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Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) student trustee Omar Paz Jr. was recently elected president of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges. As president, Mr. Paz now leads a state-wide organization headquartered in Sacramento that represents the interests of more than 2.1 million students enrolled in 112 community colleges across California. As president of SSCCC, he will be responsible for organizing biannual conferences, finding students to get involved with and run for student senates across California, and serving as the student “voice” of the community college systems. A Sonoma Valley High School graduate and president of his senior class, Mr. Paz began attending SRJC in the fall of 2011. The Kenwood resident is known for his extensive extracurricular activities and activism within the college community. As last year’s SRJC Associated Students (AS) President, Mr. Paz helped negotiate a return of nearly $19,000 to the AS budget. The money went toward college programs and services that help SRJC students such as the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program, Forensics program, Petaluma Puente Project, Theatre Arts, and the Multicultural Events Committee.
Luther Burbank Savings has announced that Jason Pendergist has been named chief lending officer. Mr. Pendergist’s responsibilities will include the leadership and oversight of all commercial and consumer lending functions within Luther Burbank Savings. He brings a broad range of management experience with more than 12 years of expertise in commercial and multifamily lending. Prior to joining Luther Burbank Savings he served as managing director and head of the Eastern Region for the Commercial Term Lending business at JPMorgan Chase.
Warren Capital Corporation announced the promotion of Reed Upson to assistant vice president for finance and operations. Mr. Upson joined Warren Capital Corporation in May of 2012 as a finance and operations analyst and was promoted to senior financial and operations analyst in May of 2013. He provides support on company-side underwriting and analysis in addition to working with North Bay & West Coast companies and the ZipLease Vendor program. Mr. Upson graduated from Dominican University with a BA in Business Administration in May 2012 and an MBA in Global Strategic Management in May 2014. Prior to joining WCC, he had been a financial analyst at several firms including Ogilvy Public Relations, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and O’Donnell Financial Group.
The Oakland Raiders recently announced their 2014 squad of Raiderettes for the upcoming football season and among those selected is former Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) cheerleader and current student Jessica Walsh. Over 200 candidates, ranging from mothers to marketing consultants, traveled to compete in a two-day audition for a spot on the Raiderettes team, sometimes referred to as “Football’s Fabulous Females.” Ms. Walsh was among forty cheerleaders chosen to comprise 28 team veterans and 12 first-time members. Ms. Walsh, who has had a severe hearing loss, has been dancing since she was three years old and says she dances to the vibrations and counts in her head while cheering. She started classes at SRJC’s fall 2013 semester and plans on keeping her current job as a restaurant worker in Santa Rosa and to continue taking classes this fall semester, but has resigned her place with the SRJC cheer team.
Sonoma Stompers Baseball Club announced the signing of Scott Thompson Garner, who will join the team’s pitching staff just in time for Sonoma’s upcoming series with the San Rafael Pacifics. The 22-year-old Garner was 20-15 in his four years with Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona FL, including a stellar freshman year in 2011 when he went 9-2 with a 2.48 ERA. That year featured the first of three appearances in the NCAA baseball tournament for him during his tenure with the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. The Port Orange, FL native is a ground-ball specialist, featuring a sinker that runs from the high 80’s into the low 90’s.
The city of Cotati announced the appointment of Damien O’Bid as assistant city manager and city engineer. Mr. O’Bid has served the city of Cotati since 2008 as city engineer and director of public works. This interim role is expected to last up to six months and will continue the city’s focus on efficient delivery of services in Cotati.
A cardiovascular surgeon widely recognized for his work and leadership at UCLA Medical Center and Stanford University Medical Center has joined NorthBay Healthcare to become medical director of its Heart and Vascular Center. Ramin E. Beygui, M.D., practiced cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgery for the last 14 years at UCLA and Stanford medical centers. He is one of only a handful of surgeons in the nation who are simultaneously board certified in cardiac, thoracic, vascular and general surgery. Dr. Beygui served as director of thoracic aortic aneurysm at UCLA and was surgical director of lung and heart-lung transplantation at Stanford University Medical Center. For the past seven years he was an associate professor of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery in the Stanford University School of Medicine. His practice includes complex vascular surgery such as aortic aneurysm and dissection repair, cardiac surgery involving valve replacement and bypass surgery, as well as thoracic (chest) surgery to remove cancerous tumors and other diseased tissue.
Kurt Hahn, interim executive director of the Northern California Healthcare Authority, a Joint Powers Agency providing collaborative services to district hospitals in Sonoma, Mendocino and Humboldt counties, has been named to an extended term on the board of directors of the California State Rural Healthcare Association. Mr. Hahn also is a member of the board of directors of the Sonoma County Taxpayers Association and past president of the Redwood Empire Council of the Boy Scouts and the Healdsburg Kiwanis Club. He is the former finance-economic development director of the city of Healdsburg.
Robert M. Green, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon, has joined Ukiah Valley Medical Center (UVMC). Dr. Green has worked in Humboldt County for 22 years. He graduated from Rutgers Medical School and completed his surgical training at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, N.Y. Specializing in reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery, his practice includes helping repair and rebuild that which was lost through cancer or trauma, as well as breast reconstruction, breast reduction, skin cancer reconstruction and scar revision services. He also specializes in cosmetic body and face rejuvenation
Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company has appointed Steven Bailey as national practice leader in field underwriting for highly protected risks in large property and the commercial segment. In this national role, Mr. Bailey brings his experience as an underwriter and engineer to the table to work with brokers and craft insurance solutions tailored to their commercial clients’ individual risk needs. Mr. Bailey joined Fireman’s Fund in 1997 where he has served in various underwriting roles. He started his career as a fire protection consultant at Factory Mutual Engineering and then served as a fire consultant and underwriter at Kemper Insurance Companies. He holds a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the West Virginia University Institute of Technology and is a member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.
Nonprofit affordable housing developer, manager and advocate EAH Housing awarded $30,000 in scholarships to 12 of its residents for use in the 2014-15 school year. Each scholarship recipient will receive $2,500. Launched in 2012, the EAH Housing Scholarship Fund supports students pursuing higher education and helps defray the rising costs of tuition, textbooks and academic supplies. It was created through generous contributions from late affordable housing advocate Rebecca Wood Watkin, EAH Housing Board of Directors, numerous EAH staff and individual donors. North Bay recipients include Halia Dawkins of Mill Valley and Anahy Hernandez of St. Helena. Recipients of the scholarship receive annual awards throughout the course of their college education, contingent on academic performance.
Santa Rosa native Ryan Ward recently obtained his MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute. Designated members of the Appraisal Institute have met thorough requirements including a two-day examination, experience review, completion of a demonstration appraisal and 400 hours of classroom education. In addition, Mr. Ward has become a partner in Ward Levy Appraisal Group, Inc., formerly Howard Levy Appraisal Group, Inc. in Santa Rosa. He has been with the company for 10 years and has a total of 18 years of experience appraising a wide variety of commercial properties. The new partnership also includes long-time Sonoma County commercial appraisers Howard Levy, MAI and Robert Horning.
Terra Firma Global Partners has announced that Pam Buda has joined the firm as a Senior Sales Associate based out of its Santa Rosa office, serving clients in Sonoma County and the North Bay. A North Bay Realtor since 2003, she previously worked with the Wine Country Group and Coldwell Banker. While Ms. Buda frequently represents residential home buyers and sellers, she has experience helping clients buy and sell horse and vineyard property with as much as a third of her business occurring in and around Healdsburg. Ms. Buda is actively involved in the real estate community and gives back by serving on boards, education panels, committees and task forces. She is the current chair of NORBAR (North Bay Association of Realtors) Education & Technology Committee and recently facilitated a five-week training session on how to sell wine country properties. A former technology sales and marketing executive, she also speaks statewide on tech and internet marketing trends in the real estate industry. Her network includes experienced real estate professionals in Sonoma, Napa, and Marin Counties as well as throughout North America.
Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq:RARE), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel products for rare and ultra-rare diseases, announced it has appointed Sunil Agarwal, M.D. as its chief medical officer and senior vice president, 2014. In this role, Dr. Agarwal will provide strategic leadership and direction to Clinical Operations, Clinical Development, Regulatory Affairs, Biometrics, Pharmacovigilance, and Non-Clinical Research. He will report to Emil D. Kakkis, M.D., Ph.D., Ultragenyx’s CEO, and will serve on the Senior Management Team. Dr. Agarwal most recently served as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Clinical Development for Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Metabolism, Neuroscience, and Ophthalmology at Genentech. During his tenure at Genentech, Dr. Agarwal also held the positions of Senior Vice President for Immunology and Infectious Diseases and Vice President for Rheumatology. Prior to the integration with Roche, he served as Vice President of Genentech Drug Safety and held positions of increasing responsibility in Genentech’s Immunology clinical organization. Prior to joining Genentech, Dr. Agarwal was at MedImmune, Guilford Pharmaceuticals, and Kosan Biosciences. Dr. Agarwal obtained his bachelor of science in Neuro-Biology at Cornell University and then earned his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, D.C. and subsequently joined the faculty at George Washington University School of Medicine as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics.
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