What ever happened to the ASI presidents that served during your time at Cal Poly? Find out where their college leadership experience took them later in life in this interactive timeline.
Are you a former ASI president missing from this list? Send us your update and photo at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add you to the timeline!
Cal Poly has prepared me well for life post graduation. My current position is an internship at Rabobank in their Real Estate Industries Group. I’m a financial analyst that looks at people’s financials and helps determine if they are eligible for loans. My fondest memories since graduating Cal Poly consist of building a new community of mentors and friends that are helping build and encourage me to achieve my goals.
The summer following my time as ASI president (2014-2015) and after one year into my MA degree, I worked for Parsons Corporation for the senior vice president of government relations in Washington, D.C.. I then completed my MA degree in public policy from Cal Poly (June 2016). Since March of 2016, I have been working as the marketing and communications manager for the Economic Vitality Corporation of San Luis Obispo County, a non-profit which aims to foster investment and the growth of business in the local economy. Most recently, on June 12, 2016, (I suppose favorite memory since graduating) I got engaged to my former ASI Chief of Staff, who also happened to run against me in the ASI Presidential elections. (His name is Jake Rogers, AGB ‘2015; he is a 2nd Lt. in the Marine Corps).
Right after graduating I became a Chapter Consultant for my fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau. I traveled to universities around the country (around 30 different states) and got to see a lot of national monuments and historical sites in the process. At the start of the 15-16 school year, I came back to Cal Poly to complete a masters degree (Master of Public Policy). I’ll be going into the second year of that program this coming fall.
After graduation, I moved to Seattle to join the health and life sciences sales team at Microsoft. I started in the evening Masters of Business Administration program last fall at the University of Washington with two other Cal Poly alumni. I love being back on a college campus and meeting other students.
I’m most proud of my current job at IBM where I serve on the analytics communications team, overseeing external relations for three business units within IBM’s analytics business division. Since graduation in June 2011, I’ve had more than one fond memory along my journey – my fondest memories include: Becoming an IBMer, holding an elected position on San Francisco’s GOP Central Committee representing AD 17 and AD 19, serving on five Cal Poly advisory boards, and last but not least, leading the Cal Poly SF/SJ Alumni Chapter as President from 2012-16, where my former VP Natalia Walicki and I built our volunteer leadership team from five to twenty-five alumni and together produced 49 events. Go Mustangs, and forever #CalPolyProud!
Since graduating Cal Poly with a BS in Graphic Design, I’ve moved to San Francisco where I’ve now lived for the past 6 years. Starting my career at Macys.com, I worked there for 4 years briefly in Marketing Strategy, and then as a User Experience Architect where I discovered my career passion.
A little over a year ago, I was hired to work at Atlassian as the Senior User Experience Designer for the web, to lead and execute their website experience design strategy. I’m proud to work for Atlassian; a company that creates software to enable people to do amazing things such as travel to mars, and develop robots to navigate disaster relief areas!
My time at Cal Poly and with ASI will remain some of my most fondest memories. I cannot express enough gratitude for the skills that ASI helped me develop that have directly translated into the business-world. Go Mustangs!
After graduating Cal Poly in 2009, I moved up to Oakland (where I still live) and went on to get a masters degree in educational leadership and a single subject teaching credential. After a few years in the classroom I took the HUGE leap and founded an education non-profit organization, The Whole Human Project – we’re a progressive social, emotional, and sexuality education program for teenagers. My personal life has been just as lovely – this year I married my very best friend! We’re excited to continue building our home and business together!
Eight years later (and likely forever) the job I have been most proud of was being an agent of change for the students of Cal Poly through my various roles in student government. My fondest post-graduation memory was coming back to campus to celebrate the opening of the new Recreation Center – for me, it was the realization that our team had made Cal Poly a better place for future students.
Since graduating Cal Poly (ARCE ’07), I’ve worked in construction management building a variety of projects including new K-12 schools, university athletic facilities, luxury mixed use residential, and a high end resort, with all projects totaling more than $600M in value. For nearly three years, I also worked on the “owner side” of the industry, and managed the implementation of school bond construction programs in the central coast region and inland empire which included more than $1.5B in bond funding. I’ve seen many sides of this truly dynamic industry, and by far my favorite job is my current position as a project manager for Sundt Construction where the employee-owned business model and high-quality people make every day enjoyable at work, even in tough times. I’ve also loved the opportunity to serve on the Foundation for Interdisciplinary Studies Board of Directors (previously the College of Architecture and Environmental Design Foundation) since 2012, where I get to stay connected with alumni and the university while helping support the special interdisciplinary programs that make Cal Poly CAED so great. Outside of work life, my fondest memory since graduating was going to the “Prince: A Piano and a Microphone” surprise concert in Oakland, CA just weeks before the music legend passed away. To make it even sweeter, on my way to work the morning of the concert while driving across the Dumbarton Bridge I noticed that the sunrise sky was purple, and it was raining. I even have a picture to prove it.
