Sacramento 100

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Illustrations by HANS BENNEWITZ Photography by RYAN ANGEL MEZA



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Nis aliasi omnisciae pro maio volo mosandi restem quia volupta tintibus nosande reptatecte verio moAsluptate we head 2021, it’s with a sense of cautious optimism that life may finally eosinto ario. Lacepud igenien ecuptiur ad magnatu sdaeriora nihicipit esere consed quia non perro volupreturn to normal in the coming months. Or should we call it the New Normal? tur aut resci re prat est, tem sit erum, volupta tiorem There is no doubt that 2020—the year of the pandemic—was brutal. As excersperum qui doluptata diosam, cuptatem cuptatur COVID-19 battered the economy, business owners fought heroically to keep sitatem. Ut perum id eroit’s eum ipist fugitofandeliqui As we head into 2021, with a sense cautious volooptitheir doorsatis open and their companies viable, while civic leaders and influencers rimism cores ma voluptatius velecum faciam et doluptatthat life may finally return to normal in the coming stepped forward help the region survive the crisis. Now, with the arrival of enis eatet labo. to Faceari onsectasit fugiamu scimaximet months. Or should we call it the New Normal? There is no faccabhighly il eumeffective as quiatibustem in niet ellaborro anta better year in 2021, several vaccines that provide hopeesfor doubt that 2020—the year of the pandemic—was brutal. offic totam volupturitio comnitatur? it seems like a good time to recognize some of the people who have helped keep As COVID-19 battered the economy, business owners Ga. Inus explit la ditium dolupta tionsequis alicia dero Sacramento runningtoinkeep difficult theirtimes. doors openreand their exfought endit,heroically sed estotatur, optatib ustisquae corehenis companies viable,re while leaders and inflrspedit uencersaut ipsumet facessum iumcivic quodica tempore steppedrrumquis forward toexcernat help theestrum region survive the crisis. volorpo que peraecearis eum aut quae dolent quamet magnati onseniet adis Now, with the arrival of several highly effective vaccines eiumet rerorrunt ium in quiae velit aliquae that provide hopeessitempora for a better year 2021, it seems like a eos mil mos maximolliqui corum faccum aut por good time to recognize some of the people who have reiunt facipsa voluptatat explique pos et rerupis adi helped keep Sacramento running in difficult times. quae odit aut faciisquis recerum faciis asperum illorent fugiaspic temperibus iusciae rem id quas endicte nit, nos exceatem dusdaeces inum a nus experum dolo cus, ad quia velenis magni que venditi dolupti busam, ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY Tim Albertson: UC Regents/UC Davis Health • Emilyearitae Baime Michaels: Ashley Cook quam fugit quam evel inciam quiaepe reperum Edie Baker: Callista Polhemus • Janine Bera: Gerry McIntyre Photography que con placeat molorit, sit dolupta eventio. Ut venimo Leslie Bosserman: Courtney Carlmark Photography • Alex Brown: Tim Engle conetur? Francisco Castillo: Tia Gemmell • Brenda Granucci Forman: Merlot Marketing Untem sum alitate sunducimi, idit ulparupta cupici N’Gina Guyton: Jeffrey LaTour • Patrick Harbison: Chantel Elder • Christopher Holt: Eleakis & Elder commolut dolupti busaes am, ipsam res si aria sitae Talia Shani Kaufman: Chantel Elder • Donald Kendrick: Ronnie Johnson nobisi di nihillorias quaspictas et incitati consenit, to Giuliano Kornberg: Charles Vincent McDonald • Tara L. Lampkins: Excel School Photographers debisciis esti dolupta corita conseque occusci Brendan Leonard: Tim beaqui Engle • Jake Mossawir: Arrows Digital Media corpore prorepe rspelig enihillore volo ipsam, apicia Nicole Serres: Beth Baugher, True Love Photo


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Arts, Sports + Entertainment



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Vice Chair Sacramento Arts, Culture & Creative Economy Commission Maya Wallace is an advocate for healthy communities, government accountability and transparency, and empowering people through arts and culture. She has helped lead the city’s efforts to advance cultural equity, arts education and the creative economy and was voted best arts advocate by Sacramento News & Review readers in 2019. Wallace currently co-organizes the local policy discussion group Wonk Wednesday. She is a senior fellow of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program and a founding board member of Black Artists Fund and the Sacramento State Hornets Policy and Politics Alumni Chapter.

FIRST JOB: Cashier at Carl’s Jr. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones LESSON LEARNED: How people feel is just as important as getting work done. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: To make government reflective of and responsive to the people who pay for it ADVICE FOR MY 18-YEAR-OLD SELF: Buy a house the first chance you get. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: I appreciate the small day-to-day interactions I have with friends, colleagues and businesses in my neighborhood so much more in their absence. The regular hustle and bustle of the community really contributed to my sense of well-being. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Watching friends, businesses, artists and neighbors struggle with financial issues, mental health and the uncertainty of when we can start to rebuild. BUCKET LIST: Getting my passport and traveling to Mexico City! SACMAG.COM January 2021

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Arts, Sports + Entertainment


Sacramento Poet Laureate Founder, Zero Forbidden Goals


Vice President, Groups, Premium Hospitality and Event Sales Sacramento Kings and Golden 1 Center


Music Director Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra


Andru Defeye is a poet and performer who has shared stages across the nation with legendary Beat poets and hip-hop emcees. In 2014, he founded Zero Forbidden Goals, a “support system” for creatives devoted to innovating arts equity experiences and education. He helped popularize street and pop-up performances in Sacramento and elsewhere, changing lives along the way. He is the youngest person to be named the city’s poet laureate. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Rick Rubin TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: I was born without stomach muscles due to a rare condition known as prune belly syndrome. Prayer works and manifestation is real. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: Poetry and the arts saved my life and gave it meaning. I hope to do that for others. HIDDEN TALENT: I only hide it because y’all aren’t ready.

Lisa Feigenbaum oversees strategy for group sales and nearly 100 premium suites, lofts and balcony boxes for the city’s premier sports and entertainment venue. During her tenure, she implemented a career advancement program focused on staff growth and has presented to the NBA on best practices, data and analytics related to ticket sales. Feigenbaum created the Women Sports Network for the Kings to promote empowerment and camaraderie. FIRST JOB: IHOP server TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Being a gay female in a male-dominated industry HIDDEN TALENT: Fluent in Pig Latin. My twin sister and I liked having our own language our parents couldn’t understand. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: It has saved my life. Its unfortunate impacts on so many break my heart, but it’s forced me to slow down and re-evaluate what really matters. I choose life while still being a boss.

In 1996, Donald Kendrick became the founding conductor of the Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra, which presents concerts throughout Sacramento, has produced several professionally mastered CDs and has represented Sacramento as international choral ambassadors with performances in Munich, Prague, Vienna, Rome, Paris, London and Beijing. Kendrick has twice conducted performances at Carnegie Hall. HOMETOWN: Calgary, Alberta, Canada TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Keeping our choral society and orchestra alive for 25 years FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I ran away from home to join the Ice Capades. FAVORITE BOOK: Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: Be kind always. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON WORK: Singing and playing together in large numbers will not be allowed for some time.


General Manager Sacramento River Cats


Chief Development Officer Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera


President/Chief Operating Officer Sacramento Republic FC

Illinois native Chip Maxson joined the River Cats in 2012, focusing on leadership development, the creation of a positive sales culture, the development of new premium and social spaces and strong community involvement. During his tenure, Maxson helped the River Cats transition their affiliation to the San Francisco Giants and move food and beverage operations in house. He was the 2019 Pacific Coast League’s Executive of the Year. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Growing up in a single-parent family on welfare WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I love baseball, and when I realized my playing days would be ending quickly, I thought working at a ballpark would be awesome—and it is! PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON BUSINESS: We will go at least 18 months without revenue, so we must look at our business in new ways.

Giuliano Kornberg, an avid supporter of the arts and classical music ambassador for the region, oversees fundraising activities for the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera. He serves on the board of the Sacramento Stanford Alumni Association, the Council for Giving, First Tee of Sacramento and Metro Edge. Kornberg is an active Rotarian. He was a recent finalist for Social Venture Partner’s Fast Pitch competition. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I’ve always loved listening to and playing classical music. Having the ability to spread the joy of music … is incredibly rewarding and enriching. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I play over a dozen instruments, but my favorite is the marimba. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: It has helped me see what my true priorities should be and given me the time to be more thoughtful in how I approach life.

Sacramento native Ben Gumpert oversees Republic FC’s operations and leads the effort to bring Major League Soccer to Sacramento. Previously, he was the chief marketing officer for the Sacramento Kings and Golden 1 Center and played a key executive role in the design and construction of the downtown arena. He joined the Kings after five years with the NBA, most recently serving as vice president of team marketing and business operations. EDUCATION: UCLA, Stanford Graduate School of Business WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: Find great people to work for and stick with them, regardless of industry and location. They will push you, stretch you and help you grow faster than you could ever imagine. FAVORITE SACRAMENTO PLACE TO VISIT: American River Parkway WHAT I’D DO IF I DIDN’T DO THIS JOB: High school math teacher BUCKET LIST: World Cup Final


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General Manager Thunder Valley Casino Resort


Appraiser/Market Analyst Lundquist Appraisal Company


President Rolling Stock, Siemens Mobility, Inc.


Dawn Clayton, who started her career as a craps dealer for the Tropicana Resort & Casino in Atlantic City, has worked in the gaming and hospitality industry for nearly 40 years. She has received numerous awards for her achievements in business and leadership. Clayton is the 2020 board chair for Lighthouse Counseling and Family Resource Center and serves on the boards of the Placer SPCA and PRIDE Industries. FIRST JOB: Picking and packaging blueberries on a farm in New Jersey MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Anyone who shows compassion for the less fortunate and makes a difference in their lives FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I competed in women’s bodybuilding competitions. FAVORITE BOOK: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Worrying about the health and safety of our team members and their families, our guests and the community

Ryan Lundquist is a certified residential appraiser who runs the Sacramento Appraisal Blog, one of the top-ranked appraisal blogs in the nation. He is regularly quoted in the media about local real estate trends. Lundquist teaches continuing education classes for appraisers and is a regular speaker at regional real estate events. He is the winner of the 2014 Affiliate of the Year award from the Sacramento Association of REALTORS®. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Robert Paylor, a local young man who became a quadriplegic due to a rugby accident TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: All of my clients went out of business during the previous housing crash, so I had to reinvent myself entirely. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I love woodworking. WHAT I’D TELL MY 18-YEAR-OLD SELF: Buy stock in Apple, Amazon and Google.

Dublin, Ireland, native Michael Cahill has led the rolling stock business for Siemens Mobility in North America since 2011. While with Siemens, he has worked in various engineering and management capacities in Italy, South Korea, Australia and the United States. Cahill oversees a vertical business with nearly 2,000 employees and with his team has grown the business fivefold over the past 10 years.

BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Planning is great, but you also need to be ready to react to unforeseeable situations. HIDDEN TALENT: There’s not too much that’s hidden. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: Initially, it offered a great opportunity to travel, then it became about the purpose. WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: Be curious! Life and your career are all about discovery. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: Provided more family time and great opportunity to think


Manager, Development Anthem United/ Anthem Properties


Associate General Manager, Site DirectorSacramento Facility The Jackson Laboratory, JAX Mice Clinical and Research Services


Regional Sales Manager Fidelity National Title Company

Chicago native Brendan Leonard is development manager, project manager and land acquisition/disposition manager for multifamily, land development and homebuilding projects based in the Sacramento region. He is a planning commissioner for the city of West Sacramento and was vice chair of the city’s Environment and Utilities Commission. Leonard attended the United States Air Force Academy and Saint Mary’s College. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Meditate TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Mastery of self. The lessons learned are endless. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: Coming from the streets and seeing dilapidated neighborhoods growing up, the experience of place always fascinated me. I thought I would be a city planner but realized I wanted to build places instead of watching other people do it. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: The collective erosion of people’s mental health

Kathy Vandegrift is a results-driven biopharma executive who executes scientific research, complex technical processes, experimental methods and discovery strategies at The Jackson Laboratory, a nonprofit biomedical research institution. She is known for her ability to implement large-scale capital projects and robust operational solutions. Vandegrift embraces new technologies that lead to groundbreaking research in labs worldwide. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: There are always new discoveries to improve human health. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I had an amazing field hockey coach in high school from whom I learned leadership skills that are a fundamental part of my fabric. BUCKET LIST: I’m passionate about improving research experiments to factor microbiome, age and gender into models. I’m hoping I can contribute to moving science in this direction.

Colin Roe brings more than 15 years’ experience to his role at Fidelity National Title Company, where he delivers cutting-edge tools and technology to builders, real estate agents, lenders and investors. He oversees a sales region that encompasses 14 counties spanning from Benicia to the California-Oregon border to the Tahoe region. Roe has served on city and county commissions and on the boards of several community organizations, including HomeAid Sacramento. FIRST JOB: Busser at Bunz Sports Bar TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Growing as a leader FAVORITE BOOK: The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. It’s an annual read for me and a great reminder to be steady with the small things personally and professionally. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: It has slowed me down and focused me on doing less, but doing it much better.


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Regional Manager/Vice President Tri Counties Bank Yuba City native Bindu Jaduram began her banking career as a teller in 1998. In 2010, she was named regional manager for Tri Counties Bank, where she has partnered with community leaders and local businesses to rapidly expand the bank’s brand and footprint. Jaduram serves on the boards of CCHAT Center (Children’s Choice for Hearing & Talking), University Enterprises at Sacramento State, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento. A daughter of immigrants from India, she is proud to have been the first woman in her family to graduate from a university. FIRST JOB: Video store MOST INSPIRING PERSONS: My parents: Work hard, never give up and follow your dreams. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: The ability to help people achieve their financial goals WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: Find a mentor or coach who will help you progressively realize your full potential. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: It has allowed me to have meaningful interactions with family, such as hiking and cooking together. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Dealing with the unknown, not knowing when school will resume in person and balancing the kids’ starting distance learning BUCKET LIST: Fiji and Australia

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Nicole Serres started her career as a receptionist at a local staffing firm. At Star Staffing, which she joined in 2009, she has helped grow the firm from three to seven offices and increased revenue 800 percent. Serres is the author of the book From Receptionist to Boss: Real-Life Advice for Getting Ahead at Work. She has written about business and career advice for Forbes, The Washington Post and Entrepreneur.

President Star Staffing

BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: You’ll never get to second base with your foot still on first. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Sara Blakely WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: Originally it was to have an office role and feel professional. Now I choose it because of the positive impact we make every day in people’s lives and the community. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I have 14 goats!


Chief Executive Officer Genovese Burford & Brothers


CEO/Founder Precision Medical Products


Under Alex Brown’s leadership, Genovese Burford & Brothers has grown from about $500 million in assets to nearly $3.5 billion. He led the design, implementation and adoption of trading, client reporting, financial planning and investment research technologies. Brown is the board chair for the James B. McClatchy Foundation and a board member of the Roseville Area Chamber of Commerce. He is both a certified financial planner and a CPA. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: The 2008 financial crisis. It was hard not to feel the emotional burden clients were experiencing. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I enjoy numbers and helping people. As a financial adviser, I get to enjoy both. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Not being able to be in the same room together. At our firm we believe we are better together, and we look forward to having the team together again.

Jeremy Perkins left a lucrative job to start his own medical device company, risking everything (including his life savings) to start a company out of his garage. After three years, his startup was the No. 1 fastest growing company in the Sacramento region, producing a blood clot prevention device that helps more than 150,000 patients annually. Today, Precision employs 250 employees in 41 states.

MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Tyler Smith, CEO of Sky Slope PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: Taught me the importance of time with my family PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON BUSINESS: We saw a 47% decline in sales in the second quarter of 2020. TOUGHEST ASPECT OF PANDEMIC: Funding got tighter. BUCKET LIST: Backpack Italy


CEO Syphax Strategic Solutions


CEO/President First Corporate Solutions, Inc.


Chief Community Banking Officer Tri Counties Bank

Scott Syphax heads Syphax Strategic Solutions, a management consulting company focused on health care, real estate and financial services. He is chairman of the Nehemiah Community Foundation and sponsor and founder of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program. During Syphax’s tenure as CEO, his work has been studied by the Milken Institute and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He is a director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Making sure that my daily calendar reflects who and what I say I value in my life. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: Nothing matches helping others achieve their version of the American Dream. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: My speaking style was inspired by seeing Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments when I was a child.

Hong Kong native Samuel Hon has more than 15 years’ experience in organizational culture change, strategic planning and marketing management. Apart from his CEO role, he provides executive coaching and leadership program facilitation to help leaders and teams unlock their potential. Hon served two terms as president of the American Advertising Federation–Sacramento and has won more than a dozen marketing and design awards. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Practice self-care so that you can take care of others. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: Being the first in my family to attend college, I saved up to pay for my younger brother’s college tuition in my late 20s. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: Focusing more on what really matters in life PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Not being able to travel and see family and friends overseas

Scott Robertson oversees a network of Tri Counties Bank branches throughout Northern and Central California, as well as the 24/7 call center, direct banking sales group, home mortgage sales team, and Tri Counties Advisors investment services. Since he joined the bank, the company has more than doubled in size and now has more than $7 billion in assets, making it the largest community-based bank in the region. EDUCATION: Sacramento State University, University of Virginia HOBBIES: Announcing high school football games; golf MOST INSPIRING PERSON: My wife, Michelle, has shown me what it means to truly serve others and put the needs of others first. BUCKET LIST: As a family, we have a goal to visit all 30 major league baseball ballparks. We have 10 more to go.


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Owner/Private Wealth Advisor WGG Wealth Partners


CEO Green Day Power

Chrysa Tsakopoulos Demos was named president and CEO of AKT Investments in 2018, having served for a decade as vice president of the firm, overseeing financial analysis for major projects, acquiring requisite permits and entitlements, managing contracts and guiding the company’s strategic planning process. She guides much of the family business’ philanthropic activity, including the naming gift for the Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts, a performing arts venue in Sacramento. EDUCATION: Georgetown University, Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania FIRST JOB: Answering phones and filing maps at AKT MOST INSPIRING PERSON: My grandmother, whose name I share. She raised three daughters as a single mother in the 1960s in San Francisco. She overcame challenges and faced life with grit, integrity and aplomb. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I play the harp. MOTIVATION: My family

Stephen Westlake leads one of the largest wealth management firms in the greater Sacramento area with 40 employees and assets under management in excess of $1 billion. He serves on the boards of the Sacramento Estate Planning Council and Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance. Westlake volunteers with Global Habitat for Humanity, helping build homes in Malawi, Bolivia and Argentina.

WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: To help people live to meet their financial future with confidence FEW PEOPLE KNOW: Saltwater coral enthusiast FAVORITE TV SHOW: Game of Thrones PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON BUSINESS: We shifted to all virtual client meetings and staff working remotely. WGG was committed to no layoffs, and our team pulled together to provide clients with the exceptional service they have come to expect and deserve from our firm.

Sacramento native Seth Devey grew up around construction sites, building homes with his father. His business, Green Day Power, offers installation of solar panels, roofing, HVAC systems, windows and doors and home backup generators. “I built Green Day Power from the ground up,” says Devey. “My goal is to build it to a $100 million business within the next three years.

FIRST JOB: Digging trenches for my dad’s construction company BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: If you take care of your employees, your employees will take care of your clients. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I love renewable energy and I am a big believer in having a healthy planet. HIDDEN TALENT: I am a pretty good golfer! PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Permitting restrictions have been tough. BUCKET LIST: A trip with my wife to Bora Bora


President The Niello Company


President/CEO SAFE Credit Union

SHAWNA CHRISMAN Founder/CEO Destination Aesthetics Medical Spa

In 1998, Rick Niello became president of The Niello Company, a fourth-generation family business that he has worked for since 1972. Today, The Niello Company is the Sacramento region’s only privately held dealership group, with products spanning 14 of the world’s finest automobile manufacturers. Niello supports a variety of community organizations; last year, his company donated to more than 40 charities and nonprofit organizations. EDUCATION: Menlo College School of Business Administration BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: My mother: “Remember who you are and who you represent.” HIDDEN TALENT: Photography HOBBIES: Sailing and skiing FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATIONS: Carmel, Tahoe and Europe WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: Work hard and go to bed early! WHAT MOTIVATES ME: My family, my business and the very special region we live in

Dave Roughton began his tenure at SAFE Credit Union in 1999, holding the positions of vice president, CFO, executive vice president and COO before assuming the role of president and CEO in 2016. A not-for-profit, cooperative, community-chartered financial institution, SAFE employs more than 600 people in the Sacramento region. SAFE Credit Union is the naming sponsor of downtown Sacramento’s convention center complex project. EDUCATION: University of New Hampshire, UC Davis AWARDS: California Advocate of the Year Award for 2019 from the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues; 2019 Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year LEADERSHIP: Member of the boards of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, Sacramento Metro Chamber, Align Capital Region and The First Tee of Greater Sacramento

Shawna Chrisman combined her passion for medicine, entrepreneurship and aesthetics when she founded Destination Aesthetics Medical Spa in 2011 and developed it into one of the fastest growing medical spas in the country. She was named one of the top 100 aesthetic injectors in the United States in 2018 and serves on the advisory council for the American Medical Spa Association.

WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: We are practicing medicine with our hands in a nontraditional way. We are not just treating wrinkles but rather igniting empowerment and confidence. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I love old rap music and know the lyrics to many classics. WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: Hustle and heart will set you apart. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: No one can truly digest how this has affected us yet because we are still in the midst of it.

