2013 Forty Under 40 winner profiles

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.”Ones to Watch

These 2013 Forty Under 40 nominees, though not winners this year, have proven to be successful young professionals worth keeping an eye on. [read more]

“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 events@busjrnl.com or 707-521-5264.---The Business Journal2013 Forty Under 40 winners

Profiles of 2013 winners of the Business Journal's Forty Under 40 Awards, listed alphabetically.Tiffany Bagala, Sonic.net, Inc.Alan Biggi, Dal Poggetto & Company, LLPSara Brandenburg, Royal PetroleumErin Carlstrom, City of Santa Rosa/Le + Pelletier LLPJeff Carniglia, Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc.Ana Carreno, La Tortilla FactoryAnthony Cipolla, Cipolla Financial & Insurance ServicesAleia Coate, Sonoma BankAntonia Garza, Antonia E. GarzaDavid Guhin, City of Santa RosaFasih Hameed, Petaluma Health CenterJohn Heffner, Dickenson, Peatman & FogartyDrea Helfer-Lagourgue, DH Wine Compliance LLCMelinda Hepp, Blattel CommunicationsEvan Hershey, Umpqua Investments, Inc.Andrea Krout, County of SonomaJessica Link, Robert Young WineryRyan Marruffo, Pacific Gas & Electric CompanyJason Martin, Unger ConstructionCory McCormick, Wright Contracting Inc.Craig Miller, 6th Street PlayhouseTiffani Montgomery, Smith Dollar, PCJoshua Moore, Pisenti & Brinker LLPTiffany Oliver, St. Joseph HealthAlfredo Pedroza, City of Napa/Mechanics BankShannon Rake, Sports CitySteve Sangiacomo, Sangiacomo Family VineyardsBria Schlottman, Kaiser Permanente, San RafaelMarcus Seiden, River Road VineyardsCarmen Sinigiani, Demeo, Demeo & WestSara Thompson, Metier, Ltd.Dory Timko, Kaiser Permanente, Santa RosaAaron Tompkins, Moss Adams LLPLacey Torkelson Smith, Wells Fargo InsuranceWrynn Valentine Reynoso, Redwood Credit UnionDonnie Varner, VinoPROJennifer Welch, Novato Police DepartmentMatt Welty, Welty Welty PCCristina & Michelle Wilson, Oh La Loft LLCYi Yang, Summit Engineering, Inc.Scott Zapotocky, Paul Hobbs WineryTiffany Bagala, 28Senior 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, 34Senior 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, 37Principal 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, 29Owner 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, 37Manager, 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, 31Human 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!"

Anthony Cipolla, 35Principal, Cipolla Financial & Insurance Services, Santa Rosa

Running his own company and overseeing marketing, finance, employees, customer service standards and business operations is what motivates Anthony Cipolla.

He also manages and analyzes client portfolios, offers advice and makes recommendations and helps clients pursue their financial goals.

"Matching success in one’s career with seeing the value of giving back to the community is essential today. I work hard to maintain high ethical work standards but also make time for philanthropic and civic involvement."

Greatest professional achievement: "I have been a member of the Million Dollar Round Table for six consecutive years, an organization of the top one percent of financial professionals internationally."

Best advice received: The Platinum Rule: Treat people the way they like to be treated.

Most important event in the last 12 months: Receiving the Santa Rosa Young Professional of the Year Award.

First job: "When I was six I worked for my dad picking up nails and wood scraps at his construction site."Aleia Coate, 39Vice president and community manager, Sonoma Bank, Sebastopol

In her role as manager in charge of establishing and executing sales strategies -- as well as developing and mentoring employees at Sonoma Bank, Aleia Coate is actively involved in her community.

Community and nonprofit activities: Past president of the Rotary Club of Sebastopol, board director for TLC Child and Family Services, past president of the Sebastopol Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Active 20/30 Club and an Interact adviser.

Greatest professional achievement: "I helped to open the Sebastopol branch from the ground up. Today this office has more than $80 million in deposits."

Greatest challenge: "In 2009 I was promoted to oversee two additional branches. I had to learn to divide my time to ensure that all locations were successful."

Single most important event in your professional life: "I was recognized by the Chamber of Commerce as Sebastopol’s Citizen of the Year last January for my volunteer work and professional contributions."

