2020 Spotlight Alumni Award Winners

On January 25, 2020, more than 250 Orfalea College of Business supporters gathered to reconnect, share experiences and celebrate our outstanding alumni. Each year, the Spotlight Alumni awards honor the professional and social achievements of two recipients, who exemplify the valuable and important work that Orfalea graduates are doing all over the world.

Both Spotlight Awards shine a light on not just the recipients’ professional advancements and innovation, but also their strides in the engaging and empowering the communities around them through ethical leadership, philanthropy, innovation, Learn by Doing and more.


Cal Poly business alumni are proud to honor the following recipients:


Chuck Templeton (Class of 1994) | Spotlight 2020 Gold Award Winner

Chuck Templeton is a long-time entrepreneur with a deep passion for helping early-stage and emerging entrepreneurs and companies across multiple verticals. He is the founder and former CEO of OpenTable, which went public in May of 2009 and was acquired by The Priceline Group in June of 2014. Inspired by the promise of building a better future for his daughters, he has since focused on using business innovations to find solutions to the most urgent environmental and societal problems facing humanity today.

He is an investment committee member at Impact Engine, a Chicago-based social and environmental impact investment fund, and serves on the boards of several other Internet start-ups. He is also the managing director of S2G Ventures (Seed to Growth), an investment fund focused on healthy food and sustainable agriculture.

Chuck joined S2G Ventures because of a deep-rooted belief that it holds a unique opportunity to help reimagine the human food system, while also mitigating and adapting to climate change. Due to his experience as an entrepreneur, he focuses on supporting portfolio companies in operations, sales, marketing and team building.

He loves problem solving with the portfolio and helping each entrepreneur reach their true potential. As an ultra-runner and former Army Ranger, Chuck is well-versed in the importance of healthy, nutritious food for maximum mental and physical performance. And as a father, citizen and business person, he believes the only solution that makes sense is one with nutrient dense, affordable, sustainable and climate stabilizing food.

Scott Edwards (Class of 2013) | Spotlight 2020 Green Award Winner

Drop Water founder and CEO Scott Edwards is on a mission to create a superior alternative to plastic-bottled water. His current path began in a garage, when he was a senior at Cal Poly, working on his capstone project. Today, his company produces 100-percent compostable bottles, and is built around moving toward a future where single-use products are packaged in materials as biodegradable as a banana peel.

​The current model of making and distributing bottled beverages doesn’t allow for this. Most plastic bottles are filled at a central facility and then shipped, full, to their point-of-sale locations. The packaging therefore needs to survive this distribution cycle and life on a store shelf, already full of water.

​Drop Water is radically changing this paradigm. The company ships its 100-percent compostable bottles to proprietary kiosks while still empty, making use of pre-existing waterlines and on-site filtering to produce beverages on demand. In fact, their bottles aren’t filled until their consumers place an order. This saves energy and money in the transportation process and allows them to use materials that are made “not to last.”

If widely adopted, Drop Water and other companies with a similar philosophy could help remove approximately 22-billion plaster water bottles yearly from landfills and the waste cycle.