University of California, Riverside

UCR Business

Dean's Speaker Series

deans speaker series

Hear from extraordinary innovators and visionaries.

The Dean's Speaker Series hosted by the University of California Riverside (UCR) School of Business, invites in-demand business leaders who have achieved national and international prominence in their respective fields to share their stories and expertise. This public forum brings a diversity of cultural, political and economic perspectives to UCR and the greater Riverside community.


Dean's Speakers Series Upcoming Speakers


2016-17 Speakers

Nov 15, 2016

Paran Johar '93  Video 

Paran Johar

Chairman of ad:tech and iMedia
Global CEO of Modern Marketing Summit

Paran Johar is the founder and global CEO of Modern Marketing Summit (MMS), and chairman of iMedia and ad:tech. As one of the largest marketing conference series, he oversees 20 events globally at MMS that bring together the top brands, agencies and advertisers from around the world. Johar has a diverse background in online branding and marketing communication, including Jumptap as CMO, and at leading agencies such as MRM, Tribal DDB, iXL, Poppe Tyson, Bates USA, Saatchi & Saatchi and BBDO Worldwide. His work has spanned a range of media and brands, including Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Wells Fargo, Abbott Labs, Microsoft, GM, Toyota, and KFC. Under his leadership, he has produced record growth and has won numerous awards, such as Adweek’s Interactive Agency of the Year.

Feb 9, 2017

Mark Rampolla  Video 

Mark Rampolla
Founder & CEO of ZICO Coconut Water, co-founder PowerPlant Ventures, author of High Hanging Fruit

Mark Rampolla is the co-founder and managing partner at Powerplant Ventures. He is also the founder and CEO of ZICO Coconut Water. Rampolla raised capital from friends, family and angels and launched in New York in the summer of 2004. From selling out of his van to yoga studios, he built the $1 billion brand that ZICO is today. Rampolla started off as an executive in the Latin American & Caribbean divisions of International Paper, where he says that getting experience as an ‘intrapreneur’ prepared him to become an ‘entrepreneur’. “If you can find an opportunity that no one else wants,” he said, “you have an excellent environment to prepare yourself for bigger challenges.” He is a graduate of Marquette and Duke. 

Mar 9, 2017

Candace Hunter Wiest 

Candace Hunter Wiest
President & CEO of West Valley Bancorp Inc., and West Valley National Bank

Candace Hunter Wiest is the president & CEO of West Valley Bancorp Inc., and West Valley National Bank, the West Valley’s only locally owned and operated community bank. Ms. Wiest was recruited to organize the Bank in March of 2006. It opened its doors on December 22, 2006 with $14,000,000 in start-up capital raised locally, and survived the recession under her leadership. Wiest’s career path has been unconventional. After spending time in the hospitality and insurance industries, she joined her first bank in 1986 as a loan clerk. In June of 2013, Wiest celebrated her 20th anniversary as a bank CEO. Formerly, Wiest was the President of Inland Empire National Bank in Riverside, California, and served twice as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. She is the first woman to be elected as a Class A Director in the Bank’s 100 year history. Wiest believes that community commitment is the cornerstone of community banking, and she serves as a member and director of several organizations. 

2015-16 Speakers

May 19, 2016

 Tyson M. Avery B.S.  Read More… Video 

 avery head shot
Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, CBRE, Inc

Tyson M. Avery is Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer for CBRE, Inc.  In this position, Mr. Avery is the senior executive responsible to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors for the global ethics and compliance program, which includes both domestic and international responsibilities.  His office is charged with creating and sustaining best practice systems, policies, and tools to enable employees, businesses and partners to act ethically, stay in compliance and live by CBRE’s corporate values of Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence (RISE).  He leads a team of over 60 dedicated professionals, and works in Los Angeles, CA. Tyson holds a B.S. from the University of California, Riverside and a J.D. from the University of Kansas.


April 6, 2016

Gilles Aouizerat B.S. ‘89 Read More… Video 

CEO, PCX, Inc. 

Gilles Aouizerat is CEO of PCX, Inc., a distributor of electronic components and semiconductors. Gilles has provided the vision and leadership to survive and thrive through 4 recessions while growing the organization to over 100 million dollars. Mr. Aouizerat is an entrepreneur who has led an extensive career in multiple industries. He also serves on the IDEA board ( as a member of the executive board, a leading independent electronic distribution non-profit trade organization in the electronic components and semiconductor space. Mr. Aouizerat earned a BS in Political Science from UCR in 1989. 

Nine Different Types of Intelligence

The Speed of Trust

Personal Top Most Influential Business Books

Trust Inflection Points

Feb 25, 2016

John Osley B.S. ‘89 Read More… Video 

Director of Global Product Marketing, Curvature
Mr. John Osley leads the Product Marketing and Business Development team at Curvature, a fast growing I.T. solutions provider based in Santa Barbara, CA. As a technology executive in the computer networking industry, John’s career experience includes sales, marketing, and channel positions at industry leading companies – most notably over 10 years at Cisco Systems. John graduated from UC Riverside with a B.S. in Business Administration and completed his MBA at Pepperdine University. He is currently a member of the SoBA Dean’s Advisory Council.

Jan 20, 2016

Craig Blunden MA '72 Read More…

Chairman & CEO, Provident Bank
Mr. Craig G. Blunden has been the Chief Executive Officer of Provident Savings Bank since 1991. Mr. Blunden has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Provident Financial Holdings, Inc. since its formation in 1996. Mr. Blunden has more than 29 years of experience in the financial services industry. He serves as a Treasurer of the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce. He has been a Director of Provident Savings Bank, F.S.B ('The Bank'), a subsidiary of Provident Financial Holdings Inc., since 1975. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership and the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce and serves as a director of American Bankers Association. He serves as the Director of The Riverside Economic Development Corporation and ABA Business Solutions Inc. Mr. Blunden has been the Director of Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, a subsidiary of Provident Financial Holdings Inc. since 2003.

Nov 20, 2015

Tobin Sloane BA '94, MBA '96 Read More… Video 

CFO of Ware Malcomb
Mr. Sloane is CFO of Ware Malcomb, a leading national design firm, providing planning, architectural, interior design, graphic design and civil engineering services to commercial real estate and corporate clients throughout the world. Established in 1972, the firm has 17 offices throughout the United States and Toronto, Panama City, and Mexico City. As the CFO since 2004, Mr. Sloane is an accomplished financial professional and business-savvy leader, bringing over 21 years of experience in financial analytics, accounting, management and operational leadership. He is well known for his strategic and innovative approach to the company's financial management and growth, with a strong commitment to> fiscal discipline to ensure the overall health of the firm. He holds a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance and Accounting and a Bachelor of Science with an emphasis in Business Administration, both from the University of California, Riverside.

Oct 21, 2015

Bob Stapleton BA '80, MBA '82 Read More…

Entrepreneur and Manager
Mr. Bob Stapleton is an entrepreneur and general manager with 25 years of experience in building high performance organizations. He is a management adviser and investor in portfolio companies of leading private equity firms. Mr. Stapleton co-founded two highly successful public companies, Western Wireless Corporation and VoiceStream Wireless (now-T-Mobile). Both companies were subsequently acquired for a total value in excess of $30 billion. In 2005, he founded High Road Sports Inc., a sports management company that owned and operated Team HTC-Highroad, the winningest professional cycling team in the world from 2007-2011. Currently, Bob is the director of World Triathlon Corporation, which owns and operates the Ironman brand and events, as well as USA Cycling, the National Governing Body of the sport in the United States. He earned his bachelor's degree in business administration and M.B.A. from UCR School of Business Administration.

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