Tag Archives: Marketing

Alumni Spotlight: Sony SVP Mike Abary


Alumnus Mike Abary ‘88 Senior Vice President of Sony Electronics began his college career as a Business Administration major with a concentration in marketing. Mike said “My degree provided me with a foundation on which to rely upon. Skill sets such as critical thinking, problem solving, and understanding people – these were fundamental skills I learned from CSUEB that I have carried throughout my career.”

Mike wants students to know pursuing their careers is a journey that should be enjoyed, and the steps taken and the skills gained are more important than the destination.

In college he recalls working 20 to 30 hours per week, but found working part time without a degree   presented limited opportunities. After college he pursued a career as a stock broker but found that was not the right path for him: the dynamic wasn’t right, people in the field were much older than him and he just wasn’t passionate about that industry. So he decided to head south of CSUEB (instead of north) and discovered Silicon Valley. Later he found his true calling in  technology product marketing at Sony, a place that felt rewarding and effective in a positive way to people’s lives.

Mike said, “I often go to electronic stores and listen in on many shopper’s conversations to see why they choose Sony when they make purchases. There’s nothing more gratifying than to know your work affected their decision to purchase, and to believe you will positively affect people’s lives through the products you bring to market.”

When asked if he knew he would be a SVP of Sony, Mike replied, “I was always ambitious, always driving for higher positions, and my next goal is becoming a CEO.”

Mike’s advice to students is, “Never stop believing in yourself, and letting perceptions about attending state school stop you from reaching for the sky.” He states he is proud to be a Cal State East Bay Alumni because the school  provides high quality academics, is down to earth, diverse, and he met his wife at Cal State East Bay.

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Alumni Spotlight: Derek Gordon

Derek is currently the Chief Marketing Officer at Pathbrite an early stage start-up in the education technology space. Pathbrite is a company with a focus on People Portfolios. The company’s motto is “The best way to collect, track and showcase a lifetime of learning and achievements, and to go beyond flat resumes or timelines to really stand out from the crowd.” Derek has also served as the Communications Director for the San Francisco AIDS foundation. Derek states “I’ve witnessed the majesty that is tens of thousands of people walking to raise money to end the HIV pandemic and the heartbreak of watching too many wonderful men still in the prime of their life cut down by AIDS.”

Derek holds a degree in Mass Communications from Cal State East Bay. Derek states that earning his degree has enhanced his ability to write efficiently and to write well. In his career he credits story-telling as being at the heart of everything he has done up until this point. Derek said, “My Mass Communications training also taught me to be a strong public speaker and to organize information effectively.”

Since graduating Derek has had a relationship with the same extraordinary man for 24 years, who he shares a home with in San Francisco that he says he fell in love with more times than he could count. Derek loves to cook and enjoys wine, he loves to travel and tend to his garden in his spare time. Derek said, “I have a passion for urbanity and loves cities, the people in them and their customs. Virtually every city I’ve ever visited I’ve wanted to move to for awhile to really deeply learn it and know it and understand it.”

Derek’s advice to CSUEB students is to “learn to write well. Learn to present yourself well. And never stop learning. The world changes at an amazing pace these days and you can’t possibly imagine the sorts of skills and knowledge you’ll need 25 years from now, so never stop learning.”

http://www20.csueastbay.edu/news/blog/2012/06/derek-gordon-cmo-pathbrite-csueb-alumnus.html

Twitter: twitter.com/derekgordon; twitter.com/djg2theworld; twitter.com/dailycasserole.

Facebook: facebook.com/derekgordon

Derek’s blogs: http://www.getthefive.com/search/?q=derek+gordon and http://dailycasserole.com

Pathbrite’s CMO encourages students to never stop learning

Alumnus Derek Gordon, ’86 mass communications, a San Francisco based marketing veteran loves story telling. “I discovered that I love to tell the stories about people at work changing the world,” he said. “So, after some initial twists-and-turns, I started my current path working with non-profits. I ran communications for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation for about seven years and then Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for two.”

It was at this time that a friend had convinced him to work at an Internet start-up during the tech boom of the late 90’s. Gordon considers it the best move he ever made because his company invented e-learning and he enjoyed an enormously successful IPO. Gordon is now working as the Chief Marketing Officer at Pathbrite, an early stage start-up in the education technology space.

Gordon’s says his advice to CSUEB students is to “learn to write well. Learn to present yourself well. And never stop learning. The world changes at an amazing pace these days and you can’t possibly imagine the sorts of skills and knowledge you’ll need 25 years from now, so never stop learning.”

With such a vibrant track record in the marketing field Gordon is a great example of what you can achieve at CSUEB!