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In Touch 1980s-1990s


SVTC Technologies in San Jose, Calif., appointed Edward A. Hudson (1980, B.S., business administration–human resources management) as vice president of human resources. The firm provides a variety of commercialization and analytic services for silicon production industries such as semiconductors, nanotechnology and photovoltaics.

Linda Klein (1981, B.A., liberal studies; 1986, M.S., counseling) was an adult re-entry student at CSULB. “I did one of my internships in the Counseling Center on campus,” she recalled. “I received my MFT (marriage and family therapy) license in 1993. I am now retired and work part-time for the city of Los Alamitos overseeing their Senior Nutrition Program.”

Jeffrey Wong (1981, B.S., business administration–marketing; 1986, B.S., criminal justice) retired as a police corporal after 30 years with the Cypress, Calif., Police Department. He served in a variety of capacities including motor officer, field training officer and detective, among others. He is working on his master’s degree and is an instructor at Golden West College and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

The Los Angeles Dental Society elected Sonia Molina (1982, B.A., special major–biomedical sciences) as its first Latina president. She is president of Molina Endodontics in Downey, Calif., and earned her doctor of dental medicine and master of public health degrees from Harvard.

Ernest H. Moreno (1982, MPA) retired in August as the longest-serving president of East Los Angeles College. He became interim president in 1993 and permanent president in 1995 after holding faculty and administrative positions in the Los Angeles Community College District.

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section promoted Robert L. Wigod (1982, B.A., history) to commissioner from assistant commissioner. He previously was a coach and athletic director at high schools in Long Beach and Los Alamitos. CIF is the governing organization for California high school athletics.

Peter R. Moore (1983, M.A., kinesiology and physical education), chief operating officer of the electronic game firm Electronic Arts Inc., has joined the board of directors of Bleacher Report, an online sports media site.

Northrop Grumman Corp. appointed Michael Twyman (1983, B.A., applied mathematics) as vice president and general manager, Defense Systems Division, Information Systems sector. He has held executive positions with the firm for 25 years.

Jennifer Yuh Nelson (1984, art–illustration) was nominated for an Academy Award for best animated feature as director of “Kung Fu Panda II.” She worked on the original “Kung Fu Panda” as director of its dream sequence and as head of story.


Myra Gross (1985, B.S., electrical engineering), program manager, Naval and Marine Systems, Undersea Systems for Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems sector, received the Professional Achievement–Industry award at the 16th annual Women of Color in STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math) Conference in Dallas, Texas. Gross oversees the company’s U.S. Navy submarine sensor systems work.

SCAN Health Plan in Long Beach appointed David J. Milligan (1985, B.S., business administration–marketing) as vice president of California sales for the firm, which offers Medicare Advantage health coverage.

Jeff Pittman (1985, B.A., radio/TV/film) recently became senior vice president and director of the Wealth Management Division of Montecito Bank and Trust, which serves the Ventura and Santa Barbara regions. He was a senior vice president with Wells Fargo Wealth Management Group.

Dawn S. (Neja) Reese (1986, B.A., psychology) was promoted to executive director and co-CEO of the Wooden Floor, an arts-based youth development nonprofit in Santa Ana, Calif., serving low-income students through year-round dance, academic and family services programs. She became its general manager and chief financial officer in 2009. Dawn and her husband, Eric S. Reese (1983, BFA–illustration) live in Huntington Beach, Calif., with their son.

Bal Seal Engineering of Foothill Ranch, Calif., selected Richard E. Dawson (1987, B.S., mechanical engineering) as its new chief executive officer and president. The firm provides sealing and connection components to a variety of industries.

Omnitek Engineering Corp. of San Marcos, Calif., named Richard A. Mathewson (1987, B.S., business administration–finance) as chief financial officer. Omnitek develops natural gas engines and diesel-to-natural gas conversion systems.

Mark Steven Johnson (1989, B.A., radio/ TV/film) is an executive producer of the feature film, “Ghost Rider–Spirit of Vengeance,” starring Nicolas Cage. Johnson directed the original “Ghost Rider” that debuted in 2007.

