Presidents of Chico

Presidents Day isn’t just about getting a few days off…wait…what is President’s Day about? Since we can’t interview Abraham Lincoln or George Washington, we decided to go out and find some of our local community Presidents and ask them some questions instead. Hail to the chiefs!

chico high prez

Kiley Hayes

 

Student Body President Chico High School

 

If you were president of the US for a day, what would you do?
If I was president of the USA I would fly my private jet plane to the poorest cities in the nation. I would shake the hands of men struggling to support their families, single moms trying to raise their children, and kids trying to defy the odds and not let their circumstances define them. And I would tell them that I cared.

 

What was your path to election and how did you earn the title?
I was homeschooled until my freshmen year of high school so when I switched to public school I was excited to make friends and meet new people. Getting to know many of my classmates and students and in other classes has been such a privilege, and having the opportunity to be student body president is one that I do not take for granted. Being involved in student government since my sophomore year, sports teams all four years, and clubs for the past couple years has helped me to form new friendships and gain trust from my classmates. I believe I was elected student body president of Chico High because I am confident in who I am, take every opportunity to reach out to others, and have developed my leadership skills to effectively guide our student body.

 

Who is your favorite US president and why?
President Lincoln is my favorite president because he lived with conviction and didn’t compromise even when he faced serious opposition. He is an example to anyone in leadership who wants to lead with passion, confidence, and love for the people who are trusting in their guidance. Carrying our country through one of its most difficult time periods marked by a war that threatened to tear our nation apart, he used discernment and wisdom to fight for freedom while counting the cost. He led this country with a zeal and a devotion to its people that I believe has not been demonstrated by a president since his death.

zingg

Paul Zingg
President
California State
University Chico

 

If you were president of the US for a day, what would you do? Stop being the world’s policeman and concentrate more on enabling the citizens of our country to have stronger educational opportunities, employment prospects, and health care.

 

What was your path to election and how did you earn the title?
I was chosen by a search committee charged with the task of selecting Chico State’s president. I have worked in higher education since 1972 and in university leadership positions since 1978.

 

What’s your take on the binge drinking problem in Chico and do you have any ideas for solutions?
The binge drinking problem is real.  So the first step is acknowledging that.  I co-authored the Community Call for Action on this matter so that reflects my commitment to addressing it.

 

Who is your favorite US president and why?
Lincoln.  He defined leadership as part humility, humanity, and humor.  He always focused on the long view and was able to articulate his vision brilliantly.

Katie

Katie Simmons

 

President & CEO

 

Chico Chamber of Commerce

 

If you were president of the US for a day, what would you do?
I would take my two young daughters to work for the day! We’d whip the country into shape in no time.

 

What was your path to election and how did you earn the title?
I was named President & CEO of the Chico Chamber in March of 2012 after heading up two other non-profit organizations in the Chico area. I am lucky to call Valerie Reddemann Chair of our Board of Directors as she has infused exciting energy and creativity into our organization this year!

 

What’s your take on the binge drinking problem in Chico and do you have any ideas for solutions?
 I agree that it’s going to take the entire community to address this issue and the Chico Chamber is certainly involved in the conversation. We’re talking with businesses impacted by the call for action and we’re looking at how we can collectively be part of the solution.

 

Who is your favorite US president and why?
She hasn’t been elected yet.

EPSON DSC Picture

Alan Tochterman 

 

President
Downtown Chico Business Association

 

If you were president of the US for a day, what would you do? 

 

One day is probably too short of a time frame to accomplish anything in this day and age. However, if I were the president, my first priority would be to work toward ending the petty bickering that is occurring in both of our houses of Congress.

 

What’s your take on the binge drinking problem in Chico and do you have any ideas for solutions?

 

Back in the day when I was in college (commonly referred to as the Dark Ages), many students experimented with drinking because it was the first time that they were away from home and on their own. Today, there is a different atmosphere. Depending on the statistics, you quote somewhere between 26% to 40% of the incoming freshmen at the university level across the country have had some exposure to drug or alcohol abuse, not just experimentation. While I certainly believe that the students themselves need to take responsibility for their own actions, it has now become more of a societal problem than in the past. I currently do not feel qualified to answer what the solution might be, however am willing to participate any way I can to help.

 

Who is your favorite US president and why?

 

George Washington. President Washington had the unique ability, which was evident during the drafting of the Constitution, to make people of divergent political opinions come together for a common goal and get the job done. While James Madison is considered as the Father of the United States Constitution, it was George Washington who kept order among the delegates. When things became heated, he would remind them why they were there and get them to stay on course.

AS prez Jay

Jaypinderpal Virdee

 

President
CSU, Chico Associated Students

 

If you were president of the US for a day, what would you do?

 

I would increase funding to higher education and donate 50% of my paycheck to charity.

 

What was your path to election? How did you go about earning the title?

 

My path prior to presidency was interesting. Two days before my freshman year started, I walked up to the AS President, Joe Igbineweka at the time, and told him I would be AS President one day. Three years later, after serving as the Commissioner of Community Affairs for two years and being involved with different campus organizations, I was blessed to have this position.

 

What’s your take on the binge drinking problem in Chico and do you have any ideas for solutions?

 

I think it is great that the student, community, and university are tackling this issue. Safety should be an importance to everyone affiliated to this city. My take for a solution right now varies between educational programming, prevention efforts, and personal responsibility. I will be curious to see what the discussion will be on February 22nd.

 

Who is your favorite US president and why?

 

Hands down, John F. Kennedy is my favorite United States President. He was a personable, charismatic, and strategic president. I admire many qualities he had as a leader.

maddie

Madison Bassow
ASB President
Pleasant Valley High School

 

If you were president of the US for a day, what would you do?
If I were US president for a day I would probably spend the morning wandering the White House, then the afternoon taking pictures of myself in the Oval Office and then in the evening I would create the perfect guest list and throw a presidential ball.

 

What was your path to election and how did you earn the title?
The main qualification for my title is to have served a year prior in PVHS student government which I had done my junior year. Towards the end of my junior year, I campaigned with posters and social media and on election day I presented a speech, complete with my own personal rendition of Justin Bieber’s “Baby”. The student body voted and elected me ASB president of PV.

 

Who is your favorite US president and why?
I don’t think I have one. I admire just about anyone who has enough knowledge and confidence to take on that role.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nolan Ford grew up in Chico, California with great respect and admiration for Synthesis and its mission to provide an alternative voice on matters of music, art, and life in Chico. In addition to editing the paper and managing its musical content, Nolan performs with various bands around town including Perpetual Drifters, The Rugs, Pat Hull, and acoustic duo, Emma & Nolan.