Chico Econ Grad Careers
Dave Armstrong graduated in 2012. He is a Project Specialist at the Center for Economic Development (CED). The Center’s goal is to cultivate and strengthen north state economies and encourage entrepreneurship. David’s job consists of supporting Native American tribes in creating comprehensive economic development strategies, managing the CED newsletter and mentoring our student researchers on various projects. Dave said, “Collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data is my specialty. Having a strong base in economic theory has enabled me to succeed in this position and help foster economic growth in our region.”
Stuart Casillas graduated in 1996 with bachelor’s degrees in economics and strategic management. He went to Ohio State where he received his law degree in 1999. He is now a partner in the San Francisco office of the international law firm, Kirkland and Ellis.
Rachel Coulson graduated in 2013. She is an account manager at Point of View Communications, an advertising, public relations and integrated marketing firm in Valencia, CA. She works very closely with the President/CEO as her executive assistant and is directly responsible for producing content on four client accounts, all of which are based on economic analysis. She ghostwrites a monthly feature article in the Santa Clarita Valley Business Journal for an independent community bank, tracks advertising ROI in the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles Business Journals and researches FDIC reports for list rankings in various publications. She also develops and implements promotion and publicity campaigns for a nonprofit health organization, CPA firms and the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation. Rachel said that “Studying economics helped me gain an intuitive understanding of how my clients respective industries interact with their various consumers, as well as how to clearly articulate complex information in writing.”
Matt Deatrick graduated in 1998. He is a marketing executive for Verizon Wireless Connected Devices where he focuses on bringing 4G LTE speeds to consumer devices. His goal is to enhance consumer devices, such as connected homes, gaming, health/wellness, security, and tablets. Matt’s duties include initial market research and analysis, partner engagement, business modeling and strategy, design of product road maps, negotiations, and go-to-market support. “We find, vet, and launch the next generation of mobile devices (non-smartphones) on the world’s most reliable 4G network,” Matt stated in a recent email.”
Sam Enriquez graduated in 2011. He said “It was during the summer following my graduation that I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life, to leave California for the big apple, New York City.” He had accepted a job working for a digital advertising agency where he had interned during the previous few summers while at Chico State. Advertising agencies have long been sought after by companies big and small for brand positioning, creative ideas, and overall revenue driving strategies. Sam’s company, Resolute Digital, works as a strategic business advisor for clients who want to expand their brand's footprint whether it is by mobile application/web development, and/or by Sam’s area of expertise, media and analytics. In his role as an Analytics Manager, he oversees the implementation of web and increasingly, mobile analytics strategies to track key pieces of business data. Analytics is the foundation of any marketing strategy, and Sam’s company helps give businesses the tools to analyze important metrics to make smarter data driven decisions. According to Sam, this is a very new field and a critical part in bridging the gap between marketing strategy and the decisions key business stakeholders make. Although this role is more technical in nature than his economics courses, according to Sam, “It has proved incredibly valuable throughout my career thus far. The ability to analyze data, construct theories and draw conclusions is the key thought process which will bring you success in your career, regardless of the path you take. I'm now responsible for all west coast operations and help manage the marketing strategy with one of our key clients on-site in Orange County, Local Corporation.”
Mitchell Ferguson graduated with a Honor’s in economics in 1992. He took the Foreign Service Officer Test twice, passed it the second time, and started working for the State Department. As an Economic Officer for the U.S. Department of State, Mitchell Ferguson has been assigned to Embassies around the world, tasked with advancing U.S. economic policy with foreign counterparts. Economic diplomacy includes informing U.S. policy makers on host-country economic conditions, as well as presenting U.S. positions to host-country officials. He is the Counselor of Political and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia. Mitch has also served in Colombia, South Africa, Mexico, Washington, Angola, and El Salvador.
Brian Fitzgerald graduated in 2007 with a B.A. in Economics. He went to work for a private consulting firm in Sacramento specializing in efficiency and compliance auditing for local and state agencies across the country. In 2009, he went to work for the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) in a project management capacity where he leveraged information technology resources and quantitative methods to increase operational efficiency and effectiveness.
Currently, he serves as the Section Chief over the Cost Avoidance Section (CAS) within DHCS, a program that impacts approximately 1.7 Californians each year. Under his direction, the CAS is responsible for cost avoiding roughly $3 billion annually, and ensuring compliance with federal and state statutes.
Warren Jensen graduated in 1997. He now manages research activities at the Center for Economic Development at California State University, Chico. He directs projects involving community indicators, industry cluster economic development, economic and fiscal impact analysis, survey research, and assisting organizations with analysis and interpretation of their own datasets. Warren began his tenure at CED as a research intern in 1996.
