New Alumni & Friends Executive Team 

The Alumni & Friends Association recently announced the newly elected executive team for its 2011-2012 Board of Directors. The Alumni & Friends’ executive team governs a 25-member volunteer board and an association composed of more than 1,200 CI alumni and friends, with the goal of keeping members connected to the University and each other. The association organizes special events, perks and programs throughout the year, focusing on mentorship and career networking opportunities, and including baseball and hockey nights, special member discounts and newsletters. It also strives to increase membership and engagement and showcase the success of CI alumni. 

The new executive team members are as follows:

Executive Team 

Left to Right:

Fernando Mora – President 

Mora, of Oxnard, graduated from CI in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. He is the Western Account Manager for Hygiena, LLC in Camarillo, and has served on boards for the Boys & Girls Club of Camarillo and the Camarillo Chamber Young Professionals Group. As President, Mora will preside over board and member meetings, set the tone and key focus areas for the association, and report annually to the University President.

Gary Wartik – Vice President 

Wartik is a co-founder and Senior Consultant at Vision Consulting Group in Camarillo, which specializes in economic development, general business planning and business turnaround/ Chapter 11 situations. He served as the Economic Development Manager for the City of Thousand Oaks between 1998 and February 2011. He holds a J.D. from San Fernando Valley College of Law, a Master’s in Public Administration from USC and a B.A. from CSU Northridge. As Vice President, Wartik will lead the association in the absence of the Board President and help in the day-to-day governance of the group. A longstanding “friend” and board member of the association, Wartik’s experience will help balance the talents of the younger committee members. 

Austin Walker – Secretary 

As Secretary, Walker is responsible for meeting minutes, membership lists and records, and reports and mailings for the association. Walker is a 2008 business graduate of CI who found his career through the Alumni & Friends mentorship program. He works as a Business Development Manager for Dale Carnegie Training in the greater Los Angeles and Ventura County areas and lives in Newbury Park.

Brandon Blake – Treasurer 

As Treasurer, Blake will oversee financial records and accounts for the association. Blake is the Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of the Arete companies, which acquire and invest in distressed real estate properties and also work with some of the nation’s largest health plans to identify and recover claim overpayments. Blake is a 2005 business graduate of CI and a resident of Ventura.

Leah Lacayo – Immediate Past President 

As Immediate Past President with two consecutive terms under her belt, Lacayo will provide institutional knowledge that will carry over into the new executive team. She has been a “friend” of the association and an active supporter of the University since its inception. Lacayo volunteers her time for more than a dozen boards, committees and organizations that benefit the community, including the Congress of California Seniors, Downtown Center for the Arts in Oxnard, Ventura County Community Foundation - Destino, and the Ventura County Fair Foundation. She lives in Newbury Park.