CI’s Spring 2015 Speaker Series includes executives linked with OtterBox; UGG; FaceFirst and Air Bud Entertainment brands
Anna McRoberts, President of Air Bud Entertainment
Anna McRoberts, President of Air Bud Entertainment

Camarillo, Calif., Jan. 30, 2015 — An unplanned journey to a billion-dollar business; a garage invention that launched an entrepreneur and the challenges of being a female executive in the entertainment business are among the topics included in the Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics Spring 2015 Speaker Series.

Titled “Contemporary Topics in Business and Technology,” the series will feature speakers linked with such brands as UGG; Teva; OtterBox; FaceFirst and Air Bud Entertainment.

First scheduled is Anna McRoberts, President of Air Bud Entertainment, who will speak on Friday, Feb. 6 about a variety of topics, including the responsibilities of a producer; the state of the film and content business today; and the challenges women face in business.

McRoberts believes changing technology is one of the biggest challenges facing the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“A great idea today can be antiquated by tomorrow,” she said. “Without prescience, one has to stay very up-to-date and knowledgeable.”

Recently retired as Chief Operating Officer of the Deckers Outdoor Corporation, businessman Zohar Ziv will speak Friday, Feb. 27 about Deckers, the parent company of the UGG and Teva brands.

Ziv will discuss how he helped turn the company from a $250 million into a $1.8 billion-dollar company, but how most of his success has been what he calls an “unplanned journey.”

“As a financial and logistics person through-and-through, I am always planning,” Zohar said. “But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, the journey of your career and life will have many unplanned destinations.”

Joe Rosenkrantz, President and Chief Executive Officer of a facial recognition software company called FaceFirst that is being used worldwide for surveillance and law enforcement, will speak on Friday, March 13.

An avid tinkerer, Rosenkrantz developed FaceFirst technology in his Calabasas garage as a way to pay homage to a friend who was on one of the hijacked planes in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to an interview Rosenkrantz did with the Los Angeles Times.

“I couldn’t stop thinking about ways this could have been avoided,” Rosenkrantz told the Times. “I realized that with the right technology, we could have saved lives.”

Curt Richardson, who invented the waterproof smart phone case OtterBox, will speak about his journey into entrepreneurship on Friday, April 17.

Richardson, who is from Fort Collins, Colorado, developed OtterBox in 1998. The success of the company enabled him to co-found Blue Ocean Enterprises, which creates and invests in business opportunities and commercial real estate.

“Our (OtterBox) cases are dedicated to all the klutzy, spontaneous, chaotic, graceless individuals who have broken a device or valuable due to their active lifestyle,” reads a passage on the OtterBox web site. “Like our customers, we’ve been there too!”

What: “Contemporary Topics in Business and Technology” Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics Spring 2015 Speaker Series
Dates: Feb. 6; Feb. 27; March 13; April 17
Time: 12 noon
Where: CSU Channel Islands, Malibu Hall, Room 100
Address: One University Drive, Camarillo
Cost: Free, and lunch is included

To register online and for additional information, visit:

About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI’s Social Media.

The California State University (CSU) will reach a significant milestone of 3 million alumni during commencement in spring 2015 and has launched the world’s largest yearbook. The Class of 3 Million online yearbook is an interactive platform where alumni can create a profile and connect with the millions of other alumni from the 23 CSU campuses across the state. Alumni who sign up for the yearbook will also be entered into a special contest to win one of three $10,000 scholarships for a current or future student, sponsored by Herff Jones. For more information about the yearbook and the Class of 3 Million, visit