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Curriculum and Faculty

Foster School faculty are consistently recognized for top quality research, considered thought leaders in many subject areas, and excellent educators as evidenced by university, school, and global level recognition.

The Business Management Certificate Program combines lectures, discussions, interactive simulations, team exercises, and a case competition capstone—working with a team to present a solution to a real-world business problem. Participants will gain knowledge, tools, and a valuable network to help them achieve their career goals.

Business Strategy

  • Be able to assess a situation from a long-term perspective and make decisions based on alternatives and justifications.
  • Evaluate the core competencies and competitive advantages that drive the success of a firm.
  • Consider what opportunities and challenges will impact the future of your business.


  • Recognize customer needs and learn how to best market your product or service.
  • Understand your customers and how best to reach them.
  • Discover product, branding, promotion, and segmentation strategies.
  • Evaluate the impact of environmental factors that affect marketing strategies.

Leadership and Organizational Behavior

  • Discover what motivates people and find out how to become a better leader.
  • Gain a better understanding of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and how it impacts organizational culture.
  • Attract and retain the best employees and build high performing teams.

Finance and Accounting

  • Learn about financial statements and accounting principles that guide financial reporting.
  • Use financial data for planning, decision-making and financial reporting.
  • Enhance your understanding of finance principles and practices, including cash flow analysis, capital budgeting, risk, and return.
  • Learn about stocks, bonds and return on investment metrics.

Communications and Soft Skills

  • Explore how communications and soft skills impact your leadership and team interactions.
  • Understand the nuances of cultural differences as they relate to teamwork, negotiation, and leadership.
  • Improve your presentation skills.

Business Case Analysis

  • The program concludes with a business case competition. You will work in a team to use the skills you gained throughout the program and apply them toward a real-life business problem, presenting your team’s solution to the class.

All faculty are affiliated with the Foster School of Business, teaching in various graduate, undergraduate and executive education programs. Many faculty have both academic and professional experience – through careers and/or through consulting with many major corporations.

Leta Beard is the Faculty Director for the Business Management Certificate Program. She is also an award-winning Associate Teaching Professor in the Marketing and International Business department at the Michael G. Foster School of Business. In addition to her 24 years teaching experience, she has 12 years of industry experience working for AT&T Network Systems (Lucent Technologies). Leta regularly receives teaching awards in courses such as Marketing Principles, Strategic Marketing Management, Retailing, Global Business Perspectives, and Tribal Gaming. In addition to teaching undergraduates, she has taught in the Professional and Continuing Education, Executive MBA, and Business Consulting and Development programs.


Wendy Baesler received an undergraduate and masters’ degree in accounting from Brigham Young University and a PhD in Business Administration with an accounting emphasis from the University of Washington.  She has taught for the University of Washington for more than 20 years.  Her education is primarily in accounting, psychology, finance, and economics.  She has completed many consulting projects helping businesses with complex accounting issues and lawsuit response.  She has also helped the Washington State Department of Health with program evaluation.


Jean Choy is an Associate Dean of Executive Education at the University of Washington Foster School of Business responsible for developing long-term strategic partnerships to promote new business development and collaborative initiatives with corporations, academic institutions, and government offices. She teaches about soft skills in the Global Executive MBA Program as well as in numerous executive education programs primarily for working professionals. Some aspects of soft skills can be applied universally, but at the same time, understanding the different cultures and challenges becomes an integral part of teaching topics such as presentation skills, cross-cultural communications, and managing team dynamics. Jean has been successful in bridging these gaps and consistently receives top teaching ratings.


Lee Hochberg is a television documentary producer and longtime Special Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour. Based in Seattle, he has produced nearly 300 national mini-documentary reports. He led PBS coverage of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, providing the first network coverage of the disaster and the inadequate spill response by the oil industry. His other investigations led to improvements in emergency medical response, tighter safety standards in the trucking and mountain guide industries, improved access to food stamp benefits, and better accommodation of homeless students in public schools. His work has been awarded journalism’s George Foster Peabody Award, an Emmy, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Documentary News Award, and other commendations.


Diane Renihan Legg has spent the last 30+ years in the Accounting and Finance profession – the last 20 of which have been in CFO roles.  She is passionate about dynamic, high growth, entrepreneurial companies in both the public and private domain and has a proven track record for strategic and financial excellence.  Her experience runs the gamut from audit experience to M&A experience to Wall Street experience; and her greatest strength is the ability to communicate complex financial ideas in easily understandable, everyday language.  Diane is retired as a corporate CFO, but still consults for several high growth companies.  In addition to her consulting, she teaches at the UW Foster School of Business in the Finance, Management and Organization and Accounting departments on a part-time basis.


