William H. Swanson graduated magna cum laude from Cal Poly in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. He retired in September 2014 from Raytheon Company where he held the position of Chairman and CEO. Swanson is a member of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation board, the NextEra Energy, Inc., board and is vice chairperson of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation board of directors. Swanson is chairman emeritus of the Aerospace Industries Association and is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a former member of the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation Board of Advisors and the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. Swanson is also active in the field of education as a member of the Cal Poly President’s Cabinet and the University of Massachusetts President’s Advisory Council, as well as the honorary chair of MATHCOUNTS®. He has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Pepperdine University and he was selected as the 1991 Cal Poly College of Engineering Honored Alumnus and received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Cal Poly in 2005.
Charles L. Harrington is the retired Chairman and CEO of Parsons Corporation (NYSE: PSN). Chuck’s career at Parsons spanned 40 years including leading Parsons transformation from an engineering and construction management firm to a leading technology supplier to the defense, intelligence and infrastructure markets. Chuck is a Cal Poly graduate with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering. He also received an MBA from The UCLA Anderson School and is a graduate of the Duke University Fuqua School Advanced Management Program. Harrington became chief financial officer at Parsons in 2006 and CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2008 which he held until his retirement in 2021. His wife, Diane, received her Cal Poly bachelor’s degree in Ornamental Horticulture in 1981 and her master’s degree in Agricultural Education in 1982. Harrington chaired the Cal Poly President’s Cabinet, is a founding member of the LOOP Scholarship Fund in the College of Engineering, and the Learn by Doing Fund in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.
John A. Ronca, Jr., earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration at Cal Poly in 1975. He attended Pepperdine University School of Law graduating with a Juris Doctorate Degree in 1978. In 1979, Mr. Ronca graduated from Denver University School of Law, earning a master’s degree in the Laws of Taxation. Mr. Ronca began his law practice in San Luis Obispo in 1979 and has been certified by the California State Bar as a Specialist in Probate, Estate Planning and Trust law since 1991. Mr. Ronca is currently Chair of the Cal Poly Athletic Director’s Council, Chair of the Mission College Preparatory High School Board of Regents, President of the Northern California Golf Association, Chair of the Straight Down Fall Classic Golf Tournament, and served as Chair of the French Hospital Community Board for 2007-2009.
Michael Abbott's educational journey began with a B.S. in Biochemistry from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, complemented by coursework toward a Ph.D. at the University of Washington.
In May 2023, Abbott assumed the role of Executive Vice President of Software at General Motors. Prior to this, Abbott joined Apple in 2018 as the Vice President of Engineering at Apple Cloud Services. In his role, he oversaw work on Apple Cloud Services like iCloud+, Mail, FindMy, FaceTime, and more.
Before Apple, Abbott served as a Visiting Scholar at Stanford's Artificial Intelligence Lab (SAIL), focusing on computer vision research and product development. He subsequently became a General Partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), concentrating on investments in the digital sector, aiding entrepreneurs in social, mobile, and cloud computing to scale teams and ventures. Abbott's career journey also included roles at Twitter, where he was the inaugural Vice President of Engineering, and at Palm, where he assumed the position of Executive Vice President of Software and Services. Additionally, he managed Microsoft Azure as the General Manager. His career commenced with entrepreneurship, during which he initiated several venture-backed startups, including Composite Software.
In addition to his service on the Cal Poly Foundation Board of Directors, Abbott actively contributes as a board member at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. He also imparts knowledge as an Adjunct Lecturer at Stanford's Department of Computer Science and has occupied various board positions in companies he has both invested in and founded.
Lisa Anderson received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1984. She is currently a Managing Director at Brookfield Asset Management in New York City, where she is responsible for developing insurance solutions for the global insurance industry. Prior to joining Brookfield in 2017, she was head of Structured Credit Business Development at Morgan Stanley and Barclays investment banking divisions where she was credited with the development of the multi-trillion-dollar family of tradeable credit indices called CDX. Ms. Anderson is a member of the board of KiDS of NYU Langone Hospital as well as serving on the Parent Advisory Committee at Cal Poly, where her daughter is pursuing a degree in Sustainable Solutions in Civil Engineering.
