New Additions to University Advancement

Development News

As Cal State San Marcos grows, University Advancement strives to develop and increase capacity for philanthropic support to the University’s vision and achievements. Recently the division welcomed three new members to the team:

Kyle Button, Associate Vice President of Development

Kyle Button, AVP for DevelopmentAs a first-generation college graduate, Kyle Button has a deep appreciation for the mission of the California State University system. In fact, the CSU has been his home for the majority of his professional career in California. Most recently he served as vice president for Institutional Advancement at CSU Los Angeles for 18 years, and prior to that he was a director of development at CSU Long Beach for five years.

At CSUSM, Kyle will supervise CSUSM’s fundraising programs and work closely with President Haynes, Vice President Hoss and others across campus to identify, cultivate and solicit gifts in support of the University’s priorities and initiatives.

He says that while he is just getting to know the CSUSM campus, he already feels inspired and excited.

“There are great things happening here: enormous talent in the faculty and an eager student body,” Kyle reflected. “There are many opportunities for us to make the connections with people and institutions that understand and care about the University and convert this goodwill into private support. It is remarkable to me that, in the free-market exchange with donors, our returns on their investments are mostly intangible: satisfaction, joy, community, gratification and legacy. Together with our campus partners and volunteers, the development team will help identify and facilitate these relationships and will find meaningful ways to thank and steward those who answer the call. Done successfully, we can create an ever-widening circle of support that will allow us to meet the rising expectations our stakeholders have for us, and the even more ambitious goals we have set for ourselves.”

Contact Kyle at ext. 7308 or

Michael Helé, Director of Donor Stewardship

Mike Hele, Director of Donor StewardshipAfter 12 years with the San Diego Padres as manager of membership programs, Mike has joined the CSUSM Advancement team as director of donor stewardship.

“I started with the Padres just as the new park was being opened,” said Mike. “While at the Padres, I had the opportunity to help increase engagement for season ticket holders and launch unique rewards programs that build affinity and loyalty with San Diego fans.”

Now he will put his experience to the test at CSUSM where he will be responsible for managing donor recognition programs, and cultivating past and current donors with on-going communication. 

“My family and I are all public higher education graduates,” he reflected. “I’m really happy to be here and am passionate about helping make education accessible to as many students as possible.”

Contact Mike at ext. 7305 or

Christa Koen, Administrative Coordinator

Christa Koen, Administrative CoordinatorMany will recognize Christa from her previous role as an event planner in CSUSM’s Event and Conference Services Department. As of June, she now handles a wide range of administrative and executive support related tasks in the Office of the Vice President for University Advancement.

“Since 2010 I’ve had the opportunity to get to know many of the people and places on campus,” she said. “I’m looking forward to using that knowledge in my new role and contributing to the mission of the University in a new and exciting way!”

Contact Christa at ext. 7307 or

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