Last vacation: At Lake Tahoe to get married on Jan. 12, 2013.Antonia Garza, 30Owner, Antonia E. Garza Paralegal, Santa Rosa

As an entrepreneur who launched her own paralegal firm six years ago, Antonia Garza prepares legal documents for clients who represent themselves in all areas of family law -- including name changes, small claims, guardianships, conservatorships, civil matters, translations and notary public services.

"Many of my low income clients are cannot afford an attorney. My job is to ensure that their documents are in order and that they follow through by taking appropriate actions."

Greatest professional achievement: "Being able to help people who come to my office, and seeing the relief on their faces when they get their legal matters resolved."

Community/nonprofit activities: Participating with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, being involved in Cinco de Mayo, volunteering at the California Parenting Institute and by conducting informational workshops in the community on how to handle legal issues.

Best advice received: Keep a positive attitude when working with your clients and you will go far.

First job: "Helping my mother and father pick grapes."

Favorite book: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

David Guhin, 37Director of utilities, city of Santa Rosa

While managing 250 direct reports, David Guhin provides leadership and direction for planning, funding, and development as well as implementation activities for all divisions of the Utilities Department.

His scope of work encompasses water distribution and storm water management, wastewater collection and treatment, along with water use in Santa Rosa.

"I lead by example and encourage my staff to build relationships, while treating everyone with respect. I work with our team to solve problems and create a healthy and efficient operation."

Best advice received: A sign of a good leader is when you leave your position, the organization continues to thrive and grow.

Community/nonprofit activities: "I am currently the vice president for the Redwood Empire Food Bank and the co-chair of the Santa Rosa stage of the Amgen Tour of California."

Favorite book: The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance by Henry Petroski.

Last vacation: A trip to Los Angeles to watch the Tour of California and to witness the finish of the Amgen Tour in Santa Rosa on May 19.Fasih Hameed, 34Family physician, Petaluma Health Center

In addition to serving as a family physician, Dr. Fasih Hameed has implemented a number of innovative ways to deliver health care as the director of integrative medicine at the Petaluma Health Center.

He created or supervised the development of a chronic pain group, a stress-reduction meditation group, an acupuncture clinic and a pediatric obesity treatment group.

In addition, Dr. Hameed initiated a community garden for children, a wellness center, the integrative medicine consultation clinic -- where patients can receive holistic health care -- as well as low-cost fitness classes.

Greatest professional achievement: Founded an international organization dedicated to integrative medicine in underserved populations and received national acclaim for his innovative work at the Petaluma Health Center.

Next professional goal: "To see our center become the hub of a wheel of health in southern Sonoma County and to continue to inspire change in health centers around the country."

Best advise received: "The devil is in the details," from former Medical Director Nurit Licht.

Hobbies: Things I can do with my family -- surfing, music and growing food.John Heffner, 36Director, Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty, Napa

As one of the eight owner-directors of Napa County’s largest law firms and one of the top 10 alcoholic beverage law firms in the U.S., John Heffner handles a range of litigation in state and federal courts for wine-related clients for DPF.

Steps taken to sustain your organization and morale: "We do it through small events and demonstrations of appreciation. Our winery clients love coming to our office and pouring wine for employees at the end of the day."

Greatest professional achievement: "Learning to trust my instincts. Often there isn’t time to be cautious."

Greatest challenge: "It’s difficult to pursue marketing efforts, or offer my skills to prospective clients, when one has to prepare a deposition or draft a motion."

Next professional goal: "Over the next year I want to continue building our team. This will require focusing on marketing as well as mentoring."

Most admired businessperson: "My wife started her own photography business. Confidence is the secret of her success."

Drea Helfer-Lagourgue, 34President, DH Wine Compliance, Santa Rosa

As both founder and president, Drea Helfer-Lagourgue is responsible for financial, marketing, advertising, HR and sales and is the lead consultant for the firm.

Greatest professional achievement: "We increased our gross profit 256.5 percent in 2011 and by 80.2 percent in 2012 in an economy that was still struggling."

She strives to make the work environment supportive of both fresh ideas and teamwork.

"The boss should never forget what it’s like to be an employee. Most employees give 110 percent. It is the duty of an employer to recognize and acknowledge this by giving back at least 150 percent."

Single most important event in the last 12 months: "We hired three new employees in less than two months. Our business had expanded so fast we had to increase our staff quickly."

Greatest professional challenge: Managing an office day-to-day and going home at 6 p.m. can be challenging. The live/work balance is very difficult for me. I am a workaholic and also mother of three beautiful children, ages 6 and twins age 4.

