Senior Staff

Grounded in nearly 80 years of combined Cal Poly experience, corporation senior staff bring a diverse background of experiences, schooling, history and knowledge to the campus community, adding their talents to help create a world-class educational experience.

Lorlie Leetham

Executive Director & Associate Vice President of Commercial Services

A fourth generation San Luis Obispo native, Lorlie has served as executive director and associate vice president since July 2014. In this role she works with the board of directors and university leadership to set the strategic direction for the corporation and is responsible for the day-to-day operation of its programs and services. Lorlie has been with Cal Poly since 1996.

She holds a bachelor’s in business administration from Cal Poly, with a concentration in accounting, and is a licensed CPA.

“As a fourth generation San Luis Obispo native and Cal Poly alumna, I cannot think of a more ideal role than the one I have right now.  I absolutely love what I do!  Each day I get to work with talented and dedicated people committed to creating the amazing educational experience that is Cal Poly. I am privileged to work at the corporation.”

Dan Banfield

Senior Director of Business and Finance

Dan Banfield joined the corporation in 2015 as the controller and now serves as the senior director of Business and Finance. In this role he oversees the day-to-day financial operations of the corporation. He has spent a career in public accounting, working primarily in Southern California for a variety of organizations and industries, including the California State University system. A Central Coast native, Dan holds a master’s degree in accounting from Brigham Young University, and is a licensed CPA.

“I absolutely enjoy working here and seeing the energy that students bring each day to campus. At the Cal Poly Corporation, we do a lot of the work that happens behind the scenes and it’s rewarding to see the positive impact we can have on the campus community.”

Kacey Chun

Senior Director of Human Resources

Kacey Chun brought 25 years’ experience to the corporation when she joined as the director of Human Resources. Having spent years in banking, higher education, retail and hospitality, the former senior vice president and chief human resources officer, felt the draw to return to her alma mater. A move she made in 2014.

Kacey has a master’s from Cal Poly, and a bachelor’s from CSU Northridge. She holds certifications as a mediator, and as a Senior Professional in Human Resources.

“It may sound a little corny, and more than a little obvious but I truly believe in supporting student success and I feel like I get to do that every day. Most often it is working with the students we hire by helping them prepare for a career in HR.”

Ellen Curtis

Director of Marketing & Communications

Ellen spent 20-plus years working on some of the world’s top brands as a copywriter, creative director, social media director and agency owner before joining the corporation in 2015. She now leads the planning, development and implementation of all marketing and communications programs for university food services, stores and other corporation activities. Ellen has received more than 200 major awards for her work’s creativity and effectiveness.

She holds a bachelor’s in communication from Boston University.

“The corporation supports so many important efforts at Cal Poly. I am excited to be part of this dynamic organization and share our programs and initiatives with the campus community and beyond.”

Fatma Spanton

Director, Conference & Event Planning

Since 2012 Fatma has overseen more than 200 annual conferences, camps and events, and has managed the university’s summer housing accommodations. She spent more than 17 years in five-star hotel management, coordinating events in Istanbul, Turkey, at Europe’s largest convention center.

Named one of The Tribune’s Top 20 Under 40, Fatma has a bachelor’s with dual focus in business administration/tourism and hotel management. A certified mediator, she is currently pursuing a Master of Legal Studies and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree.

“Working with the corporation gives me the opportunity to bring camps, events and workshops to Cal Poly to share my knowledge of the campus and, most importantly, introduce the university to future mustangs. I love that.”

Eumi Sprague

Director, Information Technology

Eumi joined the corporation in 1991 and was named director of Information Technology in 2015. In charge of all IT functions and services, Eumi oversees the development and application of information management, technology infrastructure, information security and user support, as well as identifying and recommending IT policies and initiatives, enterprise system objectives and long-range planning.

She has a bachelor’s in business administration, with a concentration in management information systems from Cal Poly, and an MBA from CSU Monterey Bay.

“Working for the corporation we get to support the academic mission of the university, often times, in very quiet ways, through many activities that the campus community might not even be aware of. It’s like being a quiet leader that works for the success of the entire team.”

Mike Thornton

Director, Business & Concept Development

At 18 years old Mike Thornton began a career in the kitchen which eventually landed him on the Central Coast owning and operating several restaurants. He joined the Cal Poly Corporation in 2002 and has steadily worked his way through different management roles within Campus Dining, eventually serving as the director and currently acting as the director of business and concept development.

Mike studied political science and pre-law at Cal Poly after serving four years in the U.S. Air Force.

“There is a genuine spirit of cooperation and shared value around helping students succeed. We live in an ever-changing environment and we get a front row seat to watch students grow and become our future. The corporation’s role in the everyday lives of our students provides an amazing level of accomplishment and satisfaction.”

Will Marchese

Corporation Counsel and Director of Facilities

Will joined the corporation in 2017 as the manager of Facility Operations and Capital Projects and was named corporation counsel and director of Facilities in 2018. He oversees transactional legal activities and day-to-day management of facilities operations and capital projects.

A licensed attorney and general contractor, Will has experience in private and public works projects, bankruptcy proceedings, and contract analysis and negotiation. He has a bachelor’s in political science from UC Davis and a juris doctor of law from Lincoln Law School.

“The corporation is a unique organization full of complexity, privileges and responsibilities. Though beneath it all its goal is simple; to advance and promote the educational mission of the university. It’s through this sense of purpose that we find our focus and sense of belonging, the reason it’s important and why I love working here.”