Santa Rosa’s Summit Engineering adds new controller, designers; other North Bay professionals news

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Four people have been hired by Summit Engineering and an employee has been promoted, the Santa Rosa-based firm has announced.

Ashleigh Higgins has joined Summit as controller. She earned a Bachelor of Arts on degree in psychology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in legal studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She also holds an MBA from the University of California, Davis. Her experience includes working at Sonoma Raceway.

In addition, Kyle Moyer, P.E., has recently been promoted to an associate position at Summit Engineering. Moyer has been the Structural Division manager since 2018 and has more than 12 years of experience covering a wide variety of projects.

Ben Griesser has been hired as a staff engineer in the civil division. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in civil and environmental engineering at University of California, Davis. He has experience in construction management and vendor coordination in the Bay Area, the company stated.

Jake McConnell has been hired as a staff engineer in the structural division. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

He has experience in grading and drainage, drafting, construction management, building information modeling, and structural design.

Kevin Ruffler has been recently hired as a staff engineer in the structural division. Ruffler earned his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering at University of California, Davis.

This is the beginning of his career in structural engineering after gaining several years of practical experience in the field of demolition, the company stated.

Heidi Smith (courtesy photo)
Heidi Smith (courtesy photo)

Heidi Smith has been promoted to director of new client development at Foundation Homes Property Management in Kentfield. The post is a new position, the Marin County company added.

Smith joined Foundation in 2018 as a luxury leasing consultant and relocation specialist. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Francisco State University and a master’s degree in Culture, Environment and Sustainability from the University of Oslo. Prior to joining Foundation, she managed a nonprofit cultural exchange program based in Marin County.

Jeff Stone (courtesy photo)
Jeff Stone (courtesy photo)

Jeff Stone has joined Resource Label Group LLC as sales director for wine, spirits and specialty products. In August 2018, the group acquired Petaluma-based Paragon Label. The company stated that Stone will be based in Northern California.

He joins the firm with 20 years of experience in printing and packaging sales. He brings with him a background in graphic design, digital prepress, printing technology, and wine label sales. Stone will be focused on sales for the specialty beverage division.

Victoria Anderson has joined Larkmead Vineyards in the Napa Valley as client operations manager.

Anderson is a certified sommelier and previously held roles at Landmark Vineyards (sommelier and wine educator), Lokoya Winery (estate host), and Verité Winery (estate manager) of Jackson Family Wines.

Anderson’s role as client operations manager is a new position which encompasses responsibilities previously held by Erinn Maloney, who currently serves as Larkmead’s Communication and Design Manager, the winery stated.

Whitney MacDonald (courtesy photo)
Whitney MacDonald (courtesy photo)

Whitney MacDonald has been hired by Visit Napa Valley to the newly created position of senior manager for guest experience and partnership. She will supervise the newly opened visitor center’s operations and serve as the primary liaison for Visit Napa Valley’s tourism partners including hotels, wineries, restaurants, attractions and more, the tourism agency stated.

MacDonald joins Visit Napa Valley from Stony Hill Vineyards where she served as hospitality manager overseeing immersive events and growing wine club membership. Her background includes a variety of education and fundraising positions in the wine and hospitality industries. MacDonald received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pace University.

Jessica Thomason (courtesy photo)
Jessica Thomason (courtesy photo)

Jessica Thomason has been hired as executive director of the Napa Valley College Foundation.

The foundation announcement stated that Thomason will oversee and direct all aspects of the foundation, including fundraising, capital campaign, operations, events, scholarship and grant programs and staff and consultant management. She will work closely with the foundation board of directors and Napa Valley College Superintendent and President Ron Kraft.

Thomason recently served as executive director of OLE Health Foundation, where she managed all annual fundraising campaigns, events and marketing. Prior to that, she was development director and then executive director for the Napa Valley Opera House. She also served as development director for the Asante Africa Foundation, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art and VOENA children’s choir.

