Who will lead the North Bay into the future?
That is the question the Business Journal sought to answer as it searched for a second year for 40 young leaders under the age of 40 having an impact on businesses and communities in the region.Finding 40 exceptional business leaders under 40
The 2008 Forty under 40 exceptional young business leaders were chosen from 120 nominees in Sonoma, Marin and Napa counties.
Nominations were opened in late January, and winners were selected in March. The honorees were selected by the editorial staff of the Business Journal based on having risen to the very highest positions within their companies or organizations. They also were analyzed for the number of people who reported to them and the level of responsibility within their organization.
Congratulations to the winners. ---Brad Bollinger, Editor in Chief and Associate Publisher
Many are leading companies that have been in their families for generations, keeping the tradition of locally owned businesses alive in the North Bay. Others made their mark by striking out on their own or using their skills to serve the community.
In the years ahead, the North Bay economy will have to confront many challenges -- health care, a strained transportation system, housing prices that remain out of reach for many employees, an aging population and mass retirements by baby boomers.
In the wake of these retirees and with the pressing challenges ahead, the 2007 and 2008 winners of the Business Journal’s Forty under 40 are evidence the region will be in good hands for the coming decades.Renee Amochaev, 39
Wachovia Securities LLC, Private Client Group, Santa Rosa
Since coming to Wachovia Securities in 2004, Renee Amochaev has helped her clients manage approximately $25 million in investable assets in the global-equity and fixed-income financial markets.
She started her Wall Street career on Main Street, Santa Rosa, in her late 20s and has been an advocate for the status of women in the financial services industry when it comes to achieving equal opportunity and pay. In 2005 Ms. Amochaev became the lead plaintiff representing 2,500 female advisers in a national discrimination class action lawsuit against Citigroup Inc., which settled the suit for $33 million just this month.
Best advice received: “Trust your gut, know your stuff and don’t ever let fear of the unknown paralyze you. If you’re going to kick up dust, wear cowboy boots!”Donna Beels, 39
Beels Soper LLP, Petaluma
After earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s of taxation from Arizona State University, Donna Beels gained experience as a business adviser providing tax planning, financial issue analysis and auditing services and by applying generally accepted accounting principles to closely held firms and nonprofit organizations.
In 2005, she launched a new public accounting firm in Petaluma with partner and fellow CPA William Soper and has seen 300 percent revenue growth in just two years. “My role involves developing and maintaining client relationships with the real estate developers and construction contractors we serve.”
Most admired businessperson: “Oprah Winfrey. Not only is she a great business person, but she is also known for giving back to the community.”Forty under 40 nominees to watch in 2008April 14, 2008
These 2008 Forty under 40 nominees, though not winners this year, have proven to be successful young professionals worth keeping an eye on. [read more]Kevin Bernard, 35
Russell & Davis Architects, San Rafael
When not focused on construction management projects -- such as the international terminal at SFO, Gold’s Gym, Century Theaters, Discovery Channel Stores and Williams-Sonoma retail locations -- Kevin Bernard leads Russell & Davis Architects in embracing innovative technologies for architecture as well as sustainable products and green building practices that will benefit the environment and provide a better future for Bay Area communities.
“My father, Keith Bernard, taught me the value of cooperation and leadership through teamwork as well as how to be a creative problem solver.”
Best advice received: “Life is what happens when you are busy making plans. So, be flexible, adaptive, honest and open to life’s path -- because the most memorable parts of life probably were not planned.”David Berry, 37
Abbey, Weitzenberg, Warren & Emery, Santa Rosa
Attorneys handling all aspects of litigation, from investigation through the trial phase, know that part of their job is to supervise other lawyers who do the same. “You have to be a good mentor. I vividly remember how hard it was to learn this job and how lucky I was to have people like Richard Abbey take an interest in my professional development,” said David Berry.