Pair of Hornet journalists receive lifetime achievement awards

Two Sacramento State alums have received lifetime achievement awards for their work in the journalism industry.

Cheryl Dell ’82 (Communications), who retired last year as publisher of the Sacramento Bee after 30 years in the industry, on Sept. 11 received the Ralph D. Casey/Minnesota Award, a top accolade for newspaper and news media publishers. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the nonprofit Inland Press Association, and given to publishers who bring about positive change “while exemplifying the finest in journalism and community service.”

A native of Modesto, Dell served as publisher of the Tri-City Herald and The News-Tribune in Washington State before returning home in 2008 to oversee the Bee. Sacramento State awarded Dell an honorary doctorate in 2017.

High honors also are being bestowed upon Sacramento State alum and NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, who in December will be awarded the 2018 Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism. The award recognizes the “outstanding career achievements of journalists whose work has made a lasting impact serving citizens in our democracy.”

Holt began working at NBC news in 2000 following nearly 20 years in local television, in 2015 becoming the first African-American solo anchor of a weekday network nightly newscast. The Rancho Cordova native studied government at Sacramento State, received an honorary degree in 2015, and returned to Sacramento in early 2017 as the first stop in his “Across America” series.

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President Nelsen honors nine alums featured on annual ’40 Under 40′ list

When the Sacramento Business Journal announced the full list of its 2017 “40 Under 40” last fall, Hornets were very well-represented. Nine of the 40 individuals on the list were Sacramento State alums, and this week they were celebrated on campus during a luncheon hosted by President Robert S. Nelsen.

In the back row above, from left to right, are David Harmon ’05 (Journalism), senior vice president at Bank of America Merrill Lynch; David Heitstuman M.P.P.A. ’09, executive director of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center; Ryan Harrison Sr. M.S. ’11 (Criminal Justice), principal consultant for the California State Senate; President Nelsen; Jovan Agee ’04 (Government), Capitol director for Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas and CEO of Savvy Consulting; and Allen Archuleta Jr. ’14 (Economics), CEO of Archuleta & Co.

In the front row, from left, are Annie Amaral ’01 (Communication Studies), partner at Downey Brand LLP; Veronica Smith ’01 (Business Administration), senior development manager for the City of Sacramento and founder of Dress for Success Sacramento; and Megan Laurie M.S. ’10 (Recreation Administration), director of development for WEAVE Inc. Not pictured is Koi Rivers ’08 (Communication Studies), founder and principal strategist at The Koi Rivers Experience.

The full 2017 list can be found on the Sacramento Business Journal‘s website (subscription required). Full profiles are being published at https://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/topic/40-under-40.

Alumnus Garry Maisel to receive President’s Medal at Commencement

Garry Maisel, seen above at an event held this month in his honor, will receive the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service.

When Garry Maisel ’80 (Business Administration) graduated from Sacramento State, he was named the most outstanding undergraduate in finance. It was the first in a long line of honors for Maisel, and at Commencement on Saturday, May 20, he’ll receive another: the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service.

Maisel is the president and CEO of Western Health Advantage, an organization dedicated to improving health care access and affordability, as well as a member of the University Foundation at Sacramento State’s board of directors and the co-chair of the Campaign Leadership Committee.

The President’s Medal for Distinguished Service is awarded at Spring Commencement ceremonies to recognize outstanding service to Sacramento State. The medal is not awarded every year and is reserved for individuals who have made the highest, and most positive, impact on the University.

Maisel also received a Distinguished Service Award from Sacramento State in 2013.

“One of the first lessons I learned at Sac State was, no matter which career field you’re in, it’s your interpersonal communication skills that can set you apart,” he told Sacramento State in 2014. “Occasionally I talk to students and I always stress that you need to be a good communicator in how you interact and deal with people.”

Founded in 1996 by Maisel, Western Health Advantage provides customer service to more than 135,000 members in Northern California and has a current annual revenue of $750 million. The company is regularly featured in the Sacramento Business Journal’s annual list of the top 50 fastest-growing companies.

Maisel personally and professionally supports a number of local organizations, including chairing the board of the B Street Theater and the Health Plan Alliance. He also currently serves or has prior service on several boards, including Women Escaping a Violent Environment (WEAVE), the California Association of Health Plans, the Mercy Foundation, the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, the American Heart Association, the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council, and Valley Vision.

His many honors include the 2015 Humanitarian of the Year Award from UCP Sacramento, the 2014 Executive Leadership Award from Community Link Capital Region, the 2011 Individual Arts Leadership Award from the Sacramento Arts and Business Council, and the 2010 Sacramento Metro Chamber Businessman of the Year.

At Sacramento State, Western Health Advantage has a room named at the University’s Center for Health Professions as a result of its contributions to the Campaign for Nursing.

For more information about Spring Commencement, visit csus.edu/commencement.