Favorite after-work drink: Any adult beverage.Melinda Hepp, 31Account supervisor, Blattel Communications, San Francisco

Skillfully orchestrating public relations campaigns that help professional services companies increase visibility and achieve market-leading positions is what Melinda Hepp does best.

"I create, direct and implement programs that land strategic coverage in electronic, print and broadcast media to support our client’s business development efforts."

Greatest professional challenge: Staying on top of what’s going on in the news and having the ability to digest a barrage of available information.

Best advice received: Your potential is limitless, and you should never think anything is unattainable. A good education, hard work and persistence can get you anywhere.

Most important event in your professional life in the past 12 months: Co-founding the Professional Services Marketing Group (PSMG) in the North Bay and spearheading a national thought-leadership campaign for a new regional architecture client.

Favorite movie: The Fighter.

Hobbies: Bonding with my 2-week-old son and adventures with my husband and two-and-a-half year old as we cook, hike, travel, practice yoga, visit farmers markets and new restaurants.Evan Hershey, 38Vice president of investments, Umpqua Investments, Santa Rosa

As an experienced financial adviser, Evan Hershey enjoys working with his clients to help them achieve their financial dreams.

Surviving the turmoil of the equity markets over the past 15 years is his greatest professional accomplishment. "When hired by Paine Webber in 1998, there were 187 members of the rookie class. Only eight of us are still in the business today."

How do you exemplify the spirit of a Forty Under 40 professional? "By building lasting relationships with my clients and their families. When I left Smith Barney for Umpqua, more than 85 percent of my clients came with me."

Best advice received: "Don’t out think your common sense," from Raymond Hershey.

Community and nonprofit activities: Past president and 13-year member of the Redwood Empire Kiwanis Club, member of Leadership Santa Rosa class 28, Santa Rosa Chamber’s finance committee, and past club and national president of the 20/30 Club.

Favorite book: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. My father read a chapter to me every night at bedtime when I was a kid.

Andrea Krout, 29District director for Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt, Santa Rosa

Striving for excellence to improve the quality of her life, and to make an impression that will positively affect the community today and for future generations, is what motivates Andrea Krout as she represents Second District Supervisor David Rabbitt.

Greatest personal accomplishment: "Having the opportunity to serve the agricultural community that I am so blessed to be part of."

Single most important event in your professional life: Working to carry out the objectives of the Jobs Plan designed to create employment opportunities and provide businesses with the tools they need to succeed.

Next professional goal: Saving the Gravenstein Apple Fair. Sonoma County Farm Trails plays a large part in marketing our local agricultural bounty and agri-tourism.

Best advice received: From my father who said our friends and family enrich our lives. Letting someone know he or she is significant to you is essential.

Most admired businessperson: My late great grandfather Otto Brackman, past mayor of Helena Montana and a business owner, for what he accomplished politically and professionally.

Favorite book: Success is a Choice by Rick Pitino.Jessica Link, 36President, Robert Young Winery, Geyserville

Being a self-starter, who is not afraid to look for improvement and initiate change as she oversees all aspects of winery operations, is what drives Jessica Link, as she dedicates herself to family, the land and her community.

"Five generations of the Young family have farmed the same estate in Alexander Valley since 1858. Farming is more than a business, it is a way of life."

Greatest professional achievement: Taking the dream of having my own wine brand, Linked Vineyards, and bringing it to reality, while hopefully leaving behind a legacy future generations can enjoy.

Community/nonprofit activities: Linked Vineyards donates $5 from the sale of every bottle to the Redwood Empire Food Bank.

Mentor/admired businessperson: "My father, Ken Link, taught me that experience comes in many forms and that nothing should hold you back from trying something new."

Favorite books: Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D., and Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss.

Favorite after-work drink: "There’s always wine, but sometimes I crave an ice cold beer or pear cider."Ryan Marruffo, 29Account manager, Pacific Gas & Electric, Santa Rosa

Serving as the single point of contact for a portfolio of gas and electric users in Sonoma, Napa and Marin counties, Ryan Marruffo handles the energy needs of hospitals, colleges, banks, shopping malls and other large businesses.

"If a customer needs assistance, I find a solution. I haven’t come across a challenge I could not handle."

Greatest professional achievement: Realizing that I have the ability to improve a process and implement it companywide. Preventing a negative situation from occurring is far better than resolving one that could have been prevented.