Thomason received her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara and her Masters of Science degree in strategic fundraising and philanthropy at Bay Path University in Massachusetts.

Founded in 1968, the foundation states its goals are to increase community awareness and raise funds to support Napa Valley College and its students.

Michael Polenske has been hired as CEO and creative director for Cinema Napa Valley, a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization headquartered in Napa and producer of the the Napa Valley Film Festival.

Polenske currently serves as the creative director, chairman and founder of the ÆRENA Galleries & Gardens with locations in downtown Napa, St. Helena and Healdsburg as well as the sculpture garden at Auberge du Soleil.

In 2008, Polenske created Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley, which he sold to RH in 2014. Previously, Polenske had a career in financial services and served as President and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank & Trust Co., N.A., heading up the private banking business in the western U.S. Philanthropically active, Polenske is a founding board member of Festival Napa Valley, which celebrates the art of life with components of music, art, food and wine, the group stated.

Mark Quattrocchi (courtesy photo)
Mark Quattrocchi (courtesy photo)

Mark Quattrocchi, founding principal at Santa Rosa architecture firm Quattrocchi Kwok Architects has named Philanthropist of the Year by international children’s organization A Chance In Life (ACIL) during a virtual gala that was held on Oct. 26.

The organization establishes communities of children in a half dozen countries around the world.

Six wealth management advisers at Redwood Credit Union (RCU) received Pacesetter awards, and RCU’s investment marketing efforts were also recognized at the CUSO Financial Services (CFS) 2020 Annual Conference, the credit union announced.

These earned gold Pacesetter awards:

  • Mike DeFazio (11th consecutive gold win)
  • Julie Nix
  • Clark Matthiessen

Christine Foster earned a silver awards. Steve Kerston and Joseph Turfa earned bronze awards.

In addition, RCU received its fourth consecutive Gold Impact award for its wealth management services marketing campaign.

DeFazio joined RCU’s wealth management team in 2007, while Nix has been with RCU since 2014. Foster has more than 28 years of experience in financial services and has worked for RCU since 2001. Matthiessen has also been a financial adviser at the credit union since 2001, while Kerston started at RCU in 2010. And Turfa joined RCU’s wealth management team in 2009.

Voces de Cambio (Voices of Change), the Center for Domestic Peace volunteer group of domestic violence survivors, was awarded California Partnership to End Domestic Violence’s Equity Award on Nov. 2.

Voces de Cambio is a community-based volunteer group comprised of 19 former center service users and survivors of domestic violence who are active in outreach, education, and organizing within the Spanish-speaking community and to other underserved and underrepresented communities in Marin and beyond.

Voces is predominately comprised of immigrant women, several of whom are monolingual, raising children (many as single parents), and working multiple jobs, the announcement stated.

Mary Barbara Schultz and Kylie Frame have been recognized with Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Golden Gate awards, MarinHealth announced.

Schultz, who celebrated her 101st birthday earlier this year, received the 2020 Lifetime Achievement award for more than 70 years of dedicated health care leadership and philanthropy and her lifetime commitment to ensure that quality health care in Marin continues to meet the needs of a growing and changing community, the organization stated.

Frame, a 17-year old Marin County native, who received the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award, launched Feed the Frontlines Marin, which was established to give thanks to essential workers and provide financial support to help keep restaurants open and staff employed during not only the health crisis, but an economic one as well.

Each year, AFP Golden Gate recognizes donors, volunteers, professionals, foundations, corporations, and organizations that exemplify the vitality of the Bay Area philanthropic community. This year’s virtual awards ceremony was held Friday, Nov. 13.

The AFP Golden Gate Lifetime Achievement award honors individuals with enduring records of accomplishment in philanthropy, fundraising or grantmaking, and who have demonstrated exceptional civic and charitable leadership. The Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award recognizes service by young people (ages 5 to 17) who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the community through direct financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteering, and leadership in philanthropy.

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