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UCR's Anderson Graduate School of Management Chooses Three Executives as 1999-2000 Fellows

UCR's Anderson Graduate School of Management Chooses Three Executives as 1999-2000 Fellows

(September 2, 1999)

NOTE TO EDITORS: The installation ceremony is not open to the general public, but reporters are welcome to attend.

Entrepreneur Jeffrey P. Bennett of Corona and banking executives Barbara and James Robinson of Riverside will be installed as 1999-2000 Fellows of the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Riverside.

The installation ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sept. 22 at University Extension, 1200 University Ave., Riverside.

The Robinsons are the first married couple to be chosen together as Fellows of the Anderson Graduate School of Management. Fellows spend a minimum of one day each academic quarter on campus teaching classes and consulting with students and faculty.

While either of the Robinsons individually would make an outstanding Fellow, Al Lewis, assistant dean for external affairs, said he likes the idea of appointing them together. Between them, he said, they have expertise in virtually every aspect of the ban king industry. "They might even decide to teach a class together," he said.

Bennett is the founder and chief executive officer of Nature's Recipe Pet Foods, a multi-million dollar company in Corona that is recognized as the industry's most innovative. He was the first to introduce natural and alternative pet foods, such as lamb a nd rice dog food, a concept that has been imitated by nearly every competitor. He was twice selected as "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Ernst & Young. Bennett also serves on the Corona City Council and has been active in Riverside County Alternatives to Domestic Violence and the California Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Program. In 1996 he earned the Humane Society's Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian of the Year award for his work to improve the lives of animals. Bennett is married and has two daughters.

Barbara Robinson is manager of the Bank of America's Los Angeles region, which includes 220 banking centers in three counties. She is responsible for the bank's overall activity, which includes customer service and sales performance. She joined the Bank of America in 1973 and has held a wide variety of branch banking assignments in both operations and management. She is active in both her home and work communities, as past president of the Riverside County Philharmonic and the co-chair of the Riverside Arts Summit. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Central City Association of Los Angeles.

James Robinson is executive vice president for City National Bank, Inland Empire region. He was the president of Riverside National Bank between 1992 and 1997, when Riverside National Bank merged into City National Bank. During his banking career, he has exhibited the highest standards of leadership, management skill and integrity, said Lewis. "I've heard people say that he is the most entrepreneurial banker they have ever met," he said. He serves on the UCR Foundation Board of Trustees and is a member of the Anderson Graduate School of Management Advisory Council. The Robinsons have two grown children.

The Anderson Graduate School of Management founded the Fellows program eight years ago to bring the professional experience and perspective of the region's top business leaders onto the UCR campus. "These three individuals were chosen for their innovative management philosophies, their commitment to the advancement of education and their outstanding contributions to their respective communities," said Lewis.

Each year, faculty and staff nominate candidates for installation as Fellows and these nominees are then voted on by the school's Executive Committee. UCR Chancellor Raymond L. Orbach confirms these selections and installs them as Fellows.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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