Board of Directors

About the Board

The Sacramento State Alumni Association Board of Directors is a group of alumni volunteers who lead the organization in its service to Sacramento State and its alumni.

Leadership provided by the Board is essential to the successful implementation of programs designed to accomplish the mission of the Association.

The Board meets bi-monthly to establish policy, develop goals and objectives, assist with long-range planning and monitor Alumni Association finances.

The Board's mission is to connect, engage and celebrate alumni, students and friends of Sacramento State while building lifelong relationships that support the future of our University.

Board of Director nominations

Nominations are considered annually by the Sacramento State Alumni Association Nominating Committee for the 21 elected seats on the Board. We are now accepting nominations for vacant seats. The nomination deadline is Friday, February 1, 2019. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Barber, Assistant Vice President at (916) 278-4723 or

SSAA Annual Member Meeting

Will be held on Monday, March 18, 2019, from 5:30-7:00 p.m. 
Please click here to RSVP. Mark your calendar and make plans to be there!

2018-19 Board Meeting Schedule

Monday, Aug. 27 5:30 – 7:45 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 8 5:30 – 7:45 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 10 5:30 – 7:45 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 8
    ◊ Annual Planning Retreat
8 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Monday, Mar. 18
    ◊ Annual Member Meeting
5:30 – 7:45 p.m.
Tuesday, May 14
    ◊ Board Meeting
    ◊ Installation Ceremony & Reception
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
6:30 – 8 p.m.

2018-19 Executive Officers

Rhonda Staley-Brooks ’95 (Child Development)
Life Member

Rhonda Staley-Brooks is the Executive Director of the Nehemiah Community Foundation (NCF). Prior to that she held the post of President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sacramento for 14 years.  

As the Executive Director of NCF, Staley-Brooks is responsible for advancing the brand of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program, which helps a diverse “bench” of young professionals develop a set of skills, abilities and relationships that enables them to move up the leadership ladder both professionally and in civic engagement.  


Amanda Merz '12 (English)
President-Elect, Nominating Committee Chair
Annual Member

Amanda Merz currently works as a Financial Education Manger for SAFE Credit Unionís Education & development Department. She is responsible for SAFEís engagement with SAFE employees, employer and community groups including government entities, on the topic of consumer financial well-being. Establish, implement, and measure the effectiveness of lending and sales training programs for SAFE employees. Manage financial education training for community organizations and schools and the ìCalifornia Bank On Sacramentoî program. Oversee the SAFE Volunteer program to ensure robust engagement with the community and SAFE Affiliates.

amanda merz portrait

Matt Cologna '94 (Business Administration)
Immediate Past President, Foundation Board Liaison
Life Member

Matt Cologna is a senior director with Cushman and Wakefield. Prior to this he served as a senior vice president with Grubb and Ellis, and was in management with Sleep Train, Inc. His expertise in real estate includes landlord and tenant representation, land assemblage, user and investments sales, and consulting. Cologna devotes his time diligently between community volunteer work with Sierra Child and Family Services, the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, and the Association’s Business Alumni chapter. In 2009, he received the Alumnus of the Year award from Sacramento State’s College of Business.

Matt Cologna

Karen Billeci '83 (English)
VP of Fund Development
Annual Member

Karen Billeci has been an insurance professional for 33 years, most recently holding a position as VP of Casualty Underwriting for AIG (American International Group) in San Francisco. Karen has held several leadership positions throughout her career including; Risk Management, Major Accounts Relationship Manager, Energy Industry Practice Leader, VP of Sales and Marketing, and Brand Management. Karen is active in corporate diversity initiatives recently serving as President of a Women & Allies Employee Resource Group. She is a member of the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco. She sits of the Board of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) which supports women and children escaping abusive environments in the East Bay.

