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Alumni Spotlight

Roger Herzler Class of 2006 and MBA 2010

Roger Herrzler
Roger Herzler, CoBA's Director  of Community Projects, reflects on his experience learning from and working with Dean Hamerly as the college announces the long time leader's retirement. 

Tracy Petrucci Class of 2007

Tracy Petrucci

Tracy Petrucci started her own business "by accident" while she was still in college. She has now grown her marketing agency to a team of 8 people and even recently hired a fellow CSUSM Alum! This self proclaimed "lover of swells, slopes, and analytics" is coming through for smaller businesses in a time when they need to most. "We are really thoughtful in our approach with small businesses, and we are often fixing the work of other companies who are less "boutique".  Read an interview with this CoBA business owner.

 Jason McBride Class of 2018

Jason Mcbride

CoBA Alumnus Jason McBride '18 is demonstrating the art of pivoting your business during the pandemic. The young entrepreneur founded his startup Brew Catalog with partners to develop an online ordering platform for self-distributing breweries: something beer buyers could use to view quickly and order kegs.
When the pandemic hit, McBride explains, “The landscape of wholesale changed.” While the closing of bars and restaurants all but tanked the need for wholesale ordering, because of the new rules allowing delivery, he says, “We took that opportunity to pivot to direct to consumer.” Read more about how his business in this San Diego Reader article.

 Elijah Schneider, Class of 2020 


Senior CoBA Student Starts Marketing Agency from the Ground Up

Elijah Schneider, a senior business student at CSUSM, started a social media marketing agency from the ground up at just 19 years old. In a few short years the company has grown on its platform of transparency and data-based strategies to employ a team of 17 and service large brands like Nordstrom, Mercedes, and

Melissa Finestone Class of 2017


Alumna Turns Entrepreneurship Class Project into Sustainable Business

Melissa Finestone '17, can be found every weekend selling her organic, cold-pressed, fresh almond milk at farmer’s markets in San Diego. What started out as an assignment in a marketing class turned out to be a full-time business and passion project for this 2017 alum.

Lindsey Bahl, Class of 2016


Marketing Alumna Linsey Bahl was recognized with the Front Office Sports Rising 25 Award!

This award is given to 25 rising stars (age 25 or younger) in Sports Business. Linsey, a 2016 graduate, was selected as a top 25 from more than 130 nominees across the United States. Here is what she has to say about achieving this level of success at such an early stage in her career: "To be able to say I am a part of this esteemed group of young professionals from some of the world’s largest sports entities is nothing short of a dream. I have taken this time to cherish and reflect on every step of my career thus far. Thank you to my family and mentors for ongoing support and the industry leaders for honoring my accomplishments. I love my career choice and cannot wait to see what the future has in store for me.”

Alaric Fuller, Class of 2007

Alaric Fuller

Alaric Fuller on LinknedIn

Throughout his years at CSUSM, Alaric Fuller aka ‘DJ Majestik,’ maintained a strong interest in the radio industry. He combined much of what he learned in his courses with his work as a radio DJ and mixer in San Diego. He started his radio career in San Diego while attending CSUSM. Majestik is now a recognized name in the music industry abroad.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Alaric traveled back to his hometown of New York City to continue his radio career. He soon became a well-known morning show personality for CBS radio and DJ on SiriusXM satellite radio. His reach now exceeds millions through his mix shows and as a radio personality.  He has worked side by side with artists that include Selena Gomez, DJ Snake, and many more.  Alaric also travels the globe as an international club DJ and has performed in front of a sold-out crowd at the legendary Madison Square Garden in NYC, with artists Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias. Alaric has recently returned to Southern California, finding new opportunities in Los Angeles radio. He is now a show producer and DJ on 97.1 AMP Radio’s morning show, The New Guys.

Andy Rubin, Class of 1999

Andy Rubin

Wealth Management Adviser, Northwestern Mutual

Andy Rubin LinkedIn

A San Diego native, Andy has always had a passion for helping people. He taught scuba diving off the coast of La Jolla throughout his collegiate career, and learned early on how to have a balanced life between work and education. After graduating from CSUSM in 2000 with a degree in Service Sector Management (better known as Finance), Andy moved to the Caribbean to follow his dream of teaching scuba diving in the tropics. In 2001, Andy moved back to San Diego, married his college sweetheart, and began his professional career with Northwestern Mutual. Andy now serves as a Wealth Management Advisor to over 300 clients and is the Managing Director of the Carlsbad office. Andy also holds his CLU®, ChFC®, ChSNC, CLTC, CASL®, ChSNC.