Michael J. Applegate earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Cal Poly in 1980. An active entrepreneur with several business interests, he is principally engaged as President of TimeValue Software, a market leading provider of specialized loan amortization and tax-related software solutions used by accountants, attorneys and other financial professionals in the US and internationally. Prior to founding TimeValue Software in 1985, Mr. Applegate was a CPA with Price Waterhouse. A wrestler in high school and college, Mr. Applegate is a strong supporter and advocate for student athletic programs and activities in support of USA Wrestling. He serves on the Cal Poly Athletic Director's Council.
Philip S. Bailey, Jr. has served Cal Poly for 48 years and counting, with 34 years as dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. Since retiring from the position of dean, Dr. Bailey continues to serve the University as the Executive Director of the Frost Fund, where his focus is on developing programs and facilities dedicated to fostering undergraduate research. It is through his passion for student success and the advancement of Learn by Doing that Dr. Bailey played an integral role in securing the largest private gift in the California State University system, a record $110 million received from Bill & Linda Frost in May 2017. Prior to joining Cal Poly’s faculty in 1969, Dr. Bailey earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Texas, Austin, and a doctorate from Purdue University. He became associate dean in 1973 and dean in 1983. He served as Interim Vice-President for Academic Affairs in 1989-90 and interim provost briefly in 2015. He and his wife, Dr. Christina Bailey, professor emerita and former chair of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, are co-authors of Organic Chemistry: A Brief Survey of Concepts and Applications. The Baileys have performed their chemistry magic show for over 125,000 people and distributed 25,000 copies of a professional DVD of the show. Dr. Bailey has taught almost every term during his 48 years at Cal Poly. One of his most notable achievements is the development and construction of the cutting-edge Baker Center for Science and Mathematics. Completed in 2013, the building was the result of 20 years of planning and preparation, which involved working closely with faculty to find out what resources and facilities they needed to best educate students. Prior to that he had led in the proposal and construction of Faculty Offices East and is now taking a lead position in the development of the Science and Agriculture Teaching and Research Complex. He is the recipient of many awards, the most recent being the Cal Poly President's Medal of Excellence.
Dr. Bailey has been recognized by the Associated Students Incorporated with the Advisor of the Year award, Provost’s Leadership Award for Partnership in Philanthropy, Ambassador of Goodwill Award for his support of African-American students and underrepresented students in general at Cal Poly, Faculty Excellence in Advising Award from the California State Students’ Association (representing the California State University) for his support of student success and demonstrated compassion for underrepresented students, and Cal Poly’s Sandra Gardebring Ogren Leadership Award. In March of 2015, Dr. Bailey was honored with joint resolution from the California Legislature for his long career and many achievements at Cal Poly. During his final year as dean, he was recognized by various groups including RISE (undocumented student club), Lifetime Achievement Award from University Housing, Insight into Diversity magazine’s Giving Back Award, Cal Poly President’s Diversity Award for Lifetime Achievement and the rarely awarded Cal Poly President’s Medal of Excellence.
Stephen J. Barnard earned his bachelor's degree in Agriculture Business Management in 1975. He is the Founder and CEO of Mission Produce, the largest avocado grower and distributor in the world, operating in nine countries. Barnard is past Chairman of the Western Growers Association, and the Produce Marketing Association, a global fresh produce Association. He serves on the CAFES Advisory Board at Cal Poly, and was selected as an Honored alumus for CAFES in 2003.
