2016 Joe Shapiro Award Recipient

George L. Pla

photo of George Pla

Cal State LA alumnus George L. Pla, a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, is honored with the 2016 Joe Shapiro Humanitarian Award for his ongoing commitment to enhancing communities throughout Southern California.

Pla is president, CEO and founder of Cordoba Corporation, a nationally recognized civil engineering, program and construction management firm specializing in transportation, education, water and energy infrastructure. For over 30 years, he has provided the leadership and vision to grow Cordoba Corporation into one of the top firms of its kind, providing services to large public infrastructure projects throughout the western United States. His professional achievements have been recognized by the Hispanic Business Magazine, which named him as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics.

Pla’s dedication to supporting higher education includes serving as a regent emeritus at Loyola Marymount University, presidential associate at the University of Southern California and co-founder of the USC Latino Alumni Association.

Pla currently serves as the co-chair of the Southern California Leadership Council, a non-partisan, non-profit public policy partnership comprised of business and community leaders. He is a co-founder of the City Club, a premier private business club in Los Angeles that embraces and reflects the diversity and spirit of the city. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the California Science Center Foundation and chaired the planning and engineering efforts of the historic transport of the Space Shuttle Endeavour through the streets of Los Angeles. Pla is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Catalina Island Conservancy, which stewards approximately 42,000 acres on Catalina Island through a balance of conservation, education and recreation.

Pla earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Cal State LA and a master’s degree in public administration from USC. In 1991, he was honored as Cal State LA’s Alumnus of the Year and continues to leave his mark on the University as a member of the President’s Council.