In addition to his success in running his own financial practice, Andy has developed Northwestern Mutual’s Top 10 Internship program in his district office, which in turn, created an opportunity to grow strong lasting partnerships with his Alma Mater. In the spring of 2016, Andy sponsored a Senior Experience project that entailed creating a blueprint of success for hosting future philanthropic events with his office. Andy’s corporate, philanthropic partner is the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (an organization that funds research to fight childhood cancer). Through the Senior Experience project, Andy and his office hosted their first annual “Fore the Kids” golf tournament event on Thursday, May 26 at the Crossings in Carlsbad. The tournament raised a little over $5,000…practically tripling their goal of $1,500!

Former Alumni

CoBA Alumni Impact
Alumni CoBA Impact


Cristina Ahmadpour

Class of 2010, Global Business Management

Senior Consultant-North America, Isle Utilities

"The most impactful experience as a CoBA student was getting involved with student organizations and taking on leadership roles every semester. One of my fondest memories was working on my BUS 444 project for Professor Antoniou's class. My colleagues and I had very late nights working on this project which resulted in quality work that we could be proud of."


Andrew Behneman

Class of 2006, Service Sector Management

Broker & Owner, Cabrillo Team Realty

"CoBA helped prepare me in my career and to eventually own a real estate brokerage in many ways. 'In the Executive's Chair' allowed me to hear from successful business leaders and entrepreneurs and get a sample of what it is like in the professional world and learn what they had to do in order to get in that position. I always enjoyed (and got a good laugh) from professor Hamerly's illustrations in the Operations Management class."


Sean Callahan

Class of 2006, High Technology Management

Senior Product Manager, Amazon

"The time at CSUSM working with entrepreneurial-minded teachers like Dr. Ben Cherry has encouraged me to to continue to pursue my startups and never giving up when challenges arise. My CoBA experience led me to further my entrepreneurial endeavors with such programs as Senior Experience."


Juliet Correnti

Class of 2008, Management

CEO, Radeus Labs

"Believe it or not, all the presentations and all the group projects in CoBA have helped me in my professional development. In my job I collaborate with different individuals and on different cross functional teams constantly, just like our Senior Experience team. One of my fondest memories comes from my favorite teacher Jim Hamerly in Business 302."


Heather Dody

Class of 2000, Accounting

CEO, Ingenium

"My CoBA experience helped me realize the importance of teamwork. The Senior Experience program is also memorable for me. I felt so empowered going into a professional organization with a goal. The experience forced me to learn to work in a team environment and rely on others to help get the job done."


Katie Finney

Class of 2014, Marketing

Marketing Specialist, Palomar Technologies

"Being a part of CoBA helped me in my professional development and career in many ways. CoBA provided me with many opportunities to network with local business professionals ranging from small start up companies to very large companies as well. CoBA helped me grow personally by exposing me to all different sectors of the business world. One of my favorite memories was being the Philanthropy Chair for the sorority Alpha Xi Delta where I helped start the first AmaXing Challenge which rose over $8,000 for Autism Speaks."


Justin French

Class of 2009, High Technology Management

CEO & Founder, Global eMarketing Solutions, Inc.

"My college experience at CSUSM continues to be extremely valuable and practical in my professional career. I continue to do SWOT analyses for clients, launch sales and marketing campaigns, and continue to refer back to papers I had written that add insight to various projects and tasks I work on today. One of the greatest memories was our Senior Experience group exceeding expectations. We not only helped close service contracts for our company, but launched and led an outbound marketing and sales campaign."


Jody Greene

Class of 2006, Service Sector Management

Client Development Director, Jacob Tyler Creative Agency

"My CoBA experience helped me by offering courses that gave direct interaction with the real-world business environment. Through such as In the Executive Chair and Senior Experience, I was able to get a taste of what my work world would be/could be like. One of my favorite experiences was hearing Greg Koch speak. He was wacky and I learned that you don't have to be a super buttoned-up, suit wearing executive to make a difference and do big things."


Erik Groset

Class of 2007, High Technology Management

Co-Founder, Zipbuds

"CoBA was a great experience for entrepreneurship. It was very nurturing allowing for a variety of different experiences in every aspect of business. Access to a wealth of caring professors and mentors was invaluable. The resources provided from CoBA was more than enough to make me feel comfortable running a business immediately upon graduating. In The Executive's Chair was my favorite class. I never missed a session during my time at CoBA."