Thomas Logan graduated in 2012 with majors in economics (honors) and finance and minors in mathematics and accounting. Since February 2013 he has been working in San Francisco, California, as an analyst on the institutional sales team that supports J.P. Morgan’s business development and capital raising efforts. His team works with clients, corporations, unions, and state and local governments, to raise capital for a variety public and private investments across equity, fixed income, and real estate markets around the world. More specifically, he is responsible for answering client inquiries and developing customized presentations based on client concerns, investment outlook and financial market conditions. Client responses and presentations cover a range of portfolio management topics, but broadly focus on asset allocation, investment strategies, macroeconomics and financial economics.
Jake Lovisolo graduated in 2013 with honors in the economics major. He now works for Deloitte Consulting in Pleasanton, California. As a Human Capital Analyst, he helps companies align their employees with their overall business strategy. “More specifically,” Jake explained, “I work with the clients to figure out their specific needs from Workday based off of their strategies and processes. I then take this information and configure the system to work according to the way the client needs.”
Qasim Malik graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s in economics with an option in international economics. He started his own technology firm in Dubai, UAE, where he forecasts market trends for the technology sector. We try to use our forecasting skills to always reduce the risk and to make decisions that allow us to capitalize on potential tech investment opportunities. Qasim stated that “My economics degree is very helpful in business development as it provides an opportunity to forecast and simulate different strategic decisions for our clients and the implications of that for the business environment. I use economics to derive the most efficient business development in house and for our clients.”
Marcy McCormick graduated in 2012. She is in graduate school at the University of Colorado, Denver, and has an internship with Datalogix. She expects to complete her master's degree in May 2014 when she will move from the internship to a permanent position with Datalogix as an analyst in the Industry Facing Research branch of the Analytics department. "I'll essentially be analyzing our methodologies and results to contribute to industry whitepapers on marketing analytics," Marcy stated in a recent email. Her official duties from her offer letter are as follows: (a) Work closely with Datalogix team leads to become one of the most knowledgeable analysts in the industry when it comes to measuring campaign performance. (b) Leverage Datalogix Analytics resources to develop best in class investigative reporting to identify and help resolve issues that compromise campaign performance. (c) Identify opportunities for improvement in internal systems and processes, investigate hypotheses, report findings, and drive necessary change/advancements to various internal groups (R&D, Account Management, etc.) (d) Structure projects and guide technical team members in the creation of dashboards, KPIs, and reports to lead adoption of fact-based decision making in the organization.
Marianne O'Malley graduated with a BA in economics and a BA in political science in 1982. She went to Harvard where she received her master’s degree in public policy in 1985. Her master’s thesis on the topic of “Cruising for Parking” in central cities was awarded first prize by the American Planning Association. She is the Managing Principal Analyst of the State and Local Finance section of the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO). Ms. O’Malley has broad responsibilities for supervising matters related to state employee compensation, infrastructure spending, and state and local taxation.
Since joining the LAO in 1985, Ms. O’Malley has testified and lectured extensively on the subjects of local government finance, property taxation, sales tax, the initiative process, and state infrastructure investment. She is the principal author of a series of LAO reports examining modern California local finance and a recent report on the dissolution of redevelopment.
Ms. O’Malley has fond memories of Chico State. “Frankly, I wouldn’t have gotten where I am without Professor Jon Ebeling’s and Professor Michael Perelman’s kind and active encouragement,” she stated in a recent email.
Frank Quintero finished his B.A in economics in 1987. He serves as the City of Merced’s Director of Economic Development. He also oversees the City’s downtown revitalization and Merced Visitor Services programs. Other duties for Mr. Quintero include managing the City’s Housing Division working with the University of California Merced. Mr. Quintero is the City of Merced’s point of contact for business recruitment, retention, and expansion.
Frank is Vice-President of TeamCalifornia, and participates in a number of outreach efforts on behalf of the State of California. He is a member of California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED) and their President’s Advisory Committee, and International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and their Northern California Alliance Program Committee.
Mr. Quintero is a 1989 graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning.
Dan Ripke graduated in 1991. He is the Director of the Center for Economic Development at Chico State. He oversees the economic development programs which serve communities and businesses throughout California. The Center's mission is to work with regional business and community leaders to identify opportunities for regional economic prosperity, and leverage campus resources, faculty expertise, and student energy to address these opportunities. Among the Center's programs are Applied Research, Technology Programs, Small Business Development Centers, Broadband Access, and Business Intelligence.
John Spade, who was recognized for his technological contributions to the Economics Department and to the University, graduated with a major in economics in 1995. He owns a company providing Cisco networking and technology consulting services for SMBs in Pompano Beach, Florida.
