2009 - 16th Distinguished Alumni

Back to Distinguished Alumni

Back to Alumni by Year

Photograph of recipient

George Buonaccorsci

College of Agriculture
BS Agriculture Science, Class of 1966

As vice president of grape and wine resources for Fosters Wine Estates Americas, George Buonaccorsi is responsible for 8,600 acres of company vineyards and oversees the management of the Grower Relations Department which purchases grapes and wine in most California viticulture regions. Buonaccorsi is a native of Alexander Valley, California, raised on a family-owned vineyard. For the past 37 years, he has been involved in the California wine industry, specializing in working with growers of the premium wine regions of the north coast counties. Buonaccorsi lives in Napa, California with his wife, Vicki, and enjoys gardening and cooking and is an enthusiastic baseball and football fan.

View the entire biography here

More former College of Agriculture Honorees


Photograph of recipient

Amy Zelson Mundorff

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
MA Anthropology, Class of 1999

Prior to pursuing her PhD, Amy Zelson Mundorff worked for five years as a full-time forensic anthropologist in the office of the New York City Chief Medical Examiner. While there she worked on approximately 250 forensic anthropology cases and served as a core member of the World Trade Center Identification team. In addition, Mundorff assisted in the identification of victims from the crash of American Airlines flight 587, the Staten Island Ferry crash, and victims of the Boxing Day Tsunami in Phuket, Thailand. Mundorff herself is a 9/11 survivor, having been caught in the debris of the collapsing South Tower of the World Trade Center.

More former College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Honorees


Photograph of recipient

Steven R. Perricone

College of Business
BS Business Administration, Marketing,
Class of 1982

Steven Perricone is a serial entrepreneur involved now in his fourth consecutive start-up, BioFuelBox. The key objectives of BioFuelBox are eliminating waste streams and enabling local communities and companies to be energy independent. Perricone founded this company with former colleagues to both solve important environmental problems and to help grow the cleantech industry. Prior to this endeavor, Perricone was vice president of Worldwide Sales for SonicWALL. He joined SonicWALL when it had fewer than 20 employees, and was instrumental in guiding the company’s growth to more than 450 employees worldwide, an IPO, and a market cap of $3.5 billion in less than three years. SonicWALL is still in business and continues to be very successful.

More former College of Business Honorees


Photograph of recipient

Gordon Brown

College of Communication & Education
BS Business Administration, Marketing,
Class of 1982

After a successful career in the radio business, Gordon Brown began selling income-producing properties in California and Nevada. Since 1988 he has successfully purchased, managed, and repositioned millions of dollars worth of properties for himself and his partners. Brown currently serves as president of the Inside Circle Foundation, which supports inmates in Folsom Prison in their efforts at accountability and self awareness. He is a former founding member of the Authentic Leadership Center and serves on the Waterkeeper Alliance Board of Trustees. The Waterkeeper Alliance is an international group dedicated to supporting communities in the protection of bodies of water and the provision of safe drinking water.

More former College of Communication and Education Honorees


Photograph of recipient

Martin J. Rapozo

College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management
BS Business Administration, Marketing,
Class of 1966

Martin (Marty) J. Rapozo has the distinction of being the first recipient of a master’s degree in construction management at CSU, Chico. Rapozo currently serves on the CSU, Chico Construction Management Industry Advisory Board. He is president at Abide International, a general construction firm specializing in federal government contracting. Projects completed by Abide International include the installation of nuclear weapon sensors at Arizona Border Stations, railroad construction for the U.S. Army munitions storage facility in Nevada, and the helicopter hoisting of mechanical equipment to the top of a 20-story building in downtown San Francisco for the FBI. Rapozo lives with his wife, Katie (class of 1984), in Sonoma, California.

More former College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management Honorees


Photograph of recipient

Joseph M. Hilbe

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA Philosophy, Class of 1968

In addition to his role as solar system ambassador, Dr. Joseph Hilbe is an emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Hawaii and an adjunct professor of statistics at Arizona State University. He is an elected fellow of both the American Statistical Association and the Royal Statistical Society, and an elected member (fellow) of the prestigious International Statistical Institute (ISI). Hilbe currently chairs both the ISI Sports Statistics committee and the Astrostatistics Interest Group. Hilbe has authored numerous books in statistical modeling, including several that are the top-selling texts in their areas of statistics worldwide. Also an author of a number of philosophy books and publications, Hilbe additionally serves on the editorial boards of five academic journals. He is also a 2007 inductee into the Chico State Athletic Hall of Fame. Hilbe is the only Distinguished Alumnus who was also inducted into the Chico State Athletic Hall of Fame. As reported in 2013, Hilbe has lost 92 pounds since he was honored as a 2009 Distinguished Alumnus!

More former College of Humanities and Fine Arts Honorees


Photograph of recipient

Lance Astrella

College of Natural Sciences
BS Chemistry and Economics,
Class of 1969

Lance Astrella has been engaged in the private practice of law for 35 years with a primary emphasis in the energy industry. He is the senior partner of Astrella & Rice P.C. based in Denver, Colorado, and is a member of the State Bars of California and Colorado. Mr. Astrella's work in the energy field is focused on balancing the need for domestic fossil fuel with environmental sustainability, including preservation of water resources. Major trials have involved environmental protection and market manipulation in the energy sector. Mr. Astrella obtained his Bachelor's degrees in Chemistry and Economics from California State University, Chico, in 1969, a Master's degree in Economics from the University of California, Davis, in 1970 and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in 1973.

More former College of Natural Sciences Honorees


Photograph of recipient

Nancy Fox

Distinguished Alumni Service Award
BA Education, Class of 1964
Credential, Class of 1965

Nancy Fox is the "Official Grand Mom" to the Chico State golf team. Fox and her husband, Jack, travel extensively with the team, hosting nightly booster events during tournaments, and she was named the 2004–2005 "Golf Booster of the Year." Fox was a member of the University Advisory Board for 10 years, serving as both chair and vice chair. She has also been on the University Foundation Board of Governors, is a member of the Heritage Circle, and is a lifetime member of the Alumni Association. In addition to serving the University, Fox volunteers extensively with community organizations and considers volunteering to be a significant part of her life.

More former Distinguished Alumni Service Award Recipients




Back to Top

Distinguished Alumni

Next Year: 2010
17th Distinguished Alumni


List of All Years

Previous Year: 2008
15th Distinguished Alumni

Distinguished Alumni by College

Agriculture
Behavioral & Social Sciences
Business
Communication & Education
Engineering, Computer Science, & Construction Management
Humanities & Fine Arts
Natural Sciences
Service Award