Cal Poly

Orfalea College of Business

Distinguished Speaker Series Archive

The “Distinguished Speaker Series” seeks to enhance the educational experience of students in both the Orfalea College of Business and Cal Poly University communities, while showcasing programs, faculty and students to the California Business Community. Orfalea College of Business faculty nominate speakers to the Dean of the college.

Past speakers include:

Date Speaker Title
Nov 2010 Peter Oppenheimer Apple’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Oct 2009 Kumar Malavalli Chairman and CSO, InMage Systems; Co-founder, Brocade Communications
Apr 2009 Joanne Smith Sr. Vice President, In-Flight Service, Delta Airlines
Apr 2009 Greg Jamison Greg Jamison, CEO Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment, San Jose Sharks
Nov 2008 Libby Haight O’Connell, Ph.D Chief Historian & Senior Vice President, A & E Television Networks
Oct 2008 Cheryl O’Leary VP & Site Manager, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Palmdale
Oct 2008 Gary McGraw, Ph.D Chief Technology Officer, Cigital, Inc.
Feb 2008 Timothy S. Harden President and CEO, AT&T West
Oct 2007 Hillary Schneider Executive Vice President, Global Partner Solutions, Yahoo!
Oct 2007 William Ostrem President – The Yokohl Ranch Company LLC and the Eastlake Company LLC
May 2007 Stuart Hart Professor of Management Cornell University
Mar 2007 Mike Mitchell President of Sales, Nestlé USA
Jan 2007 Randy Bernard CEO, Professional Bull Riders, Inc.
Oct 2006 Paul Orfalea Founder, Kinkos
May 2006 Jeff Henley Chairman of the Board, Oracle Corporation
Jan 2006 Cynthia Cooper TIME Magazine’s 2002 Person of the Year
Nov 2005 Gary Erickson Founder, Cliff Bar Inc.

Peter Oppenheimer

Peter OppenheimerPeter Oppenheimer of Apple to speak in the Silo 11/5/10

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Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will appear as a part of the Orfalea College of Business’ Distinguished Speakers Series on November 5 at 1:10pm p.m. in the Silo. All majors are invited to attend.

Peter is a Cal Poly alumnus and current member of the Cal Poly Foundation Board. With Oppenheimer as an integral part of Apple’s core executive team, the company has seen some of the most remarkable growth of this generation including the recent accomplishment of becoming the second largest company in the world based on market capitalization.

As Chief Financial Officer, Oppenheimer is responsible for overseeing the controller, treasury, investor relations, tax, information systems, internal audit and facilities functions. His extensive experience in corporate finance gives him tremendous knowledge of all aspects of business and insight into one of the world’s most high-profile companies. We are excited to have him as a part of our Distinguished Speakers Series, as this is a fantastic opportunity for students to hear directly from of one of the most prominent businessmen of this generation.

Kumar Malavalli

Kumar MalavalliChairman and CSO, Inmage Systems; Co-founder, Brocade Communications

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Mr. Malavalli is the Chairman and CSO of data protection specialist InMage Systems and is also currently the chairman of leading edge data security solution provider CryptoMill Technologies. Kumar Malavalli co-founded/ Brocade Communications Systems, the leader in storage area switching. He was also the 2003 inductee into the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame.

Kumar is considered one of the originators of Fibre Channel. He was Chairman of the ANSI INCITS T11 Technical Committee in 1994, when it developed the Fibre Channel specification. He was the co-founder and Chairman of FCIA (Fibre Channel Industry Association), and was a founder and Chairman of SNI (Storage Networking Industry Association). Both of these organizations serve the storage industry as the primary technical and marketing resource for Fibre Channel.

Joanne Smith

Joanne SmithSenior Vice President of In-Flight Service and Global Product Development of Delta Air Lines

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Smith is located at their world headquarters in Atlanta, GA . She is a native of San Luis Obispo and Orfalea alum (BA ’82). Smith leads more than 22,000 flight attendants, supervisory and administrative personnel of the world’s largest airline. In her 30 year career in the travel industry she has received many awards and recognition including 25 Power Women to Watch in Atlanta in 2006, Advertising Age Top 10 Women to Watch in 2007, and Wall Street Journal’s Top 50 Women to Watch in 2008.

