Chico Economics Graduate Careers - Economic Development

AllenBill Allen

Bill Allen, who received his BA in Economics from Chico State in May 1989, said in a recent email that “I had no idea what I specifically wanted to pursue as far as a career, and found myself feeling unprepared for the working world at that point in my life.” He decided to go back to Chico State as a grad student to pursue a history degree. “After getting my history degree, I was fortunate to land a job at the beginning of 1996 with the (now defunct) Private Industry Council of Butte County as their 'Labor Market Analyst'. Good fortune, and my Econ degree helped me to land this job. Holding two degrees didn't hurt either.”

For almost nine years Bill Allen’s duties were to survey employers regarding various select occupations in 9 Northern California counties. He wrote and published 3 separate Occupation Outlook Reports. Funding for this project was via a cooperative relationship between the Employment Development Department--Labor Market Information Division and local recipient organizations of welfare-to-work monies. The partnership was called the California Cooperative Occupational Information System (CCOIS).

“The goal, of course, was to find jobs that were in high demand; jobs that had a good long-term outlook. This allowed job counselors of various stripes to be able to steer folks who had been misplaced from their jobs in a more favorable direction.”

“I loved that job!” Unfortunately, in early 2004 the state cut funding for the CCOIS throughout the state. As a result, He was laid-off from his job at the beginning of April 2004. Six months later he accepted a job with AT&T Wireless where he now works. Over the past 11 years, he has been a retail sales consultant and a business account manager. He is a sales support rep. “I literally demoted myself to the current job with half the pay at my choosing because I was tired of the great stress and long hours involved with being a business account manager.”

“As a man now in his 50's, I learned in my early Econ days about 'value'. I've done well for myself and my family, paid off all debt, and live fairly comfortably. I've learned that what I value at this point in my life is not money or prestige. I value having more time to spend with family--especially camping and hiking.”

“My Econ degree was directly related to my early career as a labor market analyst. But the person who hired me at AT&T was mostly interested in the fact that I had persevered through the university, and was successful on my first career job. He trusted that I'd be a good hire.”

Dave ArmstrongDave Armstrong

Dave Armstrong graduated in 2012. He is a Project Specialist at the Center for Economic Development (CED). The Center’s goal is to cultivate and strengthen north state economies and encourage entrepreneurship. David’s job consists of supporting Native American tribes in creating comprehensive economic development strategies, managing the CED newsletter and mentoring our student researchers on various projects. Dave said, “Collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data is my specialty. Having a strong base in economic theory has enabled me to succeed in this position and help foster economic growth in our region.”

Warren JensenWarren Jensen

Warren Jensen graduated in 1997. He now manages research activities at the Center for Economic Development at California State University, Chico. He directs projects involving community indicators, industry cluster economic development, economic and fiscal impact analysis, survey research, and assisting organizations with analysis and interpretation of their own datasets. Warren began his tenure at CED as a research intern in 1996.


Ann Nock pictureAnn Nock

Ann Nock, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 1986, is president of AMN Key Solution  a firm in Sacramento, California, that helps school districts pass voter approved bond measures.  During her junior year at Chico State Ann was elected president of Associated Students.  After she graduated Ann entered the University of Oxford on a Rotary International Scholarship and earned her MA in Politics and Economics.

Before joining AMN in 2013 Ann was senior vice president of George K. Baum and Company where she had worked since 1994.  In her role as vice-president Ann managed the sales and promotion of municipal bonds.

Ann has 23 years’ experience as a consultant to public schools and other agencies with a 90% success rate in passing bond measures.  As a result of her efforts more than $4.5 bond measures have passed that allowed repair of “K -12 classrooms, expanded community college facilities, improved public hospitals, water, sewer and road infrastructure and protected vital funding for city police and fire services,” according to her LinkedIn page.

Hortensia LlamasHortensia Llamas

Hortensia Llamas, who completed her BA in Economics and her BA in International Relations with minors in Business Administration and Management in 2016, is a senior research assistant at the Center for Economic Development (CED) at Chico State. 

Hortensia entered Chico State in 2010.  She received the Barceloux Scholarship and the Matilda and Maurice E. S. Brunelle Scholarship while and undergraduate.  She participated in the Model United Nations program, and she was a housing law intern for Political Science.  In the summer of 2013 Hortensia accepted a position as a residential advisor to the Educational Opportunity Program (EOC) Summer Bridge at Chico State.  In the Fall 2013 semester Hortensia became a paraprofessional for EOC, a position she held for almost 2 years when she moved on to the Center for Economic Development as a senior research assistant.   

Frank QuineroFrank Quintero

Frank is Vice-President of TeamCalifornia, and participates in a number of outreach efforts on behalf of the State of California. He is a member of California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED) and their President’s Advisory Committee, and International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and their Northern California Alliance Program Committee.

Mr. Quintero is a 1989 graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning.

Dan RipkeDan Ripke

Dan Ripke graduated in 1991. He is the Director of the Center for Economic Development at Chico State. He oversees the economic development programs which serve communities and businesses throughout California. The Center's mission is to work with regional business and community leaders to identify opportunities for regional economic prosperity, and leverage campus resources, faculty expertise, and student energy to address these opportunities. Among the Center's programs are Applied Research, Technology Programs, Small Business Development Centers, Broadband Access, and Business Intelligence.

Michael SuplitaMichael Suplita

Michael Suplita graduated in 2009. He is the acting project manager for the Center for Economic Development’s (CED) Business and Industry Assistance Program. He works directly with small businesses to help them identify their target market and then identify the size and economic and fiscal impacts of their markets. The services that his program provides allow companies to better allocate scarce resources and make more informed business decisions. His daily duties include assisting businesses in preparing economic feasibility studies, economic impact studies, and conducting demographic research. He oversees a research staff of three and have had as many as five researchers working on a given project. Michael said that “My position allows me to conduct economic research in multiple areas. I have done work for housing developers, rodeos, mining companies, airports, storage facilities just to name a few. In addition to my business assistance duties I also work with Native American Tribes to conduct economic development planning.”

Frank Quintero finished his B.A in economics in 1987. He serves as the City of Merced’s Director of Economic Development. He also oversees the City’s downtown revitalization and Merced Visitor Services programs. Other duties for Mr. Quintero include managing the City’s Housing Division working with the University of California Merced. Mr. Quintero is the City of Merced’s point of contact for business recruitment, retention, and expansion.