SACMAG.COM January 2021





Founder/CEO DaVinci Research, LLC

George Grinzewitsch Jr. owns the Von Housen Automotive Group, which operates Mercedes-Benz of Sacramento, Rocklin and El Dorado Hills. Founded in 1958 by Grinzewitsch’s father, it has grown into one of Sacramento’s largest privately held, family-owned brands, with annual sales exceeding $301 million. Mercedes-Benz of Sacramento won the Best of the Best Dealer Award from Mercedes-Benz of North America in 2017. FIRST JOB: I worked at BAP Auto Parts at age 12 over summer vacation. I dismantled used VW engines to sell parts as cores for refurbishing. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: “Change the belief and the performance will follow.”—Lou Tice LESSON LEARNED: Keep business and personal relationships separate. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I have a daily meditation practice. WHAT I’D DO IF I DIDN’T DO THIS JOB: Architecture and design

Born in Armenia, Rose Khalatyan moved to the United States at age 13, obtaining her medical assistant and phlebotomy certification while in high school. The company she founded, DaVinci Research, works with pharmaceutical and medical device companies worldwide to bring cutting-edge treatments to people suffering from unresolved medical conditions. Khalatyan has managed more than 50 clinical trials in the last 12 years. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: No matter how big a problem, it’s still an opportunity. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Learning the English language PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: In two words: worried and disoriented. In life there is so much we can’t control. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: When a person dies from coronavirus, he/she dies alone. I’m thankful for the compassionate health care workers who sit alongside the person as they take their last breath.


President Hard Rock Hotel Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain


Senior Managing Director CBRE

Born and raised in India, Raja Krishnan moved to America in 1996. Since 2003, he has served as president of Agile Global Solutions, a Folsom-based IT services company with offices in India, Singapore and across the United States. In 2017, Agile acquired a Pittsburgh-based IT services provider, dramatically increasing the company’s footprint on the East Coast.

RAJA KRISHNAN President Agile Global Solutions



FIRST JOB: Selling computers and peripherals TOUGHEST CHALLENGE FACED: Leaving a nice-paying job to start a business. The timing was especially tough, but with calculated risks and careful planning, I took the dive and never looked back. FAVORITE MOVIE: Ip Man FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION: Hawaii BUCKET LIST: Skydiving

Managing Partner AgreeYa Solutions

Veteran gaming and hospitality executive Mark Birtha oversaw the development, construction, opening and operations of the $450 million Hard Rock Hotel Casino, which opened in 2019. He manages the relationship between the Enterprise Rancheria Tribe (owner) and the Seminole Tribe of Florida (partner/owner of Hard Rock International) as well as future expansion and development related to the property’s 900-acre sports and entertainment zone. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: The toughest challenge was also the pinnacle of my career thus far. Being the first person on the ground for Hard Rock in Sacramento and overseeing the development of a half-billion-dollar resort was exhilarating. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I am passionate about hospitality. I love the fact that it is not only a career that has taken me around the world but a lifestyle that I can enjoy even when not at work.

Piedmont native David Brennan oversees all aspects of CBRE’s business throughout the Central Valley and Northern Nevada markets in addition to leading the Northwest Industrial Network, which includes Seattle, Portland and Hawaii. He oversees all lines of the company’s business in the region, including brokerage services, valuation and advisory services, asset services, project management, and debt and equity finance. EDUCATION: Sacramento State University HOBBY: Sports WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: Because it is competitive and commission based. FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION: Hawaii

Ajay Kaul was pivotal to the growth and progress of AgreeYa Solutions, a leading software, services and solutions company that serves more than 500 clients worldwide. As the managing partner of a 1,700-member team, Kaul guided AgreeYa to become the fifth fastest-growing company in the Sacramento region. Earlier in his career, he worked with technology industry leaders like Deloitte Consulting, iGATE Mastech and Tata Infotech. EDUCATION: Delhi University, University of Bombay FIRST JOB: Selling printers and writing POS software for a retailer MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Mother Teresa TOUGHEST CHALLENGE FACED: Learning how to find work/life balance HIDDEN TALENT: I enjoy karaoke. WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: Follow your passion and consistently work hard. FAVORITE SACRAMENTO PLACE TO VISIT: Top Golf


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Education + Health Care

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Education + Health Care


Founding Director Laser & Skin Surgery Medical Group, Inc.


President/CEO Dignity Health Mercy General Hospital & Woodland Memorial Hospital


Chair, Department of Internal Medicine UC Davis Health


Dr. Suzanne L. Kilmer was a principal investigator in the original trials for laser skin resurfacing, laser hair removal and other groundbreaking areas of dermatology. She is a clinical professor at UC Davis and past president of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery. A former faculty member at Harvard Medical School, Kilmer lectures at national and international dermatology meetings and directs several laser courses. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Rox Anderson, M.D., my mentor at Harvard. He let me explore the world of lasers to the fullest and supported my research. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: The loss of my son, Jenner. But by being grateful for all the great times I had with him and searching for the good in everything, you can make it through the toughest times. Empathy is critical. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Not getting to be close with so many friends

Texas native Edmundo Castañeda first assumed the role of hospital CEO at the age of 34. He led the 2014 opening of Mercy General’s Spanos Heart and Vascular Center. Prior to Dignity Health, he served as CEO at a hospital in El Paso. Castañeda serves on the board of Valley Vision, is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and is chair elect of the board of the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California. LESSON LEARNED: Leadership is an art, not an exact science. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I played point guard on my college basketball team. FAVORITE MOVIE: A Few Good Men PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: It can be all-consuming, leading to emotional and mental fatigue. Caring for COVID patients while leading “normal operations” in our hospitals and care sites has been extremely challenging. BUCKET LIST: Travel to Canada, the UK and Spain

Dr. Timothy Albertson leads the largest clinical team at UC Davis Health, composed of more than 500 physicians, researchers and medical trainees. Albertson previously served as chief of the UC Davis Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. A member of the California Army National Guard for 20 years, he was awarded a Combat Medical Badge for service in Iraq, senior flight surgeon wings and the Legion of Merit. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Go to college. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: General Omar Bradley TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Learning to fly a helicopter and being a battalion surgeon in Iraq PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: It has given me even more pride in the amazing team of specialists who have worked tirelessly to treat COVID-19 patients. BUCKET LIST: To refurbish my MGB and drive it to the World Series when the A’s or Dodgers are playing


Chief Medical Officer WellSpace Health


Dean, School of Medicine; Professor, Department of Neurology UC Davis


President/CEO Health Net of California & California Health & Wellness

Dr. Janine Bera is the chief medical officer for WellSpace Health, a nonprofit community health center with 31 locations in Sacramento, Placer and Amador counties. She leads a vast clinical practice serving the area’s most vulnerable residents. She is past president of the Sacramento Tree Foundation and serves on the board of Crocker Art Museum, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Wide Open Walls and the American Heart Association. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: My great-aunt Gertrude Dewey, an African-American woman who owned a fashion business, owned a home and other properties, and traveled the world in the 1950s–70s, when most women could not even have a credit card in their own names. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Surviving altitude sickness when climbing Kilimanjaro HIDDEN TALENT: My personal record for deadlifting is 300 pounds FAVORITE FILM: Pulp Fiction

Dr. Allison Brashear is the lead investigator in the discovery of ATP1A3-related diseases, which cause several rare neurological disorders. This discovery is now known as Rapid-Onset Dystonia-Parkinsonism. Prior to her tenure at UC Davis, Brashear was the neurology chair of the Wake Forest Department of Neurology for 14 years. She is a champion of the advancement of women leaders in medicine and a supporter of philanthropy for women. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: My mother, who with two friends raised seed money for the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, now a multimillion-dollar endowment. She also took my friend and me to the Equal Rights Amendment debates in the Indiana legislature. The comments made about women “staying in their place” have stayed with me forever. TOUGHEST LESSON: Some things in life are not based on merit.

Brian Ternan leads Health Net, one of the largest care plans managed by Medi-Cal. Health Net serves nearly 1 in 12 Californians. Ternan has more than 30 years’ experience as a senior health care executive. Prior to his tenure at Health Net, Ternan served in leadership roles at Anthem Blue Cross of California and Aetna Inc. He is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he studied agricultural business management. FIRST JOB: In 1981, I was the first employee hired at a Burger King on Mace Boulevard in Davis. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Events affecting our members and associates are most difficult: 9/11, wildfires, Borderline shooting, COVID-19. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I am a huge Jimmy Buffet fan. I met him once and thanked him. FAVORITE BOOK: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving


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Trustee Los Rios Community College District Board Pam Haynes has served on the Los Rios governing board since 1999, providing direction to a community college system that serves 75,000 students at four colleges. In 2020, she was elected president of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. A graduate of Harvard University and UCLA, Haynes advocates for equity and inclusion for marginalized students in higher education. She has worked in the California legislature, serving as staff for three Assembly speakers. MOST INSPIRING PERSONS: The young people who went to the streets to give voice to and demand redress, reform and restitution. They inspire me and fill me with hope that I don’t have to howl at the moon because no one is listening. Someone was listening, someone saw and heard what I saw and heard. A lot of someones were enraged enough to use their power to assemble in civil disobedience and active resistance. FAVORITE TV SHOWS: Star Trek (all of them!) and The West Wing PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON WORK: Many of our students have lost jobs, are food and housing insecure and have limited access to personal computers and Wi-Fi. We continue to work tirelessly to get resources to our students. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: The feeling that we don’t have a sense of our collective responsibility to protect each other, especially the stranger BUCKET LIST: A long-awaited trip to my ancestral homeland, Nigeria

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Education + Health Care


Chancellor Los Rios Community College District

CHRISTOPHER R. HOFFMAN Superintendent Elk Grove Unified School District


Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Endowed Chair in Fragile X Syndrome Research MIND Institute and UC Davis Medical Center


Since his appointment as chancellor of Los Rios in 2012, Brian King has overseen the opening of two educational outreach centers and the establishment of a program to remove financial barriers for students. He is chair of the Valley Vision board of directors and a member of the board of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council. King was previously a Fulbright Fellow to Russia with a group of national community college leaders. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: My mother, a tremendous first-grade teacher and educator TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Being diagnosed with cancer at age 28 WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: Education is the key to prosperity and social justice in our country. WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: Be open to listening to and learning from people who have views different from yours. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: I’ve had an opportunity to spend a lot of time with my college-age children.

Christopher Hoffman leads the fifth-largest school district in the state. He is the first superintendent in district history to have received elementary and secondary education in district schools. A former teacher, Hoffman was superintendent at El Dorado Union High School District prior to his current position. He was named 2018 Superintendent of the Year for Region III by the Association of California School Administrators. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Listen more than you speak. WHY THIS FIELD OF WORK: Staff members at my high school invested and believed in me. I chose to be an educator so I can pay it forward. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON WORK: It has made us re-examine everything we do. I believe we will be a better organization for students and staff, but it is going to be very challenging in the meantime.