Paul R. Bonderson, Jr. holds a BSEE and Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Cal Poly. Bonderson is retired from Brocade Communications Systems, where he was a cofounder of the company and CTO. He has more than 30 years of technical experience in the computer industry including engineering careers at Intel and Sun Microsystems. His technical career spans hardware and software engineering, engineering management, and product development. Bonderson is currently president of Lone Oak Ventures, which has holdings in the venture capital funds, private equity investments, and real estate. He sits on the board of directors and is First Vice President for Ducks Unlimited and is on the Board of Trusties for the Wetlands America Trust. Bonderson is also on the Dean's Advisory Council, College of Engineering, Cal Poly; a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, College of Agriculture University of California Davis; and on the board of Directors for the Taylor Family Foundation.
Lloyd H. Dean is a nationally recognized leader within and beyond the field of health care. He is Chief Executive Officer of CommonSpirit Health, one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the United States, focused on creating healthier communities and transforming health care delivery for millions of Americans. As Chief Executive Officer of CommonSpirit Health, which has a combined revenue of $33 billion, Mr. Dean is responsible for all of the system’s complex hospital and clinical operations, financial strategy, and human resources. On an annual basis, CommonSpirit Health provides $4.45 billion in charity care and community benefits, and unreimbursed government programs.
Currently, Mr. Dean serves on the Board of the McDonald’s Corporation and has been appointed to its Board Audit and Finance Committee and Board Compensation Committee. As of February 2021, Mr. Dean was appointed to the Cal Poly Foundation Board (San Luis Obispo, CA) and Carnegie Hall Board of Trustees. He is Co-Chair of the California Future Health Workforce Commission, an organization composed of senior leaders from California’s leading health philanthropies focused on deploying a workforce addressing the health care delivery system of tomorrow. Mr. Dean is Board Chair of the Board of Directors for the Committee on Jobs, an organization that brings employment to the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Mr. Dean to his Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery, whose charge is to help the state recover and create jobs to transcend from the COVID-19 crisis and to the Future of Work Commission, whose aim is to create long-term economic grown in California. A passionate advocate for health care reform, Mr. Dean was actively engaged with the White House Cabinet on health care issues during the Obama administration and directly participated in health care reform discussions with the former president during the formation of the Affordable Care Act. In California, Mr. Dean has been appointed to the State Health Care Cost Containment Commission charged with developing practical state policies to contain health care costs in the nation.
Mr. Dean holds a bachelor of science in sociology and a master’s in educational leadership from Western Michigan University, received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of San Francisco and an honorary doctor of science from California Polytechnic State University. He is consistently ranked in Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” and in 2020 was given Modern Healthcare’s Luminary Award, because he has consistently been named to its yearly “Top 25 Minority Leaders in Healthcare.” Mr. Dean has dedicated his career to eliminating the social disparities that are the root problems behind so many health issues.
Hilary DeCesare is an award-winning entrepreneur and most recently the co-founder of ReLaunch Life. Experienced in all aspects of launching and growing a business, Ms. DeCesare is a well-known digital media expert, Executive Coach, speaker and is a frequent contributor to major news outlets including ABC, CBS, Fox, and Huffington Post. Ms. DeCesare has been recognized with multiple consumer and technology awards. She was selected as AlwaysOn's “Top 25 Women in Tech to Watch“ in 2010, 2011, 2012, was honored with the prestigious 2010 DEMOgod Award and won the 2012 Golden Bridge Women Founder of the Year Award. Ms. DeCesare also co-founded White Space Ink, an executive management consulting firm specializing in Silicon Valley technology start-ups. She is a renowned coach for entrepreneurs and a regular speaker at entrepreneurial events. She is known as a 'Master of Matches' in both business and personal pursuits. Ms. DeCesare’s career began at Xerox. Following Xerox, she spent 10 years at Oracle Corporation garnering more than 100 worldwide managerial and sales awards including the prestigious Global Top Account Manager award. Currently she sits on the boards of the MaxCure Foundation and Bridge DA Gap, advocating for children’s health and education. She is relentless about her philanthropic work as seen on ABC's Secret Millionaire.
