My name is Sam Holloway and I am an associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the University of Portland’s Pamplin School of Business. I earned my Ph.D. in management at the University of Oregon. My research interests include studying interorganizational architectures, collaborations, and business model innovations – with a focus on the craft beer industry. I teach undergraduate and MBA courses in strategic management, innovation, creativity, and cross-cultural management. Additionally, I teach courses in an online continuing education certificate related to the craft beer industry.
So how did I get here? As an undergraduate I admired many of my professors, but I never really found a subject matter area where I could see myself spending 4-7 years earning a Ph.D. My undergraduate degrees were in physics and civil engineering – my undergraduate university did not have a college of business. Only after working for about ten years in my twenties did I learn how exciting and challenging the business world can be. I found myself a teacher in central Europe, who missed his time as a manager of a multi-million dollar construction company. I had to find a way to combine these two passions.
During my Ph.D. program at the University of Oregon, I began volunteering at a local craft brewery. I didn’t have any money as a graduate student, but I was in a position where I had a lot of time to offer people. I ended up playing soccer with a guy that started a brewery, but he didn’t have any business training and he didn’t know how to build things. However, he was maybe the smartest, most passionate entrepreneur I had ever met, so I volunteered to help him construct his brewery – free of charge.
It felt really good to help someone with no expectation of future payback or rewards. My friend introduced me to many other professionals in the beer industry, and I started helping them, too. In reality though, they helped me, not the other way around. By their willingness to share their business hopes and dreams with me, I was able to carve out a niche in the business world related to craft beer business strategy.
One of the great things about working for Dean Robin Anderson at the Pamplin School of Business is that he is himself an entrepreneur and he is always pushing students and faculty to follow their passions.
I asked Dr. Anderson if I could follow my passion for helping small breweries succeed, and he said I should go for it. That was in 2009 and since then I have built a successful reputation in the industry for myself, for several other professors at UP, and for the Pamplin School of Business.
Life is really a lot more fun when you have professional friends and colleagues to work with you!
Together, my colleagues and a few other investors have created a global business: CRAFTINGASTRATEGY.COM. We help craft breweries, lawyers, CPAs, governments, and other industry stakeholders learn about general business topics by studying the craft beer industry. Further, our ideas have been used at over ten other universities to teach students and executives strategic thinking.
So, if you’ve learned anything from me it is this: Don’t be afraid to take on new challenges (and also… being a bad soccer player helps.)
If you have any questions for me, please email or call me! I would love to answer any questions that you may have.