UPDATE: See bios and videos.

Kim Ruiz Beck, chairperson of Ruiz Foods, will be honored as the University’s 2017 Distinguished Alumna along with several other notable University alumni and friends at the Top Dog Alumni Awards Gala 5:30 – 9:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 13, at the Save Mart Center at Fresno State.

William Lyles, president and CEO of Lyles Diversified Inc., will receive the Arthur Safstrom Service Award.

Hosted by the Fresno State Alumni Association, the sold-out gala event held at the on-campus arena will honor 14 alumni and friends – including 12 Outstanding Alumni Awards – for their outstanding service to the community and accomplishments in their fields. Video tributes to each of the honorees will be viewed (and available online at fresnostatealumni.com).

They also will be introduced on the field during the Bulldogs’ 7 p.m. Homecoming football game Saturday night in Bulldog Stadium.

“With more than 325 past recipients, the Top Dog Alumni Awards Gala is a proud Fresno State tradition,” said President. Joseph I. Castro. “Each year’s honorees are a true inspiration to Fresno State students, alumni and the community.”

The Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest honor given to an alumnus/alumna of the university, is based on scholarship, service and leadership. This award recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in their post-collegiate career on a national or international level.

The Arthur Safstrom Service Award honors an alumnus, friend or past faculty or staff who has given exceptional service to the Fresno State Alumni Association and to the University.

“The Top Dog Alumni Awards Gala is an incredible evening filled with the bold stories of our most accomplished alumni,” said Jacquelyn Glasener, executive director of the Fresno State Alumni Association. “This year’s class of Top Dogs embodies the best of what it means to be a Bulldog. Their success provides endless inspiration for our students, alumni and the entire community.”

The Outstanding Alumni Award – one from each of the University’s 12 colleges, schools or divisions – recognizes Fresno State alumni for outstanding accomplishments and remarkable achievements in their field of study.

The 2017 Top Dog Outstanding Alumni Award honorees are:

  • Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology – Lynne Ashbeck (1976, ’77), senior vice president of Community Engagement and Population Wellness for Valley Children’s Healthcare and councilmember on the Clovis City Council.
  • College of Arts and Humanities – Warren R. Paboojian (1980), partner and attorney at law for Baradat & Paboojian, Inc.
  • Department of Athletics – David Carr, retired NFL quarterback and co-owner of the athletic training facility, Carr Elite.
  • Craig School of Business – Katherine Horstmann Huebert (1984), vice president of employee benefits for Horstmann Financial & Insurance Services, Inc.
  • Kremen School of Education and Human Development – Janet Young, Ed. D. (1977, ‘88), retired Clovis Unified School District superintendent.
  • Lyles College of Engineering – Mike Leonardo (1981), executive director for the Fresno County Transportation Authority.
  • Division of Research and Graduate Studies – Jamin Brazil (2015) managing partner of Vine Venture Capital.
  • College of Health and Human Services – Nancy Grosz Sager (1977), deaf and hard of hearing programs consultant for the California Department of Education.
  • Henry Madden Library – Paul E. Pierce (1970), founder of the organizational consulting firm Paul E. Pierce Organizational Design and Development.
  • College of Science and Mathematics – Rauden (Rod) Coburn III, DDS (1964), owner and lead dentist in private practice specializing in restorative dentistry.
  • College of Social Sciences – Lee Ann Eager (2002), president and CEO of Fresno County Economic Development Corporation.
  • Division of Student Affairs – Chris Roggenstein (1984), president and CEO of Forward Advantage, Inc. and Physician Network Advantage.

During the Top Dog Gala, the Alumni Association will recognize more than 100 student recipients receiving $146,000 in scholarships as part of the $4.1 million in scholarships awarded every year through Fresno State.

“The Fresno State Alumni Association is proud to be a leader among the 23 alumni associations of the California State University system in annual student scholarship giving,” Glasener said.

The event is now sold out. To be put on the wait list, email Katie Adamo Bewarder at katieadamo@csufresno.edu.



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