Alumni in the News

Cal Poly alumni make news every day, winning awards, impacting industry, improving their communities and changing the world for the better. Here, we present some of the highlights from our alumni in the news.

Cal Poly Alum Honored as Organic Grower of the Year

Cal Poly agricultural engineering alum Thaddeus Barsotti was announced as Grower of the Year by the Organic Produce Network. Barsotti is the co-CEO of Farm Fresh to You, an organic produce home delivery service. Produce News

Cal Poly Alum Elected as First African-American Member of SLO City Council

Former Cal Poly student body president Erica Stewart has been elected to the San Luis Obispo City Council and will serve as the first African-American member. Stewart is currently the director of Parent and Student Philanthropy at Cal Poly. The Tribune 

Cal Poly Alum Appointed as Coconino County Deputy Manager

Cal Poly natural resources management alum Lucinda Andreani was appointed to the Coconino County deputy manager. Andreani has served in leadership positions for Coconino County for over 13 years. Williams News

Cal Pol Alum Elected Chairman of USA Rice Federation

Cal Poly alum Charley Mathews, Jr., was elected to serve as chairman of the USA Rice Federation, the national advocate for the U.S. rice industry. Western Farm Press

Cal Poly Alum Lilly Acuña Hired as Environmental Planner

HNTB, an infrastructure solutions firm, hired Cal Poly business administration alum Lilly Acuña as the environmental planner. Acuña has more than 12 years of transportation experience. Markets Insider

Cal Poly Alum Arnoldo Rodriguez Chosen for City Manager

Cal Poly city and regional planning alum Arnoldo Rodriguez was chosen as the new Madera city manager. Rodriguez brings more than 13 years of experience working for the cities of Fresno and Yuba City and more than 16 years of government administrative experience. The Madera Tribune

Cal Poly Alum Appointed as Chief Financial Officer of Procept BioRobotics

Cal Poly business administration alum Kevin Waters was appointed as the chief financial officer of Procept BioRobotics. San Francisco Business Times

Cal Poly Alum Michael Stewart Hired as Fire Protection Engineer

Cal Poly fire protection engineering alum has been hired by Morrison-Maierle, a multi-disciplinary firm specializing in engineering, surveying, planning, and science, as a fire protection engineer. Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Cal Poly political science alum Scott C. Black was appointed to chief legal officer for Globe Photos, Inc. Black served as the chief financial officer for two years and has experience as a former U.S. Army Judge Advocate General. Nasdaq

Cal Poly Alum Named Senior Principal of Populous Holdings Board

Populous, a global architectural design firm, has named Cal Poly architecture alum Michael Lockwood as a senior principal of the firm’s Holdings Board. Lockwood has worked for Populous for 16 years and has taken on numerous projects around the world. Archinect

Cal Poly Alum Grant Davids Appointed to Yolo Land Trust Board

The Yolo Land Trust has appointed Cal Poly agricultural engineering alum Grant Davids as a new board member. The trust helps to conserve productive farmland and rangeland in Yolo County. Daily Democrat

Cal Poly Alum Emma Chow Named USDA District Conservationist

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has named Cal Poly environmental management alum Emma Chow as the district conservationist for Santa Barbara County. Chow has worked with the NRCS since 2009. Noozhawk

Cal Poly Alum Appointed to Director of Sales and Marketing at Allegretto Vineyard Resort

The Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles has named Cal Poly alum Lee McGregor as the director of sales and marketing. McGregor has more than 20 years of hospitality and management experience. eTurbo News

Cal Poly alum Mike Allan Promoted to Executive Vice President of Certis USA

Certis USA, a leader in the biopesticide industry, promoted Cal Poly natural resources and environmental management alum Mike Allan to executive vice president. Ag Professional

Cal Poly Alum Appointed to Oversee Wisconsin Public Media

Cal Poly alum Marta Bechtol was appointed to deputy executive director of the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, which owns most of the broadcasting licenses for Wisconsin Public Radio and Television. Bechtol has 14 years of experience with board. Wisconsin State Journal

Cal Poly Alum Lauren Milbourne Appointed to Hancock College Management Position

Cal Poly alum Lauren Milbourne was appointed to public information officer and media relations coordinator for Hancock College. Santa Maria Times

Cal Poly alum Erica Boomer Named California Teacher of the Year

Cal Poly agricultural education alum and Upper Lake High School agriculture teacher Erica Boomer was named a California Teacher of the Year. Lake County News