Dr. Randi Jenssen Hagerman is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician who has studied patients with fragile X syndrome, autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. She co-founded the National Fragile X Foundation in 1984 and has written more than 400 peer-reviewed articles and several books on fragile X and autism. Her clinical and research work focuses on developing better treatments for fragile X syndrome and premutation disorders. EDUCATION: UC Davis, Stanford Medical School FIRST JOB: Laboratory dishwasher MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Eleanor Roosevelt WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I love children and like to make their problems better. FAVORITE FILM: Ghostbusters PANDEMIC’S PERSONAL EFFECT: It stopped my international lectures. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: The deaths BUCKET LIST: To cure FXTAS and fragile X syndrome


Superintendent of Schools San Juan Unified School District


Division Vice President, Mission Integration CommonSpirit Health


Principal Pacific Elementary School

Kent Kern began his career as a middle school teacher and high school basketball coach. During his tenure as a principal, he was known for infusing technology into instruction and promoting the use of data in decision making. As superintendent, Kern created and expanded the equity office, promoted student input, increased access to advanced placement courses and achieved a positive certified budget every year under his leadership. MOST INSPIRING PERSONS: The students I work with who are overcoming challenges to succeed TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Battling cancer as a 15-year-old FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I have a huge LEGO collection that continues to grow. FAVORITE MOVIE: The Sandlot WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: Stick it out through the tough times, as they are often followed by good times. BUCKET LIST: Seeing a game at every major league baseball park

Michael Cox has been a leader with Dignity Health (now CommonSpirit Health) since 2013. He previously served as an executive leader in the fields of mission integration, spirituality, ethics, ministry leadership formation, and community health and outreach at Providence Health and Services and Ascension Health. During his career, he has been a certified nursing assistant and hospital chaplain.

HOMETOWN: Spokane, Wash. EDUCATION: Carroll College, Aquinas Institute of Theology FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I have a private pilot certificate. FAVORITE BOOK: A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: It has made me even more grateful for the day-to-day personal connections we make in the workplace. BUCKET LIST: Celebrate completing my Ph.D. with hiking the entirety of the John Muir Trail

Tara Lampkins leads a 700-student elementary school in Sacramento City Unified School District serving students represented by 10 ethnicities and speaking more than 20 languages. She has served as a board member for youth sports organizations and Oak Park Preschool. Lampkins is active in the Sacramento National Pan-Hellenic Council. A native of Kentucky, she was bestowed with the commonwealth’s highest title of honor, Kentucky Colonel. FIRST JOB: Dunk-a-Witch at the Nut Tree pumpkin patch TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Multiple sclerosis diagnosis WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: Education allows you to touch and influence the future today. FAVORITE BOOK: Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: I miss the daily interaction with students, families and colleagues. I miss the opportunity to give or receive a needed hug or smile. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I collect Barbies.


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Education + Health Care


President VSP Vision Care


President/CEO Marshall Medical Center


Chief Academic Officer Sacramento City Unified School District

Kate Renwick-Espinosa leads the nation’s largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company, serving nearly 90 million members through a network of 40,000 doctors. Under her leadership, VSP has attained record growth in domestic membership and developed a corporate social responsibility and charity program that has delivered free eye care and eyewear to millions of people in need around the world. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: You never learn anything by talking. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: My mother was an HR leader and my father was a public health educator and physician. This sparked my interest in health benefits and community health care. FAVORITE BOOK: Freakonomics by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt. I’m fascinated by the human side of economics.

Siri Nelson began her career in health care accounting and finance for rural hospitals in Northern California. She previously served as CFO and interim CEO at Sutter Amador hospital in Jackson; CAO at Sutter Lakeside in Lakeport; and CEO at South Meadows Medical Center in Reno. While at Sutter Lakeside, Nelson earned the President’s Award for highest clinical quality and patient experience for a small hospital. MOST INSPIRING PERSONS: My kids—I learn from them every day. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I’m a CPA by trade and fell in love with the complexity of health care. I can’t take care of patients, but I can make it easier for people who do. FAVORITE BOOK: I enjoy all genres, from historical fiction to murder mysteries to autobiographies.

Christine Baeta works to improve educational and social-emotional outcomes for more than 40,000 students at 77 schools in Sacramento. Prior to her tenure with SCUSD, Baeta spent 20 years serving students in Elk Grove Unified School District. She has worked as a classroom teacher, site administrator and instructional assistant superintendent, always with an eye on disrupting systemic inequities that hold students back. MOST INSPIRING PERSONS: My parents, who did not get to go to college but worked to be sure their children did WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: As a mom of four, including a daughter with severe cerebral palsy, I was confronted with the inequities in our school system. I became a teacher to disrupt the inequities that defined our experience. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I ran the very first California International Marathon in 1983 and am still running!


Superintendent of Schools Sacramento County Office of Education


Professor and Air Quality Specialist UC Davis


President/CEO St. HOPE

David Gordon oversees the entity that is responsible for delivering quality education to more than 240,000 students in 13 school districts in Sacramento County. He previously served as superintendent of Elk Grove Unified School District, where he helped pioneer preschool programs and early-intervention programs for at-risk children. Gordon serves on the board of the Sierra Health Foundation and the Sacramento First 5 Commission. HOMETOWN: New York City EDUCATION: Brandeis University, Harvard University FIRST JOB: Pushing a delivery cart in the New York City Garment Center MOST INSPIRING PERSON: My grandfather—a judge, community leader and NYC mayoral candidate in 1945 HIDDEN TALENT: People tell me I’m a good cook! BUCKET LIST: Take all 12 members of my family to Hawaii as soon as we are able to travel safely

Dr. Frank Mitloehner is a professor and air quality specialist in cooperative extension in the department of animal science at UC Davis. His emphasis is on understanding and mitigating air emissions from livestock operations, and studying their impact on the health of farm workers and communities. He is director of the CLEAR Center at UC Davis, which examines the intersection of animal agriculture and the environment. HOMETOWN: Viersen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: The most important challenge of our lifetime is feeding a growing population without depleting our resources. I wanted to find solutions to this challenge by learning how we can produce animal-sourced food with the lowest possible environmental impact. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: The terrible divide in our country with people politicizing the pandemic

Jake Mossawir led the St. HOPE organization to financial stability for the first time in 30 years, in part by reducing overhead by 30% and driving 40% growth in the real estate portfolio. He was the founding executive director of City Year Sacramento. Mossawir is a graduate of Leadership Sacramento and the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program and is an American Leadership Forum senior fellow.

BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Just because it is the style doesn’t mean you look good in it. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Pat Tillman TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: As a leader, being comfortable being misunderstood FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I can’t stand a fixed menu at a restaurant. FAVORITE MOVIE: The Wood WHAT I’D TELL MY 18-YEAR-OLD SELF:: You’re not going to end up with your high school girlfriend. Make decisions accordingly. BUCKET LIST: Live abroad

SACMAG.COM January 2021


Education + Health Care


President and CEO Eskaton


CEO/Vice Chancellor of Human Health Sciences UC Davis Health


CEO California Medical Association


A leader in the aging-services industry for nearly four decades, Todd Murch started working at Eskaton in 1981 and was named CEO in 2005. The Carmichael-based nonprofit operates 23 residential facilities and memory-care sites, serving nearly 12,000 senior citizens in the Greater Sacramento area. Eskaton was named a 2019 Top 50 “Best Workplaces for Aging Services” by Great Place to Work and Fortune Magazine. EDUCATION: Sacramento State University, Stanford University’s Executive Program LEADERSHIP: Past chair, LeadingAge California; past president/ board chair, The Institute for Senior Living EXPERIENCE: At Eskaton, served as accounting manager, divisional controller for skilled nursing, corporate controller, executive director of operational support services, chief financial officer and chief operating officer

Dr. David Lubarsky oversees UC Davis Health’s academic, research and clinical programs, including the School of Medicine, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, the 1,000-member physician practice group and UC Davis Medical Center. UC Davis Health has roughly 10,000 employees, 800 students and an operating budget of $1.9 billion, and it handles 1 million outpatient visits per year. He joined UC Davis Health in 2018. HOMETOWN: Bronx, N.Y. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I became a doctor because my best friend’s grandfather made house calls. He made me feel so much better by giving me warm Coke when I had the flu. He was such an amazing role model, I decided I wanted to be a doctor when I was 12. FAVORITE TV SHOW: Game of Thrones

In 1998, Dustin Corcoran started working at the California Medical Association, a nonprofit organization of more than 44,000 physicians, as the membership coordinator for the political action committee. He then became a staff lobbyist. He has been the CEO since 2010. For the past 10 years, Corcoran has been listed as one of Capitol Weekly’s top 100 power brokers in the state.

HOMETOWN: Los Alamitos, Calif. EDUCATION: American University, University of Southern California FAVORITE HOBBY: Snowboarding FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION: Wherever the best European football match is FAVORITE SACRAMENTO PLACE TO VISIT: Taylor’s Market WHAT I’D DO IF I DIDN’T DO THIS JOB: Run Kirkwood ski resort


Regional Development Director St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital


Senior Vice President/ Area Manager Kaiser Permanente Roseville


President/CEO Sutter Health

Elizabeth Culp is responsible for expanding several St. Jude efforts in the region, including the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway. She previously served as the development director for the Crocker Art Museum and for the Society for the Blind, where she helped expand the organization’s services and teaching facility. Early in her career, Culp launched an award-winning marketing and communications agency serving credit unions. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: After recently enduring a bilateral renal infarction, I learned I have a rare condition called fibromuscular dysplasia, which has changed my life forever. It has taught me the depth of my resilience and the prominence of my family as a compass of strength. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I was a coxswain for the rowing team in college and a practice cox for the women’s quad team that represented the U.S. in the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Kim Menzel has worked in all aspects of Kaiser Permanente’s operations, including leading Roseville Medical Center’s COVID-19 response. She began her nursing career in 1990, later earning a master’s in health care administration. Menzel has brought innovation and creativity to several high-priority projects for Kaiser, including Care Without Delay, which ensures patients get the care they need when they need it.

FIRST JOB: At 14, I worked with my dad, who was a chef at Milk Farm Restaurant. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Corwin Harper, senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente in the Central Valley. His skill of connecting with people is something I admire and have tried to emulate. FAVORITE BOOK: Dare to Lead by Brené Brown FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I am very connected to my Spanish heritage. Also, I am an awesome cook. I make a really yummy paella.

As president and CEO of Sutter Health, a not-forprofit health system that cares for 3 million patients, Krevans oversees 24 hospitals, 53,000 employees and 14,000 clinicians, as well as outpatient services, research facilities and home health and hospice care. Previously, Krevans was Sutter Health’s chief operating officer and held executive positions at Kaiser Permanente and Maine’s Bureau of Medical Services. Modern Healthcare named her one of the Top 25 Women Leaders. FIRST JOB: See’s Candies in Berkeley FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION: Family home in Maine WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: At school, I took small jobs at hospitals and was disenchanted with the health care system, particularly the way it treated the elderly and mentally ill. This inspired me to change my plan of becoming a doctor and instead pursue a career in health policy and administration to help fix the system.


