Schedule by Day

During November’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, Sac State welcomes innovators and community voices from the world of entrepreneurship to share their personal journeys and offer valuable advice. All events are free, unless noted, and some events require advance registration.





A Historic University Announcement

Join us to hear how Sacramento State will boost the region through innovation and entrepreneurship

11:00 a.m.  |  Redwood Room, University Union

No RSVP necessary.

Evelyn Fallon

Inside Success: From Dropout to Achieving Your Dreams

Evelyn Fallon ’79 (Business Administration), MBA ’81 was enrolled in nursing school in her late teens and awoke one morning to realize she simply didn’t want to be a nurse. Fast forward and Evelyn found herself enrolled at Sacramento State, balancing motherhood and her studies, and on the crest of an innovative career as a management consultant. Evelyn has advice on risk taking, finding your inner strengths and skills, and giving yourself permission to find your dreams.

Meet Evelyn.

Click here for photos from Evelyn's session.

Get Out of the Building! 

Biotechnology Invention Goes to the Marketplace

A Sacramento State-based biomedical team—biological sciences major Manmeet Singh, Adjunct Professor John Chapman, and Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Warren D. Smith—took home top honors in a National Science Foundation-funded effort to identify effective means to market medical breakthroughs. They will share why their treatment  for tissue and bone healing was selected as best positioned to bring advanced laboratory research to marketplace.

Click here for photos from the session.

John Schimandle

Inside Success: Keys to Success, My Personal Journey

How a young, smart and very inexperienced engineering student had fun, was successful and got to help people along the way.

Meet John.

Click here for photos from John's session.

Impact Global Venture Summit

Join entrepreneurs, investors, and students for Northern California's first-ever Impact Global Venture Summit on the floor of the brand new Golden 1 Center. The Impact Summit will feature some of Northern California's best startups and venture industry speakers.

*The event is free for Sac State students.



Tiffany Fraser and Lisa Wrightsman

Inside Success: Creating Socially Responsible Change

As former standout soccer players at Sac State, Lisa Wrightsman ’05 (Communication Studies) and Tiffany Fraser ’09 (Communication Studies) know what it takes to create a winning team. However, instead of working with formally trained athletes, Lisa and Tiffany coach a Street Soccer USA team that helps homeless women overcome abuse and addiction. Join these inspirational and innovative alumnae as they share their deeply personal journeys that have led them to become social entrepreneurs and role models to women ready to win on and off the field. 

Click here for photos from Tiffany and Lisa's session.

Fraser and Wrightsman

Clarisse Baca and John Meidinger

Inside Success: Taming the Activity Jungle

Clarisse Baca and John Meidinger believe in engaging and building communities. As parents sought their advice for local activities, Clarisse and John had an idea: pull together a network and connect it all in a new start-up called Activity Jungle. Their formula: take a personal interest and innovate it into a successful career. Hear why every child—or adult, for that matter—should find their passion and act on it.

Meet Clarisse and John.

Click here for photos from Clarisse and John's session.

Michael Casper and Michael Lynch

Improve Your Tomorrow

Valley High School classmates, and football teammates, Michael Lynch MPPA '14 and Michael Casper '10 (Communication Studies) were able to avoid the common pitfalls of other young men of color by holding one another accountable and pushing each other to succeed. After graduating from Sacramento State, Lynch began working as a staffer in the California State Assembly and Casper as a Branch Manager for US Bank. In the fall of 2012, Lynch approached Casper about starting a program at Valley to help other young men of color attend and graduate from four-year universities, recognizing early on that obtaining a college degree was their vehicle for a better life. These conversations and a deep desire to help other young men of color escape the shackles of poverty and violence eventually lead to the creation of Improve Your Tomorrow.

Casper and Lynch will speak on the power of mentoring.

Click here for photos from Michael and Michael's session.

Casper and Lynch

Maritza and Roshaun Davis

Inside Success: Breaking the Mold

The Sacramento power couple of Maritza ’07 (Communication Studies) and Roshaun ’08 (Journalism) return to their alma mater to share their story as founders of the event marketing agency, Unseen Heroes. Using the local landscape as their canvas, this duo specializes in transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary with memorable experiences for the entire community. Listen in as the couple reveals valuable business insight on how they’ve built an award-winning agency.

