North Bay professionals news from Summit State Bank, Tri Counties Bank, Bank of Marin and more

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The North Bay Business Journal is looking for news of promotions, new hires and awards for possible publication in the People section. Email your press releases to

Janet Connors has been hired as senior vice president and senior relationship manager by Santa Rosa-based Summit State Bank.

Connors’ professional career has been focused in the commercial real estate area, starting with a Bay Area commercial real estate service company, with subsequent roles as a senior financial analyst, and senior commercial real estate lender. Most recently, she was a senior vice president and senior lending officer at Poppy Bank, the Summit Bank announcement stated.

Connors graduated from the University of San Francisco with a MBA in finance and Bachelor of Arts degree.


Arthur J. Muñoz III has been hired by Tri Counties Bank as a senior relationship manager for its Santa Rosa commercial banking office. Muñoz has nearly 20 years of professional experience in commercial banking and financial services, the bank stated.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MBA from Cornell University.


Kim Kaselionis, former CEO of Circle Bank, has joined the AssayCS’s San Francisco office as managing director.

She was most recently chairman/founder of Breakaway Funding, an equity crowdfunding firm. Prior to that position, she took over leadership at Circle Bank and led it from the brink of bankruptcy to 53 consecutive profitable quarters while expanding its footprint to a multi-branch, San Francisco Bay Area community bank, the AssayCS announcement stated.


Eric Waters has been hired as vice president for Marin County commercial banking by Bank of Marin.

The bank stated he has 13 years of experience as a client relationship manager. In his most recent role, he led a staff of 10 business relationship managers who oversaw a large, high-value portfolio.

Waters graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.

Eresa Puch has been named controller at Napa Valley College.

With more than 20 years of professional practice in finance and operations roles, her previous positions included serving as the senior accounting manager for the Buck Institute for Education, district accountant at Petaluma City Schools, internal auditor at Kaiser Permanente, and customer service director with United Airlines.

Puch earned the Executive Master of Business Administration degree from Sonoma State University’s Graduate School of Business and Economics. She is a member of The Institute of Internal Auditors and Health Care Compliance Association.

Mike Crosby has been hired as the executive director of Marin Court Appointed Special Advocates, known as Marin CASA, succeeding Robyn Roberts, who recently moved with her family to Michigan. Crosby has more than 25 years of experience working with underserved communities, including periods at the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco, Friends of the Children SF and the Marin Community Foundation.

Spencer Spellman has joined Sonoma County Tourism as its director of brand development, a new position encompassing content development and distribution, promotions, social media, and campaign development, the group stated.

He previously worked as an account executive at Wagstaff Worldwide – a public relations and marketing agency. He also has experience as a content strategist, writer, and editor to travel and lifestyle brands including Travel + Leisure, Los Angeles Times, Tourism Australia, Anheuser-Busch, and Expedia. In addition, he is the founder of Whiskey Tango Globetrot, a travel and drink website (and podcast), in which he’s partnered with brands that have included Capital One, Vail Resorts, Visit South Africa, and Elijah Craig Bourbon.

Spellman holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina.

Brian Connolly has affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage as a sales associate in its Sebastopol office. In his new position, Connolly will specialize in residential sales in Sonoma County.

Prior to affiliating with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Connolly was a sales associate with Century 21 Northbay Alliance for 19 years. Connolly has earned ECO GREEN certification and is a trained Senior Real Estate Specialist. He has held California Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors membership since 2005. Connolly received quality service awards annually since 2013.

Sonoma County Human Services Director Karen Fies has been named to the Long-Term Services and Supports Subcommittee for California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Master Plan for Aging. The first meeting of the 22-member group was in late October, with a report due in March 2020.

The county’s announcement stated the Long-Term Services Subcommittee will offer input on services and programs that would provide longer-term help for older adults, such as home- and community-based services including state-based In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS); access to and the quality of Medicare-based Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS), as well as LTSS financing and stabilization; workforce labor supply and retention; family caregivers; and information & referral systems.

Fies, who has worked for the Human Services Department for almost 34 years, was nominated by the County Welfare Directors Association.


Napa LAFCO Commissioner Margie Mohler has been re-elected to the board of directors of the Coastal Region of the California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions (CALAFCO).

Mohler was first elected to the CALAFCO Board in October 2017 and represents the only city member elected to CALAFCO’s Coastal Region, which comprises 15 total counties spanning from Sonoma to the north and Ventura to the south. Margie’s new two-year term commences immediately and expires in October 2021.


Gov. Gavin Newsom has appointed Richard Rubin of Mill Valley to the California Law Revision Commission. Rubin is an attorney and the founder and former president of Richard Rubin Associates, a public affairs management and business development consulting firm. He is the former chairman of the California Commonwealth Club Board of Governors.


John Heflebower of Merrill’s Napa office has earned the certified plan fiduciary adviser (CPFA) credential offered through the National Association of Plan Advisors, an affiliate organization of the American Retirement Association.

Heflebower, a resident of St. Helena, received a bachelor’s degree from Ripon College and joined Merrill in 1989.


John Schroder, a resident of Santa Rosa since 1970, was recently honored for his career achievements spanning 49 years in the moving industry. He was awarded the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his lifetime dedication to safety and customer service as a van line interstate driver at the recent Bekins Van Lines Miami business conference meetings, the moving company stated.

The North Bay Business Journal is looking for news of promotions, new hires and awards for possible publication in the People section. Email your press releases to

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