Experience Excellence

at California State University, Chico here.

Economics is a method rather than a doctrine, an apparatus of the mind, a technique of thinking which helps its possessor to draw correct conclusions.
John Maynard Keynes

Chico Economics Graduate Careers - Management/Entrepreneurship

Carey BalzerCarey Balzer

Carey Balzer, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 1982, is general manager of SMB Solutions Group at mindShift Technologies in Austin, Texas. After graduation at Chico State, Carey enrolled in graduate school at Binghamton University. He received in MA in Economics and Finance and became a manager in charge of market analysis and forecasting for AT&T in 1984. After 4 years with AT&T Carey accepted a position as vice-president of business marketing with Sprint. More Information He has been general manager at mindShift since 2015.


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."


Tom BurnsTom Burns

Tom Burns, who graduated in 1976 with a BA in Economics, is president and CEO of Thorpe Specialty Services Corporation, an engineering and construction services company serving the petroleum and chemical industry in Houston, Texas.   From 1986 to 1988 Tom was western field sales manager for Polaroid.  In 1999 Tom assumed the position of president of Rubbermaid Closet and Organization

In 2002 he became president of Katy Industries where he “led seven operating businesses in North America and United Kingdom “manufacturing a diverse assortment of commercial cleaning, food service, golf course maintenance, truck boxes and OEM products,” according to his LinkedIn page.    In 2004 he left Katy Industries to become president of Global Home Products.  He moved on from Global to become president and CEO of Jackson Safety Corporation.  In 2009 Tom signed on with Kimberly Clark as president.  After a year and one-half with Kimberly he began work with Base Industries in Bridgeton, Missouri, as president and CEO. 

Tom opened his own consulting business, Burns Consulting, in 2010 which he continues to operate.  Since 2013 he also been president and CEO of Thorpe Services.  (Last Updated 7/17/17) 


Brent CardwellBrent Cardwell

Brent Cardwell, who graduated in 1981 with a BA in Economics, is the regional manager of investment and fiduciary services for Wells Fargo in Sacramento, California.  After graduation Brent attended California State University, San Jose, where he received his MA in Economics with a concentration in econometrics.  He worked for government, generating forecasting data, until 2001.  Since 2001 Brent has worked for Wells Fargo.  Brent is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

“Both the BA and MA provided the foundation for what is now my career in investments with Wells Fargo,” Brent stated in a recent email. 


carlton c caven ivCarlton C. Caven, IV

Carlton C. Caven IV, who graduated in 2011 with a BA in Economics, is an enterprise regional manager at indeni, a computer software firm specializing in IT network security in San Francisco, California. During his sophomore and junior year at Chico State, Carlton was head coach for Chico State Women’s Soccer Club. During his senior year he worked in operations for Bizness Apps a successful CSU Chico startup currently headquartered in La Jolla, CA.


In 2013 Carlton accepted a position as senior lead development representative at Intuit. In 2014 Intuit promoted him to territory manager for Texas. Carlton moved on to LeadGenius in Berkeley, California as sales executive in late 2014. After a year and one-half helping build LeadGenius, he signed on as enterprise regional manager with indeni where he is currently working with major enterprise IT network environments.

“Earning a degree in economics allows me to understand and contribute complex business situations,” Carlton stated in a recent email.  “Trend analysis, forecasting, resource allocation as well as many other economic skills are applicable in high tech. My favorite "term" that I administer both inside and outside of work is resource allocation.”  (Last Updated 10/28/16) 


Justin ChappellJustin Chappell

Justin Chappellwho graduated with a BA in Economics in 1999, is a branch manager at Paramount Partners Group in Eldorado Hills, California.  “I use economics every day as I coach myself and my sales team to be effective and efficient with their time,” he stated in a recent email.  “We have done the work to identify our goals and priorities and do those activities that knock out those in the morning. I also manage a profit and Loss ledger for my branch which is heavily economics based.”    


Chris ConradChris Conrad

Chris Conrad, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2005, is account manager at Elemental LED in Emeryville, California. While a student at Chico State Chris worked at a summer internship for Quester Technology, a Silicon Valley semi-conductor company. During his senior year he began working for the Tutoriale Center For Education in Castor Valley, California, and he continued working there for another 6 years. “I automated every aspect of this tutoring business, managing 15+ employees and educating hundreds of clients,” Chris stated on his LinkedIn site. He moved on to Zeagle Systems as account manager in 2008. After leaving Zeagle Chris accepted a position as sales manager at Gatco in San Leandro, California where he worked for a year and a half. In 2012 Chris he moved to Elemental LED.

“I learned a thing or two about MS Excel from a class that I took from Professor Shockley,” Chris replied in a recent email when asked how his economics degree helps his career.


Brian CorleyBrian Corley

Brian Corley, who graduated with a BA in Economics and a Minor in Political Science in 1995, is a Senior Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at First Republic Bank’s Private Wealth Management Group in San Francisco, California. In 1998 Brian accepted a position as Principal and Portfolio Manager with Golden Triangle Securities and in 1999 while still working for Golden Triangle Brian entered Golden Gate University (GGU). He completed his Masters of Science in Finance as well as obtained his Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning at GGU in 2002 and left Golden Triangle to become a Private Client Advisor for Wells Fargo’s Private Banking Group. In 2004 Brian completed the Certified Investment Management Program (CIMA) through UC Berkeley and shortly thereafter became an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF). In 2008 Brian founded Astera Financial Group and served as its Chief Investment Officer until 2012 when First Republic purchased his firm. He and his entire Astera team continue to operate as a Private Wealth Management team at First Republic in San Francisco.

“Economics helped form the foundation for much of my future education around Finance and Capital Markets,” Brian stated in a recent email. “Academic finance tends to focus on numbers and formulas while Economics tends to focus more on human behavior and the ongoing challenges in trying to balance human emotions making within the context of financial decisions and trade-offs. After leaving the academic world and entering the real life world of advising human beings on financial decisions you realize that very few decisions are made solely on the numbers and formulas and are far more often dictated by peoples’ past experiences and emotions. Economics provided me with a tremendous foundation and understanding of people and markets on which I was able to then specialize my education and training beyond my undergraduate degree in order to prepare for the specific career I was focused on.”


mark dahlstromMark Dahlstrom

Mark Dahlstrom, who graduated in 1991 with a BA in Economics, is business segment manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Nevada City, California.  After graduation Mark worked for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) performing “comprehensive risk analysis of federally insured financial institutions,” according to his LinkedIn page.  After four and one-half years with the FDIC Mark accepted a position as vice president and chief financial officer with Placer Credit Union in Auburn, California.  At the Credit Union he “led accounting, budgeting and financial reporting functions of institution” and he “developed activity based costing model to eliminate non-value add activities from loan and deposit generation.” 

