George L. Pla
Recognition & Awards
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. George L. Pla is CEO and founder of Cordoba Corporation, a statewide full-service civil engineering firm specializing in the delivery of infrastructure projects in transportation, education, water, and energy sectors. For over 30 years, Cordoba has worked on complex infrastructure projects that span across California and are serviced through office locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Ana and San Diego. Cordoba Corporation is currently ranked by Engineering News-Record (ENR) as one of the Top 100 Professional Services Firms in the nation. 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 Board of Trustee 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. His efforts to support academic institutions spans many years and include serving as Regent Emeritus at Loyola Marymount University, Presidential Associate at the University of Southern California, and co-founder of the USC Latino Alumni Association. He also serves as a member of several advisory boards including the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering and USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. George is the former Co-Chair and member of the Southern California Leadership Council, a non-partisan, non-profit public policy partnership comprised of business and community leaders. He is a co-founder and the current Chairman of the Board of the City Club, Los Angeles, a premier private business club that embraces and reflects the diversity and spirit of the city. He 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.
For his philanthropy and community service, George L. Pla was recognized as Alumnus of the Year by California State University, Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California, and is the 2016 recipient of the California State University, Los Angeles Joe Shapiro Humanitarian Award. In 2017, he was featured in the Christian Science Monitor upon the naming of California State University, Los Angeles as the leading school in the nation for upward mobility. Josh Hartness, writing for the Monitor wrote, “George Pla is the embodiment of the American dream.” His civic and business achievements are also included 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 California State University, Los Angeles and holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California. He is also the co-author of an upcoming formative book on Latino politics, Power Shift, The Invention of Latino Politics & Transformation of America.