Class Notes

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Tony ‘67 (Business Administration) and Ilham Saca ‘74 (Business Administration) recently opened their latest Filco store in Lincoln, Calif. Tony Saca founded Filco, Inc. in 1973 and since then, the company has become one of the largest independently owned electronics and appliance dealers in Northern California.


Paul Kronenberg ‘71 (Journalism), MA ‘87 (Government) retired at the end of 2015 after 17 years as the head of Family Wine of California. 2015 marked the company's 25th anniversary.

Eddie Newman, CRED ‘72, MS ‘72 (Counseling), was selected as the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education's representative for the district's personnel commission. Newman has a long history of service with the district, having served as teacher, counselor and principal.

Terry Turchie ‘72 (Criminal Justice) was inducted into the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Alumni Hall of Fame in October as the representative for the College of Arts and Sciences, where he earned his master's degree in government. After a 30-year career in the FBI, Turchie retired in 2001. In 2008 he co-founded TK Associates, a San Francisco risk management firm.

Sandra Baker, MSW ‘74, was inducted to the California Social Work Hall of Distinction in a ceremony in San Francisco in October. The California Social Work Hall of Distinction was created to honor those involved in bringing about the betterment of society.

Clarke W. Owens ‘74 (English) published 600ppm: A Novel of Climate Change with Cosmic Egg Books. It is available on Amazon.

Tia Gemmell ‘76 (Art Education) received the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Small Business of the Year Award. Gemmell works as a professional photographer and columnist for several publications, including the Sacramento Business Journal and N Magazine. She previously served as an art teacher at Lodi Middle School for 27 years.

StephanieCervantes ‘79 (Government) is a security and privacy strategist for LinkSource Technologies. Cervantes joined the company after retiring from a career in California government.

Notes from Beyond the Hive

Golden State Super Bowl gets green and gold touch

Davis, Knapp, and Barone Football Broncos

Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara featured a Sac State twist. Clancy Barone ’92 (Recreation Administration), Greg Knapp ’86 (Communication Studies) and former Hornet linebacker Todd Davis will receive championship rings for their contributions to the Denver Broncos' triumphant season. Barone serves as offensive line coach, Knapp as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator, and Davis plays inside linebacker. All are former Hornet football players.


Richard Botelho ‘80 (Government) recently published his second novel, Reason for Existence. Botelho has also authored other publications, including The New Individualism: Personal Change to Transform Society, a non-fiction social commentary which is used in more than 100 colleges and universities across America, and winner of the S.C.P.H.C. Gold Award for Philosophy in 1996. He also wrote Leah's Way, his first novel, which received a rave review in Library Journal.

Ray Martinelli ‘80 (Communication Studies) has been announced as Coupa Software's new executive vice president of people. He will oversee the company's global human resource operations. Martinelli brings more than 20 years of experience in global human resource management with industry-leading, high-growth companies in Silicon Valley. Before Coupa, Martinelli was the chief people officer at Alfresco Software.

Mary A. Ashley ‘81 (Business Administration) has been named as the California Public Employees' Retirement System's new chief of legislative affairs. Ashley was previously director of government relations for the California State Teachers' Retirement System, where she held various legislative and governmental posts since 2007.

David Ghods ‘82 (Computer Science) has been named vice president of government practice for Direct Technology, a global software and IT consulting firm headquartered in Roseville, Calif. Ghods retired as leader of California's Office of Technology Services in August.

Wally Murray ‘82 (Accountancy), president and CEO of Greater Nevada Credit Union in Carson City, Nev., was named board chairman of the Nevada Credit Union League. Murray has been president and CEO of Greater Nevada Credit Union since 2000, and has spent more than 26 years in a leadership capacity with that institution.

Wesley Matsuura ‘83 (Criminal Justice), after a 16-year assignment as the detective sergeant in charge of investigations at the San Francisco International Airport, was promoted to lieutenant in April and started a new assignment in May at the San Mateo Medical Center as the director of security.

Dennis Kelley, MBA ‘84, was awarded the North San Francisco Bay Business Journal's CFO Award. Kelley is the executive vice president and chief financial officer for Summit State Bank in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Rick Braziel ‘85, MA ‘93 (Communication Studies), has been appointed to the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. He served as chief of police at the Sacramento Police Department from 2008 to 2012, where he held several positions from 1979 to 2008. Braziel is also an executive fellow at the Police Foundation and past president of the California Peace Officers' Association.

Linda Faulkner, ‘85 CRED, published her debut novel this year, The Halls of Forever. The book, which is women's fiction with romantic and paranormal elements, is available through most digital retailers as well as print on demand.

