George L. Pla

President & Chief Executive Officer

George L. Pla is a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist whose work spans business and civic activities that hold the common theme of enhancing communities throughout California. He is the Founder, President and CEO of Cordoba Corporation, a statewide full-service engineering, construction management and program management firm specializing in the delivery of infrastructure projects in transportation, education, water, and energy sectors.

For over 35 years, Cordoba has worked on complex infrastructure projects that span California and are serviced through office locations in Sacramento, San Francisco, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, Santa Ana and San Diego.  Cordoba has been recognized by Engineering News-Record as one of the Top 50 Program Management Firms and one of the Top 100 Construction Management Firms in the nation, as well as a California Top Design Firm.  A history of George L. Pla’s founding of Cordoba Corporation and his philosophy of leadership is recorded in a curriculum-based case study authored by the Harvard Business School.

George L. Pla’s recent philanthropic and civic activities include serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of the California Science Center where he chaired the planning and engineering efforts of Cordoba Corporation’s historic transport of the Space Shuttle Endeavour and ET-94 fuel boosters through the streets of Los Angeles.  George is 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 and former Co-Chair of the Southern California Leadership Council, a non-partisan, non-profit public policy partnership comprised of business and community leaders.  George also served on the Board of Directors of the Catalina Island Conservancy, which stewards approximately 42,000 acres through a balance of conservation, environmental protection, and education.

George L. Pla’s financial knowledge and track record has been demonstrated in the founding, development and sale of two banks, First American Bank (OTC: FTAB) and Santa Ana Business Bank (OTC: SABB). He has been named by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Latinos in the nation.

George L. Pla’s efforts to support academic institutions includes serving as a Regent Emeritus at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and as a Presidential Associate at the University of Southern California (USC).  He serves on the Board of Advisors for the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering; the Board of Councilors for USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy; and the Program Advisory Committee for Stanford University’s Construction Institute.

In addition, George L. Pla serves on the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s External Leadership Advisory Council; President’s Advisory Council at California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA); Philanthropic Foundation Board of Governors at California State University, Fullerton; Development Council for the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles (StudyLA) at LMU; and Board of Advisors for the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles.

For his philanthropy and community service, George L. Pla has been recognized by USC and Cal State LA as an Alumnus of the Year.  In 2016, George was the recipient of the Cal State LA Joe Shapiro Humanitarian Award. In 2017, Cal State LA further honored George by presenting him with the Presidential Medallion. The medallion is bestowed upon individuals who have displayed outstanding leadership and extraordinary service to the students and faculty of the university.

In 2018, George L. Pla received the prestigious California Community Colleges Distinguished Alumni Award, after being nominated for the honor by East Los Angeles College (ELAC), his alma mater.  In 2019, ELAC further honored George L. Pla as Alumnus of the Year at its 15th Annual President’s Gala.

George L. Pla’s civic and business achievements are featured in several books, including Hispanic USA, Nine Nations of America, CEOs Speak Out, Eastside Landmark, Building Bridges of Understanding, and Change from the Inside: My Life, the Chicano Movement, and the Story of an Era.

George L. Pla is a graduate of Cal State LA and holds a Master of Public Administration degree from USC. He is also the co-author the formative book on Latino politics, Power Shift, How Latinos in California Transformed Politics in America.  For more information on Power Shift, please go to