Chad Haertling

Class of 2011, Management-Entrepreneurship

Account Executive, Bridg

"The CoBA Entrepreneurship track prepared me to step into the startup world after graduation. Since then, I have worked for three startups where I have applied several courses to my daily work. Lastly, the Senior Experience Program gave me chance to write a business plan that was used to open a restaurant in North County San Diego. This experience has given me the upper edge in my current position because I understand what it takes to drive revenue in the early stages of our company."


Christopher Heil

Class of 2012, Finance

Manager & Owner, Total Merchant Supplies

"CoBA has given me the opportunity to grow professionally and personally in taking the leadership role in my life. There are many programs which CoBA students are able to experience within the school community to enhance the development of their careers. CoBA student organizations, community and business guess speakers, and special CoBA career development groups such as the Value Improvement Program have helped me personally take leadership in my life and career. My favorite memory at CSUSM would have to be the Quick Pitch entrepreneurship competition that I attended."


Reese Irish

Class of 2012, Management

Owner, Operator, Acct., CEO, President, Beok LLC

"CSUSM really helped me get a good start on building a genuine network of business professionals. I was able to get a taste of the business world and see what i could do to be successful in it. My favorite memory of CSUSM was the quick pitch competition and my senior experience program. At the quick pitch comp I was able to share my business idea to many people in a fun way that really put my company on the radar on campus. I also enjoyed the senior experience project because i was able to do the project on my own company and lead a group of students to completing a real life business research project."


Nathaniel Keifer-Wheals

Class of 2009, Management of Information Systems

Director of Client Strategy at OptumRx, part of UnitedHealth Group

"The knowledge and experience gained from attending CoBA helped in the several jobs I've had since and allowed me to develop perspective on what I actually want my career to be and the direction I want it to go. My entrepreneurial mindset has always existed, but its now educated and substantially bigger. Senior Experience is by far my fondest memory of CSUSM and CoBA. I had so many good professors, ones that cared about me personally and professionally, and I made many lifetime friends."

Read about Nathaniel's journey back to CSUSM for his MBA and his role in engaging Alumni as Director of the CSUSM Foundation Board.

Nathan Leathers

Class of 2004, High Technology Management

President, Green Guard Services

"More real life experience with the senior experience program. Outside of that the program was relatively new so I am not sure if I can state that CoBA was specifically helpful vs the school as a whole. Learning how to learn vs what you learn in my philosophy is much more relevant in the workplace from my experience. Senior Experience and we had one of the top projects, leading a team of members with a very comprehensive project was very insightful and great experience."


Mariana Loskutova

Class of 2014, Accounting

General Ledger Accountant, ViaSat, Inc.

"I have a lot of great memories from my time at CSUSM. One that brings smile to my face is the Accounting Society (AS) Spring Banquette. Besides rigorous, high quality classes, which really make students work hard, CoBA can take pride in its dedicated, caring and fun professors. I developed great relationships with several of my professors, who encouraged and guided me. In addition, students can take advantage of numerous opportunities to network with professionals both on and off college premises."


Bryan Mason

Class of 2012, Management of Information Systems

Solar Energy Consultant, Generation 819

"CoBA provided me with an extremely valuable and fruitful education in business and technology. The tools, knowledge, and overall experience I gained from CoBA created the foundation I needed for my career and professional growth. Learning how to write effectively, how to present to a group, how to use technology, and how to crunch numbers are just a few of the many mandatory skills I acquired from CoBA. Over the course of my CSUSM education I had many memorable experiences and unforgettable professors. If I had to choose one experience as my favorite I would choose Senior Experience. With this project we were able to actually implement, and create and produce a solution to a problem."


Karen Michel

Class of 2013, Management

Campus Recruiter/Associate Financial Representative, Northwestern Mutual

"CoBA has made a huge impact in my life in terms of bettering my business professional skills. I have learned how to effectively and efficiently work in a team setting, and to appreciate constructive feedback. I've also learned the importance of being coachable, and knowing that there can always be a different, and sometimes better, answer to an issue if you can collaborate with a team. BUS 302 was my first business class with Bruce Nichols. Being in Bruce's class changed my entire perspective on education, and really the importance of having experience for a career after graduation. Bruce's energy behind his presentations inspired me on a daily basis to meet new people, learn something new, and motivated me to strive for a successful life after graduation."


Sean Park

Class of 2011, Management

Project Manager, Innova Systems International

"I learned while in CoBA, that networking was a vital part of the CoBA experience and an are that I would need to learn to master if I were to be successful in the business world one day. The senior experience projects is one of the most profound experiences of my college experience. It has ultimately lead me to where I am today. One memory that I had that has stuck in my head was the CLIMB program. I was partnered with a local CEO who served as my mentor during my last year at CSUSM. This was very meaningful as he helped put into context the fundamentals that I was learning during my time in CoBA. The time I spent with him was invaluable and has encouraged me to mentor others and share knowledge."


