Two alums join Sac State president on mayor’s technology council

Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen and two University alumni are among the 19 individuals selected for the City of Sacramento’s Technology Council, an advisory group that will provide input to the Mayor’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Sacramento Business Journal reported today.

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Amy Tong

Along with Nelsen, Amy Tong ’94 (Management Information Systems), MBA ’98, and Ryan Montoya EMBA ’16 will serve on the committee, the latest example of how Sacramento State is playing an important role in the Capital Region’s growth. Tong serves as director and chief information officer for the California Department of Technology. Montoya is the chief technology officer for the Sacramento Kings.

President Nelsen has made innovation and entrepreneurship a key priority for the University, and one that recently was boosted by a $6 million donation to establish a Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on campus.

As CTO of the most populous state in the U.S., Tong is responsible for keeping technology up and running for more than 130 government agencies, as well as providing strategic guidance for California’s IT programs and policy. Montoya was a driving force behind making the Kings’ new arena, the Golden 1 Center, one of the world’s most technologically advanced.

According to the Business Journal, the technology committee had an introductory meeting last week and next meets in February. Recommendations for the unpaid positions were made by the mayor’s innovation office and approved by Mayor Darrell Steinberg. The council was created in 2016 under then-mayor Kevin Johnson.

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Sac State alum is United States’ first female Sikh mayor

Didbal
(Courtesy City of Yuba City)

Sacramento State alumna Preet Didbal ’98 (Physical Education) is making history and making headlines: The current Yuba City vice mayor will become the first female Sikh mayor in the United States when she is elevated to the position tomorrow night.

Didbal also was the first Sikh woman elected to a U.S. city council when she originally won her council seat in 2014, following eight years on the city’s planning commission.

You can read the full story in the Sacramento Bee.

In addition to political leaders at the state and federal level, Sacramento State has produced several of the region’s mayors. They include Christopher Cabaldon MPPA ’94, the sitting mayor of West Sacramento; Edward Chavez B.S. ’72 (Criminal Justice), mayor of Stockton from 2005-2009; Karen Humphrey M.A. ’03 (Social Science/Interdisciplinary Studies), mayor of Fresno from 1989-1993; and two Sacramento mayors, Phil Isenberg ’61 (Social Science) from 1975-1982 and Joe Serna ’66 (Social Science/Ethnic Studies) from 1992-1999.