William Jessup University will honor four esteemed alumni who are excelling in their respective fields of endeavor at its annual Jessup Gala, which takes place Sunday, October 4 at the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento.
This year’s theme is “A Heart for the City.” The Jessup Gala will honor four revered William Jessup University alumni – Gabrielle Jackson, Brandon Steiger, Michael Borgaard, and Christine Vatuone – who are excelling in their respective fields of business, education, public policy and nonprofit organizations.
The Jessup Gala traditionally celebrates its proud past. William Jessup established the university in 1939 when it started with a modest 14 students and was called San Jose Bible College. Later renamed San Jose Christian College, the school relocated to Rocklin in 2004, and has experienced significant growth over that 11-year period.
“Many people are not aware of the rich heritage that surrounds William Jessup University,” Dr. Jackson said. “We celebrate our proud past at the Jessup Gala and this year that also means honoring four alumni who are excelling in their professional lives. This night is truly a night of praise, reflection and celebration as we tell our story, honor God, and the many people who have been instrumental to our tremendous growth and continued impact throughout the Sacramento region.”
The “Big Idea Guy,” Steiger sits at the leadership helm of Synergema, an integrated marketing firm that harnesses the power of technology to grow businesses from the inside out.
Steiger, who is married with two children, graduated from William Jessup University (formerly San Jose Christian College) in 2000. He began his career at a Bay Area dot-com and later moved to South Carolina to head up the Internet division of the world’s largest donor management software company. Driven by a desire to build relationships instead of widgets, Brandon started his company in 2005. A decade later, Steiger and Synergema still have their first clients.
With a client list that boasts national professional service firms, international nonprofits and foundations, renown schools and universities, industry-leading advertising and design agencies, and retail giants, Steiger continues to grow strong, long-lasting relationships by providing innovative and creative strategies both online and off, never forgetting the inspiration behind Synergema’s name.
Steiger, who lives in Downingtown, PA, has been the recipient of multiple awards, including SCORE of Chester County Small Business Achievement Award and Downingtown Best Digital Agency. He volunteers on the Board of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Marketing Association and is an active member and volunteer at Marsh Creek Community Church.
“My college education helped me prepare for my current profession by continually challenging me through classes and experience to never look at the surface value, never accept the pat answer, but to continually question, investigate, and to build a defensible answer for everything,” Steiger said. “In the integrated marketing field, it is not about the pretty picture or what ‘feels’ right – it’s about finding defensible answers to our client’s solutions. It is thinking differently and it is thinking outside of the box to find creative solutions to difficult problems.”
The Annual Jessup Gala, which begins at 5:30 p.m., raises funds for student scholarships. Throughout the evening, guests will have the opportunity to bid on a menagerie of desirable items during the silent auction. The Gala is open to the public. Evening attire is suggested.
The Jessup Gala features a four-course dinner and includes musical performances from the University Choir and Crossroads, plus a “State of the University” address’ from WJU President, John Jackson.
To purchase tickets for the Jessup Gala, please visit www.jessup.edu/gala .