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Food + Agriculture

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Food + Agriculture

JOANY TITHERINGTON Market Manager Oak Park Farmers Market


Head Brewer Mraz Brewing Company


Secretary California Department of Food and Agriculture


Joany Titherington has a long history of community leadership in Sacramento, including helping launch the award-winning Oak Park Farmers Market, which provides access to healthy food for Oak Park and surrounding neighborhoods. She is past president of the Oak Park Neighborhood Association and a former board member of the California Small Farm Conference. The California Endowment recognized Titherington in 2016 for her contributions to building healthy communities. MOST INSPIRING PERSONS: The women in my family. Strong, thoughtful, determined, resilient, dedicated and loving. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: It chose me. Life’s circumstances brought it to my doorstep and unwittingly opened the door to new opportunities. FAVORITE FILM: Anything Star Wars PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON WORK: I have to think about our customers and their well-being in a whole new way.

Alabama native Lauren Price was proud to be the brewer at El Dorado Hills-based Mraz Brewing when the company was voted Best Brewery in the state at the 2018 California State Fair. She is a graduate of the UC Davis Master Brewers Program and holds an undergraduate degree in industrial distribution from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

FIRST JOB: Cook at a catfish restaurant BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: If you’re going to do it or be it, live the part. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I get to create liquid love. FAVORITE BOOK: The Noma Guide to Fermentation by Rene Redzepi WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: Your thoughts create your reality. Think interesting thoughts. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: I’ve had to concentrate on being really present and not worrying about what the future holds.

At CDFA, Karen Ross’ accomplishments include initiating programs to provide opportunities for farmers and ranchers to engage in sustainable environmental stewardship practices. She created the Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation. Ross, a Nebraska native, previously served as chief of staff to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and as president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Start every day with gratitude. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: Growing up on a farm, I thought for sure I would do anything else, until I realized my heart, my values and my passion are all in agriculture. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Tremendous uncertainty and the anxiety it causes and not having a cohesive national plan BUCKET LIST: A graceful retirement, with time to give back to my community


Restaurateur South


Owner Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters


Executive Director Davis Farmers Market

N’Gina Guyton was born in New Orleans and raised in Sacramento, where she founded South, one of BuzzFeed’s Top 30 Black-Owned Restaurants in America. She has worked for Paragary Restaurant Group, the Starwood Hotel and Resort Family and Selland Family Restaurants. In 2019, Guyton launched The Verity Project, providing subsidized therapy for hospitality workers. She is currently focused on South’s private farm, Of Soil and Water, which provides produce for the restaurant. FIRST JOB: Busser at Fuddruckers BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Surrender to divine timing and live in the present. HIDDEN TALENT: I’m an artist. I paint, draw and sculpt. FAVORITE TV SHOW: Law & Order, baby! PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON WORK: We have been challenged to be more creative to stay on top and relevant.

Former nurse Edie Baker loves to create new things and take on new challenges. She and her husband founded their company in 2008, growing it to three coffeehouse locations in Sacramento. Baker created the Sacramento Public Latte Art Tournament in 2013 and co-created Sacramento Specialty Coffee Week in 2014. In 2017, Chocolate Fish won second overall in the largest coffee-roasting competition in North America, besting 900 competitors. FIRST JOB: Baskin-Robbins BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Shut up and listen. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: To accept myself the way I am, good and not so good FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I worked on fishing boats in Alaska for five summers. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON BUSINESS: It made us resourceful and happy we are diverse in our offerings and income streams. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Not knowing when it will end BUCKET LIST: I want to do everything.

New York native Randii MacNear has nearly four decades of experience in the farmers market industry. In addition to overseeing the acclaimed Davis Farmers Market, she is also responsible for the markets at Sutter Davis Hospital, UC Davis and Sutter Sacramento Medical Center. The Davis farmers market was the Davis Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year in 2013 and has been featured in Sunset magazine and on National Public Radio. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Never make eye contact with the squirrels. LESSON LEARNED: You never know what is going on with someone, so try to be inspiring at all times. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: It combines good healthy food and being able to further agriculture and community building. HIDDEN TALENT: I am a ballroom dancer. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: To develop focused patience PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Isolation and anti-maskers


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ELISE BAUER Founder Simply Recipes

Blogging pioneer Elise Bauer founded Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to archive her family’s recipes. She eventually built the site into one of the most popular online cooking destinations in the world, serving millions of visitors monthly. Bauer, a graduate of Stanford University, was a marketing executive in Silicon Valley prior to starting Simply Recipes, which was purchased by Fexy Media in 2016. FIRST JOB: Snack bar attendant at a drive-in movie theater BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Praise publicly, criticize privately. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Being sick with debilitating chronic fatigue for almost a decade while building Simply Recipes took every ounce of energy I had. I learned to focus on the light, on the positive. HIDDEN TALENT: I’m a third-degree black belt in Aikido, a Japanese martial art, and spend most of my evenings training. FAVORITE BOOK: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. It is a comic masterpiece on par with Don Quixote. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: Food is about love, nourishment, art, chemistry, biology, history and culture. It is endlessly interesting. BUCKET LIST: I’m studying Japanese and looking forward to the time when I can go back to visit Japan.

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Food + Agriculture


CEO/Co-Owner Taylor’s Market


Owner/ Creative Director Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates


Chef/Owner Mulvaney’s B&L


Butcher Danny Johnson, a graduate of the Oregon Meat Cutting School, has had an ownership stake in Taylor’s Market since 1987. Johnson is passionate about expanding his knowledge of meat and butchering and educates himself by “traveling and stopping at every butcher shop I can find.” He is the captain of the U.S. Butchering Team, which took sixth place in the 2018 World Butchers’ Challenge in Belfast, Northern Ireland. FIRST JOB: Mowing grandmother’s lawn MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Grandpa Sousa TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: 95% degloving injury to left hand FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I love a great night at the opera. FAVORITE BOOK: My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George WHAT I’D TELL MY 18-YEAR-OLD SELF: Calm down. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Social distancing BUCKET LIST: To win the World Butchers’ Challenge in Sacramento

When chocolatier Ginger Elizabeth Hahn opened her boutique in Sacramento in 2008, she had already racked up serious credentials, including graduating with honors from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Since then, she has been voted a Top Ten Chocolatier in North America by Pastry Arts Magazine. She recently opened Ginger Elizabeth Patisserie on J Street.

FIRST JOB: Barista TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: My daughter needing critical surgery as an infant BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: My mother told me that children will take you to your highest highs and lowest lows. HOBBY: Sewing my own clothes FAVORITE BOOK: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Márquez WHAT MOTIVATES ME: Knowing that I’ll never know everything there is to know about chocolate

When Patrick Mulvaney moved to Sacramento in 1993, he knew that he had found his true home. The Garden City, N.Y., native has been instrumental in launching Sacramento’s farm-to-fork movement. He opened Mulvaney’s B&L, his restaurant devoted to local, seasonal food, in 2006. Mulvaney is an advocate for food access and equity as well as improving mental health services for those working in the hospitality industry. LESSON LEARNED: I came to Sacramento not knowing a soul and learned that this is a region that welcomes people who come to play on the field. HOBBY: Aimless late-night walks with the dog FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION: Any restaurant table across from my wife, Bobbin FEW PEOPLE KNOW: The day Ted Kaczynski was arrested, I received a standing ovation on coming to work at Paragary’s because they thought I was the Unabomber.


CEO Tiferet Coffee House


Chef/Owner The Waterboy, OneSpeed


CEO Temple Coffee Inc., Temple Coffee Roasters Inc.

Sabrina Berhane founded Tiferet Coffee House with her sister, Makeda Berhane, in 2014. Since then, the business has grown to three locations. Tiferet is the first vendor to be located inside Sacramento City Hall. Berhane, a former real estate agent, has made supporting the community and other small businesses central to her operations. Tiferet sources its coffee beans, food items and paper products from local businesses. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Being a young mother and raising my son as I was learning to become an adult and begin a career FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I love 1,000-piece puzzles, the more complex the better. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON BUSINESS: Revenue loss. It’s a balancing act giving our team enough hours to survive, minimizing payroll costs and not working myself into the ground. BUCKET LIST: Executive MBA, travel and growing our consultancy business

Rick Mahan founded one of Sacramento’s most enduring restaurants, The Waterboy, in 1996. He was one of the first chefs in the city to focus on farm-tofork cooking, forging relationships early on with local farmers to provide diners with the highest-quality ingredients. One of Mahan’s hobbies, bike riding, became the theme of his pizza-centric restaurant, OneSpeed.

FIRST JOB: Neighborhood paper route HIDDEN TALENT: Aspiring magician FAVORITE SACRAMENTO PLACES TO VISIT: The Railroad Museum and the American River Parkway BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Whatever you think you know at 30, check back in a couple of decades. FAVORITE FILM: The Station Agent WHAT I’D DO IF I DIDN’T DO THIS JOB: Architect BUCKET LIST: Train ride across Canada

Edmond, Okla., native Sean Kohmescher sold his 1948 Harley Davidson and 1958 Volkswagen bug to raise money to open Temple Coffee in downtown Sacramento in 2005. Today, the company has seven coffeehouse locations and a roastery. Temple has been named best coffeehouse in Sacramento and garnered awards for its coffees and interior design. Kohmescher is a founder of Specialty Coffee Week Sacramento and has served as a chapter representative for the Barista Guild of America. FIRST JOB: My own mowing and landscaping business at age 14 TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Keeping ahead of a growing business takes constant reorganization. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I used to hold the track record at Thunderhill Raceway in class TTD for racing cars. I used to want to be a motorcycle mechanic. FAVORITE BOOK: On the Road by Jack Kerouac ADVICE FOR A RECENT GRADUATE: Nothing beats work ethic!


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Government + Civic Leaders

SACMAG.COM January 2021

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Government + Civic Leaders


Creative Economy Manager City of Sacramento


Secretary California Health and Human Services Agency


Director California Department of Developmental Services


Megan Van Voorhis built her career upon the relationship between the arts and community development. As president and CEO of Arts Cleveland, she positioned that city as a national hub for the intersection of arts and other sectors, including health and human services, public safety and education. Van Voorhis, who holds a BFA in dance and an MBA, oversees initiatives and programs promoting arts and culture throughout Sacramento. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I believe arts engagement lifts the spirit and makes lives better. WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: Find the work that has meaning for you, because on your best days you’ll soar, and on your worst, you’ll know it’s worth it. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON BUSINESS: It’s been devastating to people in the arts. We’re facing at least a four- or five-year recovery window.

