The Pride: Marcela Escobar-Alava ’92

Marcela Escobar-Alava ’92 is a graduate of the LMU College of Business Administration with a degree in business administration. Her career journey started at the age of 9 when she began helping out in her family’s Mexican restaurant franchise, Casa Escobar. Follow her path from there to the most famous address in the United States: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C.


El Monte, California

Description: works with her father in the family business, starting at the age of 9 through college

Experience gained: service, inventory, bookkeeping, purchasing, management, marketing, bartending and chef

Highlights: “I took on a high degree of responsibility at a young age, developed ability to deal with any business situation or crisis.”

Mentor: father, John Escobar, and mother, Antonia Escobar


Los Angeles, California

Description: accepted to my dream college 

Experience gained: “LIfe happened,” had 2.5 children, got married, took a leave, then returned and landed an entry-level job in finance and accounting before graduation

Highlights: “LMU offered options and flexibility when I was ready to drop out halfway through.”

Mentor: Leticia Vidal, in Alumni Engagement: “She helped me as a counselorand cultural connector to other Latino students.”


Culver City, California

Description: “I went from lowest union level IV accounting clerk to Divisional CIO for Home Entertainment.” 

Experience gained: led or played role in major projects, strategic joint ventures, acquisitions, and system implementations

Highlights: “I was able to jump into a leadership role on every new venture the company undertook.”

Mentor: Dave Cortese, who prepared me to take over his global CIO post at Sony Pictures.


Covina and San Pedro, California

Description: restaurants, party store, catering, real estate

Experience gained: concurrently launched a couple startup restaurant concepts, event services, and catered on weekends

Highlights: “I learned if you don’t give your ventures 100%of your attention, don’t expect stellar results and you may end up with $45K bag of oregano (a long story).”


Los Angeles, California

Description: led the organization under many hats of CIO, chief information & marketing officer and chief digital officer

Experience gained: led full digital transformation that included unprecedented reach via a national Ad Council campaign

Highlights: enabled HSF to land one of the biggest grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (more than $470M)

Mentor: Fidel Vargas, president and CEO, who taught me that limitless thinking yields exponential impact in the Latino community.


Washington, D.C. 

Description: Executive Office of the President, special assistant to the president and chief of enterprise applications

Experience gained: lead modernization and digital efforts accross the enterprise

Highlights: walk the halls; lead modernization and digital efforts across the enterprise

Mentor: David Recordon, who served in the Obama-Biden administration and helped me adapt to this one-of-a kind mission environment.

The Pride is a new LMU Magazine department that delves into the story of an LMU alum’s career journey. Each career professional featured on these pages is a member of The Pride online network. Connect with them and other Lion career professionals at The

Illustrations by Daniele Simonelli