Single most important event in your professional life: Coordinating a pilot program to offer an emerging technology that can make PG&E a nationwide leader for energy efficiency.

Steps taken to sustain your organization: Morale remains high because we take pride in knowing that the solutions we create with our customers helps them reduce operating expenses.

Community and nonprofit activities: "My colleagues and I volunteer at Santa Rosa’s St. Vincent de Paul dining room."

Best advice received: Turn off your cell phone when on vacation.

Jason Martin, 31MEP engineer, Unger Construction, Santa Rosa

Managing mechanical, electrical and plumbing work on the new Sutter Medical Center in Santa Rosa, along with 80 subcontractors, is just part of Jason Martin’s job description.

He also co-manages all computerized building information modeling (BIM) as well as MEP work for Unger Construction companywide.

In addition, he develops and leads project and work schedules, budgets, and supervises production and quality control efforts.

Greatest professional achievement: "I have been an integral part of the management team as a leader or co-leader for over $400 million worth of healthcare construction projects before the age of 30."

Greatest professional challenge: "In our industry, it is working with a wide range of personalities and getting everyone to align together to complete a successful project."

Best advice received: The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching. A man’s character will seal his destiny.

Favorite book: The Bible.

First job: Bicycle newspaper delivery boy at age 10.

Favorite after-work drink: My wife’s famous kale and veggie health shake.Cory McCormick, 37Project manager, Wright Contracting, Santa Rosa

With a passion for building great structures and a better community, Cory McCormick has been the project manager for a number of health care and other construction projects.

"I’ve had the opportunity to work on the LEED Gold-certified Queen of the Valley North Acute Care Building, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital’s expansion and renovation, Dominican College’s Edgehill Mansion, Sutter Health’s Advanced Surgery Center wing remodel (the first LEED Gold surgery center), and SRJC’s parking structure."

Greatest professional achievement: The Santa Rosa Junior College parking garage was the largest concrete pour in Sonoma County.

Best advice received: Follow your passion and be the best at it.

Community/nonprofit activities: "As an elder at the Cove Church, I helped procure and remodel a new church building in one month. I also work with Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit that rehabilitates homes free for low-income homeowners, the elderly and those with disabilities."

Mentor/admired businessperson: Don Danner, my high school drafting and shop teacher, taught me the latest Autodesk AutoCAD house modeling software, introduced me to developers and opened doors to possibilities in the building industry.Craig Miller, 39Artistic director, 6th Street Playhouse, Santa Rosa

Charged with the vision of making the 6th Street Playhouse a regional theatre company in the North Bay, Craig Miller is responsible for programming all of the plays and musicals presented on the main stage and studio theater.

He also hires all of the artists that bring productions to life on stage, and serves as education director for the School of Drama, where he recruits reputable instructors who will bring the highest quality classroom experiences to students -- from 8 to 80 years old.

Greatest professional achievement: Being the first Caucasian-American director to ever direct an August Wilson play, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, in 2004.

Best advice received: "Amplify and magnify! Everyday life is not exciting enough to put on stage."

Mentors/admired businesspersons: Jim O’Connor, at the University of South Carolina graduate school, and Bonnie Monte, artistic director of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

Favorite book: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

Last vacation: Fishing in Canada with my dad.

Tiffani Montgomery, 30Marketing coordinator, Smith Dollar, Santa Rosa

Becoming one of the first legal marketing professionals in Sonoma County is Tiffani Montgomery’s greatest professional accomplishment to date.

She is also the co-founder and current president of the Professional Services Marketing Group--North Bay.

"I founded this group with the intent of providing free educational programs, professional development and networking opportunities for Sonoma County marketing practitioners."

Best advice received: Find out what you love to do, and then make it your career.

Steps your company has taken to sustain your organization and morale: "In the last 12 months Smith Dollar has expanded from one office to four. The firm has always gone above and beyond in regard to its employees. It feels like an extension of your family."

Next professional goal: To organize a one-day marketing conference in Sonoma County.

What you wanted to be when you grew up: A lawyer.

First job: Photo processor for a sports photography company in Florida.

Favorite book: The Stand by Stephen King.Joshua Moore, 36Senior manager, Pisenti & Brinker, Santa Rosa

With a history of financial leadership in both public accounting and private industry, Joshua Moore is responsible for tax planning, compliance and assurance services at P&B. He has astrong desire for continued career growth and hopes to become a partner in the firm.

