With the exploding popularity of micro breweries and craft beers – particularly in the Western half of the U.S. – many entrepreneurs and business people either work for small breweries or have started their own beer-brewing company.
One of the first and most successful small breweries in San Diego is Karl Strauss Brewing Company, which opened its doors to the public in February 1989. he company now operates 10 brewery restaurants and distribution in retail outlets throughout the state of California. One of company's officers is an SDSU College of Business alumnus: vice president of beer, Marc Miller ('99, marketing). His path to SDSU and beyond is profiled here:
When Marc Martin was a freshman at SDSU in the fall of 1982, he had planned to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.
That didn't happen.
Instead of becoming a veterinarian, Martin now holds the interesting title of vice president of beer at Karl Strauss. Perhaps even more interesting is that he took a round-about way of earning his marketing degree from SDSU.
As Martin was finishing his senior year in the spring of 1987, he was "offered an excellent job opportunity at E. & J. Gallo Winery" which he accepted even though it meant leaving SDSU when he was just weeks from earning his degree. He moved to Newport Beach, Calif. with every intention of earning his diploma, which he did 17 years later in 1999. "Professionally, it didn't really hinder me, but I was concerned it might eventually catch up with me," said Martin. "I transitioned to San Diego from Newport Beach and was finally able to attend SDSU to finish up those few remaining credits."
The move back to San Diego, along with the need for a reduced travel schedule to accommodate his growing family, led Martin to his current position at Karl Strauss in 2006. As the vice president of beer, he is responsible for the sales, marketing, production, distribution, warehousing, quality control and human resources in the brewery's beer division – no small task considering that Karl Strauss can be found in over 7500 retail outlets throughout California.
Martin owes part of his success to hard work and part to his education at SDSU. "My education impacted my career by teaching me to have fun, but also to work very hard at the same time," he said. "SDSU's College of Business helped me prepare for the real world in terms of education, maturity and professionalism. My education helped me during my career to make more money sooner, and be promoted more often, than those that do not have a college degree."
Learning as much as he could during his time at SDSU propelled Martin into a successful career and he would advise today's students to do the same. "You'll have plenty of opportunity during your career to apply what you've learned, but if you don't soak up all the knowledge offered in school, you'll handicap yourself down the road when it comes to career advancement," Martin explained. "Value and appreciate the time you spend at SDSU since it will be over in a flash. It might not seem like it now, but college is much easier than the professional world."
Recent SDSU real estate graduate, Bryan Clark, has a resume that reads like alphabet soup. Clark, is the associate director at Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP (HFF), is a member of numerous real estate organizations including BIA yGen, NAIOP, CCIM, ULI and ICSC.
Clark, a San Diego native who graduated with honors in May 2011, also served as president of the Real Estate Society of SDSU and was part of the SDSU team that won the inaugural NAIOP University Challenge. He was the recipient of several scholarships including those from CCIM, SIOR, the Appraisal Institute, the Robert C. Hird II Memorial Scholarship and the McMillin Companies.
Dana Kuhn (finance/real estate): You could easily mistake Bryan for a graduate student. He's still young, but he has a lot of experience in real estate. He left school a few years ago when the money was flowing in real estate. He earned his share and then came back to finish his degree. He impressed me the first night of my real estate development class in fall 2010 and has been impressing me ever since. He's passionate about real estate and doesn't know the word "quit."
Note: This is an updated version of a profile that appeared in the 2011 Outstanding Student Newsletter published by SDSU's College of Business Administration in May 2011.