank, in Hillsboro, Ore., as vice president for commercial banking. A Newberg resident already, he serves as president of the Newberg High School Booster Club.

Terry Downey (ADP92) has been named a regional director with John M. Floyd & Associates, a profitability and performance improvement consulting firm for financial institutions. Downey will supervise the Baytown, Texas, firm's client work in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. He has 10 years of banking and credit union systems experience, the last two years as sales manager with Financial Technology Solutions International in Portland.

Rod Robbins (G94, MA96) is founder/owner of First Step Adolescent Center in Newberg. Established in 2000, it offers adolescent-specific outpatient addiction treatment services to families in Washington and Yamhill counties. The center offers both group and individual counseling, and its primary goal is to aid clients in making healthy changes in attitude, thinking and behavior.

Diane Marr Longmire (G96) earned a licensed mental health counselor credential in March, and in June was promoted to clinical lead for the intake unit with the Department of Human Services in Walla Walla County in Washington. She and her family have moved to a small farm outside Walla Walla, Wash., where they plan to start a small home-based organic farm.

Nathan Sundgren (G96) is assistant professor of pediatrics - neonatology at Baylor College of Medicine and attending neonatologist at Texas Children's Hospital, both located in Houston. He earned PhD and MD degrees from Oregon Health and Science University in 2005, and last year received an NEOPER designation from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, where he had his internship and residency. His research interests are in uncovering the developmental origins and molecular underpinnings of cardiovascular disease.

Casey Corum (n97) has a vacation trip to Universal Studios Resort in Orlando, Fla., in his future, courtesy of his wife, Cheryl. She appeared on the Wheel of Fortune television game show when it was taped in Portland in April and May and won $21,100, including the $5,000 vacation package. She collected $2,400 in her first game, then won another $13,700 in the second game, which included the vacation trip. Casey and their three daughters were shown as Cheryl went to the final round, where she fell just short of bringing home the $35,000 grand prize. The Corums live in Newberg, where she is a Life Flight paramedic and he is in the sales department with Newberg Ford.

Jimmi Sommer (G97) was promoted in January and on Aug. 16, 2012, was assigned to Washington, D.C., for one year to serve in the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. She will be completing a two-year assignment as vice consul/management office in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Scott Goodwill (MBA98) has been appointed manager to lead the new Energy Services Division of C.T. Male Associates in Latham, N.Y. The engineering, surveying, architecture and landscape architecture firm, founded in 1910, has 135 employees. A certified energy manager, Goodwill has 26 years experience in energy, engineering facilities operations and management, most recently at L&S Energy Services in Clifton Park, N.Y., and with SMRT Architects and Engineers as director of its New York office.

Patrick Lewis (ADP98) has been named national vice chair of technology of NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing. He oversees all technology initiatives for the association, with more than 148,000 store members and $682 million in sales last year. Lewis is a partner in Oasis Stop 'N Go Convenience Stores, with 13 stores in the Twin Falls, Idaho, area. He also is CEO of KickBack Points, LLC, a customer rewards program provider for the convenience store industry with participants in 49 states and Canada.

Aaron Newkirk (G98, MA99) is the new boys basketball coach at Oregon City High School. A history teacher, Newkirk is in his 13th year at the school, and has served seven years as an assistant basketball coach. Newkirk's ties to George Fox are strong. In addition to being a Bruin player, his wife, Heidi (Rueck) Newkirk (G95), was an all-American player, and his brother-in-law, Scott Rueck, was the George Fox women's basketball coach for 14 seasons before becoming the current women's coach at Oregon State University.

Jamie Ridley-Klucken (G98) has been appointed clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Shenandoah University in Northern Virginia. She recently completed a two-year post-graduate residency at Boise Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where she became a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist.

David Albert (ADP99, MA02) has been mobilized and activated at Joint Base McGuire-Dix in Lakehurst, N.J., in preparation for deployment to serve in Afghanistan with Operation Enduring Freedom. He is an Army sergeant in the 108th Training Command in Charlotte, N.C. He has been in the military for 12 years.

Heidi Williams (ADP99) is director of operations for the Oregon Educators Benefit Board, an organization that works with school districts, members, carriers and providers to offer benefit plans and services. She oversees communication, contracts, budgeting, accounting, enrollment and the data warehouses for member information.

Caring for the Caregivers

Steve Ristow

When Steve Ristow wrote his master’s thesis in 1996, it wasn’t just to earn a degree in Christian studies from George Fox – he was simultaneously preparing a business plan and a career.