Greatest professional achievement: "Navigating clients through difficult financial times and complex situations with the satisfaction of knowing that I have played a significant role in their success."

Best advice received: Accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: I made a decision to return to P&B after five years as financial controller for TLCD Architecture.

Community/nonprofit activities: I am currently board chair for the United Way of the Wine Country and have been active as a member of the board and executive, finance and audit committees.

Hobbies: I love to ride off-road motorcycles at Cow Mountain, CC Camp and the AMA District 36 Enduros.Tiffany Oliver, 31Director of professional practice and innovation, Petaluma Valley and Santa Rosa Memorial hospitals

Building an area-wide Lead Nurse Education program, and one that provides resources for nurses and a succession plan through which they can achieve future goals within the St. Joseph Healthcare system, is Tiffany Oliver’s greatest professional achievement.

Her greatest challenge is attempting to build a patient-centered culture of care within a provider-centered culture.

Next professional goal: To move into an executive management position within the next five years.

Community/nonprofit activities: Volunteering at the Humane Society, American Cancer Society, Relay for Life, American Heart Association, the Redwood Empire Food Bank and with the Armed Forces (Navy ombudsman) Circle of Sisters.

Education: Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Jacksonville University, and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

What you wanted to be when you grew up: A job at the Centers for Disease Control where I could cure all diseases -- and save all the animals.

Favorite movie: Outbreak.

Favorite after-work drink: A great, huge glass of Papapietro Perry wine!

Alfredo Pedroza, 26Councilmember, city of Napa; assistant vice president, Mechanics Bank, Napa

Helping local businesses achieve and sustain financial wellness as an assistant vice president at Mechanics Bank, and listening to the needs of Napa constituents as a city council member are mutually compatible roles for Alfredo Pedroza.

"I work collaboratively with business leaders, property owners and developers in creating an environment that fosters healthy commerce, as well as cooperative municipal relationships, while helping to oversee and balance a $64 million city budget."

Greatest professional challenge: "Having to overcome perceptions some have about being too young has driven me to work harder, accomplish more and do more."

Next professional goal: Becoming a director of community affairs or a county supervisor.

Single most important event in your life in the last 12 months: Being elected to the Napa City Council, an accomplishment I will share with my children some day to motivate them."

Best advice received: "You are the CEO of your life."

First job: Bank teller.Shannon Rake, 33General manager, Sports City, Santa Rosa

Overseeing every aspect of day-to-day business operations includes managing over 50 employees and 40-plus vendor relationships, according to Shannon Rake.

"There is no job I haven’t done some point during my 12 years with Sports City."

Greatest professional achievement: Helping to run a business that has a positive affect on thousands of customers who participate in healthy sports activities.

Greatest professional challenge: Managing young staff members and attempting to instill in them qualities they will need to succeed in life.

I also train employees to know that the friendlier and more helpful they are, the more customers will want to come back.

Single most important event in the last 12 months: Helping to create and develop the TOPSoccer Program, an adaptive program for children with special needs.

Hobbies: I love playing soccer, and taking my dog on hikes. I also enjoy skiing, snowboarding, weightlifting, and rollerblading -- pretty much anything athletic and outdoors.

First job: Soccer coach.Steve Sangiacomo, 37Partner and owner, Sangiacomo Family Vineyards, Sonoma

Managing all aspects of the family business, from marketing to finance to winegrowing, is all in a day’s work for Steve Sangiacomo.

Greatest professional achievement: Chairing the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission for two years and representing more than 1,800 winegrowers.

Greatest professional challenge: Dealing with the oversupply of winegrapes in 2009 and 2010 due to the recession.

Best advice received: Always look at the glass as half full instead of half empty through business and life.

Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: "Our family celebrated 75 years of farming in Sonoma County with one of our best years ever."

Next professional goal: Having our wine business become certified sustainable.

First job: Working the grape harvest at age 12.

Hobbies: Golf and basketball. "As a child, I wanted to be a professional athlete. Today I volunteer as a high school football coach."

Favorite after-work drink: A glass of pinot noir.Bria Schlottman, 31Transportation manager, Kaiser Permanente, San Rafael

Ensuring that members and staff have access to parking is just part of Bria Schlottman’s job description.

She also partners with the construction team to minimize disruptions for patients and neighbors while facilities are improved.

