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John Stayton to take on Executive Director role at SSU

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 | Posted by


john_stayton_low_resWindsor resident John Stayton will be joining the leadership team at SSU’s School of Business and Economics as Executive Director of Graduate and Executive Education. This position will encompass both the evening and executive formats of SSU’s traditional and wine business MBA programs. Stayton will begin on October 28.

“We conducted a national search for this position, and I was impressed with the quality of applicants.  But John’s name rose to the top of this list because of his experience running graduate programs, his knowledge of our region, and his entrepreneurial acumen,” said Dean William Silver.

Stayton received his MBA in International Business from Dominican University of California in 1995. In 200, he cofounded the world’s first graduate program in sustainable business that is now known as the Green MBA. He most recently headed the Venture Greenhouse and also owns the Golden Nectar Farm, a 2.5 acre parcel in Windsor, with his wife that they purchased in 1997. Stayton is the organizer behind the Sustainable Enterprise Conference in Rohnert Park as well.

With applications for both the fall 2014 evening MBA and the next cohort of the wine business EMBA underway, leading the recruitment process will be a priority. “I am an innovator and a builder. SSU’s MBA and EMBA programs are on the rise and I look forward to accelerating their growth,” noted Stayton.

“The quality of the MBA programs is very high and the growing alumni network is an impressive roster of North Bay leaders.  As we continue to increase our visibility here, we will become the obvious choice for any student, manager or executive considering an advanced business degree. Even more exciting opportunities exist beyond our region as we expand more distinctive and globally relevant programs, like the Wine MBA. SSU has the opportunity to attract forward-thinking students from around the world with cutting-edge graduate and professional offerings,” he continued.

Silver added that Stayton embraces the modern obligation of a university.  “Education today is not merely about teaching classes; it is about creating transformative experiences and preparing students for career and life success.”

Stayton concluded, “I have been impressed with the enthusiasm and professionalism of everyone I have met at Sonoma State and I look forward to working and living in the same community. I have lived in Sonoma County since 1991 and I love it here. To be offered this position at the only university in the county, working with such great people, is a dream come true.”

To date, the university’s business school has been largely known for its wine-focused curriculum and now is looking to expand with relevant programs that can be applied to many business models.



  • Nate

    Does this guy even have a PhD? His Venture Greenhouse never got off the ground. If we conducted a major search for real, I think we could have turned up someone much stronger.

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