Category Archives: networking

Networking Event at Eventbrite HQ

One of the greatest benefits of being part of the MSU Alumni Association is the opportunity to connect with Spartans across the globe. MSUAA encourages regional clubs to host networking events to give local Spartans a chance to advance their careers. The San Francisco Bay Area Spartans club has been a proud supporter of this effort, hosting events at LinkedIn HQ in Mountain View, CA in 2013 and at Google’s San Francisco offices in 2014. This year, we are excited to announce that our networking event will take place at Eventbrite HQ in San Francisco.


Please join us at Eventbrite‘s San Francisco headquarters on April 16, 6:30 – 8:30PM for a great opportunity to network with your fellow Michigan State alumni! We will have special guests in attendance, and serving appetizers, wine, beer and sodas to all our guests.

Tickets are $15 each and are available for purchase here.

Featured Speakers

The second half of the event will feature alumni sharing their #SpartanStories. Join us for a fantastic evening of Spartan fellowship, great wine and inspiring stories.

Mike Bailen, Featured Speaker Mike Bailen, Director of Recruiting at EventbriteMike will give a brief welcome to Eventbrite HQ to our alumni and a little bit about the partnerships between colleges and Eventbrite.
Ken Stanecki, Featured Speaker Ken Stanecki, CFO at Round Table PizzaKen will be sharing his Spartan story about our scholarship fundraising effort from the perspective of an alumnus and a Bay Area parent who currently supports his child at MSU.
Featured Speaker, Cory Waltz Cory Waltz, UC Berkeley PhD student in nuclear engineeringCory will be sharing his Spartan Story about the opportunities he had at MSU including his work at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, studying abroad in Europe, interning around the U.S., and how these opportunities provided further outreach in the physics and engineering fields.
Kyle Pollock, Featured Speaker Kyle Pollock, San Francisco City ImpactKyle will be sharing his Spartan story of a journey from campus to a career in community service giving help to inner city Tenderloin residents.
Megan Gebhart, Featured Speaker Megan Gebhart, Recruiter at Airbnb and Author of 52 Cups: Inspiring and Insightful Stories for Navigating Life’s UncertaintiesMegan will be sharing her Spartan story of a journey from campus to traveling the world, to becoming an author and working in the tech industry.




Wine List – all donated by our fantastic club sponsors!

  • 2013 Thomas LaTour Oregon Pinot Noir, Napa Valley
  • 2012 Bravium Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast
  • 2013 Ellipsis Chardonnay “Laguna Nuevo Vineyard”, Russian River Valley
  • 2012 Ellipsis Pinot Noir “De La Montanya Vineyard-Tina’s Block”, Russian River Valley
Food Menu
  • Assorted Crostini: artichoke parmesan, goat cheese and tomato, and fig and olive crostini
  • Crudite: bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, jicama, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, endive and assorted dips (hummus, tzaziki, and tapenade)
  • Assorted Cheeses: selection of artisan cheeses, nuts, dried fruit, and preserves
  • American Charcuterie: artisan salumi, prosciutto, pate, marcona almonds, cornichons, jardiniere, mustards

Tom Izzo Autographed Photo!

We will be selling raffle tickets and holding a drawing to win a unique Tom Izzo autographed framed picture which we know will look great on the wall of any Spartan fan! We’ll also be giving away other MSU memorabilia. Raffle tickets are only $5 each, or better yet buy 4 and get 1 free! All proceeds from the raffle ticket sales benefit the MSU Alumni of SF Bay Area Scholarship Fund. We are almost halfway to our goal of raising $30,000 to endow our scholarship fund which will help students from the Bay Area attend MSU. Your support of this goal is much appreciated!


Event Sponsors

Our Club Sponsors

Derek Rohlffs - Bravium Winery

Spartans at Steins

Are you one of the 2,000 Spartan alumni living in Silicon Valley (Peninsula/South Bay)? Join us every second Sunday for our monthly brunch at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant in downtown Mountain View. RSVP to Patrick Westgate if you’re planning on attending.

The next brunch is Sunday, February 8 at 12:30pm. Jennifer Bertram, Senior Director of Development, University Scholarships and Fellowships at Michigan State University will be joining us from East Lansing.

Help Bay Area Students become Spartans at College Fairs

Remember the day you applied to MSU, and then the day you were accepted? Wasn’t that an exciting time? For me, a Greater Lansing native, I’d always wanted to feel like I was officially part of the Spartan community and I couldn’t wait to step foot on campus as a student!

Michigan State wants to help Bay Area high school students become part of our Spartan global network of people who are doing amazing thing. Bob Weisman from the MSU California Alumni Admissions Team and Dan Seidman from the MSU Admissions Office are representing MSU at high school college fairs, talking with mostly eleventh graders about what State has to offer students who may be interested in exploring options in attending college outside of California.

