Stella Zhang, Sunstone Management Founding Partner, Named Distinguished Alumna at University of California, Irvine

IRVINE, Calif. – (October 27, 2023) – Stella Zhang, chief operating officer at American Lending Center and partner at Sunstone Management, Inc., received the Distinguished Alumni award from the University of California, Irvine, at the annual Lauds & Laurels ceremony Oct. 26.

Zhang was nominated to represent the Paul Merage School of Business. She received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) there in 2005.

This is the 52nd year for Lauds & Laurels, UCI’s oldest tradition recognizing outstanding individuals for their service to the community, professional excellence and campus involvement. There are 24 distinguished alumni this year representing each school at the university, including Extraordinarius Award winners Paul and Jo Butterworth.

In 2022, Zhang agreed to sponsor the Stella Zhang New Venture Competition where student teams pitch business concepts developed through the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Teams compete for a prize pot of $100,000, including a $20,000 first prize, to help further their business development.

“UCI has been a big part of my life,” Zhang said. “The university helps people build businesses in the community, and that is a cause I am passionate about. I am deeply honored by this award.”

The awards celebration took place Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Hyatt Regency Irvine. For more information, visit

American Lending Center (ALC) and Sunstone Management, Inc., are headquartered in Irvine. ALC is a private nonbank lending institution and Sunstone is a diversified private capital management firm.

About the UCI Alumni Association: The UCI Alumni Association was founded in 1968 to enrich the lives of alumni and engage them in lifelong advancement of UCI. It fosters the success of the university’s more than 227,000 alumni by connecting them to one another and providing a wide range of campus resources. For more information, visit

About American Lending Center: A Financial Times (FT) Americas’ Fastest Growing Company

American Lending Center (ALC) is a private nonbank lending institution and nationally recognized leader in small business lending. ALC has offered strategically structured senior loan products to 83 qualified projects in 19 states, contributing more than $1.2 billion to the economy and creating more than 13,000 new jobs nationwide since 2009. ALC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., doing business across the country and the world. Follow American Lending Center on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

More About Sunstone Management
Sunstone Management is a diversified private capital sponsor firm located in Southern California that invests in diverse early-stage technology entrepreneurs who seek to build great companies. We believe in the aspirational power of the American economy to attract and inspire investors and entrepreneurs from throughout the world. We deliver new and exciting opportunities for economic growth through the creation of innovative public-private partnerships, and our unique experience across government, education, and private sectors. Identified by Financial Times as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row. In the second quarter of 2023, PitchBook ranked Sunstone the seventh most active early-stage venture capital firm in the country, and 18th overall.

Connect with Sunstone: LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Crunchbase | Pitchbook 

© Sunstone Management, Inc.

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