People in the News

September 23, 2010 10:30pm
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•  Bank makes numerous appointments

•  High honors for several Valley leaders

•  And more….

Teresa Duerksen
Franka Gabler
Ramina Ushana
Sabine Saso
Evelia Amado
Rosie Nunes
Shelly Lo
Jason Carlson
John Carter
Joe Moore
Jim Ridenour
Brittney Gandy
Lydia Pleotis Howell
Shaheen Rasheed
Larry Hansen

• Teresa Duerksen has joined United Valley Insurance Agency in Visalia as an account manager. Ms. Duerksen has extensive experience in personal lines insurance customer service as well as experience in life, health and commercial insurance account management.

United Valley Insurance Agency has 11 offices throughout California and is part of United Valley Insurance Services Inc., an organization representing over 50 select insurance companies.


• Franka Gabler, a research scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service in Parlier, has been hired to be the Viticulture Research Director for the California Table Grape Commission in Fresno.

Ms. Gabler, who has a Ph.D. in plant pathology and a master’s in agronomy from the University of Zagreb in Croatia, has worked at USDA/ARS in Parlier since 1997.

As Viticulture Research Director, she will be responsible for managing the commission’s viticulture research program, overseeing a wide range of technical projects from pre- and post-harvest improvements to new variety development.


• Ramina Ushana, vice president and branch manager, has been hired to manage Central Valley Community Bank’ newly opened full-service Modesto office.

She joins the bank with over 30 years of bank management expertise.

• Sabine Saso, has been hired as assistant vice president and customer service manager for the Modesto office, the bank says.

The Modesto office has also added the following full-time team of local banking professionals; Fabian Ramos, financial service representative, Linda Karim, customer service representative and Victoria Eshagh, branch utility.


• Evelia Amado, has been named vice president, cash management officer for the Merced office of Central Valley Community Bank.

Other additions to the office are:

• Rosie Nunes, assistant vice president, small business development officer, and,

• Shelly Lo, branch utility.

Ms. Amado joins CVCB with over 15 years of banking expertise, including branch management, customer service and new business development.

Ms. Nunes comes to the bank with over 27 years of banking experience covering branch management, customer service and sales management.

Ms. Lo joins CVCB with five years of banking experience.


• Jason Carlson, has been named business development officer for Central Valley Community Bank. Mr. Carlson is responsible for developing new business banking relationships for the San Joaquin County region.

He joins CVCB with over 15 years of sales management and finance experience.

Central Valley Community Bank, headquartered in Fresno, was founded in 1979 and is the sole subsidiary of Central Valley Community Bancorp. Central Valley Community Bank currently operates 17 offices.


• John Carter has been named global sales director for Limoneira Company (NASDAQ: LMNR). This newly created position coincides with Limoneira's decision to market and sell its lemons directly to foodservice, wholesale and retail customers around the world beginning in November.

Mr. Carter was previously senior vice president of sales and business development for SunOpta Fruit Group, a $75 million division of SunOpta, Inc. Previously, he was with Chiquita Fresh North America, most recently as director of new business development.


• Joe Moore, the first paid station manager of KFSR, the campus radio station at California State University, Fresno, is leaving to become director of program content for Fresno NPR affiliate KVPR (Valley Public Radio).

Mr. Moore has been with the Fresno State station since 1998 when he began as a student volunteer disc jockey. He later became student station manager, and in 2004, the first paid manager.

He will join KVPR on Monday, Sept. 27.


• Jim Ridenour, mayor of Modesto, has been sworn in as president of the League of California Cities, the lobbying group for the state’s cities.

“I believe it is my privilege to serve the citizens of Modesto daily in an effort to make their lives better, and I will carry this belief forward as I now serve all 480 cities of California,” Mr. Ridenour says.

After many years of serving the League in various capacities, Mr. Ridenour joined the executive committee of the League Board in 2008. The League’s bylaws call for officers to serve one-year terms. Under the bylaws, Mayor Ridenour advances to his current position after serving the past year as first vice president.

Mr. Ridenour is serving his second term as Modesto’s mayor and will term out of office in November 2011.


• Brittney Gandy of Sacramento, who was accepted into Drexel University’s second Executive Masters in Public Health (MPH) program, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Community Public Health Master's Grant, a $10,000 scholarship funded by the Nehemiah Community Foundation of Sacramento.

Ms. Gandy is currently a program analyst for the State of California departments of Child Support Services and Office of Legal Services. She also received a Papadakis Public Service Fellowship from Drexel.

Headquartered in Sacramento, the Nehemiah Community Foundation is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to develop philanthropic partnerships with organizations working in the areas of affordable housing, economic development, and education.


• Lydia Pleotis Howell, an anatomic and clinical pathologist known for her work to improve protocols for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast and cervical cancer, has been named chairman of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. She has served as acting chairman since 2008.

Ms. Howell oversees nearly 40 faculty members and more than 400 clinical and academic staff who provide comprehensive laboratory testing for UC Davis Medical Center and other hospitals and clinics through Northern California, conduct basic and translational research, and advance training at all levels within the field. The department performs more than 5 million clinical tests annually using a state-of-the-art robotic system in the new Surgery and Emergency Services Pavilion at UC Davis Medical Center.


• Shaheen Rasheed, MD, has joined the Enloe Medical Center medical staff and the Chico-based physician practice Digestive Disease Associates. The second GI physician to come from New York to Chico in recent months, he specializes in advanced endoscopic procedures to treat gastroenterological diseases.

Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Mr. Rasheed completed his residency, chief residency and fellowship at the Stony Brook Medical Center in New York. He received his medical degree from Flinders University of South Australia.

Mr. Rasheed says he decided to practice in Chico because he likes the topography, the community and the professional prospects.


• Larry Hansen, a member of the Lodi City Council, has been presented with the “Spirit of Public Power Award,” by Northern California Power Agency.

The award recognized Mr. Hansen’s eight years of service to NCPA and Lodi Electric Utility. He was also cited for his role in championing the state-of-the-art 280-megawatt Lodi Energy Center.

Mr. Hansen has served as an NCPA commissioner since 2002, chairing the commission from 2008-2010. He was elected to Lodi City Council in November 2002 and has previously served as the city’s mayor. Earlier, he served 30 years with the Lodi Police Department, culminating with his appointment as chief in May 1993, a position he held until his retirement in July 2000.


Janice Roberts, 59, of Modesto, has been reappointed to the state’s Employment Training Panel, where she has served as a member since 2005. She has been the economic development training manager for Frito-Lay since 2004, where she previously served as regional training and development manager from 2002 to 2004 and manufacturing department manager from 1996 to 2002.

Ms. Roberts was operations manager for Wickes Forest Industries, later renamed Sequoia Forest Industries, from 1973 to 1995. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Ms. Roberts is a Republican.


• Vijay Khatri, a University of California, Davis surgical oncologist, has been appointed to the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Council of Academic Society, one of the organization’s three governing councils.

The council consists of 94 academic societies devoted to biomedical and behavioral research, medical education and patient care.

Mr. Khatri is an editorial board member of the Annals of Surgical Oncology, Open Oncology Journal, World Journal of Surgical Oncology, the International Journal of Surgical Oncology and Journal of Cancer Therapy. He also served on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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