Point to Success brunch Tag

By Maegan Murray

RICHLAND, Wash. – Organizations and private individuals from throughout the Columbia Basin joined together last month to support the future of regional business, but not in the traditional sense.

Ryan Leaf speaks as part of the Point to Success Brunch at Anthony's at Columbia Point in Richland

Ryan Leaf speaks as part of the Point to Success Brunch at Anthony’s at Columbia Point in Richland.

The dollars didn’t go toward supporting new up-and-coming businesses, building facade renovations, or promoting the next booming business product. Rather, the $36,695 raised at Point to Success brunch event will benefit the Washington State University Tri-Cities’ Carson College of Business. The college will use the funds to support classroom innovation, student academic services and career success activities, and faculty research.

In support of the event, Anthony’s at Columbia Point donated its entire restaurant space, a first-class meal and service for the mid-morning event that welcomed more than 100 people. Other businesses and individuals donated wine for a wine grab at the event, lavish vacation packages, rounds of golf and tours and tastings from local wineries, all of which were auctioned to benefit the Carson College.

McCurley Integrity Dealerships sponsored the appearance of Cougar football great Ryan Leaf at the brunch, who shared his inspiring story of overcoming years of drug abuse to now supporting others in the recovery process. The aspect of community, Leaf said, was crucial to his recovery.

Alaska Airlines, The Lodge at Columbia Point, Abadan, Hampton Inn Seattle Southcenter, NewEdge and Bonsai Audio also gave generously by making Leaf’s trip to the Tri-Cities and stay possible and by sponsoring the costs of the event programs, signage and sound equipment.

“The community support we have seen through the years is truly incredible, given the significant drop over the last decade of state funding that supports the University,” said Robert Harrington, director of the WSU Tri-Cities academic program. “Community support allows us to continue providing a premier education our students will use to provide first-class service in the business sector.”

It just makes sense

For Mike Tvedt, general manager of Anthony’s at Columbia Point, investing in the future of wine and hospitality business just makes sense. Investing in the

A chef cooks an entry that was served as part of the Point to Success Brunch at Anthony's at Columbia Point in Richland

A chef cooks an entry that was served as part of the Point to Success Brunch at Anthony’s at Columbia Point in Richland.

education of future business leaders, ensures students are well-prepared with premier business knowledge, research-driven business methods and a mindset for success, he said.

“The reason we got involved with the Carson College of Business was because of the hospitality program moving to WSU Tri-Cities a couple of years ago,” he said. “It goes back to the founder and owner of our company, Budd Gould, who believes it is important to give back to the community. It seemed like a natural fit that we would be involved with the program and do what we can to make it successful, because we are always in need of great hospitality employees.”

The Point to Success brunch isn’t the only way that Anthony’s has given back to a WSU Tri-Cities program, either. Anthony’s Restaurants own the next-door Budd’s Broiler, which holds the annual release party for the WSU Blended Learning wines. Through the Blended Learning program, wine science students partner with local wineries to produce premier wines. Budd’s Broiler donates the space, service and food for the event each year.

The family-owned-and-operated Anthony’s Restaurants are well-known across the Pacific Northwest for their first-class service, premier food and exceptional standards. But in order to continue that legacy, and even further improve upon their hospitality service, Tvedt said they must prepare those who will lead the business on into the future.

“We strive for five-star service and a five-star experience because that is what people expect,” Tvedt said. “We want to make sure that the future of our business is prepared and has the knowledge and know-how to meet those standards. WSU Tri-Cities is helping us meet that need.”

Impact on the community 

A Carson College Coug herself, Hamilton Cellars owner Stacie Hamilton said her WSU business education has benefited her own business success. In turn, she gives

Hamilton Cellars owners at WSU Tri-Cities Wine and Jazz event

Stacie Hamilton (right), one of the owners of Hamilton Cellars, has used her degree from the Carson of College of Business in her own business.

back to the WSU Tri-Cities business program, not only as a business owner, but also as an advisory member for the Carson College and as an adjunct faculty member at WSU Tri-Cities, because she knows the return will be tenfold for the local community.

In addition to giving monetarily to events like the Point to Success Brunch and donating Hamilton Cellars wine and products, Hamilton creates real-world learning opportunities for students at the winery.

“In addition to classroom education, WSU students require the real-world practical experience, which they get through internships, jobs in local business and generally through mentors in their business field,” she said. “They apply that combined knowledge to develop businesses of their own or grow established businesses. The reciprocity between the community and the university is special.”

Looking to the future

Harrington said the support the Carson College of Businesses has received from community

Robert Harrington (left) and Pauline Garza, a recent graduate of the Carson College of Business

Robert Harrington (left) and Pauline Garza, a recent graduate of the Carson College of Business. Garza is now the head chef at The Lodge at Columbia Point.

individuals and organizations will have an immediate and lasting impact on the future of businesses across the state.

“WSU’s business programs consistently rank among the top programs in the country, and the community support has been a crucial component,” he said. “We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without our community support.”

