2014 Distinguished Alumnus
Senior Director, Culture & Heritage, Global Talent Management, Nike, Inc.
1969, Bachelor of Arts, Speech Communication, CSULB
Nelson Farris is Nike’s longest tenured employee and estimates that he has held 20 different jobs during his 41+-year career and traveled to more than 50 countries on six continents. His journey with the “swoosh” began in 1972 when he opened a retail store in Long Beach that carried a line of running shoes from Blue Ribbon Sports, Nike’s original business name.
In 1973, he accepted a position as the company’s Southern California promotions, direct sales and retail manager. Career highlights include launching numerous international offices and promotional/sports marketing programs, overseeing the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games’ marketing efforts and managing the EKIN training program.
Farris is active in the community, serving on the board of directors for Marathon Education Partners and Marylhurst University (emeritus). He is also Sigma Pi national fraternity’s educational foundation director and a Special Olympics of Oregon volunteer. While attending CSULB, he joined the Sigma Pi fraternity and was a member of the Blue Key Honor Society.
As an alumnus, he is a founding member of the 49er Athletic Foundation and donates to the 49er Athletic Fund. He and his wife, CSULB alumna Sharron Dach (deceased), have three children, Bryan, Lori and Todd; and six grandchildren.
From Alumni Awards 2014 program