Cal Poly Agribusiness Alum Brian Harris Hired as Sales Manager

Pacific AgPak hired Cal Poly agribusiness alum Brian Harris as its new Sales Manager. The Produce News

Cal Poly Alum Doug Blankenship Appointed as Chief Financial Officer

Humacyte, an innovator in biotechnology and regenerative medicine, announced Cal Poly accounting alum as chief financial officer. The Courier Express

Cal Poly Alum Brian J. Johnson Appointed as Chief Commercial Officer

Nautilus International Holding Corp. appointed Cal Poly engineering alum Brian J. Johnson as the chief commercial officer. American Journal of Transportation

Cal Poly Grad Victor Glover to be Among First on SpaceX Mission

Cal Poly engineering alum Victor Glover will be one of nine astronauts on the first commercial SpaceX mission. After leaving Cal Poly, Glover was a Naval Aviator and test pilot. He has just under 3,000 hours of flying time in 40 different aircrafts and 24 combat missions. The Tribune

Cal Poly Grad Weird Al Yankovic Gets Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Cal Poly architecture grad and Journalism Hall of Fame inductee “Weird Al” Yankovic is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Aug. 27, 2018. KSBY

Cal Poly Alum Jim Thompson Joins Agrinos as CEO

Cal Poly business administration alumni Jim Thompson was announced as the new chief executive officer for Agrinos, a leading biological crop input provider.
PR Newswire

Portola Pharmaceuticals Promotes Cal Poly Alum to President and CEO

Cal Poly biological sciences graduate Scott Garland was appointed to president and chief executive officer of Portola Pharmaceuticals. Garland has more than 20 years of  executive leadership experience. Globe Newswire

Cal Poly Alumni Bart Giordano Appointed to Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales

Ruckus Networks announced Cal Poly computer science alum Bart Giordano as the vice president of worldwide sales. Giordano has 20 years of career experience in networking, wireless, and cloud companies. PR Newswire

Cal Poly Alum Pam DeMond Promoted to Senior Vice President of Human Resources

Mavenlink, a leading provider of cloud-based software, announced Cal Poly alum Pam DeMond as the senior vice president of human resources. PR Newswire

Cal Poly Graduate Hikes Pacific Crest Trail

Cal Poly alum Zach Wilms hiked from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail. The trip lasted 113 days, and Wilms averaged 26.5 miles per day. The Signal

Cal Poly Alum Sworn in as Anaheim Police Chief

Cal Poly alum Jorge Cisneros was sworn in as Anaheim's police chief. Cisneros earned a degree in architecture and worked part-time with campus police at Cal Poly.
OC Register

Cal Poly Alum John Bird Appointed to Executive Vice President, Client Development

Infotools, a global leader in market research analysis solutions, hired Cal Poly alum John Bird as executive vice president of client development. PR Newswire

 

Cal Poly Alum Kendra Keenan Appointed to Assistant Marketing Manager

Potatoes USA, the nation’s potato marketing and research organization, hired Cal Poly agricultural business alum Kendra Keenan as the assistant marketing manager. PerishableNews

Farm Bureau Appoints Cal Poly Alum Ariana Joven to Executive Director

The Kern County Farm Bureau appointed Cal Poly agricultural communications alum Ariana Joven as the executive director. Joven gained experience in federal and state policy while previously managing the Bakersfield office for Rep. David Valadao. Bakersfield.com

Cal Poly Alum Leslie Garcia Joins People Helping People Board of Directors

The Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People appointed Cal Poly business administration alum Leslie Garcia to the board of directors. Garcia also currently serves as a financial advisor with Edward Jones. Santa Maria Times

Cal Poly Alum Don Marsh Hired to Tehachapi Public Works Director

The City of Tehachapi has hired Cal Poly mechanical engineering alum Don Marsh as the public works director. Tehachapi News

Cal Poly Alum Renée Balducci Appointed to Art Director

Moxxy Marketing hired Cal Poly graphic communications alum Renée Balducci as the new art director. Balducci has experience creating packaging and marketing for multiple agricultural brands. AndNowUKnow

Silver Dollar Fair Appoints Cal Poly Alum Nick DiGrazia to CEO

Cal Poly ag business alum Nick DiGrazia was named the new chief executive officer for the Silve Dollar Fair in Chico. Chico Enterprise-Record

City of Buellton Names Cal Poly Alum Andrea Keefer to Planning Director

Cal Poly city and regional planning alum Andrea Keefer was named the planning director for the City of Buellton. Keefer has worked for the city as an assistant planner for three years. Santa Maria Times

