CLA Distinguished Alumni 2014
Nelson Farris (Speech Communication ’69) is Nike’s longest tenured employee and estimates that he has held 20 different jobs during his 41+-year career and traveled to more than 50 countries on six continents. His journey with the “swoosh” began in 1972 when he opened a retail store in Long Beach that carried a line of running shoes from Blue Ribbon Sports, Nike’s original business name. In 1973, he accepted a position as the company’s Southern California promotions, direct sales and retail manager. Career highlights include launching numerous international offices and promotional/sports marketing programs, overseeing the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games’ marketing efforts and managing the EKIN training program. Farris is active in the community, serving on the board of directors for Marathon Education Partners and Marylhurst University (emeritus). He is also Sigma Pi national fraternity’s educational foundation director and a Special Olympics of Oregon volunteer. While attending CSULB, he joined the Sigma Pi fraternity and was a member of the Blue Key Honor Society. As an alumnus, he is a founding member of the 49er Athletic Foundation and donates to the 49er Athletic Fund. He and his wife, CSULB alumna Sharron Dach (deceased), have three children and six grandchildren.
Clyde Kendzierski (Political Science ’69 and Economics ’72) is considered a leading expert in the field of fixed income and equity investment. Before he joined Financial Solutions Group in 2007 and Kendzierski Associates in 2009, he was a manager of the Capital Markets Fixed Income Group at Bank of the West until 2002. Previously, he served as a senior bond trader for Union Bank and chief Eurodollar trader for First Interstate Bank. He is also a licensed contractor. When Orange County went bankrupt in 1994, Kendzierski was appointed to the Treasury Oversight Committee and continues to serve as an advisor. His financial expertise has resulted in interviews for media including radio station KFWB, L.A. news station KNX and the Wall Street Journal. While attending CSULB, he participated in leadership roles with several clubs, including the sailing and ski clubs and the Acacia Fraternity. As an alumnus, Kendzierski is both a donor and supporter of the Economics Department, regularly attending the Economic Forecast and sitting on its advisory board. Both of his siblings, Marjorie Hudson and Edmund Kendzierski, attended CSULB, and his youngest daughter, Kerrie, pursued a year of post baccalaureate studies. He and his wife, Susan, have three children and three grandsons.