We are proud to introduce Kirk Tramble ’93, MBA as the new president of the board of directors for the Cal Alumni Association. Tramble earned his B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science at Cal and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. In his professional life, Tramble has gained extensive experience working at Chevron, Oracle, Microsoft, Apple, Nitro Inc., and, most recently, Kizata LLC. We sat down with Tramble for a formal introduction to the alumni community.
CAA: What does being a Berkeley alum mean to you?
KT: Being a UC Berkeley alum means a lot to me. UC Berkeley means a lot to my family. My parents were both Cal alumni, graduates of the class of 1971. I’m a Cal alum, and two of my sons are both alumni, and one is currently enrolled as a student. So Berkeley and the blue and gold mean so much to me and my family.
CAA: Is there a place on campus that holds special significance to you?
KT: There is a place on campus that holds significance to me—if you count Cafe Strada as being on campus. I love Cafe Strada because it first introduced me to the Strada Bianca Mocha, which I later found out that Starbucks stole and made the white chocolate mocha. It’s significant because I started my cafe-drinking experience at Cal, and the Strada Bianca Mocha was my favorite over the years. Even as an alum, I find myself going there to get the tastes of Cal throughout the years, and every time I decided to think or become studious, I’d go to Cafe Strada. When I was preparing for my MBA studies, I started studying for the GMAT at Cafe Strada. That’s one place that I love and reminds me of the late eighties, early nineties, when I was a student here.
CAA: How do you stay connected to Cal?
KT: I stay connected to Cal through my volunteering with the CAA Board of Directors. Most recently, I’ve enjoyed camping at the Lair of the Golden Bear, and that has been fantastic. I stay connected through an alumni club that I co-founded with a classmate of mine, Miller Allen ’93, M.S. ’95, Ph.D. ’02, called the Black Engineering and Science Alumni Club. We most recently held a student welcome event where we had a number of students come out and the dean of the engineering school, Dean Tsu-Jae King Liu, as well as faculty.
CAA: As board president, what values are important to you?
KT: The values that are most important to me are values around diversity, equity, and inclusion. We want the alumni association to be welcoming and celebrating everyone, and I think we have a great opportunity to do that. We have a number of wonderful events. We have a number of wonderful scholarships and activities. There are lots of places for alumni to plug in and get engaged, and we want everyone to feel welcome and invited.
CAA: How will you advance CAA’s mission?
KT: By making it my priority to invite people personally to be involved: get involved with our scholarships, get involved with reading scholarships, come to our events, come to the Lair, read California magazine, travel with Cal Discoveries. I think invitations are very, very powerful, and so my hope is to push the mission forward through invitation.