Rick McPherson is an Assistant Teaching Professor at the UW Foster School of Business. Rick spent 25 years in business in the telecommunications industry, rising to the position of Vice President at both AT&T Broadband and T-Mobile USA. Rick “retired early” and took up a passion for teaching and coaching others and has been at the Foster School for the past 15 years. Rick continues to consult with businesses and is on the Board of Directors of Alpine Evergreen Co. Inc. Rick teaches strategy, business planning, organizational behavior, decision making, leadership and ethics, combining the academic courses with his business experiences. He teaches in both the Undergraduate and MBA programs at Foster. Rick has authored, co-authored or advised on the development of 21 live business cases in conjunction with Seattle based large companies, and been the instructor/advisor on over 250 business plans and over 70 business consulting projects.


Chelley Patterson has 25+ years of experience working as a consultant, facilitator, coach and educator with organizations focusing on leadership development, innovative team performance, culture-building, change management, and strategic thinking. She was a member of the collaborative research team that designed and conducted the Harvard Business School studies reported in the book The Progress Principle and co-authored the Harvard Business Review case study Alaska Airlines: Navigating Change.

She has been a lecturer in the Foster School of business for the last decade teaching graduate courses including MGMT 511 (Leadership and Coaching Practicum) and ADMIN 512 (People Management, Leadership, and Teams) and serving as a guest lecturer in the Executive MBA program. Early in her career, she taught Organizational Behavior and Organizational Communications courses at Georgia State University.

The program is split into two modules. Module 1 will take place from February 2, 2021 to March 16, 2021. Module 2 will take place from March 30, 2021 to June 5, 2021. Due to COVID-19, class will start online in a live online format and will transition to in person on the UW Seattle campus once it is safe to do so. If we are able to transition to in-person classes, you will have the option to continue attending remotely. For team assignments and projects, this will require each team to work with team members to respect one another’s comfort level and arrange meeting times that work for everyone involved. Final schedule is subject to change but refer to current at-a-glance schedule.

Business Management Certificate

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00-8:00pm
Note: Subject to Changes

February 26, 6:00-7:00pm – Optional Tutorial on Zoom and the Canvas Learning Platform

Module 1: February-March, 2021

Week and Time Tuesday Thursday
Week 1 February 2 February 4
6:00-8:00 Intro/Overview
Marketing 1
Week 2 February 9 February 11
6:00-8:00 Strategy 1
Marketing 2
Week 3 February 16 February 18
6:00-8:00 Strategy 2
Marketing 3
Week 4 February 23 February 25
6:00-8:00 Strategy 3
Marketing 4
Week 5 March 2 March 4
6:00-8:00 Strategy 4
Marketing 5
Week 6 March 9 March 11
6:00-8:00 Strategy 5
Week 7 March 16 March 18
6:00-8:00 Communication Skills
Cross Cultural Negotiations

Module 2: April-June, 2021

Week and Time Tuesday Thursday
Week 1 March 30 April 1
6:00-8:00 Case Competition Intro
Accounting 1
Week 2 April 6 April 8
6:00-8:00 Leadership and OB 1
Accounting 2
Week 3 April 13 April 15
6:00-8:00 Leadership and OB 2
Accounting 3
Week 4 April 20 April 22
6:00-8:00 Leadership and OB 3
Accounting 4
Week 5 April 27 April 29
6:00-8:00 Leadership and OB 4
Finance 1
Week 6 May 4 May 6
6:00-8:00 Leadership and OB 5
Finance 2
Week 7 May 11 May 13
6:00-8:00 Finance 3
Presentation Skills 1
Week 8 May 18 May 20
6:00-8:00 Finance 4
Presentation Skills 2
Week 9 May 25 May 27
6:00-8:00 Work in Teams and Prepare for Case Competition
Week 10 June 1 June 5 (Saturday)
Case Coaching
Case Competition and Graduation Lunch

At the end of the course, you will be able to:

  1. Formulate or evaluate business strategy to gain competitive advantage
  2. Discover product, branding, segmentation and promotion marketing strategies
  3. Elevate your ability to influence
  4. Develop essential soft skills
  5. Work more effectively in teams
  6. Create operational advantages
  7. Differentiate between winning and losing business ideas
  8. Comprehend financial statements and use financial data to make informed decisions
  9. Propose financing strategies
  10. Prepare a budget projection to conduct cost-benefit analysis
  11. Evaluate investment opportunities
  12. Become a more effective manager and leader within your organization

Get Hands-on Experiential Learning

This program will end with a capstone project whereby participants will take what they have learned and apply it in a case competition, presenting a solution to a real-world business problem. Participants will be assigned a team and will work closely with faculty throughout the course.

Business Management Certificate news

Business Management Certificate: Relaunching a Great Program

from Jean Choy, Associate Dean of Executive Education & International Initiatives How do you improve upon a great program? This was the question that came to my mind when UW Foster Executive Education was asked to take over the management…

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June 14, 2021

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