Karen Billeci

Ron Brown '86 (Construction Management)
VP of Membership Engagement
Life Member

Ron Brown grew up in the construction industry with his father, Bill Brown, who founded Brown Construction. While obtaining his degree from Sac State, he continued working at job sites. After college, Ron went to work for a national commercial contractor, gaining years of experience with complex commercial projects. In 1988, he returned to Brown Construction to help the company diversify and eventually take over leadership. In addition, Ron is very active in the community with various Boards and mentors Sac State Construction Management students.

ron brown portrait

Paul Finn, MBA '03 
VP of Chapters Engagement
CSU Alumni Council Representative
Life Member

Paul Finn is currently a Sales Executive for the U.S. Post Office, working with businesses as well as State and local government agencies in the Sacramento region. During his 30+ year career with the USPS, Paul has served in a variety of positions including: rural route letter carrier, shop steward, new employee trainer, carrier supervisor and customer service representative. Paul was president of Sacramento Stateís Business Alumni chapter from 2009 through 2014, before joining the Board of the Alumni Association. He served as Chairman of the Northern California Combined Federal Campaign(CFC) from 2003 through 2006 while also serving as the chairman of the Northern California International Visitors Council (NCIV).  In 2009, NCIV changed their name to Global Ties.

Paul Finn

Cory Parish '85 (Business Administration)
VP of Finance
Life Member

Cory Parish is the executive director for the Conference Claimants’ Endowment Board of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of the Methodist Church. He manages all daily operations and oversees the assets, leadership, and strategic development of the Board. Parish has a strong background in real estate transaction, property, and portfolio management. He previously served as the president of the Sacramento State College of Business Alumni chapter, and a project team leader with Habitat for Humanity. He currently serves on the Sacramento State Alumni Association finance as well as the membership and fund development committee.

Cory Parish

Brenda Narayan '00 (Humanities)
VP of Scholarship
Life Member

Brenda Narayan's path to a Sac State degree was not typical. She pursued her career over a number of years while building a solid career in public policy, which included serving as staff to a California Speaker of the Assembly.  She started at MuniServices in 1997 focusing on marketing and legislative communications which led to her current position as Director of Government Relations. Brenda is passionate about education and community and can often be found volunteering the in the classroom or serving as a tutor.   Brenda serves on the United States Conference of Mayors, Business Council Steering Committee, and serves on the League of California Cities,  League Partner Executive Committee.

Brenda Narayan

2018-19 Board of Directors

Fred Baldini ’82, MA ’85 (Physical Education)
Life Member

Fred D. Baldini is entering his 29th year as a member of the faculty at Sacramento State. He was appointed Dean of the College of Health and Human Services in July of 2010. Prior to that appointment, he served as the Interim Associate Dean, and he served nine plus years as the Chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science. In 1994, he was selected for the Outstanding Teaching Award for the college, in 2003 he was selected for the Outstanding Service Award for the college, and in 2006 he completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University.

In addition to serving on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, he serves on the Sacramento Regional Family Justice Center Foundation Board of Directors and he is the chair of the University Budget Advisory Committee. Dr. Baldini received his Ph.D. in Exercise Science from Arizona State University in 1990.


Wally Borland ’74 (Strategic Management)
Life Member

Wally has been in the mortgage business for 30 years, usually as an originator but also as an owner of two small firms. He has been a life member of the Alumni Association since the mid 1980’s and has been active in the Business and Football alumni chapters. During this same time he was an active member of the Hornet Club for which he served three years as their president. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Gamma Iota Chapter of Phi Kappa Tau and is an advisor to the young men of that chapter.

wally borland portrait

De-Laine Cyrenne '05, '07 MA (Psychology)
Faculty Representative

De-Laine Cyrenne is a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Sacramento State.  After receiving her master’s in psychology from Sacramento State in 2007, she obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of St Andrews in Scotland.  Her research area of interest is Behavioral Neuroscience, with an emphasis on the biological basis of age and sex differences in risk taking and sensation seeking behavior. Dr. Cyrenne began teaching at Sacramento State in Spring 2012, where she is also quite active in shared governance. In addition to serving as the faculty representative to the Alumni Association Board of Directors, she also serves on the Faculty Senate, the Faculty Policies Committee, the Senate Executive Committee, and is a Center for Teaching & Learning Associate and Advisory Committee Chair.

de-laine cyrenne

Robert Dugan ’89 (Business Administration)
Life Member

Robert serves as the Vice President, Advocacy and Public Affairs, Associated General Contractors of California. He is responsible for strategic leadership, oversight, and delivery of the organization’s advocacy campaigns, public policy, and labor relations activities for its members. He also serves as Chairman of the Board for the Placer County Water Agency. In addition, Robert was a founding leader of the Placer Alumni Chapter for the Sacramento State Alumni Association. His connections run deep in the Sacramento Community and he is a strong advocate for alumni engagement.


