Pamela Lopker, who founded Santa Barbara software company QAD and expanded it to include 27 offices and more than 1,600 employees serving manufacturers in more than 100 countries, will speak at the next California Lutheran University Corporate Leaders Breakfast.

Lopker will present “The QAD Story” at the event from 7:30-9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, at The Fess Parker, A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, 633 E Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara.

Lopker, chairman and president of QAD, started working as a software developer after graduating from UCSB with a degree in mathematics and economics.

When her future husband, Karl F. Lopker, a founder of Deckers Brands, asked her to develop software for his company that integrated manufacturing, financial operations and order management, she quit her job to write it. At the time, multiple software programs were required to run a manufacturing supply chain.

In 1979, Lopker, then 25, started QAD to sell the software to a wider market. Her husband joined the company two years later and today serves as CEO.

Today, Lopker continues to lead QAD and remains the driving force behind its research and development program. QAD is working to make the transition to machine-machine communication and the Internet of Things faster, simpler and less costly for customers.

Fortune magazine has profiled Lopker four times, dubbing her a Hero of U.S. Manufacturing in 2001. Ernst and Young named her Entrepreneur of the Year for the Greater Los Angeles Area in 1996, and she was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in 1997.

Through the Lopker Family Foundation, she and her husband helped establish the first endowed chair in computer science at UCSB. In addition, QAD has spearheaded technology initiatives through Project Upgrade and TeachNet, which provide grants to Santa Barbara County schools, since 2005.

The Corporate Leaders Breakfast Series brings members of the business and civic communities together to share ideas and hear from prominent leaders in the region. The series continues with a presentation by IndieU co-founders Jeffrey and Natalie Edell on app development and entertainment on March 3 in Ventura and a panel talk on hospitality industry trends on May 2 at Cal Lutheran.

Reservations are requested by Thursday, Jan. 19. To RSVP, contact Sharon Nelson at For more information, go to

— Karin Grennan for California Lutheran University.