A year later, he established Quiet Waters Outreach, which serves individuals with developmental disabilities in four Oregon counties. Now helping up to 2,500 individuals annually, the ministry has grown to nine full- and part-time employees in addition to 350 volunteers. A multipronged effort helps participants (called “treasures” or “guests”) with disabilities ranging from Down syndrome to cerebral palsy and autism. At the same time it helps their parents and caregivers by providing a much-needed break.

Ristow prepared for the outreach in his thesis, “Respite Care: A Comprehensive Study on the Need for Respite Care for Families and Caregivers of Individuals with Mental Retardation and/or Developmental Disabilities.”

“This laid the foundation for where I am today,” he says. He originally planned to become a Christian psychologist, but while studying for his master’s felt “God was not calling me there, but to ministry in a very special area.” He adds, “This was a really pivotal shift, clarifying the future for me.”

He took the operating name for his organization from the 23rd Psalm: “He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.”

“Our mission is restoration and our source is God’s power,” explains Ristow. “The name ‘Quiet Waters Outreach’ perfectly assimilates the two and defines our ministry.”

Ristow grew up with an adopted sister with Fetal Alcohol Effects, and that planted the seed for his efforts. With firsthand experience caring for someone with a disability, he knew the imminent need for spiritual, emotional, mental and physical restoration for the caregivers.

Quiet Waters has now grown to include two bed and breakfasts that provide a three-day weekend of activities for individuals with developmental disabilities while their caregivers enjoy a mini vacation; a Discovery Day Program that allows these individuals to learn valuable life skills and become engaged in the community through service-oriented involvement; and other programs that provide activities at local churches and support for families.

2000–09

Joshua Kaiser (G01) in June received a PhD in Christian ethics from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. This past academic year he was a visiting instructor in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. This coming academic year he will teach at Trinity School at Greenlawn in South Bend, Ind.

Brian Van Bergen (G02) is a candidate in the Nov. 6 general election for the position of Yamhill County (Oregon) clerk, responsible for maintaining records and supervising elections. He was one of two candidates chosen from a field of four in the May 15 primary, receiving the highest total with 36.8 percent of the vote. A Newberg resident, he is an account manager and digital storefront manager with Lynx Group, Inc. of Salem, Ore. – a position he's held since 2006 after 10 years with Times Litho, Inc., in Forest Grove, Ore.

Michelle Cox (MA03) in May became the new director of student health and counseling services at Western Oregon University, where she received her undergrad degree. She completed her internship at the WOU counseling center while earning her George Fox degree. Since 2005 she has been an assistant professor in the Graduate Department of Counseling at George Fox.

Matt Gerber (G03) is clinical research coordinator and cancer research associate at the University of Minnesota. He has been in that position since February 2011, after operating his own business development and public relations consulting firm for two-and-a-half years.

Sabrina Walters (MA04) has been recognized in Cambridge Who's Who for her two counseling services: Core Values Counseling and Sabrina Walters Counseling. The former provides training and counseling for coaches, clergy and counselors. The latter is her private practice for families, couples and individuals, which also provides diagnostic and drug and alcohol assessments.

Ian Wendler (MBA04) this spring was honored by Oregon State University, which named him to the Council of Outstanding Early Career Engineers. He is director of research, development and strategic sourcing for Warn Industries, Inc. of Clackamas, Ore. He began with the company as an intern and now provides leadership for a global team. Warn – which has 500 employees – designs, manufactures and markets products for off-road vehicles.

Brian Howerton (n05) in March was named the new communications center director for Life Flight Network, a not-for-profit medical transport service in the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West. He is responsible for overseeing the Boise center, which receives and coordinates all incoming requests for transports, using the latest satellite tracking technology and data systems to monitor each aircraft's movement. The company's administrative offices are located in Aurora, Ore.

John Davis (G05) has been chosen by Oregon Republicans to be their candidate for Oregon House District 26 in this November's election. He bested three rivals to fill the open slot created by a resignation. Davis is an associate with the law firm McEwen Gisvold of Portland. A graduate of the Willamette University College of Law, he joined the firm in 2010 and represents clients in the areas of business and real estate transactions, finance, business law and estate planning. A resident of Wilsonville, Ore., he serves as president of Emerging Leaders for Oregon and is a committee member with Wilsonville Young Life.

Sue Hubbard (MDiv05) on Feb. 12 was ordained and installed as associate pastor at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Salem, Ore. She has been a parish ministry associate since 2006 and serves in the areas of pastoral care, teaching and counseling, and as coordinator of adult education offerings. She is a member of the George Fox Evangelical Seminary Board of Regents.

