Honorary Alumnus Award
CEO, The Bach Group, an investment-advising firm
By Dixie Reid
David Bach took just one class at Sacramento State – cost accounting, in the 1980s – but his contributions to the University and the CSU are considerable and ongoing.
That’s why he has received an Honorary Alumnus Award from the Sacramento State Alumni Association, part of the association’s annual Distinguished Alumni Awards.
Bach and his wife, Sac State alumna Margot Shinnamon Bach, have given more than $100,000 in recent years to student scholarships in the College of Arts and Letters, Guardian Scholars, and the Veterans Success Center.
“All of a sudden, I thought, ‘What am I going to do with my time?’ So I volunteered with the Sacramento Police Department.”
“She’s the daughter of a veteran. I’m a veteran and went to graduate school at UCLA on the GI Bill. So we’re sensitive to the needs of veterans,” Bach said. “And Margot is a longtime volunteer for the Sacramento Children’s Home and has an abiding interest in supporting foster youth, which is what drew us to the Guardian Scholars program.”
The Alumni Association honored Margot Bach ’72 (English) with a 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award, and she received the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service in 2015.
David Bach has been active on campus as well, recently completing a six-year term on the audit committee for University Enterprises Inc., Sac State’s authorized commercial-services auxiliary.
And he serves the entire CSU as a member of the Investment Advisory Committee, which oversees capital improvements on the 23 campuses.
Bach earned his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Long Beach State in 1969 and an MBA in Finance from the UCLA Anderson School of Management in 1976. He obtained his Professional Civil Engineering license while attending grad school.
After serving in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with his last assignment as a deputy area-facilities engineer at Camp Humphreys in South Korea, Bach worked as an investment officer for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. He retired in December 2010 after 31 years.
“All of a sudden, I thought, ‘What am I going to do with my time?’ So I volunteered with the Sacramento Police Department,” he said.
“I soon learned that police officers know all about the penal and vehicle codes and weapons and ammo, but when it comes to finances, they’ve had no training. Then I find out that a lack of financial knowledge is widespread. I’ve run into 20- and 30-somethings who never heard of compound interest. It’s pretty sad.”
So in January 2011, Bach opened The Bach Group. He takes his PowerPoint presentation to workplaces, educating employees about managing their finances and retirement accounts. He also analyzes investment possibilities for people who have no time or knowledge to do the research themselves.
Back on campus, he offers advice on financial literacy, investments, and other money issues to members of Sac State’s Renaissance Society, a lifelong learning program for older adults.
Each year since 1972, the Sacramento State Alumni Association has honored accomplished alumni and friends of the University with the Distinguished Alumni Awards (DAA). This year’s honorees were recognized during a virtual ceremony on Oct. 15. For more information, visit the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Awards page.