Camarillo, Calif., April 15, 2011 – The CSU Channel Islands (CI) Business & Technology Partnership (B&TP) will host the 7th Annual Leadership Dinner on Thursday, April 28, at the Embassy Suites Hotel/Mandalay Beach Resort in Oxnard.  The event will recognize CI’s many partnerships with the business and technology communities of Ventura, Santa Barbara and northern Los Angeles Counties.

The public is invited to participate and tickets are $150 per person.  Check-in and reception begins at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., and the evening’s program and awards ceremony at 8 p.m., will be emceed by KEYT’s Tracy Lehr. 

The B&TP is an element of the Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics and also acts as a fund-raising affiliate of the CI Foundation. Leadership and scholarship awards will be presented during the program.  The 2011 Leadership Awards will be presented to Dr. Kathryn Leonard, Faculty Leader of the Year; George S. Leis, Business & Community Leader of the Year, and Umrao Mayer, Technologist of the Year.

Dr. Kathryn Leonard, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, received her B.S. in Mathematics from University of New Mexico and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from Brown University.  Having worked at Pomona College, California Institute of Technology, and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute at Berkeley, she joined CI’s faculty in 2006.  Working on geometric models of visually relevant structures in two-dimensional images, she has published academically on the topic of shape modeling and successful mentoring of undergraduate research.  Leonard has also garnered grants for CI totaling over $1 million in support for student and her own research.

George Leis is President, COO and a member of the Board of Pacific Capital Bancorp and Pacific Capital Bank, N.A. As a graduate of CSU Northridge, he became a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor, joining Pacific Capital Bancorp in 2006, after holding positions as Managing Director, U.S. Head, Products and National Practice Leader for Investments at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management; Senior Vice President and Director of Private Client Services Centers at Wells Fargo, and Senior Vice President and Manager for Bank of America Private Bank.  Leis is a member of numerous boards of directors in this region, including the CI Foundation Board.

Born in India, Umrao Mayer grew up in Camarillo.  He developed businesses in this area, including Kush Games, which he sold to Sega in 2004.  He has also written a book, Great as Usual, about living to one’s highest potential. Mayer’s latest venture, Zindagi Games, is a highly technological, innovative software development company specializing in console gaming.  Mayer was instrumental in bringing PlayStation Move to market.  Their award-winning game “Sports Champions” is the best selling PS game worldwide.  Corporate culture at Zindagi is both innovative and democratic with a family first culture and an emphasis on the overall well-being of each employee.

Five $4,000 scholarships, provided by the B&TP will be awarded to the following students who have demonstrated academic excellence and commitment: Jamie Gonzales, Nursing; Lace Granatelli, Biology – Pre-Professional Studies; Brittany Lampman, Biology – Pre-Professional Studies; Tatsiana Parker, Biology – Medical Imaging, and Susanna Sukiasyan, Biology – Medical Imaging.

The CI Foundation will also recognize the following sponsors: Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Airborne Technologies, Pacific Coast Business Times, Aera Energy LLC, WeselyThomas, FaceFirst, St. John’s Regional Medical Center/St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital, Barbara and Wayne Davey, Sheeler Moving and Storage Inc., Elise and Bill Kearney, and Capistrano’s Restaurant & Catering.

Reservations and additional information can be obtained by contacting Alissa Larreta, Advancement Events Specialist at 805-437-8916 or

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI's strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master's degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI's Social Media.