Orfalea College of Business Honors Alumni Leaders at 2nd Annual Spotlight Awards

On Saturday, February 9, over 300 Orfalea College of Business alumni, supporters, faculty and students gathered in San Francisco to network and celebrate the college’s distinguished alumni.

Both President Jeffrey D. Armstrong and Dean Scott Dawson spoke at the event, giving updates on Cal Poly and Orfalea initiatives while commenting on the impact of alumni support for student programs.

The event featured two award presentations: The Green Award, for an alum less than 20 years past graduation, and the Gold Award, for an alum more than 20 years out. Award recipients were selected by the Dean’s Advisory Council for their career accomplishments in ethical leadership, innovation and philanthropic work.

Bridgette Beam (Economics ’08) took home the Green Award this year. As the Head of Programs and Operations at Google for Startups, Beam brings Google’s resources to help empower entrepreneurs around the world. In doing so, she’s helping ensure that the great business ideas from all over the globe have a chance to grow.

The Gold Award went to Joanne Smith (Business Administration ’82), EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer for Delta Air Lines. Smith has helped Delta build a thriving community of over 80,000 employees, garnering wide acclaim as an exemplary work environment, including Forbes 100 Best Companies to Work For, The Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality, Best Companies for Diversity and Best Workplace for Women.

All proceeds from the event went toward the Orfalea College of Business Multicultural Business Program (MBP). Program Coordinator Justin Gomez and Student Assistant Coordinator Khushbu Patel both spoke during the evening, sharing the ways in which MBP has empowered students from underrepresented backgrounds through community building, advising, and industry connections. The funds generated at Spotlight will help MBP sustain and expand its student services as the program continues to grow.

To see video bios of our award winners, visit www.cob.calpoly.edu/giving/2019-spotlight-alumni-award-winners/