Cal Poly Alum David DeSilva Inducted into Ag Teacher Hall of Fame

The California Agricultural Teachers’ Association inducted Cal Poly alum David DeSilva into its hall of fame. DeSilva retired after a 38-year teaching career. Hanford Sentinel

Cal Poly Alum Nick Sgheiza Promoted to Vice President of Harvest

Tanimura & Antle, a California-based produce company, has promoted Cal Poly crop science alum Nick Sgheiza to vice president of harvest. Sgheiza stared with Tanimura & Antle as an intern in 1999. The Packer

Cal Poly Grad Trevor Keith Appointed to SLO County Planning Director

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors appointed Cal Poly grad Trevor Keith to county planning director. Keith has worked in the county planning department since 2007. New Times

Cal Poly Alum Jenna Hannan Hired as Tasting Room Manager

Eberle Winery hired Cal Poly ag business alum Jenna Hannan as the tasting room manager. Hannan has 15 years of experience working in the wine industry in California and Washington. Wine Business

Cal Poly Alum Marilyn Britton Named SLO County’s Agriculturalist of the Year

Cal Poly alum Marilyn Britton was honored at the Mid-State Fair as the Agriculturalist of the Year. KSBY

Cal Poly Alum Raymond Macareno Joins ImagineU Children's Museum Board of Directors

Cal Poly business administration alum Raymond Macareno joined the board of directors at ImagineU Children’s Museum in Visalia. Macareno is also the senior communications specialist, public affairs and marketing for Kaweah Delta Health Care District. Visalia Times Delta

Cal Poly Alum Joel Conary Appointed as Director of Information and Technology

The Moorpark Unified School District appointed Cal Poly english alum Joel Conary as the director of information and technology. Ventura County Star

Cal Poly Alum Jill Stearns Appointed as Cuesta College President

Cal Poly alum Jill Stearns was sworn in as Cuesta College’s seventh president. Stearns served as the president of Modesto Junior College since 2012. The Tribune

Cal Poly Alum Dave Elcon Promoted to General Manager at Vista Collina Resort

Cal Poly Business Management alum Dave Elcon has been promoted to general manager of Vista Collina Resort in Napa Valley. Elcon has 15 years of hospitality experience. Hospitality Net

Cal Poly Alum Joe Tarica Named Editor of San Luis Obispo Tribune

Cal Poly Alum Joe Tarica was promoted to editor of The Tribune and SanLuisObispo.com. Tarica has worked at the Tribune for 25 years. He started at The Tribune as a newsroom intern while still a student at Cal Poly.  The Tribune

Cal Poly Journalism Alum Ryan Miller Publishes First Book

Cal Poly Journalism alum Ryan Miller wrote his first book titled, How to Feed Your Parents. His work is a children’s book with the goal of getting children excited about cooking and eating healthy. Formerly, Miller was an editor for SLO New Times and the Santa Maria Sun. Santa Maria Sun

Cal Poly Alum Melissa MacGown, LMFT Joins Serenity Addiction Treatment Center

Serenity Addiction Treatment Center hired Cal Poly Psychology alum and LMFT Melissa MacGown to their clinical team. MacGown will provide individualized and group therapy, as well as insight to substance abuse and dual diagnosis treatment. PR Newswire

Cal Poly Alum Judy James Wins North Bay Women in Business Award

Cal Poly alum Judy James won the North Bay Women in Business Award for her work as the director of government affairs at Comcast in the North Bay region. Previously, James worked in public, government, and community relations for Farm Bureau for 17 years. North Bay Business Journal

Cal Poly Alum Kaci Peterson Hired as Perkins Coie Attorney

Perkins Coie, a leading international law firm, has hired Cal Poly alum Kaci Peterson as an attorney to advise clients on private equity, mergers, and acquisitions matters. Idaho Press

Cal Poly Alum Erica Boomer Named Lake County Teacher of the Year

Cal Poly Ag Education alum Erica Boomer was named teacher of the year for Lake County. Boomer is an agriculture teacher and Future Farmers of America adviser at Upper Lake High School. Lake County News

Cal Poly Alum Jorge Cisneros Appointed to Anaheim Police Chief

Cal Poly Architecture alum Jorge Cisneros has been appointed to police chief for Anaheim. Previously, Cisneros was the chief of police of UC Irvine. Voice of OC