Ben Hanna (MBA06) has been named general manager for Olsen Agricultural Enterprises in Monmouth, Ore. It farms about 6,500 acres in three Oregon counties with a focus on grass seed, peppermint oil, wine grapes and blueberry production. Previously, for nearly four years, he was vice president for business development at HearHere by Lightspeed. He had been with the engineering company that specializes in infrared classroom audio technology since 2000.

Lindsay Peterson (G06) in May was named director of undergraduate admissions for George Fox University. She has been on the staff for six years. The same month she also received a master of organizational leadership degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash.

Jon Hanson (G06) is the newest member of the Coos Bay, Ore., City Council. He was appointed by the council and took office in February. Hanson works for South Coast Office Supply in Coos Bay, where he is responsible for business development. He also is a board member of the Coos Bay Student Loan Fund and the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.

John Hossler (G06) in May graduated from The University of Montana with a PhD in mathematics and this fall will begin as assistant professor of mathematics at Seattle Pacific University.

Raymond Leach (DMin06) is the author of two books. His most recent book, Iron Cross Under Crescent Moon, chronicles his 16-month deployment as an Army chaplain in Iraq. He currently is 181st Infantry Brigade chaplain at Fort McCoy, Wis.

Amy (Smith) Alumbaugh (G07) and Bevan Alumbaugh (G08) live in Westminster, S.C., where both are employed at Wilderness Way Girls Camp. She is a group supervisor and he is maintenance and project supervisor. The camp, in Fair Play, S.C., is for girls 8-16 who are struggling in their families, schools and communities. It was founded in 1990 as a private, Christian, not-for-profit, therapeutic camping program. Those participating spend up to 14 months as they are provided with "friendship therapy" in small-group settings.

Greg Foley (MBA07) was a newly commissioned second lieutenant in the field artillery when he began a personal journal in 2004 prior to leaving for Iraq. His journal is now a new book, Journal of a Christian Soldier in Iraq, published in June by Xulon Press, the world's largest Christian self-publisher. Foley was attached to the 1st Calvary Division, serving with the Oregon Army National Guard's 41st Infantry Brigade, 2-12 Infantry, Alpha Company. He first served as company fire support officer and later assumed command of 2nd Platoon on daily combat patrols in hostile neighborhoods of Baghdad. A member of the National Coalition of Men's Ministries, he uses his experience in military and business to inspire and challenge men in the church to fulfill their calling. He and his family are living in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, where he is a Target store manager.

Michele DeBuhr (MBA07) was promoted to vice president/consumer credit administration with OnPoint Community Credit Union in Portland. She has 16 years with the firm, most recently as vice president/organization effectiveness. Previously she was an assistant branch manager, training and development manager and project manager for database conversion for the credit union.

Laurel Emory (MBA07) was named chief of staff, reporting to the CEO of the Denver site of Coram, a national healthcare provider of infusion services. In January, she completed exams in the Regent University PhD program in organizational leadership. Now she is working on her dissertation, focusing on the path to leadership of Christian women in executive leadership positions.

Bryan Harada (G08) in May promoted his first major showcase, Seattle Hip Hop Resurrection. The event was sponsored by Luis Palau's Creative Arts Alliance and World Concern. Harada works at Spirit 105.3 FM radio in Seattle as its promotions/events coordinator and also owns ONE Entertainment Music Group, a company that works with entertainers to create "new and innovative ways to impact and inspire the culture through the arts." He also volunteers with Young Life in Shoreline, Wash.

Katherine (Winning) Schweitzer (EdD09) is the new principal at Kelso Elementary School in Boring, Ore., part of the Oregon Trail School District. She moves from a position as vice principal at Sam Barlow High School in Gresham, Ore., where she was an administrator for one year after serving as vice principal for student life at La Salle Catholic College Preparatory in Milwaukie, Ore.

2010–11

Lydia (Yokoi) Funaishi (G10) is a charge nurse at Friendsview Retirement Community's health services center in Newberg. She initially became familiar with Friendsview as a student while volunteering to give flu shots, then worked in the health center as a certified nursing assistant during her senior year.

Adam Cuneo (MBA11) has been hired as senior sales consultant for Tribute Media of Boise. He is responsible for sales and client consultations, helping in Web design, Web marketing, social media and search engine optimization. Previously, he spent four years with Cable One in its sales department.

Jonelle (Fodge) Liddell (G11) is a registered nurse with Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center in Alaska.