Click here for photos from Maritza and Roshaun's session.


Sixth Annual College of Business Film Festival

Exploring Leadership Emotion in Motion

Sacramento State’s College of Business Administration’s annual film festival, “Exploring Leadership Emotion in Motion” features films produced by business administration students, using some of the most influential leadership theories. The films will explore how leaders’ emotional intelligence can help create empathic relationships and convert the emotional climate of organizations.

Learn more about the film festival. 

Mark Otero

Inside Success: The Game of Success

Video gaming mogul Mark Otero '99 (Computer Science) shares his message of how he turned his passion into a multimillion-dollar powerhouse. Otero founded KlickNation, which develops applications for Facebook, including the immensely popular Superhero City. The company was acquired by Electronic Arts where until recently Otero acted as general manager. Now he’s on to his next endeavor and eager to share what’s he’s learned along the way about overcoming challenges, believing in yourself and finding inspiration.

Meet Mark.

Click here for photos from Mark's session.

Panel and Networking Mixer: Farm-to-Fork:

Gastronomy and Economy 

Restaurant owners and chefs in the region have the hybrid role of food translators/artists/local economists as they interpret the growing interest in locavore cuisine and convert it into profitable social ventures in their cafes, bistros and restaurants. In this panel presentation, Sac State alumni who own and operate well-known restaurants will talk about balancing gastronomy and economy. 

Click here for photos from the Farm-to-Fork session.


Stacey Powell

Inside Success: Find Your Path and Stay Motivated

Nearly every part of being an innovator, entrepreneur and a dreamer requires one thing: financial fitness. But how many of us actually think about our finances? Alumna Stacey Powell, founder of the Finance Gym, is an author, speaker, CFO and financial coach, who will share perspective and helpful actionable tips on keeping finances fun and simple.

Meet Stacey.

Click here for photos from Stacey's session.

Stacey Powell

Ana Klein

Ana Klein ’95, MBA ’10 has risen the ranks to become vice president and CFO of Sunsweet Growers, Inc., the world’s largest handler of dried tree fruits—namely prunes—with an annual revenue of $340 million. She became Sunsweet’s first female and youngest CFO in 2004. Klein has been recognized as the 2015 College of Business Administration Alumna of the Year and CFO of the Year by the Sacramento Business Journal in 2014.

Klein will speak about the characteristics of success, drawing on her own experience as the first in her family to attend college.

Click here for photos from Ana's session.


Garry Maisel

In 1996, Garry Maisel ’80 (Business Administration-Finance) was the first employee of Western Health Advantage, a non-profit organization that now includes 100 employees and more than 100,000 members. Maisel is the current board chair for Sacramento’s “For Art’s Sake” Initiative, the Non-Profit Resource Center and Women Escaping a Violent Environmen (WEAVE). The Distinguished Alumni Award recipient is active with numerous other non-profits, including Valley Vision, the Mercy Foundation, Crocker Art Museum, B Street Theature and Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.

Click here for photos from Garry's session.

Garry Maisel

The Business of Making a Difference: Lessons Learned from Social Entrepreneurs

Learn how these local entrepreneurs are solving problems, helping people realize their potential and creating social change.

Panelists include:

  • Caliph Assagai, Motivational speaker, coach, lawyer
  • Judith Yisrael, Yisrael Family Urban Farm
  • Jenine Smith Jenkins, J Smith & Company

Wednesday, Nov. 16 | 2:00-4:00 p.m. in Lassen Hall, Welcome Center Room 1100

**Please note, this event has seating for 35 attendees.

Pitch Competition

The Sacramento Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs (SACE) and the Center for Entrepreneurship will host "The Pitch" Business Idea Competition where students will have an opportunity to pitch their business ideas in front of a panel of judges, "Shark Tank"-style. Winners will receive prize money and the opportunity to represent Sacramento State in the National "Future Four" Competition.

