1990…Gateway to the Orient
The 1990 GBC convened triumphantly in Seattle to discuss “The Pacific Rim: Competitors and Trading Partners”. One was immediately captivated by the breathtaking beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Imagine descending past snow-capped Mt. Rainier, enroute to Seattle and beautiful Puget Sound. The University of Washington leveraged this link to the sea by challenging delegates to consider the issues surrounding Pacific Rim trade. Dr. Richard Drobnick, Director of the IBEAR Program at the University of Southern California, introduced the delegation to the challenges facing Pacific Rim traders. Kent H. Hughes, president of the United States Council on Competitiveness, expanded this theme and presented several factors for long-term U.S. success. Entrepreneur John M. Fluke, Jr. discussed competitive niche strategies and the delicate balance between efficient offshore production and destabilizing information transfer.
Following an afternoon of stimulating round table discussions, 1990 Conference Co-Chairs Karen Andersen, Linda Pawson, and Dale Quick fully optimized Seattle’s natural splendor by staging an excellent dinner/dance ferry cruise on Puget Sound. Dean Robert Leventhal hosted this wonderful event, which included passage through Seattle’s system of locks to Lake Washington.
Saturday’s workshops featured discussions ranging from the development of international curriculum to cross-cultural negotiation strategies. Following a Jacuzzi happy hour in our elegant base of operations (the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel), delegates were whisked off to a captivating evening itinerary at the Seattle Aquarium. Dinner, dancing, and imbibing were the de rigeur of the evening (although Sushi isn’t quite the same with hundreds of fish staring back at the partaker). Our late-night pub crawl (another fatigue-invoking GBC tradition) led into the wee hours of Sunday morning and another all-too-soon departure.
Achieving Sponsorship Goals
While Frito-Lay Inc. graciously provided short-term funding; the Graduate Business Foundation maintained a carefully targeted search for a long-term relationship similar to the 1983-89 Nabisco sponsorship. The search ended promptly when the Foundation’s unanimous solicitation choice, Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting, immediately accepted the opportunity to underwrite the Foundation on a renewable three-year program grant. Arthur Andersen & Co., S.C. Chief Executive Lawrence Weinbach (keynote at the ’88 Kellogg event) was most supportive of this process, reflecting Andersen’s commitment to leadership and education. The Graduate Business Foundation immediately set to the task of leveraging this shared vision against future programs, and further grew the ranks its volunteers from GBC 1990 delegates, who were current Board Members Blair LaCorte, (Dartmouth ’90) and Jennifer Proctor (Texas ’90).