Alice L. King (1989, B.S., business administration–finance) has joined the Dallas, Texas, office of Towers Watson as a senior healthcare industry consultant. The firm provides professional services in human resources, risk and financial management. King earned a law degree from New York Law School and was a vice president with ESI Healthcare Business Solutions.

Macy’s Inc. promoted Paul V. Olszewski (1989, B.A., art) to visual director, where he oversees window and interior marketing displays for its New York flagship store and other stores nationwide. He was interviewed in December on CNBC TV’s “Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo” about the New York store’s Christmas window display.


The city of Redlands, Calif., selected Alfredo “Fred” Cardenas (1991, MPA) as director of the Quality of Life Department, where he oversees city parks, trees, Redlands Municipal Airport, waste management, building code enforcement, streets and more.

Laura Vikmanis (1991, B.S., dietetics and food administration) completed her third season as a Cincinnati Bengals football team cheerleader. Her life story as the NFL’s oldest cheerleader is being considered for a New Line Cinema feature film. She is a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer.

Andrew S. Dolak (1992, B.S., business administration–finance) was named a partner in the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where he is a member of its mergers and acquisitions practice in its Newport Beach office. He initially joined the firm in 1993 and rejoined it in 1998. His law degree is from Loyola Law School.

Mitzi Onizuka (1992, B.A., psychology) is founder and co-owner of Mikami Vineyards, a small boutique winery in Lodi, Calif. “We’ve won a number of awards including medals from the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles International Wine Competitions,” she said. “Prior to this, I had been working at a number education-focused nonprofits where I managed various state projects.”

Littleton, Colo., selected Michael M. Penny (1992, B.S., criminal justice) as city manager. He was city manager of Frisco and Ouray, Colo., and a past president of the Colorado Municipal League Executive Board and the Colorado City/County Management Association.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service appointed Kennon A. Corey (1994, M.S., biology) as manager of its new office in Palm Springs, Calif., which oversees wildlife conservation activities in Imperial and Riverside counties and a portion of San Bernardino County. He was assistant field supervisor in its Carlsbad, Calif., office.

The Downey, Calif., City Council promoted Gilbert Livas (1995, MPA) to city manager from assistant city manager. Livas is former city manager of Bell Gardens, Calif.


Janos Jeszenszky (1995, B.A., journalism) is the new national accounts manager for Leupold and Stevens Inc. in Beaverton, Ore. The firm makes a variety of optical products including scopes, binoculars and trail cameras.

Toy manufacturer JAKKS Pacific in Walnut, Calif, promoted John J. McGrath (1995, B.S., business administration–marketing) to chief operating officer. He has held vice president and executive vice president positions with the firm since 1999.

Carlos Protzel (1995, B.A., psychology) is a licensed clinical social worker and licensed clinical psychologist. “For the past 16 years I have been providing psychotherapy for teens and adults in maximum security residential centers, Cal State University student counseling centers, hospitals, rehabs and private practice. I am currently a primary psychotherapist at Passages in Malibu and in private practice in West L.A.” He earned his MSW at the University of Michigan and doctor of psychology at Alliant International University.

Sergio Contreras (1998, B.S., criminal justice and Chicano and Latino studies; 2001 MPA) is district director for California State Assemblymember Tony Mendoza (1994, B.A., political science and public administration) and is a Westminster School District Board trustee. He also founded the Mind Ready Foundation to provide school supplies for underprivileged elementary school students.

Blasa “Sita” Acevedo (1999, BFA–dance) now performs with the Luminario Ballet of Los Angeles. She was principal dancer with the Diavolo Dance Co., an aerialist with Cirque du Soleil and continues to be a personal fitness trainer.

Cathy S. Trent-Vilim (1999, M.A., political science) is now a partner in the law firm Lamson, Dugan and Murray LLP in Omaha, Neb. She had been an associate in the firm’s Litigation Department. She earned her law degree from the University of Nebraska College of Law.

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