Monday, December 11, 2017

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Stories of Leadership: Estella Ferrera

Estella Ferrera, '06, is the vice president of Oggi's Pizza and Brewing Company.
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Estella Ferrera graduated from San Diego State University's master of business administration program with an emphasis in entrepreneurship.

"I went through the program over a four-year period while I was working full time and going to school at night — what an experience!" she said. 

Ferrera was the director of marketing for Oggi's Pizza and Brewhouse and after graduating in 2006, was promoted to vice president of the company.

Estella Ferrera
Estella Ferrera

"My outlook on our business changed significantly after going through the program to more of the big picture and how to grow our business," she said. "Nothing was impossible. I now oversee the marketing department at Oggi’s and drive the evolution and growth of the business."

1. Tell us the highlights of your professional career.  What are your proudest achievements?

The ones that I am the most proud of are when I led our marketing team to partner with the San Diego Chargers and San Diego Padres as their official pizza.

I went on to sign the Del Mar Race Track, Phoenix Coyotes, Anaheim Ducks and now the Anaheim Angels as the official and exclusive pizza sold in each venue. Most recently, my proudest achievement has been the launch of our new Oggi’s Sports|Brewhouse|Pizza and Oggi’s Pizza Express brands.

2. What’s your favorite college memory?

My favorite memory was in my business plan development class where Professor Michael Cunningham sent myself and another student to New Orleans to research the devastation that Katrina had caused in support of the business plan that our class was writing and executing to raise $1,000,000 for Katrina victims during the three-month semester. We got pretty close to our goal!

3. Who was your favorite professor and/or what was your favorite class?

Professor Cunningham was my favorite. He challenged and inspired our class to do the impossible and we did it. I love professors that teach with their real world experience and that is exactly what he did.

4. If you were to give current SDSU students some advice, what would you say?

My advice to current SDSU students is to take advantage of all of the great programs that SDSU has to offer. For example, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center has partnered with many local entrepreneurs for students to network with and those experiences are very valuable.

My professional advice for students is to network, network, network, no matter what industry you are in. Your relationships will get you where you want to go. There is no way I would have succeeded in partnering with national sports teams if it wasn’t for the people I knew and relationships I had.

5. What are you currently reading? What’s your favorite book?

I hate to say it but I don’t have time to read books anymore. I am running a company and have two small children.

6. What quality do you value most in friends and colleagues?

I really value people that I know I can trust and count on. That has become the most important thing that I look for in my friends and team.

7. What is your passion?

My first passion is my family, but professionally, I crave the ability to grow and evolve a company.

8. If you won the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?

If I won the lottery I would first donate a large portion to a charity and my church, put some aside to invest for my family, then take the rest to build our Oggi’s Pizza Express concept throughout California!