Al Frisone
VP for University Advancement

Al Frisone is the vice president for University Advancement at Sacramento State. Al previously served as founder and president of AVF Consulting LLC, where he assisted universities and schools across the country in campaign planning, fundraiser training, and coaching and fundraising strategy.

Prior to establishing his own firm, Al spent 17 years in multiple leadership and fundraising roles at Marquette University in Milwaukee. There he created and led the principal gifts program and was a top-producing fundraiser, facilitating some of Marquette’s largest donations, including gifts of $51 million, $27 million, and $12 million.

Al Frisone

Larry Gilmore '85 (Business Administration)
Life Member

Larry Gilmore has an entrepreneurial mindset which comes from many years’ experience creating organic and inorganic growth in organizations both in the USA and abroad. After earning his degree at Sac State, he earned a MA in International Education from USC and a Master of Agribusiness Management from Kansas State. He’s spent over six years living and working in China in the effort to develop its infrastructure to propel and sustain its economic growth trajectory which includes taking Yongye International (NASDAQ: YONG) public and raising over $100M in private and public equity between 2008 and 2010. He was the Entrepreneur in Residence for CrowdFlavor Corporation from 2010 to 2014 and then took on the role of Senior Director at VSP Global working with a team of professionals who provide internal boutique investment services to VSP’s five lines of business.

Larry Gilmore

Lois Harper-Mattice '87, MS '94 (Physical Education)
Life Member

Lois Harper Mattice is the associate athletics director/senior woman administrator for Sacramento Stateís Intercollegiate Athletics and has been a part of Hornet Athletics staff for the last 28 years. Harper Mattice is a 30 year member of the National Athletic Trainers Association and is also a licensed physical therapy assistant. She has supervised men's and women's soccer, gymnastics, softball, volleyball, rowing, sports medicine and strength & conditioning programs. From 2008-12 Harper-Mattice served on the NCAA Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports committee helping to create safe and healthy competitive experiences for student-athletes.  In 2014, she served as a member of the NCAA Division I Softball Committee.

Lois Harper-Mattice

Colette Harris-Mathews '87, MA '01 (Communication Studies)
Life Member

Dr. Colette Harris-Mathews is the Dean of Communications, Visual and Performing Arts at Cosumnes River College. She is nearing 20 years of experience in higher education. Colette is a proud two-time graduate of Sac State as well as a former Sac State Lecturer, Teaching Associate and Graduate Assistant. She supports education in the greater Sacramento area and is an active champion in efforts to close the achievement gap. She has also been active with our Black Alumni Chapter including serving as VP of the Executive Board. She is committed to increasing the number of students that transfer from all four of the colleges in the Los Rios Community College District to Sac State to complete their degrees.

colette harris-mathews

Bruce Hohenhaus '76 (Business Administration)
Past President
Life Member

Bruce Hohenhaus is an executive director at Cushman and Wakefield. His background in real estate dates back to the late 1970s when he worked as a regional partner for the Lee Sammis Company, a commercial real estate development firm. He later moved to Colliers International, where he focused his efforts on the sale and leasing of office buildings and tenant representation. Hohenhaus remains active as a board member of ACRE, the Association of Commercial Real Estate.

Bruce Hohenhaus

Mia Kagianas
President, Associated Students, Inc.

Mia Kagianas currently serves as the president of Associated Students, Inc. She is in her third year at Sacramento State after moving from the Southwest suburbs of Chicago. The business major also serves as the ASI director of business and as the vice president of finance for the California State Student Association. 

