Chico Economics Graduate Careers - Economic Development
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Alexandra Woodward, who graduated in 2009, joined the Peace Corps the following year and spent more than two years in Ethiopia where she was a conservation and natural resource specialist. Alexandra worked with other volunteers and non-governmental organizations to assess needs and improve economic opportunities through entrepreneurial activities in the local Ethiopian communities. This position gave her the opportunity to apply the economic development theories and tools she learned at Chico State. She also taught English and worked with Ethiopians to develop environmental programs.
After leaving Peace Corps in 2013, Alexandra taught English as a second language in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2014 she worked as a project manager for Elevation Web in Buenos Aires where she worked with multiple non-profit websites.
Since May 2015 Alexandra has worked as an account manager for Express Employment Professionals, Spokane, Washington. She helps businesses find and hire employees starting with job interviews, test administration, skills evaluation, and culminating in performance assessment.
Since graduating from Chico State, Alexandra has taken the opportunity to apply the tool of economic analysis in Peace Corps where she helped local communities find entrepreneurial opportunities to her present position in Spokane where she helps employers and employees find the correct match of skills.
In a recent email Alexandra stated that, "I am so thankful to have been part of CSU Economics. It has helped me many times in the last six years, and I am sure will continue to help me as I grow into my career." She added, "The Economics Club was such a great experience for me."