Chico State Alumni Association

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Distinguished Alumni Award

2024 Distinguished Alumni Honorees

California State University, Chico will honor these distinguished alumni at the 29th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards program on March 8, 2024.

 Watch highlights(opens in new window) from the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Recognition event.

Shannon Douglass

College of Agriculture
Agriculture, ’05; MA Interdisciplinary Studies, ‘12

Current Position: President of California Farm Bureau

Shannon Douglass earned her bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 2005 and a master’s degree in 2012 from Chico State. After graduation, Douglass founded CalAgJobs, an online listing of employment opportunities in California Agriculture. She is a diversified farmer in Glenn County and her ranch, Douglass Ranch, raises beef cattle, sunflowers, pumpkins, corn, and forage crops. Douglass has recently been elected to a two-year term as president of the California Farm Bureau. She previously served three terms as first vice president and is the first woman to head the organization, which was founded in 1919. Douglass is also the former director of the Glenn County Farm Bureau and former chair of the CFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers State Committee.

Stuart Casillas

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Economics, '96; Business Administration, '96

Current position: Partner at Kirkland & Ellis

Stuart Casillas graduated from Chico State in 1996 with degrees in economics and business administration and currently is a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in San Francisco, California. As a student on campus, Casillas worked as a student assistant in both the economics department and the president’s office and was a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the Economics Honor Society. After graduation, Stuart entered The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law where he received his JD degree in 1999. In 1999 he accepted a position as an associate with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman where he gained experience with complex business transactions, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, project finance transactions, and international joint ventures. After five and one-half years with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, Stuart accepted a position with Kirkland & Ellis where he currently works. As a merger and acquisition partner, Casillas focuses his practice on the representation of private equity funds and their portfolio companies; and acts as lead counsel in various private equity transactions, including leveraged and management buyouts, growth equity investments, divestitures, and restructurings and workouts. His experience with clients ranges from private equity funds to public and privately held companies, both domestic and international. His extensive experience includes negotiating and completing transactions in a wide variety of industries, including software, manufacturing, consumer products, computer hardware, post-secondary education, food service, retail, airline, financial services, oil and gas services, and logistics.

Jon Krabbenschmidt

College of Business
Business Administration, '76

Current Position: Gate Holdings LLC

After graduating from Chico State in 1976, Jon Krabbenschmidt earned his JD and became a licensed attorney and then a licensed certified public accountant. After working in the tax department at Arthur Andersen and Co. for five years, he went on to work as executive vice president of Sierra Capital Companies for another five years. He eventually found his home when he reconnected with his friends from Andersen to become one of the first employees of Novogradac & Company LLP, an accounting and consulting firm that is now a nationally recognized leader in the tax credit industry. While at Novogradac, he specialized in partnership accounting and taxation, assisting clients with audits and tax compliance as well as various other finance, consulting, and tax planning activities. His clients included investors and developers that operated in market rate and affordable housing, renewable energy, new markets tax credits, and historic tax credits. He also had a few friends that owned vineyards and wineries so he eventually learned about accounting and taxation of agriculture. He used this background to co-author several books on tax credits, lectured, and became an expert witness in his field. Krabbenschmidt recently retired after nearly 30 years of serving as a partner and now focuses on his real estate investment and development business through his entity Gate Holdings, LLC.

Alycia Anderson

College of Communication and Education
Physical Education,'05

Current Position: Founder and CEO, Alycia Anderson Company, LLC

Alycia Anderson is the Founder and CEO of the Alycia Anderson Company, LLC. She is embracing her path and pursuing speaking full-time as both a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Motivational Speaker as well as a Corporate Inclusion Coach and mentor. Anderson warmly introduces the discussion to the theory and practice of disability inclusion by sharing her story, inspiring others to achieve their fullest potential, and furthering the conversation about how workplace inclusion and the benefits of the real bottom line in creating a diverse and inclusive workplace and society.

Norman Tu

College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management
Computer Science, '69

Norman Tu graduated from Chico State in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in computer science. After graduation, he went to work for Hewlett-Packard and in 1982 started DisCopyLabs. The DisCopyLabs name was designed to immediately communicate copying software to a disc. Within the first 10 years, the business grew exponentially, and in 1992 alone the business had copied 50 million floppy discs. In 1992, the competitive landscape was fierce for companies like DisCopyLabs. With the turn of the millennium and the expansion of broadband, Norman saw the need to pivot and change the business model. DisCopyLabs’ wide array of competitors from 1992 are nonexistent today, with the last competitor going out of business two years ago. DisCopyLabs has repositioned itself within fulfillment, leaving duplication in the past.

Cristina Chavez

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
Music Industry, '09

Current Position: Vice President of A&R at Universal Music Publishing Group

Cristina Chavez graduated from Chico State in 2009. During her time on campus, she worked to gain real-world music industry experience through her classes and internships. She interned for KMEL Radio in the Bay Area and the TV network BET in Los Angeles as a student. After graduation, Chavez spent the next five years in the greater New York area working for BET as an event/project and talent manager as a result of her internship. Later, she went on to become Associate Director of ASCAP Rhythm and Soul, where she stayed until late 2020. Today, Cristina Chavez serves as Vice President of A&R at Universal Music Publishing Group and possesses an extensive amount of knowledge, wisdom, and experience in today’s music industry.

Kimberly Bacigalupo

College of Natural Sciences
Chemistry, '08

Current Position: Quality Manager, Sierra Nevada; President, American Society of Brewing Chemists

Tom Carter

Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Physical Education, '70; Teaching Credential, '71; MA Physical Education, '75

Current Position: Retired Educator

Tom Carter started his career at Chico State in the fall of 1965, completing his bachelor’s degree in physical education and a minor in biology in 1970, a secondary teaching credential in 1971, and a master’s in physical education in 1975. As a student-athlete, Tom competed on both the varsity basketball and soccer teams and was an active member of Block C. As a goalkeeper for the Wildcats, he led his team to the 1970 Far West Conference championship and then later to the West Region championship. The Wildcats won the regional championship in dominating fashion and Carter set the single-season school record for “goals-against” allowing a minuscule 0.60 per game. He concluded his soccer career with a “goals-against” mark of just 0.80 per game. Both of those records still stand after all these years. In 1972, Tom became the first director of Officials for the newly formed Chico Youth Soccer League. Soon after that, he began his teaching career which included two years in Australia and 32 years at Paradise High School. While at Paradise High School he served as girl's basketball coach and boy's tennis coach, and as an instructor in the math department.  Over the years, Tom has earned a reputation for producing winning teams known for their high levels of sportsmanship and fair play. His long history of volunteer service includes director of officials for the Chico Youth Soccer League; a member of the Chico State Alumni Association Board; tournament director for the Paradise girls' basketball tournament; and a member of the Enloe Medical Center volunteer team.

Browse all previous Distinguished Alumni honorees.
View archive of recent Distinguished Alumni honorees.