Chico Testimonials

Douglas Matthews M.D.I’m happy to be back and am looking forward to being part of the community. It was always in the back of my mind that Chico would be a good option to practice medicine. It became obvious that if I was going to practice surgery in the North State, I should do it with my father, Enloe Trustee and former Chief of Staff Joseph Matthews, MD. I took a roundabout path to joining my father.

From 1993 to ’97, I worked as a seasonal firefighter for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (now CalFire), as well as Butte County Fire. For the following two years I was a fire dispatch officer in Oroville. I feared my career path in firefighting would promote me out of what I loved doing. Reluctantly I left the fire department and went off to medical school.

I received my B.S. in biology (with a minor in religious studies) at Santa Clara University and my M.D. at the Boston University School of Medicine. I completed my residency in general surgery at the University of Utah Medical Center and fellowship in colorectal surgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Jersey.

I focus on treating diseases of the colon and rectum with advanced, minimally invasive procedures. I envision Chico as a center of excellence for the North State in complicated gastrointestinal medicine and surgery. Chico already has two fellowship-trained colorectal surgeons and excellent gastrointestinal [GI] medical specialists.

Combining my two career experiences, I am a Rural Trauma Course Educator. I taught medical professionals in outlying areas of Utah about responding to emergencies. I also participated in an educational outreach to Mongolia teaching surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures. I look forward to sharing these skills and experiences with my hometown community.

My wife Maureen, three children and I, are all proud to have Come Home to Chico.

Douglas Matthews M.D.
Enloe Medical Center

Marc NobrigaOf the many things to love about Chico, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company may top the list. While studying at Chico State, I was lucky enough to get a job as a Banquet Server in the Big Room at Sierra Nevada. My degree was in Business Finance and at that time, amidst the first signs of economic collapse and the Enron scandal, Sierra Nevada presented an alternative to many modern business practices. They took care of their employees, produced superior-quality products, and were environmentally responsible. I said to myself, “I could work at a place like that.”

Unsure of a career path upon graduation but intrigued by my experience at the Brewery, I enrolled in an American Brewery Guild course, a distance learning program based out of Vermont. I began job-shadowing in the cellar at Sierra Nevada, while home-brewing on my own. It led to an internship at Firestone-Walker near San Luis Obispo, after which I was hired on full time there. Even though this was a fantastic opportunity in a beautiful part of California, it was bittersweet to leave Chico, a community I loved.

My goal however, was always to work for Sierra Nevada making the beer I fell in love with, the whole reason I got into brewing. I kept in touch with my contacts at the brewery and when a Brewer/Cellar Technician position became available, I jumped at the opportunity. Sierra Nevada is one of the few places in the brewing industry where it is possible to have a career. It was awesome to be able to come back to Chico and work at what I believe is for beer lovers and fans of responsible business models, “the happiest place on earth.” I love my 4 minute commute! You don’t need a lot of money to have a superior quality of life here. With hikes, bike rides, professional baseball, live music, and being located not too far from both the mountains and the ocean, the opportunities are endless. I especially love the long, hot, quite summers of Chico.

Ultimately, Chico is the place I wanted to be, where I wanted to call home. I’m here to stay as far as I’m concerned!

Marc Nobriga
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Jeff SchlichtAs a CSUC graduate who grew up in the area, I knew returning to Chico would bring me back to a great place to live and raise a family. But relocating my company, Auctiva Corp., has also been beneficial. In the seven years we've been based in Chico, the company has grown by more than 50 employees, many of whom are also products of the university. Given the quality of life and great success my company has enjoyed here, I can't imagine being anywhere else. From Bidwell Park and our great weather to concerts and other events at Laxson Auditorium, there are many reasons to call Chico home.

Jeff Schlicht

Tim Howey Ph.D.Having returned as a son-of-Chico in 2000, I was pleasantly surprised that the magic I remembered as a youth had not left. After time away completing advanced degrees in Organizational Psychology from the University of San Francisco and Alliant International University, work stints as a trainer at Disney and the City of San Diego as an internal HR/OD consultant, and managing my own consulting firm, I am happy to be home in Chico. With the power of technology and the internet, I have the freedom/flexibility to contribute locally, nationally, or internationally.

More importantly, I am thrilled to be raising my family here and helping them understand the importance of contributing to community, a community that gave me so much as a youth. From family walks in Bidwell Park to the diverse cultural events, Chico still manages to capture my heart, regenerate wonder, and inspire community.

Tim Howey Ph.D.

