CORVALLIS - Twelve Corvallis-area professionals have graduated from the Professional Management Institute, a partnership between Oregon State University and the Corvallis Area Chamber of Commerce to train managers and prospective managers from local organizations.

The ninth-month training program of weekly classes at OSU is designed to improve management skills in seven areas, including leadership and team-building, accounting and finance, business planning, strategy and project management, marketing, human resource management, change management, and business law.

Graduates of the institute are required to complete and present a strategic project aimed at improving a specific aspect of their organization.

"The project enables participants to rise to a higher level in the learning process by putting theory and newly learned skills to practice," said Penny Reher, pharmacy director of Samaritan Health Services in Corvallis, a 1999 graduate of the institute.

Information on management training programs or professional continuing education opportunities through OSU is available by contacting OSU Distance and Continuing Education at 541-737-2676. The next OSU management leadership program offered in the Willamette Valley will begin in the fall of 2000.

A supervisory level certificate program also is available at statewide locations and can be customized for individual employers.

The 1999 class of the Professional Management Institute includes Wendy Dixon, Corvallis Hardware; Joseph Hart, Hewlett-Packard Co.; Ian McElroy, MeElroy Construction; Penny Reher, Samaritan Health Services; Rob Shimmin, ENTEK International; Steve Slover, Hewlett-Packard Co.; Gregg Smith, Walling Sand and Gravel Co.; Cyndi Sprinkel-Hart, Corvallis Gazette-Times; Valarie St. John, Hewlett-Packard Co.; Sandy Tilton, Hewlett-Packard Co.; Monte Voigt, ENTEK International; and Lesley Zavradinos, Corvallis Gazette-Times.

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Jessica Coombs, 541-737-2569