Deborah Ale Flint, Isaac Larian, Ana Klein, Joel R. Ewanick, Violet Palmer, Lori Volk, and Judy Belk
Story Made in the CSU

Meet Seven Industry Leaders ‘Made in the CSU’

Michelle Baik

CSU alumni are making a difference in every field throughout California, the nation and the world.

Deborah Ale Flint, Isaac Larian, Ana Klein, Joel R. Ewanick, Violet Palmer, Lori Volk, and Judy Belk

From left: Deborah Ale Flint, Isaac Larian, Ana Klein, Joel R. Ewanick, Judy Belk, Lori Volk, and Violet Palmer. These CSU graduates are leaders in aerospace and aviation, entertainment and media, agriculture, sustainability, athletics, business, and health and wellness.


​​Every year, the CSU graduates more than 100,000 students into California's workforce. In 2016, the system surpassed three million alumni from its 23 campuses. Our alumni are leading the way in every industry, from agriculture and engineering to hospitality and entertainment. Just as important, these professionals drive the state's economy, making California a leader around the world.

Meet some of the CSU's extraordinary alumni:

  • Judy Belk (CSU East Bay), president and chief executive officer, The California Wellness Foundation. Belk steers the foundation's mission to improve the health of traditionally underserved populations, including low-income individuals, people of color, youth, and residents of rural areas.​
  • Joel R. Ewanick (CSU Northridge), chairman and chief executive officer, FirstElement Fuel, Inc. Ewanick has taken a leadership role in building a network of hydrogen fuel stations throughout California and enabling the commercialization of fuel-cell vehicles to combat global warming. 
  • Deborah Ale Flint (San José State), chief executive officer, Los Angeles World Airports. Flint is currently leading an $8.5 billion LAX modernization project—the largest public works project in Los Angeles' history—and was appointed to former President Obama's Advisory Committee on Aviation Consumer Protection in 2012. 
  • Ana Klein (Sacramento State), vice president and chief financial officer, Sunsweet Growers, Inc. Born into humble beginnings, Klein ascended the ranks to become vice president and CFO of the world's largest handler of dried tree fruits, namely prunes.
  • Isaac Larian (Cal State LA), chief executive officer, MGA Entertainment, Inc. Larian founded MGA Entertainment—the largest private toy company in the world—and Project Mc2, which inspires young girls to engage in STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) activities.
  • Violet Palmer (Cal Poly Pomona), first female referee in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Two decades ago, Palmer made history when she became the first woman to not only officiate in the NBA, but in any major professional sport in the U.S.
  • Lori Volk (CSU Channel Islands), chief believer and founder, Lori's Original Lemonade. Volk sells her organic lavender, ginger and lemongrass lemonades nationwide in more than 500 locations, and supports local fundraising initiatives and local organic farmers. 

Meet more outstanding alumni who were "Made in the CSU."

Alumni; Leadership; Impact