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.

Cody VanDorn

Chief Executive Officer

As the CEO of the Cal Poly Corporation, Cody VanDorn is responsible for the day-to-day operation of its programs and services, and strategically working with the board of directors, university leadership, and student body to collectively enhance the Cal Poly experience.   

He holds a finance degree from Cal Poly and is a graduate from the Stanford Project Management program.

“Every day at the Corporation we have the opportunity to support projects, research, events and activities that impact the lives of Cal Poly students. And every day I get to lead a team that is motivated to keep improving, so we can do more, offer more, produce more and continue to be a supportive and influential partner with the university. And honestly, I couldn’t be more energized to do my part.”

Andrea Burns

Associate Executive Director

Andrea Burns brings a deep background in corporate finance, strategy, business development, and process improvement to the role of associate executive director. In her new role, Andrea oversees new business development support, Campus Dining, the university and downtown stores, information technology, and marketing and communications.

Her experience working across multiple lines of business, gross and net revenue management, marketing analysis, project management, and productivity optimization is a great asset to the Corporation.

“I enjoy being a part of the Campus Dining team and working with such a talented group to help navigate the many key projects and priorities that will assuredly impact every student and create a more vibrant campus community.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

Jennifer Wharton

Director, Human Resources

Jennifer brings more than 20 years of human resources experience to Cal Poly Corporation. She previously worked at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center as human resources manager for seven years and served as human resources manager for Stanislaus County. She joined the CPC team in January of 2019.

Jennifer is a Cambria local, and graduated from California State University, Stanislaus with a degree in business administration.

“The role of the Human Resources department in any organization is extremely important and even more so here at the Cal Poly Corporation. Everything we do touches the everyday lives of our students and enhances the campus community.  As a Central Coast native I am thrilled to work here and absolutely love everyone that I work with.”

David Bains

Interim Director, Information Technology

David Bains joined the Corporation in 1998 as a computer operator and now serves as the interim Director of Information Technology. Over the past 22 years, David has worked with Corporation staff on a variety of IT initiatives designed to improve business processes and support student life on campus. In his current role, he helps the corporation navigate the ever-changing role of technology in business.

David has a degree in Social Science, experience as an educator, and over twenty-five years of experience working with technology.

“The Corporation offers a diverse range of services that require a wide range of technical solutions. I enjoy working with our staff and campus colleagues to find solutions that allow us to focus on the outcomes, not the technology required to provide them.”