PORTLAND, Ore. – Leading Oregon State University alumni and industry professionals took center stage during the 2009 Alumni and Business Partner Awards dinner, hosted by the College of Business in Portland Thursday (May 7). The Pamplin Media Group was the event’s premier sponsor.

New this year was the Innovative Business Leader awards ceremony that honored a successful alumnus from each of OSU’s 12 colleges.

Consistent with previous annual award ceremonies, the College of Business presented five Alumni and Business Partner Awards, including the Hall of Fame designation, which recognizes a business alumnus who has made sustained and meritorious contributions throughout his or her career.

This year’s Hall of Fame inductee was Ruth Fisher (’54), president and CEO of Jim Fisher Volvo. Fisher worked as a business teacher, executive secretary and realtor. After the death of her husband, Jim, in 1987, she became president of the family’s award-winning auto dealerships. Fisher has held significant positions in eight OSU organizations including the Foundation Board of Trustees, Mothers Club and Council of Regents.

Alumni and Business Partner Awards were presented in four other categories as well.

Accounting firm KPMG LLP won the Distinguished Business Partner award, which honors non-alumni or companies who have distinguished themselves through professional practice and service. KPMG, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory services firm, operates from 87 offices with more than 23,000 employees and partners throughout the United States.

Courtney Carter (’05), of Soccer United Marketing and Major League Soccer, received the Distinguished Young Business Professional award. Carter works on business development for the company and was integral in the development and launch of women’s professional soccer.

Steven Zamsky (’90), portfolio manager for Pequot Capital, won the Distinguished Early Career Business Professional award. Joining the firm in 2003, Zamsky’s responsibilities include long/short and short-dedicated credit portfolios, and implementing leveraged strategies in the corporate bond, loan and credit derivative markets.

John Stirek (’82) won the Distinguished Business Professional award for his service in Trammell Crow Company, a national real estate development and investment firm. As president of the company’s development and investment group, Stirek has been involved in the development of more than 5 million square feet of office, industrial and retail space in his career.

To recognize the global impact of business leadership, the College of Business also presented an Innovative Business Leader Award to 12 OSU alumni, one from each of the university’s colleges.

“The pairing of strong business skills and industry-specific knowledge has given rise to innovations in every sector of our economy,” said Ilene Kleinsorge, dean of the OSU College of Business. “We wanted to honor individuals who have used their business skills and principles to bring prosperity and opportunity to communities throughout the region and world.”

The following alumni received the Innovative Business Leader Award:

Agricultural Sciences: Carl Casale, ’83; Business: Rob Pace, ’84; Education: Eric Meslow, ’91; Engineering: Abhi Talwalkar, ’85; Forestry: Ken Wightman, ’68; Health & Human Sciences: Kathleen McNally, ’86; Honors: Ruth Beyer, ’77; Liberal Arts: Jim Wiggett, ’75; Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences: Gustavo Montero, ’84 & ’85; Pharmacy: Steve Oliva, ’63; Science: David & Christine Vernier, ’76; Veterinary Medicine: Scott Campbell, ’80 & ’85.

To read feature stories on the 12 Innovative Business Leader honorees, go to http://www.bus.oregonstate.edu and click on "awards publication."

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Thuy Tran,