This year’s judges include:

  • Mark Haney, Haney Business Ventures
  • Josh Hart, Wells Fargo
  • Stacey Powell, Finance Gym
  • Virginia Varela, Golden Pacific Bank

Click here for photos from the Pitch Competition.


Technology Reimagined:

How Pandora Continues to Innovate

Pandora alumni employees Lisa Sullivan Cross '93 (Communication Studies) and Ryan Takao '13 (Mathematics) present a panel session on “Technology Reimagined: How Pandora continues to innovate.” They will speak about the multidisciplinary approach it takes to create innovative entertainment in an ever-changing technological and social world. Panelists will also share their personal stories of how they arrived at Pandora (from college through internships to how they were hired) and provide students recommendations on how they can find their own path to working for an entrepreneurial company…or create one of their own.

Meet Lisa and Ryan.

Click here for photos from Lisa and Ryan's session.

Dale Carlsen

Plenary Session and Networking Mixer: Risk Taking, Dream Making

In this TedEx-style talk, alumnus Dale Carlsen will talk about the importance of social entrepreneurship in our community, using The Ticket to Dream Foundation as an example of impact and importance. In this presentation, Dale will talk about growing this effort to a national scale, and how entrepreneurial characteristics such as drive, versatility, motivation and vision are essential tools in its success.

Meet Dale.

Click here for photos from Dale's plenary session.


Dr. Chris Yu

Keynote: Game Changers of Innovation

Dr. Chris Yu is the co-founder and CEO of Anpac biomedical, a company that selected Sacramento as its home for North American expansion. Dr. Yu is a highly successful business executive, innovative engineer, and pioneering inventor, filing more than 200 patent applications. A proven, serial entrepreneur, Dr. Yu has consistently delivered solid returns to investors (more than 100X and 30X respectively in two start-up companies).

Over his 20-year career, Dr. Yu’s innovative and profitable work has spanned the fields of medical devices for cancer screening, biology, signal detection, transducer design and fabrications, among many other technologies. Attendees at his session will learn about the landscape of innovation.

Click here for photos from Dr. Yu's keynote.

Warren D. Smith

Keynote: Game Changers of Innovation

Warren D. Smith, professor of electrical and electronic engineering, is a renowned specialist in biomedical engineering whose cutting-edge research has produced exciting medical breakthroughs. Smith will speak during two seperate sessions. 

Click here for photos from Warren's keynote.

Culminating Event: College 2 Career (C2C) Academy

The College 2 Career (C2C) Internship Academy, provides recent college graduates with essential career-readiness training and the possibility of a post-academy internship placement. It connects students and graduates with a variety of Sacramento-area employers who are seeking the next generation of employment talent.

The Culminating Event marks the participants’ successful completion of the Internship Academy. Highlights include an industry panel featuring College to Career employers, networking opportunities and a recognition ceremony.

Learn more. 

Click here for photos from the College 2 Career Internship Academy culminating event.

Closing Event: Engines of Civic Entreprenuership

Sacramento State: Game Changers’ closing event features President Robert S. Nelsen and Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg. One in 20 Sacramento-area residents is a Sac State graduate, and the intersection between the University and the region is a powerful and dynamic ecosystem. Hear more about the driving forces of entrepreneurism in our civic infrastructure, followed by a networking reception for attendees.

Click here for photos from the closing event.

President Robert S. Nelsen

Robert S. Nelsen is the eighth president of Sacramento State. His experience in public higher education spans nearly three decades, most of it in the University of Texas system. He was president of UT-Pan American from 2010-14 and served as special advisor to UT’s executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. Among his many awards and honors, Nelsen was named Man of the Year by the Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 

Mayor Darrell Steinberg

Darrell Steinberg is one of Sacramento’s most accomplished public servants, serving the Sacramento community for more than 20 years on the Sacramento City Council, and in the State Assembly and State Senate. He is a founder and chair of the Steinberg Institute for Advancing Mental Health Policy and is director of policy and advocacy for the UC Davis Behavioral Health Center of Excellence.