Greg Jamison

Greg JamisonCEO Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment, San Jose Sharks

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Jamison serves as president and chief executive officer of Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E), a position he has held since his promotion from executive vice president and chief operating officer in 1996. He also serves as manager and a board member of the San Jose Sports and Entertainment Enterprises ownership group after being personally approached by former Sharks Owner George Gund III to assemble a group of local investors to purchase the team in 2001. Jamison is the franchise’s governor to the National Hockey League and was elected by the NHL’s Board of Governors to the League’s 10-person Executive Committee in 2007.

Libby Haight O’Connell, Ph.D.

Libby Haight O'Connell, Ph.D.Chief Historian & Senior Vice President, A & E Television Networks

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“Moving Forward, Looking Back”
Advice From the Past That Strengthens Your Future

For more than a decade at A&E Television Networks, Libby H. O’Connell has been a model for how to use positive community relations to raise the profile of the cable industry and how to draw upon the power of television to educate and inspire. In her current role at A&E, she serves as historical advisor for the History Channel’s programming department, develops and produces educational and community-based initiatives, and oversees onsite video production with organizations such as the Smithsonian and the National Park Service.

In support of A&E’s new series, “Intervention,” she is working with The Partnership for a Drug Free America and local cable systems to organize town hall meetings highlighting the way family members and loved ones can help those battling addictions.

As a founder of The History Channel’s “Save Our History” initiative, O’Connell has invigorated historical discovery in communities across the country, inspiring teachers, students and families to learn more about their local history and how they can preserve structures, documents and historic sites in their towns and cities.

Cheryl O’Leary

Cheryl O'LearyVice President & Site Manager, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Palmdale

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“Managing Your Own Career”

As Vice President and Palmdale Site General Manager, Cheryl O’Leary is responsible for managing the Palmdale facility, representing Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to customers and employees, developing strategy and overseeing Palmdale operations to ensure objectives are achieved. She has more than 40 years of combined business, financial and program experience in the aerospace industry focused on achieving customer performance and company objectives. Ms. O’Leary is also executive sponsor for the Aeronautics’ women’s affinity groups and actively mentors to develop Palmdale’s emerging leaders.

In August 2008, Cheryl O’Leary was announced the recipient of the 23rd Annual Women in Aerospace prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for 43 years of exceptional leadership and achievement on various classified programs critical to the nation’s defense. Her commitment to professional growth and service as a mentor shows dedication to the advancement of women in aerospace.

Gary McGraw, Ph.D.

Gary McGrawChief Technology Officer, Cigital, Inc.

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“Exploiting Online Games”
Cheating Massively Distributed Systems

Garry McGraw is an expert in online computer gaming, a $9.5 billion industry in 2007, more than triple its size a decade prior. McGraw draws a comprehensive picture of the sometimes controversial security techniques used in multi-platform online gaming. He also explains how techniques developed for today’s online gaming will be adapted by industry to ensure tomorrow’s software security.

McGraw is the CTO of Cigital, Inc., a software security and quality consulting firm near Washington, D.C. Recognized as a global expert, McGraw has authored six books on the topic and serves as a strategic advisor for top business and IT executives. He is on the Advisory Board of Fortify Software and Raven White. McGraw holds a dual Ph.D. in Cognitive Science and Computer Science from Indiana University, where he serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the School of Informatics.

Randy Bernard

Randy Bernard

Randy Bernard, chief executive officer of Professional Bull Riders, Inc. became part of Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business Distinguished Speaker Series Thursday, Jan. 18, 2007 in the Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre. A reception followed the event on the patio of the theatre.

During his talk, “PBR: A Bullish Market That Can’t Be Corralled,” Bernard discussed professional bull riding as a sport and a business, as well as how it grew to become the 7th largest sport in the country in 13 years.

Randy Bernard attended Cal Poly as an ag business major and spent six years in the marketing and entertainment departments of the California Mid State Fair. He joined PBR in 1995 and has served as a progressive ambassador for one of the fastest growing sports in North America.

About PBR

Professional Bull Riders, Inc., was founded in 1992 by 20 accomplished bull riders who joined together and took a business risk to try make bull riding – the most popular event in traditional rodeo – into a stand-alone sport. Each rider chipped in $1,000 to help launch his dream of someday seeing bull riders recognized as mainstream professional athletes. Since then, the PBR, unlike any other rodeo or bull riding organization in North America, has been owned and operated by its athletes. Today more than 700 bull riders from the U. S., Canada, Brazil and Australia are PBR members.

