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Whitworth appoints John Hengesh as interim director of its MBA program

June 8, 2010
Whitworth University has appointed John Hengesh, a longtime Spokane-area executive and adjunct faculty member in the School of Global Commerce & Management, to serve as interim director of the Whitworth Graduate Studies in Business Program. He begins June 1.

While at Whitworth, Hengesh's teaching focus has been in management, organizational behavior, business planning, business policy and organizational behavior. In his new role, his responsibilities will include MBA and MIM graduate student recruitment and admission, as well as curriculum, faculty and budget management.

"In his six years at Whitworth, John has taught in the continuing studies program, the undergraduate business/economics program, and the MBA program, and he has been consistently rated by students as one of the best teachers in those programs," says Craig Hinnenkamp, interim dean of the School of Global Commerce & Management. "He is well-respected by both faculty and students, and his extensive management career brings practical experience to the classroom and allows us to take advantage of a well-established network in the business community as we work to grow the graduate studies in business program."

Hengesh has held management positions at several prominent companies in the Spokane region, during which he has gained 24 years of experience in strategic business planning, finance, sales and marketing, operations management and business development. At Purcell Systems Inc., where he served as CFO and COO, he helped skyrocket the company's sales, earning it a spot in the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies in North America in both 2005 and 2006. At Itron Inc., where Hengesh served in a variety of posts, including vice president of business development, he managed all sales, finance, industry marketing and customer support for investor-owned gas utilities and water and public power utilities in North America.

"I am excited to join the SGCM staff and to be a part of the strategic vision, execution and continued growth of these excellent programs," Hengesh says.

Hengesh received a B.S. in wildland management from the University of Idaho in 1979 and earned a B.A. in business administration and an MBA from Idaho State University in 1981 and 1982, respectively.

Hengesh succeeds Mary Alberts, who was appointed director of the MBA program in 2002. Starting June 1, Alberts will take on a new role at Whitworth as employment manager, where she will help evaluate and update the university's recruiting and hiring procedures and will provide leadership in the area of employment strategy.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Craig Hinnenkamp, interim dean of the School of Global Commerce &Management, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3733 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or