The winners of the Business Journal‘s seventh annual Forty Under 40, selected from more than 130 nominees, were chosen on the basis of their leadership in companies and organizations as well as their participation within the community across the North Bay.
“This seventh class of winners demonstrates the depth and breadth of young talent in the North Bay,” said Business Journal Associate Publisher and Editor Brad Bollinger. “We now have nearly 300 young professionals who have been honored over the course of the awards. And the fact that there are two newly elected members of city councils in Santa Rosa and Napa shows that a new generation of leaders is not just emerging, but has arrived.”
“Finally, the Business Journal would like to thank the individuals and especially company leaders who took the time to submit these nominations. It’s your support that makes the process and awards so special. Thank you,” Mr. Bollinger said.
The Business Journal took nominations for the 2013 competition in January and February. In addition the information in the nomination, we asked all nominees to answer a series of questions about themselves. The recipients were selected by the Journal editorial staff.
Winners of 2013 awards will be honored at a gala reception on April 30, 5:30–7:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa. Tickets are available for $49 per person or $510 for a table of 10, including company name on the table. To attend, contact Linda Perkins at email@example.com or 707-521-5264.
—The Business Journal
Tiffany Bagala, 28
Senior account executive, Sonic.net, Santa Rosa
Turning obstacles into opportunities is all in a day’s work for Tiffany Bagala. Her responsibilities include both sales and customer acquisition, retention and partner relationship building for this full-service Internet provider.
Her duties also involve interviewing sales team candidates, organizing training programs and mentoring account executives.
Her greatest professional accomplishment: Being recognized as the highest Sonic.net revenue generator as a senior account executive by bringing in over $1.6 million and $1.7 million in sales during 2011 and 2012 respectively.
Best advice received: My granny would say, “If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?”
Community activities: Volunteering with Becoming Independent, The Living Room, Catwalk for a Cure, Crossing the Jordan and Secret Santa. She is also a graduate of the Leadership Santa Rosa class of 2012.
What you wanted to be when you grew up: The first professional women’s softball player.
Last vacation: In Scottsdale, Ariz., for spring training. “Go Giants!”
Alan Biggi, 34
Senior manager, Dal Poggetto & Company, Santa Rosa
“Treating your job as a profession, while striving to make your company better and the business community stronger for the future” are the words Alan Biggi uses to exemplify the spirit of a top Forty Under 40 professional.
His greatest accomplishment: Launching a successful mentoring program.
Greatest professional challenge: Presenting constructive criticism through annual reviews and mentoring sessions to those I work with, and with whom I have personal relationships.
Best advice received: The work will always be there. So don’t let it dictate the important things in your life.
Steps your company is taking to sustain the organization and morale: Dal Poggetto offers flexibility with work schedules to enhance the work/life balance, and encourages us to volunteer in the community.
Next professional goal: Becoming a partner with the company and helping it become the premier accounting firm in the North Bay.
Hobbies: Golf, playing with my kids and being with family, as well as watching movies, snowboarding — and making people laugh.
Sara Brandenburg, 37
Principal and CEO, Royal Petroleum, Santa Rosa
With a job description that spans key areas of operations, human resources and collections, Sara Brandenburg puts 100 percent of herself into everything she does while striving to “be better than the day before — everyday.”
Since her responsibilities take her in many different directions, she says, “some times I get bogged down by details.”
Best advice received: My dad and mentor always told me, “You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time,” and also reminding myself to step back, see the elephant for what it is and find the best path forward.
Greatest professional challenge: Working with customers coming out of the economic downturn without putting our company at risk from a receivables perspective.
Next professional goal: To maintain the culture of being a family-run business. I would also like to get my MBA — if I can figure out how to add an extra day to the week!
Hobbies: “I love spending time gardening and cooking. Last year my daughter and I planted a garden together. Being outside and creating something with her keeps me centered.”
Erin Carlstrom, 29
Owner and attorney, Le+Pelletier, Santa Rosa
Wearing three hats — as an attorney/owner with Le+Pelletier, as a vice president of operations and compliance officer for Beyond Lucid Technologies (a startup emergency medical technology firm) and also as a Santa Rosa city councilmember. Erin Carlstrom became the city’s youngest vice mayor.
Her greatest accomplishment: Settling a number of large cases stemming from personal injury and business transactional issues.
Education: She earned a BA degree in political science from Yale and a JD, as well as training in alternative dispute resolution, from the Pepperdine University School of Law, giving her the skills needed to take on a variety of public and private challenges.
First job: Lifeguard and swim instructor.
Hobbies: “I am a swimmer with the Santa Rosa Master Swimmers and enjoy yoga and reading.”
What she wanted to be when she grew up: To be POTUS (president of the U.S.) and a doctor.
Last vacation: San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.
Jeff Carniglia, 37
Manager, Burr Pilger Mayer, Santa Rosa
As a fifth-generation Santa Rosan, Jeff Carniglia believes that giving back to the community — as well as being able to provide world class service and caring about his clients every day — exemplifies the Forty Under 40 spirit.
He serves as president of Schools Plus, is a board member and treasurer of the Santa Rosa Active 20/30 Club and helps 8- to 10-year-olds learn the proper way to play baseball.
Steps taken to sustain the organization and morale: A staff advisory committee was created to informally bridge the gap between upper management and other employees.
The firm includes everyone in discussions of where the company has been and where it is going.
Best advice received: Life’s challenges don’t build character — they reveal it.
Most admired businessperson: Jim Andersen with Hemming Morse, LLP, founder of Andersen & Company LLP. “This CPA firm gave me my first professional job and taught me the value of being a respected business person.”
Favorite movie: National Lampoon’s Vacation.
Ana Carreno, 31
Human resources manager, La Tortilla Factory, Santa Rosa
Successfully training and developing her company’s HR team is the greatest professional accomplishment of Ana Carreno.
“We are all passionate about what we do for employees at La Tortilla Factory and I think it really shows.”
Her greatest challenge occurred last year when she was working full time, going to school full time and being a mom and wife full time.
“I learned a lot from this experience and after graduating with a BA in organizational behavior from University of San Francisco, I realized I would not want to change anything in my active life.”
Best advice received: From our plant manager who told me, “As a manager, don’t look at the number of hours you work, focus on results.”
Hobbies: Hiking, family picnics, and doing arts and crafts projects with my daughters.
Favorite book: Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell.
Favorite movie: The Notebook. “I’m a sucker for love stories!”
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