Cynthia Cooper

Cynthia Cooper

Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business co-sponsored a presentation by Cynthia Cooper that addressed the ethical issues facing corporate America. Cooper is most well-known for her role in uncovering the corporate fraud at WorldCom. The presentation begins at 4 p.m., Friday, Jan. 27, 2006 in Harman Hall in the Cohan Center and is free and open to the public.

Cooper was named a Time Magazine’s 2002 Person of the Year after detecting and reporting the WorldCom fraud, to date the largest corporate fraud in history. At the time, Cooper was serving as vice president of internal audit for the 25th largest company in the United States. Her decision to take her findings to WorldCom’s board, despite discouragement from WorldCom’s Chief Financial Officer, resulted in the company admitting it had inflated its profits by $3.8 billion – a number that has since grown to $9 billion and counting. Her efforts resulted in her induction into the 2004 American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Hall of Fame, the first woman to receive this distinction.

Cooper giving a presentation

Also featured as one of 25 influential working mothers in the November 2004 of Working Mother, Cooper shared the 2003 Maria & Sidney E. Rolfe Award from the Women’s Economic Road Table with Senator Sarbanes, Representative Oxley and Sherron Watkins. She is also the recipient of the 2003 Accounting Exemplar Award, which is presented annually to an individual who has made notable contributions to professionalism and ethics in accounting practice in education, only the 10th recipient of the Accounting Exemplar Award and the first woman to receive it.

Gary Erickson

Gary Erickson

Successful entrepreneur and author Gary Erickson (Business Administration ’80)gave a presentation on business and ethics on Nov. 29, 2005 in Philips Hall in the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center. Erickson is the founder of Clif Bar Inc., which has been on Inc. magazine’s list of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. for the past four years. The company started as a small bakery and today is one of the nation’s leading makers of all natural energy and nutrition foods. Founder and CEO Erickson is heralded nationally as a visionary entrepreneur. “He believes there is more to business than the bottom line – and his bottom line is doing very well, in part, because of that strong belief,” says OCOB Dean Dave Christy. Clif Bar Inc. has won numerous awards honoring the company for its treatment of employees, commitment to the environment, and support for important causes such as the fight against breast cancer. In 2003, Health Magazine named Clif Bar Inc. the “Healthiest Company for Women to Work For” in the United States. Fortune Small Business has added Erickson to its list of “Best Bosses in America.” Erickson has said he is committed to running a private company that “values ethics instead of shareholder return.” He is in demand as a speaker at leading food industry, “green” business and college campus events. He is the author of “Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business — The Story of Clif Bar Inc.,” published in September 2004.

Erickson speaking to a crowd

Erickson began his professional baking career in 1986 when he co-founded Kali’s Bakery of Emeryville, which made and distributed calzones and gourmet cookies. In 1992, Kali’s introduced the first Clif Bars® to the public. The company, based in Berkeley, was renamed Clif Bar Inc. in 1997 in honor of Erickson’s father, Clifford. The two spent many years on father-and-son hiking and skiing adventures in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. Prior to establishing Kali’s and Clif Bar Inc., Erickson spent a decade overseeing the design and production of bicycle saddles. His work earned high praise and an exhibit in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Erickson calls running Clif Bar Inc. his dream job. In founding the company, he said he wanted to combine his love of “the outdoors, cycling, business, good food and social responsibility.”

Timothy S. Harden

Tim Harden, President and CEO, AT&T West, was the Orfalea College of Business Distinguished Speaker on February 4 2008. Harden became president and CEO of AT&T West Inc. on Nov. 14, 2006. He’s responsible for all company operations in California and Nevada, including network services and consumer and business sales. Harden is a 24-year veteran of AT&T companies.

Mr. Harden presentation was in the Alex Spanos Theatre and was titled “The New AT&T: Leading in the “I” Age, from IP to the iPhone.”

Stuart Hart

Stuart Hart

Stuart Hart, Johnson Chair in Sustainable Global Enterprise and professor of Management, Cornell University, joined the Distinguished Speaker Series on May 21, 2007. Co-sponored by Provost William Durgin and the San Luis Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Hart is one of the world’s top authorities on the implications of sustainable development and environmentalism for business strategy. During his presentation Hart discussed successful, sustainable strategies that have served to bring communities out of poverty, businesses into fortune 500 status and protection for the environment – while generating profits.