Minneapolis native Mark Ghaly oversees California’s largest agency, where he works to expand health care coverage and access to all Californians. A pediatrician and public health expert, Ghaly previously worked in county health leadership roles in San Francisco and Los Angeles, where he created the county’s Housing for Health program, which has supported more than 6,500 chronically ill individuals facing homelessness. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Be kinder than necessary, even when it’s hard. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: In a world where achievement matters a great deal, leading with kindness while staying focused on your task PANDEMIC’S LESSON: Despite hard work to close disparities among the least advantaged, we have much to do to treat groups as equals. BUCKET LIST: More volunteer physician work in low-income countries and taking my four kids with me

Since 2016, Nancy Bargmann has led the department that, in conjunction with 21 private nonprofit regional centers across the state, provides support and services to more than 350,000 Californians with intellectual/developmental disabilities. In her most recent prior position with the department, she developed policy and oversaw regional center operations and services. Bargmann began her career with The Arc of Orange County. FIRST JOB: Cutting weeds in a Nebraska soybean field FEW PEOPLE KNOW: The year I turned 50 I finished five marathons, one for each decade. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: I am now cooking! WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: Always wanted to be a social worker, but a temporary job turned into an incredibly rewarding and purposeful career. The individuals we serve inspire me every day. BUCKET LIST: Playing golf at Pebble Beach

TALIA SHANI KAUFMAN Executive Vice President Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce


Chief Executive Officer Valley Vision


President Meals for All, Inc.

Talia Shani Kaufman oversees the Metro Chamber’s strategy, including public affairs, community relations, internal and external communications, operations and staff oversight. She previously worked as director of community impact for the Sacramento Kings, overseeing all community initiatives during the building of Golden 1 Center. Kaufman serves on the boards of Juma Sacramento and Teach for America–Capital Valley Region. LESSON LEARNED: Systemic change is incredibly hard work that requires years of relationship building, trust and love for community. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I’m a professionally trained pastry chef. WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: Create a path to work that gives you purpose. BUCKET LIST: Travel. The pandemic has forced me to reprioritize my travel destinations; I never imagined there would be a time when our ability to travel was restricted.

Evan Schmidt’s experience in community development includes economic development, community engagement, land use planning, public health and more. In 2014, she joined Valley Vision, where she has supported the organization’s goals of advancing prosperity, equity and sustainability across the region through research and leadership. Schmidt was named CEO in 2020. She is a senior fellow in the Nehemiah Emerging Leadership Program. FIRST JOB: Cashier at a local burger/shake restaurant LESSON LEARNED: Doing big things means taking risks and being vulnerable; otherwise you will always live small. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I want to be of service to others, and I love bringing people together and problem solving. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I’ve climbed 15+ 14,000-foot mountains. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Not knowing what is coming next BUCKET LIST: International trip

Registered dietitian Lee Tincher founded Meals for All in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when she determined that there had to be a better way to provide nutritious meals to people in health care facilities during emergencies. Today, the company provides a safety net of more than 20 million disaster-ready meals in 2,000 hospitals across the country. A job as a weekend dishwasher in a nursing home helped launch Tincher’s career. HIDDEN TALENT: Creating quilts, especially art quilts that decorate my home WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: Work hard, love your family and do good in the world—it will come back to you. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: Be prepared! Our entire country—in fact, the whole world—realized too late that we’re woefully unprepared for disasters or a pandemic. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Living alone and being home alone 24/7


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Fire Chief Sacramento Fire Department Gary Loesch, Sacramento’s 22nd fire chief, leads a department of about 711 members serving 530,000 residents and responding to more than 93,000 calls annually. A veteran chief officer, Loesch is experienced serving as the authority in planning, establishing, directing and overseeing activities of personnel performing fire suppression, medical response, rescue, prevention and hazardous materials mitigation functions. He has a proven track record of finding new and innovative solutions to improving service delivery. Loesch has served in various leadership capacities, including planning and operations chief for the 2015 World Meeting of Families and Papal Visit to Philadelphia and the 2016 Democratic National Convention. EDUCATION: Neumann University FIRST JOB: U.S. Army helicopter crew chief BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Always remember where you came from. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: My grandfather, Edward Loesch FAVORITE FILMS: Midway and Heaven Can Wait TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Trying to stay apolitical in a politically polarized environment WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: Realizing a childhood dream FEW PEOPLE KNOW: Talented race car driver, baseball pitcher and drummer for a rock band PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: Just another challenge to overcome in life PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON WORK: Increased risk we face as first responders and the corresponding financial impact PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Continuing to fulfill our mission and meet the needs of the community while also keeping our members safe from infection BUCKET LIST: To travel the back roads across the country and spend one night in every state (27 and counting)


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Government + Civic Leaders


Senior Pastor Capital Christian Center


Chief Executive Officer Sacramento Region Community Foundation


President/CEO Make-A-Wish Northeastern & Central California and Northern Nevada


As senior pastor at Capital Christian Center, Rick Cole leads a 4,000-member church community, a pastoral staff of 14, a 900-student school and 300 church and school employees. He succeeded his father in this leadership role in 1995. Cole is the author of two books. He led a 2010 initiative to raise funds to combat homelessness. Cole is an advocate for racial reconciliation. He is involved with programs that assist underserved schools and students. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Overcoming shyness. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I had a concern for others and wanted to help. I found I had a broken heart for broken people. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I’ve run three marathons. FAVORITE BOOK: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: It has brought to the surface the deep divide in our country. I’m more aware of how I treat others.

Linda Beech Cutler has helped increase charitable funds, assets and grants during her tenure at the Sacramento Region Community Foundation. Under her leadership, the Big Day of Giving program has generated more than $52 million for hundreds of area nonprofits. Cutler’s former employers include the Sacramento County Airport System, Mercy Foundation and GenCorp. She is former chair of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: It’s better to admit you don’t know an answer than to wing it. LESSON LEARNED: The future will only be bright if I let go of past hurt and anger. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: Having been in the private sector most of my career, I was ready to move to the nonprofit sector, which is so critical to our region’s well-being. FAVORITE BOOK: Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Jennifer Stolo has grown the Sacramento-headquartered Make-A-Wish chapter to include 45 counties throughout California and Nevada while reducing administration costs 6.5% and increasing wish granting 35%. Prior to this position, she managed a $40 million campaign to expand access to dental care. Stolo was named the Loyola Marymount University Alumnus of the Year for Northern California in 2018. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: There’s no crying in baseball. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: My mom. As a single mom raising two daughters and working as a pediatric oncology charge nurse, she did it all. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I played softball from age 10 to freshman year of college and was a gymnast for eight years. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON WORK: It’s heartbreaking to see children wait for wishes when they need them more than ever.


Vice Mayor City of Davis


Executive Director Local Government Commission


Co-Founder/CEO Improve Your Tomorrow

Anchorage, Alaska, native Lucas Frerichs is a regional voice for smart growth, multimodal transit, public safety, economic development and environmental sustainability. He is the chair of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. Frerichs championed a $300 million surface water project that supplies clean water from the Sacramento River. He works as the associate director of state policy for The Nature Conservancy. FIRST JOB: Trail maintenance for the famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I have a fundamental belief that government has the power to solve pressing problems. FAVORITE BOOK: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. It was my introduction to California and I was hooked. It is as relevant today as when first written. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: I’ve increased my physical activity by making Zoom calls while walking.

Kate Meis oversees the work of the Local Government Commission, a nonprofit supporting local policymakers with technical assistance and policy guidance. She co-founded CivicSpark, which assists local leaders with creating vibrant communities, and the California Adaptation Forum, which addresses climate change resiliency. The Chronicle of Philanthropy named Meis a 40 Under 40 Young Leader Who Is Solving the Problems of Today. LESSON LEARNED: What feels like falling or failing is actually a step toward the growth we need to evolve and experience greater happiness and deeper purpose. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I grew up in Visalia, where I thought it was normal for soccer to be canceled because of bad air days and for driving to be the only viable transportation option. After studying in Paris, I realized there are other ways to move and live in a community.

Stockton native Michael Lynch has grown Improve Your Tomorrow as one of the largest direct-service education nonprofits in the country exclusively serving young men of color. Its mission is to increase the number of young men of color who attend and graduate from college. The organization has sent more than 300 men of color to college in five years. Lynch was previously a policy adviser in the California Legislature. FIRST JOB: KFC BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Trust in the Lord. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: My dad WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: To help young men who grew up like me achieve a college education FAVORITE BOOK: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Witnessing communities of color continue to be disproportionately affected by another disaster


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Director of Family Services Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services Genevieve Deignan Levy has expanded the client services programs of Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, overseeing programs that provide supplies, resources and educational opportunities to Sacramentans in need. Levy created two new programs for the organization, Immigration Legal Services and Refugee Resettlement Services. She is a recipient of the Sherwood Carthen Service Above Self Award from the city of Sacramento.

BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Only handle a piece of paper one time. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I have always felt that I give because I can. I try to approach all people with humility and treat them with respect, exactly as I would want to be treated. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: In 2015, one of our recently arrived refugees was hit by a car and killed, and his son suffered a severe brain injury. We helped the widowed mother of four, who did not speak any English, navigate these unknown systems and secure her family’s immediate needs. I learned more from this experience, which lasted years, than any other experience in my life. I was in awe of her, to be in a new country, not speak the language, experience the loss of her husband, know that her son’s life would forever be changed, and she was still gracious, kind, able to survive and move forward. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I played Division 1 women’s rugby at UC Davis. SACMAG.COM January 2021

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Government + Civic Leaders


Chief Executive Officer Paratransit, Inc.


President/CEO Greater Sacramento Urban League


City Manager City of Elk Grove


Tiffani Fink managed the restructuring of Paratransit, Inc. as the organization ended its contract with Sacramento Regional Transit. She also successfully oversaw $9 million in improvements to the agency’s facility and fleet. Fink is a founding member of the UC Davis Public Policy Alumni Advisory Group. She created and implemented the Moving Youth to Jobs program, which connects Sacramento youth with transportation literacy skills. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: How people feel about something matters. You may disagree on the facts, but their feelings are 100% their feelings. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Watching my father lose his battle with Lewy body dementia. It was like him dying twice. Nothing prepares you for the day your parent no longer knows who you are. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I was an extra in an episode of George Burns Comedy Week.

Before joining the Greater Sacramento Urban League, Cassandra Jennings served as senior adviser to then-Mayor Kevin Johnson on issues related to the arts, homelessness, housing and public safety. She is a former assistant city manager for Sacramento and worked for two decades with the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency. She serves on the Greater Sacramento Economic Council and Golden 1 Credit Union board. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: Growing up in the Jim Crow South, I understood inequity early in life. It sparked my desire to work with people to change and provide opportunities in urban and rural communities. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I went to jail for anti-apartheid protesting. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: Focused on self-care: studying the Word, enjoying my home, walking my neighborhood BUCKET LIST: Travel to Africa

During Jason Behrmann’s tenure as city manager of Elk Grove, he has led efforts to develop several major projects, including the city’s first animal shelter and the District 56 campus, which includes Elk Grove Aquatics Center, community center, outdoor activity and event center and the Preserve nature area. He previously served as city manager for Galt. He received the League of California Cities 2019 award for the Advancement of Diverse Communities. HOMETOWN: Los Osos, Calif. EDUCATION: Brigham Young University, Indiana University FIRST JOB: Paper delivery boy OTHER CITIES HE’S WORKED FOR: Bloomington, Ind.; San Luis Obispo and Dublin, Calif. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Always treat people with kindness. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I wanted to make a difference in the community and see the impact of policies, program and projects on the quality of life of local residents.


