CORVALLIS, Ore. – Twelve distinguished Oregon State University alumni, including the CEO of the coffee chain Dutch Bros, will participate in an online discussion on April 11 about how they have made positive changes in the Portland area.

The event is free to view but registration is required. OSU President Jayathi Murthy and

John Valva, vice president for alumni engagement and executive director of the OSU Alumni Association, will lead a discussion with the alumni. It will be followed by breakout sessions where audience members can ask questions of the alumni.

The following alumni will take part:

  • Keith Dempsey, who earlier this year was awarded OSU’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alumni Legacy Award. He has more than 20 years of experience in counseling, therapy and health care advocacy for African Americans and leads his own counseling and consulting practice in the Portland area.
  • Kim Fritz-Ogren, who works for the Oregon Water Resources Department and has helped shape water policy through years of drought and helped form a new section of the department focused on partnering with Oregonians on innovative solutions to water management challenges.
  • Dr. Lori Gibson, entrepreneur and owner of Compassionate Care, an in-home pet euthanasia company serving the Portland area and Salem that offers 24-7 services and an eco-friendly cremation process known as aquamation.
  • Bob Grover, who started Pacific Landscape Management, which provides commercial landscape management, sustainable maintenance and enhancement services in Portland, Salem and Seattle.
  • Matt Morton, president of the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, which funds student scholarships and nonprofit grants. Previously, he led Oregon’s largest private philanthropic grantmaking strategy focused on K-12 public education with the Meyer Memorial Trust. He is also the first Native American to be elected to the Board of Education for Portland Public Schools.
  • Bill Nicholson, who for more than 40 years held engineering and operations leadership roles for Portland General Electric, including senior vice president.
  • Olivia Quiroz, executive director for the Oregon Latino Health Coalition, a statewide organization dedicated to eliminating health disparities affecting Oregon's Latinx communities.
  • Joth Ricci, CEO of Grants Pass-based Dutch Bros and chair of the Oregon Business Council. He also co-founded Taste for Equity, a nonprofit that supports, promotes and inspires action for equity advances in Oregon.
  • Julia Rosen, a journalist and writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic and the Los Angeles Times, where she was a climate reporter. She is currently working on her first book about grass and humans and people’s relationship to nature.
  • Mary Deits Rousseau, who was the third woman to work as an assistant attorney general at the Oregon Department of Justice, the second woman to serve on the Oregon Court of Appeals and the first woman chosen to serve as Chief Judge of the Court.
  • David Vernier, co-founder of Vernier Science Education, which provides products, including sensors, software and lab books, to science educators in more than 150 countries.
  • Anita Winn, who managed stores, gained experience as a regional merchandiser and clothing buyer and, in 2016, retired as business planning director of North America Nike Factory Stores.

The Alumni Fellows program was established by the Oregon State University Alumni Association in 1988 for the purpose of recognizing, in partnership with university colleges and units, some of the university’s most distinguished alumni.

Alumni Association

About the OSU Alumni Association: The Alumni Association was founded in 1873 and has been in continuous service since that time. Based in the CH2M HILL Alumni Center, the association bridges a global community of over 215,000 Oregon State alumni, and its engaged community of volunteers and supporters make possible events, scholarships, career development and specialized alumni services that make OSU a place of lifelong learning and belonging. In 2017, the OSU Foundation and OSU Alumni Association were integrated, with a mission to partner with the university to engage our communities, inspire investment and steward resources to enhance the university’s excellence and impact. Read more at

Story By: 

 Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787, [email protected]


Kate Sanders, [email protected]

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