Cal Poly Alum Clark Conover Appointed to Vice Principal

Cal Poly alum Clark Conover was promoted to vice principal at Granada High School in the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District. Conover has worked at the high school for 19 years and was formerly the athletic director for 11 years. Livermore Patch

Archery Summit Announces Cal Poly Alum Ian Burch As New Winemaker

Archery Summit, a benchmark producer of estate-grown Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, announced Cal Poly Wine & Viticulture alum Ian Burch as the new winemaker. Burch will be responsible for overseeing all winemaking operations. PR Newswire

Santa Barbara City College Appoints Cal Poly Alum Priscilla Mora As Dean of Educational Programs

Cal Poly English alum Priscilla Mora has been appointed as the dean of educational programs (arts, humanities, social sciences) for Santa Barbara City College. Mora has been teaching for more than 25 years. Noozhawk

Cal Poly Alum Kristoffer Antigua Promoted to In-House Counsel for Optio Solutions

Cal Poly Political Science alum Kristoffer Antigua has been promoted to in-house counsel of the legal department at Optio Solutions, a national debt collection agency in Petaluma. Antigua has been with Optio Solutions since 2015 as a collections attorney. North Bay Business Journal

Cal Poly Alum Todd Exley Hired as Senior Account Manager for Elevate Brand Marketing

Elevate Brand Marketing, a leading branded merchandise and custom packing provider, announced Cal Poly Economics alum Todd Exley as the senior account manager. Exhibitor

Cal Poly Crop Science Alum Rachel Land Announced as Territory Sales Manager

Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc., a leading provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for agriculture, announced Cal Poly Crop Science alum Rachel Land as the territory sales manager for Idaho. She has previous experience with Dow AgroSciences and the Cal Poly Fruit Science Operation. Globe Newswire

Cal Poly Alum Melisa Augusto Joins Agricultural Retailers Association

Cal Poly Agricultural Business alum Melisa Augusto joined the Agricultural Retailers Association as director of communications and marketing. AgWired

Cal Poly Alum Kendra Niedziejko Promoted to xMatters Chief Financial Officer

xMatters, the integration-driven collaboration platform that accelerates incident response and resolution, has promoted Cal Poly Business Administration alum Kendra Niedziejko to chief financial officer. Niedziejko had been the vice president of xMatters since 2014. Globe Newswire

Cal Poly Alum Bob Francis Named Chief Marketing Officer for QiO Technologies

Cal Poly alum Bob Francis has joined the executive leadership team for QiO Technologies as the chief marketing officer. Francis was previously the vice president of marketing at Meridium. PRWeb

Cal Poly Alum Eric C. Wagner Joins Van Ness Feldman as Senior Policy Advisor

Van Ness Feldman LLP, a nationally recognized law firm, has hired Cal Poly alum Eric C. Wagner as the senior policy advisor. Wagner has many years of experience advising clients on government relations matters. Business Wire

Cal Poly Alum Tom Atmore Named Senior Vice President and Director of Loan Administration for Luther Burbank Corp.

Luther Burbank Corporation, the holding company for Luther Burbank Savings, has named Cal Poly architectural engineering alum Tom Atmore as the senior vice president and director of construction loan administration.  North Bay Business Journal

Cal Poly Alum Randy Simonson Elected to University of Minnesota Board of Regents

Cal Poly Biology alum Randy Simonson has been elected to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. Simonson is also the chief executive of Cambridge Technologies. Twin Cities Pioneer Press

Cal Poly Alum Jon-Paul Ewing Named ‘Teacher of the Year’ for Paso Robles Joint Unified School District

PRJUSD named Cal Poly biological sciences alum Jon-Paul Ewing the 2018 Teacher of the Year. Ewing has been a science teacher at Paso Robles High School for 13 years. Paso Robles Press

Cal Poly Alum Jim Olmsted Elected to Redwood Credit Union Board

Cal Poly alum Jim Olmsted was elected to the Redwood Credit Union’s board of directors. He has served as a volunteer official for the credit union since 1993. CUInsight

Cal Poly Business Alum Troy Bettner Appointed to Head of Sales and Marketing for OHP

OHP Inc., a provider of pest control products and services for the greenhouse and nursery production industry, has appointed Cal Poly Business graduate Troy Bettner as the head of sales and marketing. Greenhouse Grower