Kagianas' passion for student outreach and connection with ASI stems from her experience as a host on KSSU, the University's student run radio station.

mia kagianas

Devin Lavelle, MPPA '11
Life Member

Devin has more than 10 years of experience advising leaders in the public and private sectors on public policy, program design, business development and marketing. He has advised state and local government, trade associations, unions and private sector firms.  He is a past president of our Hornets Policy & Politics Alumni Chapter and serves on the Downtown School of Public Affairs Task Force, where he has made significant contributions to their planning work.

devin lavelle

Alyson Matsuo '02 (Biological Sciences), MBA '13
Life Member

Alyson Matsuo received both her science and business training from Sac State. Both have served her well as an internship opportunity with Sutter Institute for Medical Research has turned into her career. In addition to research work, Alyson’s role has expanded to managing the labs and projects. Beyond her professional experience, Alyson is active in the community and sits on the SARTA MedStart Advisory Board.

Alyson Iwamura

Robert S. Nelsen
President, Sacramento State

Dr. Robert S. Nelsen, Sacramento State’s eighth permanent president, has extensive experience in public higher education that spans nearly three decades, most of it spent in the University of Texas system. He was president of UT-Pan American from 2010 to 2014 and most recently served as special advisor to UT’s executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. Nelsen earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from Brigham Young University, and his doctorate from the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, where his fields of study were modern literature, modern philosophy and modern political theory.

President Robert Nelsen

Frances Palu '14 (Sociology)
Staff Representative

Frances Palu is an Administrative Analyst for the Office of the Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs. After receiving her bachelor’s in sociology from Sacramento State, she became more involved with the Alumni Association. She is the president of the Veterans Alumni Chapter and is an active member of the Asian Pacific Islander Alumni Chapter. She’s also on the TOFA, Inc. Board of Directors and serves on the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA) Steering Committee. Frances is currently pursuing her master’s in political science.


Mike Rizzo '89 (Business Administration)
Life Member

Mike Rizzo is the Chief Banking Officer, Capital Region at Five Star Bank. He is the driving force behind Five Star Bank's emphasis in Emerging Business Banking which focuses on technology, life sciences and clean technology companies. He's also a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington. Mike is involved in several groups in the capital region that support the emerging markets. He's also on the American River Parkway Association Board.

mike rizzo

Tim Sbranti '97 (Government)
Annual Member

Tim Sbranti is the Mayor of Dublin and teaches at Dublin High School. Sbranti is on the board of directors for several Tri-Valley charitable organizations, the former president for the Dublin Lions Club and running for the 16th Assembly district seat currently held by Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan. He also publishes the Around Dublin weekly column for the Valley Times and volunteers as the baseball coach, student activities director, varsity boys tennis coach and assistant varsity boys basketball coach at Dublin High School.

Tim Sbranti

Hadi Shirmohamadali '09 (Economics), EMBA '12
Annual Member

Hadi holds two degrees from Sac State and is dedicated to seeing the University succeed. In his role as a product manager, he leads and manages all IT operations, in conjunction with technical and business specialists, performing systems analysis methods while providing solutions to complex and high-risk projects and programs. Hadi serves on the board of our Business Alumni Chapter, is a NELP fellow and a youth basketball coach for the City of Davis.

hadi shirmohamadali

Nancy Tooker, EdD (Emeritus Faculty)
Retirees Association Representative
Life Member

Nancy Tooker is dean emeritus for the College of Arts and Letters, completing a combined 33 year academic profession at Sacramento State. During her tenure with Sacramento State she served as associate dean for the College of Arts and Letters and director of the Learning Skills Center. Dr. Tooker held a number of senior leadership positions with the University to include department chair and faculty senate. Her appointment by the Sacramento State Retirees Association continues her leadership position with the Board, a service she has continued since 2006.

nancy tooker

Ryan Wood '01 (Asian Studies)
Annual Member

Ryan practices law in the area of construction and business litigation. He earned his law degree at McGeorge School of Law and also has experience in environmental litigation, appellate and writs, corporate law and intellectual property and licensing. Ryan has also served in the U.S. Navy both active duty and as a reservist. In his spare time he also serves on the Board of the Youth Development Network and continues to be active in the veterans’ community.

ryan wood