Husky 509

Foster Goes to Eastern Washington

Widely regarded as one of the nation’s top business schools, the UW’s Foster School of Business is committed to developing management talent – regardless of your zip code.

Case in point, the three-year old Business Certificate Program (BCP). Created by Foster’s Consulting and Business Development Center, this six-week program is geared toward early and mid-level managers and designed to strengthen skills in leadership, strategic thinking, marketing, finance and accounting.

Led by leading faculty from the Foster School of Business, three sessions of the program are offered in Yakima during winter and spring and are generously underwritten by Domex/- Superfresh Growers. A single Tri-Cities fall session is offered in Pasco in partnership with Columbia Basin College.

Thanks to strong word of mouth, registration fills quickly and as the popularity of the program grows, so does the praise for its content.

Just ask Doug Picatti, Vice President of Business Development and Co-Owner of Picatti Brothers, Inc. A 2014 alum of the program, Picatti and six of his team members enrolled in anticipation of the Yakima family company’s upcoming 90th anniversary in 2018.  To quote Picatti, “We set some very aggressive goals for this very special anniversary. I was excited after learning about this program and felt this was a great opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge of our management team to effectively lead our company to the next level. The case studies were interesting, relevant and helpful.  In short, this program and its people were truly world class!”

The sentiment was echoed by 2015 alum Patty Maggard Prediletto, an interior designer with her own small business, Colours By Design. As she reflected about the program, “It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is. I may not have a staff or a board of directors, but I do have clients and subcontractors that I work with; I make decisions with and for my clients on a daily basis; and I have to brainstorm how to approach a project and how to make snap decisions to keep jobs flowing. We all work on the same principles, we are here to make a profit, and I’ve realized through the BCP that companies both big and small use the same tools to accomplish these goals.”

While the Business Certificate Program may be fairly new, Foster’s Consulting and Business Development Center’s presence in the region is not. The Center has been working with small businesses in the Yakima Valley since 1999 and in the Tri-Cities since 2007. From professional consulting to countless seminars, the commitment and connection to the region is real and the BCP is a natural extension of that collaboration.

To date, more than 200 people have completed the program and their accomplishments will be celebrated at a June 9, 2016 BCP alumni event in Yakima. Interested in learning more? Visit