Reactful Appoints Cal Poly Alum Meagan Eisenberg to Board of Directors

Reactful, an AI-driven engagement, guidance and conversion platform, announced that Cal Poly alum Meagan Eisenberg has been appointed to its board of directors. Eisenberg has a list of accomplishments, working in marketing for the high-tech industry for over 20 years. PRWeb

Cal Poly Alum Chad Sessions Appointed to Identify Clark County Board

Identify Clark County, an organization comprised of business leaders who want to build a stronger community, has appointed Cal Poly alum Chad Sessions to the board. Sessions is also the co-owner of Real Living The Real Estate Group. Clark County Today

Cal Poly Ag Science Alum Jim Barbee Appointed to Churchill County Manager

The Churchill County Commission has announced Cal Poly Ag Science graduate Jim Barbee as the new county manager. He is formerly the director of the Nevada Department of Agriculture. Nevada Appeal

Sacramento County Farm Bureau Appoints Cal Poly Alum Lindsey Liebig to Executive Director

Agribusiness Alum Lindsey Liebig has been appointed to be the executive director of the Sacramento County Farm Bureau. Liebig is currently pursuing her master’s degree in agribusiness from Cal Poly. Elk Grove Citizen

Cal Poly Ag Business Alum Neal Job Named USA Business Manager for STK Bio-Ag Technologies

STK Bio-Ag Technologies, a leader in biopesticides, has announced Neal Job as the new USA Business Manager. He will be responsible for introducing and promoting new biofungicides in the US. Fresh Plaza

Cal Poly Alum Ashley Hunter Promoted to Vice President of Business Development for Avoya Travel

Avoya Travel, an innovative travel brand, has promoted Ashley Hunter to vice president of business development. The Journalism and Public Relations graduate has over 11 years of leadership experience with the company. Globe Newswire

Downtown Association of Yakima Hires Cal Poly Alum Yvette Lippert as Manager for Downtown Farmers’ Market

Cal Poly Dairy Science graduate Yvette Lippert was hired by the Downtown Association of Yakima to be the manager of the Downtown Yakima Farmers’ Market. Lippert has run booths for farmers’ markets since 2012. Yakima Herald

Cal Poly Alum Jenny Luciano Appointed as CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of SLO County

Cal Poly Journalism grad Jenny Luciano was named the new CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County. Luciano has spent her career in nonprofit management and is excited to support children in our community. Paso Robles Daily News

QSC Appoints Cal Poly Alum Jay Wyatt as Sales Engineer

QSC, LLC, a leader in global manufacturing of cinema solutions, has announced that Jay Wyatt, a Cal Poly in Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies graduate, has joined the company as a Sales Engineer. DCinema Today

Cal Poly Grads Maxwell Fong and Elan Timmons Win $100,000 for Sexual Assault Prevention App

Maxwell Fong and Elan Timmons won $100,000 at the Central California Angel Conference on March 29 for their sexual assault prevention app, Ulzi. The competition was held at the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship where the app impressed investors. The Tribune

Cal Poly Architecture Alum, Kent Aden, Inducted Into The San Diego Building Industry Association's Hall of Fame

After receiving his BA degree in architecture from Cal Poly and MBA degree from Cal State Fullerton, community developer Kent Aden has now been inducted into the BIA's Hall of Fame which is the highest honor bestowed by the organization made of 800 member companies in San Diego County. Coronado News

Cal Poly Alum, Elise Warren, Recognized as Contra Costa County's First and Only Female Police Chief

Elise Warren graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in physical education and recently swore in as Clayton City Council's ceremony as its first female police chief. She is also the only woman chief in Contra Costa County. East Bay Times

Lockheed Martin names Cal Poly Alum, Greg Ulmer, as Vice President and General Manager of the F-35 Program

Cal Poly graduate, Greg Ulmer, has been named vice president and general manager of the F-35 Program succeeding Babione. These changes are effective March 19… For the past two years, Ulmer served as vice president, F-35 Aircraft PBU. He was responsible for executing all production contracts and set the priorities and strategy for the F-35 PBU as the enterprise approaches global full rate production. Ulmer’s leadership was instrumental in the team meeting its delivery milestone of 66 aircraft in 2017 – the highest number on record. Aero Tech News

Maui County appoints Cal Poly Alum, Don Medeiros, as New Deputy Transportation Director

Transportation Director Don Medeiros announced he has appointed John Buck as the new Deputy Transportation Director. For the last seven years, Buck has served as an executive assistant to the mayor and served as the Deputy Director of the Department of Parks & Recreation from 2003 to 2007. Maui Now

