SPOKANE, Wash.–Earlier this month Irv Zakheim, president and CEO of Zak Designs, was one of three graduates to be honored by California State University Northridge at the 13th Annual Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony.
Zakheim joined Don Hahn, an Oscar nominated producer and Carol Vaness, a singer with the Metropolitan Opera, as the 2011 recipients of the CSUN Distinguished Alumni Award.
“It’s definitely an amazing honor, and I’m incredibly flattered to receive it,” Zakheim said. “I imagine that most of us hold our alma mater in pretty high esteem. And to have your school tell you that they’re proud of what you’ve accomplished with your career is extremely humbling.”
“Alumni represent the outcome of the educational experience,” said D.G. “Gray” Mounger, assistant vice president of CSUN alumni relations in a statement published in the school newsletter. “The current and past recipients of the Cal State Northridge Distinguished Alumni Awards set an inspiring example for our students and alumni, as they are among the nation’s very best in their particular professions or fields of endeavor. And they often credit their alma mater for helping prepare them for future success.”
In addition to founding Zak Designs 35 years ago, Zakheim has also established the Zak!Charity Open, one of the Inland Northwest’s most prestigious charity events, which has raised more than $2.5 million for local children’s charities. Zakheim is also owner of the Spokane RiverHawks, a summer collegiate baseball team that he established as a non-profit organization as a way to help increase and improve the opportunities for youth baseball in the Inland Northwest.