It’s really fun working for a company that is literally helping connect the world. Our company has developed life saving communication technology for our armed forces, provided consumers the ability to receive broadband internet for the first time in places like the Australian outback, and enabled streaming video in flight for airlines such as JetBlue. Some of my proudest moments were when my in-laws who farm in Northern California were able to start streaming video at home using our service for the first time. Personally using our broadband service in commercial aircraft has been really exciting as well as having the opportunity to talk with our defense community who have mentioned our products have kept them from harms way. I was fortunate to have met my wife at Cal Poly where we can share memories of our time in SLO together. Our family vacations nearly every summer in Cayucos, so its pretty exciting to see my kids play in the sand and for us to revisit some of our favorite spots in town. It’s also been really rewarding having the opportunity to recruit students from Cal Poly who make a big impact at our company in a very short period of time.
I’d say I’m proud of my current job as division chief for energy and sustainability initiatives, a division that I established at the County of Santa Barbara. We run leading edge, inter-jurisdictional and cross-sector initiatives that range from county climate action implementation, to tri-county (including SLO County) efforts to explore a program that could provide local control over electricity sources and offering innovative services to make local buildings more efficient while stimulating jobs. One of my most fond memories since graduation is getting married to my amazing husband in Cambria in SLO County.
Job I’m Proudest of: In 2008, I had the opportunity to work as part of the George Group (An Accenture Company) as Lean Six Sigma Deployment Advisor for US Army Europe and was able to advise on a project that improved the way the military was doing troop awards.
Fondest Memory: I don’t tend to focus on the past too much, but one of my fondest memories post college was receiving an award for living the core values of Accenture as I really value people development and it was recognition for the investment in people.
Since graduating Cal Poly, the job I have most enjoyed was being a part of Governor Schwarzenegger’s senior staff as chief deputy legislative secretary. It was the most stressful, chaotic and fun job of my career so far. One of my fondest memories was the first time I took my kids to campus about three years ago. It was amazing to see how much things have changed and rewarding to see so many projects that started when I was ASI President actually built and providing services to today’s Cal Poly students.
Since ASI, I’ve become a business owner in fertilizer and nursery crops in the Salinas Valley. ASI prepared me well for public service as I’ve spent more than ten years in elected office at the School Board and City Council level. I owe so much to Cal Poly and my time in student government!
Erica (Brown) Stewart was ASI President in 1994-1995. Learning management, communication, relationship building and leadership skills through ASI changed her from a shy young student to a confident successful graduate. From owning her own wholesale bakery to being chief operating officer (COO) at United Way to currently working at her alma mater as the director of parent and student philanthropy, Erica appreciates the variety of people and projects that she encountered at Cal Poly.
After leaving Cal Poly, I have had the opportunity to work for Seagate Technology for the past 20 years holding various positions within Market Research, Six Sigma, Sales and Marketing eBusiness, and HR Global Learning and Performance. Throughout my tenure at Seagate, I regularly draw upon the amazing experiences and skills I gained while serving both as ASI President in ’93-94 and Executive Vice President in ’92-93 during Kristin Burnett’s term.
My fondest memory from Cal Poly was going through the process of gaining the support and approval from the city, county, community leaders, and Dr. Baker to reinstate Poly Royal as Open House. Our team experienced first-hand the deep conviction and confidence of our university leaders in Cal Poly’s motto “Learn by Doing”. The ground work to create a revised version of Poly Royal began the year prior with Kristin Burnett (ASI President ’92-93) and our work with the Student Community Liaison Committee, a joint committee of city, county, and student leaders from both Cal Poly and Cuesta.
Little did we know that 22 years later, Cal Poly Open House would still be going strong and providing another example of how Cal Poly’s “learning by doing” philosophy enables students to leave a lasting imprint on their school and community.
I was the first in my family to graduate college and the first to found a small business, HCM Strategists, a public policy and advocacy consulting firm based in Washington, DC. My career has focused on improving college access and success for first-generation students like I was. In 2013, I experienced the rare opportunity for a professional “triple play” in my biz: I testified on consecutive days to the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate on ways to improve federal financial aid so more students can afford and complete college and I had my editorial on these issues printed in the New York Times. This September, a Latina student I have had the privilege to mentor enrolled in college; she too is #firstgeneration.
