Current position: Semi-retired
Career path: Navas earned two graduate degrees at RIT while working full-time for Xerox Corp. After more than 12 years with the company, he was lured to the Silicon Valley in 1983 by Advanced Micro Devices, ultimately becoming director of internal audit. He left AMD to join GRiD Systems, “a tiny little computer company” that was later purchased by Tandy and moved to Texas. The president of GRiD went to Cisco Systems and recruited Navas.
Cisco had 50 employees at the time. Navas became the controller and then treasurer and helped launch Cisco’s initial public offering in 1990, which was recently listed as one of the best IPOs of all time by BusinessInsider.com. He retired in 1991 at age 45.
Today, Navas builds and rides motorcycles and has traveled across the country three times alone. “I like talking to people I haven’t met, learning about cultures that are different. When I get to a new town, I go to the grocery store, the hardware store, the library and the municipal museum and I meet people.”
Remembering RIT: A few years ago, he reconnected with one of his favorite RIT professors, Gene Fram, who now lives in the San Francisco area. Through Fram, Navas became involved with the Saunders College of Business. When he visited RIT for the first time in more than 30 years, “my jaw dropped to the ground. When I was a student, RIT was a small school. The transformation is astonishing.”
He was named to the Board of Trustees in July 2013.
He is a strong proponent of RIT’s career focus. “We offer serious technological education for mature people. Our graduates are ready to work.”
Hometown: Westbury, N.Y. (Long Island)
Currently resides in: Twin Peaks area of San Francisco