In 1998 Mark accepted a position as vice president in charge of credit review and compliance at Sacramento Commercial Bank in Sacramento, California, where he “managed internal credit review and regulatory compliance functions.”  After a year and one-half with the commercial bank Mark enrolled at the University of California, Davis where he earned his Master of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance in 2001.

After graduation from UC Davis Mark joined Hewlett Packard (HP) as a financial analyst and manager.    In 2013 Mark was promoted to business segment manager in charge of HP’s long-run technology plans and the way that top management communicates its plans to those outside the corporation.  (Last Updated 10/31/16)


Philip Dell'OssoPhilip Dell'Osso

Philip Dell'Osso , who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2011, is area manager at Amazon in Stockton, California. After graduation he accepted a position as production coordinator for Carpenter Company in Lathrop, California. In this position Philip coordinated the flow of work between and within departments at Carpenter, a firm that manufactures polyurethane foam and other flexible materials. With two and one-half years’ experience at Carpenter, Philip accepted a position as production supervisor for The Wine Group in Ripon, California. After almost a year at The Wine Group, he moved on to Amazon where currently works.


Brandt DietzBrandt Dietz

Brandt Dietz, who graduated in 2011 with a BA in Economics and an Option in Environmental, owns and operates Dietz Livestock, Land and Contracting, a ranching and real estate business near Denver, Colorado.   In 2009 while a student at Chico State, Brandt began working as a site foreman for LandCrafts Construction in Chico.  He continued working for LandCrafts for a year after he graduated when he left to open his own business.  Brandt incorporated Dietz Livestock, Land and Contracting in June 2016.  (Last Updated 10/20/16)


david downsDavid Downs

David Downs, graduated with a BA in Economics in 1983.  David worked for 17 years at GBC, in the digital printing and finishing Industry, primarily in sales management.  He has been in the Dallas area for the last 20 years, managing sales teams throughout the Midwest and South. He has found tremendous success in the past 25 years managing field sales organizations; on three separate occasions, David has been honored with the prestigious title as the top manager in the nation. 

His commitment to win and do the right thing has been contagious within his group of peers/direct reports and has helped his leadership role at ASI.  ASI is a division of Xerox.

“Economics gave me a fantastic foundation for business as I am working with many different types of industries on a daily basis.  The ability to quickly understand the customer and their business challenges is paramount in today’s environment.  (Last Updated 1/11/2017)


Doug Furman

Doug Furman, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 1978, is harbormaster at Westpoint Harbor LLC in Redwood City, California.  He was one of the first to get a minor in Collective Bargaining from the Economics Department under the leadership of Professor Jay Lyman. Doug worked as an intern for the City of Sacramento for 9 months after he graduated from Chico State.  His internship turned into a full-time job with the City and County of Fresno as assistant to the executive director in charge of human resources where he worked for the next seven and one-half years.  Doug then moved on to be labor relations manager in charge of all negotiations representing management for the City of Fresno where he worked for 8 years.  During that time he was the chief negotiator in the Charter Section 809 case. “This was a State Supreme Court case on negotiations where we prevailed at turning over a Charter section that had previously guaranteed wages to Police and Fire, landmark,” Doug stated in a recent email.

Doug also ran a transit system for three years and did international human resources in the private sector for over eight years with responsibility for over 30 countries.

“Being a Harbormaster is just something fun to do while reducing the stress of full-time work and leaving behind the HR side” Doug stated in a recent email.  “So I would say that I used my "Economics" degree pretty effectively......always considering the opportunity costs to options, and evaluating supply and demand, more on a micro than a macro. I tutored two people who got A's in Economics as well, so Chico couldn't have been all that bad.”  (Last Updated 10/7/17)


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.


Ed GravesEd Graves

Ed Graves, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 1997, is a divisional vice president at Medline Industries, Inc., in Frisco, Texas. While a student at Chico, Ed was a member of the Chico State Lacrosse team, the Phi Delta Theta, and the Finance Club.  He partially supported himself working for First Associated Securities and the Hyatt Regency in Lake Tahoe during breaks.  After graduation Ed went to work for Medline Industries, US Surgical, Syneron, Alma Lasers, and is currently back with Medline Industries.  While in Sacramento, he owned an anesthetic laser clinic that provided laser and injectable treatments and hosted training classes for marketing and business development of similar anesthetic practices.  He also has an investment portfolio of eleven rental properties in California and Texas.

“Economics was an excellent choice for me because the curriculum encompassed a good dose of mathematics, reading, writing, and political science,” Ed stated in a recent email.  “Like many 18-20 year olds, I was a student who did not necessarily know what I wanted to do after college. Economics offered a broader perspective with Finance, Business Law, Accounting, History, and Current Events that was interesting as a student and applicable after I graduated. Economics was an excellent choice that served me well in my career.”  (Last Updated 9/4/17)


Tim GrewisTim Grewis

Tim Grewis , who graduated in 1990 with a BA in Economics and a BS in Accounting, has been working at Chevron  since leaving Chico.   His career has covered numerous roles in Chevron’s different business lines.  Most recently he was the finance manager for the Chevron Refinery in Richmond, California.   In early 2016, Tim moved back to Chevron headquarters in San Ramon as part of the Corporate Comptroller’s organization.   Along the way he completed an MBA in Finance at Saint Mary’s College of California in 1995.

“Economics provided a nice complement to Accounting,” Tim stated in a recent email.   “It allowed me to better understand and appreciate the complexity of the energy business at both the international and local level.”  (Last Updated 11/13/16)


Jenner GwinupJenner Gwinup

Jenner Gwinup graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2010 with a BA in Economics, an option in International Economics, and a minor in Business Administration. He received the Smale award as the Department’s most outstanding graduate of 2010. After graduation from Chico State, Jenner enrolled at Arizona State University where he worked as a consultant to Quicken Loans until 2013. In 2014 while still in graduate school Jenner became a Supply Chain Intern at Henkel.

Jenner received his Master of Business Administration, Supply Chain Management with areas of emphasis in International Business and Sustainability in May 2015. He graduated as a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, International Honor Society for Collegiate Schools of Business, which requires students to be in the top 20% of their graduating class.

Jenner continues to work at Henkel as a Supply Network Planner where he analyzes purchasing, production, and distribution to maximize profits for his firm. Clearly, Jenner uses the knowledge that he gained in this economics degree that stresses optimization of a goal within the constraints of the environment.

“Some of the most important skills that my economics education has instilled in me are a love of creative problem solving and root cause analysis. As a supply network planner I’m constantly striving to find more efficient and effective methods, minimizing inventory while maximizing customer service levels. Economics is all about finding the most effective levers to effect a situation and learning from our mistakes, keys to an effective supply chain organization,” Jenner stated in a recent email.


Thomas HallThomas Hall

Thomas Hall, who graduated with a BA in Economics and a BS in Business Administration in 2010, is a fellow with Velocity Venture Capital and works in marketing at CleanStart in Sacramento, California. 