Over the next few months, there are a number of College Fairs all over the Bay Area and they are looking for any alumni volunteers who could help representing MSU. The fairs are typically in the evening from 6:30 until 8:30 on week nights. This year, there are 120 incoming California freshmen which is close to double the number before they started this outreach. If anyone is interested in joining the team, please contact Bob directly at Send him your contact information and the region of the Bay Area that you live and he will call you with more specific information.

Inaugural Spartan Family Picnic + SPARTY!

We are so excited to start this new tradition! The San Francisco Bay Area Spartans are hosting a family picnic on Saturday, August 9th to bid good luck to future Spartans who are heading to East Lansing this fall from the Bay Area. To kick off this new annual event, Sparty, the king of mascots, will be making a special guest appearance. Future, current and forever Spartans are welcome to join in on the fun. Bring the whole family for a terrific photo opportunity!

Date: Saturday, August 9
Time: 11am – 2pm; SPARTY will be making a special appearance from 12:30 – 1:30pm, so don’t miss him!
Location: Sycamore Valley Park, Danville
Price: $8 for MSUAA members, $10 for non-members (join here), FREE for current students or future Spartans 17 & under

Tickets are officially SOLD OUT – 125 Spartans will be attending this awesome event on Saturday! Here are some last-minute details so you know what to expect when you arrive at Sycamore Valley Park.

Parking: When you arrive, please park in the designated areas near our picnic area. Carpooling is recommended. Stop at our registration table to check in with me or another board member to grab a name tag, a meal ticket redeemable at our food truck and some Spartan swag.

VIP guests: Sparty will be in attendance from 12:30pm-1:30pm for photo opportunities. Jim Cotter, MSU Director of Admissions, Dan Siedman, West Coast Admissions Counselor, and Daniel Mathis, MSUAA Associate Director of Alumni Engagement will also be in attendance, along with Bay Area members of the MSU freshman class heading to East Lansing this fall.

Let’s make this #SpartyPicnic great by sharing photos of the event on social media using our official hashtag!

Last but not least – the food! Ebbett’s Good to Go food truck will be catering the following menu options:


Ebbett’s Cuban
Slow-roasted natural duroc pork, ham, Gruyere, jalapeño relish and chipotle mayo, grilled on a crusty Acme roll.

Asian Tofu
House-marinated, baked Hodo Soy tofu shredded and topped with red and green cabbage slaw with carrot, cilantro and mint tossed, in ginger-lime vinaigrette with wasabi aioli on an Acme torpedo roll. Can be made VEGAN. 

Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich
All natural roasted chicken breast, green cabbage slaw with buttermilk dressing, red onion & pickled mustard seeds, and applewood smoked bacon on an Acme torpedo roll.

Pork or Veggie Bowl
All natural pulled pork, brown rice, black beans, corn, avocado, cherry tomatoes, queso fresco and salsa verde with a green cabbage slaw.  Can also be made without pork or with tofu.

Kid Grilled Cheese
Tillamook Farms medium cheddar on grilled Acme Levain

All Natural Beef Hot Dogs
Served on Acme hot dog buns with condiments

Ebbett’s Mac & Cheese
Creamy mixture of cheddar & gruyere baked shells and house made breadcrumbs

See you Saturday! Go Green!


Global Day of Service Recap

Thank you to the 40 Spartans who came out bright and early to our Service Day event. We cleaned up Mountain Lake in the Presidio, planted some strawberry plants, and made the world just a little bit greener that day. A special thank you to Chad Lesausky for putting together yet another awesome video of a great Spartan event.

2014 - MSU DoS - 1

MSU Global Day of Service 2014


Inside College Football: Ask The Commissioners

As the 2014 season begins to take shape, hear the heads of the two college conferences with the largest television and media footprint (Big 10 and Pac 12) discuss the opportunities and challenges facing college football, including compensation for student-athletes, safety issues, and the advent of playoffs, as the sport continues its unparalleled growth. Predictions are also likely, including for the Bay Area Bowl that will feature a team from each conference.


  • Larry Scott, Commissioner, Pac 12; Former Chairman and CEO, Women’s Tennis Association; Former President and COO, ATP Properties
  • James Delany, Commissioner, Big 10
  • Ted Robinson, Emmy Award-winning Broadcaster; Announcer, Pac 12 Network, and San Francisco 49ers – moderator

Location: SF Club Office / The Commonwealth Club of California, 595 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94105

Time: 5:15 p.m. check in and members social with tailgate food, 6 p.m. program

Cost: $25 non-members, $15 members

Twitter: @cwclub

Tickets (member rate, $15!) & More Info:

It is sure to be a thought-provoking and informative event and we hope to see you there.

Please contact Charlie Gebhardt ( / (415) 597-6700) for more information.

Thank you for joining us at Google SF last week

Greetings, fellow Spartan!

Thank for very much for joining us at Google SF for our networking event last week. We hope you had an enjoyable evening, met some great new Spartans, and got your photo taken with our VIP guest, Sparty!  It was a real treat to have both Sparty and Janel Rutzen, from the MSUAA, visit us here in SF.

