Welcome to the new Business Administration Advisory Board

Members of the UCSC Silicon Valley Extension Business Administration Advisory Board

“These kinds of roles are all about giving back to the vibrancy of the Bay Area community, to make things happen, and to prepare the future workforce.”

Welcome to our new UCSC Silicon Valley Extension Business Administration Advisory Board members who had a coast-to-coast virtual kick-off meeting last night and began laying the groundwork for retooling our training program for business professionals in the age of COVID.

There is so much economic disruption that it is the perfect time to think creatively to meet new challenges, said Dean P.K. Agarwal.

Agarwal welcomed the business leaders to their new mission of redesigning Silicon Valley-style education in a new age of community-based, interactive remote learning. Joining the advisors are Claudia Terrazzano, Academic Services director, and Tanya Doyle, program manager.

“As I listen to your backgrounds I’m just totally in awe,” Agarwal said. “What a phenomenal group of people to take on the role of guiding this program.”

Students in the 25-unit Business Administration certificate program focus on best practices for management and the practical skills they need to handle the day-to-day aspects of running a business. They can choose courses from four tracks: business essentials, financial analysis and accounting, management development, and marketing and business development.

The new advisory board for the Business Administration certificate program includes:

  • Business instructor Reynold Lewke, M.S., M.B.A, LLB, a corporate attorney, litigator, author, and business advisor, is serving as chair. He’s also a certified personal trainer and Ironman coach with more than 22 Ironman distance races behind him and offers career coaching services for professionals and fitness and personal training services.
  • Another triathlete, on the board is Phil Brotherton, B.S.M.E, M.B.A., an investor and tech company consultant who spent 13 years in leadership at Network Appliance, including as vice president of the NetApp Cloud Group, the Microsoft Business Unit, and the Virtualization & Enterprise Applications Business Unit. Previously he led marketing departments at several technology companies in Silicon Valley.
  • Business and marketing instructor Craig Harrison, B.A., a professional speaker, trainer, consultant and coach, has conducted training for Fortune 500 companies since 1997 and has taught for UCSC Extension since 2001. He is a past president of the National Speakers Association—Northern California, and writes prolifically on communication, leadership, customer experience, and excellence.
  • Larry O’Connell, M.S., M.A., M.B.A, who teaches at several university and extension programs, including UCSC Extension, has over 30 years of experience in the corporate, government, and nonprofit sectors, primarily in the electrical utility industry. He serves on several boards for nonprofit environmental organizations in New York, the United Nations, and teaches financial literacy skills to incarcerated women.
  • Marcela Rodriguez-Rysbekov, B.S., a regional sales manager for Web Global Services Providers at Cisco Systems, was formerly with Dell, ArcScale, and Hitachi Data Systems. She is passionate about transforming sales teams, wake boarding, and  diversity of gender, color, and thought. She also owns a small Nicaraguan coffee company.
  • Business instructor Wenlei Shan, M.B.A., is a college business instructor and consultant with 17 years’ experience in client services, account management and multichannel optimization in the high tech industry.
  • Benjamin Wang, M.D., is the co-founder and chief medical officer of Nevap, Inc., a medical device startup addressing hospital acquired infections such as ventilator-associated pneumonia. He is the recipient of numerous commendations such as the 25th State Assembly District Community Hero (2017); the 2017 California Program for Entrepreneurship first prize winner; and the 2016 UC Davis Graduate School of Management Champion Award.

“Thank you for being part of our family,” Agarwal said. “These kinds of roles are all about giving back to the vibrancy of the Bay Area community, to make things happen, and to prepare the future workforce.”

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