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California State University, Long Beach
From Colorado to California
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From Colorado to California

Post Date: December 18, 2012

By Marlon D. Deleon, Communications Assistant

For many college graduates, working a part-time job through college was simply the way it had to be. The Forty-Niner Shops, Inc. at Cal State University, Long Beach, reinforces its mission to promote student success by employing hundreds of students throughout the academic year. Each fall, thousands start a brand new journey, and many envision themselves walking across that commencement stage a few years later. Tristy Hillestad began her journey at CSULB this past August, and she has a vision as well, but it isn’t of her getting a diploma, it’s about the thousands of students around her getting theirs. As the new Director of Bookstore Services, Ms. Hillestad joins the management team at the Forty-Niner Shops, a non-profit auxiliary of CSULB focusing on bookstore and dining services.

With over 25 years of experience in retail and higher education, Tristy Hillestad comes to The Beach from the University of Denver (DU), where she entered the unique industry of college retail as a buyer and quickly ascended the professional ladder to Bookstore Division Director in 1998. In this role, she was responsible for the University Bookstore, an off-campus satellite store, a spirit shop in the athletic facility, the Quick Copy Center, and University Mail Services. In January of this year she left the Bookstore Division and moved into the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics as the Director of Budget and Planning until she joined the Shops. Before her transition into college retail, she had already been working in retail as a manager and buyer at department stores and specialty stores. An affinity for customer service and the retail industry developed early in her professional career, and so she chose to pursue it academically, graduating with a Bachelor’s in Textiles with an emphasis in Retail from South Dakota State University.

As a Bookstore Services Director, the responsibilities reach much further than textbook aisles and a bookstore’s walls. Tristy is a co-author of “Northlake Bookstore Case: Benchmarking for Performance Evaluation,” which was published in the IMA Educational Case Journal, and “Southlake Bookstore Case: Balanced Scorecard Assessments” and “Westlake Bookstore Case: Outsourcing,” which both appeared in separate volumes of the Journal of Accounting Case Research. She has held leadership positions in the Rocky Mountain Skyline Bookstore Association, contributed as a guest presenter with CAMEX (Campus Market Expo), been a guest professor and lecturer at the Daniels College of Business (DU), and has stayed actively involved with the National Association of College Stores (NACS).

These highlights are merely a summary of the professional contributions that Tristy Hillestad brings to the Forty-Niner Shops, so it is safe to say that there is a great excitement in her joining the team. Her vision does include one more diploma, though—from her son Ryan who is currently a sophomore, pursuing a degree in Criminology at the University of Denver. Her other son, Justin, recently graduated from the Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism program at DU’s Daniels College of Business. Both look forward to visiting southern California! Congratulations on your new position as Director of Bookstore Services with the Forty-Niner Shops and welcome to The Beach, Tristy!