Senior Researcher California Research Bureau


Executive Director Midtown Association


Vice President of Communications Visit Sacramento

Devin Lavelle has helped direct investments in climate change resiliency infrastructure and develop legislation to direct the benefits of cap-and-trade funds to disadvantaged communities, among other accomplishments. He is a Parks and Community Enrichment commissioner for the city of Sacramento, organizing volunteer efforts to beautify public parks. Lavelle was named a rising star by the American Society for Public Administration. HOMETOWN: Oakland, Calif. FIRST JOB: Referee for Oakland Soccer Club BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Happy wife, happy life INSPIRING PERSON: My grandfather, Ron Schulz, who lived a life of pure public service WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: Enjoy the moment, but always have a plan. Be willing to throw out the plan as often as necessary. BUCKET LIST: Helping my wife’s family fulfill their dream of returning to Spain

Under the leadership of Emily Baime Michaels, the Midtown Association has generated $15 million in assessment funds for midtown Sacramento, resulting in a major investment in the popular business and culture district. She led the formation of Midtown Parks, a nonprofit aimed at improving community health and engagement. She has served on the boards of Visit Sacramento, Visit Sutter’s Fort and the Midtown Neighborhood Association. MOST INSPIRING PERSONS: Elizabeth Gilbert for the vulnerability in her writing; Byron Katie for her humanity and leadership; and my great-great-grandma, who survived a journey from Europe as a baby with only a few sugar cubes to eat. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: Our company has almost completely pivoted our business model, I lost my mom, and my household is 50 percent unemployed. I am one of so many with similar stories.

Kari Miskit is responsible for sharing Sacramento’s destination story with the rest of the country through media relations and creative communications. She works with national and local journalists, serves as an organizational spokesperson and develops programs that highlight Sacramento as a destination. She also educates locals about supporting the city’s tourism-dependent businesses. Prior to her tenure with Visit Sacramento, Miskit worked for nine years with the public relations agency Edelman. FIRST JOB: Sales associate at The Gap Outlet WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: My dad was in the same line of work. His job (and the fact that he liked doing it) always resonated with me. FAVORITE MOVIE: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON WORK: Because we are funded predominantly by hotel tax, our organization lost the majority of our budget as well as more than half our employees.


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Government + Civic Leaders

STEPHANIE MCLEMORE BRAY President/CEO United Way California Capital Region


President/CEO PRIDE Industries


Chief Executive Officer/General Manager SMUD

Under the leadership of Stephanie McLemore Bray, United Way launched the Square One Project, a more-than-20-year effort to end poverty through education. Bray is an avid reader and writer and the founder of Black Women Write, an organization that supports Black women on the path to publication. She serves on the board of Valley Vision and is a member of the city of Sacramento’s Inclusive Economic Development Investment Committee. FIRST JOB: Intern in my father’s law office MOST INSPIRING PERSONS: My sisters, both brilliant scientists and scholars HIDDEN TALENT: I crochet. It teaches me patience, how to focus and I get a nice afghan or scarf out of it when I’m done. BUCKET LIST: Getting a literary agent and book deal for my novel

Jeff Dern has spent the past dozen years contributing to PRIDE’s mission of creating jobs for people with disabilities. He played a role in PRIDE’s expansion into facilities operations and maintenance, manufacturing and supply chain services. Dern was named a Sacramento State Distinguished Alumnus in 2019. He serves on the boards of the California Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Feedback is a gift! MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Former PRIDE CEO Michael Ziegler FAVORITE BOOK: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand LESSON LEARNED: After two economic downturns, I’ve learned that when leadership remains calm, offers hope and asks for help, the team rises to the challenge. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON BUSINESS: PRIDE’s businesses are aligned with a variety of essential partners, which keeps our operations going strong.

Paul Lau is CEO and general manager of the sixth largest community-owned electric utility in the nation. The 38-year SMUD veteran previously served as chief grid strategy and operations officer. Lau serves on several boards, including the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce. He was part of a team that helped bring a $127 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to Sacramento. HOMETOWN: Born in Hong Kong; raised in Nigeria, Truckee and Sacramento FIRST JOB: Cashier at McDonald’s MOST INSPIRING PERSON: My mother FAVORITE MOVIE: The Notebook PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON BUSINESS: Our work-from-home employees went from 130 to 1,400 literally overnight. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Not being able to see and hug people in person BUCKET LIST: Visit Yellowstone National Park


President/CEO UCP of Sacramento and Northern California


Councilmember-Elect City of Sacramento, District 4


Director Mercy Pedalers, Inc.

Indiana native Doug Bergman leads United Cerebral Palsy of Sacramento and Northern California, which provides programs and services to children and adults with developmental disabilities. Under his leadership, UCP has expanded its reach from 1,400 to 5,800 clients. His expertise lies in increasing organizational efficiencies while meeting the ongoing needs of UCP’s diverse clients.

BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: There are two sides to every story. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Changing a company culture FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I can name the most alternative music artists and groups from the ’80s FAVORITE MOVIE: My Cousin Vinny PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON BUSINESS: Both bad and good. We have temporarily closed some programs, while another program supporting parents who have a child with a developmental disability has been in high demand.

In addition to winning a seat on the Sacramento City Council, Katie Valenzuela is policy and political director at the California Environmental Justice Alliance. She was president of the Oak Park Neighborhood Association and helped found the South Oak Park Neighborhood Association. Valenzuela also helped start the Sacramento Young Professionals of Color networking group and managed an urban garden and youth employment program. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Running for office, by far WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: My dad raised me to believe my voice mattered, that people who are impacted deserve a say in decisions. I started doing community development work at age 13 and found my passion. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I’m an excellent baker. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Living alone

Sister Libby Fernandez was executive director of Loaves & Fishes for more than a decade before founding Mercy Pedalers, an organization of volunteers who help people experiencing homelessness. “Through working with people experiencing homelessness on the streets of Sacramento, I found that being present in the moment, sharing a cup of coffee together and calling the person by name are the most important gifts one can offer,” says Fernandez. FIRST JOB: Round Table Pizza BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: From Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy: The poor need help today, not next week. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I have my freefall wings from the U.S. Air Force. HOBBY: Backpacking in the wilderness WHAT I’D DO IF I DIDN’T DO THIS JOB: National park ranger WHAT MOTIVATES ME: God and hope in the goodness of humankind

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Other Professionals



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FRANCISCO CASTILLO Senior Director of Public Affairs Union Pacific Railroad

Francisco Castillo manages Union Pacific’s state legislative strategy and community relations activities in Northern California and Northern Nevada. Before his current position, he served as the organization’s director of corporate relations and media. His former employers include the nonprofit educational organization StudentsFirst and the offices of first lady Maria Shriver and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Castillo serves on the West Sacramento Planning Commission and the boards of Sacramento Covered, Yolo County Children’s Alliance and St. Hope Public Schools. He was a 2018 fellow of the American Leadership Forum. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Never give in. Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: My mother, Sara Aleman TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Being raised by a single mother, my family experienced lower socioeconomic status compared to individuals whose families were fully intact. Children from poor households are at increased risk to live in a low-quality home environment and poor neighborhood conditions. While I did experience some challenges as a result, it motivated me to work harder and prove that no matter your circumstances, one can succeed. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I wanted a profession where I had the opportunity to master my knowledge in public policy while elevating the voices of underserved communities. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: In 2003, I was convinced to join a merengue band, Mambo Loko, and performed all over the Bay Area and once in Sacramento! WHAT I’D TELL MY 18-YEAR-OLD SELF: Be brave and true to who you are—wearing unnecessary masks just to fit in or avoid facing the reality of you can make life feel hopeless and imprisoned. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: It has allowed me to discover new talents, including gardening and my love for art. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON WORK: In April 2020, the company announced a summer of furloughs and pay cuts for employees and executives. I’m thankful to still have a job at Union Pacific Railroad during these challenging times. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Getting used to virtual-learning format for two kids

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Commercial Real Estate Partner Downey Brand LLP


Owner Law Office of Jo Anne M. Bernhard


Entrepreneur Gina Lujan Armstrong is the founder of Hacker Lab, a coworking and maker space rooted in community building. Lujan Armstrong received the national Latina of Excellence in Information Sciences and Technology award in 2015. Hacker Lab received the 2019 Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Salud Business Award for Community. Lujan Armstrong passionately supports Code for Hood, an award-winning nonprofit that educates youth in underserved communities. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Being a mother at age 16 without having a traditional home, upbringing or parents. Then having six children by age 22. I learned that a family needs time and presence, not things. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: The experiences you have are the needed courses to do your life’s work. SHOUT-OUT: It is really important to me to thank my team at Hacker Lab. They make me look good; without them, Hacker Lab wouldn’t exist.

Danielle Stephens is a partner in the real estate group at Downey Brand. She graduated in the top 10 percent of her law school class at Santa Clara University. She is a graduate of the Sacramento Metro Chamber’s Leadership Program, Sacramento’s Management Academy and the FBI Citizen Academy. Her regional honors include Best of the Bar, Top Lawyer and Northern California Super Lawyer.

HOMETOWN: Danville, Calif. FIRST JOB: Yogurt store clerk BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I played the keyboard in a ladies rock band called Time’s Up. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Juggling the dramatic increase in demand for my legal services with the needs of my school-aged daughter and my pregnancy

Jo Anne M. Bernhard specializes in real estate law, specifically commercial property, representing shopping center developers, owners, managers, tenants and brokers. She has worked as the longtime attorney for the James J. Cordano family with regard to their commercial properties. Bernhard is active in the International Council of Shopping Centers, winning the organization’s Distinguished Service Award in 2009.

FIRST JOB: Working the soda fountain at a retail store MOST INSPIRING PERSONS: My father, who was so forward thinking, and my mother, who kept the traditional Italian/Sicilian values. It was a good balance. HIDDEN TALENT: Making Sicilian cookies FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I love live boxing matches. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Getting through law school PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: Not being able to hug my family BUCKET LIST: I’m always open to travel.


Television Host/ Executive Producer PBS KVIE


Senior Vice President/Market Manager Entercom


CEO/Owner Post Modern Marketing

South Carolina native Rob Stewart is an Emmy Award-winning television host and producer as well as one of the most sought-after emcees in California. His show, Rob on the Road, which is in its 10th season, is KVIE’s highest-ranked local program. Stewart is the winner of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center PRIDE Award for Service and a senior fellow with the American Leadership Forum Class of XIX.

