Monthly Archives: April 2012

Alumni Spotlight: Susan Pace-Koch children’s book author and owner of GetOutBooks

Concord, CA based children’s book author and owner of publishing company GetOutBooks a publishing company children’s books.  A few of the books Susan has done are “Get Out Of My Head, I Should Go To Bed” released in 2011 and “In One Ear and Out The Other” is set to be published in late 2012.  Susan earned a bachelors degree in Human Development from Cal State East Bay. Susan works with Non-Profits that have a focus on children.


Alumni Spotlight: Mick Gallagher photographer and owner of Rogue Socks Photography

Mick Gallagher Dublin, CA based photographer and owner of Rogue Socks Photography. Mick earned both his bachelors and MBA from Cal State East Bay. Mick regularly shoots photos throughout western parts of the United States and provides services for both corporate, charity and family events.

CSUEB alumna named city manager for Los Altos

Cal State East Bay alumna Marcia Somers has been named city manager for the City of Los Altos.  Somers is the second woman to serve as Los Altos’ city manager. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Cal State East Bay.

She served as the assistant town manager for the Town of Danville since 2006. According to the city staff report, Somers oversaw many capital projects during her tenure in Danville; these include a 17-acre community park development, the renovation of the town’s historical Village Theatre and the restoration of its Veterans Memorial Building, just to name a few. Somers’ decision to take up the mantle of the city manager’s position, involved several factors one of which was Los Altos’ small-town atmosphere. Prior to her employment in Danville, Somers spent more than eight years working for the city of Sunnyvale.

“I have really enjoyed Danville because of its small-town character,” said Somers. “I wanted to be somewhere that had that same sort of environment. (Los Altos) is very similar, and I like that feel.” Read Los Altos Town Crier article.

Congrats, Marcia, on all your accomplishments!

CSUEB grad recognized for his firm’s green manufacturing practices

Cal State East Bay alumnus Frank P. Paniagua, Jr. ’82 is the founder and CEO of Green Plug, the first developer of digital technology enabling communication and negotiation between electronic devices and power sources. His firm was recognized on the AlwaysOn’s GoingGreen Global 200 list —the top emerging companies that are transforming big industry and creating viable business models for the green technology.

Paniagua writes “We are pleased to be recognized by AlwaysOn for introducing innovative technology that enables chip-makers and power supply manufacturers to bring further green technology innovations to market.”

Paniagua has spent his entire career involved in start-ups. Paniagua was the founder of KidWise LearningWare, co-founder of the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), Eskape Labs, AutoNetworks, and the president of IXMICRO.  He earned his BA degree in Communications from Cal State East Bay.

Congrats, Frank!


“Amazing Race” TV show a life changer for CSUEB CBE grad

Cal State East Bay alumnus Jeremy Cline ’98 competed on the last season of the CBS television show, Amazing Race, with his partner, Sandy Draghi. Although the couple finished second place on the show, Cline told Livermore Patch that he came out winning more than money. Read interview.

After the show, they were inspired to immediately hold a yard sale. Cline and Draghi realized how much ‘stuff’ they owned after seeing people around the world make do with so little.

The couple was also aware that they were cast as the couple whose relationship might not have survive the race.  But, the complete opposite happened. The Race brought the two closer together and, after filming ended, the two moved in together in Cline’s Alamo home.

After the experience they wanted to do more for others. “Growing up in the Bay Area, Jeremy and I have both been fortunate. I’ve done medical missions, but I want to do more,” Draghi says. “When you see what we have, that extreme level of poverty, it sparks you to do more for others.”

ASI president selected for Opportunity Nation

California State University, East Bay ASI President Christopher Prado has been chosen to serve as a one of 100 national leaders from 44 states and the District of Columbia for Opportunity Nation. Opportunity Nation is a bipartisan coalition of non-profits, foundations, educators, business and political leaders working together to promote opportunity and social mobility on national, state and local community agendas. Their kick-off summit on November 4 is cosponsored by AARP, AARP Foundation, Ford Foundation, TIME magazine, and United Way Worldwide.

Prado is a Stockton native and current Cal State East Bay senior double majoring in political science international relations. This is his second year on the ASI board of directors.  He will serve as a community mobilizer galvanizing support across the country and making a tangible difference in their communities in 2012.

Visit the Opportunity Nation Web site for more information.

CSUEB grad is award-winning winemaker

Cal State East Bay alumnus Ted Gerber studied political science and public administration but his passion was wine making.  He put his education and hobby to good use when he co-founded Foris Winery and Vineyards soon after graduation.

After studying Oregon’s climate, he purchased land in southern Oregon’s remote Illinois Valley with the intent of growing grapes. For many years Gerber provided fruit to several vintners but, by the 80s, he started producing his own wines under the Foris label. Foris is now recognized for their Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Merlot. Gerber had his 2006 Pinot Blanc voted “Best of Show” at the World of Wine Festival.

Gerber’s wines have been featured in a variety of newspapers, including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle. Eric Asimov of the New York Times wrote, “Foris pinot gris from the Rogue Valley in Oregon, often an excellent category for value, particularly if you want American wines for Thanksgiving. Its touch of sweetness was balanced by acidity so that it came off as refreshing.” Read article.

Gerber’s goal for the business is to keep everyone involved with the business happy. Foris has a low employee turnover and high customer satisfaction.