College of Agriculture
Class of '81
Throughout his career, Dan Stark has been blessed with good luck. For a man who has made his living in Las Vegas, he’s been fortunate that the odds were on his side.
In 1981, Stark earned a B.S. in agricultural business management from Cal Poly Pomona, where he was a member of the University Union Board, served on the Poly Vue Committee, and also was captain of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Team. He expected to manage a horse ranch as a career, and he did that for seven years at Disneyland after graduation. But then, other opportunities opened up.
“I didn’t really choose my career path as much as I kind of just fell into it by being in the right place at the right time, being prepared to think outside the box and not being afraid to try new things,” he recalls. “The time at Disney allowed me to acquire professional experience in the entertainment/hospitality/tourism industry, which led me to other career opportunities. I greatly enjoy the tourism industry and the varied projects I have been able to work on.”
After leaving Disney, Stark headed up the tourism and marketing efforts of several cities. In 1999, he landed in Las Vegas, working for Boyd Gaming Corp., eventually becoming vice president of corporate marketing. He put some of his Cal Poly Pomona expertise to work when he was charged with elevating the visibility of the company during the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s National Finals Rodeo, which is held every December in Las Vegas.
Earlier this year, he left Boyd Gaming to become an independent executive consultant with Gaming Market Advisors.
Stark also continued his education through the years. In 1989, he received a Certificate in executive management from the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University, followed in 1992 by an M.A. in management, also from the Drucker School. He has been recognized and honored professionally numerous times with awards and listings in various “Who’s Who’ publications. He has also donated his time and money to various philanthropic endeavors, including serving on the Cal Poly Pomona Alumni Association Board.
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