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What’s the Story in SoCal?

April 2018

By Khesia Taylor

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Join your colleagues for the NACUBO 2018 Annual Meeting, in Long Beach, Calif., July 21–24, where innovators from Hollywood to hometown will share their stories—and demonstrate ways in which higher education institutions can improve the dialogue with stakeholders.

Nestled between the southeastern corner of Los Angeles County and Orange County, Long Beach is a small, yet bustling city. As it continues ongoing expansion efforts, Long Beach has become an attractive option for business, tourism, and entertainment, and its prime location makes it ideal for a plethora of outdoor activities.

The city also exemplifies the theme of this year’s meeting, “Anchored in Culture, Ingenuity, and Pride.” A key part of the city’s culture is its coastal location, and with its efforts to promote diversity, culture, and technology, Long Beach serves as the perfect host city for NACUBO’s annual meeting, which will bring together the forces of strong traditions and innovation to inspire imagination and growth. 

Surrounded by water—the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers, the Pacific Ocean to the south, the Port of Long Beach to the west, and Alamitos Bay to the east—in 2008, the city was designated as the Aquatic Capital of America, after the Long Beach City Council approved a locally originated movement calling for the distinction. 

The city has served as host for elite sailing activities, to include the sailing events of the 1984 Olympic Games, which were held in Los Angeles; and Congressional Cup—a premier sailing race that the city has hosted for more than 50 years. The sun, sand, and ocean breeze make it the perfect city for not only sailing, but beach volleyball, beach tennis, swimming, and boat racing. And, while not confirmed, it is widely believed that Long Beach has produced more aquatic Olympians, national champions, and world record holders than any other city in the United States. 

Long Beach is also home to the second busiest container seaport in the United States. The Port of Long Beach handles trade valued at more than $180 billion annually, serving 175 shipping lines, with connections to 217 seaports around the world.  

Apart from idyllic weather, there’s also a diverse art, music, and cultural scene. The Long Beach Museum of Art houses more than 3,000 works in its permanent collection, spanning 300 years of American and European art in all media. More notably, the Museum of Latin American Art, which features works by Ruffin Tamayo, Roberto Matta, and Los Carpinteros, is the only U.S. museum dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art. And on The Queen Mary—site of the NACUBO annual meeting opening event—visitors can learn about the retired ocean liner’s diverse history, book lodging accommodations, or dine at one of its restaurants. 

On the music and cultural fronts, the Long Beach Symphony plays numerous classical and pop concerts throughout the year, and the city hosts several music festivals throughout the year—Bob Marley Reggae Festival in February; Bayou Festival in June; Jazz Festival in August; and the Blues Festival in September. And the Aquarium of the Pacific—the fourth most-visited aquarium in the country—since 2002, has been hosting festivals to celebrate cultural diversity, featuring dance, music, art, and special education activities. 

Near the epicenter of the entertainment world, Long Beach is a popular destination for TV and film production. The City of Long Beach Film Office issues approximately 500 permits a year for special events and film production, with film credits including “Iron Man,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “The Longest Yard,” “Mr. And Mrs. Smith,” “CSI: Miami,” “Cold Case,” “House,” and others. Upcoming projects for Long Beach include “The Fosters,” “American Horror Story,” and the action film “Transformers.” 

Continually growing in its development, Long Beach serves as the headquarters for printer manufacturing company Epson, with other major employers to include Boeing, Gulfstream Aerospace, and Laserfiche. Receiving awards in 2017 for its parks, digital innovation, and health and safety initiatives, the city is continually working to improve and expand services for the Long Beach community. 

Network, Engage, and Collaborate

Check out the annual meeting website at to see a list of options for targeted learning opportunities in small group meetings. 

Learning Opportunities

Again this year, the guidance of NACUBO’s four constituent councils resulted in a collection of concurrent sessions designed to provide insight into focused topics and ideas within the framework of the comprehensive annual meeting program. Customize your learning experiences by selecting from a rich menu of presentations that target the needs of NACUBO’s primary member segments: community colleges, small institutions, research universities, and comprehensive and doctoral institutions. 

Here’s a list of tracks that will be covered during the conference:  

Attendees can earn up to an estimated 16 CPE credits in various fields of study. 

Explore and Discover 

NACUBO’s annual meeting provides several opportunities during the conference for you to engage with your peers through fitness, community service, tours, and more. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the indoor salons and outdoor decks on multiple levels, and learn about the history, elegance, and grandeur of the Queen Mary, which also serves as a floating hotel. (Supported by Aramark)

Interact and Engage in The LAB

Visit The LAB, an exciting and interactive engagement space, in the Expo to reconnect with colleagues, refresh in the T.I.M.E. Zone, and listen to your peers as they deliver seven-minute Snapshot segments. During each segment, speakers will focus on a specific subject, idea, project, or workflow, leaving attendees with key takeaways to apply at their own institutions. 

