Q&A with former PacifiCorp CEO, Judi Johansen

| Print |  Email
Sunday, June 01, 2008

 

 

JudiJohansen.jpg


Former PacifiCorp CEO Judi Johansen becomes president of Marylhurst University on July 1, replacing Nancy Wilgenbusch, who is retiring after 24 years. Johansen left PacifiCorp in 2006 after five years as its CEO and a long career in the energy industry. Saying she was taking a breather for a while for lifestyle reasons (her daughter, Anna, is 12 this year), she gave up full-time work but has served on several boards, including the Port of Portland, Schnitzer Steel and Bank of the Cascades. When Johansen left PacifiCorp after it was bought by MidAmerican Energy, some hoped she would run for public office or take on another prominent business leadership role. But in the end, it was a small Catholic university founded as a school for women in 1893 that won her over.


HOW DOES A FORMER ENERGY CHIEF BECOME HEAD OF A UNIVERSITY?

They didn’t come after me, I came after them. I have to admit, I hadn’t had to put a resume together in a long time. I had to work for it. I wasn’t looking for a full-time job, but there was something special about this situation. Marylhurst has always reached out to serve underserved populations. Today that means adult learners; back in the original days it meant women. I like the history and the role that the order has played. There’s a selfish piece to this as well. I’ve discovered that even though I’m very active in the community on various boards, I miss being a part of a team on a full-time basis. This allows me to get back in the middle of being on a team.


WHAT’S FIRST ON THE PRIORITY PAD?

When people ask me what the grand vision is, I say the school is already pursuing the grand vision. My challenge is to make sure that we are constantly ahead of the curve and to make sure our curriculum and method of delivery is relevant and useful. And frankly, Marylhurst is an icon in that respect; it’s adept at redefining itself. My top priority is to learn from each faculty member what is important to them and how they see the future. The other top priority is working on fundraising. I’ve never done that — unless you consider going to the Public Utility Commission a fundraising activity.


DID YOU ASK TO SEE THE BOOKS AT MARYLHURST?

There’s not much to look at. They are debt free. But there’s a lot of headroom for growing the endowment.


HOW’S IT FEEL FACING FULL-TIME WORK AGAIN?

Even though I’m going back to work full time, I can still take Anna to school in the morning and be at work by 8:15. [She lives less than a mile from the Marylhurst campus.] I feel a lot happier. I have a lot left in me. The notion of being 49 years old and sitting on the sidelines just didn’t feel right.


ROBIN DOUSSARD


PHOTO BY ADAM BACHER




To comment, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

More Articles

VIDEO: The 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015

videothumbVIDEO: 2015 100 Best Companies to work for in Oregon


Read more...

5 ways successful people kickstart the day

The Latest
Thursday, April 02, 2015
coffeethumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Are mornings the most productive part of the day?  We ask five successful executives how they get off to a good start.


Read more...

10 Oregon companies positioning themselves for growth

The Latest
Friday, March 13, 2015
vcthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Ten startups have secured venture capital, angel or seed funding in 2015.


Read more...

Can small be large?

Linda Baker
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
040115-lindablogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

Leaders in Oregon's ag sector gathered this morning in Portland’s Coopers Hall winery/taproom to discuss the role of the region as an export gateway, impediments to exporting products and solutions to containerized shipping challenges.


Read more...

2015 100 Best companies announced

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015
IMG 0022cneditBY OB STAFF

The 100 Best list recognizes large, medium and small companies for excellence in work environment, management and communications, decision-making and trust, career development and learning, and benefits and compensation.


Read more...

ZoomCare rolls out new on-demand health clinics

News
Monday, March 02, 2015
zoomcarethumbBY KIM MOORE |  OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Portland-based healthcare provider ZoomCare said it plans to “remake American healthcare” by expanding its on-demand urgent care model to emergency, surgery, dental and primary care, among others.


Read more...

6 highlights from the Craft Brewers Conference

The Latest
Friday, April 17, 2015
thumbPHOTOS BY  JASON E. KAPLAN

The 32nd annual CBC attracted a record number of attendees (11,000)  to the Oregon Convention Center.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS