David Bacci doesn’t completely agree with the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” It’s both, said Bacci, a 2010 graduate of Fresno State’s executive MBA program who is now the regional vice president of the non-profit Hospital Council of Northern and Central California, representing nearly 200 hospitals throughout the state.

For the 35-year-old Hanford native who graduated from Immanuel High School, a career path was not always clear. Two things were for sure — he was driven and people-oriented. Always a go-getter and active in the community, Bacci said he made connections that will last a lifetime while studying in the Craig School of Business at Fresno State.

The executive MBA program is typically designed for people who have at least 10 years of professional experience and three years of management experience, and cannot attend Fresno State’s traditional Monday through Thursday MBA program.

“The relationships that you build in school will actually profoundly affect the trajectory of your life later,” Bacci said.

Bacci, who earned his bachelor’s degree in communication from Fresno Pacific University, values strong communication skills and the importance of networking. He has also learned the importance of connections and relationships and how those can translate into the business world.

Bacci works directly with hospitals and public health officials to identify needs and ensure facilities are ready to care for patients and have essential supplies even in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. He and his team focus on local issues and connect lobbyists or subject matter experts to the hospitals where there is a need or crisis.

“The MBA program helped me to be aware of how we think and approach things,” Bacci said.

Bacci was recently recognized as one of 20 people in ADVOCATE’s “20 LGBTQ+ People Working to Save Lives on the Frontline.” Bacci and his team work to provide personal protection equipment such as gloves, masks and gowns to those working on the frontlines in hopes of helping to flatten the curve.