WSU’s hospitality business program, specifically, ranks eighth in the nation among all programs, nationwide. Harrington said the Tri-Cities-based program, being in the heart of Washington wine country, has the potential to grow immensely and be a huge treasure for the regional business community.

“We strive for excellence across the board, and it shows in our graduates,” he said. “We aim to produce the best business graduates so that our community and their businesses may benefit.”

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities will host a brunch fundraiser on Jan. 27 at Anthony’s at Columbia Point in Richland, Wash., that will support the Carson College of Business.

Ryan Leaf

Ryan Leaf

The Point to Success Brunch will begin at 10 a.m. and will feature WSU football great Ryan Leaf who will present “Lying to Myself: The Ryan Leaf Story – My journey from the very top to the very bottom and back and what it takes to stay there.” The event will also include a wine grab, live and silent auctions featuring prizes ranging from a stay at a penthouse condo for eight in Mexico, to a round of golf with Leaf, to two nights for four on a Lake Union houseboat, in addition to an excellent meal presented by Anthony’s.

“All proceeds from the event make a direct and immediate impact on the success of business education and students at the WSU Tri-Cities campus,” said Robert Harrington, academic director of the Carson College of Business at WSU Tri-Cities. “This investment in quality business education in the Tri-Cities allows us to support innovations in the classroom, services and activities for student and academic career success and faculty development of research that provides business insights.”

Tickets cost $100 per person and may be purchased at http://gocougs.wsufoundation.wsu.edu/s/1613/index.aspx?sid=1613&pgid=3506&gid=3&cid=5657&ecid=5657&post_id=0.

For more information, contact Darcie Bagott at darcie.bagott@wsu.edu or 509-335-6387.

 

Contacts:

Darcie Bagott, 509-335-6387, darcie.bagott@wsu.edu

Robert Harrington, WSU Tri-Cities academic director for Carson College of Business, 509-372-7487, rharrington@wsu.edu

Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations specialist, 509-372-7333, maegan_murray@wsu.edu

By Maegan Murray

Washington State University Tri-Cities’ recent Point to Success Brunch raised $33,550 for the Carson College of Business’ degree programs, which will go directly toward supporting student success on the Tri-Cities campus.

“We are incredibly grateful for the funds we received, which help us to achieve excellence by having resources beyond state funding,” said Donna Paul, WSU Tri-Cities Carson College of Business academic director. “Dollars raised at the event are directly invested in business education at WSU Tri-Cities, providing resources for student academic and career success, faculty research and teaching effectiveness.”

In addition to a gourmet meal, which was entirely donated by Anthony’s at Columbia Point, those in attendance also participated in a silent auction, a wine grab and heard presentations by and conversed with a range of prominent local and regional community members. Some of those individuals included WSU and NFL football great Jack Thompson; WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Keith Moo-Young; WSU Board of Regents chair Lura Powell; WSU Carson College of Business Dean Chip Hunter; Nancy Swanger, WSU director of the School of Hospitality Business Management; and Superior Court Judge Bruce Spanner.

“The feedback from the attendees and WSU administration is that the event was a huge success,” said Gary Spanner, WSU Tri-Cities advisory board chair for the Carson College of Business. “Going in, nobody knew what to expect of a Saturday brunch in the dead of winter, but it turned out to be a fun, novel, and effective fundraising approach. And importantly, all of the funds raised stay in the Tri-Cities to support the Carson College at WSU Tri-Cities. Anthony’s wants to make it an annual event, so we’re looking forward to holding the next one.”

In addition to serving as a fundraiser, Paul said the event served to raise awareness about the importance of growing community partnerships that are crucial to both student and faculty success. It also provided an opportunity to showcase how WSU Tri-Cities is educating its business students with hands-on, career-based opportunities as a result of those same community partnerships.

At WSU Tri-Cities’ Carson College of Business, students can earn baccalaureate degrees in hospitality and wine business management, business administration and a master’s in business administration. Paul said area companies realize the value of educating the upcoming workforce and partner regularly with the university for success workshops, opportunities in internships and other professional experiences.

“People often think of the Tri-Cities as a technocracy, and while they should, business is an essential part of the success of technology businesses, as well as agriculture businesses and health care organizations, to name a few,” Spanner said. “By supporting excellence at the Carson College at WSU Tri-Cities, we’re supporting excellence in the future of the entire Tri-Cities. A very large percentage of local graduates stay in the Tri-Cities to pursue their careers.”

Spanner said they are also grateful that Anthony’s donated so many of their resources toward the event.

“The advisory board of the Carson College of Business at WSU Tri-Cities was floored when Anthony’s restaurant offered to host this brunch at no charge,” he said. “The wait staff even donated their time for the event, and we are deeply grateful for that.”

To donate to the WSU Tri-Cities Carson College of Business and other university programs, visit https://tricities.wsu.edu/give/.

For more information about degree programs offered through WSU Tri-Cities’ Carson College of Business, and to apply, visit https://tricities.wsu.edu/business/.