Tag Archives: Spotlight

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: Gene Daniels

A Newark, CA chairman of the Newark Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and insurance agent at State Farm. At State Farm he oversees education and business issues. Gene plays an important part in mentoring student at Newark Memorial High School by serving on the Advisory Board of Ohlone College. Gene is a well accomplished individual and recently received an African American Heritage Leadership Award for being such a prominent community leader. As a charter member of the Fremont Union City Newark Sunset Rotary Club (F.U.N. Sunset Rotary Club), he is a part of numerous community service projects. You can check out Gene’s business page over at Gene Daniels-State Farm Agent

Alumni Spotlight: Nick Vasallo

Nicholas Vasallo is a Dublin, CA based composer and adjunct lecturer at Cal State East Bay. Since he earned his B.A. in Music back in 2007 at CSUEB he’s accomplished quite a bit. After graduating from CSUEB, Nick earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) in Music Composition from UC Santa Cruz. In his first year at UC Santa Cruz he was honored with the David Cope Award for Compositional Excellence and went on to win the UCSC Student Composer’s Award, San Francisco Choral Artist’s New Voices Award, Truman State University MACRO Award, International Prize for Excellence in Composition. Nick has recently released a new CD he composed entitled “MONUMENTS EMERGE” released internationally by Innova Recordings. You can check out his CD here:  http://www.innova.mu/albums/nick-vasallo/monuments-emerge. Nick’s most recent project was the formation of a technical post-death metal band called OBLIVION where he writes and does the lead vocals. Oblivion’s debut album is set to release this summer. You can check out Oblivion here: http://ObtainOblivion.com/. Even after achieving all of this, Nick passion for music drove him back to the classroom.

Nicks says:

“During my dissertation research/writing year–2010-2011, I was lucky to find adjunct professor and lecturer positions at Los Medanos College, Gavilan College, and here at CSU East Bay. I have been teaching every since and completed my doctorate in June of 2011. I absolutely love teaching and working in academia, I truly believe that teaching music is my calling.”

All of us at CSUEB are very proud of Nick for his accomplishments and giving back to Cal State East Bay by becoming a professor and  teaching  future generations of Music talent the same art he learned several years ago.

Alumni Spotlight: Brian Slater

Brian Slater works as a professional Life Coach and owner of Follow Dreams Coaching. Brian earned his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from Cal state East Bay. Brian practices as a motivational life coach for Follow Dreams Coaching. He uses his life coaching skills to help people find balance, live their passions, and follow their dreams.

Alumni Spotlight: John G. Herndon

He is a consultant at Gas component and isotopic analysis manufacturer. John earned his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and Finance. John h…as been consulting for the past four years in various industries in positions ranging from Sr Cost Accountant to CFO and tasks ranging from US and international accounting, international tax, venture capital, corporate strategy, Finance. John serves as an Adjunct Professor for Accounting and Finance at CSUEB where he teaches both graduates and undergraduate students. He has been featured in the News numerous times in fact he was feature on CNN.
Read Article:
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/pf/1108/gallery.make_extra_money/7.html

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.