"What I love most about my job is creating programs and infrastructure that encourages our staff to try healthy, sustainable commute alternatives, such as biking, walking, riding the bus or ride sharing."

Greatest professional achievement: Building bridges. I love connecting the dots between people. Facilitating strong relationships and developing rapport enables me to bring the right group of people together to benefit our organization and the community.

Best advice received: Be the change you wish to see in the world, from Mahatma Gandhi.

Education: An MBA in sustainable business, BS in environmental science and a certificate in community transportation management.

Community/nonprofit activities: Planting trees in San Rafael, removing invasive plants from Ring Mountain and placing staff information tables for the Green Chamber of Commerce.

Last vacation: Completing a heavy weather sailing class along the coast with my husband.

Marcus Seiden, 34General manager, River Road Family Vineyards and Winery, Sebastopol

Setting an example for others, providing leadership and inspiration, and giving back to the community are ways Marcus Seiden embodies the spirit of a top Forty Under 40 professional.

Greatest professional achievement: "During the first 90 days after arriving at River Road I challenged my team to focus on innovation. We redesigned our labels and launched a new wine -- Un-Oaked Chardonnay. It was a big risk and a huge win. We sold out 30 days after bottling. While financially successful, the real benefit was the change of culture to embrace outside-the-box thinking and flexibility."

Best advice received: Money doesn’t buy happiness. It’s all about being who you are, doing what you want and you will have what you are looking for, according to leadership coach Ray Arata.

First job: Ski technician.

What you wanted to be when you grew up: A ski bum -- I’m still trying!

Editor's note: Since being nominated for Forty Under 40, Mr. Seiden has become vice president of Wine Realty International.Carmen Sinigiani, 33Partner, DeaMeo, DeMeo & West, Santa Rosa

Working in a law practice that focuses equally on estates and trusts, Carmen Sinigiani also finds time to team teach a class on these topics at Empire College School of Law with the Hon. Bradford J. DeMeo, a Sonoma County Superior Court judge.

"Life is like a three-legged stool as we strive to handle career, family and community responsibilities. Each is a part of who I am, and I need all three to feel balanced."

Greatest personal challenge: Staying true to my motto of "you catch more flies with honey" while practicing in a profession commonly known for a "dog-eat-dog" mentality.

Single most important event in your life in the last 12 months: Becoming a partner in the law firm. "I started as a legal assistant to Jack DeMeo while attending law school at night. In 2005 I was hired as the first female associate in the firm’s 75-year history."

Last personal vacation: "I went to run in the New York City Marathon. When it was canceled, I stayed on to help Hurricane Sandy victims."Sara Thompson, 26Marketing manager, Metier, Healdsburg

Managing strategic marketing campaigns and outreach activities designed to promote the company’s brand and suite of project portfolio management solutions are tasks assigned to Sara Thompson at Metier.

"One of the things I love the most about my career is that there are always intellectual challenges to pursue."

Greatest professional achievement: Contributing to the design of an innovative software interface and then creating a new corporate website to match that design -- which was recognized by the International Academy of the Visual Arts in a global competition.

Best advice received: From Doug Clark at Metier who said credibility is all about the relationships you establish, and how you "over-deliver" on them over time. You never know when you may need to call upon someone in your network for help.

Single most important event in your professional life in the past 12 months: Becoming a professional development coach and a mentor for others through Metier’s employee growth program.

Favorite after-work drink: Since my fiance is a winemaker and creates the best pinot in Sonoma, I have to say pinot.Dory Timko, 35Executive consultant, Kaiser Permanente, Santa Rosa

As an executive consultant to Kaiser Permanente’s Area Manager, Dory Timko is responsible for administrative project and business performance management, training and development, succession planning, data analysis and executive leadership communications.

"I’m part Gen X and part Gen Y, and I live by the mantra that you can have it all: family, friends, career, health, happiness fun -- and very little sleep."

Greatest professional achievements: There are several, including maintaining work-life balance, advancing professionally, achieving my master’s degree, raising a family and living an active, happy, in-the-moment life!"

Mentor/admired businessperson: Judy Coffey, senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente in Sonoma and Marin counties. "She has a 110 percent commitment, focus and attention to all that she does, and taught me that work, family and community are all interconnected."

Last vacation: A double family trip to Arizona with four adults and six kids. We got to visit every waterpark in the state.