Scott Gaudineer has served the University in various capacities for many years. A 1979 graduate of the architecture program, he was a founding member of the Daedalus chapter of Alpha Rho Chi (the national architecture fraternity), participated in the student senate, and co-chaired the CAED Student Council. He was a member of the National Honor Society and was a Julia Morgan Phoebe Hearst scholarship recipient.
Gaudineer knew he wanted to be an architect by the time he was 11 years old. As president/CEO of Flewelling & Moody, he has overseen the facilitation of numerous K-12 and higher education buildings throughout the state. Gaudineer is passionate about supporting the profession he loves, whether through the role of architect advocate or mentoring and supporting students, emerging professionals and citizen architects. He is an active member of his local AIA and the Trustee Division of the State Architect Advisory Board. He received the Presidential Citation from the AIA California Council in 2013. Gaudineer chaired the college’s Dean’s Leadership Council from 2011-15, and he and his wife, Leslie Gaudineer (Social Sciences, 1980), are longtime supporters of the college.
Basia Gillespie and her husband Troy, have been operating family businesses in California and Nevada for over 30 years. Their various business ventures include commercial real estate and farming. The Gillespie’s vertically integrated their farming operations by purchasing a raisin processing and packaging facility. They now market and distribute their raisins to customers on a global scale under the name River Ranch Raisins. Prior to joining the family business on a full time basis, Basia worked as a Research Analyst covering both domestic and international equity securities for William O’Neal and Company, the publisher of Investor’s Business Daily and for Iron Mountain Records Management as Manager of Budgeting and Forecasting. Basia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a Masters of Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University. Basia and Troy have two children. Their daughter, Courtney, graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Wine and Viticulture and is currently working on her Masters of Business Administration. Their son, Austin, is studying business at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, University Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, joined Cal Poly in August 2020. Prior to coming to Cal Poly, Dr. Jackson-Elmoore served as the dean of the Honors College at Michigan State University (MSU), where she oversaw the program for high-achieving undergraduates, as well as the Academic Scholars Program, the National/International Fellowships & Scholarships Office, and the MSU Debate Program. Dr. Jackson-Elmoore was also a professor with affiliations in the MSU School of Social Work and the Global Urban Studies Program. She also co-chaired a university level Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Steering Committee and was appointed to the MSU Strategic Planning Committee. Before becoming dean, Dr. Jackson-Elmoore served as Acting Assistant Dean of the Urban Affairs Program, Director of the Urban Studies Graduate Program in the College of Social Science, and Co-Director of the Program in Urban Politics and Policy at Michigan State University. Dr. Jackson-Elmoore has taught courses in public policy processes and analysis, urban politics, evaluation, and social welfare policy and services; conducted evaluations on community health care reform; and served as project manager for a multi-state research study.
Her work has been published in Policy Studies Review, Policy Studies, Review of Policy Research, Urban Affairs Review, Cities, Health Education Research, American Journal of Health Education, Social Work, Public Productivity and Management Review, Korean Review of Public Administration and Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE). She has also published several book chapters and is a co-author of Reinventing Civil Society: The Emerging Role of Faith-Based Organizations (M.E. Sharp) and a co-editor of Reclaiming Brownfields: A Comparative Analysis of Adaptive Reuse of Contaminated Properties (Ashgate Publishing, LTD), Nonprofits in Urban America (Quorum Books) and a journal symposium for Policy Studies Review. She also served as Senior Associate Editor of the Journal of Urban Affairs. Dr. Jackson-Elmoore earned doctorate and master's degrees in Public Administration, with a public policy emphasis, from the University of Southern California and a bachelor's in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware. She also earned certification from the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Richard C. Jacobsen Jr. earned his bachelor's degree in business administration at Cal Poly in 1985. He received an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business in 1989. Mr. Jacobsen is a managing director at Greenhill & Co., an independent global investment banking firm. He is also involved with Rocky Hill, Inc., a diversified farming company that is owned by his family. Mr. Jacobsen is a member of the board of directors of Sunkist Growers, Inc., Fruit Growers Supply Company and the California Citrus Growers Association.