Our club photographer, Chad Lesausky, took some fantastic photos at the event, and as a special ‘thank you’ for attending, we have made the full size photos available for download.  These are print quality photo files if you wanted to print and frame your souvenir from the event. The photos are all stored on Dropbox, so just follow this link to the web gallery and pick the photos you’d like to keep.

Photo Gallery

We also have a fun video clip from the event we wanted to share with you as well.  We hope you enjoy it!


We are hard at work planning even more fun events for 2014, so stay tuned!  If you ever have any comments or suggestions on how our club can serve you better, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thanks again, and Go Green!

Natalie Venuto
Communications Director
San Francisco Bay Area Spartans

Get your tickets to our Networking Event at Google SF today!

Happy New Year, Bay Area Spartans!

Please join us at Google’s San Francisco office on January 22, 6 – 9 pm for a great opportunity to network with fellow Michigan State alumni.

Hot and cold appetizers, wine, beer and sodas will be provided for all attendees. We will be pouring Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Torrontés wine varietals courtesy of our good friends at Bravium Wines and Threshold Wine Company.

We will be selling raffle tickets at the event and holding a drawing to win unique MSU autographed merchandise signed by either Coach Dantonio, football star Kirk Cousins, or basketball star Draymond Green. All proceeds from raffle ticket sales benefit the MSU Alumni of SF Bay Area Scholarship Fund. We are 1/3rd of the way to our goal of raising $30,000 to endow our scholarship fund which will help students from the Bay Area attend MSU. Your support of this goal is appreciated.

We are also very excited to announce a special VIP guest at this event. You have seen him at athletic events, in parades, around campus on game day, in ESPN commercials, at weddings, birthday parties, alumni club events and promoting literacy to children in schools. He is loved everywhere and is the embodiment of what it means to be a Michigan State Spartan. He is Sparty! And he’s coming to San Francisco!

Fresh off a Rose Bowl victory and a whole lot of fun down in Pasadena, Sparty was anxious to enjoy just a little bit more time in the California sunshine and really wanted to come meet all the SF Bay Area Spartans! Sparty will be hanging out only during the first hour of the event to pose for photos and to meet everybody – so don’t be late or you’ll miss him!

Following Sparty’s departure, Janel Rutzen, Program Coordinator for the Association of Future Alumni will give a brief presentation on the history of our beloved mascot. Have you ever wondered how our beloved Sparty became the Michigan State University icon he is today? How he got started? MSU’s mascot first began to take form in 1955. Sparty in his current form is 23 years old but has had several looks throughout that time. In Janel’s presentation you will learn the origins of Sparty and the Sparty Mascot Program, and get a rare insider’s look at what it is like to portray Sparty, “The Gentle Giant.”

This promises to be a really fun night out with your fellow MSU alums, so get your tickets today! Check out our Eventbrite page to purchase tickets. We are looking forward to having you join us at this unique event.

Go Green!

Bay Area Spartans Take on Wine Country!

We are pleased to bring to you an incredible chance to visit wine country with Spartan Alums. The day trip will include round-trip coach bus transportation between San Francisco and Sonoma, two wine tastings, snacks and wine on the bus. We have selected two wineries for the tastings: Sebastiani Vineyards and Chalk Hill in Sonoma. Both are beautiful vineyards with excellent wine. The cost for the event will include the tastings at each location. 7 pours are included in the tasting price at Sebastiani.

Transportation: Reservations for the 49-seat bus are available on a first-come, first-served basis and we expect the bus to fill up quickly! Unfortunately after the 49 seats are taken, we will be done taking any more requests.

Tasting will take approximately 1 hour, 10 minutes (maybe a little less). The bus will be leaving SF (near Caltrain) at 9am and return by 5pm.

Cost: $59.99
Buy your tickets on Eventbrite today!

9:00am: Coach bus leaves promptly from SF (near Caltrain Station on 4th & King St)
10:15am: Bus arrives at Sebastiani Vineyards
11:25am: Bus leaves for downtown Healdsburg for lunch. Everyone will be on their own for lunch, but there is no shortage of lunch places or tasting rooms in Healdsburg to choose from.
2:00pm: Bus leaves for the second winery at Chalk Hill
3:30pm: Bus departs for San Francisco
5:00pm: Bus arrives back in San Francisco

Looking forward to drinking some vino with Spartans in Sonoma!

We are looking forward to drinking some vino with Spartans in Sonoma! Join the Facebook event here.

Big Ten Trivia Night

Show off your conference trivia knowledge and impress fellow Big Ten alumni during Trivia Night at Monaghan’s organized by the Penn State Chapter. Teams can be composed of no more than 6 people. Come with a team or join one assembled at the event.

Date: Monday, October 21, 2013

Location: Monaghan’s | 3243 Pierce Street | San Francisco, CA 94123

Host: Penn State Alumni Association San Francisco Bay Area Chapter

Cost: $5 per person. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Four Diamonds Fund, a leader in the fight against pediatric cancer, which seeks to aid families of patients and support cancer research.

Registration: Required by October 21. Registration and more info here:

Drink specials include $4 Skyy and $4 Mirror Pond Ale.