Today I am responsible for product strategies and R&D at Schreiber Foods in Green Bay, WI ($5.5 billion global dairy company). It is rewarding to see concepts turn into commercial products that show up in our grocery stores. However the true rewards come from working with exceptionally talented people. We push each other to grow and develop in the quest to realize our potential. My team drives me to improve every day and in the process it never feels like work! It was a proud moment when I sat in the stands last year watching the nationally ranked Mustang baseball team play. Cal Poly athletics were a big debate during my time as ASI president. I was pro-athletics and supported the controversial student vote to maintain the athletic programs and move to division I. They would have been virtually eliminated had the vote gone the other way (it was relatively close!). It is an amazing feeling to see how far all the sports programs have come over the past 25 years! Go Mustangs!!!
After graduating magna cum laude in Agricultural Business from Cal Poly, Ricardo attended Santa Clara University School of Law where he received his Doctor of Law degree. He has had the pleasure of practicing law for the past 23 years and currently handles insurance bad faith and catastrophic personal injury cases. Ricardo was named the 2010 Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, and organization with over 3,000 members, and currently serves as its president elect.
After serving as ASI president and graduating from Cal Poly in electronic engineering, I went to the University of San Diego for a degree in law, and began working as a patent law clerk for Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery, LLP. I have been with this firm ever since, now serving as managing partner for West Coast operations. My fondest memory is seeing my two children born and experiencing their growth. And, my proudest moment was receiving the Distinguished Service Award from the Cal Poly Alumni Association, after serving as its president.
My “best” job I have had post-graduation has been working to support and grow four different children’s hospitals in California. My proudest moment since graduation is being a part of the team that planned and opened Valley Children’s Hospital’s (Fresno/Madera) new 300+ bed facility in 1998.
I am currently the assistant superintendent for personnel for the Las Virgenes School District, I have enjoyed every job I have had in education from first grade teacher to elementary principal to director of curriculum to my current position. My time as ASI President was fabulous preparation for many leadership roles and the Cal Poly “Learn by Doing” motto has been core to my educational philosophy. However my two wonderful grown children, one a teacher and one a pastor are what make me the most proud.
During the 42 years after being elected the 1974-75 ASI President, Scott Plotkin spent over 35 years working in K-12 and higher education. All of this time was spent in and around the state capitol, including over 20 years as a legislative representative for the California State University system, where he was able to help represent Cal Poly before the governor and state legislature. Plotkin is now retired and with his wife, Pat Thiel, lives in Kalispell, Montana to be near their three sons and their families (including their four grand kids!), and have both gotten involved in local community theater.
After graduating from Cal Poly, which I attended on a baseball scholarship, I opted for law school rather than a professional baseball career. As thoroughly gratifying practicing law for 40 years was, founding Alpha Omega winery in Napa in 2006 and building a successful direct-to-consumer wine business when the term was in its infancy is the career that truly makes me the proudest. My professional accomplishments have allowed me to give back to Cal Poly in meaningful ways, including donating to what is now Baggett Stadium, gifting the first live Mustang mascot, Chase, and joining the university’s Legacy Club. Being active in the philanthropic communities in Edna Valley, where I’m also the proprietor of Tolosa winery, and Napa Valley provides a tremendous sense of purpose.
I was ASI President during the 1967-1968 academic year. After graduating from Cal Poly in 1969 and receiving two degrees simultaneously (a bachelor of architecture and a bachelor of science in business administration), I briefly worked for an architect in San Diego. In 1971 I was asked to join the Reagan Administration in Sacramento and eventually became Governor Reagan’s education advisor and special assistant. In 1974, following the Reagan years in Sacramento I open my architectural firm in Newport Beach. I have now retired from HPI Architecture, however am still an active partner and owner of NRM, a sister company serving as a real estate advisor to corporations, not-for-profits, education and government. I served on the Newport Beach City Council from 2010 to 2014 and served as Mayor of Newport Beach in 2014. My fondest memories were from 1974 to 1975 when every weekend I traveled with Ronald Reagan to the San Ynez Mountains above Santa Barbara to build the Reagan Ranch, Ranch del Cielo. I have been married for 37 years to a great lady and mom, have three wonderful and very successful children and 7 incredible grandchildren.
The world opened up for me when I stepped onto campus and Learn by Doing has been a big part of my life ever since. Law school, consultant to the California State Legislature and now managing partner of Kahn, Soares and Conway, LLP, in Sacramento and Hanford. Along with our dairy and farming operation, life continues to be full with my wife Gloria, our children and grandchildren.