Heather QuiliciI was born and raised in Chico. After graduating from Chico State in 1992 (BA Communication Studies) I relocated to the Bay Area where both my husband and I worked for some great, innovative companies. I was fortunate enough to have international responsibilities, travel to many countries for business and pleasure and grow both personally and professionally. After nine years and the dot com crash looming, we decided to move home to be closer to our families and hopefully start a family of our own. We moved to Chico without jobs and spent our first few months here meeting as many people as we could and building a network. Our twins, Taryn and Tyler were born in 2002. I was able to do some consulting and contract work for companies in Chico and outside the area until 2005 when a part time position opened in Regional and Continuing Education as a Conference and Event planner. I am still working part time which affords me the luxury of working outside the home and being available for my children. My husband has been in sales for SunGard Public Sector (formerly Bi-Tech Software, a locally founded company) for eight years.

Virtually anywhere I need to go takes no more than 10 minutes, even if it is on the other side. We have seasons in Chico! I love warm summer nights and the crisp winter days and I still think nothing compares to fall in Bidwell Park and the spring azalea bloom on the Chico State campus. The University and the community work hard to bring arts and entertainment to Chico.  And perhaps most important to me, Chico is friendly and inclusive. In Chico I feel that the work I am doing truly makes a difference.

My in-laws own Quilici Vineyards and we have been a part of the starting of the winery and building a brand for the product. In 2004 I co-founded the Sierra Oro Farm Trail to promote agricultural tourism in Butte County.We've made wonderful new friends and re-connected with many that have done as we have moved home after being gone for several years.

Heather Quilici
Quilici Vineyards

Jessica ChezemA NorCal native, I graduated from CSU, Chico in 2001 with a degree in Communication Design and moved out of the area to take a job. I would often see Chico State alumni license plate frames, bumper stickers or folks wearing Chico State (or Sierra Nevada) sweatshirts--and I always wished there was some kind of membership salute or secret handshake I could deliver to acknowledge our joint membership in an exclusive club.

It was a good paycheck in Chico that finally paved my way "home" several years later... but now I know that the secret handshake is living here; raising a family here; and it's having the opportunity to get involved in the community and make a difference. Chico embraced me in its arms as I grew into adulthood. Now that I'm home, I see that I can give that same gift back to our community in many immediate ways and help steward the growth and preservation of our region.

I enjoy that my hopes, dreams and everyday realities for a community are valued here. I enjoy the culture of debate and inquiry in our region. I couldn't be more pleased with the depth of forward thinking that has and continues to exist in Chico.

Jessica Chezem
Enloe Medical Center / Foundation

Margaret SchmidtI still remember the day and the hour I pulled out of Chico in my VW Bug after graduating in 1982 with a B.S. in Marketing. Though the tears were streaming down my face from sadness, I realized what a fabulous experience I had enjoyed attending Chico State and participating in many student organizations and other favorite pastimes. I kept in touch with a good friend from college, Dennis Schmidt. We reconnected in 1987, became engaged and married in late 1989, a year after I obtained an MBA from Santa Clara University.

Now that I'm back in Chico, I enjoy the ability to connect with both small and large business owners and other community members to create this place we call Chico. Some days it is creating a marketing plan to help small businesses grow. Other days, it's working on a fundraiser for a specific community need. While other days it's connecting with other Chico State alumni to enjoy the beautiful Bidwell Park and other natural landscapes. While being active in community volunteer groups, I enjoy hiking, boating and bicycling around the greater Butte County region

Margaret Schmidt
Center for Economic Development at CSU, Chico

Marcia Nelson M.D.Chico is a magical place where you can find big-city culture with a small-town heart. The arts community and educational opportunities are exceptional, and the park is a real jewel. I love not being anonymous in this friendly town, where I see friends and acquaintances whenever I go out.

I returned in 1989 after graduating in 1982 with a biological chemistry degree, and enjoy the productions at Laxson Auditorium, plus riding my bike (It's a great commuting town for bikes!).

Marcia Nelson M.D.
Enloe Medical Center

Craig BudaAfter playing baseball and graduating from Chico State in 1992 and getting married in 1994 in Chico I always wanted to move back and raise my family here. I fell into the internet bubble in the Bay Area and was employee number five at Exodus. Even though I experienced great success in technology I was always thinking about how I could move back. I came up every weekend during the duck season and a few times during the summer.

Three years ago my wife Jodi (Chico Native) and I came to Chico for a funeral and decided to make a weekend out of it and look at houses. We found our dream house and my current job allowed me to work from home. I still have to travel to the Bay Area once a week but get really excited when I hit the 505 on ramp coming home. The commute is well worth it.

