When it comes to Cal State L.A.'s distinguished alumni, Mike Lucki ('78) is, indeed, one for the books.
Lucki grew up locally in Monterey Park, and attended Cal State L.A., receiving a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting. He became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), with licenses in California and then Louisiana.
Lucki joined the ranks of Ernst & Young—one of the largest professional service firms in the world, and now one of the "Big Four" accounting firms. He worked with Ernst & Young for many years, where he achieved the level of senior partner and led Ernst & Young's global engineering and construction industry and infrastructure practices.
"The thing that makes the public accounting profession exciting," Lucki says, "is that you learn something new every day."
In November 2010, Lucki joined CH2M HILL—a leader in major project management, consulting, engineering, construction and operations. CH2M Hill is an employee-owned, global company with 18,000 shareholders, over 28,000 employees in 80 plus countries, and annual revenues of $6.3 billion. The company manages some of the world's most complex and significant programs, including the Panama Canal Expansion Program; facilities and infrastructure for London's 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; and the relocation of U.S. Military forces in South Korea.
Lucki's responsibilities as chief financial officer and senior vice president include all financial aspects of CH2M HILL operations, spanning corporate development, treasury, mergers and acquisitions, tax, finance and accounting, Securities and Exchange Commission reporting, strategy, financial planning and forecasting, information technology and internal audit. He is also a member of CH2M Hill Board of Directors, which oversees strategic planning and company governance.
Over the breadth of his career, Lucki has experience in more than 100 mergers and acquisitions—including deal structuring, due diligence, tax structuring, complex financing issues, and merger integration. He is also experienced in financial reporting (including the Securities and Exchange Commission), initial public offerings, risk management practices, taxation and corporate finance issues, strategic planning, and capital market transactions.
Lucki's commitment to excellence is also evident in his continued support of Cal State L.A. He served as president of the CSULA Alumni Board, is former chair of the College of Business and Economics Accounting Advisory Board, and is currently a trustee of the California State University System Foundation Board. In 1989, Lucki was named the College of Business and Economics' Distinguished Alumnus of the Year—the highest award offered to a graduate based on exemplary career and service. And in 1991, the Accounting Department named Lucki Outstanding Alumnus of the Year.
Over the years, Lucki recruited interns and employees through the accounting program, volunteering his time to personally work with students on campus. He continues to donate hotel points and airline miles to faculty for professional trips.
While a partner with Ernst & Young, Lucki also established an endowed scholarship that will continue to serve a significant number of students on an accounting career path in perpetuity. Taking the lead, he helped cultivate a culture of giving to Cal State L.A. within the firm, where dozens of Ernst & Young employees—many of whom are not from Cal State L.A.—still pool their money annually to support substantial accounting scholarships and endowed funds for faculty.
Now that the Ernst & Young commitment is fully funded at $225,000, Lucki has made plans to establish a new endowed scholarship fund focused on supporting underserved communities that do not traditionally consider the field of accounting as a profession.
"When you invest in Cal State L.A., you are going to see a return," Lucki says. "I received a great education at a reasonable price and I want to make that same opportunity available to other people. I feel indebted to the university for that."