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Monday, March 27, 2023

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Alison Fleury Alison Fleury

Top Health Care Executive Still Uses Lessons Learned at SDSU

For Alison Fleury ('85), the very basic principles of accounting took root with an education in business.
By Suzanne Finch

“Since SDSU had a strong accounting program, it was my top choice. I didn’t even apply to any other universities.”

San Diego native Alison Fleury ('85) knew she would be an accounting major at San Diego State University while she was still in high school in the late 1970s. 

“I attended Bonita Vista High School and was very strong in math,” said Fleury. “By the time I reached my senior year, I had taken all of the math courses offered by the school, so I enrolled in an accounting course as a math course alternative. I excelled in the class and enjoyed it, so I enrolled at San Diego State as an accounting major.” 

Fleury said she chose to attend what was then the College of Business Administration at SDSU (now the Fowler College of Business) for the same reason as many others. 

“I was putting myself through college, so going to SDSU made financial sense,” she said. “Since SDSU had a strong accounting program, it was my top choice. I didn’t even apply to any other universities.” 

During one of her first accounting courses, Fleury met her future mentor and most influential faculty member.

Pat Sbarbaro was a manager at Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC), who also taught accounting at San Diego State,” said Fleury. “I established a great relationship with Pat, first as her student and later, as her student assistant. She helped me advance my skills to reach my career goals, and she gave me the three best recommendations for success: Learn to play golf, learn to play tennis and run for office in Beta Alpha Psi.

“I still enjoy tennis and golf today,” she added, “and I was president of Beta Alpha Psi my senior year.” 

Career Opportunity

Fleury said it was her leadership role within Beta Alpha Psi, an honor society for accounting, finance and management information systems students, that led to her first job out of college in June 1985, as an audit associate at Deloitte’s San Diego office. 

Her first client was Sharp HealthCare, and it was a relationship that would change her life. “Sharp was a very progressive integrated delivery system in the 1980s with a strong mission and values,” said Fleury. “It was growing rapidly through affiliations and I enjoyed the purpose, worthwhile work and ability to make a difference that Sharp had to offer.”

During her six years at Deloitte, Fleury was promoted to the position of audit manager as the firm-designated healthcare specialist. In 1991, she left Deloitte and joined Sharp as the director of financial and business affairs at Sharp Grossmont Hospital where she rose through the ranks to her current position, senior vice president of business development of Sharp HealthCare.

In her current role, Fleury is responsible for the organization’s strategic planning, long-term financial planning, and financing initiatives, as well as the purchase and sale of real estate and health-related businesses and the formation of joint venture and affiliation arrangements. 

While Fleury has taken her place among Sharp HealthCare’s top executives, she still uses the skills she learned at SDSU, such as reading and evaluating financial statements and footnote disclosures, which allow her to analyze organizations’ financial and operational health.

“And when I attend sessions or seminars (pre-COVID 19), I still sit at the front of the class, lean in and take copious notes,” she said. “I am grateful for the education and growth opportunities I received at San Diego State.”