While a student at Chico State Thomas spent spring and fall semesters in 2007 – 2008 with Hewlett-Packard in Shanghai, China.  When he returned for the fall 2008 semester Thomas was a founding member of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Chico State.  

After graduation Tom volunteered with SARTA, a non-profit that fosters technology and entrepreneurial growth in the Sacramento region, bringing new startups to their Clean showcase.  From there Thomas became assistant to the CEO of Vanelli Foods, LLC, a food processing start up in Roseville, California.   In 2012 Thomas returned to the Chico area to become chief financial officer for North Valley Eye Care in Chico and Ridge Eye Care in Paradise.  After successfully expanding eye care groups Thomas moved on to Mindful Health Solutions in Sacramento where he oversaw its rebranding and transition into TMS Health Solutions.  In 2016 he joined Velocity Venture Capital  researching and analyzing seed investments in the Healthcare field.

"My economics background enables me to identify and articulate market trends from knowing when to buy raw materials, to identifying when current supply is not going to meet future demand,” Tom stated in a recent email.  “Recognizing changes in the market enables me to stay ahead on what to expect from potential investments, marketing opportunities, cost of goods, and even appropriate employee compensation.  Economics has complemented all areas of my work." (Last Updated 11/3/16)


Simon Hase PortraitSimon Hase

Simon Hase, who graduated from Chico State in 2006 with a BA in Economics (International Economics) and a BS in Business Administration (Financial Management), founded and manages his own accounting firm, Kaufmann Advisors, in San Francisco, California.  After graduation, he moved to San Francisco, just as the housing crises was beginning to hit the financial industry and affect the entire economy.  Although it was tough time, Simon was able to find continuous work in the accounting and bookkeeping fields, eventually working full-time for a small business consulting firm. He decided that helping business owners would be his new career field and so he enrolled in online courses at Foothill College in order to fulfill the accounting requirements of the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license.

In 2013, Simon started his own accounting and tax firm, Kaufmann Advisors. Since then, Simon has built up a team of bookkeepers and accountants to help business owners manage their finances, have more control and insight in their business and be more strategic about the taxes that they pay 

Additionally, through a partnership with the Small Business Administration, he has given lectures and workshops across the country to hundreds of business owners on the topics of small business accounting and taxes as well as using QuickBooks to organize their financial data.

Simon believes that his life experiences at Chico State allow him to relate to business owners and entrepreneurs that he works with on a daily basis. He also feels that his degree in economics has helped him continue to understand how the world works and how national policy interacts with business, trade, foreign exchange and international relationships. Simon is able to bring this insight to his business clients, which also gives him an edge over other accountants. 

Not always an accountant, before college, Simon served in the US Army as a linguist and attended the prestigious Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. He speaks six languages and enjoys reading, traveling and creating new experiences. (Last Updated 7/13/17)


Scott Honsowetz

Scott Honsowetz, who graduated in 2003 with a BA in Economics and an option in international, is owner and manager of Albuquerque Home Care Services, LLC.  Scott played baseball at a community college in San Diego, and he came to Chico on a baseball scholarship.  He helped coach a high school American Legion team and was a member of the 2002 National Runner Up Baseball Team during his senior year at Chico State.

After graduation Scott worked as a claims representative for two years at Allied Insurance.  During the next two and one-half years he worked for Bond Services of California as a surety bond producer specializing in contract and subdivision bonds.  After leaving Bond Services in 2007, Scott spent six years as bond manager for Hub International Southwest.  In 2013 he left Hub to start and manage Albuquerque Home Services, LLC.

“Economics taught md to use an analytic approach to all facets of business” Scott stated in a recent email.  “It gave me the core skills to be able to perform financial analysis on any variety of businesses which is the major factor in bonding.  Economics has helped me evaluate my own company and ensure its profitability.”


Elvira A. HoweElivira A. Howe

Elvira A. Howe, who graduated 2001 with her BA in Economics and the Smale award for outstanding academic achievement, is manager of non-residential rate options with Pacific Gas and Electric in San Francisco, California. 

“The Manager of Non-Residential Rate Options will oversee a team responsible for implementing critical rate strategies and options, including:*Non-Residential Rate Options - Non-residential rate options continue to evolve with changing policy and customer need. Pricing Products works closely with the Rates department and key stakeholders to identify changes and shape policy.”  (Source) (Last Updated 7/1/17)


Rand HutchisonRand Hutchison

Rand Hutchison, who graduated from CSU, Chico with a BA in Economics in 1973, is a professor in the Chico State’s Management Department and founding president of several companies.  Rand completed his Master of Business Administration (Information Systems Emphasis) at Chico State in 1977, while concurrently working with a startup health economics company, and teaching courses in both business and economics at CSU, Chico.   Rand was instrumental in starting the Graduate Business Students Association and became its first president.

After a diverse career spanning 40+ years, Rand is semi-retired, and teaches courses in applied strategy, entrepreneurship, and professional consulting in Chico State’s College of Business.  Other current activities include consulting engagements, managing angel investments, a member of the CSU, Chico University University Foundation Board of Directors and College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board, and also a board director on several private and public sector organizations. 

While in graduate school, Rand worked as general manager for a health economics company that supervised and coordinated studies for national and state prescription drug reimbursement programs, analyzed and prepared guidelines for national health Insurance programs, and performed systems analysis, design and engineering for the system that became the federal Medicaid Management Information System.  The company also completed many economic research projects for major global pharmaceutical companies.

Rand formed and was director of management advisory services for Matson and Isom Accountancy Corporation from 1980 to 1990.  The new profit center lead the company into the digital era, and provided management consulting,  business development and technology services to a diverse clientele, including manufacturing, agriculture, health care, retail, professional services, education, and government clients.

At Option Care, Rand was a key senior team member for a franchise health services company.  Rand was instrumental in completing a successful IPO, which ultimately led to its acquisition by a major drug chain for several hundred million dollars.  Rand was responsible for strategic and competitive information and technology planning.   A major accomplishment was the integration of all franchises into a network that involved the development and implementation of two proprietary franchise office operations software products, including integrated applications for pharmacy, nursing/clinical and financial systems.

Rand was Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer for a technology company that developed casino gaming technology that was ultimately acquired by major industry leaders.  Responsibilities included strategic planning and operational execution for the two divisions of the company.     

Rand founded Travidia Inc., and at various stages served as President, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chairman of the Board.  Travidia was acquired in November 2011 by a consortium of 12 of the largest domestic media companies and was rebranded as Wanderful Media.  Using the brand name Find n Save, Wanderful Media offers local media affiliates and advertisers a local online consumer shopping platform that provides an engaging shopping experience for consumers.  With its network of affiliates, Travidia focused on bringing shopping solutions to the 80%+ of US markets that it serves across mobile, web, tablets, and social platforms.

