Chico Economics Graduate Careers - Management/Entrepreneurship

Dan BlairDan Blair

Dan Blair, who competed his BA in Economics in 2004, is a Senior Government Relations Representative within PG&E’s Corporate Affairs Department. In this role he's responsible for developing and maintaining a strong governmental, political, and community network within PG&E in direct support of the company’s Electric Operations business unit and in collaboration with the existing Government Relations organization.  This includes supporting capital projects with permitting, alignment with local development standards, and community outreach. Prior to joining PG&E in November of 2011, Dan worked for Butte County where he was a Management Analyst, Manager of Program Development, and Senior Management Analyst . As a member of the Administrative Office, he focused on grant writing and management, economic and community development, budget and fiscal analysis, financial and capital planning, public information and outreach, policy writing and implementation, and general government management.

"Without my degree in Economics, I would not have been considered for the opportunity to be a member of the Butte County Administrative Office," Dan stated in a recent email.  "Because this position focused on economic development and financial planning, the County preferred a degree in Economics.  After completing my Master’s Degree in Political Science in 2011, I accepted my current position with PG&E. The combination of Economics and Political Science degrees was a key factor in being selected for this position. My degree in Economics offered a broad understanding of business, finance, market trends, management, and political climate. As opposed to focusing on one narrow subject, Economics gave me the training to analyze and to assess real world situations with a foundational understanding of how and why the business world operates the way it does. My degree opened up several doors for me and I have no doubt that it was the right educational path for me to take."

Steve GiorgiSteve Giorgi

Steve Giorgi graduated in 1995 from Chico with a BA in Economics. Since he graduated he has worked at Giorgi Brothers, his family's furniture store in South San Francisco. In the year 2000 Steve, his brother, and sister took over from their parents and became the owners.

In a recent email Steve said that "the economics and business classes at Chico has taught me how to deal with the day to day challenges of owning a business with 30 employees. From understanding government tax rules to mapping business trends, my economics degree has helped me immensely."

Brett GottliebBrett Gottlieb

Brett E. Gottlieb is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for building companies and being involved in various business projects, which allow him to grow both personally and professionally. His expertise has developed over the years in areas of operational management, business development, strategic marketing, and organizational enhancement. He is currently the Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer of Official Quote Insurance Services, LLC, Founder & Managing Partner of Comprehensive Advisor, Chief Marketing Officer of Fusion Multiplex, and Co-Owner of Chelsea Taylor Palm Desert, as well as a few other new ventures currently under development. Brett is always intimately involved in the day-to-day operations of his various companies, so as to see their financial and organizational growth.

Brett holds a Bachelors of Science Degree (BS) in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and a Bachelors of Art Degree (BA) in Economics, both from California State University, Chico, where he graduated in 1999. He is also a licensed insurance agent in all 50 states and is an Investment Advisor Representative. He currently resides in San Elijo Hills, CA, with his wife Lital, daughter Avery and newborn son Skyler.

Dennis MacDonneilDennis MacDonneil

Dennis MacDonneil completed his BA in economics with a minor in German at Chico State in 1964.  Between his junior and senior year at Chico he spent a year at the University of Vienna with the IES Study Abroad program.  He finished his master’s degree in monetary economics and banking in 1968 at Southern Illinois University.  Dr. MacDonneil taught at New England College for two years followed by two years doing PhD work in monetary economics at UC Riverside.   He spent the Summer of 1969 doing a research project at the Federal Reserve Bank’s Banking Studies Group based on concepts discussed in his Master’s Thesis that he later presented at a conference in Vancouver, Canada while he was in the PhD program at UC Riverside.  Dr. MacDonneil returned to Bank of America where he had worked at the bank’s Osaka, Japan and Taipei, Taiwan branches from 1965 to 1967.  From 1972 to 1976 he was the head of the World Banking Division’s Training and Development Group, and later he became the division’s Global Communications Officer.  In 1979, he joined the California Division’s as a vice president and manager of Bank of America’s San Francisco Main Office Commercial Real Estate Group.  Since 1985, Dr. MacDonneil has been president and CEO of Telesis Financial and Development, Inc., in Novato, California.  In 1996 he also became vice president of finance and development for Lok Group of Companies, a hospitality development and management company, and he added even more responsibilities in 2004 when he became president and CEO of Lok Hospitality, Finance, and Acquisition Inc.

David OlitDavid Olit

David Olit, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2010, works for Preferred Freezer Services in their Los Angeles, California headquarters.  He is in training to become the sales manager for an entire facility. Preferred Freezer warehouses and distributes frozen food; it is responsible for 70% of the frozen seafood in the United States. As a sales manager, David works as a partner with the General Manager of the facility and runs the entire Profit and Loss Statement.  He is responsible for all sales, as well as managing the entire office (customer service people, human resources, office administrator and office manager).  David develops an understanding for his customers and develops a price for Preferred Freezer Services based on demand and supply conditions.

"The knowledge I have gained from earning an economics degree has been extremely useful in my career," David said in a recent email.  " I constantly need to forecast the demand for our services based on the market and use specific pricing techniques to maximize my profit while keeping my variable costs down. This job is a daily economics course in which I'm learning every day. I am extremely grateful for everything I have learned at Chico State.  It has helped shape me into the salesman I am today."  He is especially grateful for the help Professor Tsournos gave him.  "He was the best teacher I ever had!"

Jessica ZotzJessica Zotz

Jessica Zotz graduated in 2010 with a bachelor's in economics. She is project manager at GAP Specialty, NA, where she is responsible for managing multiple cross functional projects and initiatives. Her role encompasses all product related tasks from a store execution perspective and she serves as a liaison between headquarters and field business partners, working closely with Gap's field communications team. She began her career with Gap working at the local Chico store while she was an undergraduate.

Jessica stated that, “My education in economics at Chico State gave me the foundational building blocks to expand upon my problem solving skills in a way that enables me to think and work outside the box but within the blue box that is Gap. Expanding upon the skill set garnered at Chico State, my educational experiences at the University of New Mexico further built out my understanding of consumer duality theory and the appropriate application of such theories in a business environment. Additionally, I was able to fine tune my quantitative and analytical skills through econometric modeling and analysis, providing my team with a specialized niche skill set, previously under represented.

alexandra woodwardAlexandra Woodward

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."