All Gaucho Reunion

Save the Date
April 23-26, 2020

Gaucho Professionals Showcase

Save the Date
April 23-26, 2020
Mosher Alumni House
UC Santa Barbara
Free Event

The showcase was an opportunity for UCSB alumni, students, local community members and business professionals to engage in a morning of professional development and networking. The event featured industry breakout sessions on technology, entrepreneurship, finance, and education, and a keynote speaker.

Gaucho Professionals created a unique forum where alumni, students, and community members could acquire new tips and knowledge in their respective fields.

Check out our speakers from this past All Gaucho Reunion below!

“Learning to Work with Intelligent Machines” - Dr. Matt Beane, UCSB Technology Management Program

How are we adapting to intelligent machines as artificial intelligence becomes more important in the workplace? In industries ranging from investment banking to surgery, tools are getting more sophisticated but workers get fewer opportunities for hands-on learning - the very experience necessary to leverage these tools. How can organizations stop blocking learning on the job?

Dr. Matt Beane is an Assistant Professor in the Technology Management Program at UCSB and a Research Affiliate with MIT's Institute for the Digital Economy. Matt studies deviance in work involving machine intelligence - and specifically robotics. Matt has done extensive field research on robotic surgery, robotic materials transport, and robotic telepresence in healthcare and elder care.

"Financing Innovation and Impact" - Diana Pereira '97 - Balance Financial Management and Susan Grover '00, Professor, UCSB Department of Economics

Join us for a discussion about the growing impact investment market, combining the analytics of traditional investment and the heart of philanthropy. How are investors using capital to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside financial returns? Is impact investing just a trend, or the best strategy to influence everything from renewable energy to sustainable food production to quality education and healthcare?

Diana is a co-founder and visionary for the Impact Hub Santa Barbara ( and founder of Balance Financial Management (a full service back-office and business management consulting firm, Over the past 20 years, Diana has been involved in multiple startups, private equity and investment management companies. She specializes in all aspects of cost accounting including non-profit and federal cost allocation plans, multiple entity structures, partnerships and consolidations and multi-currency transactions. 

Susan is a UCSB graduate who has recently returned to campus as a lecturer in the Department of Economics, while also serving as a consultant for small businesses. In her previous role, she was the Director of Finance for SunFunder, a solar energy finance business with a mission to provide financing for solar assets in emerging economies. She also has professional experience across a number of different companies including JP Morgan, Deloitte & Touche, and Cornerstone Holdings.

“Gaucho Grown and Green” - Randy Modos ‘01 - PayJunction and Christina Ramirez ‘08 - PLUS ULTRA

What do payment processing and toothbrushes have in common? Meet two UCSB entrepreneurs taking on a slice of the environment in very unique ways: PayJunction, a pioneer in green payment technology and PLUS ULTRA, encouraging you to brush consciously!

Randy Modos is the President and a Founder of PayJunction, a company building innovative technology to streamline businesses' payment processing. Randy met the co-founders of PayJunction at UCSB while pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Together, these UCSB Gauchos took an inspired idea and grew it into a company that processes over $4 billion annually.

Christina Ramirez is the Founder and CEO of PLUS ULTRA, a startup addressing the global plastic pollution crisis with its eco-friendly, non-toxic bamboo toothbrushes. Christina came up with the idea as part of an assignment while she was a Global Studies major at UCSB. Today her toothbrushes are sold at Whole Foods, Amazon, Thrive Market, as well as 300 other stores across 23 states.

"Defining Student Success"

Susan Salcido was named County Superintendent of Schools in July 2017, unanimously voted by the County Board of Education, and was elected to the office in June 2018.

The Santa Barbara County Education Office supports 20 school districts, nearly 70,000 students, and partners with organizations countywide.

Dr. Salcido grew up in Santa Maria and attended UCSB, where she majored in English and later earned her master’s degree in education. She began teaching at Dos Pueblos High School and subsequently served as assistant principal of San Marcos High School and principal of Santa Barbara Junior High School, before joining the Santa Barbara County Education Office in 2006 as a director and then assistant superintendent for instructional services. From 2012-2017, she was the County Education Office’s deputy superintendent. She has completed the USC doctoral program at the Rossier School of Education, where she focused on organization change, leadership, and student equity.

Dr. Steve Smith, Associate Professor, UCSB Department of Counseling Clinical and School Psychology
Dr. Steve Smith is a licensed clinical psychologist, trained in child clinical psychology at the University of Arkansas where he also specialized in personality assessment. He completed his internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School where he specialized in clinical neuropsychology and child clinical psychology. He joined the faculty of UCSB in 2004, where he has previously served as the consulting psychologist to the Division I Department of Athletics at UCSB. He also has a private practice where he continues to work with professional and collegiate athletes.

Keynote speaker - Mosher Alumni House Alumni Hall
“The Path to Peet’s” - Eric Lauterbach ‘89 - President, Consumer Division, Peet’s Coffee

Go behind the scenes of Peet’s Coffee, as Eric Lauterbach shares what sets Peet’s apart in the premium coffee space. You’ll hear about Eric’s path to Peet’s, from large corporations like P&G and Clorox with 4 failed start-ups along the way. We’ll wrap up the Gaucho Professionals Showcase with stories of success and failure, passion for your product, and of course, free Peet’s!

Eric Lauterbach holds a BA in Political Science from UCSB, where he was the President of Sigma Phi Epsilon and an MBA from Pepperdine. He joined Peet's Coffee in 2010 after progressing through various sales and marketing roles at large corporations as well as working for a handful of early state eCommerce startups. His favorite Peet's drink is a cup of Guatemala San Sebastian.