Jeff Henley

Jeffrey HenleyOn May 16, 2006, the Orfalea College of Business hosted Jeffrey Henley as part of its Distinguished Speaker Series. Henley, Chairman of the Board of software giant Oracle Corporation, told a capacity crowd at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center that there was never a better time to be in business. According to Henley, the rapid globalization that most businesses are confronting creates opportunity. “Smart people accept that change will happen and then profit from it,” Henley said. “Stay ahead of the game. Henley on stageIf you make a mistake, cut your losses. Learn from the past, but don’t expect things to stay the same.” On the subject of outsourced U.S. workers Henley comments, “Unemployment for knowledge workers is lower than it has been in years. Developed countries will only offshore 4.1 million jobs by 2008. While that may seem like a big number, that’s the same number of new jobs that Americans start each month.”

Henley was CFO of Oracle for 13 years before he became chairman in 2004. The company has 56,000 employees and does business in 145 countries with revenue of $14.3 billion.

Mike Mitchell

Mike Mitchell

Mike Mitchell, President of Sales for Nestlé USA appears at Cal Poly March 9 at 10: a.m. in the Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre. During his talk, “The Key to Driving Excellent Performance,” Mitchell discusses sales and leadership in Nestlé USA, and how the sales team has achieved five consecutive years of exceeding sales growth since he was named president of sales in 2002. Originally from San Francisco, Mitchell holds a degree in marketing from Notre Dame.

Nestlé USA, with 2005 sales of $8.1 billion (includes Nestlé Nutrition), is part of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the world’s largest food company — with sales of $73 billion.

Paul Orfalea

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Orfalea

As part of the Distinguished Speaker Series, Cal Poly supporter Paul Orfalea made an official Central Coast stop on Oct. 5, 2006 as part of his book-signing tour promoting his new book, “Copy This! Lessons from a hyperactive who turned a bright idea into one of America’s best companies.”

A longtime supporter of Cal Poly, Orfalea took a philanthropic interest in Cal Poly in 2000 when he discovered that the university’s learn by-doing-philosophy coincided with his personal philosophy. He has donated more than $16.2 million to the university.

“I think Cal Poly’s commitment to small-class size is really cool. That tells me that the school is serious about mentoring students. I know I would not have been able to succeed in life without a bunch of great teachers. Several of them really helped with my self confidence and with my dyslexia and ADHD (even though we didn’t have either of those words when I was younger). I just don’t see how mentoring can happen in classes of 300 students,” said Orfalea.

The opportunity to meet with students is always a highlight of his trips to Cal Poly. “I enjoy seeingPaul Orfalea addresses a class the enthusiasm and natural curiosity of Cal Poly students, and I hope that some of the life lessons I share through my book and talk can help them see the importance of passion and building long-term relationships with others,” he said.

Dean Christy looks forward to Orfalea’s visits. “As the only named college at Cal Poly, we proudly carry the name of the individual who had such strong faith in our students and faculty that he was willing to invest personal resources in our future,” said Christy. “Paul Orfalea’s gift continues to make an indelible mark on the life of students at the OCOB.”

William Ostrem

William Ostrem

William “Bill” Ostrem is a member of the J.G. Boswell Company board of directors. He is president of The Yokohl Ranch Company LLC, master planner of Yokohl Ranch. Mr. Ostrem also is president of The EastLake Company LLC. EastLake is one of the largest master planned communities in San Diego County. He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of development for EastLake, a 3,200-acre community featuring a wide variety of residential housing as well as retail, commercial and industrial space. Mr. Ostrem delivered his comments titled “Life of a Master Planned Community” October 3, 2007 at the Alex Spanos Theatre.

Hillary Schneider

Hillary Schneider

Hillary Schneider, Executive Vice President, Global Partner Solutions, Yahoo! Was the featured distinguished speaker on October 30, 2007 at Chumash Auditorium. “I believe Yahoo! has the audience, products, technology and go-to-market assets necessary to win in the online classifieds and local listings segment,” said Schneider. “I’m excited to capitalize on Yahoo!’s existing strengths of the properties and to develop and execute a strategy to take these businesses to the next level.” Ms. Schneider’s presentation, “Change, Innovation and Leadership,” tracked her career through the print industry and into the Internet marketing world where she outlined Yahoo! plans for future development.

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