Snapshots are scheduled for the following times:

The LAB will also feature a session with Erin Gruwell, inspirational educator and author of The Freedom Writers Diary (Broadway Books, 2009). Immediately following her session, to be held Sunday, July 22, at 11:45 a.m., Gruwell will have a book signing. 

Other “Meet the Author” events include: main stage speaker W. Kamau Bell, author of The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell (Dutton, 2017); Ron Salluzzo and Phil Tahey, co-authors of numerous publications, including Strategic Financial Analysis in Higher Education (NACUBO, 2016); and Larry Goldstein, author of A Guide to College and University Budgeting: Foundations for Institutional Effectiveness (NACUBO, 2012). 

Matthew Luhn

Main Stage Mastery

This year’s keynote speakers will address topics related to the importance of storytelling for leaders, understanding race and politics in America, and embracing the longevity revolution. These thought leaders will share with business officers ways to employ creativity and innovation to stimulate imagination and growth that are steeped in culture, ingenuity, and pride. 

Story creator and animator. Matthew Luhn, one of the original story writers at Pixar Animation Studios, has clocked more than 20 years of experience working on films, TV shows, and video games. Beginning his career as an animator on “The Simpsons,” Luhn’s other TV credits include “Kamp Krusty,” “Lisa’s Pony,” “Homer Alone,” “Colonel Homer,” and “Homer Defined.” Since leaving Pixar, Luhn has worked as a story and branding consultant. 

Traveling nationally and internationally for his Story for Business Workshop, he trains business leaders and entrepreneurs on how to use storytelling to bridge the gap between heart and business to build better brands and business communication. In Story Seminars, he focuses on how to develop narratives and write dialogue to create compelling plots and screenplays. His clients include Target, Procter and Gamble, Adidas, BMW, Sony, Mattel, Facebook, Charles Schwab, Microsoft, Salesforce, and others. In addition to his seminars, Luhn has taken an interest in teaching and empowering children to draw, write, and make films. Working with the General Pencil Company Inc., the first pencil factory in the U.S., he has created a series of “how to draw” books and art programs for children of all ages. 

Read more about Luhn and his message for business officers in “The Art of Storytelling,” and hear Luhn’s address during the first main stage on Sunday, July 22. 

W. Kamau Bell

Sociopolitical comedian and host. W. Kamau Bell is host of the Emmy Award–winning CNN docuseries, “United Shades of America With W. Kamau Bell,” where he explores different communities to better understand their challenges and experiences. From 2012–13, he was host of the FX Network series, “Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell,” in which he addressed topics related to politics, pop culture, race, religion, and the media. While “Totally Biased” is no longer on the air, he still performs “The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour” at colleges and universities across the country.  

With three comedy albums—“Semi-Prominent Negro,” “One Night Only,” and “Face Full of Flour”—and a book, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6’4,” African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian (Dutton, 2017), Bell continues to push the envelope and conduct uncomfortable, yet thought-provoking, conversations about race. 

Lauded by Punchline Magazine as “one of our nation’s most adept racial commentators, with a blistering wit,” Kamau also has a budding podcast empire. Currently, he’s host of “Kamau Right Now!”—a public radio talk show that he describes as “a three-ring circle of relevance”; “Politically Re-Active,” where he and his fellow cohost “make sense out of nonsense”; and his labor of love podcast—“Denzel Washington Is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period”—that reviews Denzel Washington movies to prove that Washington, is indeed, the greatest of all time, period. 

Bell is a proud member of the ACLU’s Ambassador of Racial Justice and an advisory board member of Hollaback!, a global movement to end harassment. Hear him speak on the main stage on Monday, July 23. In an interview for the May issue of Business Officer magazine, Bell will address some of the issues he plans to tackle during the conference.  

Actress and author. Jane Fonda is a frequent speaker on youth development, women’s issues, and embracing the longevity revolution. In 2005, she published her memoir, titled My Life So far (Random House), a New York Times best-seller. Since then, she’s published Prime Time (Random House, 2011), a comprehensive guide to living life to the fullest, particularly beyond middle age; and Being a Teen (Random House, 2014), an all-encompassing guide to adolescence. 

First known as an actress, she’s starred in “Fun With Dick and Jane,” “The Morning After,” “Georgia Rule,” “This Is Where I Leave You,” and, most recently, “Grace and Frankie.”

Outside of acting and writing, Fonda focuses heavily on activism and social change. She is the founder of the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential, as well as the Jane Fonda Center for Adolescent Reproductive Health at Emory University School of Medicine. She also serves on the boards for Women and Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations; the Women’s Media Center, which she co-founded in 2004; and V-Day, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. 

Hear Fonda on Tuesday, July 24, during the final main stage event of the NACUBO 2018 Annual Meeting.

KHESIA TAYLOR is associate editor for Business Officer.