Where Are They Now?

in very different fields, these alumni are truly distinguished

Ahmed V. Ortiz

These five graduates of Sacramento State were honored with Distinguished Alumni Awards, accepting their honors during a late-September gala.


Communications expert

Sac State graduation/degree: 1972, English. Also editor, State Hornet.

Career highlights: Noted speechwriter and communicator. Worked at Lockheed Martin, editing company’s worldwide publications. Promoted to manager of corporate communications/internal and employee communications, creating two more award-winning programs and becoming anchor of the company’s in-house television network. Wrote speeches for former governors Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

What it means to Margot Bach:
 “I go to meetings and I hear (that Sac State is) just a commuter campus. We are so much more than that.”


Business executive

Sac State graduation/degree: 1995, Accounting; 2011, MBA.

Career highlights: Youngest and first female chief financial officer of Sunsweet Growers Inc., the world’s largest handler of dried fruits. Formerly an auditor with Arthur Andersen. Was first in her family to attend college.

What it means to
Ana Klein:
“My experience at Sac State helped shape my life with great teaching, opportunities to network and real-life learning scenarios that contributed greatly to the position I’m in now.” 


Physician, cancer researcher

Sac State graduation/degree: 1984, Chemistry.

Career highlights: Top surgeon and cancer researcher. Endowed Professor of Medicine with UC Davis’ Comprehensive Cancer Center. Has two cancer-treatment patents pending. Work has garnered national honors and respect.

What it means to Joseph Tuscano:
“There is no way I would be where I am today at all if not for not just my education but the guidance and interactions that I had here at Sac State. That is the foundation that is the basis for my entire career and basically my life. It’s pretty incredible.”


Founder of nonprofit Valley Vision

Sac State graduation/degree: 1990, Communications Studies/Government.

Career highlights: Founder and CEO of Valley Vision, supporting quality-of-life initiatives and problem solving. Previously, also worked in public policy and strategy, including time with Intel Corp., Sacramento Metro Chamber and as policy adviser at local and national levels.

What it means to
Bill Mueller:

“I am really proud of my Sac State education because not only did I have the best in theory, I had professors and teachers like Joe Serna who also understood the use and practice of it.”


Cofounder of PlanGrid

Sac State graduation/degree: 2008, Construction Management.

Career highlights:
With partners, founded PlanGrid, which created software that makes construction plans available on mobile devices. Company now has more than 330 employees and thousands of customers in 72 countries.

What it means to
Tracy Young:

“I was very lucky to have been part of the construction management program at Sacramento State. We really worked together to get through all our classes and all of the exams and midterms and finals. There was this camaraderie we had of just pulling everyone through to the finish line.” 


Ahmed V. Ortiz


Ahmed V. Ortiz is a writer/editor, working at Sac State since 2011, after a 13-year newspaper career. He is an avid cyclist, enjoys traveling and loves animals and most sports, especially baseball. Ahmed believes in doing no harm and that love is the only way.