Dr. Jennifer Jipson serves as the Faculty Director to the Cal Poly Foundation Board. She joined the Cal Poly faculty in 2005 and currently holds the position of Professor of Psychology and Child Development. She received a B.S. in Psychology and Government from Smith College, a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from UC-Santa Cruz, and completed postdoctoral research training at the University of Michigan. She recently concluded a 3-year term as Chair of the Department of Psychology and Child Development at Cal Poly. In her research, Dr. Jipson investigates how young children develop interests, understandings and identities related to science, health and technology. She publishes regularly in scholarly journals and co-edited the book Relating Research and Practice: Cognitive Development in Museum Settings. She has an established track record of effectively obtaining extramural funding to support her work. Some notable recent awards include funding from the NSF National Robotics Initiative to collaborate on a multidisciplinary project titled “Food Is Fundamental: The Profound Ethical and Social Impacts of Robot Kitchens,” and funding from the NSF Advancing Informal Stem Education Initiative to support the research-to-practice project "My Sky Tonight: Early Childhood Pathways to Astronomy.” Dr. Jipson teaches a variety of courses including Children, Adolescents and Technology and Children’s Learning in Out-of-School Time. She received the Richard K. Simon Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching at Cal Poly. Dr. Jipson is committed to translating academic research in child development to those creating experiences and products for children and families. She is a member of the Educational Advisory Board for The Goddard Schools and offers exhibit and programming support to children’s museums and science centers. Additionally, she has served as a Content and Curriculum Advisory Board Member for Nickelodeon Jr., a PlayLab Advisor for Fisher Price, and a consultant for Inherquests (financial literacy program for girls) and Wee Gallery (an infant and toddler toy company)
Abegail Lara serves as the Student Director of the Cal Poly Foundation. Currently majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting, Abegail plans to continue her Cal Poly education in the graduate program within the Orfalea College of Business. Abegail has experience with Capital Market Accounting Advisory work and plans to become a licensed CPA following graduation. Serving as the president of the Latinx Business Student Association, she is passionate about leveraging clubs to connect talented Cal Poly students with industry partners.
Jerry Lohr has played a leading role in developing Cal Poly’s Wine & Viticulture Innovations Center where students learn the foundations of viticulture, winemaking and wine business using the university’s 14-acre teaching vineyard and pilot winery, and stewardship over the Cal Poly Wines brand. In 2008, the founder of J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines was honored as Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance’s Wine Industry Person of the Year. The California Association of Winegrape Growers presented him with a lifetime achievement award in January 2011 for many contributions in the Golden State’s wine industry. Lohr graduated from South Dakota State University in 1958, earned a master’s from Stanford the following year, and completed all coursework, university and department orals for a doctorate in civil engineering in 1961.
Jim Marderosian is the founder and president of Bee Sweet Citrus, Inc., where he is responsible for the overall operation of the company, overseeing administration, marketing, production, farm management and grower relations. Marderosian first opened Bee Sweet Citrus in 1987, and has since helped it become one of California’s leading growers, packers and shippers of premier citrus. Bee Sweet works with a volume of approximately 10 million cartons of citrus annually, and has an international footprint. Marderosian and Bee Sweet Citrus are known for being good corporate citizens. Marderosian has served on the college’s Dean’s Advisory Council since 2016. Mr. Marderosian and his wife Michelle reside in Fresno, CA and have four adult children. Their three sons are Cal Poly alumni.
Ryan Martinez is a Principal Advisor at Alliance Bernstein. He works closely with business owners, entrepreneurs, and corporate executives as their outsourced family office and financial confidant. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and has completed the advanced financial planning program at Boston University. Ryan speaks nationally on succession planning topics to organization like YPO, UCLA and University of Hawaii Family Business Centers, and several industry trade shows. Prior to beginning his career as a financial advisor, Ryan successfully led a business unit for a Fortune 100 Best Company to Work For. He was twice recognized as global consultant of the year. He earned a BS, cum laude, in business with a minor in economics from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Ryan is passionate about giving back to the community. He serves on the Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Foundation Board of Directors. In addition, he acts as an advisor to the UCLA Steinbeck Family Business Center, and was the past president of the Los Angeles Estate Planning Council and Latino Dealmakers. Ryan has received the Cal Poly Honored Alumni award in 2021. Ryan resides between San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles with his wife, Amanda, and their two young sons. They enjoy adventure travel and outdoor activities.
