Russ Nash Named Orfalea College of Business Honored Alumnus

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Russ Nash (B.S., Business Administration, 1982) has been named the 2015 Orfalea College of Business Honored Alumnus. He was honored at Cal Poly’s annual Honored Alumni banquet Nov. 6 at Chumash Auditorium.

Nash, a CPA who concentrated in accounting as a student, worked for a major accounting firm in Los Angeles after graduating Cal Poly. He moved to Sacramento in 1986 to follow his dream of starting his own company. Across his career, has launched everything from a financial planning firm to a smoothie shop. Today he and his brother, fellow Cal Poly alumnus Steven (B.S., Business Administration, 1985), own and operate Professional Education Services, a company that offers innovative continuing education programs in the accounting and real estate industries.

6-Nash insertAlong the way, Nash has continued to make a big impact on campus by supporting Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE). From the program’s early days, he has taken a hands-on role in mentoring student teams as they develop their ventures, several of which have launched successful businesses.

“Being around these fired-up, business-minded young people is really inspiring,” says Nash of his work with student startups in the CIE. “I have walked in their shoes, so I’m happy to spread the knowledge to those who can learn from it now.”

In addition to mentorship, Nash has provided critical financial support to the CIE’s student-centered programs. Cal Poly recently debuted the Nash Family Entrepreneurship Lab, the university’s on-campus incubator and workspace for startups. Today the Nash family, including his wife Kimberly (B.S., Journalism, 1982), also supports a student scholarship in the Accounting area of the Orfalea College of Business.

Explore a Q&A with Nash about what keeps him connected to Cal Poly 30 years after graduating at