CSU, Chico News

Industry Leaders Bring Talents, Enthusiasm to University Foundation Board

Date: 07-06-2015

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

The University Foundation, California State University, Chico, has added eight community members to its Board of Governors that bring outstanding knowledge and expertise in areas such as finance, community service and philanthropy.

The group includes CEOs and successful entrepreneurs as well as a prominent Chico physician and San Francisco attorney. Six of the eight are past recipients of CSU, Chico’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

“These men and women are leaders in their respective fields,” said Ahmad Boura, vice president for University Advancement at CSU, Chico and chief executive officer of the University Foundation. “Their wisdom and experience, combined with their strong commitment to support Chico State and its students, is going to have a tremendous impact.”

The new members, who were welcomed to the board at meetings on March 26 and June 25, almost double the size of the board, which now has 18 members.

“This is a very exciting time for the University Foundation board,” said Boura. “We have exceptional leadership from returning members and now add to that the talents of our new members. All of them are enthusiastic about helping the University grow its endowment and wisely manage the private gifts entrusted to us. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of these outstanding volunteers for their service to Chico State.”

The University Foundation is the steward of gifts and endowments for the campus. The foundation was organized and incorporated as a nonprofit California corporation in 1940, with a mission to support and enhance campus projects and programs. In 1997, its function became solely philanthropic.

Below is some biographical information about the new community members of the board:

Karl Bakhtiari is the president/CEO and director of Stonesfair Financial Corporation. He has served as a board member for 10 years for The Stoneson Development Corporation and Stoneson Associates, two major real estate development and construction corporations in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also served in a number of senior management roles at Tandem Computers, Inc. Bakhtiari is vice chairman of the College of Business Advisory Board and the 2003 Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Business.

Debra Cannon, along with her daughter Colleen Winter, founded LuLu's Fashion Lounge, a boutique in downtown Chico, in 1996. Lulus.com began in 2005, and the web-based business now occupies a 20,000 square-foot warehouse and has 115 employees. Prior to her business career, Cannon held library positions with CSU, Chico, Butte County and Chico Unified School District. She is the 2014 Distinguished Alumna of the College of Business.

Stuart Casillas is a partner in the corporate group for Kirkland & Ellis LLP's San Francisco office. He is a merger and acquisition partner focusing his practice on the representation of private equity funds and their portfolio companies. After graduating from CSU, Chico, Casillas earned his law degree from The Ohio State University Moritz School of Law. Prior to joining Kirkland & Ellis LLP, he worked as an associate for Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman from 1999 to 2005.

Rand Hutchison is the co-founder of Travidia, a nationally leading digital advertising firm, where he served in a number of key roles, including president and CEO, prior to the company’s acquisition by Wanderful Media. Hutchinson has also been executive vice president/chief financial officer for a technology company that developed casino gaming technology. He currently serves as board director and advisor to several organizations and is an angel investor. He also serves on the College of Business Advisory Board and received the college’s 2013 Distinguished Alumni award and the 2007 Outstanding Entrepreneur award.

Lance Lew joined NBC Bay Area as the director of community marketing in 2002, bringing more than 24 years of experience in the entertainment and advertising industry. He is responsible for all community outreach efforts, including development of promotional campaigns and event marketing. He is also the producer of NBC Bay Area’s “Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa.” Lew co-founded the Growing Up Asian in America essay and art contest commemorating Asian Pacific American Heritage month. Lew is the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Communication and Education.

Tom Martin farms almonds and is retired as president of Durham Pump, Inc. He is a longtime committee member of Superior Ag, first chairman of the Superior Ag golf committee and a 1998 Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Agriculture. Martin is the tri-chair of the New Beginning Campaign at Enloe Medical Center and former vice chair of the Enloe Foundation. His service to the community includes leadership on the board of the California Irrigation Dealer’s Association and the University Advisory Board at CSU, Chico. He is also the founder and former director of North State National Bank.

Dr. Marcia Moore is a cardiologist and former chief of medicine at Enloe Medical Center. She has also served as vice-chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Enloe. In 2005, Moore was named the American Heart Association’s Volunteer Physician of the Year and Beta Sigma Phi Sorority’s Community Woman of the Year. Moore also serves on two CSU, Chico boards: the Gateway Science Museum Advisory Board and the College of Natural Sciences Partnership Council.

Tom Villa is director of business development and content for Verizon Communications, Inc. He has held numerous executive positions in the wireless/wireline/cable industries, including vice president of customer operations and general manager of broadband services for SureWest Communications and director of program management and information technologies for Primeco. Villa is the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Business and has previously served on the boards of the Verizon Educational Council, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (Sacramento) and the Roseville Chamber of Commerce.