Laura M. Pickering received her bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Cal Poly in 1984. She is CEO and co-founder of Sizijee, Inc. Previously, Pickering was Vice President in the Office of the CEO at NetApp, where she was a key advisor to and member of NetApp's executive team. She is a co-founder and managing partner at Innovation Quest, a non-profit, philanthropic corporation founded by successful Cal Poly graduates and business leaders. Pickering also gives generously of her time to Cal Poly on two committees of the College of Engineering’s Dean’s Advisory Council and on the Women in Engineering Industry Advisory Board.
John F. Salmonson earned his bachelor’s degree in crop science from Cal Poly in 1967. Mr. Salmonson was the past president and owner of Monterey AgResources headquartered in Fresno. The company was acquired by Brandt Consolidated in 2009. He currently serves as a Corporate Director on the Brandt board. Mr. Salmonson is currently a member of Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council. In 2011, Mr. Salmonson was named the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences Honored Alumnus.
Kenric B. Stone earned his Cal Poly bachelor of science degree in architecture in 1979 and his bachelor of architecture degree in 1980. He is a Vice President with The Austin Company, an international architecture, engineering and construction services firm, where he oversees key client projects nationally and also serves as Chairman of Austin’s business operations in Mexico. The Austin Company is a part of Kajima USA, a whollyowned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Kajima Corporation, a Fortune Global 500 construction organization. In 2005, Stone was named the College of Architecture and Environmental Design Honored Alumnus. Stone has been involved with the Cal Poly Alumni Association for more than twenty years, serving twice as President. He also recently served as the President of the California State University Alumni Council representing the over 2.8 million alumni of the CSU’s 23 campuses. In 2011, the Cal Poly Alumni Association awarded Stone its Distinguished Service Award for his service to Cal Poly and to the California State University.
Chris Trapani graduated from Cal Poly in 1990 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. He is Co-Founder and CEO of Christie’s International Real Estate Sereno. He founded the firm with his lifetime best friend and fellow Cal Poly alum, Ryan Iwanaga (English/1991). Chris’ wife, Kirsten (Nutritional Science/1991), and their two oldest children (Gabriella: Business/2018 and Anthony: Business/2020) are also Cal Poly alumni. Their youngest child, Rocco, is presently attending Cal Poly as well. The Trapani Family is definitely Mustang Proud! Christie’s Sereno has donated $6 Million and growing to over 500 charities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area over the past 10 years through its 1% for Good Charitable Foundation. The firm has been recognized as one of the top 30 Corporate Donors by the Silicon Valley Business Journal and ranked among the top 2 best places to work in the Bay Area for 13 years in a row. Chris was recently honored to receive the RISMedia National Leadership Award in 2022 for outstanding leadership and philanthropic achievements over the past 20 years. Chris was a CLA Honored Alumnus for 2017, serves as co-chair of Cal Poly’s President’s Council of Advisors and on the CLA Dean’s Advisory Council. Chris enjoys practicing yoga, golfing with his wife and children, surfing, playing guitar and singing.
