North Bay CEO Roundtable

Thursday, Nov. 29, 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.

Santa Rosa

Register by Nov. 27: nbbj.news/CEO18

A panel of key local executives comes together Nov. 29 for the Business Journal’s second annual North Bay CEO Roundtable, an overview of their organizations’ future and the key regional business trends for the coming year.

The luncheon panel discussion includes seven CEOs from prominent area businesses and a nonprofit CEO. They are Marcus Benedetti, chairman and CEO of Clover Sonoma dairy processor; Mike Ghilotti, president and owner for Ghilotti Bros. Inc.; Deana Kay, CEO, Torn Ranch; Rick Tigner, CEO, Jackson Family Wines; Blair Kellison, CEO, Traditional Medicinals; Joe Madigan, CEO of Nelson; and Kitty Whitaker, CEO of Hospice by the Bay.

“There is no other venue like this to hear the view from the top of some of the region’s best-known and respected businesses and organizations,” said Business Journal Publisher Brad Bollinger. “The North Bay is being severely tested by the aftermath of the October 2017 wildfires as well as a talent shortage and lack of housing. The contributions of these local organizations and their leaders have and will continue to be critical to maintaining the region’s vitality.”

Backgrounds of the CEOs participating in the conference shows varied paths to the top of their organizations.

Born and raised in Petaluma, Benedetti is the grandson of founder Gene M. Benedetti. He became president in 2006, CEO in January 2011 — taking the reins from his father, Dan Benedetti — and chairman in July 2015.

In business since 1914, San Rafael-based Ghilotti Bros. is lead now by the family’s third generation. Michael Ghilotti’s nearly three decades of experience has allowed him to be engaged in all aspects of the construction business in guiding the engineering and construction firm.

Kay oversees the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of packaged specialty foods for Petaluma-based Torn Ranch. It creates artisan small-batch chocolates, confections, baked goods and dried fruits then packages them in unique ways for high-end retail and hospitality outlets.

Over two decades, Madigan has recruited and networked with professionals throughout the Bay Area. From positions at Nelson and Associates including senior vice president, he ascended to CEO in 2018.

Tigner started at Jackson in 1991 in sales. He was named executive vice president in 2001, promoted to president less than a decade later and tapped as CEO in October 2015.

For the past 10 years, Kellison has led Sonoma County-based herbal tea company Traditional Medicinals. Founded in 1974, the firm has focused not only on products but also on becoming a leader in social- and environmental-sustainability issues.

Whitaker’s more than 20-year career at Hospice by the Bay includes being appointed CEO of the organization in 2014. Having earned an R.N. license and an M.S. degree, Whitaker guides the organization that serves San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties.

The conference is set for 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is underwritten by Union Bank and Vistage, with major sponsorship by Canopy Health, the Healthcare Foundation Northern Sonoma County Wildfire Mental Health Collaborative, Tri Counties Bank and Western Health Advantage.

North Bay CEO Roundtable

Thursday, Nov. 29, 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.

Santa Rosa

Register by Nov. 27: nbbj.news/CEO18