“My undergraduate experience in economics provided exposure to broad  “macro” perspectives of business and government, and I was extremely fortunate to have an economics professor as my mentor and supervisor in a business startup right after graduation,” Rand stated in a recent email.  “Building on my early experiences, my position in public accounting filled in the tactical details of how diverse organizations operate.  The combination of training and experience in my early career enabled me to get unusual perspectives, and provided the background to think both strategically and tactically.  The result instilled me with the confidence to eventually pursue entrepreneurial opportunities, and the skills to manage either startup or mature businesses.” (Last Updated 8/15/17)


eddie hyattEddie Hyatt

Eddie Hyatt, who graduated in 1996 with a BA in Economics, is a member of the administrative team and the Telemed Director for North American Mental Health Services in Redding, California.  He has worked for North American Mental Health Services since the middle of 2015.

“Economics has aided me in my professional career by giving me the tools to evaluate data. Economics has also given me the resources to identify competing incentives in business, economic, and day to day situations.”  (Last Updated 9/14/17)


Travis HyltonTravis Hylton

Travis Hylton completed his Economics coursework at CSU Chico in 1997 after having received a BS in Civil Engineering with emphasis in Water Resources Engineering from UC Irvine in 1992.  Having previously worked for the Tulare County Public Works Department while earning registration as a Professional Engineer from the State of California, after his time at Chico he worked independently in what were recently reunified areas of the former East Germany.  His work there included a term with the Thuringian Dams and Reservoirs Administration, conducting a large scale bioremediati on project for a private consulting firm, and completing research for the German Federal Uranium Mining Remediation Consortium related to the environmental contamination potential of groundwater flooding of abandoned Uranium mines. Returning stateside, he spent eight years in a leadership role in the Civil, Environmental, and Coastal Engineeri ng division of the consulting and research & development firm Oceanit in Honolulu, Hawaii.  In 2008, Mr. Hylton joined federal service at Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. His initial assignments centered on development of the $1.3B "One-Guam" drinking water and wastewater solutions to bring Guam's water resources infrastructure up to date to support construction of a new US Marine Corps base on the island.  He recently completed a three year tour as the Drinking Water Program Manager for NAVFAC Europe-Africa-Southwest Asia, ensuring Navy Fleets and families had reliable and safe drinking water from 25 systems across eight countries on three continents. He currently serves as an Enterprise Action Officer in the NAVFAC Pacific's Operations Department, overseeing facilities sustainment and modernization programs across the Pacific with an annual budget of $250M. He holds several water resources engineering professional certifications, and is a founding Diplomate of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers.

"Engineering has been the foundation of my career, but being able to apply economics to the equation has proven critical time after time.” Mr. Hylton stated in a recent email.  “You've got to be able to do your market analysis and articulate the value proposition to the client, whether that be return on investment or comparing net present values of alternative solutions, or else the project will never get the green light.  Society needs sustainable solutions, and those solutions won't be socially viable unless they can be shown to be environmentally and economically sustainable."


Ignacio JacobsIgnacio Cerruto-Jacobs

Ignacio Cerruto-Jacobs, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2013, is director of the textile rental division at Sobel Westex in Las Vegas, Nevada.  He also works as a linguist for Metlang, who provide interpretation and translation services for law enforcement.  (Last Updated 9/12/17)


Matthew JafariMatthew Jafari

Matthew Jafari, who graduated in 2013 with a BA in Economics, is manager at Specialized Fibers, a recycling facility in Corning, California. Before enrolling at Chico State Matthew completed his AA degree in Natural Science in 2011 at Shasta College. 

In the summer between Shasta College and Chico State Matthew interned at HealthRIM, a computer software firm that manages patient data. Matthew states on his LinkedIn page the “I actively participated in research and marketing strategy sessions and proposed new ideas for inclusion in the overall HealthRIM product marketing strategy.

During his junior and senior year at Chico State Matthew was on the Dean’s List. After graduation Matthew began working for Specialized Fibers.

“Economics set the basic foundation of what I do on a daily basis” Matthew stated in a recent email. “Running operations at one of northern California's largest recycling processors I learned how to best utilize my limited resources finding balance between capital and labor. Economics fine-tuned my understanding about how markets operate to create arbitrage opportunities between domestic and international pricing.” 


Javier JimenezJavier Jimenez

Javier Jimenez, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 1994, is founder and president of Firmo Investment Consulting Services and CEO at Animal Funds LLC in Los Angeles, California.  After graduation Javier worked as a research and administrative assistant, distributing and sorting information for TCW Group in Los Angeles.  A year later Javier moved on to Morgan Stanley as financial advisor where he worked another year. 

In late 1998 Javier accepted a position as vice president of investments for Wedbush Morgan Securities where he remained for 10 years.  During that decade Javier “served as moderator and panelist for “The Los Angeles Times Investment Strategies Conference” with America’s top money managers, stock pickers, and financial planners,” according to his LinkedIn page, and he was also, “frequently interviewed as guest investment expert on Bloomberg Radio, Univision, KABC-LA, Voice of America, and Telemundo.”  In 2009 Javier left Wedbush to found Firmo Investment Consulting services and to serve as its president. In 2010 Javier became vice president of sales and client relations engaging in global economic research for Behavioral Economics, Inc. where he remained for one year.  Since early 2016 Javier has been CEO of Animal Funds LLC and he continues his duties as president of Firmo. 

"My Econ degree has help me to better understand cost benefit analysis of which I use in making major business decisions," Javier stated in a recent email.  "Econometrics, a course I took while at Chico State helped me to better understand risk analysis in portfolio management. A new standard that has developed in the wealth management industry over that last decade. Great econ department! Great people!"  (Last Updated 11/11/16)


Dan JohnsonDan Johnson

Dan Johnson, who graduated with a BA in Economics and a BS in Business Administration and Finance in 2008, is treasury manager at eBay and at PayPal in Luxembourg. Dan interned with Smith Barney during his junior year at Chico State and with Merrill Lynch during his senior year. After graduation Dan accepted a position with Fisher Investments in sales and he was quickly promoted to regional operations. After leaving Fisher, Dan worked as an administrative manager for the Institute for Regulatory Training in Mill Valley, California. In 2010 Dan signed on with CoPilot Financial as director of Investment Operations in San Jose, California. In 2015 Dan accepted an appointment as treasury analyst for both PayPal and eBay where he is currently employed.

Dan uses the economics he learned at Chico State when he estimates short-run costs and revenues and the impact of long-run fiscal decisions affect the two technology firms in his role as treasury manager.


JusticeDoreen Bender Justice

Doreen Bender Justice, who graduated in 1980 with a BA in Economics and a BS in Business Administration, is a self-employed contractor providing transcription and editing services to technology firms.  After graduation she wanted to travel and became a tour guide for Contiki Holidays, a tour company that arranges camping tours for Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and Canadians in international settings.  Contiki promoted her to sales manager for Australia. 

After 3 years with Contiki Doreen took a position in 1983 as research assistant for Hambrecht and Quist in San Francisco, California.  A year later she enrolled in Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where she completed her Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in finance and marketing in 1986.  While a graduate student Doreen also worked as research associate for Golder, Thoma and Cressey in Chicago, Illinois. 

Upon completion of her master’s degree, Doreen accepted a position as vice-president of institutional equities for Goldman Sachs in San Francisco and New York City. Since 2012 Doreen has worked in her own business supplying transcription and editing services.


Eli KambaleEli Kambale

After graduating with a BA in Economics in 2015, Eli Kambale accepted a position with Walmart as area manager of the Walmart Distribution Center in La Mesa, California. He began his career before he graduated as an inventory control intern with the Walmart Distribution Center in Red Bluff, CA. After interning for 6 months, WalMart hired him as a manager.

While an undergraduate Eli worked as a student assistant to the Economics Department Office Manager and as a tutor for students enrolled in courses at Chico State. Eli also worked as a research assistant for the Center for Economic Development.

“The courses I took from the Economics Department honed my analytical skills that I continuously use to forecast the amount of cases my department will be processing to meet our production goals,” Eli stated in a recent email. “The opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues in classes and to present our work in front of our peers enhanced my communication skills as well as my confidence, which is key to public speaking. Econometrics was my favorite subject because it challenged me to think outside of the box while in undergraduate school. The Economics program at Chico State and my mentors shaped me into the professional I am today. In the future, I plan on taking more econometric courses to further enhance my analytical intuition.”


Kyler KellerKyler Keller

Kyler Keller, who graduated with a BA in Economics and an Option in Environmental in 2016, is the supply chain coordinator for Figueroa Mountain Brewing in Buelton, California.  While a student at Chico State Kyler helped support himself by work in Conference Services for Associated Students.  During his junior year at Chico State Kyler volunteered for CAVE as an adopt-a-park group leader.  He worked for the San Antonio Office of Emergency Management as a data intern during the summer between his junior and senior year.  After graduation Kyler worked as the team lead for the Big C Athletic Club in Concord before accepting his current job with Figueroa Mountain Brewing.

“Within my supply chain position I see the entire process, from purchasing raw goods, to selling a final product,” Kyler stated in a recent email.  “My time in the classroom prepared me for this role because it taught me how to efficiently use each of my resources. It taught me how to be proactive rather than reactive. By entering an industry that excites me, I feel more passionate and eager to learn each process and each ingredient that goes into crafting my final product.”  (Last Updated 7/12/17)  


brian krachtBrian Kracht

Brian Kracht, who graduated in 1996 with a BA in Economics, is an event donations manager at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico.  After graduation Brian took a job in sales with Southern Wines and Spirits in the San Francisco Bay Area where he worked from 1998 to 2001. In 2004 he accepted a position with Sierra Nevada Brewing in Chico where he is currently working.  He began working as a bartender with Sierra and moved on to tour guide, warehouseman, and currently works as a donations manager.  Brian works with a team that focuses on field marketing and event sponsorship in Northern California.  As a donations manager he works closely with non-profits to help then realize their fundraising goals through product donations from the Brewery, all while making sure Sierra is in compliance with CA Alcohol Beverage laws.   

“My economics degree helps me gather the correct information that I need to properly evaluate the next steps while multi-tasking in a fast pace environment,” Brian stated in a recent email.  “Sometimes you have to think on the fly when situations arise in the event world and my economics degree helps me to determine the best way to move forward.  Identifying the cause helps lead you to the solution, just like in economics.”  (Last Updated 10/4/17)


brian klattBrian Klatt

Brian Klatt, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2007, is project manager at Underground Construction Company Inc in Benicia, California.   After graduation Brian took a job with Underground Construction as a project engineer, and in 2014 Underground promoted him to project manager.

“My responsibilities are flexible and change based on the project(s).” Brian states on his LinkedIn page. “I'm currently involved in Design Consulting, Plan Review, Estimating, Budgeting, Planning, Change Management, Customer Relations, Cost Tracking, Forecasting, Stakeholder Relationship Management, Subcontracts, Vendor Management, and whatever else it takes to get the project completed successfully.”

Brian uses economics to analyze costs. “I've been involved with the development and improvement of our internal cost to complete forecasting model, as well as the vendor management process company wide.”  (Last Updated 9/20/17)


Robert KurtzRobert Kurtz

Robert Kurtz, who graduated in 2013 with a BA and Honors in Economics, is scrum master at Surge Software, a firm that develops custom software, in Chico.  As scrum master Robert manages a team of software developers by helping them exchange information much the way a rugby team does.  

In order to help finance his education at Chico State Robert worked for Best Buy as a home theater sales associate.  During his junior year Robert interned for First Grain Inc in Chico; as a junior commodity analyst Robert helped forecast rice crops and prices.  In his senior year Robert worked as an intern for Stogan Ag Investment, also in Chico.

After graduation in 2013 Robert accepted a position with Surge Software where he currently works.  Early in 2014 he became a certified scrum master.

“Studying economics helped me develop problem solving skills that I have used every day since. It changed the way that I look at the world and how I address problems,” Robert stated in a recent email.  “I truly believe that my degree opened up job opportunities that a degree in a related field wouldn't have. It will make your resume stand out amongst the others in the pile by showing the employer that you have a wide set of skills and a well-rounded education.”


Michael KarpMichael Karp

Michael Karp, who completed his BA with honors in Economics in 2014, runs a startup company, Copytactics where he works with firms to increase their web traffic and market their products.  During his the first semester of his senior year at Chico State Michael worked as a research assistant for the CSU Chico Center for Economic Development.  During the second semester of his senior year he worked as a features columnist for The Orion, Chico State’s student newspaper. 

"After graduating in the spring of 2014, I spent four months learning how to build an online business so I could travel the world. I started off freelance writing, but quickly transitioned into becoming a digital marketing consultant,” Michael stated in a recent email.

“I launched Copytactics.com, my digital marketing blog and the online home of my business, in November of 2014. I then emailed over 150 marketing agencies to pitch my services. Three agreed to work with me, and I was off to the races."

My economics background has helped me think strategically about my business and how I help my clients grow theirs. The research papers also helped me become a strong writer, which helped tremendously in a digital marketing world where content reigns supreme.

Here are a few of the pieces I've written, to give you an idea of what I do for my clients:

Cost Effective SEO: How I Drove 34,000 Search Engine Visits in 60 Days (For Free)

21 Strategies to Drive More Free Website Traffic Today

Viral List Building Case Study: How One Blog Gained 3,200 Subscribers in 7 Days

I also published a 180-page ebook that teaches people how to do what I do for my clients. It's called The Content Marketing Guidebook.  It's my first digital product, and as I grow my business in 2016, I'm planning to launch more of these products in the form of ebooks and online courses.

My econ degree gave me the foundation I needed to be confident starting my own business. It has helped me think like a business person and put those thoughts into action to achieve real world results."


Micheal LarsonMichael Larson

Michael Larson, who graduated with a BA in Economics and a BS in Business Administration in 2010, is project manager at ABLSoft, a firm that produces a cloud-based lending software. While a student at Chico State Michael began working for Moonblink Communications, a firm specializing in wireless and video surveillance, as an online marketing coordinator. He continued working for Moonblink after graduation and they made him the technical engineer for web development. He remained with Moonblink for 5 years and worked his way up to a management position. Michael worked briefly for Miracle Software Systems before moving to ABL Soft in 2015.


Shelby LehorShelby Lehor

Shelby Lehor, who graduated with a BA in 2009, is the state-wide manager for Rogue Ale and Spirits in Austin, Texas.  After graduation Shelby worked as sales representative for Gallo Sales Company for two years.  Shelby then moved on to Southern Wine and Spirits where she worked as territory manager in Dallas, Texas.  In the middle of 2012 Shelby took a job as field sales manager for Constellation Brands and in 2013 they promoted her to strategic account manager.  She has been working for  Rogue Ales and Spirits since the middle of 2016.  (Last Updated 8/31/17)


Vang Yeng LorVang Yeng Lor

Vang Yeng Lor, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2010, is the founder, co-owner and manager of Eggroll Bytes LLC in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Vang works part-time in his business, and he is also a relationship banker.

While a student at Chico State Vang participated in the Hmong Club, the Investment Club, and the Debate Team.  After graduation Vang worked as a  financial representative for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Vang relies upon his knowledge of economics to analyze the market for eggrolls.  “I use cost and benefit analysis to determine where I should operate,”  he stated in a recent email.  “I look into the target population of the location, and do a test run with the product to determine how much demand is within the location.  At the same time I use cost analysis to determine what are the cost involve, including money cost, time, labor, productivity and efficiency in operation hour. With all this I calculate profitability and that determine if I should continue to operate in the current location. “


josh LujanJosh Lujan

Josh Lujan, who graduated Magna Cum Laude with the Department Academic Achievement Award in 2014 and a BA in Economics, is a landscape foreman with Kerri Landscape Services in Livermore, California.  As a senior at Chico State Joshua said, “I want my own landscaping company that will grow to include construction.  I credit my parents with the reason I excelled in my academic career.”  On their webpage Kerri Landscape Services states that “Josh is a Landscape Foreman. He has a degree in Economics from Chico State. He stays active in his free time playing sports and working on a cattle ranch. He has been with us for 1 year.”  (Last Updated 1/30/17)


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.


Joey Macke

Joey Macke, who graduated in 2009 with a BA in Economics, is food and beverage manager at Loews Regency in San Francisco, California.  After graduation Joey worked for six months as parking operations supervisor at Northstar Resort in Tahoe. From there he moved to a job with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s in-room dining service.  After almost 4 years with Ritz-Carlton in Tahoe and Los Angeles Joey went to work as food and beverage supervisor for Marriott International in Marina Del Rey. In late 2013 Joey moved to San Francisco as assistant food and beverage manager at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Since December 2015 he has worked at Loews.


MacNeilAndrew MacNeil

Andrew MacNeil completed his BA in Economics with California State University- Chico in 2008, and currently works as Business Development Manager at Amazon in Seattle, Washington. Before entering Chico State in 2004, Andrew enlisted in the US Army following high school graduation. While at Chico State from 2004 to 2008, Andrew continued to serve as a reservist in the US Army, deploying to Iraq from 2004 to 2006. After graduation at Chico, Andrew commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and served as an Intelligence Officer from 2009 through 2012 deploying to Southeast Asia to assist in the region’s counterinsurgency mission. In 2012, he was selected for US Army Special Forces training, which he subsequently completed in 2014, earning the coveted Green Beret. As a Captain, Andrew deployed to Afghanistan in 2015, where he served as a Special Forces Detachment Commander until 2016. While he begins his transition to Amazon, Andrew is also currently completing his Executive MBA in Management with the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business.


Knox MarshallKnox Marshall

Knox Marshall, who is Vice-President of Resources for Murphy Company, graduated in 1993 with the Department’s highest recognition, the Smale Award. He spent the next 13 years working for institutional investors on acquisitions of large tract timberlands for The Campbell Group headquartered in Portland, Oregon before joining the Murphy Company in Eugene, Oregon. “I wanted to get a more old school family owned exposure to the lumber business and I have never looked back,” Knox stated in a recent email. “Murphy Company is one of the most successful plywood and engineered lumber companies in the forest products industry. My focus for the future is business development and continued growth of the company. The success of any company is dependent on creating solutions that continue to evolve with the ever changing economy.

“The education in economics at Chico State that I was fortunate to have been able to complete is the basis for the development and advancement in my career. I believe economics is an excellent complement to any work experience for professional development in any business. The broad application of an economics education towards everyday business solutions is critical in being where I am today.”


Jason MellowJason Mellow 

Jason Mellow, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2001, is a singer and songwriter for the rock band "Not This Day" and he manages Fanciful Company, Inc. a harvesting company that operates in California and Arizona.  After graduation Jason went to work for the Salinas Police Department (SPD) as a crime scene investigator.  In 2004 SPD promoted Jason to field training officer. 

In 2005 Jason moved back to Chico to become a street crimes investigator for the Chico Police Department (CPD).  On his LinkedIn page Jason described his job: “I often investigated complex crimes involving burglary rings, fraud rings, drug trafficking organizations, child sex trafficking organizations and gangs. I worked in conjunction with other local, state and federal agencies conducting criminal investigations.”  Later he continued working for CPD as an officer on horseback pursuing fleeing suspects and managing crowds.

In 2008 Jason moved back to Salinas where he accepted a position as a gang intelligence officer with the SPD.  Jason states on his Linkedin page, “I completed gang investigations and assisted the Monterey County District Attorney's Office with gang investigations and successful prosecution of gangs and gang members. I provided patrol personnel and Investigation personnel with intelligence information regarding gang members and gang activity.” 

In 2011 Jason made a radical career move to become a songwriter, topliner and singer in Aromas, California.  In 2012 he completed an extended play number for the rock band, SAVO as lead singer and lyricist.  The following year he produced a Studio recording of The Beast with guitarist Robert Machado.  In 2014 he worked with George Pajon Jr. on two singles as the lead singer, lyricist, and songwriter.  Jason and Anthony Parker wrote and performed Self Inflicted Salvation.  He recorded other music including, Requiem, Heart of the Beast, Down There, Melancholy Mary, and Dirty Little Secret.

“I believe the best thing about obtaining an Economics degree is the diversity of opportunity this degree unlocks. The Economics Department at CSU Chico has profoundly impacted my personal and professional life, from personal budgeting and investing, to business strategy and economic trend foresight. This is the field of study I endorse when I am speaking with youngsters who are planning on attending college,” Jason stated in a recent email.