Randall Stone graduated in 2004 with a BA in economics and a BA in finance, and opened his own financial firm, Randall Stone Financial Planning and Real Estate in Chico, CA. While working in real estate and finance, he became interested in developing affordable housing throughout California. “As an affordable housing developer, I was responsible for managing development, financing, and entitlement processes for his affordable housing projects and for administering proposed relocation plans, coordinating with social services groups for the developments, and functioning as the primary bookkeeper and financial manager of each development,” Randall stated in describing his duties.
Randall won a seat on the Chico City Council in 2012. The Chico City Council consists of seven elected officials who serve staggered four year terms. The Mayor and Vice Mayor are voted by the other Council members, and serve two year terms. The City Council is the legislative body for the City of Chico, implementing policy and procedures, municipal laws, committee appointments, budget review, and community non-profit grant funding to name a few of the responsibilities. The City Manager and City Attorney report directly to the City Council. The City Council meets twice a month, and the agenda is approved by the Mayor.
Michael Suplita graduated in 2009. He is the acting project manager for the Center for Economic Development’s (CED) Business and Industry Assistance Program. He works directly with small businesses to help them identify their target market and then identify the size and economic and fiscal impacts of their markets. The services that his program provides allow companies to better allocate scarce resources and make more informed business decisions. His daily duties include assisting businesses in preparing economic feasibility studies, economic impact studies, and conducting demographic research. He oversees a research staff of three and have had as many as five researchers working on a given project. Michael said that “My position allows me to conduct economic research in multiple areas. I have done work for housing developers, rodeos, mining companies, airports, storage facilities just to name a few. In addition to my business assistance duties I also work with Native American Tribes to conduct economic development planning.”
Katy Thoma, who completed her requirements for graduation in 1980, came back to campus in Spring 2013 as Executive Director of the Chico State Research Foundation. She began her career in banking at the downtown Chico branch of Bank of America in 1977. After finishing her course work she moved to Pullman, WA where she worked for Seafirst Bank. Katy returned to Chico in 1984 and furthered her career in banking by going to work for locally owned North State National Bank (later acquired by Tri Counties Bank). In the 1993 she became the director of Chico’s Jesus Center, an organization that serves the needs of the poor. After working at the Jesus Center for 10 years, she returned to banking, serving as vice-president and branch manager for Butte Community Bank (later Rabobank) before coming to the Research Foundation. Katy’s experience in both the non-profit sector and the banking industry make her uniquely qualified to head the Research Foundation as much of what she oversees is operational and compliance in nature. She also began serving as president of Chico Rotary in the summer of 2013. Katy also served on the Planetree leadership team at Enloe Medical Center for 5 years, she currently serves on the Chico Police Foundation Board and volunteers at her church.
Sean Wever graduated in 2006 with Honors in economics and moved on to the University of Wyoming to study for dual masters in Economics and Finance. After finishing he moved to the Virgin Islands where he tended bar for one year before beginning his career in finance. In 2011 he began working for a proprietary trading firm that specializes in high frequency algorithmic trading. In February of 2013 he was offered a job as Director of Sales for Green Key Markets (GKM). He accepted the offer and currently splits his time between offices in Chicago and Puerto Rico where he works as the Principal for GKM, an Introducing Broker (IB) of cleared swaps and blocks in the over-the-counter (OTC) commodities space. GKM is involved in the biofuels space with the primary focus being the Chicago (Platts settled) ethanol contract. Sean also writes a weekly ethanol newsletter for his customers.
Brandi Wolf graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in economics with an option in international economics. She is Deputy Policy Director for Service Employees International Union and the United Long Term Care Workers (SEIU- ULTCW).
After graduating from Chico State, Brandi relocated to Sacramento where she began her career in politics and went on to get her Master’s in Government from Sacramento State in 2011. For 3 years she worked as a Legislative Aide in the office of State Senator Curren D. Price, Jr. (D-Los Angeles) where she handled legislative issues relating to Health & Human Services, Business & Professions and the State budget. In May 2011, Brandi took an opportunity with the SEIU ULTCW and currently serves as ULTCW’s Deputy Policy Director, based in Sacramento. ULTCW is an organization representing and advocating on behalf of 180,000 long term care workers in California and is the largest union of long term care givers in the state and the second largest SEIU local in the nation. The scope of Brandi’s work involves public policy research, drafting legislation and working with elected officials to ensure policy protections for the state’s long term care workforce and for California’s working families.
Brandi stated, “A majority of the work I do is driven by the state of California’s economy. My background in economics helps shape my thinking around the policies I draft and allows me to look at the long-run economic impacts of particular public policy. The quality-of-life for working families in California has a direct correlation to economic factors. I am humbled to be given the responsibility to shape public policy in a way that will have the most beneficial economic impact on our state’s working families.”