Meet the Board of Mentors

Anthony F. (Tony) Catalano, PhD


Anthony F (Tony) Catalano PhD Tony’s expertise is in the area of education. Having served as a principal at a local elementary school for over fifteen years, Tony brings real world experience to the business world. Prior to his work in public education, Tony ran a pair of child-oriented businesses.

Tyler Smith

Tyler SmithTyler graduated from CSU, Chico in 2002 with a degree in Communication Design and was presented with the President's Award for earning the highest GPA in his graduating class. As a Partner and CTO of Matson & Isom Technology Consulting, he leads a team of consultants that help clients in the Northstate and throughout the US be more successful using technology.

Sean Morgan, MBA

Sean Morgan MBAMr. Morgan joined the CSU, Chico business faculty in 2005. He currently teaches courses in the areas of management and entrepreneurship. In 2007 and 2011, he was honored by his peers as the recipient of the CSU, Chico College of Business Outstanding Teaching Award. A successful entrepreneur, Mr. Morgan is the founder of several companies. He currently serves as president of a company that provides lead generation and direct marketing services for U.S.-based insurance and financial services firms and is also managing partner of a project and strategy management consulting company.  As of Fall 2012, Sean is also running for a position on the Chico City Council.

Robert Strazzarino

Robert StrazzarinoRob graduated from CSU, Chico in 2006 with a computer science degree, summa cum laude.  While at Chico State, started a software-as-a-service company, College Scheduler, that provides course scheduling software to universities around the country.  In addition to running College Scheduler today, Robert is also involved in many other small startups and ventures related to the web.   Past experiences also include working as a software developer for Chevron Corporation and an internship in Washington, DC for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Joan Heckerson

Joan HeckersonJoan graduated from CSU, Chico in 1981 with a degree in Exercise Science. Immediately after graduating, she opened a small gym called “The Body Shop”. The work out facility was very successful and she owned the business for 16 years. After becoming a mom and wanting a career change, she sold the gym to pursue a career in real estate. She became a full time real estate agent and is currently part owner of the “Keller Williams Realty Chico” office. Joan still enjoys selling real estate and helping new agents learn the business.

David Purser

David PurserDave is a proud Chico State alum who owns a number of businesses, including a Manufacturers' Representative organization providing an array of sales, marketing, feasibility, and product placement for a number of high-end building material companies. He is also president of a manufacturing company located in Colusa, CA that produces extruded aluminum threshold products for the pre-hung door industry. His investments include Rock-n-Royalty, which produces base material for the asphalt and concrete market. He has 25 years experience in sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution.

Lars Estrem

estrem-larsLars graduated from CSU, Chico in 1999 with a degree in Management Information Systems. Since then, he has taught systems analysis and object oriented programming, led the SEO program at a major Internet retailer, and is now a entrepreneur helping fire departments and nonprofits recruit volunteers. Lars can offer assistance with Internet marketing strategy, search engine optimization, using Google Analytics, and pay-per-click marketing.

Lance Blanchei

lance blansheiLance began his entrepreneurial marketing career in 1985 with Ketchum Advertising in San Francisco managing many of their national packaged goods accounts including Pillsbury, Beatrice Foods, and Roman Meal Bread. From there Lance created Blanshei Partners in 1989, a national brand and advertising agency that specialized in new product innovation. As a unique entrepreneurial food and beverage consultancy, Blanshei Partners was able to create, restage, and launch over 20 regional and national brands generating in excess of $1.0bil in sales for client partners. Tea entrepreneurship was Lance's next professional challenge when he and his wife Shelly created the TBar and Fusion Café in 2005. Many industry professionals describe the TBar as the most unique and successful foodservice tea concept in the country. Lance's brand/new product innovation and marketing management skills range from strategic assessment, new product innovation, consumer insights, brand/store design and marketing communications. Restage