Alumni : Spotlight
Are you in the Spotlight?
The College of Business features alumni stories throughout the college and its web site. We would be delighted to feature your profile and accomplishments in the upcoming semester.
You are invited to join your fellow alumni on the Alumni Spotlight bulletin boards and on the website. The profiles are an inspiration to our students.
Please join your fellow alumni
If you'd like to be in the Spotlight, we kindly request that you complete the Alumni Spotlight Form and submit a photo and biography in which you include your work history and anecdotes on how your experiences at SF State impacted your career and life.
Please feel free to contact Alex Sanchez, College and Alumni Relations Officer, by phone at (415) 338-1032 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and suggestions.
Manager, Diversity & Inclusion, PG&E
BEST THING ABOUT SF STATE'S EXECUTIVE MBA PROGRAM: The classes are small enough to provide a personal touch, the professors are very knowledgeable yet down to earth, and the cohorts provide support, friendship, and business contacts. - Tita Gray, (M.B.A. '09). Read more.
Co-Founder, CEO, TripKick.com
It's been seven years now since Bryant Waters (B.S., Hospitality Management, ’02) graduated from the College of Business at SF State and entered the hotel industry. But he’s been busy working on his lifelong dream: To combine expert hotel travel knowledge with the opinions and recommendations of those that have actually visited the hotel. Read more.
President, CEO, Ly Brothers Corporation
Andrew Ly (B.S., Accounting, ’86) wasn’t the most rested SF State student. Between classes, he operated a doughnut shop he owned with his four brothers. “It was tough,” he says. “I studied all day and worked all night, rolling and firing doughnuts before delivering them to coffee shops.” Read more.
Co-Founder, CEO, Prosper
As an entrepreneur, Chris Larsen (B.S., Accounting and International Business, ’84) revels in the freedom of coming up with new products and watching them grow. He co-founded and served as CEO of E-LOAN until he sold it for $300 million in 2005. Read more.
Founder, President and Chief Executive, Lighthouse Management Group, Inc.
Song Woo (B.S., Business Analysis and Finance, ’98) was recognized in 2007 for his leadership of Lighthouse Management Group's thriving staffing and recruiting business, and praised as a “star” for developing his emerging company from a start-up to a multi-million dollar firm virtually overnight. Read more.
Office Managing Partner, Ernst &Young, San Francisco
Jeff Franco (B.S., Accounting, ’83) joined Ernst &Young as an auditor in the San Francisco office, directly upon graduation from SF State. Although he learned a lot about financial accounting and people skills as an auditor, Jeff desired to be a tax professional where he could be more aligned with his clients and able to proactively assist them in achieving their operational and financial goals. Read more.
CIO, General Manager of Digital Ventures, Starbucks
Stephen Gillett (M.B.A., ’06) stepped away from his desk one day and into the shoes of a barista. The experience showed him the pressing need for store managers, near or far, to stay connected to behind-the-counter activities. Laptops were handed out, the first step in Gillett’s quest to improve the daily grind for both patrons and employees. Read more.
President, Founder, Gumas Advertising
When John Gumas (B.S., Marketing, ’84) graduated with a degree in marketing, he told his professors he was going to start his own advertising agency. They told him he was crazy. The economy was in recession and entry-level advertising jobs were scarce, but “I had that entrepreneurial spirit,” Gumas remembers. “It’s born inside you.” That spirit powered him through some tooth-and-claw years, building his business one small client at a time. Read more.
President, CEO, Overland Storage, Inc.
Update: Eric Kelly has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Overland Storage, Inc., since January 2009, and as a board member since 2007. His most recent corporate position was vice president and general manager of storage systems solutions at Adaptec, Inc. Prior to that, he served as president and CEO of Snap Appliance, which was acquired by Adaptec. Read more.
Bill Magill (M.B.A, ’89), is a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. He’s also been a dishwasher, musician, engineer, consultant, and investment banker. He has lived in Europe and across the U.S., but the diversity of San Francisco always brings him back... Read more.
Conference Sales Manager, Wynn Las Vegas Resort and Casino
Pedram Pakneshan (B.S., Hospitality Management, ’03 ) grew up in Berkeley, California, graduating in December 2003 from SF State with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management degree, with a minor in Business Administration. Read more.
Gar and Lara Truppelli, co-owners, The Beach Chalet and Park
At 23, Gar Truppelli (M.B.A., ’94) had a vision for a boarded-up building overlooking San Francisco’s Ocean Beach; but so did 100 other entrepreneurs hoping to lease the space from the city. "At a pre-bid meeting we were told it would be at least three years before new construction could start," Truppelli recalls. Read more.