Eric S. Miller

Eric S. Miller, who graduated in 1995 with a BA in Economics, is a regulatory reporting production manager for Union Bank in San Francisco, California.  After graduation Eric got a position as a bank examiner for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.  In his role with the Federal Reserve Eric “assessed the financial condition of banks and bank holding companies” according to his LinkedIn page

After more than seven years with the Fed Eric moved on to a position with Stone and Youngberg in fixed income sales to institutional investors.  About 2 years later in 2005 he accepted a position as senior risk management analyst for E-Loan.  In 2006 he moved to E.M. Financial  as president and broker for the real estate brokerage firm.  In late 2008 he became portfolio manager for the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.  In 2012 after 4 years with the Federal Home Loan Bank Eric accepted employment as a financial analyst for Bankquant.com, a firm in San Francisco that produces banking analytics. 

In 2015 he moved on to Union Bank as senior financial analyst and they quickly promoted Eric to regulatory reporting production manager.  In this role he manages a team of 3 analysts responsible for producing approximately 90 regulatory reports per month according to his LinkedIn page.


David OlitDavid Olit

David Olit, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2010, owns and manages 5 Star Nutrition in East Peoria, Illinois. “I’m already working on opening store #2 and #3 in Illinois! We are growing fast!” he stated in a recent email.

Until recently he worked for Preferred Freezer Services in their Los Angeles, California headquarters. 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 worked as a partner with the General Manager of the facility and ran the entire profit and loss Statement. He was responsible for all sales, as well as managing the entire office (customer service people, human resources, office administrator and office manager). David priced 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.  I constantly need to forecast the demand for our products and 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 manager I am today. "He is especially grateful for the help Professor Tsournos gave him. "He was the best teacher I ever had!"


Scott OlesonScott Oleson

Scott Oleson, who graduated with a BA in Economics and an option in International in 2009, is associate manager of operations at Walmart eCommerce in Dublin California. After graduation he joined Peace Corps and left for Cape Verde in West Africa where he served for 2 years. Scott, organized and implemented community agriculture projects including a $250,000 project connecting 50 households to municipal water supplies. As a result, more than 50 households in Cape Verde realized a 50% increase in their income through improved water usage and drip irrigation. In 2011 when he left Peace Corps in took a job as a financial representative with First Investors for a few months before he moved on to 1-800-Radiator as an inventory analyst. In 2013 he moved to Gap Inc. as analyst for their global supply chain where he continued working until 2015 when he moved to Walmart.

“Economics has helped me with critical thinking throughout my career,” Scott stated in a recent email. “In addition, I have been able to tie back business decisions & future initiatives to common themes found within economics. I am grateful for the economics background as I am also able to manage fellow associates by viewing concepts at a macro level (as opposed to be being stuck in the weeds).”


chris pachingerChris Pachinger

Chris Pachinger, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2001, is director of business development at CircleUp, an investment platform for consumer and retail VC and private equity, based in San Francisco, California.  After graduation Chris accepted a position as district manager for ADP, a firm that provides payroll services.  Two years later in 2004 Chris moved on to PeopleSoft, a firm that provided human resource and financial management systems.  After a year with PeopleSoft, Chris accepted a position as account executive for Fisher Investments, and 2 years later they promoted him to account executive group manager.  Fisher further promoted him to be their institutional portfolio analytics team leader, co-chief of staff and in 2012 to group vice president.    A year later Chris joined CircleUp where he is currently working.

“Economics provides you with a framework to understand how decisions are made, how processes evolve and why organizations behave in the way they do, “Chris stated in a recent email. “Regardless of your career path - sales, marketing, finance, management, something else entirely - economics forces you into a pattern of critical thinking that helps you understand and leverage the motives and forces influencing the world around you. Almost any field can be learned once you've started your career but economic thinking stays with you all along the way.”  (Last Updated 10/3/17)


Maclane PetersMatthew Paris

Matthew Paris, who graduated in 2009 with a BA in Economics, is a purchasing manager for Elliott Homes in Sacramento, California.  Matthew followed in the footsteps of his father, Michael Paris, who finished his BA in Ag Business at Chico State in 1986.

During his junior and senior years at Chico State Matthew was the head basketball coach at Marsh Middle School.  After graduation Matthew worked for Pepsi Bottling Group in Sacramento. A year later he moved to CenturyLink where he became program manager. 

 "The Economics Program at Chico State has proven to be invaluable throughout my career,” Matthew stated in a recent email.  “The education and skillset I've received built the foundation for my success in the Homebuilding Industry. The cyclical nature of my business requires a great deal of advanced analytics to better understand commodities, pricing structures, and the comprehensive decision-making that impacts the lives of others."   (Last Updated 7/15/17)


Maclane PetersMaclane Peters

Maclane Peters, who graduated in 2014 with a BA in Economics, is a management trainee with Cintas Corporation in El Dorado Hills, California. During the summer before his senior year at Chico State Maclane worked as an intern at the UC Davis Medical Center. During his senior year he worked as an IT student assistant at Chico State. Since he graduated in 2014, Maclane has worked for Cintas.


Shawn PiazzaShawn Piazza

Shawn Piazza, who received his BA in Economics in 2015, is head of operations at One N Only Travel Services and owner of Stimulate Productions in Chico.  He began working for One N Only as an intern when he was a senior at Chico State.  Shawn sells travel packages for One N Only and he books and manages musical events for Stimulate Productions.

While an undergraduate Shawn supported himself by working as a day manager and night server at the Sicilian Café.  He also found time to participate in the Economics Club and Students in Free Enterprise.

“Economics gave me the tools necessary to run my own business, and to operate aspects of other people's businesses” Shawn stated in a recent email. “With an understanding of various data analysis tactics, I'm able to ensure that business ventures remain profitable.”


Johnny RodriguezJohnny Rodriguez

Johnny Rodriguez, who graduated with a BA in Economics and a minor in Business Management in 2016, is the financial administrator at New Horizon Growers Nursery in Yuba City, California.   He supported himself working for Anchor Blue Retail Group during his freshman year, the Rodriguez Yard Service during his sophomore year, and Home Depot for the rest of his years as a student at Chico State. Johnny also found time to participate in the Economics Club.

After graduation he accepted a position at New Horizon Growers where he manages the budget, allocates funds to departments, and generates financial reports.

“I will be pursuing an entry-level position in an organization where I will be given the opportunity to grow and use my skills and knowledge I have gained through my experiences in college,” he states on his LinkedIn page.

“Earning an Economics degree has definitely helped me in both my personal and professional life,” Johnny stated in a recent email.  “In my personal life I am able to analyze everyday situations in a way that most people aren't. For example, I can go take a look at financial news and data such as increases or decreases in the reserve ratio and try to predict how that will affect different aspects of the economy both in the short run and long run. As far as my professional life goes, I am able to apply the concepts and theories to my career to do things like predict the length of time it will take a business to recover from a recession or find strategic ways to become more productive and/or efficient.”


