Merage Alum Paves New Roads at Toyota, and More – Los Angeles News

Merage Alum

We’ve rounded up the biggest stories coming out of business schools in the Los Angeles metro this week.

Zack Hicks: Toyota’s Leader for the Digital FutureUCI Paul Merage Newsroom

Zack Hicks, alumna of the Executive MBA program at the Paul Merage School of Business at University of California, Irvine, is leading the charge for digital intelligence at Toyota Motor North America. Using his experience from Merage’s EMBA program, Hicks charges forward as Toyota’s first-ever Chief Digital Officer, and CEO/president of Toyota Connected, a big data company that looks to use technology for improving the driving experience.

Zack Hicks, Merage EMBA alum and Toyota’s Chief Digital Officer, and CEO/president of Toyota Connected

In 22 years with the company, Hicks has served in a wide variety of departments, from financial services to IT. When deciding to go back for his MBA, he sought a program that would offer a new set of tools to draw from as he advanced in his career.

“I wasn’t interested in just checking the box, and I didn’t want to learn just theoretical aspects of business,” he commented. He also reflected on Merage’s diverse faculty and real-life business education: “I knew that made Merage a much richer learning environment,” he said in a recent interview with the UCI Paul Merage Newsroom.

Read more about Hicks’ work at Toyota and the EMBA program at Merage here.

Six Los Angeles Entrepreneurs Share Why Their City Is So Great For Starting a Business – Forbes

Though it may be better known as a city of dreams for Hollywood hopefuls, Los Angeles is also increasingly becoming a hub for business and entrepreneurship. Forbes recently compiled the insight of six members of the Forbes Los Angeles Business Council, sharing their thoughts on why Los Angeles is a top destination for entrepreneurs.

L.A. business leaders across a variety of industries shared their thoughts on the city as a perfect startup environment, including the city’s strong tech community, influx of startup talent, and its ‘second-mover’ advantage over Silicon Valley. “LA has the second-mover advantage when it comes to the startup scene,” commented Anna Nguyenova of TubeScience. “The office and living rent is significantly cheaper, there is more space to grow, more land to build on and it has one of the highest number of students graduating with a STEM degree.”

You can read more insights from L.A. entrepreneurs here.

G3X Conference Keynote Jan Masaoka to Examine the Challenges and Opportunities of the Nonprofit Sector – Mihaylo Newsroom

This August, the Mihaylo College of Business at California State University, Fullerton will host the weeklong G3X Conference to discuss issues in the social profit and social enterprise fields. The conference will be presented by the Mihaylo College Gianneschi Center.

Among the keynote speakers for the week will be Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits. Masaoka has been in the social sector in California for many years, serving from 2007 to 2015 as editor-in-cheif for Blue Avocado, an e-magazine for philanthropic professionals. In 2003, the Nonprofit Times named her the Nonprofit Executive of the year. In advance of the conference in August, Masaoka shared her thoughts on philanthropy and success in the field with Mihaylo.

“Start and perhaps stay with work that is close to the action,” Mihaylo commented, offering advice to young people looking to join the social profit sector. “Instead of seeking to be an art grantmaker, put in the time as the office manager of a community theater.”

You can read more about Masaoka and the upcoming G3X conference here.


About the Author

Alanna Shaffer

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas.

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