Cal Poly Alum, Carina Cortez, Joins Ellie Mae as Executive Vice President of Human Resources

Ellie Mae®, the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry, announced that Cal Poly Business Administration graduate,Carina Cortez, has joined the company as Executive Vice President of Human Resources. CU Insight

Talley Farms Names Cal Poly Alum, Derek Sass, as New Sales Manager

Talley Farms, a fourth generation family farming operation located in California’s Arroyo Grande Valley, today announced that it has named produce industry veteran Derek Sass as sales manager for the company, which this year celebrates 70 years of farming in the fertile region near the central Pacific coast. “We are pleased to welcome Derek to the Talley Farms family,” said Todd Talley, chief financial officer and co-owner of Talley Farms.  “He is a consummate professional who has spent his entire career working and building relationships within the produce industry.  His successful track record in sales and commodities management will serve him well as part of our team.” Perishable News

Cal Poly Alum, Chris Dahms, Promoted to Creative Director at SCOTTeVEST

Chris Dahms has been promoted to creative director at SCOTTeVEST, a travel and technology-friendly clothing designer. In his new role, Dahms will develop and manage the artistic direction for all SCOTTeVEST advertising campaigns, including national television commercials, social media and online display. Idaho Business Review

Talend appoints Cal Poly Alum, Eric Johnson, as New CIO

Cal Poly alumni and IT industry veteran Eric Johnson has been appointed as the new Talend CIO, bring more than two decades of experience to the role. Specifically, Johnson brings deep expertise in scaling IT infrastructure, leading digital transformation initiatives and supporting strategic sales. IT Brief

Ventura County Promotes Cal Poly Alum, Mike Pettit, as Assistant CEO

Information technology chief Mike Pettit has been promoted to assistant executive officer in the top office overseeing Ventura County government. County Executive Officer Mike Powers said he selected Pettit after a nationwide search that drew almost 200 applicants. Tech Wire

Cal Poly Alum, Richard Gearhart, Lands Co-Anchor Position for KSBY News

Long-time anchor and Central Coast native Richard Gearhart will co-anchor KSBY News at 6, 10 and 11 p.m. alongside his former co-anchor, Carina Corral. Gearhart joined KSBY News in 1990 as a reporter and weather anchor. He has been co-anchoring Daybreak since 1991. He is a Central Coast native, born and raised in San Luis Obispo County. Gearhart graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. He also holds a master’s degree in agriculture from Cal Poly and attended the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UCSB. Noozhawk

Cal Poly Alum, Roark Lanning, appointed to Director of Wind Energy at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff

Roark Lanning earned a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Cal Poly and is now being named the Director of Wind Energy at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff. The global engineering and professional services organization provides technical, management, and advisory services for projects relating to power. Lanning will specifically focus on the development of onshore wind energy. Penn Energy

Birmingham Botanical Garderns names Cal poly Alum, Tom Underwood, Executive Director

After graduating with a degree in horticulture from Cal Poly, Tom Underwood first found work with Walt Disney World, Orlando and has since been named the Executive Director of Birmingham Botanical Garderns. Over The Mountain Journal

Civil Engineering Alum, John Presleigh, named president of County Engineers Association of California

Public Works Director for the County of Santa Cruz and Cal Poly Alum, John Presleigh, has been named president of the County Engineers Association of California. Presleigh has 33 years experience in management and engineering as well as bachelor's degrees in Civil Engineering from Cal Poly, Water and Soil Science from UC Davis, and a master's degree in Civil Engineering from San Jose State Univeristy. Times Publishing Group

Orfalea College of Business grad Rob Hagen promoted to CFO

The tech accessory company Incipio promoted Cal Poly alum Rob Hagen to CFO. Previously Hagen served similiar roles in BRB/SHERLINe Inc., an environmental services technology company in Rancho Santa Margarita, and at the Hill Corp Inc. in Anaheim. Hagen graduated from Cal Poly with a bachelor's degree in finance and accounting from the Orfalea College of Business. Orange County Business Journal

Siuyin Ko appointed Corporate Director of Sales at Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Cal Poly alumni Siuyin Ko has been appointed as Rosewood Hotels & Resorts' Corporate Director of Sales. Ko graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Managerial Economics. In her new role, Ko will make strategic decisions for the Rosewood North American Regional Sales organization as well as establish the new regional office in San Francisco. Hospitality Net

