Giving to Chico State

Erica Flores ('07)

Director of Development—Communications and Education

Erica Flores finds great purpose in connecting with our alumni and helping align their passion with their philanthropy in order to have a meaningful impact in the lives of students through building annual support and major gifts for programs, scholarships, and special projects in the College of Communication and Education.

As a Chico State alumna and first-generation college student, Erica understands scholarships allow students to achieve their degree and their dreams. As a former college instructor and student affairs professional, Erica established relationships with industry partners, sponsors, and stakeholders to provide internships, research, and other educational programs to students.

Previously, Erica traveled the country, working with universities as an education specialist for the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization. She is also the cofounder of Chico State’s Cross Cultural-Leadership Center, which is preparing to celebrate its 10-year anniversary. Most recently she was the academic coordinator for the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Kentucky.

About Me

Who or what has had the biggest impact on you at Chico State?

As an agricultural business alumna, the College of Agriculture was and continues to be an incredible family of dedicated faculty and staff. During my senior year, my team and I won first place in the Western Food Marketing Contest in Anaheim. We developed a marketed a food product known as “Bliss,” which was elegantly packaged, decadent chocolate covered strawberries. After we won, we spent a day at Disneyland. The personal relationships I cultivated extended well beyond my years at Chico, and years later I taught a food marketing course in France and Switzerland for the University of Kentucky. 

CC Carter, Herman Ellis, Rick Rees, Chela Mendoza-Patterson, Chris Malone, and so many others were incredible role models, who were also colleagues as I transitioned from a student to a student affairs professional at Chico State, where started my career. The Jackie Faris-Rees Leadership program and the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center will forever be my foundation for my love of higher education.

What's your favorite holiday?

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. White lights, Christmas ornaments, family, and cultural traditions are deeply meaningful to me. The joy in giving has always resonated with me, too.

Do you have a personal motto or favorite quote?

"Success is waking up in the morning and bounding out of bed because there's something out there that you love to do, that you believe in, that you're good atsomething that's bigger than you are, and you can hardly wait to get at it again.”
Whitt Hobbs

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

Anywhere near a creek. I love water and the canopy of the trees. Having an oasis just steps away from the classroom as a student, and now from my office as a professional, gives me to have an escape that is as equally calming as it is exhilarating.

What’s your favorite Chico restaurant?

Gosh, where do I begin? Tres Hombres always reminds me of my Chico Experience. But, I also love Sin of Cortez, TeazeMe, Nash’s, Italian Cottage, the Bear, Red Tavern, Leon Bistro . . . and so many more!

Favorite thing to do at Bidwell Park?

One Mile! This is also my favorite place to take out of town guests.

What was your first job?

My first job I worked at our tiny Santa Ynez Airport in Santa Barbara County. I did everything from air traffic control on the Unicom radio, to making retired pilots coffee, taking fuel orders, and renting out a small fleet of rental cars. I wanted to be a pilot and be immersed in the environment. My first “adult” job was working as the program coordinator for Jackie Faris-Rees Leadership Program and co-founding the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center at Chico State.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza, always. My Tia Felicitas makes the best Mexican food and my brother can BBQ the best tri-tip.

What’s your proudest accomplishment so far?

In 2006, I was awarded the Chris Hilbert Outstanding Chico State Friend Awardthis still is the most meaningful thing I have accomplished because it reflects the remarkable friends, family, and support system that make my life full.

What would you sing at Karaoke night?

You do not want to hear me sing!

What two radio stations do you listen to in the car the most?

Power 102 and The Blaze 103.5

How would you describe your Chico Experience?

Magical, transformational, evolving

What is the best gift you’ve ever received?

My great grandmother’s wedding ring (it is over 100 years old)

If you were a superhero, what powers would you have?

To help others see what makes them worthy, beautiful, and purposeful in this life

Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion?

Handwritten notes and love letters

If you could join any past or current music group which would you want to join?

Past: Etta James; present: Beyonce

What’s the farthest place you’ve traveled?

As an undergrad at Chico State, I participated in Semester at Sea and spent a 75-day voyage traveling South East AsiaTaiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, Hong Kong/China, and Japan.

portrait of Erica Flores


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Tehama Hall 273
California State University, Chico 
Chico, CA 95929-0145