Favorite movie: "I’m up for anything that begins with ‘romantic’ and ends with ‘comedy.’ My husband loves it -- not really."

Aaron Tompkins, 34Senior manager, Moss Adams, Santa Rosa

Serving as a trusted client advisor to middle market companies for both tax compliance and planning matters, Aaron Tompkins also heads up scheduling for the Santa Rosa office’s tax department, trains and mentors associates and assists with business development.

"I’m passionate about taking care of my employees, serving my clients and providing an overall positive impact to the Sonoma County business environment."

Steps your company is taking to sustain your organization and morale: The firm is developing small subset teams that meet regularly to discuss issues people are having and changes that are coming about. These teams give employees a chance to speak their minds and build relationships.

Greatest professional achievement: Working on the Moss Adams’ committee that revised and improved ways employees are evaluated and mentored.

Best advice received: Always look at things from your client’s perspective.

Mentor/admired businessperson: Ty Pforsich, Moss Adams unit managing partner for the greater Bay Area.

What I wanted to be when I grew up: A professional bowler.Lacey Torkelson Smith, 32Assistant vice president, Wells Fargo Insurance, Petaluma

Working in a "team lead" capacity on her accounts, Lacey Torkelson Smith’s job description also includes sales, marketing, client advocacy -- as well as problem solver and forecaster.

To personify the spirit of a Forty Under 40 professional, she said: "You have to be tenacious, driven, successful, aggressive, knowledgeable and extremely motivated."

Greatest professional challenge: "My office didn’t come with a crystal ball. I must put myself into the shoes of every business I work with so I can proactively look out for their interests."

Greatest professional achievement: Making sure that business owners are protected so they can thrive, and keep employees employed.

Best advice received: When one door closes, another opens, said Alexander Graham Bell. Don’t focus on the closed doors or you won’t see those that open.

Mentor/admired businessperson: My father, Rick Torkelson of Torkelson & Associates, CPAs, LLP. Growing up I wanted to be a CPA -- just like dad.

Last vacation: I’ve heard of these. For me it was Cabo San Lucas, and it was amazing!Wrynn Valentine Reynoso, 29Training coordinator, Redwood Credit Union, Santa Rosa

"I have the privilege of training employees on our culture, operational duties, strong organizational values and commitment to excellent customer service," said Wrynn Valentine Reynolds.

Greatest professional challenge: Overcoming a fear of public speaking.

Best advice received: Do something that doesn’t just fill your life, but that fulfills you.

Next professional goal: Not to move on, but to move forward, supporting those within my organization and community to live the best professional and financial lives that they can.

Community/nonprofit activities: Serving as Human Race co-captain, 2003 and2012, volunteering for the United Way Golf Tournament 2008-2011, and the CDF/Cal Fire Scholarship and Charity Crab Feed from 2002 to 2013.

Hobbies: I love food and am an avid gym goer -- so I can eat more food! But I aspire to be a wine snob and am a skilled seeker of good deals on clothing and shoes. If I can persuade my friends or husband to take part in any of the above, that’s a perfect day!

Donnie Varner, 29Director of sales, VinoPRO, Santa Rosa

"I’m sure there are many professionals on the Forty Under 40 list that have grown revenues for their companies. But I would venture to say few -- if any -- have played a major role in growing their company’s revenues by over 1,800 percent in just three years," Donnie Varner said.

As director of sales, he is responsible for managing and training a sales team of nearly 40 representatives. He helps motivate and coach them to sell more wine and wine clubs for VinoPRO’s clients.

Greatest professional achievement: Getting VinoPRO on the INC 500 list of the fastest growing companies in the U.S.

Greatest professional challenge: With so much work to do, it is difficult to prioritize what should be done first.

Favorite book: "Go for No" by Richard Fenton. Most salespersons quit after the first "no." Don’t be that person.

Hobbies: I recently started building a new wine website, vinobandito.com. I’m a 49er fan, enjoy fantasy football and also love visiting and supporting the microbrew industry.Jennifer Welch, 32Lieutenant, Novato Police Department

As an administrative services lieutenant in the Novato Police Department, Jennifer Welch is responsible for the hiring and training officers, the Records Division, communications and dispatch as well as evidence.

She also manages the Minor Access to Alcohol Program, is involved in Emergency Services Operations, and is the department’s press information officer.

Next professional goal: To attend the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia -- a ten-week program focusing on professional growth, problem solving and leadership.