Kimberlee Messina ‘85 (Sociology), MA ‘87 (Spanish) has been appointed as interim president of Foothill College. Since 2011, she has served as Foothill's vice president of instruction and institutional research. Messina has worked in the California Community Colleges system for more than 20 years.

David Herburger ‘87 (Strategic Management), publisher and general manager of Herburger Publications, was installed as chair of the board of directors of the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce at its annual recognition gala in January. He has been a member of the board for several years, serving mainly as events chair for the chamber, including its "Think, Shop, Live Elk Grove" campaign.

Kathryn Holt ‘87 (Communication Studies) has sent her letter of intent to the United States Secretary of Senate declaring her candidacy for the U.S. Senate representing California.

Maria McClain ‘87 (Mathematics), CRED ‘88, has been named as one of Contra Costa County's 2015 Teachers of the Year. McClain recently began her 28th year of teaching grades 10 through 12 for the Antioch Unified School District. For the past 19 years, McClain has taught at Deer Valley High School in Antioch.

Jeffery Smith ‘87 (History) has been named as a divisional vice president of sales and marketing for Integral Senior Living. Smith brings more than 22 years of divisional and regional management experience to the position. He joined the company in 2012 as a regional marketing director. Prior to that, Smith spent 13 years in the commercial real estate industry with Executive Suite Office Leasing.

John Donnelly ‘88 (Business Administration), executive director of the California Wildlife Conservation Board, recently received the Rangeland Conservation Impact Award from the California Rangeland Trust. The award is given to conservation professionals who exemplify true dedication to advancing rangeland conservation and preserving the viability of California's ranching industry and Western legacy, while protecting the valuable habitat and ecosystems provided by working ranches.

Kathy Sanborn ‘89 (Psychology) recently released her seventh album, Lights of Laniakea. The album contains the Spanish-language "Fantasy" which won an American Songwriting Award in the "world" category when it was released as a single. It was also nominated for a Hollywood Music in Media Award.

Andrei Tokmakoff ‘89 (Chemistry) received the Ahmed Zewail Award in Ultrafast Science and Technology for his contributions to the development of coherent two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy and its application to equilibrium and non-equilibrium molecular dynamics. Tokmakoff is currently a Henry G. Gale Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago.

Notes from Beyond the Hive

Alumna named People magazine 'hero'

Miranda Family

Miranda Klassen ’00 (Biological Sciences) knows a few things about second chances. During the birth of her son in 2008, Klassen suffered a nearly-fatal complication called amniotic fluid embolism or AFE. She was sent to the ICU and placed in a paralytic coma.

When she recovered, Klassen's search for information on AFE resulted in very little. That's when she decided to found the AFE Foundation. Located in Southern California, it's the only AFE non-profit advocacy and research organization focused on raising awareness and providing support for those affected by the condition.

Her efforts caught the attention of People magazine, which featured her in its "Heroes Among Us" series.


Katherine Brandenburg ‘90 (Communication Studies) has been announced as the newest policy director for Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck Law Firm's Sacramento office. Brandenburg has more than 30 years of experience in the political arena, including more than 20 years as an advocate at the California State Capitol.

Shiva Frentzen, MS ‘90 (Computer Science) has announced her intention to run for re-election as El Dorado County District 2 supervisor. Currently, Frentzen runs a local web-development and information technologies company with more than 25 years of experience in the technology field.

Dan Madden ‘90 (Accountancy) has been appointed as Cepheid's new executive vice president and chief financial officer. Building on his previous experience as the company's corporate controller and acting chief financial officer, Madden will now assume responsibility for worldwide finance operations, information technology and investor relations.

Lorraine Paskett ‘90 (Government), an energy industry consultant and attorney, was seated as a member of the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. She has been active in Southern California water, energy and environmental issues for more than 25 years and is the owner and chief executive officer of Cambridge LCF Group, an energy consulting firm focusing on climate change policies, new energy technologies and emerging markets. She also owns and manages Lavette Properties and Paskett Winery.

Steven Shultz ‘90 (Government and Journalism) has been appointed director of presidential communications for CSU San Marcos. He joins the senior staff of the university following 20 years in executive communications at San Diego International Airport, the Port of San Diego and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Shultz has also been appointed to the board of the 1 to 1 Movement, a San Diego-based nonprofit focused on education and awareness-building around environmental and sustainability issues. After graduating from Sac State, Shultz earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Jackie Morris-Henderson ‘87 (Business Administration), ‘92 (Communication Studies) received the inaugural "Making History Award" from Sacramento State's Martin Luther King, Jr. Center. The award recognizes stellar achievements over time on behalf of Sacramento State scholars. In presenting the award, part of Black History Month celebrations on campus, the center said it was acknowledging "the profound work of Jackie Morris-Henderson, and others to come, who have laid a strong foundation to support and advance the goals of African American student success."

