Economics Associate Professor Mira Farka (left) and Provost Emeritus Anil Puri (right) on stage at the Economic Forecast at the Hotel Irvine on Oct. 25, 2018.

Mihaylo College Associate Professor of Economics and Woods Center Co-Director Mira Farka (left) and Provost Emeritus and Woods Center Director Anil Puri (right) examined the three-year outlook for the economy at the 2018 forecast. Photo by Matt Gush

Provost Emeritus and Woods Center Director Anil Puri and Associate Professor of Economics and Woods Center Co-Director Mira Farka examined the outlook for the Orange County, U.S. and global economies at the 24th Annual Economic Forecast, providing business leaders and academics with insight into the economy’s performance over the next three years.

Despite some turbulent times in the stock market early in 2018, the prolonged expansion from the depths of the Great Recession has continued this year. This matters greatly for American workers, as unemployment has tumbled to 3.7%, the lowest rate since 1969, and job and wage growth has continued apace.

Gross domestic product (GDP) – on both the national and local levels – has continued to expand, and the bull market that began in 2009 has now broken the record set in the 1990s to become the longest bull market in the post-World War II era. This has occurred despite such challenges as the worst political and social instability in decades and the threat of a trade war between the world’s economic superpowers.

Against this backdrop of steady and mature growth coupled with continued headwinds, Cal State Fullerton Provost Emeritus and Woods Center Director Anil Puri and Mihaylo College Associate Professor of Economics and Woods Center Co-Director Mira Farka presented their annual report on the state and future of the economy. This conference was held at the Hotel Irvine on Oct. 25, an event attended by hundreds of Orange County business and community leaders and academic minds. Read More

Randy Gardner, retirement and estate planning professional and CSUF Mihaylo College Personal Financial Planning Program lecturer. The Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College Personal Financial Planning Program is welcoming Randy Gardner as a new lecturer. He is an author, speaker and founder of Goals Gap Planning LLC.

With more than 35 years of experience in the retirement and estate planning fields, the Harvard alumnus will teach FIN 408 – Retirement Planning and FIN 409 – Estate Planning, two new courses that will equip students to advise clients on preparing for major financial life events.

Gardner discusses his background and how people at all stages of life can plan ahead to maximize their golden years.

What first drew you to the retirement and tax planning fields?

I started my career as a tax attorney and adviser with Ernst & Young. I was well trained in tax, but realized the advice clients wanted crossed over to other disciplines, namely investment, insurance, retirement and estate planning, what I refer to as the financial planning circle of subjects that are the core of academic programs in personal financial planning across the country. It made me realize that reducing client tax burdens is not the center of the advising relationship, accomplishing a client’s life goals is. Read More

The Cal State Fullerton branch of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), in partnership with the Costa Mesa-based Orange County Market Place, has launched OC Made, a free four-week course for up to 25 entrepreneurs seeking to participate in the market’s annual Small Business Saturday on the weekend of Nov. 24.

A local icon for half a century, the market has served as an incubator for startup business models that have developed into major concepts, such as Tilly’s and Rusty’s Potato Chips. Peyton Jeter, the market’s director of marketing, reached out to Mike Daniel ’99, director of the Mihaylo College chapter of the SBDC, to identify new opportunities to engage with entrepreneurs.

“At the SBDC, we see 5,000 clients per year, and the O.C. Market Place would be a great starting point for someone who has never started a business,” says Daniel. “So let’s say I wanted to sell chocolate bars. I can go to the market place and figure out what people are going to buy my bars for – it can be a test and validation of a concept before you spend the money on a brick-and-mortar storefront.”

The result was the OC Made program, which provides targeted and actionable support for business minds seeking to leverage the market to launch their concepts. Featuring SBDC consultants such as food industry veteran Greg Bell, the course, which will be held on Saturday mornings from Oct. 27 to Nov. 17 at the O.C. Market Place Pavilion, will discuss topics such as product development, market research, product sourcing, pricing, finances, marketing, social media, and the policies of the market and Small Business Saturday event.

To continue reading about OC Made, including how to get involved if you have a business concept, see the PR Web Press Release.

Hank Watkins, president of Lloyd's North America, speaking at the CSUF Mihaylo College Insurance Forum on Oct. 2, 2018

Hank Watkins, president of Lloyd’s North America and keynote speaker at the Oct. 2 Insurance Forum at Cal State Fullerton, noted the importance of innovative risk management for today’s communities. “It takes much longer than expected to rebuild, yet disasters can happen much faster than we anticipate. The purpose of this day is to understand the major threats, both manmade and natural, that impact all of us.”

From natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes to manmade threats such as terrorism and cyberattacks, today’s communities and businesses face an unprecedented array of risks. The risk management and insurance industry is rising to the challenge with technology-based tools, new products and improved outreach to support preparedness and resiliency. Industry professionals, students and academics gained from the perspective of the field’s leaders at the 2018 Insurance Forum, sponsored by the CSUF Mihaylo College Center for Insurance Studies and Lloyd’s North America, on Oct. 2.

With increased population and infrastructure at risk coupled with the challenges of climate change, the annual cost of damages from natural disasters has increased nearly tenfold since the 1970s. At the same time, human-caused risk ‒ ranging from terrorism, geopolitical unrest and cyberattacks to stock market crashes ‒ has risen to become the leading risk category for contemporary society.

CSUF Mihaylo College Insurance Forum keynote speaker Hank Watkins, president of Lloyd’s North America, which oversees the 332-year-old insurance giant’s operations in the United States and Canada, explained that identifying the risks facing communities and then mounting actionable preparedness initiatives is essential to ensure the resilience of the economy and society in the 21st century.

“There is great importance in recognizing risk before it happens and doing all you can to mitigate it,” he said. “It takes much longer than expected to rebuild, yet disasters can happen much faster than we anticipate. The purpose of this day is to understand the major threats, both manmade and natural, that impact all of us.” Read More

Mihaylo College Associate Professor of Economics Mira Farka discusses the outlook for the economy at the Spring Economic Forecast. The performance of the economy is vital for business, government, nonprofit and educational decision making, but how can you know where business is headed, particularly in these ever-changing times? Will home prices keep rising? Can unemployment go lower? What are business managers optimistic and concerned about?

By attending the 24th Annual Economic Forecast, hosted by the Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting and the Orange County Business Council (OCBC) and title sponsored by U.S. Bank, you will have exclusive access to a three-year outlook for the Orange County, Southern California, U.S. and global economies, with commentary by some of the leading academic and professional voices in the region.

Join CEOs, business managers, expert professors, local government officials and community leaders in the posh yet professional vibe of Hotel Irvine on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. for presentations by Provost Emeritus Anil Puri, Orange County’s premier economic researcher and former dean of Mihaylo College, and CSUF Mihaylo College Associate Professor of Economics Mira Farka, a rising star in the discipline and a previous senior economist at Deutsche Bank. Gain an applied perspective from two leading Orange County executives – Michael Camuñez, president, CEO and co-founder of strategic consulting firm Monarch Global Strategies LLC; and Lucy Dunn, president and CEO of the OCBC and former director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development, who will highlight the county’s game changers who are transforming our world.

Space is still available for attendees and additional platinum, gold and corporate sponsorships, so reserve your space today!

Just two hours of your day could transform your company or organization forever, with essential, actionable and up-to-the-minute statistics and commentary and the opportunity to network with the best of the best.

For more information, reach out to Sabra Ritter, senior director of the OCBC, at 949-794-7241 or or purchase your ticket online.

We hope to see you at the forecast conference!

Members of the CSUF Mihaylo College Finance Association (FA) pose in front of the Steven G. Mihaylo Hall in professional business attire.

Members of the Finance Association (FA) pose in the Mihaylo College Courtyard. Among the club’s objectives is connecting students with the finance professional community. “We bring in a lot of alumni, who are seeking talent from Cal State Fullerton. Some will help students get jobs or internships,” he says.

Seeking a career in finance? Cal State Fullerton’s Finance Association (FA) provides networking opportunities, insider perspectives on various subsets of the field and personal leadership development opportunities. The club’s president, Jeremiah Ho ’18 (risk management-insurance) discusses opportunities with the club.

From risk management to investment banking to personal financial planning, the finance industry provides a number of lucrative and versatile career paths for today’s young professionals. Cal State Fullerton students of all majors have the opportunity to connect with this industry and explore what roles best suit their objectives through the Finance Association (FA).

FA’s Mission

We connect students with financial professionals who will help them determine what they want to do after graduation and connect them with resources that will get them internships and full-time jobs.

Professional Development

The practical impact of the FA is visible in the focus on career connections. Networking opportunities occur numerous times each academic year. Read More

The nation’s more than 660,000 restaurants, including thousands in Orange County alone, not only offer careers in entrepreneurship, management and operations, but are also a growing space for marketers and social media professionals. Lauren Sassano ’12, a Mihaylo College MBA-marketing grad, discusses her role as senior marketing manager for Carlsbad-based Rubio’s Coastal Grill and how to get started on a food-based marketing career.