Yosuke Sakashita

Yosuke Sakashita, who graduated in 2004 with a BA in Economics and the Smale Award, is senior manager with Mitsui and Company in Moscow, Russia. After graduation Yosuke went to work in Japan as a commodity trader in Matsui’s iron and steel products division. Matsui sent Yosuke to Russia for one year to study the Russian language and culture. He moved to the Vladivostok branch of Matsui before returning to Matsui’s headquarters in Tokyo. After a year in Tokyo, he returned to Russia and worked in Moscow setting up a supply chain for Matsui. Yosuke has been working in Moscow for 7 years.

“Since I took international economics in Chico state, it greatly helps me understand how global economy functions with each foreign currency,” Yosuke stated in a recent email. (Last Updated 1/30/17)


Alexandra SchmidtAlexandra Schmidt

Alexandra Schmidt , who graduated in 2014 with a BA in Economics and an option in International Economics, is a business development representative at Salesforce. While a student at Chico State Alexandra studied abroad at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam where she took courses in international economics and business and worked as a server in O’Donnell’s Irsh Pub in Amsterdam. Working her way through college in Chico Alexandra sold jewelry at Gabrielle Ferrar and served drinks at Bella’s Sports Pub. During her senior year at Chico State Alexandra worked as account manager at Foundation Supportworks Inc. After graduation she worked as a sales development representative for Cloudwords, Inc. In September 2014 Alexandra moved on to Salesforce.com where she is currently working.

She got back 3/28/16 & asked me to add Bella’s and gave me this quote:

“My Economics degree helped open my eyes to international business and foreign markets. It also helped shape and develop my goals towards working for an international, innovative company,” Alexandra stated in a recent. “Then going abroad and studying foreign markets was one of the best decisions of my life. It allowed me to learn about topics I might not typically learn about and to think on my feet. I had to adapt and learn how to thrive in a culture that was not my norm. In general, taking Econ classes forced me to think outside of my box in a more analytical sense. I take an analytical approach to evaluating each situation whether that be from a career or personal standpoint.”


bob shennumBob Shennum

Bob Shennum, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 1989, is CEO and owner of Evolve Companies in Salt Lake City, Utah and Phoenix Arizona. While a student at Chico State Bob worked as a tutor for the Economics Department and he was a member of the Economics Club and the Entrepreneurial Club. After graduation Bob studied econometric forecasting at Wharton. He was regional manager and VP of Wells Fargo Bank at 400 Capital Street in Sacramento from 1989 to 1997. He joined Franklin Covey in Salt Lake City, Utah as Area Director in 1997. Bob ran a $100 million dollar bridge capital fund and was heavily involved in Real Estate. In 2008 Bob had created an ownership position with one partner and owned 50% of a $500 million dollar Real Estate development portfolio. After the economy crashed Bob had to start all over again. Bob went back to Franklin Covey and in 2015 they promoted him to managing director of sales performance practice. In late 2016 Bob purchased Evolve Companies (ECS) where he is CEO. In 2017 Bob launched his Business Consulting practice and continues to also serve as CEO of ECS. You can see both of Bobs companies at evolveconsultingsolutions.com and evolvecleaningsolutions.com.  (Last Updated 8/30/17)


stephensLouk Stephens

Louk Stephens, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 1997, is vice president of Fisher Investments Institutional Group in San Francisco, California.  He is responsible for sales and marketing to financial institutions in the U.S.. Prior to joining Fisher, Louk spent over two years with Franklin Templeton Investments in the Retirement Plan Services and Sales groups.

After graduation from Chico State Louk accepted a position with Franklin Templeton Investments in San Mateo where he helped clients with retirement planning. He moved 2 years later to Fisher Investments where he worked in client services and sales management. Seven years later Fischer promoted Louk to head of institutional sales and after another 7 years Fisher promoted Louk to vice president in 2013.


Ryan TashRyan Tash

Ryan Tash, who graduated in 2002 with a BA in Economics, is vice president of contract surety at Surety1 in Rancho Cordova, California.  Ryan completed his MBA in Management from California State University, Los Angeles in 2007.  While working on his MBA Ryan worked as trust associate for the Bank of New York

After completing his MBA Ryan accepted a position as surety bond producer for Bond Services of California, LLC.  After 6 years with Bond Services, Ryan went to work for Surety1 where he is Vice President in charge of managing the day to day operations of the company.

“My economics degree helps me in ways nearly every day”, Ryan stated in a recent email.  “From analytical and critical thinking, to more macro views of our industry, a sound understanding of economics serves as a strong foundation for what I do as a surety professional.  We provide surety credit for contractors, which is essentially providing a guaranty for the work they perform in the public arena.  While the product itself has much to do with underwriting of personal and business creditworthiness, having a deep understanding of economics helps provide a different perspective I’d otherwise not have.”


Kayla TauzerKayla Tauzer

Kayla Tauzer, who graduated with a BA in Economics with an Option in Environmental Economics in 2014, is an administrative assistant at The Art of Medicine in Pullman, Washington.  While a student at Chico State Kayla worked as an immersion trip group leader with Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE) in the first half of 2011.  During the summer of 2011 she worked as a server at the Ledford House in Albion, California.  In summer 2012 she was a camp counselor at Redwood Adventure Camp in Mendocino, California.  During the summer of 2013 Kayla was a sales associate at Dana Bordegaray, a clothing importer located in Cayucos, California.  In the summer of 2014 she was a unit leader for Girl Scouts of the USA in Soda Springs, California.  Kayla also worked in a number of other jobs while supporting herself as a student at Chico State including that of an exercise instructor at the University’s Wildcat Recreation Center during her senior year.


Jeff UnverferthJeff Unverferth

Jeffery Unverferth, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2003, is director of human resources at Red and White Fleet in San Francisco, California.  After graduation at Chico State Jeffrey took a job as food and beverage supervisor for Sierra at Tahoe where he worked for four years.  In 2008 Jeffrey moved on to Fenton’s’ Creamery in Oakland as their operations manager.  In the meantime he enrolled at California State University East Bay and completed his certificate in Human Resources in 2012.  After almost 6 years with Fenton’s, Jeffrey took a position as human resources manager with the Red and White Fleet where he is currently working. 

“My studies in Economics taught me to analyze business situations with a critical eye towards cost benefit analysis,” Jeffrey stated in a recent email.  “Every decision that is made involves a basic economic evaluation of the potential costs vs the potential benefits. In Human Resources Management we are constantly putting on our economics hat when creating labor budgets, making legal decisions and negotiating Collective Bargaining Agreements.”  (Last Updated 9/27/17)


alexandra woodwardAlexandra Woodward

Alexandra Woodward, who in 2009 with a BA in Economics, is a recruiter for Express Employment Professionals and an MPA student at the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy in Seattle.  After graduation form Chico, she joined Peace Corps 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.

In May 2015 Alexandra accepted a job as an account manager and recruiter 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 tools of economic analysis in Peace Corps where she helped local communities find entrepreneurial opportunities and in 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."  (Last Revised 10/26/16)


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.