Ken GrossmanKen Grossman

Founder, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

California State University, Chico

Ken Grossman has achieved a stunning level of business success and, in doing so, has enriched his community along the way. Mr. Grossman is the founder, sole owner, president and chief executive officer of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. What essentially began as a home brewing operation in 1980 has grown into the second largest craft brewery and seventh largest brewing company in the United States. Sierra Nevada is one of the largest locally owned employers in Butte County.

Beyond his commercial success, Mr. Grossman contributes substantial time and resources to local organizations, public television and radio, music and the arts, and many civic and community organizations. He also supports higher education by guest-teaching and speaking several times a year to student groups and business fraternities on entrepreneurship and the value of good corporate citizenship at California State University, Chico; the University of California, Davis; and Butte Community College. He received the Outstanding Entrepreneur Award from the CSU Chico College of Business in 2004 for his commitment to providing business students with an exemplary educational experience.

Mr. Grossman supports agricultural sustainability and environmental stewardship within his business. That approach, combined with his uncompromising approach to quality, continues to yield outstanding environmental, social and economic results. He serves on several river conservation boards, and is involved in local environmental organizations. He also sponsors an Award for Environmental Stewardship and was honored last year at the CSU Chico Sustainability Conference for his sustainable practices. In fact, his company has won numerous environmental and sustainability awards, including the prestigious Governor’s Environmental & Economic Leadership Award for Sustainable Practices in 2005.

In recognition of his outstanding success, community service and support of higher education, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Chico are proud to confer upon Ken Grossman the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.