For Lauren Sassano ’12, a relationship to the restaurant industry goes back to childhood. “I’ve always had a passion for food,” she says. “My family owned several Round Table Pizza locations. So growing up, I worked at Round Table as a cashier. For me, food is not just fuel, it is something that brings people together in an experience. There is something very special about going out to eat with your friends and family. It is something I’ve always been passionate about.”

After earning her undergraduate degree in psychology from Whittier College, Sassano landed her first career job in the food services industry, working for TEAM Enterprises as strategic marketing team leader for their account representing Miller Brewing Company.

In 2007, she joined the fast-casual, fresh-Mex chain Rubio’s, where she worked in the field in Orange County for several years. Drawn to marketing strategy, she sought a corporate role. “When I was there, I would tell my boss that I wanted to work on programs that impact the entire system,” she recalls. Read More

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce at the podium of the Hotel Irvine conference room at the CSUF Mihaylo SEC "Hot Topics" Conference on Sept. 21, 2018.

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, keynote speaker at the 2018 “Hot Topics” Conference, discussed her views on balance between the needs of shareholders and stakeholders in corporate regulation. “Focusing on the company’s long-term value also serves the public,” she said. “The company’s price, which reflects the market’s view about the company’s long-term value, serves a critical role in ensuring that the company is actually meeting the public’s needs.” 

The 17th Annual SEC “Hot Topics” Conference, which provides regulatory and best-practice updates on legal and financial reporting for public companies, examined the technological, social, economic and regulatory trends transforming the field. The conference also provides continuing education for professionals and exposure to the industry for students and entrants into the industry.

About 500 auditors, regulators, accountants, finance professionals, legal authorities and members of the academic community received updates on corporate reporting and governance from industry veterans at the SEC “Hot Topics” Conference. Keynote speakers at the sold-out event on Sept. 21 included SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce and Edwards Lifesciences Chairman and CEO Michael Mussallem.

Sponsored by CSUF Mihaylo College’s Center for Corporate Reporting and Governance (CCRG), the 17th annual gathering of financial reporters focused on emerging opportunities and challenges for the field, including the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, cybersecurity, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, technology-based regulation, and future audit practices.

Through a live webcast, presented in partnership with CalCPA, practitioners from throughout the Golden State had an opportunity to gain continuing education through the event. Additionally, PollEverywhere, a survey software, facilitated increased audience involvement and discussion between speakers and attendees. Read More

CSUF Marketing alumnus Christopher Roberts '84, a pilot for American Airlines, at the controls of a Boeing 737-800.The CSUF Mihaylo College alumni footprint extends to the skies, where Christopher Roberts ’84 (marketing) regularly transports hundreds of passengers as an American Airlines Boeing 737-800 captain.

Since joining the airline in 1990, Roberts has logged more than 25,000 flight hours, amounting to nearly three years in the air.

Roberts discusses the motivation for his career, what he enjoys most about flying, and how his business school education has assisted him personally and professionally.

How did you develop your passion for flying?

I think for most pilots, the love of flying begins at an early age. When I was a young boy, my father would take me to the end of the runway at LAX because all I wanted to do was watch the jets take off and land. We would do this nearly every weekend for much of my preteen years. Read More

Micah Herman, president of the Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College Economics Association, stands next to Economics Associate Professor Mira Farka, who holds a certificate that he has just presented to her.

Then Economics Association President Micah Herman presents a certificate of appreciation to Mira Farka, associate professor of economics.

From government agencies to universities to Fortune 500 companies, economics graduates are at the forefront of understanding and planning for the changes transforming the business world and identifying and solving social problems.

The Cal State Fullerton Economics Association (EA) gives students of all majors an opportunity to network with economists, explore opportunities in the field and discuss the latest trends impacting the real world.

Among the club’s sponsored events this week are a  data analyst panel webinar at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at Pollak Library 440; a networking event with Deloitte Consutling on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 4 p.m. in LH 320; and a tutorial on basic R programming with Assistant Economics Professor Nick Huntington-Klein on Friday, Sept. 28, at 1 p.m. in UH 336.

Each semester, many members participate in a lecture series hosted by Huntington-Klein, providing a digestible preview of economics research. Speakers in September included USC Associate Economics Professor Paulina Oliva, who discussed the impact of pollution on migration in China; Joel David, assistant economics professor at USC, who examined risk-adjusted capital allocation and misallocation; and UCLA Assistant Professor of Economics Saki Bigio, who discussed credit, money, interest and prices. Read More