The Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics at CSU Channel Islands (CI) will kick off its Spring 2012 Speaker Series Wednesday, Feb. 8, with actor and comedian Cheech Marin.  The performer is the first in a trio of speakers representing the entertainment and recreation industries.  Each speaker will discuss their background, work, and the current issues affecting their organizations and professions.  All three on-campus programs are free, include lunch or refreshments, and are open to the public by reservation.

Cheech Marin, Actor/comedian/director/writer
Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m. in Salon A
Best known as one half of the hilariously irreverent duo of Cheech and Chong, Cheech Marin also has authored three bilingual children’s books and developed one of the country’s finest and most extensive private collections of Chicano art.  He’s currently writing a book of comedic essays entitled “The Chimichanga Chronicles.”

Rich Block, CEO/Director, Santa Barbara Zoo
Friday, Feb. 24, at noon in Malibu Hall 100
Rich Block has served as CEO and Director of the Santa Barbara Zoo since 1998.  He previously held roles as Vice President for Science & Program Development at the Indianapolis Zoo and Director of Public Programs/Senior Fellow for World Wildlife Fund.  Block currently sits on the California Association of Zoos & Aquariums Board as Vice President.

Bob Santelli, Executive Director of The GRAMMY Museum
Friday, April 27, at noon in Malibu Hall 100
Bob Santelli has served as Executive Director of The GRAMMY Museum since 2006.  A noted blues and rock historian, Santelli is the author of more than a dozen books on American music and was the first Director of Education and Vice President of Public Programs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.  Santelli created “An Evening With...,” a series that features in-depth interviews with artists such as Dave Matthews, Brian Wilson, Annie Lennox, and Smokey Robinson.  While continuing to serve on the creative team for the annual GRAMMY® Awards Show, he also wrote and developed “The Official Michael Jackson Exhibition.”

"We are delighted to host these prominent industry leaders and look forward to their presentations,” said Dr. William Cordeiro, Director of the Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics.  “We are especially grateful that they will take time from their very busy schedules to speak to our students and community members."

The Speaker Series is sponsored and presented by the Business Advisory Council of the MVS School of Business & Economics.  RSVP at

Limited parking is available on campus.  Attendees should follow signs to the designated parking lot.  Additional free parking is available at the Camarillo Metrolink Station/Lewis Road parking lot in Camarillo with bus service to and from the campus.  Riders should board the VISTA bus to the campus; the fare will be complimentary each way for guests attending the Cheech Marin event.  Buses arrive and depart from the Camarillo Metrolink Station every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday.  For exact times, check the schedule at

For more information, contact Merissa Stith, Events Coordinator, at 805-437-8548 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 by visiting CI's Social Media.