FIRST JOB: I had a stand at the farmers market when I was 12. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Facing my abuse of alcohol. I quit drinking in 2013. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I sang in concert with Patti LaBelle and covered Joe Biden for five years in Delaware. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: I will never take a hug for granted again. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: That even a pandemic can turn political

Munster, Indiana, native Stacey Kauffman is a collaborative leader who oversees the Sacramento office of Entercom, the media business behind the radio stations Alt 94.7, 98 Rock, 96.9 The Eagle, 102.5 KSFM, 106.5 The End and ESPN 1320. She is the 2018 winner of the Radio Advertising Bureau’s Radio Wayne Award for Director of Sales/General Sales Manager of the Year, considered the highest award in the industry. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: My mom, who was a single working mother of two girls who put herself through school at night and somehow managed to be present for all my sporting events LESSON LEARNED: Talent doesn’t equal success. Hire for the unteachables, like fit, grit, work ethic and attitude. FAVORITE BOOK: Anything from Brené Brown PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: It has created a rare, universal opportunity for shared empathy.

Josh Rubin, who built his first website in the mid1990s, has gone on to pursue a career in graphic design, web development, SEO and marketing strategy. He has run marketing campaigns for a variety of companies, from startups to established firms. Rubin launched the firm Creative California in 2009, later merging it with Post Modern Marketing in 2016. He volunteers with Sacramento SCORE, which assists budding entrepreneurs. LESSON LEARNED: Always trust your gut. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Star Trek character Captain Picard FAVORITE MOVIE: The Wizard of Oz FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I’m really good at board games, particularly Settlers of Catan, but I can’t roll dice to save my life. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: I didn’t appreciate the variety of life I had before COVID. I look forward to enjoying all that Sacramento has to offer after all this is over.


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Roshaun Davis was a self-described starving artist when he founded Unseen Heroes in 2008. Today, the award-winning events and marketing agency oversees programming that generates millions of dollars annually for musicians, artists, makers and the larger creative community. “We’ve literally made a creative economy out of a void we saw back then,” says Davis. The firm is the catalyst behind signature events including Diner en Blanc and GATHER: Oak Park. Davis and wife Maritza delivered a TEDx talk on showing love to one’s city. FIRST JOB: Togo’s BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Be still. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: My mom WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I love collaborating and connecting with people. LESSON LEARNED: The work that needs to be done isn’t external; it is internal. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I am an avid reader. FAVORITE BOOK: As a Man Thinketh by James Allen WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: You are meant to live a life where you have everything your heart desires, but have to believe it and speak accordingly. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: It has literally changed my entire life. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Keeping a clear head and a light heart BUCKET LIST: Visiting all the chakras of the earth LATEST PROJECT: I started an Instagram account during the pandemic called @thespiritualhomie. It is a curated collection of conversations, thoughts and words of wisdom from our mental health and spiritual homies. It has helped me find my community and get through some of the tough days.

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Vice President/ Managing Director Merlot Marketing


Owner AP Group, Inc.


Partner Downey Brand LLP


Brenda Granucci Forman brings 20 years of marketing experience to her work at Merlot. She has won awards in website development, advertising, corporate identity and strategic public relations campaigns. Forman was named Media Person of the Year by the American Advertising Federation, Sacramento Chapter. She has secured media coverage for her clients in major news publications, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Managing a business during a recession and now a pandemic FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I love woodworking, specifically small projects like building a workbench or coffee table. FAVORITE TV SHOW: Big Bang Theory. It’s a guilty pleasure. PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: It gave me the time to start new hobbies. I started a hydroponic garden and we are now raising chickens.

Angie Papendick founded AP Group, a boutique CPA firm specializing in real estate and construction, in 2016. “As founder, I have been able to provide a flexible work/life balance to my staff as well as provide opportunities for career growth,” says Papendick. She was previously a partner at Gallina LLP and Burnett + Company LLP. Papendick’s favorite aspect of her work is helping other business owners meet their goals. HOMETOWN: Red Bluff, Calif. EDUCATION: Sacramento State University, Golden Gate University FIRST JOB: Legal secretary MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Oprah WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: Be assertive.

Tyson Hubbard, who moved to Sacramento from the East Coast in 2014, was elected to the partnership at Downey Brand just three years after his arrival. Hubbard served for four years on the executive committee of the Sacramento County Bar Association Probate and Estate Planning Section. He is currently a commissioner on the City of Davis Recreation and Park Commission and a member of the board of the Davis Sunrise Rotary Club. EDUCATION: Harvard University, Syracuse University College of Law MOST INSPIRING PERSONS: My grandparents. My mother died in a car accident when I was 3, and my grandparents welcomed me to live with them on their farm. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: My clients are in the midst of deep emotional intrafamily conflict; I enjoy helping them emerge from that turmoil. FAVORITE TV SHOW: The Office



Associate/ Project Manager Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture


Founding Editor VOICES: River City

Patrick Harbison is an experienced publicist, media consultant, publicity professional and media booker. He is a three-time winner of the Hermes Award from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. Harbison was named the 2016 Influencer of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America. He supports WEAVE, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Sacramento Theatre Company and the Sacramento LGBT Community Center. FIRST JOB: Sandwich maker at Togo’s MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Oprah, of course! FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I was a nationally ranked tennis player. FAVORITE TV SHOW: Buffy the Vampire Slayer PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: I miss events and seeing people regularly. For an extrovert, it can be really taxing on your mental health. BUCKET LIST: Jameson Distillery Dublin whiskey tour

Architect Christopher Holt believes that mentoring and informal education play an underappreciated role in a person’s success. His nontraditional path to architecture brings a unique economy to his technical approach to design. Holt served as a planning commissioner in the city of Woodland and a member of the board of the American Institute of Architects Central Valley. Recent projects include the Powerhouse Science Center and Sacramento City College’s Mohr Hall. FIRST JOB: Mrs. Fields cookie store TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Becoming a licensed architect without a higher-education degree HIDDEN TALENT: I’ve painted and sketched all my life. Most recently, watercolor painting has become an obsession, one that I do for an hour every single morning. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: The isolation. So many of the things we take for granted on a daily basis have been wiped away.

Dave Kempa is the founding editor of VOICES: River City, a podcast devoted to investigative reporting, breaking news, commentary and local arts coverage. He has reported on topics ranging from homelessness to wine. Kempa, who taught journalism at American River College, is working to develop a “sustainable culture of writers” in Sacramento. Along with two colleagues, he runs No Flacks Allowed, a monthly meetup for journalists. MOST INSPIRING PERSON: Investigative journalist Gary Webb WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I wanted to get paid to write—ha! FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I’m very good at pool. FAVORITE BOOK: Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON BUSINESS: Boots-on-the-ground reporting has not been easy to pursue, but this has interestingly been a great environment for our podcast to flourish. PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: I miss hugs.


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Co-Founder/Director The Makers Place


Creative Director Position Interactive


CEO/Fearless Leader Creating Answers

Entrepreneur Leslie Bosserman launched and leads The Makers Place, Sacramento’s first coworking space offering on-site child care. She is also an executive coach and lifestyle strategist for millennial leaders and their managers. Through her boutique coaching and consulting practice, Lead With Intention, she offers leadership coaching and customized training for clients around the world. Bosserman has served on the leadership team for TEDxSacramento. FIRST JOB: Flute and piccolo tutor BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Plan the event, not the outcome. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I have been an entrepreneur for over a decade because I believe in creating the kind of community I desire to live in. HIDDEN TALENT: I have perfect pitch! FAVORITE BOOK: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Financial uncertainty in business

A third-generation Sacramentan, Phil Tretheway is an award-winning graphic designer and marketing strategist. He is a founding member of Metro EDGE and serves on the board of the Metro Chamber Foundation. Tretheway also co-founded Creativity+, a community organization to inspire and champion creativity in Sacramento. He is co-producing Spirit Wings, a placemaking public art project comprising a series of sculptures, with Megan Blackwell.


Partner/Hiring Partner Downey Brand LLP


Managing Partner Downey Brand LLP

Meghan Baker’s litigation practice focuses on commercial, employment, real estate and probate disputes. She also handles class action defense, construction defect and product liability claims. Her clients include professional and financial service providers, developers and construction companies, as well as manufacturers and distributors. Baker graduated first in her class at McGeorge School of Law and was named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine. HOMETOWN: Benicia, Calif. FIRST JOB: Lifeguard MOST INSPIRING PERSONS: My parents FEW PEOPLE KNOW: My love for music and Excel spreadsheets FAVORITE BOOK: East of Eden by John Steinbeck FAVORITE TV SHOW: Schitt’s Creek PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: As a lawyer and mom, I’ve always been a multitasker, but the pandemic has brought new meaning to that term!

Scott Shapiro is an attorney and legislative and policy advocate focused on water, flood and natural resource issues and law. He assists clients with more than $1 billion in projects in California’s Central Valley and issues involving FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He has expertise in drafting federal legislation in the flood protection arena and has extensive litigation experience focusing on cases arising from levee failures.

FIRST JOB: Winn Brothers Construction clean-up crew BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Bring each decision back to your values. FEW PEOPLE KNOW: I’d rather be fishing. WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK: I’m energized by the challenge of connecting to people in compelling and creative ways. FAVORITE TV SHOW: The West Wing PANDEMIC’S EFFECT ON ME: I appreciate time with friends.

HOMETOWN: Norristown, Penn. EDUCATION: Rutgers University, Lewis & Clark Law School FIRST JOB: Paper boy HIDDEN TALENT: Pigeon calling FAVORITE FILM: Sneakers WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE: Take a year off before college. See the world, enjoy and travel. PANDEMIC’S PERSONAL EFFECT: I am walking more! PANDEMIC’S TOUGHEST ASPECT: Feeling like electronics have to come between us BUCKET LIST: To build a masonry wall

Shawna Fitzgerald leads Creating Answers, an external CFO firm. She serves as treasurer for the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Sacramento chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She started her first business at the age of 21 “not having a clue about what entrepreneurship entailed” and by the age of 30 had originated, purchased and developed multiple businesses.

A multidiscipline designer, Rebecca Plumb creates designs for homes, commercial spaces and personal branding that reflect the people who use them. She is a former co-owner and creative director at the Honey agency and founder and host of CreativeMornings Sacramento, a breakfast lecture series for the creative community. Plumb has been featured in Sacramento Magazine, Comstock’s, Apartment Therapy, Today. com and City Scout.

EDUCATION: Sacramento City College, Sacramento State University FIRST JOB: Waitress at Hal’s Grubstake NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS: While I’m extremely proud of my own accomplishments, the greatest part of what I do is helping other businesses to be successful. I’ve coached and led nearly 100 businesses, organizations and individuals to financial success and overall growth. FAVORITE FILM: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory BUCKET LIST: Visit and explore Ireland.


Owner Studio Plumb

FIRST JOB: Ironing my dad’s work shirts for $1 each. He liked a starched collar. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: You don’t have to be the one in the spotlight to be successful; you can be the campfire that gathers smaller groups together. FAVORITE SACRAMENTO PLACE TO VISIT: Sacramento Antique Faire on the second Sunday of the month WHAT I’D DO IF I DIDN’T DO THIS JOB: Design and run Airbnbs

SACMAG.COM January 2021

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