North Bay professionals news from Napa's Italics winery, BKF Engineers, Figueroa CPA 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

Marbue Marke has been named director of winegrowing at Italics Winegrowers in Napa.

The company stated that he will lead the winemaking program for both the Italics Winegrowers and (16) Appellations portfolios.

Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Marbue attended a pre-med program at the University of California, Davis, at age 15. But he changed course when he took an internship in winemaking. He graduated with a degree in enology from UC Davis and later earned an MBA from Sonoma State University.

He’s worked for J Winery, Cosentino, Benzinger, and EJ Gallo. Marbue was named Bonfort’s 2018 U.S. Winemaker of the Year.

Geoff Coleman and Jason Kirchmann have been promoted to vice presidents of the Santa Rosa office of BKF Engineers.

Based in Redwood City, BKF provides civil engineering, land surveying, and land-planning services for government agencies, institutions, developers, architects, contractors, school districts, and corporations. Its markets include health care, education, residential, commercial, industrial, corporate, transportation and public works.


Jack Malloy, CPA, has joined Figueroa CPA located in Santa Rosa. The firm stated Malloy began his career in public accounting in Silicon Valley where he focused on high net worth individuals and start-ups, earning his CPA license in the process.

He graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, in 2011 with a degree in business administration and a concentration in accounting.

Sunni York has been hired as marketing manager for Redwood Credit Union.

She will oversee the staff and daily operations of the credit union’s marketing department, including brand and product promotions, advertising, online and other marketing efforts, the credit union stated. York’s experience includes marketing management at companies such as Nice & Company, DDB & Tribal DDB, Heat, Havas Creative, and Haggin Marketing. Her background also includes production management at Meredith Publishing. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from San Diego State University.

Tom Barr, vice president of estimating with Ghilotti Bros. Inc. in San Rafael, has been selected by the Marin Builders Association as the inaugural recipient of the Peter Arrigoni Building Community Leadership Award. The association stated the award was recently established in 2019 in honor of the late Peter Arrigoni, who served as general manager of the Marin Builders Association from 1977 to 2003 and served on the Marin County Board of Supervisors from 1968-1976. Award recipients are considered based on their dedication to industry, commitment to education, and support of the Marin Builders Association.

Barr has been with Ghilotti Bros. since 1987. With over 30 years of construction and estimating experience, Barr is responsible for overseeing the preparation of all estimates, from takeoff and conceptual estimates through the finalization of the projects being awarded. He has been a registered professional engineer since 1992 and was the president of the Association of Engineering Construction Employers in 2010.

Barr joined the Marin Builders Association in 2010 and its board of directors in 2011. He was elected as vice president in 2015 and served as board president in 2016.


Napa County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza was recently reappointed chair of the Administration of Justice Policy Committee, a California State Association of Counties committee focused on justice and public safety-related issues.

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

In 2018, the committee focused on issues that included mental health diversion and bail reform. The county announcement stated that this year the committee will continue to focus on these issues as well as others affecting counties, including public-safety realignment and issues relating to juvenile justice. In 2019, the committee will also work to implement legislation that allows the counties of Napa, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Yolo to offer an alternative and innovative evidence-based approach to the current batterer’s intervention treatment program models for those convicted of domestic violence crimes.

CSAC is the statewide association that represents all 58 county governments before the California Legislature, administrative agencies and the federal government.


Elece Hempel has joined the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities board of trustees.

Hempel, a 26-year Petaluma resident, is the long-time executive director of Petaluma People Services Center. According to the announcement, PPSC is dedicated to improving the social and economic health of its community by providing programs that strengthen the dignity and self-sufficiency of the individual. Hempel also holds several other community leadership roles, including president of the Petaluma Health Care District’s Board and member of the Board of Directors for the Petaluma Chamber of Commerce.

SCC, the charitable arm of Sonoma Raceway, has distributed more than $6.4 million to Sonoma County youth groups since 2001. The board meets annually to distribute grants to Sonoma County youth groups and supports the charity by volunteering at events throughout the year.


Sean Pryden and Gerold C. “Jerry” Wunderlich have joined the Santa Rosa Symphony Board as first-time members, and Emeritus Board Member Gordon Blumenfeld has returned to the board.

Wunderlich managed a duty-free business in Hong Kong, as well as some personal real estate projects in Honolulu, and his group developed resort hotels throughout Asia, the symphony stated.

Pryden has spent the majority of his career in the financial industry, working for Wells Fargo for the last 13 years. In his current role, Pryden leads a team at Wells Fargo Private Bank supporting high-net-worth families with their comprehensive financial and planning needs. Pryden has a bachelor of science degree in business and a master’s degree in Commerce and Economic Development.

Blumenfeld is one of the founders of Sears Point Raceways. He currently serves on the board of Petaluma Valley Hospital Foundation, the Santa Rosa Memorial Foundation and the Children’s Museum of Sonoma. He was chairman of the Board at Stoesser-Gordon Plastics in Santa Rosa and Sports Molding, Inc. in Clearfield, Utah.


Joe Abrams, a longtime champion of Marin General Hospital, has been appointed to serve on the Marin General Hospital board of directors.

Since moving his Los Angeles-based technology firm and family to Marin 25 years ago, Abrams has been an active member of the Marin community. He previously served as co-chair for the Marin General Hospital Foundation Capital Campaign for MGH 2.0.

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