North Bay professionals news from Redwood Credit Union, Kaiser Permanente, Builders' Studio 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

Aaron Collier has joined Redwood Credit Union as senior vice president of information technology. The credit union stated that in his new role, Collier is responsible for strategically planning, developing, directing, and evaluating all information technology and e-commerce initiatives for the credit union. He also oversees the credit union’s information technology staff.

Prior to joining RCU, Collier spent 13 years at Washington State Employees Credit Union in positions that included director of infrastructure and operations, assistant vice president of software development, and network architect. He’s a graduate and member of the Regional Leadership Forum for the Society of Information Management.

Denise Laws was recently named continuum administrator for Kaiser Permanente’s Marin–Sonoma service area.

Laws began her career at Kaiser Permanente in 1987 as a staff nurse at the San Rafael Medical Center. In 1990, she transferred to Santa Rosa, where she served in a number of increasingly reponsible management positions, including patient care coordinator, assistant nurse manager, department manager, director Clinical Education Practices & Informatics, and most recently as the Coordination of Care Services Director.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Dominican University, a master’s in nursing administration and leadership from Sonoma State University, and an executive leadership doctor of nursing practice degree from the University of San Francisco.


Vanessa Apodaca, P.E., has joined the staff of Builders’ Studio in Sebastopol. She has more than 14 years in civil and structural engineering for residential, commercial and municipal projects. Apodaca received her Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from California Polytechnic State University.

Liliana Garcia has joined Premier Ob Gyn Napa Inc. as a nurse practitioner and certified midwife. Garcia has been a midwife for 21 years.

She has worked in the Napa Valley area as a certified nurse midwife, delivering babies at Queen of The Valley Hospital; she also formerly worked with and for Dr. Jerome Solomon, and for Community Health/Clinic Ole, the practice stated.

Garcia has a certificate in hospice and palliative care and a certificate as nurse midwife/nurse practitioner from UCSF; and an Associate of Science degree in nursing from Napa Valley College.

Rose M. Zoia, a Santa Rosa attorney with over 30 years of experience in land use, real property, and general civil appellate law, has joined the Arbitration and Mediation Center in Santa Rosa. The center provides alternative dispute resolution services throughout the Bay Area and Northern California.

The firm stated that Zoia has experience in the litigation and resolution of a variety of land use and real property matters including the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), general plan and zoning, easements, neighbor disputes and contracts, as well as experience in personal injury cases, probate/trust estate, employment law and banking matters.

Lenice Smith has been hired as executive director of Bloom, a volunteer-based nonprofit in San Rafael that provides complimentary wardrobes and life skills training to those in need.

Smith is responsible for overseeing operations, community outreach and planning of Bloom, formerly Image for Success. Smith replaces Sherene Chen, who held the post for two years.

Jennifer Bice, founder of Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery in Sebastopol, and Lewis Warren, shareholder of the law firm Abbey, Weitzenberg, Warren & Emery, have joined the Sonoma Land Trust board of directors.

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

Bice’s creamery makes award-winning cheese, yogurt and kefir, and this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary. She was inducted into the American Cheese Society Academy of Cheese in 2011 as one of the eight pioneers of artisan goat cheese in the United States. Bice recently sold Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery to Emmi, a Swiss-based dairy and cheese company.

Warren has more three decades of experience practicing law, encompassing all facets of civil litigation, including jury and court trials, binding arbitrations, appellate work, and a wide range of law and motion practice. He is past president of the Sonoma County Bar Association, of which he served on the executive committee from 2007 to 2011.


Hilary Berkey of Vintage Wine Estates and Emily Byrne of Etude Winery have been elected co-chairwomen of Carneros Wine Alliance, a nonprofit association of wineries and grape growers in the Carneros American Viticultural Area and will share governance responsibilities.

Nichole Peterson of Artesa was elected vice chairwoman, and Carneros Wine Alliance ambassadors Carla Bosco and Crista Johnson will serve as treasurer and secretary, respectively. Bosco served as board chairwoman in 2017 and 2018, and Johnson was chairwoman in 2016.

Additional board members include Mike Cox, Schug Carneros Estate; Scott Billeci, ZD Wines; Anne Moller-Racke, The Donum Estate; and Alison Crowe, Garnet Vineyards. All board positions were effective Jan.1 and continue for one calendar year.


Tania Gibbons, Laura Lee McConnell and Casey Monaco have joined Greenacre Homes & School as new members of the board of directors.

Gibbons currently serves as assistant vice president, branch manager and training coordinator at Poppy Bank, McConnell is director of Concierge Services and Strategic Partnerships at Pinnacle Capital Mortgage, and Monaco owns and operates Monaco Mechanical.


Shehnaaz Suliman, M.D., has been appointed to Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc.’s board of directors. Suliman is senior vice president of corporate development and strategy of Theravance Biopharma.

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