Stan Van Vleck, Stan Van Vleck is a fifth generation cattle rancher and is President of Van Vleck Ranch with operations in the States of Texas and California in the counties of Amador, El Dorado and is headquartered in Sacramento County. Stan was raised on his family’s ranching and farming operations in the Sacramento region. Stan has a BS in Agriculture Business from Cal Poly SLO, where he received the award as the outstanding graduate from the College of Agriculture. Stan was very involved in the Student Body where he served as President, Vice President and Chairman of their Board of Directors. He is the only person in the University’s history elected to all three offices. Stan has a Juris Doctorate from UOP’s McGeorge School of Law where he attended as a full-time student while he worked full-time at regional law firm specializing in agriculture. Stan also has worked as a legislative policy staff member specializing in agriculture in the California Legislature, US Senate and for California Governor Wilson. Stan currently holds multiple careers ventures. He is an attorney and Partner at one of the largest law firms in Northern California, Downey Brand LLP, and served as it first Chairman from 2014 through 2016. Stan represents clients throughout the state on complex issues involving the environment, government and agriculture. Stan has been awarded as one of the top attorneys in the Sacramento region both in the Business Journal and Sacramento Magazine. Stan also has a lobbying firm, Cal Connected, where he represents some of the world’s largest companies, including Siemens. Siemens recently awarded him as their top lobbyist in the United States. Stan is also President and owner of Van Vleck Ranch, which is one of the oldest businesses in the Sacramento region. Stan bought out 7 family members in the mid 2000s and has increased operations by almost 10 fold and their beef is now recognized by top chefs as some of the best in America. Their beef is served in top restaurants in the world such as the French Laundry and Michael Mina’s. Stan also created a new division within the company, Van Vleck Properties, which owns and operates investment grade commercial real estate in Texas. Stan has been involved in multiple leadership positions in the Sacramento community including Vice Chair of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, chairing the effort to build Golden 1 arena and served as legal counsel to Mayor Johnson to help keep the Kings in Sacramento when the Maloofs put the franchise up for sale. Stan also serves on the California Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Chairs its Water Committee. Most importantly to Stan, he is father to Christian age 20 (Cal Poly Business 2022) and Tori 17 and husband to Nicole Montna Van Vleck, who runs Montna Farms, a vertically integrated rice company.
Cynthia Vizcaíno Villa began her appointment as Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo in July 2015. Villa oversees a broad portfolio that includes budget and fiscal management, facilities management, construction and planning, procurement, risk management, human resources administration, public safety and oversight of auxiliary operations.
Villa most recently served as the Vice President for Business Affairs at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), a position she held since 2001. Prior to her appointment as vice president, Ms. Vizcaíno Villa served UTEP as both associate and assistant vice president for finance and administration, comptroller, director of financial services and assistant director of budget and payroll. She earned a master’s of education – higher education administration and a bachelor’s degree in business administration at UTEP and is a Certified Public Accountant for the State of Texas.
In addition to her duties as UTEP’s vice president for business affairs, Ms. Vizcaíno Villa has served on a number of governing boards including San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce, El Paso Children’s Hospital, Texas Department of Information Resources (gubernatorial appointment) and the Texas Association of College and University Business Officers.
Ex officio members:
UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT & Foundation CEO
Jeffrey D. Armstrong began his tenure as Cal Poly's ninth permanent president on February 1, 2011. Before joining Cal Poly, he served as dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and professor of Animal Science at Michigan State University, beginning in 2001. Armstrong was head of the Department of Animal Sciences at Purdue University from 1997 to 2001 and served in various positions at North Carolina State University from 1986 through 1997. Armstrong attended Murray State University in Kentucky, where he earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture in 1981. He earned both a master's (1984) and doctorate (1986) in physiology and endocrinology from North Carolina State University.
Marc Benadiba earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration at Cal Poly State University. He is the University Controller for Cal Poly State University, and was recently appointed to the Interim Treasurer position for the Cal Poly Foundation where he serves as an Ex officio board member. In his University Controller role, Marc is part of the Administration and Finance team, where he is responsible for managing the Student Financial Services Office, University Accounting and Reporting, and Payroll Services. Marc has been with Cal Poly State University for 15 years. Prior to that Marc worked 10 years in private and publicly held hi-tech companies in controller level positions, and worked in public accounting for three years focusing on tax and audit services. Marc is a Certified Public Accountant, speaks Spanish fluently, is married and has four children.