Community/nonprofit activities: She is involved with the American Cancer Society, has organized a team for Relay for Live, and is active with the "Tip a Cop" program where law enforcement officers work in restaurants to fundraise for Marin County Special Olympics teams.

Last year she coordinated the "Shop With a Cop" program in the department where underprivileged youth go on a shopping spree with officers.

Hobbies: Spending time with family, playing tennis and camping.

Best advice received: If something doesn’t go your way, stay focused and committed. Hard work does pay off.Matt Welty, 33Managing Partner, Welty Welty, Healdsburg

Successfully negotiating a multi-million dollar settlement for a client, when several prominent lawyers saw the case as too weak to take on, was Matt Welty’s greatest professional accomplishment.

The single most important event is his professional life in the last 12 months: Handling the transfer of a major family ranch in the Alexander Valley from one generation to the next, while preserving and bettering communications and relationships among family members.

Next professional goal: To continue to expand into more complex wine industry-related transactions, such as winery sales, brand mergers, acquisitions and real property matters.

Best advice received: If you take care of clients first and always, your reputation will take care of itself.

Mentor/admired businessperson: My father, Mike Welty, as well as Jack Weaver.

Community/nonprofit activities: Serving as a legal mentor to Empire College students, as a member of the board of The Cove, and performing pro-bono work for low-income agricultural workers.

First Job: Going into Healdsburg businesses and taking lunchtime sandwich orders for the Costeaux French Bakery.

Michelle and Cristina Wilson, 30Founders, Ooh La Loft, Petaluma

Doing everything from store merchandising, wardrobe styling for clients, creating window and store displays to conducting online sales and Facebook marketing are responsibilities shared by twin sisters Michelle and Cristina Wilson.

Greatest professional achievements: Three things: Receiving the "best boutique in Petaluma" award from People’s Choice, opening a second location in Santa Rosa as well as starting a successful online store.

Best advice received: You can do anything you set your mind to. And, follow your dreams. Do what makes you happy and the money will follow.

Steps taken to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy: "Buying from local designers and supporting artists in the community is our way of keeping jobs in America. Some 80 percent of our clothing is made in the USA."

What you wanted to be when you grew up: We always wanted to have our own business. We literally sold bread to our neighbors as children and started a teashop at age 10 in our parent’s barn. Yi Yang, 39Principal and Structural Division manager, Summit Engineering, Santa Rosa

"Serving the community, supporting the local economy, helping outstanding young people," as well as "being inspirational" are words Yi Yang uses to describe how he exemplifies the Spirit of being a top Forty Under 40 professional.

Greatest professional achievement: Becoming a partner at Summit Engineering.

Community/nonprofit activities: Volunteering his engineering design services for the Napa 9/11 memorial park, and providing a workshop for the City of Napa and contractors interested in retrofitting historical homes. He is also a state of California Disaster Services worker for the Safety Assessment Program after a natural disaster.

Best advice received: What got you here today, will not take you to where you want to be tomorrow.

Mentor/admired businessperson: Greg Swaffar, president of Summit Engineering.

Favorite Books: The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy, Dr. Seuss books I read to my kids as well as any leadership-development books.

Hobbies: Photography, my three wonderful kids -- Ryan, Andrew and Chloe -- and taking my family on vacation to Tahoe.Scott Zapotocky, 35Director of vineyards, Paul Hobbs Winery, Forestville

Dedicated to enhancing his company’s reputation as a leading premium wine grower, Scott Zapotocky oversees all estate grape farming, vineyard development and contract fruit liaison activities for the Paul Hobbs Winery -- while also interacting with local grape growing organizations, regulatory agencies and community members.

How do you exemplify the spirit of a Forty Under 40 professional? "By constantly looking at classic farming techniques to find new and innovative ideas to push grape quality to higher standards."

Single most important event in your professional life: The purchase of a premier Napa Valley vineyard. It was a key moment in the company’s development to add this unique property to its portfolio.

Most admired businesspersons: Several including, Tom Prentice, Mike Sullivan, Randy Hienzen, Larry Hyde and my coach, Paul Hobbs.

Hobbies: Skiing, hiking, cooking, cycling, swimming, running, as well as mushroom foraging and abalone diving.

What you wanted to be when you grew up: An anesthesiologist or a mountaineer.

Best advice received: The three "F’s" of the TSA: Be firm, friendly and fair.

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