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49er Industry Chats

Industry ChatsShare your industry perspective with fellow 49ers. We invite alumni professionals to share their observations on how COVID-19 has impacted their field. How is your industry evolving? How should new graduates prepare?

If you are open to hosting a 30-minute webinar or submitting a five-minute video clip, contact Ilana Tel-Oren at



Upcoming Industry Chats 

Monday, April 12, 2021

5:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. PST

As My Dad Always Says, “Working in Food, You’ll Never Go Hungry”

Eric J. Metz

Eric J. Metz ’03

Category Manager (Grocery, Home, Pet, Baby),

Eric has almost 30 years’ experience in the food industry. He’s held positions with some of the nation’s top supermarkets and food distributors including Melissa's Wholesale Produce, Wal-Mart, Wegman's, and H-E-B Grocery Company. He helped launch 200 stores across the U.S. with Tesco's Fresh and Easy as a marketing and merchandising manager. He then transitioned to JLE Enterprises, where he bought and sold food items with top discount retail chains like 99cent only stores, Grocery Outlet, and Big Lots. For the past six years Eric has worked as a Category Manager at, one of the world's top e-commerce retailers, purchasing hundreds of millions of dollars a year in sports nutrition and grocery products from top brands like Optimum Nutrition, Muscletec, Gerber, and McCormick.


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. PST

Conquering the Chaos of Creativity

Doug Patton

Doug Patton '80

CEO, Patton Design

Doug Patton is an esteemed industrial designer who was an inventor featured on Simon Cowell’s American Inventor. He has created over 300 products in 20 international market categories and has received over 150 patents and international design awards. Doug frequently works with companies like Apple, Microsoft, Disney, IBM, and Mercedes-Benz. It is his mission to inspire others to live more authentic lives by sharing his unique creative problem-solving process.


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