Associate Professor, Southern Oregon University
Dennis has lived in Ashland since 1977. Dennis grew up in the Native American villages of Alaska and served in the US Navy before coming to Ashland as a student at SOSC. Dennis’ first job in Ashland was in housekeeping at what was then Ashland Hills Inn when it opened in 1978. Dennis worked his way up through the various levels of management to the general manager’s position between 1978 and 1991.
After leaving the hotel industry in 1992, Dennis returned to college, finished a degree in business, added a MBA in 1997 and the CPA certification in 1999. From there he started his own CPA consulting and tax firm until teaching beckoned him in 2003. Coming from three generations of teachers, Dennis fell in love with the idea of teaching and mentoring students at SOU. He is in his 12th year as an associate professor teaching accounting in the School of Business. Dennis is currently on Faculty Senate and serves as vice chair.
Dennis has a long history of community involvement from chair of the Visitor & Convention Bureau to president of the Ashland Chamber to chair of the Ashland Citizens Budget Committee, as well as numerous leadership roles with other non-profits and community groups. Dennis has a focus on creating a better and more effective community dialog and has done considerable work in this area. He has also worked on city and state economic development issues. Dennis served on the Ashland City Council from 2010 to 2014. He currently serves on a number of community committees and organizations.
Dennis and his wife, Sandra, share a deep commitment to the community of Ashland and its citizens. Dennis’ hero is his mother who was the first child born to Portuguese immigrants in this country and earned her teaching degree at the age of 50, the first person of her family, and the only one of her generation, to go to college.