Sonoma State University Names New Entrepreneur in Residence
The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the appointment of Chris Stewart, prominent entrepreneur, and co-founder and President/COO of speed tracking technology company, Pocket Radar, as its new Entrepreneur in Residence. Mr. Stewart will lead cross-disciplinary, co-curricular entrepreneurship and innovation activities and programs for students at Sonoma State University. Chris’ appointment was made possible by generous support from the Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation, and is part of the School of Business and Economics’ Inclusive Excellence Initiative that is focused on elevating student success and community impact by leveling the playing field for all students. Chris brings expertise in design, new product development, strategic business planning, patents, and consulting.
“Chris Stewart’s deep experience in leading successful technology startups, as well as his long-time support of entrepreneurial efforts at Sonoma State University and the regional community, makes him an excellent choice as our Entrepreneur in Residence,” Dr. Karen Thompson, Interim Dean of the School of Business and Economics said. “In addition to supporting all entrepreneurially-minded students on campus, part of Chris’ role is to work directly with SSU’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) office on infusing entrepreneurial thinking into programs and activities that foster innovative thinking and inspire action amongst first-generation college students. We look forward to leveraging Chris’ expertise and leadership in helping to launch careers and businesses out of Sonoma State University.”
“I have always been a believer in inclusive, quality education as a catalyst for change and innovation. I look forward to working with students, faculty, and staff to nurture diverse talents and abilities, build self-reliance, and empower students of all backgrounds through the principles of business entrepreneurship,” Chris Stewart, Entrepreneur in Residence at Sonoma State University and co-founder and President/COO of Pocket Radar said.
Chris Stewart has over 35 years of experience in leading technology companies and startups. Chris is a first-generation college graduate who began his career as a design engineer, and transitioned from research and development project manager to business manager at Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies. In 2009, he founded his own technology companies, Invention Planet LLC and Pocket Radar Inc. Chris has been a volunteer faculty member at Sonoma State University where he has lectured in courses on electrical engineering and business entrepreneurship. He also serves as chairman and lead industry advisor of the SSU Makerspace External Advisory Board and Electrical Engineering Department, respectively.
The SBE’s Inclusive Excellence Initiative aims to create learning opportunities and support programs that honor, educate, and elevate our diverse student and campus community. The initiative is led by a faculty and staff task force which coordinates workshops, data collection, and community engagement strategies geared towards enhancing student success. In 2017, the SBE introduced the Wine Industry Scholars Program (WISP), which provided initial funding of $350,000 dollars in support of programs and education grants benefiting first-generation college students and children and families of winery and vineyard workers. Donor support for the Wine Industry Scholars Program has now exceeded $3 million. Recently, the School launched a student success workshop series focused on training and equipping faculty with tool-kits for effective teaching and engagement with diverse student populations. In addition, SBE faculty, staff, and administrators have engaged in college and career talks with first-generation students of both Upward Bound and the Educational Opportunity Program.
For more information about the Inclusive Excellence initiative, or for information regarding undergraduate and graduate business degree programs, please call (707) 664-2377 or visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe.