Baltazar Fedalizo: A Head For Business
After Baltazar Fedalizo (Class of ’97, B.A., Communications) was kicked out of
West Point, he went on to an undistinguished career at CSU Long Beach, playing football, enjoying fraternity life,
and ending up on academic probation. His father, a retired Army staff sergeant of 22 years, and a native of the
Philippines, sent his son there, ostensibly to check on some of the family’s property in the wake of the election
that overthrew President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.
“I said, ‘No problem,’ because the first thing on my mind is that it’s more time for goofing off,” he recalls. “But I forgot that when the grades came out, they went home, they didn’t go to the frat house. So my dad found out how
I was doing. I was excited and getting ready to go over there, when I found out there was no return ticket.
“My dad said, ‘I have your transcripts in front of me, and you’ve been on academic probation for a year and a half.’
He wouldn’t let me come back. So I had four years to think over there. I didn’t speak Tagalog at the time. My English
was poor compared to theirs, they didn’t understand my American slang. I went with my Lola (grandmother), to live in
the provinces, and it was just me and the carabao (water buffalo) and chickens. People spoke to me in Ilocano (a regional
dialect), and I had no idea what they were saying. So I just kept a diary.”
Fedalizo sent his father 1,200 pages of his repentance.
“You saw entries that were half a page, that grew to a full page, then grew to four or five pages for one day,” he
says. “He read bits and pieces of it. And he said, ‘Okay, I guess you’ve matured.’”
Upon returning home, Fedalizo enrolled at Dominguez Hills, and with his new commitment to completing his education,
set out to earn his four-year degree in two years.
“I looked at it as a business, not an academic setting,” he says. “When students put it in that paradigm, it will
maximize their dollar, and they will value what they do in college. Schools are here to make money. So the faster
I graduate and maximize my tuition, the more I win.”
Working 35 hours a week and taking 30 units a semester, Fedalizo was able to expedite his degree in the abbreviated
time planned, drawing attention from local press and universities from across the country.
“Berkeley, Harvard, and Florida State said they would fly me out there to share my experiences,” he says. “Each one
of them said, ‘You’re missing the college experience.’ I said, ‘I needed to get out of college. My job is not to stay
there, that time for me is past already. I need to get out into the real world.’
“I said to the guy from Harvard, ‘There’s a reason why you’re at Harvard. You have no sense of urgency. You just need
to get to that seat that was made for you from birth.’ I’m going to Dominguez Hills, this is a working man’s school.”
According to Fedalizo, the college experience for a Dominguez Hills student should include spending time with one’s
professors in order to further the “mission.”
“I would ask them, ‘What do you think of this?’ They didn’t really see themselves as consultants, who thought, ‘I should
fill this guy up with what I know.’ These guys honestly said, as student to pupil, ‘This is what I would do, based on
what you told me.’ I would put my trust in that.
“As a matter of fact, Professor [Donn] Silvis (professor of communications) was the one who guided me to doing my master’s
thesis on the demographics of baby boomers. He didn’t see the potential monies I could have made out of it, he just
thought, ‘This is one of my former students who has faith in what I say.’”
Fedalizo, who earned his M.B.A. at the University of Redlands, did his thesis research on the spending habits of “junior
seniors,” the boomer generation born in 1946.
“They don’t spend their money like their parents because they’re the sandwich generation,” he says. “Not only do they
worry about their kids, but now their parents are living longer. So now their resources are going three ways. I tracked
their migration patterns, net worth, how many revenue streams they have, how many hard currencies and soft revenues they
have. You see a lot of junior seniors going to financially secure countries, the Philippines, Peru, or Ecuador, that
doesn't even have its own money, they use dollars down there. They take off to Florida and other southern states, to
get a bigger bang for their buck.”
Once he completed his thesis, he began shopping the data around, selling it to venture capitalists, M.B.A. students at
USC, and Molina Health Care. With the proceeds, he was able to invest in a business, Infinite Solutions Adult Day Health
Care Center in Long Beach, which he owns and operates with a partner. He acquired a Subway franchise in San Pedro with
former classmate Sean Gaultier (Class of ’98, B.A., Theatre Arts) in 2004, turning the lowest store out of 500 in Los
Angeles county into the one with the highest net sales the following year, at a 146 percent increase. Fedalizo also
teaches business administration at Pasadena City College, sharing his real-world acumen with students.
And finally, the West Point reject will be able to serve his country after all. Fedalizo was recruited into the United States Navy
Supply Core Officer Corps, a program for able-bodied entrepreneurs and high-level executives under the age of 40.
Officer-candidates are chosen from those who have demonstrated an ability to manage and scale financial challenges
while meeting milestones in their own or a corporation’s goals.
“I received a call, and they asked if I would be interested, they had seen my resume on Monster.com,” he says. “They
were looking for business managers for their units, and that I would come in as a full lieutenant to help the supply
corps, prevent cost overruns, manage supply chains, and to do it with a more entrepreneurial spirit.
“I guess what happens is that things [in the military] remain status quo,” he observes. “You see those news articles
where [the government] has paid $1,000 for a toilet seat or something like that. They want sharp eyes on things like
that, with people who have operated with minimum budgets but with maximum output.”
Fedalizo decided to join the Officer Corps because of his family’s history of military service. His father,
Baltazar Sr., joined the Army infantry at the age of 17 in Guam, then went on to do two tours in Korea and Vietnam,
where he met his wife, a Native American in the Women’s Army Corps.
“I see what is going on in the world and I thought I had better do something to help the security of my country,”
Baltazar said. “I was very upset when we were attacked on September 11. I was even more upset when I heard the rumblings
of why people thought we were attacked, as though we were to blame for it.”
Baltazar hopes to bring an entrepreneurial spirit to the Navy akin to what he brought to both of his company’s
“I am a believer in doing more with less,” he says. “I think I can bring a different kind of thinking to the table
based on what I have accomplished.”
- Joanie Harmon