Michael Bruch ‘93 (Accountancy) has been appointed as Cesca Therapeutics Inc.'s chief financial officer. Prior to that he had served as controller since joining the company in 2003.

Karen Boutilier Kendall ‘93 (Accountancy) is the Los Alamos County Department of Public Utilities' budget and performance manager. Kendall has been with the department since 2008.

Steven Smith ‘93 (Finance) was recently appointed vice president and business development officer for Granite Community Bank, N.A.'s Auburn, Calif. office. Smith has worked at banks for nearly two decades, including the last seven years at Auburn Community Bank, where he served as the business development officer.

Mike Boles ‘94 (Social Science) has been appointed principal of Buckingham Charter Magnet High School in Vacaville, Calif. Before his Buckingham post, Boles served in a variety of roles at several Sacramento-region schools, including Country High, Will C. Wood High, Vaca Pena Middle School, Jepson Middle School and Galt Senior High.

Luis Santana, MSW ‘94, has been appointed by Gov. Brown to the state advisory committee on before- and after-school programs. Santana has been executive director at Reading and Beyond since 1999. He lives in Fresno.

Elizabeth Zacharias ‘94 (Finance) has been named vice president for human resources at Stanford University. Zacharias had served in human resources leadership roles at Aerojet Rocketdyne since 2001, and as vice president for human resources there since 2009. She previously served in human resources management roles at Concero and Claremont Technology Group, both in the Sacramento area.

Liz Chavolla ‘95 (Journalism) received an Emmy at the 67th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards. She was awarded for her work as producer on "Enfoque Los Angeles," a Telemundo program.

Kathleen Oshiro ‘95 (Accountancy) has been inducted into the National Association of Professional Women's VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She is recognized with this distinction for leadership in business. Oshiro's accounting career spans more than 20 years. She has worked in many different industries including healthcare, wholesale, construction, property management, services and nonprofit. Oshiro has worked for industry leaders such as Deloitte and Touche, and Kaiser Permanente.

Gabriel Simon ‘95 (Sociology), CRED ‘01, MA ‘02 (Education), EdD ‘11, has been named the new assistant superintendent of personnel services for the Western Placer Unified School District. Simon was previously Colfax Elementary School District superintendent for two years.

Patricia Martinez ‘97 (Business Administration) has been named vice president and manager of staff underwriting services at FM Global's corporate offices. Martinez joined FM Global in 2001 as production underwriter and has since held positions of increasing responsibility. She lives in of East Greenwich, R.I.

Matt Reid, MBA ‘97, has been named as Velocify's new vice president of marketing. Reid previously served as chief marketing officer for Procore Technologies and has more than 15 years of experience in executive marketing roles for technology companies.

Baldwin Chiu ‘98 (Mechanical Engineering) recently produced Finding Cleveland, a short film about his family's journey discovering an unknown early Chinese community in the Mississippi Delta during the pre-civil rights era. Finding Cleveland is Chui's first short film and was a finalist for best documentary at the 168 Film Festival. Chui is also a lyrical engineer. In this role, Chui along with his wife Larrisa Lam, a recording artist, won "best dance song" at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. His work is also on the ballot of six categories for the Grammys.

Janna Parker ‘98 (History) is a new professor in the marketing department at James Madison University. Parker started her career in political campaigns and has conducted research in areas of sustainability and retailer advertising.


Rosa De Léon Park ‘00 (History) was appointed as the executive director of StanCOG and will be responsible for guiding regional transportation planning, program administration, budget and finances, and overall management of the agency. Park's previous role at StanCOG was deputy director where she was instrumental in the development and adoption of the agency's regional transportation plan and sustainable communities strategy. In addition, she is involved at the state and federal level with a variety of transportation planning organizations.

Noelle Mattock ‘00 (Liberal Studies), MPPA ‘04, an El Dorado Hills native and current El Dorado Hills Community Services District board director, has launched her campaign for District 1 supervisor. Mattock earned her master's degree while working as a public policy expert for a engineering firm specializing in transportation and water infrastructure.

Todd Sebastian ‘00 (Recreation Administration) accepted a position working as a superintendent of parks and recreation services. He is also the co-owner of Off the Chain Bike Bus Tours in Sacramento. Sebastian was formerly the assistant director of special events and informal recreation at The WELL as well as a part-time lecturer within the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration.

