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Beach Connection: Volunteer Spotlight

Marilyn Yee


Kenneth Miller
1969, B.S., Business Administration
1971, MBA

 

 

 

 

Q: How did you become involved in CSULB and the CSULB Alumni Association?

As an alum of the Beach and very involved as a student between student government (ASB president and senator-at-large) and the SAE fraternity (IFC vice president), CSULB was one of the most defining periods of my life, as it is for most students. Having lived away from Long Beach for most of my adult life, I always appreciated what the university did for me, but I was not close enough to help. When I moved back to Long Beach eight years ago, it provided me the opportunity to get involved again with the university. 

My family, led by my brother, Tom’s, efforts, has been a long-time supporter of the President’s Scholars Program and that seemed a good place to start. I joined the President’s Associates and things picked up from there. Meeting the very committed CSULB development team provided avenues to other parts of the campus that could use my help. 

I have now had the honor of speaking to numerous campus organizations, including the President’s Scholars, where I am leading a two-part series on “Effective Leadership”; serving as the keynote speaker for the American Marketing Association’s convocation and the Golden Key International Honour Society’s annual New Member Recognition Event; and serving as emcee for the Concerts in the Grove for the last two years.

Q: What have you been doing since graduating from CSULB (career, family, other endeavors)?

I had a long (24 years) and thoroughly enjoyable career with Xerox Corporation, starting as a salesperson and finishing as a senior executive running the National Accounts program on the West Coast. While at Xerox, I began teaching at USC in their business school as a strategy to find outstanding talent for my organization in downtown L.A. Then, I founded an award-winning management consulting and training company, Impact Associates, focusing on strategic planning, leadership and sales training. Married to a CSULB alum, we raised two great sons, Sean and Ryan, both of whom live near the beach (Del Mar and Manhattan Beach). They are a great source of pride in my life. 

Q: What are some of your hobbies or other interests outside of volunteering?

Volunteering has been a big part of my free time for years. I have been honored to serve as an usher for my church and as a visitation minister to a shut-in lady for seven years. In addition, when I moved back to Long Beach, my high school alma mater, St. Anthony’s High School, was facing significant challenges. I jumped in and have served on the fundraising Foundation Board and as immediate past chair of the SAHS Advisory Council. Along the way, I joined the Century Club and now am a director for that great organization, which provides financial support to the sports programs in Long Beach, from the elementary level to CSULB. And, most recently, I am a founding member of Food for Kids, an organization dedicated to eradicating hunger in our elementary grades in Long Beach. It is a much bigger problem than people realize, with 70 percent of Long Beach elementary school children receiving fully or partially subsidized food through Title 1. I also serve as a mentor to a CSULB athlete, as arranged by the CSULB Director’s Circle.

When I am not volunteering, however, I love boating, especially I enjoy those priceless sunset cruises around Alamitos Bay and Naples Island with a great group of friends and my sons. I also enjoy golf and would call myself a “tournament golfer,” as that seems to be the only way I find time to do so. Attending CSULB athletic events, especially men’s basketball and women’s volleyball, among others, are a great way to support our school.

Q: What advice would you give to other alumni who would like to become more involved with CSULB?

President John F. Kennedy used the phrase, “to whom much is given, much is expected.” I have tried to live my life by those words and urge fellow alums to do the same. Thinking about what CSULB provided to each of us, a great and valuable university education at a very reasonable price, the California education system now faces immense challenges. There is so much we alums can do for our university. It is a way to ensure that current and future students have the same opportunities we were afforded.


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