The North Bay Business Journal is looking for news of promotions, new hires and awards for possible publication in the People section. Send your press releases to the North Bay Business Journal, Attn: Business Register, 427 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95401; fax 707-521-5292; e-mail people@busjrnl.com.


State Assistance Fund for Enterprise, Business and Industrial Development Corporation (SAFE-BIDCO) announced the hiring of Erika Pearson Whittemore as chief financial officer and Sónia D. Castro as business development officer. According to the firm, Whittemore spent eight years at Exchange Bank in Santa Rosa, and has worked, in an accounting capacity, in a variety of industries ranging from banking to manufacturing.

Castro’s background is in sales and digital marketing. The firm said she was brought on board to help promote SAFE-BIDCO’s Northern California Rural Microloan Program and its Native American Loan Program.

SAFE-BIDCO was established by the California legislature in 1981 as a non-deposit lender and financial development corporation.

Vivian Chen, Greg Leat, Kate Jehue and Rachel Harlin have joined or taken new positions at Montgomery Taylor & Company, an accounting and wealth management firm in Santa Rosa. Chen is the firm’s new accounting manager. A graduate of Wayne State University in Michigan with a master’s degree in accounting, she has more than six years of experience as a CPA. Leat is the firm’s new tax manager. A CPA, he has worked at firms in San Francisco and Sacramento.

Jehue is the new receptionist. Harlin has shifted into a new role as the administrative assistant.


Marin Open Studios announced Nancy Thelen Rehkopf has joined its board as chair of the Marketing Committee and was appointed as vice-chair.

It stated Rehkopf recently retired after a 35-year career in bank marketing, where her most recent role was director of marketing and communications for Wells Fargo’s International Group. She is adjunct professor at Dominican’s Barowsky School of Business and a director of the Marin Symphony.

Eric Lofchie has been hired as the director of New Directions School, a nonpublic school operated by the Child Parent Institute of Santa Rosa. He has been a licensed marriage and family therapist since 2008 and previously served as the executive director at SOS Community Counseling.


Ukiah Valley Medical Center anesthesiologist Ron Guth, M.D., was recognized with the 2016 Physician of the Year Mission Award by Adventist Health. Ukiah Valley Medical Center, which nominated him, stated that Guth was one of 19 physicians to be honored from Adventist Health locations throughout California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington.

“He brings a special, calming presence with his patients and staff. His unique manner eases patients’ minds, especially at a time when they feel most vulnerable, stated Heather Van Houson, vice president of Patient Care.

Jerry LeCato will work on new client development, communication, and integration for Santa Rosa’s Health Services Integration, a subsidiary of Syncordia Technologies and Healthcare Solutions. He has managed nearly all aspects of emergency medical system transportation programs, including operations management, sales and marketing, billing, public relations and quality assurance.


Amanda Bevins announced plans to open her criminal and administrative defense practice in Napa in January.

The attorney stated her firm, BevinsLaw, will focus on criminal and administrative matters in Napa, the North Bay, and the I-80 corridor.

Most recently, Bevins was a litigation attorney with Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty handling criminal and civil matters. Prior to joining DP&F, she was a partner at an East Bay business and litigation firm, Gagen, McCoy, where she handled criminal and juvenile defense cases for nearly two decades.

The announcement stated Bevins will continue focusing on the full spectrum of juvenile and adult criminal cases, from minor to the very serious, including white collar crimes. She also will represent businesses and individuals accused of violating local building and environmental codes or facing civil or administrative penalties.

She can be contacted at 707-492-5343 or amanda@bevinslaw.com. The firm’s website is www.bevinslaw.com


Hanna Boys Center announced that Mary Kelly Persyn has been named director of the Hanna Institute for Hanna Boys Center to train professionals from schools as well as youth development, child welfare, juvenile justice, substance abuse treatment and mental health organizations in using trauma-informed care practices to treat at-risk young people.

Joining her to launch the institute will be a new assistant director, Nick Dalton.

Persyn currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco. Mary Kelly was recently named co-lead of the Youth Justice Policy Working Group of the California Coalition to Counter Childhood Adversity (“4CA”) and she serves on 4CA’s statewide Steering Committee.

According to the center, Dalton has spent the majority of his career involved in leadership development, community organizing and using the creative and healing arts to empower the self. Nick was an International Ambassador and Teaching Artist for the nonprofit Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP) for almost a decade.

The Santa Rosa Symphony announced the return of Ben Taylor, now as development director. Taylor previously worked in the symphony’s education department for 12 years, lastly as director of education. Taylor has more than 10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, the symphony stated.

He has been music director for the Albany Community Chorus and the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Santa Rosa.