North Bay Business Journal

Monday, October 8, 2012, 5:00 am

People: Week of Oct. 8, 2012


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    The Twin Hills Union School District Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Barbara Bickford as the superintendent of this four-school district in western Sonoma County. Dr. Bickford brings has 30 years of experience in education. For the past eight years, she has been employed by the Cotati-Rohnert Unified School District, most recently as an elementary school principal. She joined the district as a middle school counselor, served as the coordinator of English learner services, and was chair of the School Attendance Review Board.

    Health Care

    Two Sutter Health doctors are among those who will be honored as 2012 Solano County Heroes at a breakfast event on Friday, Sept. 28 at the Paradise Valley Golf Course in Fairfield.   Sutter Medical Foundation podiatrist Nancy Kaplan, DPM, and pediatrician Randolph Thomas, M.D., will be recognized as Act of Kindness & Philanthropy Heroes. The Heroes Awards Program is presented by the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter Dr. Kaplan has been involved with LIGA International (The Flying Doctors of Mercy) since 1992, putting to use her medical expertise and Spanish fluency to treat patients in rural Mexico during annual weekend trips. Dr. Thomas works with Project Mercy, an international emergency relief and community development ministry that helps needy residents in Ethiopia.

    Ann Wilkes

    Ann Wilkes joined Massage Envy Spa–Santa Rosa as administrative assistant in March of this year. She has lived in Sonoma County for 31 years, and has held several positions in the county with specialties that include  HTML, marketing and social media skills.

    Hospitality & Tourism

    Visit Napa Valley hired Tom Bennett as its new vice president of sales following the organization’s recent name change to Visit Napa Valley from Napa Valley Destination Council. Mr. Bennett previously was senior vp of sales and chief sales strategist at Visit Newport Beach Inc. in Southern California.

    Tom Bennett

    He also worked for 10 years with the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau. Mr. Bennett has extensive experience  in group sales, lead generation, business development, and cultivating relationships with meeting planners.


    John Pola, vice president of specialty sales at Fairfield-based Jelly Belly Candy Company, will be entered into the Candy Hall of Fame by the National Confectionery Sales Association with an induction ceremony on Oct. 19 in Tampa, Fla.  Mr. Pola has represented Jelly Belly Candy Company for 35 years as a broker and as director of sales. Shortly after he joined the company in 2003, Mr. Pola was named vice president of specialty sales for Jelly Belly Candy Company in 2004. His favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor is juicy pear.


    The Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) appointed Bill Schrader, president and CEO of Exchange Bank, and Joel Humphries, restaurant project manager and coordinator for charitable events at Amy’s Kitchen, to its board of directors. COTS has also hired Courtney Comer as director of major gifts. She joins COTS from St. Joseph Health-owned Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.  Kristin Nelson, formerly of WestEd and the James Irvine Foundation in San Francisco, is the new director of leadership giving and events.

    Joseph Valentine

    Sunny Hills Services announced that Joseph W. Valentine has joined its board of directors. Mr. Valentine’s career spans more than five decades, serving nonprofit organizations in the health, human services, and higher education fields. He spent 30 years with the United Way movement, including 12 years as president and executive director of United Way of the Bay Area. Since his retirement from United Way, Mr. Valentine has provided consultation and management services to colleges and nonprofits in the areas of strategic planning, board development, fundraising and executive management.

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