Craig Buda

Carol ThomsonI got my BA from Chico State in 1964 - MA in 1967. My husband and I lived in Martinez, CA until we moved to the south shore of Lake Tahoe in 1967. I worked in hospitality and tourism industry until in 1999 we decided it was time to "get off the hill" which is code for NO MORE SNOW! I was head of the Gilroy Visitors Bureau, followed by a stint in dot com marketing in the Silicon Valley. We moved back to Northern California, following 9/11 and the crash of my industry.

This was always home. After all, I am 5th generation in Butte County! My immediate family is nearby. Many of our friends who went away from Chico returned about the same time as we did. Although my husband completely retired, I'm not wired that way and started an online wedding directory in 2004 --- WeddingsNorthValley.com. The wedding industry is very familiar in feel to me as the Lake Tahoe and Nevada hospitality industry --- lots of small businesses, working hard to make a living and entirely dependent on a steady sales stream and lots of referrals based on excellent service and a brilliant reputation. I love this work. I love the people I work with. And I love the variety.

One of the best things about Chico and all of the North Valley is that your word means something! I live by that.

Carol Thomson
Weddings North Valley

Aaron J. StewartI am a third generation Chicoan, who was born and raised here, the same as my father, Ronald E. Stewart, and my mother, Joan L. Stewart.

After graduating from Mercy High School in Red Bluff, I ventured out to the East Coast to attend Princeton University where I graduated Cum Laude with an A.B. in Religious Studies. Immediately after college, I attended Cornell Law School where I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a J.D. degree, and as a member of The Order of the Coif, a legal honors society. When I was not busy studying or freezing, I spent my time serving on the Editorial Board of the Cornell Law Review.

After graduating law school, I worked as an associate at Sullivan and Cromwell, a top Manhattan-based law firm. My goals and priorities changed significantly when my father passed away approximately two years ago. I decided that I needed to return to California to be closer to my family. Sullivan and Cromwell was gracious enough to allow me to transfer to their Palo Alto office.

Although I loved the bay area, I came to the realization that Chico is my home. I have now returned to Chico and opened, much like my father did some 30 years ago. My practice specializes in both the transactional and the litigation aspects of Business Law, Internet and E-Commerce Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Estate Planning. Because of its diverse culture and inherently ingratiating nature, Chico will continue to attract more young professionals. I am ecstatic to be a part of that influx, and I look forward to becoming involved in the community that has given so much to me.

Aaron J. Stewart
Law Offices of Aaron. J. Stewart

Charmaine DelmatierAfter graduating from Chico State with a double major in Music and Botany, I went on to complete my graduate work at the University of Wyoming. From Wyoming I became the Texas State Botanist for the U.S. Dept. of the Interior.

Retirement from the federal government freed up my commitment to other parts of the US. Now, it’s wonderful to be back home. It is incredible to me that the part of town I grew up in is still the same. That is what I love about Chico; its commitment to a small town atmosphere, but at the same time promoting its economic growth. I hope to offer some of my experience and services to the Chico area as a Botanical Consultant and help sculpt its unique natural landscape. I've enjoyed exploring the new shops in town, and appreciate the growth and quality of entertainment that has developed both at the college level and in the community.

Charmaine Delmatier

Jennifer KuyperI graduated from CSU, Chico in May of 2001 with a BA in journalism. I was active in Alpha Chi Sorority and CAVE during my college years. I am married with two wonderful children, a little boy age 2 and a beautiful daughter age 6 months.

My husband Kris and I decided to return to Chico to raise our family. We came back because of the family-friendliness of the community, the excellent climate, the natural beauty of the area and the affordable home prices. We love walking through Bidwell Park with our children and taking them to play at any one of Chico's many playgrounds.

Jennifer Kuyper
Tri Counties Bank

Frank MarinelloI graduated from CSU, Chico in 1991 with a degree in Business Administration and currently work in commercial real estate. My wife Maria and I came back to Chico in 2003 because of the lifestyle it fosters. It provides all the benefits of a small town with most of the advantages of a larger metropolitan area. A thriving downtown restaurant scene, tree-lined streets, plenty of music acts, kid-friendly events and a city park that's second to none in Bidwell Park are all local amenities that we enjoy on a regular basis.

Chico is the perfect location to satisfy my love of biking--road and mountain trail running--and hiking. I enjoy working with a passionate local business community through my involvement in CEPCO.

Frank Marinello
Marinello Real Estate Company