Mission-Driven Chief Executive Blair Kellison to Speak at School of Business and Economics Commencement May 19

Sonoma State University Honors Distinguished Scholars and First Generation Graduates in 2018 Celebration
May 16, 2018
Rohnert Park, California - The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that Chief Executive Officer of Sebastopol-based Traditional Medicinals, Blair Kellison, will address 550 graduating business and economics students, including 69 Sonoma MBA and Executive MBA degree earners, during a two-hour ceremony beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 19 in Weill Hall at Green Music Center.
As part of the SBE proceedings, first-generation college students, who make up approximately 20 percent of the graduating class, will be recognized with a special green cord as part of their academic regalia. Undergraduate student Vanessa Aguillard, who is expected to earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, will provide remarks to fellow graduates.
"For decades, Blair Kellison has been an authentic voice in driving alternative business practices into the mainstream. His 'Charge to Students' will no doubt highlight the essential role that businesses play in creating healthy and sustainable communities and economies," Interim Dean, Dr. Karen Thompson, said. "Blair is a long-time supporter of the life-changing programs we have at SSU, and we can see his example in our student speaker, Vanessa Aguillard, and in each of our graduates. We deeply value his leadership and involvement with students over the years, as a mentor, speaker, and advocate."  
"Sonoma State University is where I have grown as a leader, have gained confidence in myself, and have been shaped into the young adult that I am today," Vanessa Aguillard '18, B.S. Business Administration, said. "SSU has allowed me to not only speak out but to be heard when I have something to say. This university has made a difference in my life and pushed me to discover that I have an impact on creating positive change in this world."
During her time at SSU, Vanessa Aguillard was active in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Club, Black Student Union, Black Christian Ministry, and Intervarsity and SSU Women's Club Volleyball team, where she received back-to-back All-American Honorable Mention Awards from the Northern California Collegiate Volleyball League. She was also an Instructional Student Assistant for the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and was involved in service learning projects at the Sutter Care at Home Thrift Store, Mark Isaak Center homeless shelter, and Rohnert Park senior citizen bingo nights. 
In addition to Blair Kellison, special guests expected to attend the ceremony include Emily Hinton, Student Trustee on the California State University Board of Trustees, and Gary Heck, President and Owner of Korbel Champagne Cellars, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2014. Traditional Medicinals is a wellness tea company and a Certified B Corporation and California Certified Green Business. 
A full schedule of all SSU Commencement ceremonies may be viewed here: http://commencement.sonoma.edu/
For more information regarding the 2018 Commencement of the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University, or for information regarding SBE programs and degrees, please contact (707) 664-2377 or visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe.