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2016 Forty Under 40 winners

Malia Anderson, owner, Style by Malia, Santa Rosa

Jeff Ballus, owner and chief financial officer, Sift Dessert Bar, Santa Rosa

Kevin Chapin, LEED AP BD+C, architect, Quattrocchi Kwok Architects, Santa Rosa

Gene Davis, sales manager, VinoPro, Santa Rosa

Nick Egan, head of school, The Healdsburg School, Healdsburg

Jamie Emerson-Heery, manager, Burr Pilger Mayer Inc., Santa Rosa

Kirk Faris, senior tax manager, Moss Adams LLP, Santa Rosa

Lilly Fogleman, operations manager, Clear Blue Commercial, Petaluma

Joseph Foppoli, owner and chief operating officer, Christopher Creek Winery and Benevolo Wines, Healdsburg

Aaron Friedman, owner, Signarama, Santa Rosa

Stephanie Friedman, director of consumer sales and marketing, Gary Farrell Winery, Healdsburg

Chris Frost, CEO and owner, West County Net Inc., Santa Rosa

Jose Gomez, M.D., general surgeon, Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical Center, San Rafael

Christopher Hall, proprietor, Long Meadow Ranch Winery, St. Helena

Nancy Hall Bennett, regional public affairs manager, League of California Cities, North Bay Division, Marin County

George Hamel III, managing director, Hamel Family wines, Sonoma

Beth Huang, assistant vice president for compensation, benefits manager, Exchange Bank, Santa Rosa

Brandon Jewell, director of business development, Sonoma County BEST, Santa Rosa

Steven Knudsen, communications and development coordinator, Sonoma County Farm Bureau, Santa Rosa

Ben Lehr, president, Lehr Insurance Agency Inc., Santa Rosa

Chris Louton, winemaker, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Santa Rosa

Noah Lowry, co-owner, Santa Rosa Ski & Sports, Santa Rosa

Lupita Martinez Cruz, R.N., B.S.N., director of administrative services, Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center, Santa Rosa

Cameron Mauritson, vineyard manager, Mauritson Farms, Healdsburg

Jennifer McClendon, manager of business development and strategy, Northern California Center for Well-Being, Santa Rosa

Michele McEntee, clinical director, Child Parent Institute, Santa Rosa

Andrew McNeil, principal, Arrow Benefits Group, Petaluma

Michael McNeil, general manager, Chateau St. Jean Winery, Treasury Wine and Estates, Kenwood

Nikki McQuaid, senior pursuit professional, GHD, Santa Rosa

Betty Mullen, assistant vice president and human resource director, Summit State Bank, Santa Rosa

Carli Ortiz, partner, Linkenheimer LLP CPA & Advisors, Santa Rosa

Krystalynn Schlegel, agent and owner, MG Schlegel & Associates Inc., Novato

Tara Sharp, chief marketing officer, Sonic, Santa Rosa

Brian Sosnowchik, Ph.D., senior research and development engineer, Keysight Technologies, Santa Rosa

Allison Spitzer, vice president and business banking credit administrator, Bank of Marin, Novato

Javier Tenorio, controller, La Tortilla Factory, Santa Rosa

Luana Vaetoe, CEO, Becoming Independent, Santa Rosa

Mayra Vega, director of client services, St. Helena Hospital (Adventist Health), Deer Park

Ben Wade, director of the oncology service line, St. Joseph Health, Santa Rosa

Brent Young, vineyard and ranch manager, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Healdsburg

All of us at the Business Journal want to extend our congratulations to the 10th annual Forty Under 40 recipients.

These 40 individuals were selected by the Business Journal editorial staff from more than 120 nominations. They were chosen on the basis of their leadership in companies and organizations as well as their participation in their communities. “Over the ten years this award has existed, hundreds of young, exceptional professionals have been recognized,” said Business Journal Publisher Brad Bollinger. “It is our sincere hope that these awards support and encourage excellence.”

The recipients were honored at an awards reception April 20. —Brad Bollinger, Business Journal Publisher


SMALL BUSINESS OWNER | 38

Malia Anderson

Style by Malia, Santa Rosa

Running a small business involves a long list of tasks for Malia Anderson, who sees herself as a driven woman engaged in a career most would consider as a hobby or leisure activity.

“I turned something where I excel into a thriving community business.”

Greatest accomplishment: Being the 2014 Spirit of Sonoma winner.

Greatest challenge: Trying to do it all, but learning I had to outsource marketing, PR, accounting, legal and advertising tasks to experts to have time to do what I love.

Best advice received: From Renee Mengali: “You’re the owner. You decide your level of success, and you decide how large or small your business is.”

Mentor/admired businessperson: My granny had her own business all her life. She taught me the meaning of hard work and how to love what I do, even when I don’t think I can do it.

Community activities: Serving on the board of the North Bay Black Chamber of Commerce and Legal Aid Society of Sonoma County, and working with students of RAMS, RUP and American Heart Association for Go Red for Women.

First job: Making $10 a week filing attendance forms in second grade after school.

Best place to work outside your office: Any place I can shop.

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER | 38

Jeff Ballus

Sift Dessert Bar, Santa Rosa

The virtual sweet spot in Jeff Ballus’ daily worklife is treating people with respect, being fair and facing anything in life with a positive attitude.

“I believe following these principles greatly increase my chances of success in anything I do.”

Hated industry buzzword: Sweet.

Greatest professional accomplishment: Securing funding for Sift’s last growth phase.

Greatest challenge: Measuring and monitoring business performance.

Best advice received: “If you say you are going to do something, do it!”

Key recent event: Being selected to be on the Inc. 5,000 fastest-growing private companies list in 2015.

Sustaining your organization and morale: Constantly innovating, staying engaged, listening to our customers and keeping things fresh — along with launching a customer-rewards program.

Best place to work outside the office: At any of our locations. I love connecting with our team members whenever possible.

Favorite book: Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works.

What parents brag most about you: They always talk about how amazing my wife is. I guess I am a success!

ARCHITECT | 36

Kevin Chapin

Quattrocchi Kwok Architects, Santa Rosa

Managing the design of multimillion-dollar K-12 school projects in the greater Bay Area keeps Kevin Chapin focused on improving the world of education.

2016 Forty Under 40 winners

Malia Anderson, owner, Style by Malia, Santa Rosa

Jeff Ballus, owner and chief financial officer, Sift Dessert Bar, Santa Rosa

Kevin Chapin, LEED AP BD+C, architect, Quattrocchi Kwok Architects, Santa Rosa

Gene Davis, sales manager, VinoPro, Santa Rosa

Nick Egan, head of school, The Healdsburg School, Healdsburg

Jamie Emerson-Heery, manager, Burr Pilger Mayer Inc., Santa Rosa

Kirk Faris, senior tax manager, Moss Adams LLP, Santa Rosa

Lilly Fogleman, operations manager, Clear Blue Commercial, Petaluma

Joseph Foppoli, owner and chief operating officer, Christopher Creek Winery and Benevolo Wines, Healdsburg

Aaron Friedman, owner, Signarama, Santa Rosa

Stephanie Friedman, director of consumer sales and marketing, Gary Farrell Winery, Healdsburg

Chris Frost, CEO and owner, West County Net Inc., Santa Rosa

Jose Gomez, M.D., general surgeon, Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical Center, San Rafael

Christopher Hall, proprietor, Long Meadow Ranch Winery, St. Helena

Nancy Hall Bennett, regional public affairs manager, League of California Cities, North Bay Division, Marin County

George Hamel III, managing director, Hamel Family wines, Sonoma

Beth Huang, assistant vice president for compensation, benefits manager, Exchange Bank, Santa Rosa

Brandon Jewell, director of business development, Sonoma County BEST, Santa Rosa

Steven Knudsen, communications and development coordinator, Sonoma County Farm Bureau, Santa Rosa

Ben Lehr, president, Lehr Insurance Agency Inc., Santa Rosa

Chris Louton, winemaker, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Santa Rosa

Noah Lowry, co-owner, Santa Rosa Ski & Sports, Santa Rosa

Lupita Martinez Cruz, R.N., B.S.N., director of administrative services, Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center, Santa Rosa

Cameron Mauritson, vineyard manager, Mauritson Farms, Healdsburg

Jennifer McClendon, manager of business development and strategy, Northern California Center for Well-Being, Santa Rosa

Michele McEntee, clinical director, Child Parent Institute, Santa Rosa

Andrew McNeil, principal, Arrow Benefits Group, Petaluma

Michael McNeil, general manager, Chateau St. Jean Winery, Treasury Wine and Estates, Kenwood

Nikki McQuaid, senior pursuit professional, GHD, Santa Rosa

Betty Mullen, assistant vice president and human resource director, Summit State Bank, Santa Rosa

Carli Ortiz, partner, Linkenheimer LLP CPA & Advisors, Santa Rosa

Krystalynn Schlegel, agent and owner, MG Schlegel & Associates Inc., Novato

Tara Sharp, chief marketing officer, Sonic, Santa Rosa

Brian Sosnowchik, Ph.D., senior research and development engineer, Keysight Technologies, Santa Rosa

Allison Spitzer, vice president and business banking credit administrator, Bank of Marin, Novato

Javier Tenorio, controller, La Tortilla Factory, Santa Rosa

Luana Vaetoe, CEO, Becoming Independent, Santa Rosa

Mayra Vega, director of client services, St. Helena Hospital (Adventist Health), Deer Park

Ben Wade, director of the oncology service line, St. Joseph Health, Santa Rosa

Brent Young, vineyard and ranch manager, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Healdsburg

“My wife is a high school teacher, and my personal and professional interests are combined by working to improve kids’ learning experiences through school designs and community service.”

Greatest accomplishment: Designing the new 77,000-square-foot, $34 million Bella Vista Elementary School in San Ramon, built on a small site with a lot of elevation changes requiring a heightened sense of precision and design creativity.

Best advice received: The easiest client to get is the one you already have. Nurture your clients for long-term mutual benefit.

Key recent event: Gaining school board approval of the $100 million-plus master plan for Sonoma Valley High School.

Community activities: I’m an active member of the Active 20-30 Club, whose goal is bettering the lives of under-privileged kids.

Last vacation: At Lassen National Park with our two young twins.

Hated industry buzzword: Greenwashing.

What parents brag most about you: It used to be my work ethic, but now they brag about their grandkids.

SALES MANAGER | 31

Gene Davis

VinoPro, Santa Rosa

When not creating a work atmosphere that is fun and energetic, Gene Davis increases revenue or decreases costs — along with hiring, training, monitoring and overseeing the sales floor, food and wine pairings, setting sales goals and signing up wineries.

“I believe a rising tide floats all boats, and helping everyone around you will end up helping you.”

Greatest accomplishment: Seeing VinoPro receive Inc. 500 and Best Places to Work awards three years in a row.

Greatest challenge: Creating enough time for each task on the sales floor and to network with wineries.

Sustaining organization and morale: We’re always coming up with fun interactive games for staff to play at the office. We also increased hourly pay while continuing to provide health insurance.

Next professional goal: To create lasting relationships with 10 or more wineries over the next year.

Community activities: Working with the SSU Mentor Program, and with Buckelew Programs developing care packages for Sonoma County’s homeless.

Typical day at the office: Getting the sales team pumped, reaching out to potential clients — and then it’s peanut butter and jelly time!

Hobbies: Eating, cooking, abalone diving, dirt biking, camping, hiking, kayaking, fishing, hot rods and more eating.

HEAD OF SCHOOL | 37

Nick Egan

The Healdsburg School, Healdsburg

With responsibility for day-to-day operations management, Nick Egan works with the board of trustees to ensure that the school is staying true to its mission of “inspiring compassionate leaders through academic excellence.”

“I believe in collaborating with parents and teachers and have a deep desire to see students succeed in academic life.”

Greatest accomplishment: The times when I am able to help a student or parents through a challenging situation, or when I can reach positive resolution to a difficult issue.

Best advice received: Working hard means knowing when to take a break.

Key recent events: Hiring amazing teachers and implementing exciting initiatives, such as our kindergarten through fifth grade Mindfulness Program, and our upper-school Entrepreneurship Program.

Sustaining organization and morale: Focusing more on professional development and sending teachers to very inspiring training courses.

Admired businessperson: Seth Godin’s work reminds me to think deeply about how to create a connected and inspired community.

Hobbies: Spending time with my wife and three daughters, along with traveling, hiking, reading and martial arts.

What you wanted to be when grown up: A ninja and an astronaut — in that order.

MANAGER | 30

Jamie Emerson-Heery

Burr Pilger Mayer Inc., Santa Rosa

At BPM, Jamie Emerson-Heery manages a portfolio of clients within the wine and financial services industries.

“Community and teamwork have been integral parts of my personal and professional life. They made me who I am today.”

Greatest professional accomplishment and challenge: Becoming a CPA, and studying for the CPA exam, while working full time during the busy season.

Steps being taken to sustain your organization and morale: BPM is proactive about adopting flexible work arrangements, and provides autonomy to those who prove they are true professionals.

Hated industry buzzword: Bean-counter.

Community activities: Donating time to Hospice of Petaluma, Petaluma Valley Hospital, Novato Youth Center, San Francisco Exploratorium, St. Helena Horse Rescue & Sanctuary, Ziemer Brothers Soccer Instruction and the International Institute for Humanistic Studies.

What you wanted to be when grown up: A professional soccer player or golfer.

First job: Golf club attendant at Rooster Run in Petaluma.

Favorite book: Freddie & Me: Life Lessons from Augusta National’s Legendary Caddy Master.

Favorite movie: Caddyshack.

Best advice received: “Don’t worry about the things you can’t control, and remember, it’s just accounting, nobody’s on your operating table.”

TAX SENIOR MANAGER | 30

Kirk Faris

Moss Adams LLP, Santa Rosa

As the primary Moss Adams contact for clients’ tax needs, Kirk Faris also finds time for on-campus interviews with aspiring Sonoma State University accounting students.

“I always consider the ongoing development of my team, seniors and managers to be my greatest professional accomplishment. If I can help make four people better at their jobs today, I can accomplish 400 percent more than I would by myself.”

Greatest challenge: The ever-increasing complexity of federal tax law, especially as businesses and tax professionals adapt to the Affordable Care Act.

Best advice received: Treat your people the way you would want them to treat you.

Sustaining organization and morale: With housing in Sonoma County being so tight, we’ve significantly expanded staff flexibility to work from home or a client site, allowing us to keep valuable team members who commute from more affordable communities.

Community activities: With the Active 20-30 Club of Santa Rosa No. 50, and as past president of the spring 2015 chamber of commerce Finance Committee Leadership Santa Rosa Class 32.

Hated industry buzzword: Hidden deductions.

Accomplish by age 40: Raise a family here in Sonoma County.

CEO AND OWNER | 35

Aaron Friedman

Signarama SR, Santa Rosa

As CEO of the corporation and owner of Signarama Santa Rosa, Aaron Friedman oversees the firm’s growth and community involvement, which involves giving back to the city that has made this company great.

“As a child, my parents instilled a desire within me to be part of something greater than myself, and I make that goal an integral part of my life every day.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Purchasing the company and growing it continuously over the past five years.

Greatest challenge: Taking care of the people that take care of me and creating a thriving and environment for my staff so they will enjoy coming to work.

Greatest advice received: Accept responsibility for each action, and move forward.

Key recent event: Taking on our largest year, while chairing the Santa Rosa Young Peoples Network, sitting on the chamber of commerce board and as a member of its Executive Committee, and making time for my family.

Sustaining organization and morale: By making sure we’re always evolving with changing technology and new economies of scale.

Accomplish by age 40: Making this a self-sufficient company, enabling me to travel the world with my family.

DIRECTOR OF CONSUMER SALES AND MARKETING | 31

Stephanie Friedman

Gary Farrell Winery, Healdsburg

Driving the vision, strategy and tactical execution of a $4 million direct-to-consumer business for a luxury wine brand is what energizes Stephanie Friedman.

“I strive to inspire others as a leader in my field, connector in my industry and as a positive contributor to my community.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Writing the chapter “Effective Tasting Room Management” for the book Strategic Winery Tourism and Management, and being published alongside industry experts and my professors at Sonoma State University.

Greatest challenge: Trying to do it all. With so many aspirations, it’s hard to devote time and attention to each. I’ve got to stop being such a perfectionist!

Best advice received: You can’t give 100 percent to everything and be both successful and sane. So put everything into the top 70 percent and the other 30 percent will fall into place.

Key recent event: Becoming chair of the Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium.

Accomplish by age 40: To be the owner of a small nonwine online business.

Hobbies: Reading business books, music, working out, walking Spring Lake with my boyfriend and black lab, Marsanne, and being with friends and family.

Favorite movie: Dirty Dancing. “Nobody puts Baby in the corner!”

OPERATIONS MANAGER | 38

Lily Fogleman

Clear Blue Commercial, Petaluma

Wearing many hats, Lily Fogleman does everything, from bookkeeping to coordinating sustainability projects to special events, while also creating marketing and advertising collateral and media campaigns.

“I’m confident in my ability to accomplish any challenge that comes my way and passionate about creating positive change in our community — while believing that collaboration is the new competition.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Coordinating “Mulchstock” with 1.6 million gallons of water saved in one day, while doing something amazing for our Earth.

Best advice received: For everything you accomplish, someone helped you make it happen.

Most important events in last 12 months: Becoming a licensed real estate agent, and being promoted to operations manager.

Buzzword you hate the most: “Agent Distrust.” People believe agents care more about money than client’s best interests. Clear Blue is working hard to change that perception.

Accomplish by age 40: Five million gallons of water saved a year through commercial turf conversions. I’m half way there!

Favorite movies: Everything, from Star Wars, The Notebook, Shrek and Madagascar to The Usual Suspects.

What parents brag most about you: They take pride in my commitment to be the best mother I can be.

OWNER AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER | 39

Joseph Foppoli

Christopher Creek Winery & Benevolo Wines, Healdsburg

Being directly involved in an ever-expanding wine business, Joseph Foppoli oversees every aspect of day-to-day operations at Christopher Creek and Benevolo Wines.

“I appreciate the opportunity to do something unique, work with many diverse people and organizations and — just as important — help those in need in various ways.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Working with family and friends to build a successful family-owned and -operated business that gives back to the community.

Greatest challenge: Breaking through traditional wine industry barriers and creating something special on our own.

Best advice received: Be true to yourself and stay humble.

Mentors and admired businesspersons: My grandfather Silvio Foppoli, my father Richard Foppoli and my father-in-law Marty McCormick.

What you wanted to be when grown up: A teacher; I taught at Cardinal Newman High School. Work in media; I worked in the TV, film and music industries. An entrepreneur; I’m doing this now.

Community activities: I donate to every charity that asks, and offer to others, such as SAY and youth-focused organizations.

Favorite books: The Bible Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, a history of the hip-hop generation, by Jeff Chang.

Last vacation: Hawaii with the “fam” and Calistoga Ranch with my wife.

OWNER AND CEO | 37

Chris Frost

West County Net Inc., Santa Rosa

As owner and CEO of West County Net, Chris Frost’s job is to ensure that his firm is always setting the bar high for the work it does for clients and partners.

“I’m a programmer first and business owner second, and have built a one-of-a-kind company deeply rooted in Sonoma County.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Doing our first successful charity golf tournament through our community resource site (sonomacountygolf.com).

Greatest challenge: Letting go of what I’m used to doing and knowing that no detail is missed, while getting outside of what’s comfortable to grow this business in the right way.

Best advice received: Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.

Sustaining organization and morale: We are unique as the work we produce — no time clocks, no set days off.

Best place to work outside the office: Anywhere with an Internet connection.

Accomplish by age 40: Successfully launch all of our community resource sites to the point where they are relevant and useful for Sonoma County.

Favorite book: The Places You Will Go.

Favorite movie: The Game Plan.

Favorite after-work drink: A squeezy juice box.

GENERAL SURGEON | 36

Jose Gomez, M.D.

Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical Center, San Rafael

For surgeon Jose Gomez, constant growth is necessary to improve and be better every day.

“I strive to learn to be the best that I can be, and the best advice I ever received was, ‘Stop, breathe and call for help if you need it.’ Being a good surgeon is knowing your limitations.”

Sustaining organization and morale: Kaiser has continued to grow by making patients our priority, based on an environment of honesty and a continuing desire to improve.

Next professional goal: To change with technology. New medical devices and equipment enable us to do things more efficiently and safely, without affecting quality of care.

Community activities: I work with KP’s Operation Access to provide surgical services for uninsured patients.

Best place to work outside your office: The operating room.

Hobbies: I’m addicted to hot yoga as well as running — while trying to keep up with a colleague — and working out in between.

What you wanted to be when grown up: I wanted to sing. I joined a choir and different groups, not just in the shower.

First job: Rock band singer. It was a super-fun job, but it didn’t pay well — or pay often.

PROPRIETOR | 35

Christopher Hall

Long Meadow Ranch, St. Helena

With responsibilities that span three major business units — Farmstead restaurant, general store, café and events; wine estates; and Long Meadow Ranch — Christopher Hall has his hands full overseeing all consumer-facing business activities. That includes wine and hospitality sales and operations.

For him, exemplifying the spirit of a top Forty Under 40 professional means being a business, industry and community leader with passion, vision and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Best advice received: Your core mission, vision and values will always drive your success.

Key recent event: Acquisition of our Anderson Valley estate vineyards.

Sustaining organization and morale: We maintain employee engagement in their jobs by reinforcing our core mission and values, while providing opportunity for feedback and growth.

Best place to work outside the office: Taking meetings in the vineyard.

Achieve by age 40: Open a hotel.

First job: A dog-walking business at age 8 for all neighborhood canines.

What parent brag about you: They are about to be new grandparents, so basically it’s all about our first child.

REGIONAL PUBLIC AFFAIRS MANAGER | 37

Nancy Hall Bennett

League of California Cities, North Bay Division, Sacramento

As the League’s liaison in the North Bay, Nancy Hall Bennett advances legislative and statewide ballot measure advocacy priorities, and also facilitates meetings between city officials, legislators and building coalitions.

She plans news conferences, organizing letter-writing campaigns, implements fundraising activities and delivers presentations at city council meetings and for other interest groups.

“I suspect I was nominated for my energy, professionalism and dedication as I work in the community. I consider it a privilege to work with elected officials in the North Bay.”

Greatest challenge: I’m a naturally positive person, however, working in politics can frustrate “positivity” at times.

Best advice received: My dad always encouraged me not to focus on things I cannot change, but focus on areas where I can have the greatest impact.

Single most important event in last 12 months: Each year the League scores legislators on votes taken on bills that positively or negatively impact cities. I’m proud that North Bay legislators I work with all scored highly, demonstrating the good work our cities do in educating elected leaders about our role in the community.

Best place to work outside the office: In my car.

What you wanted to be when grown up: President of the United States.

MANAGING DIRECTOR | 31

George Hamel, III

Hamel Family Wines, Sonoma

Being in charge of financial operations at Hamel Family Wines, as well as its wholesale and direct-to-consumer businesses, is a full time job for George Hamel, III.

“Working along side my parents and brother, we’re all striving to build a multi-generational wine business recognized worldwide for quality.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Hosting our first guests at Hamel Family Wine’s Estate House’s wine caves, for two amazing dinners prepared by Chef Gary Danko, was a great moment for me.

Best advice received: Clear eyes and full hearts can’t lose.

Single most important event in last 12 months: Participating in the 2015 Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction fundraiser for kids and our community, with our lot raising $420,000 – shattering our own 2014 record.

Steps taken to sustain your organization and morale: We work with Winemaker Martha McClellan, organic and biodynamic Viticulturist Phil Coturri and Hospitality Expert Dawn Agnew, giving us the opportunity for continuous improvement and education.

Community activities: I serve on the SSU Wine Business Institute board, on the advisory board of the USF Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership, as a basketball coach with the St. Francis Solano CYO, and as a volunteer for the Sweetwater Spectrum.

Industry buzzword you hate the most: “Sustainable.”

AVP COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS MANAGER | 38

Beth Huang

Exchange Bank, Santa Rosa

At Exchange Bank, Beth Huang provides leadership in areas such as HRMS, payroll, retiree benefits, recognition, wellness and Workers Comp – in addition to compensation and benefits management.

“I always find ways to tackle tough challenges, and have found that even the most daunting task can be accomplished one step at a time.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: The most important milestone in recent years was implementation of our core HRMS/payroll system. Before this, we were still using paper timecards.

Greatest challenge: Identifying good speakers and topics for our Excellence in Leadership Committee.

Steps taken to sustain your organization and morale: We just launched our Employee Engagement Survey, the “Voice of EB” to gain feedback on key areas where we are doing a good job and areas that need some work.

Next professional goal: To complete my Six Sigma Green Belt to further develop my process improvement and management skills.

OnE thing you want to achieve before age 40: Starting an MBA program.

Best place to work outside your office: Anywhere with fresh air and sunshine.

Hobbies: Playing the flute, volleyball and softball. Now, with my young daughter, I now spend time coloring, flying kites, blowing bubbles and going down slides at the park.

DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT | 32

Brandon Jewell

Sonoma County BEST, Santa Rosa

Primary responsibilities for Brandon Jewell include coordinating BEST’s business retention, expansion and attraction efforts to assist regional firms in growing and creating new jobs.

“I’m actively engaged in the local business sector and volunteer my time with regional programs that improve our community.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Reaching the goal of helping companies create 533 direct new jobs in 2015.

Greatest challenge: Implementing two major annual events last year: The Tech Industry Group Supplier Fair and the Sonoma County Food Industry Pioneer Awards.

Best advice received: Focus on people first, results come second. I believe this is one of the most important aspects of success.

Next professional goal: I hope to start my own nonprofit or charity organization some day.

Mentor/admired businessperson: My father showed me that success does not come from money you make or the position you hold, it’s the impact you make on those around you.

Hobbies: I’m a video gamer and also enjoy classic games from the 90’s, as well as film and photography. I always wanted to have a film career, but chose not to pursue this path as I got older.

Favorite after-work drink: Milkshakes.

Last Vacation: Really a “stay-cation” to paint my house.

COMMUNICATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR | 33

Steven Knudsen

Sonoma County Farm Bureau, Santa Rosa

With a passion for photography and digital imaging, Steven Knudsen uses these skills in managing the Farm Bureau website, social media and mass email marketing, as well as in designing collateral, posters, invitations and auction books.

He is also staff lead for the Natural Resources and Environmental Committee, the Water Committee and the Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee.

“My goal is to better my workplace and my community as I seek advice from senior leaders and use knowledge gained to guide my actions.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Being selected and graduating as a member of Class 41 of the California Agriculture Foundation’s Agriculture Leadership Program.

Greatest challenge: Educating the public about the social and economic benefits of preserving and protecting agriculture.

Best advice received: People follow people, not organizations.

Steps taken to sustain your organization and morale: Inspiring the next generation of farmers and ranchers to take over for those retiring.

Next professional goal: Reinforcing appreciation of farming to accompany the rise of farmers markets and direct-to- consumer sales of Ag produce.

Social media you use: Facebook.

Favorite book: Leadership and Self-Deception.

Single most important event in last 12 months: Our Great Sonoma Crab and Wine fest, despite the lack of a crab season.

PRESIDENT | 39

Ben Lehr

Lehr Insurance Agency, Inc., Santa Rosa

As owner and president of the family business, Ben Lehr is accountable for the success, or failure, of the enterprise as well as for providing for his employees and their families – while also making sure clients are properly cared for.

He exemplifies the spirit of a top 40 under 40 professional by maintaining a positive attitude and a desire to make our world a better place.

Greatest professional accomplishment: Assisting dozens of clients affected by the Valley Fire, an event that was both emotionally exhausting, yet an incredibly rewarding experience.

Best advice received: I’ve always lived by the Golden Rule, but I like Zig Ziglar’s twist on it – “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Greatest challenge: Time management.

Single most important event in the last 12 months: My recent acquisition of the family business, allowing me to continue the legacy my father started 28 years ago.

Steps the company is taking to sustain the organization and morale: We offer employees opportunities for professional development whenever possible, and unlimited income potential to help them achieve their dreams.

What you wanted to be when you grew up: An astronaut – of course.

WINEMAKER | 39

Chris Louton

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Santa Rosa

Beyond the fact that he is in charge of production of all Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdo at St. Francis Winery – as well as all associated blends – Chris Louton never believes he knows everything about winemaking.

“Every time I learn something new I’m reminded of just how much I don’t know.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Being hired as a winemaker two and a half years ago for the first time and making an impact.

Greatest challenge: Making wine during an economic downturn. “Wine is a luxury item and difficult for many to purchase when times are tough.”

Best advice received: It has to be delicious!

Single most important event in the last 12 months: Last year’s harvest. It started early, and finished late.

Steps taken to sustain your organization and morale: We hold company-wide employee meetings open to feedback from everyone, and being Certified Sustainable, while helping others achieve the same status as well.

Mentor/admired businesspersons: Laurie Hook, winemaking mentor, and Steve Jobs, visionary.

Favorite after-work drink: Sauvignon Blanc.

Typical day at the office: I call it “Controlled Chaos.”

One thing you want to accomplish by age 40: Making it to 40!

CO-OWNER/PRESIDENT | 35

Noah Lowry

Santa Rosa Ski & Sports, Santa Rosa

Trading his view from the San Francisco Giants pitcher’s mound for oversight of CapX, OpX and other duties at Santa Rosa Ski & Sports, Noah Lowry is a team builder and a day-to-day utility player.

He exemplifies spirit of a Forty Under 40 professional by being “age appropriate, loving to learn, believing in a persistent synergetic team-oriented approach, along with hard work, perseverance, self awareness, selflessness – at times – and finding a way.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Reaching the apex in a former baseball career and understanding what it took to get there.

Greatest challenge: Maintaining a work/life balance.

Best advice achieved: Three things – strive for greatness, and only fall back on being good if you must. From Matt Morris, those gray hairs of yours are hard earned and you should be proud of them. Remember how you got them. There’s a piece of knowledge embedded in each one. And from Mike Matheny, you know what you know, you know what you don’t know, but you don’t know what you don’t know – that’s the biggest of them all.

One thing you want to achieve by age 40: Continuing to build a strong relationship with my wife and two girls.

DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, RN, BSN | 35

Lupita Martinez Cruz

Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center, Santa Rosa

With a job description encompassing staffing, scheduling, payroll departments and the nursing supervisors who manage the patient flow of the hospital, Lupita Martinez Cruz knows what it takes to be effective.

“I focus on collaborating and building strong relationships with others to create an environment where we all work for the best interests of our patients and our communities.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: I never thought I would become a director. I still have a lot to learn, and a very supportive team and leadership to guide me.

Greatest challenge: Managing a 24/7 department and maintaining quality home life.

Best advice received: Chaos never ends, but we can choose how to respond to it – take a deep breath and balance your mind.

Steps taken to sustain your organization and morale: We have programs to improve employee satisfaction and recognize them for their contributions.

Mentor/admired businessperson: Vicky Locey, CNO/COO at Kaiser is very supportive and always looking for ways to build teamwork and our leadership skills.

What you wanted to be when grown up: A Mexican folk dancer.

Favorite book: On Becoming a Leader.

Favorite movie: I’m up for anything that makes me laugh, or a good romantic film.

GENERAL MANAGER | 31

Cameron Mauritson

Mauritson Farms, Healdsburg

For Cameron Mauritson, taking care of day-to-day operations includes managing vineyards and grape sales at family-owned Mauritson Farms, as he grows the business and begins to transition the enterprise to next generation leadership.

His greatest professional challenge involves maintaining relevance for his company in a wine industry that is consolidating.

Best advice received: People are not everything, but they are the most important thing.

Single most important even in the last 12 months: Completing a fellowship with the California Ag Leadership Program.

Steps taken to sustain your organization and morale: We have certified our vineyards under the California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing, and continue to invest in our employees as we strengthen the lateral stability of the company.

Next professional goal: To focus on self-improvement and effectiveness, since change begins from within.

Community activities: Serving as a PRMD planning commissioner and president of the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley.

Mentor/admired businesspersons: David Weiss, with Bella Vista Vineyard Management, and Pat Burns of Draxton Wines.

One thing you want to achieve by age 40: Being a great parent, one year at a time.

Social media you most use: The telephone.

MANAGER OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND STRATEGY | 36

Jennifer McClendon

Center for Well-Being, Santa Rosa

In addition to developing strategic partnerships with physicians, clinics, the Department of Health Services and other nonprofit agencies to advance the Center for Wellbeing’s mission, Jennifer McClendon secures insurance contracts for chronic disease self-management services, and writes grant applications for youth leadership projects, community health workers (Promotoras de Salud), Worksite wellness and senior health literacy education.

“Being a leader and mentor to other young professionals is very important to me, especially sharing my career path and choices I made that got me where I am today.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: As the former regional network project director for the six-county North Coast Region, I was able to facilitate environmental system policy changes as part of the Rethink Your Drink campaign tackling limited fresh water access and adding hydration stations in schools.

Steps taken to sustain your organization and morale: We’re developing mentoring strategies for new program leaders, hiring more bilingual staff and improving access through our website.

Last vacation: I took my daughter to the Dominican Republic where I served as a Peace Corp volunteer.

Best advice received: Be the change you wish to see in the world, or, no one ever says on their deathbed they wish they had spent more time cleaning the house.

CLINICAL DIRECTOR 35

Michele McEntee

Child Parent Institute, Santa Rosa

As clinical director of the counseling department, Michele McEntee oversees the treatment of over 200 families receiving services at two clinics, several partnering schools and in the community.

“My passion is to see our community flourish. I’m proud to work in an amazing agency with a mission to end child abuse and strengthen the health of the entire family.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Opening the Family Resource Center in Rohnert Park offering mental health services.

Greatest challenge: Continuing to modify our services based on ever-changing needs.

Best advice received: I’ve learned that people will forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.

Next professional goal: To build on current services to enhance treatment for families who cannot access them in a clinical environment.

Mentor/admired businessperson: Inger Lise Ingvartsen, a skilled mental health clinician and my mentor and trainer during an internship.

What do mom and dad brag about most: Our baby boy, Liam, who will be arriving in early July.

What you wanted to be when grown up: A pediatric nurse, but I was placed with a phlebotomist after receiving my medical assistant certificate. I soon realized I couldn’t handle the blood!

PRINCIPAL | 30

Andrew McNeil

Arrow Benefits Group, Petaluma

Along with being one of four principals at Arrow, Andrew McNeil heads the sales and marketing department, creates prospect lists and marketing campaigns and personally serves his own book of business including some 80 employers.

How do you exemplify the spirit of a top 40 under 40 professional: “It’s all about my long-term outlook and my work in building our company’s brand for the future here locally and outside of Northern California.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Marrying my wife, Lindsey, whose support and encouragement has been a driving force for me for almost 10 years.

Best advice received: Save your money and never stop learning.

Single most important event in the last 12 months: Starting the Arrow Community Initiative that provides free classes on topics such as healthy eating and CPR/AED certification in the local community.

Steps taken to sustain your organization and morale: By providing a diverse range of services, and ensuring that our employees are cross-trained in other departments to enhance job security.

Industry buzzword you hate the most: “Cutting-edge Technology.”

First Job: Cart crew at Rooster Run Golf Course.

Favorite book: Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

Favorite movie: The Lives of Others.

GENERAL MANAGER | 34

Michael McNeil

Chateau St. Jean Winery, Kenwood

With accountability for managing a $5 million budget, along with 30 employees, Michael McNeil is also in charge of the winery and its direct-to-consumer business.

“I’ve had great success in building cohesive teams, as well as locating and growing leadership potential within my group. I believe my success is due to knowing the entire business from the day 13 years ago when I started as a winery gift shop cashier and by holding almost every job in between.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Working with a winery in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, seeing that business reorganized and turn into successful and profitable enterprise in 10 months.

Greatest challenge: Having to make decisions that sometimes negatively impact individuals, but are best for the overall organization.

Best advice received: Don’t ask someone to do what you’re not willing to do yourself.

Steps you are taking to sustain the organization and morale: We are giving more flexibility to employees and have revised our incentive program.

Next professional goal: To become vice president of Chateau St. Jean’s direct-to-consumer operations.

Favorite movie: The Wolf of Wall Street.

Favorite after-work drink: Chateau Saint Jean Russian River Pinot Noir.

Last vacation: With my wife and our adorable seven month old.

SENIOR PURSUIT PROFESSIONAL | 35

Nikki McQuaid

GHD, Santa Rosa

Leading and mentoring GHD’s marketing and business development team is what Nikki McQuiad is all about, along with doing winning work for the water market in the West.

“I work with our engineering consultants and architects on projects that make a difference. I’m also dedicated to organizations that directly contribute to the success of our community, such as the SR Chamber, SMPS, United Way and AIA.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Our most memorable contract win was for SMART. The competition was fierce, but the win was all worth it. It kept our office of 80 people busy during the recession.

Greatest challenge: Finding time to do it all.

Best advice received: My former boss Brigette Thomas would say, “Be authentic.”

Most important event in the last 12 months: Being identified as the Lead Pursuit Coordinator for Western North America.

Steps taken to sustain your organization and morale: Transparency is critical, followed by connecting with each other through events such as Rebuilding Together Volunteer Day and the Santa Rosa Creek Clean Up.

Next professional goals: Keeping my momentum up, continuing to grow and building our CRM program.

Hobbies: Riding horses with my daughter.

Favorite after-work drink: The ones served on Fridays!

ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT/HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR | 39

Betty Mullen

Summit State Bank, Santa Rosa

Following a prime directive to drive efficient and effective HR operations, Betty Mullen is engaged in the strategic development of the Summit Bank workforce and culture in line with the bank’s core values.

“Never accept that where you are is good enough. I always look for ways to grow personally and professionally.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Hiring some of the best employees in Sonoma County. “I’m proud our team and my part in building it.”

Greatest challenge: With low unemployment, it’s challenging to compete for the best candidates to fill open positions.

Best advice received: From the Summit Way – always expect excellence in yourself.

Single most important event in the last 12 months: Being accepted into the Pacific Coast Banks School program.

Steps taken to sustain your organization and morale: Summit provides competitive pay, excellent benefits, respect and recognition for everything employees put into this bank.

Mentor/admired businesspersons: Tom Duryea, Summit CEO, and Lori Zaret, SVP of HR at Exchange Bank.

First job: Working in dad’s office picking up staples off the floor for a penny apiece.

Favorite book: Anything by Isaac Asimov.

What you wanted to be when grown up: An astronaut. I wanted to meet space aliens.

PARTNER | 33

Carli Ortiz

Linkenheimer LLP CPA & Advisors, Santa Rosa

Specializing in tax preparation for closely-held businesses, individuals and estates, Carli Ortiz focuses on strategic planning to ensure clients take advantage of tax credits and incentives available to improve cash flow.

“I’m driven, dedicated and constantly setting new goals as I co-lead our internal tax committee, do tax training, get involved in operations, publish law changes and work with our fun committee. ”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Becoming the first woman partner at Linkenheimer in its 80-plus year history.

Greatest challenge: Having as busy a family life as I do at work, but with technology we’re always connected – a blessing and a curse, especially during tax season.

Hobbies: Spending time traveling with my husband, or at one of our children’s soccer, basketball and baseball events.

Community activities: Serving as treasurer, Redwood Empire Estate Planning Council; secretary, Santa Rosa South Soccer Club, and volunteer coordinator, with the Bennett Valley Alliance of Parents and Teachers.

Mentor/admired businesspersons: My partners John Jones and Mike Musson.

Best advice received: You are better than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think, from Christopher Robin in Winnie the Pooh.

Best place to work outside your office: At a client’s office or site – preferably a winery.

AGENT/OWNER | 37

Krystalynn Schlegel,

CLU, ChFC, CLTC MG Schlegal & Associates, Inc., Novato

When not meeting with prospects, Krystalynn Schlegel runs client quotes, and works with their attorneys, CPAs and financial planners to provide the best insurance coverage.

“I believe in giving back with volunteer hours and board participation, while serving as a role model for young businesswomen and entrepreneurs.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Working closely with my parents. They met at Prudential and had successful careers. Mom focused on employee benefits, and dad focused on estate planning for individuals and business owners.

Greatest challenge: It’s challenging being a female in a male-dominated financial services world.

Best advice received: Keep showing up every day!

Single most important event in last 12 months: Speaking at the Crump Potomac Affluent Markets Annual Meeting in Baltimore.

Next professional goal: To make Forum 400 – an organization of cream of the crop life insurance producers.

Best place to work outside your office: Working from Tahoe.

Hobbies: I’m an avid outdoorsperson who enjoys Jackson Hole, Yellowstone and the Tetons for snowboarding, snowshoeing, and hiking. I also enjoy paddle boarding and traveling. I’ve visited 30 countries, including Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Africa. Next, I want to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro!

What do mom and dad brag about you the most: Raising the sweetest wiener dog!

HEAD OF MARKETING | 38

Tara Sharp

Sonic, Santa Rosa

Being in charge of all Sonic marketing, communications and public relations, Tara Sharp exemplifies the spirit of a 40 under 40 professional by leading with integrity.

Greatest professional accomplishment: Launching and building Capture Winery, which she and her husband co-founded, and later sold to Jackson Family Wines.

Greatest challenge: Taking care of tactical responsibilities while reserving enough time and energy to focus on creating cutting-edge strategies.

Best advice received: Always seek a win-win scenario.

Single most important event in the last 12 months: Seeing Sonic build the first gigabit fiber Internet network in San Francisco.

Steps taken to sustain your organization and morale: We work hard to keep employees emotionally engaged, involved and we reward them for creating great work.

Mentor/admired businessperson: Jess Jackson, founder of Jackson Family Wines.

Best place to work outside the office: At a picnic table or on walking meetings when it is sunny.

Hobbies: Hiking, gardening, reading, food, travel and wine – and especially being with our daughters, ages 6 and 4.

Favorite movie: Two weeks before my dad died, the two of us went to see Forest Gump together.

One thing you wanted to accomplish by age 40: To win this award!

SENIOR RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT ENGINEER | 36

Brian Sosnowchik, Ph.D.

Keysight Technologies, Santa Rosa

As a project manager for Keysight, Brian Sosnowchik leads a team of 14 engineers and managers resolving a high-impact problem associated with the firm’s next-generation integrated circuits.

“My goal is to balance technical management and performance with civic engagement and community involvement.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Being promoted to a senior-level engineering position in six months, and winning my department’s Innovation of the Year award for developing a remote process monitoring solution enabling 24/7 support of our semiconductor wafer manufacturing facility.

Greatest challenge: Earning a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering.

Best advice received: Don’t go down to Silicon Valley. I chose to remain here. It really comes down to quality of life.

Next professional goal: To participate in Keysight’s Emerging Leaders Program.

Mentor/admired businessperson: Hamish Gray, SVP of corporate services at Keysight, an incredibly intelligent and articulate individual.

Best place to work outside the office: At the Rincon Valley dog park with my Boston Terrier, Maddox.

Community activities: Volunteering and involvement in fundraisers such as Battle of the Brews, with Leadership Santa Rosa Class 32, with the Active 20-30 Club, and on Keysight’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day committee.

Favorite book: “What If? – Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions” by Randall Munroe.

VP/BUSINESS BANKING CREDIT ADMINISTRATORS | 39

Allison Spitzer

Bank of Marin, Novato

Recently promoted to Business Banking Credit Administrator, Allison Spitzer reviews and approves loans for other lenders.

