Collins Alumni Society Executive Board
- President - Lera Van Straatum '09, City Club LA
- Vice President - Joshua Aldama '10, Blueprint Studios
- Treasurer - Brandon Feighner '05, CBRE Hotels
- Director of Philanthropy - Nestor Gonzales '14, Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits
- Director of Membership - Sacha Tani '11, LA Tourism & Convention Board
- Director of Communication - Celine Ison '15
- Board Director - Jon Farzam '11, Shore Hotel and Ocean View Hotel
- Board Director - Ole Tycho Peterson '18, Event Consultant
A Message from the Board
Dear Collins College Family,
As we enter the new 2018, we are looking back and saying goodbye to the eventful 2017. Our calendar of alumni events, just like our executive team and membership base, has been growing to bring more diversified networking opportunities to our alumni circles.
In February of 2017, The Collins Alumni Society hosted an inaugural alumni-student Speed Networking event on campus sponsored by our own alumnus Peter Nguyen ’11 of Broken Rice, a successful food truck serving delicious rice bowls. Over 35 current students got to enjoy their lunch, while meeting and mingling with alumni representing five hospitality niches. We are in the works of the second annual speed networking event for 2018 and we would love your participation to broaden our current students’ career possibilities.
Another memorable event hosted by The Collins Alumni Society was the LA Farmers Market tour in April with our alumna Lisa Scalia ‘83 of Melting Pot Food Tours. Lisa led the tour and shared with 30 attendees LA’s culinary treasures and its history in a fun and hospitable way. It was such an incredible pleasure to learn from Lisa, sample famous bites, and soak up her passion for food and travel.
The summer of 2017 had another exciting moment for The Collins Hospitality Society – Senior Send-Off event was finally brought back by popular demand! The executive board hosted 60 graduating seniors for lunch, sponsored by The Habit Burger Grill, and a conversation on how to stay connected and involved with the tightly knit Collins College Family after graduation. Over 40 graduating seniors participated in the 50% off deal and signed up for a Lifetime Membership to the Collins Hospitality Alumni Society. We will definitely repeat this tradition in 2018!
However, among all the events and activities of this year, the most memorable was the Night at the Ranch in July. A multi-course wine dinner was served at the newly reinvented RKR. The Collins Alumni Society, Board of Advisors members, faculty, staff, and numerous alumni friends gathered to celebrate the namesakes of the College – Carol and Jim Collins. The couple has made unprecedented legacy gifts to the Collins College of Hospitality Management. Therefore, we wanted to recognize that with unique pineapple shaped crystal awards – one for each Carol and Jim. Through generous contributions from attendees present, $6,000 was raised for a scholarship fund that will be distributed by The Collins Alumni Society board to outstanding current students. The night was filled with true hospitality and appreciation for the students, faculty, and staff, who all volunteered their time and efforts to put such a beautiful evening on.
With so much going on and so much to come, it is only natural that we invite other Collins alumni to join our growing team. The Collins Alumni Society e-board has gained another valuable team player this year – Celine Ison ’15 – who is joining as the new Director of Communication. Celine is preparing to invite you to our unique gatherings such as brewery tours, sporting events, and wine tastings across Los Angeles and Orange County in the forthcoming months.
Stay up-to-date on all of our upcoming events via social media and email updates. Make certain to be included in these updates by contacting Diana Garcia, Communications and External Relations Specialist, who plays a major role in all of our alumni activities. She can be reached via email at email@example.com. We would love to see your friendly face at the next gathering!
Collins Alumni Society President
For information about the society or alumni activities at the college contact Diana Garcia, communication and external relations specialist for The Collins College, at firstname.lastname@example.org.