George L. Pla
Recognition & Awards
- Joe Shapiro Award – California State University, Los Angeles
- Presidential Medallion – California State University, Los Angeles
- Distinguished Alumni Award – Community College League of California
- Maestro Award for Entrepreneurship – Latino Leaders Magazine
- Community Development Award – Plaza Community Services
- Christian Science Monitor – Why Cal State L.A.turns the most low income students into top earners
- Los Angeles Daily News – Guest Commentary: Education, opportunity — lasting solution to poverty
- Southern California Public Radio – Meet the man who planned Endeavour’s route through LA
George L. Pla is a successful entrepreneur, best-selling author, and philanthropist whose work spans business and civic activities that hold the common theme of enhancing communities throughout California. He is the Founder and CEO of Cordoba Corporation, a statewide full-service engineering firm specializing in the delivery of infrastructure projects in transportation, education, water, and energy sectors.
For nearly 40 years, Cordoba Corporation has worked on complex infrastructure projects throughout California through offices located in Sacramento, San Francisco, San Ramon, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, Ontario, Santa Ana, and San Diego. Cordoba Corporation 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’s entrepreneurship and financial knowledge has also been demonstrated through 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 is the co-author of the formative book on Latino politics, Power Shift – How Latinos in California Transformed Politics in America. Power Shift recounts the origins and development of ten Los Angeles Latino leaders who transformed politics and government, forging a progressive political tradition in the process. While the perspective focuses on Latino politics, Power Shift at its core is a story of the American Dream that resonates across cultures and communities. George is currently working on two follow up books that will constitute the “Power Shift Trilogy”, along with a documentary and an institute planned at California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA).
George’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. 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. In addition, 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’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.
George’s support for educational institutions also includes serving on the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s External Leadership Advisory Council; President’s Advisory Council at 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 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 has been recognized by USC and Cal State LA as an Alumnus of the Year. Cal State LA has further honored George with the Joe Shapiro Humanitarian Award and 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.
For his commitment to the community college system and his alma mater, East Los Angeles College (ELAC), George is a recipient of the prestigious California Community Colleges Distinguished Alumni Award, as well as ELAC’s 2018 Alumnus of the Year award.
George is a graduate of Cal State LA and holds a Master of Public Administration from USC. His 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.
For more information on Power Shift, please visit www.Powershiftbooks.com.