“I build trusting relationships with bank customers and co-workers, and make a commitment to be a dependable resource while setting a positive example for my peers.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Winning the Bank of Marin’s President’s Club Award four times in recent years.

Greatest challenge: Moving from a customer-facing position as Senior Commercial Lender to one in the back office challenges me to find new ways of providing the bank’s legendary service to internal customers.

Best advice received: Remember to continue believing in myself knowing that today’s challenges may be tomorrow’s victories.

First job: At Orange Julius in the Santa Rosa Mall.

Next professional goal: To always evolve, learn from others, be valued and stay challenged.

Mentor/admired businessperson: Beth Reizman, Bank of Marin’s chief credit officer, who has always been there for me professionally as a teacher, advocate and advisor.

Hobbies: Being with my family, running and participating in races.

One thing you want to accomplish by age 40: At 39, I don’t have much time to complete professional goals, but I am having a second child soon – accomplishing a family goal.

CONTROLLER | 32

Javier Tenorio

La Tortilla Factory, Santa Rosa

In addition to overseeing all of La Tortilla Factory’s accounting operations, Javier Tenorio is the project lead for accounting-related system implementations and upgrades.

“Simply stated, I am passionate about the work I do as well as the community I live in.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Implementing an online expense reporting system and upgrading our payroll system to allow employees to access their pay stubs from home.

Greatest challenge: Finding enough time during the day to get work done.

Best advice received: You only live once, so make the best of it and leave behind a legacy that many will admire.

Steps taken to sustain your organization and morale: Empowering each employee to think like an owner in order to promote professional and organizational growth.

Next professional goal: Getting my MBA.

Community activities: As an Iraq combat veteran, I’m dedicated to the veteran community and sat on the board of Swords to Plowshares, a Bay Area veteran’s rights organization.

Mentor/admired businessperson: My manager and CFO David Trogdon.

One thing you want to accomplish by age 40: I would like to establish a scholarship fund for low-income students and military vets who want to pursue four-year college degrees.

Favorite movie: Any documentary or war movie.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER | 35
 Luana Vaetoe

Becoming Independent, Santa Rosa

As chief administrator for a nonprofit with a staff of 300 serving some 1,000 adults with developmental disabilities, Luana Vaetoe implements board policies, manages the budget, as well as long and short-term goals.

“I’m energized by challenges that create a strong determination within me to engage with others to envision and realize solutions.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Creating program strategies to address our region’s rapidly expanding population of young adults with autism, and raising $500,000 through many partnerships to fund major building, technology and program upgrades to address this need.

Greatest challenges: They include resource development, program operations and especially diversifying our funding portfolio to cope with a federal service delivery mandate and state cutbacks.

Best advice received: Do everything you do with love. It’s the energy of love and compassion that can see you through anything.

Industry buzzword you hate the most: “Disabled People.” Always put the person before the disability, such as “a person with autism.” Don’t let the disability define the person.

One thing you want to achieve before age 40: Running a 5K. Most Samoans aren’t runners – it’s really not our most gifted athletic quality – but I think I might be able to nail it by then.

DIRECTOR | 31

Mayra Vega

Adventist Health St. Helena Hospital, St. Helena

Being responsible for five business units at St. Helena Hospital, Mayra Vega has to allocate her time among client services, internal communications, community outreach, the retail shop and reception services.

“My goals include being consistent, efficient and honest. In the process, I’ve gained the trust of my employees, colleagues, executives and community members.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Revolutionizing our services to be more patient centric and by focusing on excellence.

Greatest challenge: Revamping the delivery of care from a fee-for-services to a value-based system.

Best advice received: It’s not always about business, it’s important to take time to get to know people you work with and truly appreciate them as individuals.

Steps taken to sustain your organization and morale: Adventist Health launched a leadership development initiative fostering increased employee engagement, acceptance of change and leadership training.

One thing you want to accomplish by age 40: I want to be a role model and mentor for Latinas wishing to pursue higher education. I was the first person in my family to graduate from high school and attend college. As a Mexican immigrant whose parents did not have a chance to get an education, my journey was not easy, but with planning, dedication and mentors it was possible.

DIRECTOR, ONCOLOGY SERVICES LINE | 29

Ben Wade

St. Joseph Health, Santa Rosa

“I’m blessed to work with compassionate colleagues and inspiring patients,” said Ben Wade, who is responsible for St. Joseph’s Regional Cancer Care in Sonoma County representing nearly $80 million in annual net revenue and four cancer care locations.

“I strive to be my authentic best, while learning to lose myself in service to others.”

Greatest professional accomplishment: Managing the successful transition from the previous Redwood Regional Medical Group into St. Joseph Health in less than 90 days, and being promoted to Director of Oncology Services Line.

Greatest challenge: Wanting to go faster than is possible or reasonable in program/project improvement and implementation.

Best advice received: “Believe” – after my mom survived a bone marrow transplant for her cancer and overcame 5 percent survival odds, she stitched this on a pillow for my family.

Steps taken to sustain your organization and morale: We’re bringing innovative, advanced cancer treatments and support services to the North Bay, and engaging employees in daily lean process improvement and shared governance, giving them a voice in operations.

Typical day at the office: Just ask my kids, they say: “Chew gum; see an ambulance, police car and fire truck; talk on the phone; work on computer; spin in my chair and go to meetings.”

VINEYARD/RANCH MANAGER | 35

Brent Young

Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Healdsburg

Since joining Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Brent Young has led precision farming and experimental technology initiatives to improve vine health and performance.

He exemplifies the spirit of a 40 under 40 professional by listening to advice from mentors, while taking risks needed to lead the industry forward.

Greatest professional accomplishment: Being honored as am “Outstanding Young Person in Agribusiness” at the 2011 Sonoma County Harvest Fair.

Greatest challenge: To be more proactive than reactive. In farming, you always have to be ready for Mother Nature to throw a curveball.

Best advice received: Work so that every vintage is be better than the last and strive to eliminate vintage variability.

Single most important event in the last 12 months: Receiving the Wine Enthusiast’s American Winery of the Year Award.

Next professional goal: Redevelop Jordan Estate property with 120+ acres of Cabernet Sauvignon while obtaining a masters degree.

Best place to work outside the office: In the back 600 acres of the ranch where the cattle live. I enjoy taking the ATV out to check the moms and new baby calves.

One thing you want to achieve by age 40: Owning a ranch in Sonoma County where Lucy, our four-month-old, can grow up learning about the importance of agriculture.