Elizabeth Baidoo ‘01 (Journalism) was named as a 2015 recipient of the Sacramento Business Journal's "40 Under 40 Award." Baidoo is the manager of customer engagement at VSP.

William Hodges ‘01 (Communication Studies) was named as a 2015 recipient of the Sacramento Business Journal's "40 Under 40 Award." Hodges is the senior communications specialist at Dignity Health.

Kurt Schlehuber ‘02 (Criminal Justice) was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant for the police department in Pleasanton, Calif. He started at the department in 2003 and has served as a patrol officer, bicycle officer, field training officer, SWAT team member and child abuse detective.

Jennifer Kautz ‘03 (Business Administration) was recently named senior product development director for farm and agricultural insurance at the American Association of Insurance Services, Inc. Kautz joins the company with nearly 12 years of experience with Allied and Nationwide as an underwriter, product analyst and product manager for agricultural, personal and commercial line programs.

Gabe Brown ‘04 (Finance) joined the San Francisco commercial banking office of Mechanics Bank as vice president/senior relationship manager. He was previously with the real estate industries division of Bank of the West. Early in his banking career he worked for Schools Financial Credit Union.

Crystal Jones ‘04 (Marketing and General Management) has been promoted to western regional sales manager at IDEAL Industries. Jones previously served as the organization's area sales manager for Northern California. Prior to IDEAL, she held sales and management positions with AZEK Building Products and Stanley Black & Decker/DeWALT.

Jason Ybarra ‘04 (Physics) has joined Bridgewater College as a visiting assistant professor in the department of physics. He earned a master's degree in physics from San Francisco State University and master's and doctoral degrees in astronomy from the University of Florida.

Rosanna Carvacho ‘05 (Government) has been named as the senior policy advisor and counsel for the Sacramento office of the Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck Law Firm. She works with Fortune 500 companies, public and private companies of all sizes, and statewide associations. She has also represented multiple water districts, special districts, cities and counties throughout California.

Brandon Kline ‘05 (Government), an energy law fellow in the Green Energy Institute at Lewis & Clark School, was selected to participate in the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program. Kline and his fellow scholars will learn approaches to leadership from former presidents, key administration officials and leading academics.

Danielle Moné Truitt ‘05 (Theatre) performed her one-woman show 3: Black Girl Blues at New York's 1960s United Solo Festival, the world's largest solo theater festival. She was also featured in Capital Stage's Playwright's Revolution in August.

Nathan Schmidt ‘05 (Humanities), executive vice president of marketing and business development at San Diego County Credit Union, was named a 2015 Credit Union Rock Star by the Credit Union National Association. The award program recognizes those who demonstrate outstanding innovation and creativity in their chosen fields. Schmidt received the honor for his work as part of the leadership team at San Diego County Credit Union overseeing strategic planning, marketing, product development, business development, and community and media relations.

James Shelby ‘05 (Finance), senior finance manager at Intel Corp., was named as a 2015 recipient of the Sacramento Business Journal's "40 Under 40 Award."

Lisa Wrightsman ‘05 (Communication Studies), director and coach of Street Soccer Sacramento and a student services specialist at Asher College, was named as a 2015 recipient of the Sacramento Business Journal's "40 Under 40 Award."

Brent Cramer ‘06 (Criminal Justice) recently joined the Folsom Fire Department as a state-qualified firefighter and licensed paramedic. Cramer previously worked for the El Dorado County Fire District.

Katie McConnell ‘06 (Accountancy) was named as a 2015 recipient of the Sacramento Business Journal's "40 Under 40 Award." She is currently the director of recruitment and development at Gallina LLP.

Justin Wandro ‘06 (English) was named as a 2015 recipient of the Sacramento Business Journal's "40 Under 40 Award." He serves as a development director for Sacramento Loaves & Fishes.

Ryan Coogler ‘07 (Finance) has been named as the director of Marvel and Disney's Black Panther movie, set to release in February 2018. He will be the first black director to take the lead of a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. Coogler first gained recognition for his breakout film Fruitvale Station and most recently for his work on Creed, a continuation of the Rocky Balboa franchise.

Elaine Welteroth ‘07 (Communication Studies) has been the beauty and health director at Teen Vogue since 2012. She previously served as the senior beauty editor at Glamour as well as the beauty and style editor at EBONY. Her job responsibilities at Teen Vogue include writing, editing and photography, as well as giving advice to the magazine's readers.

