The Sac State alum behind the world’s smartest arena

When visitors to the new Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento gaze upward at the massive, ultra-high-definition scoreboard or effortlessly post a selfie over the wireless network that can handle more than 250,000 Instagram pictures per second, they can thank Ryan Montoya, the chief technology officer for the Sacramento Kings and a proud graduate of […]


When visitors to the new Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento gaze up at the massive, ultra-high-definition scoreboard or effortlessly post a selfie over the wireless network that can handle more than 250,000 Instagram pictures per second, they can thank Ryan Montoya, the chief technology officer for the Sacramento Kings and a proud graduate of Sacramento State’s Executive MBA program.

Montoya’s vision and work have resulted in an arena that has been hailed as one of the world’s smartest and most technologically advanced. His responsibilities with the Kings include providing direction and managing the team’s new technology and innovation strategies to enhance the fan experience and improve the team’s performance.

“We’re not only connecting our fans to each other, but we’re connecting our fans to the city and the city to the world,” he says.

Sacramento State already has made history at Golden 1 Center. In November, the men’s basketball team faced UC Davis in the arena’s first college game. On May 19-20, the facility was the site of more Sacramento State memories when it hosted the University’s Spring Commencement ceremonies.

Golden 1 Center’s debut last year represented an exciting personal milestone for Montoya. “What an amazing day!” he posted on Sac State’s Instagram (@sacstate) while starting a guest takeover of the account during the center’s opening weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Sharing one photo on Instagram, he wrote, “Golden 1 Center looks even more beautiful at night. I’ve worked on this project for the last three years, and I have never been more #sacramentoproud than today.”

As the chief technology officer for the Sacramento Kings, Ryan Montoya, seen here in the Kings’ practice facility, is responsible for keeping Golden 1 Center’s state-of-the-art technology infrastructure up and running. (Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone)

Like any good CTO, Montoya was excited to share images of the new center’s state-of-the-art internet infrastructure (“over 1,000 miles of structured cabling and 2,100 gig pipes” with “enough capacity to accommodate 250k Instagrams a second”) and the “world’s largest indoor scoreboard” with the “first ultra HD #4K” hanging over center court of the basketball arena.

A native of Colorado, Montoya received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s in international studies/security from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver before earning his MBA at Sacramento State. He began his career as an aide to President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and two Cabinet secretaries.

He credits the Executive MBA program with helping him to become a smarter and more effective leader.

“I not only learned the framework I needed to be a better person, but I also learned some of the core skills that are needed to take an organization or a company to the next level,” he says.

Three alums featured in Comstock magazine’s ‘emerging leaders’ issue

Sacramento State graduates make up the heart of the region’s workforce, so it’s no surprise to find three Hornet alumni among the young professionals featured in Comstock’s annual list of emerging leaders in the Sacramento area.

Anne Amaral ’01 (Communication Studies), Patrick Harbison ’06 (Communication Studies), and Rachel Viller ’09 (Business Administration/General Management) are among those the magazine hails as “today’s visionaries, tomorrow’s vision” and professionals who will “shape the Capital region for generations to come.”

  • Amaral is a partner at Downey Brand, Sacramento’s largest and most prestigious law firm, where she was involved in a high-profile legal case that resulted in what is believed to be the largest sanction award issued.
  • Harbison owns the boutique firm Patrick Harbison Public Relations, where he oversees four staff members and manages approximately 25 projects per year. Among his recent projects was handling public relations for the inaugural Sacramento Mural Festival.
  • Zillner began her career in banking as a teller at age 16 before moving to SAFE Credit Union, where she now is assistant vice president of community banking.

In addition to their professional lives, all three are active in their community. Amaral has served on the board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Harbison helped the LGBT Community Center organize a rally in midtown Sacramento following the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting, and Zillner created and manages SAFE’s financial literacy program.

Sacramento State alumni aren’t the only Hornets you’ll find in the latest issue of Comstock’s: Three Sac State students leaders are featured in an advertisement showcasing what it means to be “Made at Sac State.” Look for ASI President Patrick Dorsey, ASI Executive Vice President Kylee Homecillo and ASI Vice President of University Affairs Vanessa Gonzales clad in their green-and-gold gear and flashing #StingersUp.

Read the full article online or pick up the latest copy of Comstock’s.

Elaine Welteroth helps Teen Vogue find its voice

In December, an online article titled “Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America” went viral, quickly becoming the most-read story in Teen Vogue for 2016 and signaling to the world that the magazine planned to be a powerful voice during the Trump era.

Since then, Teen Vogue editor and Sacramento State alumna Elaine Welteroth (’07, Communication Studies/Public Relations) has been on the national media interview circuit, explaining that the shift to a more overtly political tone shouldn’t be as surprising as people think.

Teen Vogue has as much right to be at the table talking about politics as every young woman right now,” Welteroth said during a Feb. 13 appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

The magazine’s current print issue, focused on love and relationships, features an article on living as a young queer person during the Trump administration, as well as the story of a Syrian refugee who found love in America. Browse the Teen Vogue website, and intermixed with the latest fashion trends and entertainment gossip are pieces about immigration policy, depression in black women and the Russian hacking scandal.

Welteroth is just the second African American editor in the more than 100-year history of publisher Condé Nast. Following stints at Glamour magazine and Ebony, she was hired as Teen Vogue’s beauty editor in 2012 before taking over the top spot in 2016. The magazine since has moved from monthly to quarterly, but under her leadership, its audience continues to grow. She and digital editorial director Phillip Picardi told Daily Show host Noah that monthly unique visitors to the website have increased from 2 million to 10 million, and that print subscriptions also are up.

Learn more about Welteroth’s work at Teen Vogue in the Daily Show interview and in this December segment featured on NPR.