SAN LUIS OBISPO — Fatma Umut Spanton, director of Cal Poly Conference & Event Planning, was recently named one of The Tribune’s Top 20 under 40.

For 12 years running, the competition has honored the achievements of local professionals under the age of 40. This year, a total of 95 individuals were nominated for the award and were evaluated by six judges representing the private and nonprofit sectors in SLO County.

Spanton has directed Cal Poly Conference & Event Planning since 2012, overseeing more than 125 annual conferences and events held at the university. In addition, she manages all summer housing accommodations for Cal Poly.

Spanton is also foundation chair for the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, and has spent several years volunteering with a military Family Readiness Group. Spanton is currently pursuing a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) as well as a Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) degree.

“We are delighted that Fatma has been recognized for her commitment to professional excellence and community service,” said Lorlie Leetham, executive director for the Cal Poly Corporation, the auxiliary organization that oversees Cal Poly Conference & Event Planning. “Given her exceptional talents and leadership, she is very deserving of this honor.”

The Tribune will publish biographies of the Top 20 Under 40 winners in early February and will host an awards luncheon to celebrate the winners on February 3 at the Madonna Inn.

About Cal Poly

Founded in 1901 and part of the renowned California State University system since 1960, Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, four-year, comprehensive polytechnic public university located in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Known for its Learn by Doing approach, small class sizes and open access to expert faculty, Cal Poly is a distinctive learning community whose 21,000 academically motivated students enjoy an unrivaled hands-on educational experience that prepares them to lead successful personal and professional lives. For more information, visit

About Cal Poly Corporation

Cal Poly Corporation is the non-profit auxiliary organization to Cal Poly, providing self-supporting, innovative, and high-quality services to the university and assisting the institution in achieving its educational mission. For additional information, visit or call 805-756-1451.

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