People in the News

July 27, 2017 9:01pm
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•  Winery’s expansion prompts a top management hire

•  Bank makes a key hire for the Valley

•  And more….

Jen Berman

• Jen Berman has been hired by Michael David Winery of Lodi as general manager of the company’s Geyserville facility.

Ms. Berman has 13 years of experience from her work as general manager and assistant winemaker at Stryker Sonoma Winery, and as a lab technician at Sonoma Wine Company.

In her new job, Ms. Berman will be responsible for assembling the team to help operate the recently acquired facility. She will serve as the main point of contact, as well as work in coordination with the Michael David staff in Lodi.

With more than 30 years as a bonded winery, Michael David Winery has over 800 acres of vineyards in the Lodi Appellation.


• Keven Gray has been named executive vice president, director of retail banking for Rabobank, to be based in Modesto.

Mr. Gray oversees the bank’s statewide retail branch network. He will focus on creating operational soundness and sustaining an emphasis on customer service, employees and community engagement.

He joined Rabobank in 2013 as a retail regional manager. In 2014, he became a division manager for the bank’s North Valley Division. He has more than 20 years of experience in retail and commercial banking, working for such institutions as Golden 1 Credit Union, World Savings and Wachovia. He is a lifelong Central Valley resident.


• Jessica Law, has been promoted to the post of chief deputy executive officer for the Delta Stewardship Council.

She has been the council’s special assistant for planning and science.

Since March of last year, Ms. Law has planned and executed three semiannual Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee meetings for the Council, with discussions on interagency priorities for high-impact science actions, “adaptive management,” ecosystem restoration, integrated ecosystem modeling, and other state-federal agency priorities that support implementation of the Delta Plan and the Delta Science Plan.

Prior to joining the Council, Ms. Law worked in the private sector consulting for state, regional, and local agencies on an array of land-use and environmental programs, with a special focus in public outreach and communications. The majority of her work focused on the Central Valley and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Her salary in her new position was not disclosed.


• Arsenio Mataka, 40, of Sacramento, has been appointed technical advisor at the California Public Utilities Commission. Mr. Mataka has served as assistant secretary for environmental justice and tribal affairs at the California Environmental Protection Agency since 2011 and held several positions at California Rural Legal Assistance Inc. in 2010 and 2011, including directing attorney and staff attorney. He was a consultant at Mataka Consulting from 2009 to 2010, a legal extern at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9 in 2009 and an American Bar Association diversity fellow in environmental law in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2008

This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $140,952. Mr. Mataka is a Democrat.


• Don Parreira, co-owner of Ultra Gro Plant Food in Madera, is the new president of the Ag One Foundation at Fresno State.

Mr. Parreira, of Fresno, previously served as vice president for Ag One — a development organization for the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Fresno State — and has also served as treasurer and secretary on its board of directors.

A co-owner of Ultra Gro Plant Food since 2008, he received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Fresno State in 1980. He has worked in accounting his entire career. He also served on non-profit boards for Alpha Gamma Rho alumni, Bullard High School Boosters and other youth organizations.

Born and raised in Los Banos, Mr. Parreira follows the lead of his father-in-law, Gerald Forrest, who served as the Ag One president in 1987.

Mr. Parreira replaces John Migliazzo of Fresno, an attorney for the Michael J.F. Smith law office, who ended his one-year term as president on June 30.

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