Cal Poly Alum, Nada Duna, Named COO of Gothic Landscape

Nada Duna, a horticulture graduate from Cal Poly, has been hired as the chief operating officer for Gothic Landscape. Duna previously worked as senior vice president of ValleyCrest Companies where she boosted revenue growth and promoted sustainable practices. “I am thrilled to be joining Gothic, a company that shares my passion for the industry, focus on customers and people and doing what’s right,” said Duna. “I am confident Gothic is well positioned to take advantage of the growth opportunities ahead and that we can collectively create the next generation, innovative landscape maintenance company.” Lawn & Landscape

Alum Larry & Lisa Balestra celebrate 3 decades of farm-fresh produce

Larry's Produce, started by Cal Poly crop science grad Larry Balestra and agricultural business grad Lisa Balestra, has been providing the Suisun Valley fresh produce for over 30 years. The husband-wife duo pride themselves in fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables that help keep customers healthy and their tastebuds happy. Since Larry's Produce's opening three decades ago, the business has grown to employ 80 workers to offer 120-plus different varieties of produce to the local community. Daily Republic

Cal Poly Architecture alum, Marc Mondor, and his wife Christine start evolveEA

Graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cal Poly, Marc Mondor and his wife Christine have started a sustainable design firm focused on the interaction between the built enviornment and the natural environment. EvolveEA (short for environment and architecture) won the Pittsburgh Certificate of Merit in Regional and Urban Design in 2016 for their work on the Centre Avenue Corridor Redevelopment and Design Plan. Pittsburgh Magazine

Cal Poly alum, NathalieTaylor, honored with Press Club award

Cal Poly alum, Nathalie Taylor, won three first place, and two second place awards at the San Diego Press Club’s 43rd Annual Excellence in Journalism Awards Banquet held Oct. 25 at Jacobs Center Market Creek. In the highly competitive “Travel” category Taylor took first place with her story, “A Tale of Two Chinatowns: San Francisco and Toronto,” published in the Village News, Sept. 24, 2015. The story was written from a personal perspective as Taylor recalled her experiences in both cities. The two-page layout included her own photographs and many vivid descriptions. Village News

Phil Christianson, Cal Poly alum, Appointed Chief Executive Officer of HealthSmart

HealthSmart, a leading independent provider of managed care solutions for self-funded employers across the country, today announced that Phil Christianson has been named the Company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Tom Kelly, who has resigned from the Company to pursue other interests. Mr. Christianson, who brings more than 30 years of experience in health benefits administration, technology and operations to HealthSmart, will become CEO effective November 14, 2016. Broadway World

Cal Poly alum, John Chandler, appointed to Fresno County Farm Bureu board of directors

John Chandler, a fourth generation Fowler and Selma farmer, has been elected as a new officer on the 2016-17 board of directors for Fresno County Farm Bureau. “There is a great respect for each generation,” Chandler said of his family’s farm. “There is more of a legacy, or duty, to maintain and continue this great gift.” Chandler graduated Cal Poly with a degree in fruit science. The Selma Enterprise

2016 CattleWoman of the Year award goes to Cal Poly alum, Melanie Fowle

Siskiyou County CattleWomen proudly awarded the 2016 CattleWoman of the Year honor to Melanie Fowle of Etna. Melanie grew up on her family's 5000 acre cattle ranch in a remote area of Siskiyou County, riding her horse about 8 miles to a one-room schoolhouse. She graduated from high school in Etna, attended Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo and majored in History with an English minor. She was one of a few women at that time competing on the Livestock Judging Team for Cal Poly, and brought home the 1st place individual award from the national competition at the Denver show. Siskiyou Daily News

Victor Glover, NASA astronaut and Cal Poly alum, speaks at Las Positas College

Victor Glover, NASA astronaut and Cal Poly alum, speaks at Las PositasThe Las Positas College President's Speaker Series featured NASA astronaut Commander and Cal Poly alum Victor Glover Wednesday, November 16th. Glover is one of eight to be selected as NASA's new group of astronauts in four years. He received an undergraduate degree in engineering from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo and holds advanced degrees from the Air University and Naval Postgraduate School. He is an F/A-18 pilot and a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. The Independent
 

 

 

Cal Poly Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration graduate, Jamie Tejeda, takes ownership of Grover Beach's Lickety Split Bakery

