Chamber of Commerce executive to lead all external relations programs
SAN FRANCISCO, July 11, 2005 -- San Francisco State University President Robert A. Corrigan announced today the appointment of Lee Blitch as vice president for university advancement, effective Sept. 1. Blitch, currently president and CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, will be responsible for advancing the University's external image and maintaining relationships with key University constituencies. Units reporting to him will include development, public affairs and publications, alumni relations, special events, and government and community relations. Blitch will report directly to Corrigan and serve on the president's cabinet.
"Lee Blitch is a true leader in the San Francisco community, and well positioned to further advance the University's profile and contributions. His fundraising, marketing and relationship-building expertise will be tremendous assets to San Francisco State University as we build toward the future," Corrigan said.
As Chamber president and CEO, Blitch was instrumental in helping the city win the competition to house the new statewide stem cell research center, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Another key accomplishment was establishment of the San Francisco Center for Economic Development as an affiliate of the Chamber that has helped create more than 3,000 new jobs in the last year.
"For a community to achieve greatness, it must start with a focus on education and job creation," Blitch said. "Job creation generates the revenues that make all other government services possible, and jobs cannot be generated unless a community has an educated work force.
"This is an excellent opportunity for me to use skills acquired over a long career and intensive community experience to help link this outstanding 30,000-student university to the city, business community and its alumni," Blitch said.
As vice president, Blitch will provide strategic and creative leadership for a comprehensive advancement program, serve as a highly visible representative of the University in community leadership circles, and help the University to increase its visibility.
Blitch was employed by AT&T for 37 years before joining the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce in March 2001. He was AT&T's region vice president for consumer marketing, for its Western and Pacific regions. Previously, he held various positions at the company including director of product management, director of marketing and advertising and manager of national sales.
Blitch began his career with Southern Bell, where he established the Bell System's first marketing division and was involved in developing the phone center concept and the nation's first phone center. He is a graduate of University of Florida.
Active in community service, Blitch serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee and the boards of the San Francisco Historical Society, American Chamber of Commerce Executives, National Center for Educational Accountability, Just for the Kids California, SF Works, World Affairs Council, School Alliance Foundation, Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame and the Municipal Fiscal Advisory Committee for the Mayor. He also sits on advisory boards for the San Francisco School Volunteers and the Oversight Committee for San Francisco City College Capital Improvements.
Blitch and his wife, Sandy, have two children. His daughter, Susan, is an attorney in Monterey and his son, Scott, is a graduate student majoring in microbiology at University of California, Berkeley.
Blitch replaces James R. Collier, who retired.
Located in one of the world's most diverse, creative and international regions, San Francisco State University is a leading public urban university. The highly diverse community of nearly 30,000 students leads the 23-campus California State University system in graduate student enrollment and is a major civic force that partners with government, business and educational leaders in the region and throughout the globe.
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