I was the Cal Poly ASI president in 1967. I graduated in the height of the Vietnam War and went into the Air Force where I had a 20 year career using my Cal Poly training as an engineering officer. During my Air Force career, I had the opportunity to meet with President Ronald Reagan regarding the MX Missile. I had met him 20 years earlier in 1967, when he was the Governor of California and I was representing Cal Poly with the Cal State Student Presidents Association. Re-connecting with President Reagan was a culmination of my Air Force career and a reminder of our great days at Cal Poly. I later joined the Northrop Grumman Corporation where I was able to apply “Learn by Doing” in one of the top defense contractors supporting our national security. I was with Northrop for 25 years ending my career as a vice president of business development in the information systems sector. One of the highlights of my time with Northrop was a 60 day sabbatical to cycle across America. This had been a dream of mine for years. Northrop gladly supported this adventure. Some years later they recognized me as a model of perseverance and dedication, in both my work and my great ride across America. I am now retired from Northrop and am consulting part time in Reston, VA. I am married to Judi Stiles Elliott, now 47 years and have two children (Mike and Lauren) and 3 lovely granddaughters (Lila, Julia, and Vivienne). I remain grateful for my 5 years at Cal Poly and periodically return for visits to my brothers in Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
Since graduating in 1965, I’ve enjoyed a fulfilling career in what was the emerging field of computer technology, holding technical sales and management jobs with General Electric, Honeywell Information Systems and BellSouth. I earned an MSEE at Union College in Schenectady, New York but the “learn-by-doing” philosophy of Cal Poly was the linchpin of my entire career. In the fond memory category, I married Paula Connolly (Elementary Ed ’65) and together we raised 3 children and lived in 4 states (California, New York, Arizona, Georgia) before settling into active retirement in Jackson, Mississippi in 2006.
After graduating from Cal Poly in 1958 with a degree in journalism, Ed was awarded a post-graduate Coro Foundation fellowship in public affairs. Ed has managed and consulted in over 100 Republican political campaigns throughout California and has served as State Director of the California GOP. In 1969, Ed and his wife Jan joined the Peace Corps – an organization they would serve on and off for 20 years. Regardless of their address, the constant in their life has been not only their commitment to helping improve and contribute to the life of others, but to each other.
Thanks to Cal Poly and instructors like Dr. Robert Kennedy, John Healey and Spellman Collins and at least a dozen more, I have been blessed with many wonderful opportunities which I was able to capitalize on, ranging from producing a LA Rams vs Dallas Cowboys pre-season game in Round-Up Stadium in Pendleton, OR to founding the Oregon Forest Products Transportation Association In 1972, my father died and suddenly I was in charge of the citrus farming operation which he and my mother started in 1927. Thanks to wonderful friends and employees, we have continued a successful operation; added a popular farm wedding venue; farm tours for local children as well as folks from all over America and the world and a home and office farm fresh veggies, fruit and farm products delivery service. We are now planning a significant demonstration farm open to the public so that non-farm folks can come see, feel and learn about farms, farming and farmers. My proudest moment came at the end of being invited on my Navy son’s aircraft carrier on what they called the “Tiger Cruise” from Seattle to San Diego. It was an incredible experience. When we came into the harbor in San Diego, with the sailors lining the rails, the bands playing, water boats spraying and flags flying, my heart was bursting with pride in the sailors, the Navy and the United States of America. My time at Cal Poly was a wonderful experience in all ways. Since there were no women students at that time we had to hunt for dates but that did not diminish the experience.
I am most proud of my work with the El Paso LNG Company because that’s the job I had the most fun with. It was a wonderful company to work for that provided opportunities all over the world for me and my wife.One of my fondest memories was putting on an acrobatic air show over Poly Field during the ASI election while my opponent was giving his campaign speech……..and while my supporters handed out flyers that said, “Fly high with Marty!” During my time as ASI President we established the first Poly Royal Carnival.
I was among the first crop of post-war graduates during an epic period that was the start of a great development of what Cal Poly is today. In 1945 I was named the first post-war editor of El Mustang weekly newspaper under guidance of Robert Kennedy. I was elected student president for my senior year (1946-47) and with the Student Activities Committee (SAC) we adopted a new constitution, established rodeo as a student body sport, and established a student court for students to take care of certain student-oriented problems that reflected the maturity of returning service men. I have worked with many private companies in every continent to bring about economic development. With such a list of work, the one I consider to give me the most satisfaction with the best results has been devising systems for privatizing communist farm organizations into private ownership. The model for this was completed in the Russian province of former Gorki, and for the Republic of Armenia where all former collective farms were established as small farms that are now privately owned by former peasant workers.
Walter was very active on campus during his time at Cal Poly, acting as a member of the Men’s Glee Club, Swordsmen, Gamma Phi Delta, and Poultry Club. After serving as student body president from 1941-1942, Walter enlisted in the Army (the Signal Corps to be exact) during World War II. After he returned from war, Walter managed the production and the shop for his family’s poultry ranch, where he invented an egg-cleaning machine. He was passionate about reading and enjoyed playing the organ and piano; he was also a drum major for the Shriners for many years. Walter passed in 2010 and he will be remembered as a talented and loving man.