Already known for its cupcakes, Grover Beach’s Lickety Split Bakery is quickly becoming recognized for a wider array of delectable delights — ranging from croissants to cookies to creative custom cakes. The new approach is thanks to new ownership from newlyweds Lalo and Jamie Tejeda. Five months into their marriage, the Tejedas took over the business in May from Jan Evans. She purchased it in 2011, the same year the Tejedas met.Owning a bakery “was both of our dreams, individually — even before we met,” Jamie Tejeda said. “But it was part of our five-year plan after getting married, not our five-month plan!” SLO Tribune

Cal Poly alum, Judy Lee, starts new position as Senior Vice President of Square 1 Bank

Senior vice president Judy Lee comes to Square 1 from Silicon Valley Bank where she most recently served as vice president in the Venture Capital and Private Equity Services practice, and brings over a decade of experience in financial services and relationship management in Silicon Valley. Her prior experience also includes a senior advisory role in Silicon Valley Bank’s Fixed Income Asset Management group and banker positions within its technology and life sciences practices. Judy received an MS in Financial Analysis from the University of San Francisco and a BS from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. “I am excited to work with a group of energized and knowledgeable bankers and look forward to continuing to build partnerships within the investor community,” said Lee. Financial Content

NBC Boston hires Cal Poly alum, Nick Emmons

Nick Emmons, a 2008 graduate of Cal Poly's broadcast journalism and public relations program, has joined New England Cable News and NBC Boston. Before the offer, Nick worked as a weekend anchor and weekday reporter at WHDH7 where he reported on hitting news stories throughout Boston. "Exciting day!" Nick said in a post to his Instagram account. "I'm very happy to join the team at NBC Boston/NECN! I'm looking forward to a bright future alongside a lot of hard working people! Stay tuned for more details." New England 1

Cal Poly Engineering alum, Scot Sawyer, wins Washington State's American Public Works Association's prestigious awardCal Poly Engineering alum, Scot Sawyer, wins Washington State's American

Scott, a principal at SCJ Alliance and Cal Poly alum, was presented the Roy Morse Award for outstanding technical and professional accomplishments in public works by the Washington state chapter of APWA. As the APWA state winner, he will now be considered in the National Top 10 Public Works Leaders of the Year Award. A graduate of California Polytechnic State University, Scott moved to Washington 17 years ago and has been in the industry for more than 25 years. “The opportunity to serve is what drives me,” Scott shared. “In my profession, I get to serve people, communities and my colleagues, all in the context of solving problems.” 
Thurston Talk

Cal Poly alum, Randy A. Record, reelected Chairman of Metropolitan's Board of Directors

Randy A. Record, under whose leadership the region's primary water import agency has navigated supply and resource challenges during the state's ongoing historic drought, was reelected as chairman of the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. During his first term, the district confronted unmatched drought conditions after the state recorded the hottest year on record in 2014 and the driest year ever recorded in 2013. In response, for the fourth time in the district's history, Metropolitan restricted wholesale deliveries to its 26 member public agencies to help save water and stretch available supplies, while also establishing the nation's largest turf removal and water conservation program. Benzinga

Girl Scouts of California's Central Coast name Cal Poly alum Jody Skenderian as Interim CEO 

Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast (GSCCC) today announced Jody Skenderian as the council’s interim CEO. Skenderian, who most recently served as GSCCC’s Chief Development Officer, has been responsible for the council’s fund development, product sales and marketing and communications efforts. With over two decades of experience building and leading business development and community relations teams for Fortune 1000 companies, Skenderian brings a wealth of experience into the new position. She succeeds Gina Jaeger, who served as CEO since 2013. 

Cal Poly alum, Steven Adams, selected to lead King City as new city manager

After an extensive recruitment process, the City Council of King City has selected Steven Adams to be its next City Manager. Based on the excellent results of the process, the City Council has unanimously concluded that Adams is the best candidate to serve in this important position. Adams has over 32 years of experience in local government administration and a consistent track record of success with a number of agencies. Adams’ education includes a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. KSBW

Cal Poly alum to open second Sushi restaurant in downtown San Jose

Cal Poly alum and former cancer researcher, Randy Musterer, has made the transition to successful sushi restaurateur. Three years after opening his first restaurant — called Sushi [Confidential] — in downtown Campbell, Musterer is bringing his operation to downtown San Jose. The new store is slated for 31 N. Market St., the former Sonoma Chicken Coop at San Pedro Square. And it comes about a year after Musterer, who is known to customers and friends as Sushi Randy, first started to hunt for a second location, buoyed by the phenomenal response to his first spot on East Campbell Avenue.
Silicon Valley Business Journal

 

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