Christopher Placencia

Class of 2012, Marketing

Founder & CEO, Jason Paul Marketing

"In all honesty if it wasn't for CoBA and my professors such as Jim Hamerly and Ron Gerevas I would have never launched my company. I owe everything to them and the CoBA program for providing me the tools and resources I needed to develop a strong company and be recognized as an entrepreneur in San Diego. I definitely enjoyed Senior Experience. It taught me how to lead and work with others to deliver and strong and final product to a client/company. The relationships built will last a lifetime and I am extremely grateful to CoBA, CSUSM and all the professors"


Megan Reynolds

Class of 2013, Management

Owner, Flawed Perfection Jewelry

"I had so many amazing experiences at CSUSM, but one of my favorite memories was the Creativity and Innovation course, a required entrepreneurship track class. Successful entrepreneur Scott Landow led the course and it was the first opportunity we had to truly start a business in business school. Throughout my four years at CSUSM, I was able to apply so many lessons from my courses directly into my small business. By taking the Entrepreneurship Track of the Management option, I experienced the ins and outs of start ups and new ventures, making it much easier for me to take the plunge to full-time entrepreneur upon graduation in May 2013!"


Patrick Reynolds

Class of 2014, Minor

Experience Developer, Adobe

"In retrospect, CoBA helped my personal professional development and current career in three ways. The first way CoBA helped me develop as a professional was through my formal business writing skills. I had the privilege of learning from an incredible business writing professor named Linda Hickman. She gave me a sound fundamental in all forms of professional communication from resumes to cover letters to every-day emails. The second way CoBA did a great job preparing me for my career and ensuring I had a fundamental understanding of multiple business units within an organization. The third area CoBA helped me in my personal professional development was through the faculty. I also had many great experiences at CoBA-related events, but winning the annual Quick Pitch competition was definitely my favorite."


Nicole Ruth

Class of 2010, Global Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Manager, General Lock

"My CoBA experience helped shape who I am today. Both the coursework which strengthened my understanding of business concepts, as well as the dedicated faculty who instilled in us the importance of professionalism and power of networking, these were the building blocks of my career. One moment that I will remember the rest of my life was soon after applying to the CLIMB Mentorship program. I had heard about the program initially through some friends/fellow Alpha Kappa Psi brothers and decided I should apply. It was not clear to me who my mentor was going to be (I was waiting for a reply to my application), until one day after my "In the Executive's Chair" class. One of the founders of the CLIMB Mentorship program and my course instructor, David Bennett, stopped me on the way out of class. In response to my CLIMB Mentorship application, David asked whether I would be okay if he were my mentor. That moment changed my life. Almost six years later and David continues to mentor me today."


Michael Todd

Class of 1995, Management

Senior Account Executive, xAd

"My CoBA experience definitely helped shaped my career. The classes and knowledge I gained while attending CSUSM clearly played a role in my development. CoBA gave me a well diversified outlook of my skills. Senior experience was definitely my favorite memory. Our team was tasked with conducting a feasibility study for a boardwalk type of experience, which would funnel traffic into the perspective new stadium downtown for the Padres."


Karen Torrico

Class of 2013, Global Business Management

SOS National Sales, Stone Brewing Co.

"My experience at CoBA was truly great. I was able to receive education from a diverse faculty that helped me push myself to excel as a student and a member of the community. Having majored in Global Business Management, I was able to learn about business practices and theory while exploring other cultures and business etiquette. One of my fondest memories at CSUSM is having met great friends in several courses I took during my time at the university. Especially at CoBA, I met many likeminded individuals that understood my passion of international business and cultures. I enjoyed many of the culture/business courses I had with Professor Schryen and Professor Sennhauser. Their international business experience and knowledge greatly impacted my interest in majoring in Global Business Management- Marketing and pursing an international career."


Priscilla Wood

Class of 2008, Marketing

Broker Associate, Berkshire Hathaway

"Participating in a variety of student organizations on campus as well facilitating and contributing to many group-oriented school projects, provided invaluable experience to what one can anticipate in the 'real world' I believe that my experiences at CSUSM both positive and at times challenging, provided an introduction to what can be expected in the professional world as it related to effectively communicating with a variety of individuals from around the globe. I adored the 'In the Executives Chair' course and speaker series which prompted me to launch a similar concept in San Diego."