Michelle Seijas, CRED ‘03, MA ‘07 (Education) has been named the new principal of Sacramento Charter High School. Sac High is part of St. HOPE Public Schools. She has served as an administrator in the Woodland Joint Unified School District for the past eight years, most recently as the principal of Woodland High School.

Neal Torres ‘07 (Business Administration) has been appointed executive director of Brookdale Stockton, an assisted living community. He will oversee all of its daily operations and care programs for the community. Brookdale Stockton was formerly known as Merrill Gardens of Carson Oaks. Torres previously served as assistant executive director of Brookdale Fairfield.

Josh Rosa, MPPA ‘08, was named as a 2015 recipient of the Sacramento Business Journal's "40 Under 40 Award." Rosa is the senior account executive at Redwood Pacific Public Affairs.

Shiloh London ‘09 (Journalism), executive director for the California Grocers Association Educational Foundation, was named as a 2015 recipient of the Sacramento Business Journal's "40 Under 40 Award."

Rachel Zillner ‘09 (Business Administration) was named as a 2015 recipient of the Sacramento Business Journal's "40 Under 40 Award." Zillner is the assistant vice president at SAFE Credit Union.

Notes from Beyond the Hive

Hornets set '40 Under 40' record

40-Under-40 Alumni

The Sacramento Business Journal's 2015 "40 Under 40" awards honored a record number of Sac State alumni and staff members. Each year, the publication recognizes 40 outstanding professionals under the age of 40 making their mark on California's capital region. The most recent class of "40 Under 40" honorees included its largest ever array of young Hornet talent as well as a nod to the role Sac State plays in preparing students for successful futures. More on all of our Sac State alumni winners can be found in the Class Notes below and on page 29.


Kyla Aquino Irving ‘10 (Communication Studies) was named as a 2015 recipient of the Sacramento Business Journal's "40 Under 40 Award." Irving is the program director for the California Medical Association Foundation.

Steven Blakesley ‘10 (Communication Studies), after working as the director of marketing and communications for the start-up Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, moved back to the Sacramento area to be the MAVTV pit reporter for televised stock car races at Madera Speedway. Blakesley was also recently named as announcer and director of communications for the Pacific Challenge Series, while also maintaining his public relations business, Blakesley Sports Media.

Douglas Dean ‘10 (Business Administration), MA ‘15 (Geology) obtained an environmental geologist position with Enercon in Sacramento. Enercon is an industry leader in engineering and environmental services.

Veronica Delgado ‘10 (Public Relations) was named as a 2015 recipient of the Sacramento Business Journal's "40 Under 40 Award." Delgado is the new membership marketing and communications manager for the Sacramento State Alumni Association.

Tim Harris ‘11 (Communication Studies) was named as a 2015 recipient of the Sacramento Business Journal's "40 Under 40 Award." Harris is the chief executive officer of creative at Insight PR.

Claire Puzarne ‘12 (Public History) has been promoted to manager of Ireland's Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University. Puzarne joined the museum staff as the assistant to the executive director in 2012, and most recently served as the assistant to the executive director. She has also worked as an architectural historian at ICF International in Sacramento.

David Van Natten, CRED ‘03, CRED ‘05, MA ‘12 (Leadership and Policy Studies) is the new principal at John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento. Van Natten has been with the Sacramento City Unified School District since September of 2003, serving as an English teacher and administrator at Luther Burbank High School.

Tracey Dickinson, MPPA ‘13, was appointed Yolo County's new full-time homeless program coordinator. Dickinson has almost a decade of experience in the social services field and most recently served as an analyst in the county administrator's office.

Gatlin Hawkins ‘13 (Accountancy) has joined Isler CPA as an audit accountant. After earning his degree, Hawkins audited municipalities in California for two years.

Christina Horner ‘13 (Psychology) has been inducted into the Solano Community College Athletics Hall of Fame for Volleyball. Horner obtained All-League in 2005 and MVP in 2008. She was also added to the All-Northern California Team in 2008.

Jorge De La Cruz ‘14 (Marketing) recently became the chief marketing officer for Simply Legal USA. In this position, he helps provide some of the most innovative immigration eligibility tools to millions of people around the world.

Heather Hughes ‘14 (Special Major) was recently awarded the National Science Foundation Fellowship for her doctoral studies in gut microbiota and neurodevelopment, including autism spectrum disorders. Hughes is currently pursuing a doctorate in immunology at UC Davis.

Chris Rauschenfels, MA ‘15 (Education) is the new vice principal at Sonoma Valley High School. He has 11 years of experience in Stockton, where he taught science and astronomy and worked on a variety of site leadership assignments.

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